Friday, December 23, 2016

My Book: What Do You Think?

I have been working on a novel for quite a few years now, although a lot has changed since I first began, and I am very slowly nearing the end...Finally!
 It needs a lot of work still, and whenever I go back to reread the first few chapters, I cringe and just have rewrite some of it.
 So it is still a working progress.
I have already shared the Prologue, quite a while ago, and it has been changed some, so I thought I should repost it.
 While I was on it,  I thought I could share some bits of my book for you all and see what you think.
 So here we go:
There is a place in one’s heart, a special spot reserved for the memories of the joyous days of childhood.

And of Mama and Papa, who were always there with a gentle hand, loving smile and a few simple words of wisdom and understanding.

A place where you felt loved, secure, and contented as you grew to face the trying years of adulthood.

I am no different than the rest, and I, too, have a precious, cherished place that was my home for so many years.

Against the deep blue skies of Washington, a tall, majestic mountain peak looms above the tops of the sweet-smelling pine trees.

Its beauty and might echoes the power of its Creator, and the love He has for His creation, while the songbirds sing their Praises to the Keeper of the Sparrows.

Pioneers in yesteryear caught sight of this awesome mountain, fear and awe filling their beings as they gazed at the beauty around them, and that great big sky above.

A lush, green valley was below God’s natural monument, filled with giant herds of elk, so large they seemed part of the landscape. Trees, thick and monstrous, stood along the horizon, seeming like a castle’s barricade ready to protect its occupants.

It was a place of refuge to the tired pilgrims, and they soon settled this land of the evergreens, building homes with the sweat of their brows.

From this small settlement grew the little town of Elk Valley, a clean, quiet place full of God-fearing, happy residents, of sheltered from the outside world behind their barricade of branches and mountains.

It was a small town, populated by people of pioneer stock, with ancestors who had passed their strong, Christian ways down to their children.

It was a place of wonder and adventure for any little child, and a place of peace and contentment for the old.

A place that we all dream of, and wish for, in this rat-race we live now, and the people of the Valley’s lessons, wisdom and morals are something we all could use today.

The streets were made of dirt which turned into mud whenever it rained, the sidewalks wooden and old, and many of the buildings still had the look of the Old West, giving the whole town a very wise and ancient look.

It was a town that seemed to be frozen in time, keeping to the way of live they had always known, and years passed without much change.

Until the Great War, when the outside world was let in by the young men returning home.

We didn’t even get a telephone line in town until 1920, and our telegraph was still used widely before it was torn down in the later years.

My mother was one of the first girls of the Valley to cut and perm her golden hair, and it wasn’t fully accepted by the older residents until much later.

When some of the young men purchased motorcycles and even automobiles, it seemed as if the old ways were vanishing from sight, replaced by the modern era.

Despite the old-timers fears, not too many changes followed these events, and the little town stayed the way it was, even with automobiles chugging down the muddy streets.

Elk Valley had been my home since I was born in that small, white farmhouse nestled beneath the great Mount St. Helens, surrounded by its army of trees.

My great-grandparents, Frank and Helen West, had come to the Valley in 1868; just three years after Frank had come home from the Civil War.

They built a cabin and in 1869, gave birth to my Grandpa, Daniel.

Grandpa married Agnes Van Etta, and they in turn had my mother, Jenny.

Mama married Kirk Hayes, just before the Great War.

It was the dreadful winter of 1918 that Mama lost her three eldest children to the Influenza Epidemic, and Papa came home from the conflict overseas.

He had been gassed in the trenches, and suffered from weak lungs and a crippled leg, which made it very hard for poor Papa to get around the farm.

My big brother, Cole, was born a few years later, and then I was born soon after.

Then came Nolan, followed by another set of twins, Carrie and Konner.

Little brother Ethan was thought to be the last, but when Mama was nearing her thirty-eighth birthday, she announced that another member would be added to the family and Little Amy arrived, a pure ray of sunshine to our troubled life.

Papa left his war-weary body behind in the late fall of 37’, also leaving behind a sorrowful, grieving family with the Depression bearing down hard on our shoulders.

The summer of 1939 changed my life forever, and I didn’t realize how much pain lay ahead for me, or for my little town.

Our fort of trees and hills could not hold back the outside world, and many changes were soon to come into our quiet home in the Valley.

I am Katie, and this is my story

Now just some pieces here and there:

Katherine set about to make the house a home, remembering her mother’s wise words she had heard throughout her young life:

“Remember, Katherine. A home is more than clean floors and neat beds. Even if you fill the whole house with dozens of flowers and the brightest décor you can find, it will be a cold, empty home if you do not fill it with love.

Laughter, tears, joy and sorrow must all abide in a house of love, for these are the things that make up life.

And if the love of God is in every corner and crack of your empty home, it will be filled with the strength and comfort that will enable you go get through life.

Home is where God’s heart is.”

Katie embraced these words with all her being and vowed to make her house a happy, welcoming home, where the Presence of her Savior would warm every heart that entered.

Oh, yes, she had times where her selfish nature would overcome her vow, and she would allow herself a few moments of anger and frustration, but after all, to be human is to be flawed, and Katherine Renee Hayes Tucker was the first to admit that she had quite a few flaws
Rain pattered on the umbrellas as the small group crowded the bus station that cold, wet Tuesday morning. Carrie held Amy’s hand in her gloved one, standing stiff and without emotion while little brother Ethan slumped beside her, his hands shoved deep inside his overall pockets. Water poured from the brim of his hat that bent into the wind.
Konner pulled his own hat down over his eyes, and his face remained expressionless, his arms hanging limply at his sides.
Nolan stood close to Cole and Mama, his big brother’s bag clutched firmly in his hands, while those deep blue eyes remained bright and proud as he gazed at the tall man in front of him. He respected Cole greatly, as a son would his father, and seeing he in uniform only added to that deep affection that he had for his big brother.
The train was waiting, its engine loudly chugging as it sat at the edge of the wooden sidewalk. People were hurrying into its dry exterior; some were in uniform, and their friends and family called out greetings and goodbyes as they stood beneath their umbrellas.

It seemed as the world had given a sudden tilt, knocking them all off of their feet, and it was hard to consider getting back up.
But get up they did, and when they did stumble to their feet, they ‘came up swinging‘, as Konner would say.
Tom West immediately began orders for the shipyard in Seattle, Carl Flynn signed a contract with the Army to train horses for government use, and the young women volunteered at the local Red Cross.
What of the young men?
All the brave young men of the Valley tossed down their plows, lariats and hammers, took up their guns, and marched away to war, leaving behind tearful mothers and sweethearts.
Ethan tossed the wood shaving he had been fiddling with, his expression guarded.
Looking into the swaying trees and dark gray sky, he remained silent a moment, simply listening to the sounds of the snow-covered hills.
Finally he spoke. “I reckon not.”
He nudged a clod of dirt with the toe of his boot. “But then, you aren’t Papa. We really can’t ask you to be someone you’re not.”
Ethan shrugged as if uncomfortable and added, “Guess we’d better let you go on being Nolan.”
Nolan glanced down at the silent boy, a grin suddenly brightening his features as he reached to muss Ethan’s hair.
“Here I was just thinking how young you were, and then you grow right before my eyes.”
Ethan gave him a bashful smile, looking both amused and pleased at the same time.
“Come one.” Nolan clapped him on the shoulder. “Let’s go see what Mama has got on for supper. This chopping has given me an appetite.”

It still needs a lot of work, but what so you think?
 Would you be interested in reading such a novel?





  1. Well done!! This is such a lovely story and your writing is so captivating! <3


  2. Sounds very interesting! Good job!

  3. Yes! It sounds very interesting! You make the characters seem so REAL. :)

    1. Thanks! Coming from you, that's a great burst of confidence! ;)

  4. Replies
    1. Someday! ;) I'll be sure to let you know when it's finished! :D

  5. Well done! Think it's going to be a great historical novel! :) I would definitely be interested in reading it someday .. You have a lovely writing style! And sounds like you know your history.

    I was so excited to see that you're writing a novel! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only young women who is pouring years into perfecting a novel. :D

    Best wishes! ^_^

    1. Thank you so very much! :D
      It's been a long, long time since I started on this novel, and hearing your words are so encouraging! <3

    2. You're welcome! :) :)

      I know the feeling! I've been working on my novel, Silver Rose, since I was fourteen. It's so exciting when people tell me they want to read it and such! :D

    3. It's been about the same amount of time for me, too. :)
      I have to admit, I reread some of it and just sigh in frustration.
      Even after I 'finish' it there will be a lot of rewriting. Lol
      I'd love to read yours someday!

  6. Because I'm your sister, and we share a room, and we like to chat and tell stories at night - I know these characters like they were my own family. ;P I haven't actually read much of your book till now, though. I still have a connection with Carrie. ;P I suppose you did that to me.
    Great job, Sista! ;P

    1. haha, I know what you mean. ;)
      She WAS meant to be sort of based off of you, although she slowly evolved into her own character as I kept on writing.

  7. Well done!! I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the novel :)

  8. You have a lovely blog and the book looks great! I also love the vintage photos. Happy New Year to you and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

    1. Thank you :) Happy New Year to you, too!

  9. Sounds very interesting. I would love to read it when you are finished!