Monday, October 17, 2016

Bits and Pieces II

I'm going to be posting snapshots of "Guide Me Home" on this blog to introduce my characters to you. The second bit...


Pastor Nils Hannemann placed his pen on the desk and closed his Bible. He glanced out his office window and stared at the church wall twenty feet away. There were advantages living in the house next to the church, but the view out the window was not one of them.
His eyes returned to the blank pages sitting in front of him. Writing sermons on a regular basis was harder than he had thought. Since he’d graduated from the seminary in May, he’d discovered the reality of the task. After running short of time the first few weeks, he had begun his sermons a bit earlier, so he wouldn’t get caught up in the Saturday night cram routine.
Nils surveyed his books arrayed around him like a general surveying his troops. Fidgeting, he reshuffled his books on his desk. Somehow this made him feel more in command to do sermonic battle with his text.
At least he wasn’t working in the fields back home. His heart had never been in farm work. Pa probably knew that before he did. His brothers seemed to thrive on caring for the animals and harvesting the crops, but for him doing the chores was a boring and repetitive task.
From a very young age, old Pastor Schroeder had encouraged him to think about going to the seminary and becoming a pastor. Maybe Pa had put him up to it in the first place. Nils smiled at the thought.
The ticking clock reminded him time was fleeting. Thursday already. He picked up his pen determined to set out his outline of St. Paul’s words to Timothy. Propping his elbow on his desk, he rested his chin in the palm of his hand. He had to keep going, or he’d never finish.
A knock at the door brought him to a halt. Not what he needed right now. But he had no choice. Time to find out who needed his help at this hour. With a sigh, he pushed back his chair and straightened his tie. The sermon—and battle—would have to wait.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bits and Pieces

I'm going to be posting snapshots of "Guide Me Home" on this blog to introduce my characters to you. Here is the first bit...
“I’m here to talk to you about my son.” A piercing voice shot across the classroom.
Emma Ehlke dropped her pen, splattering ink over the neatly organized stack of lesson plans. The whole morning’s work stained in a second. The verbal ambush made Emma’s eyes dart in the direction of the sound as her heart slammed against her ribs.
A stout, middle-aged woman with speckled gray hair stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips. By the pinched look on her round red face, Emma wondered if she’d just bitten into a lemon.
“Mrs. Ethel Piggott. You met me at church.” Her prominent chin preceding her, the woman marched purposefully toward Emma, her long skirt swishing around her ankles.
Emma recovered herself. A calming breath. A smoothing back of her hair to steady her hands. Glasses deliberately removed and placed on her desk. She stood and walked to the edge of the raised platform.
To make a good impression was paramount in her mind as a new teacher. Mrs. Piggott. She ransacked her brain to remember a student with that name. She lifted the hem of her skirt to step down. “I’m Miss—.”
“You don’t have to tell me who you are.” The woman crossed her arms. “I can’t believe you don’t remember me. My husband, Meyer, or Mr. Piggott to you, is the school board chairman.” Her voice crackled with arrogance.
Emma stepped off the platform and walked between two rows of wooden desks bolted to the floor. With her clammy palm outstretched in greeting, the heels of Emma’s lace-up shoes clicked as she crossed the creaky floor to meet the woman midway. “I beg your pardon. It’s just that I’ve made the acquaintance of so many people since Sunday it’s hard to remember everyone’s name.”

Major lapse not remembering this lady.
She’d spent the last three days filling her head with lesson plans, textbooks, and names of children. Less than a week remained to get prepared for school’s opening. Surely, um, Mrs. Piggly should understand that under the circumstances it was hard to think straight, much less remember everyone from church.

Monday, October 10, 2016

First Review of Book II

I have my first rave review of "Lead me Home" now that I've had a beta reader read my manuscript. Sandy said it was better than my first book (which she also liked). I was happy to hear the news and wanted to share it with you.

I'm lining up an editor to look at my manuscript before getting it sent to the line editor. In reality a book in hand is probably four months away yet, but it is getting closer. 

"Lead Me Home" is about Maggie Ehlke - the sister of Emma, heroine of Book I. Emma and her husband, now living in Dubuque, Iowa, are trying to cope with the Depression. Maggie is forced to leave her family home in Wisconsin to live with her sister's family since her parents can't afford to feed her anymore. 

Life in the Depression was hard on everyone, as Maggie finds out when she's sent away from Emma's home for the same reason. 

More of the plot will be revealed in later posts as I keep you up to date on my progress.