Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Dream Bucket Free! December 10 is The Last Day This Year to . . .

. . . obtain a free Kindle copy of The Dream Bucket! Actually it's The Dream Bucket and Manuela Blayne in one Kindle book.

Thanks to those of you who downloaded the book yesterday. As a result Covington Chronicles III and IV, The Dream Bucket and Manuela Blayne reached an impressive spot:

Get your copy by going here: 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

My December Calendar of Countdowns

December Calendar of Countdowns
1 more day I need to shop, clean house, and prepare
2 days until the Sunday School party
2 more days to remind you to download my newest book for free:
11 days until family members come to visit
13 days until more family members come to visit
15 days until Christmas Eve
16 days until Christmas
16 days until more family members come to visit
17 days until our wedding

Some things different this Christmas

Although we try to duplicate our celebration of Christ’s birth every year, Christmas is always different.
Before I get busier with one of the most exciting Christmases I’ll ever have—our wedding with our children attending—I want to give you something.
You have today, December 9, and tomorrow, December 10, to receive it . . . two books (Covington Chronicles III and IV: The Dream Bucket, Manuela Blayneto read on your Kindle. (Maybe I’ll find something else after that to share with you.)

Trudy Cameron’s Christmas in Manuela Blayne turned into an unusual holiday she’s never forget. Here are some snippets she tells of it:
Losing my appetite, I laid my fork on my plate and closed my eyes to pray. . . . What had I done?
What good would revenge do anyway?
I wished I’d kept my mouth shut. . . . Papa took his pistol.
“Mama, could I please be excused?” I didn’t wait for her answer. I ran to my room and threw my face into my pillow. It was a relief to have a good hard cry. . . .
My door slipped open . . . . Mama walked toward my bed. She sat beside me and smoothed my hair with her gentle hand. “You worry too much, Trudy. It isn’t your responsibility to fix everything in the world.”
 “Let me brush your hair.”
“I love my new stuff.” I passed my hands over the shiny gifts. The main present I received for Christmas was a silver dresser set, which included a mirror tray with a comb, brush, hair saver, and hand mirror.
Be nice to yourself. Take time to download this Christmas present today. You can read them when you’re too tired to do anything else, or you can save them to read after the holiday.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Covington Chronicles

Amazon made this pretty page for me:

Covington Chronicles

It shows books 1-4 of the series. What it doesn't show is my latest Kindle book, which is free. It's a compilation of The Dream Bucket and Manuela Blayne inside one e-book.

I really want you to download this one so you can appreciate the flow of the two stories together. Just to show you how much I want you to have this book, I'm giving it to you free this week: Just click here:
Covington Chronicles III and IV, The Dream Bucket and Manuela Blayne.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Manuela Blayne -- an excerpt from Chapter Four

For a limited time you can download a free copy of Covington Chronicles III and IV on Amazon. Chronicle III is The Dream Bucket. Chronicle IV is Manuela Blayne.

Here's an excerpt from Chapter Four of Manuela Blayne.

“Come in.” Manuela motioned toward Bailey and me. “Come see what we done with the newspapers.”
“Is it all right, Papa?” Bailey asked.
“Go ahead.”
Bailey and I followed her into the living room, which was pristine.
Bailey asked, “Why have you got a bed in your front room?”
“Sh-h.” How could I ever stop my sister from asking embarrassing questions?
“We keep this for Mama. This is where she sleeps when she comes home.” Manuela smiled.
The high bed, placed catty-cornered on the wall opposite the fireplace, had a tufted bedspread with a design of many colors.
“I ain’t never seen bedcover like this.” Bailey rubbed it with her hands. “Come on, Trudy. Touch it.”
“It ain’t polite to touch other people’s beds.” I grabbed Bailey’s hands.
“Go on and touch it.” Manuela flashed a wide smile. “You know you want to.”
My hand glided over it. “The fuzziness of it feels soft like a long-haired kitty.”
“It’s a chenille bedspread. Mama got it for us.”
Yellowed newspapers fastened to the walls served as a covering. “How smart!”
“Yeah. I wanted some wallpaper like Mama has in her house, so Granny made some out of newspapers.”
“Do you think it will last very long?” I couldn’t resist asking.
“It don’t matter.” Manuela shrugged her shoulders. “When this wears out, we’ll tear it down and put up some more.”
“It’s a nice house.” Bailey reached her hand down to the rag rug. “The walls don’t leak air in.”
“That’s right.” Manuela nodded. “The roof don’t leak neither. It’s big enough too.”
“What I don’t like about your house is it’s off the main road.” Bailey could be too direct. “It’s in the middle of the woods.”
“But we got a real good road here. Them men driving International pickups and Model T’s come down here to see Grandpa.”
Bailey said the wrong thing again. “It’s too close to the river. You know it floods about every other spring.”
“Bailey, don’t say things like that.” I shook my finger in her face.
“It’s true. Grandpa said that’s why it’s built up off the ground on high poles.”
“Smart.” I nodded in appreciation.
“When I stayed with Yasmin, we lived in a place on a street. Trudy, stop bossing Bailey. I like the way Bailey always be telling the truth.” Manuela bent over and whispered, “Now’s as good a time as any to tell y’all about Mr. Aaron.” 
“Trude. Bailey.” Papa’s deep voice beckoned us.
Bailey dragged her feet toward the front door. “We’s got to go.”
“Bye, Manuela. I like your wallpaper.” I followed Bailey.
As we loaded into the wagon, Nettie stood in the yard. “Mr. Sam, we’ll be over to your place in the morning.”
When we arrived at the house, Papa Sam pulled back on the reins. “Whoa, Bob.”
Big brother turned toward us. “Wait until the wagon is stopped all the way.”
The twins hopped out, but I stayed seated. “I’ll help put up the mules.”
With leading straps clipped to their bridles, the mules were ready to walk back to the horse pasture. Will led Bob Mule, I led Molasses.
Will accused me with his eyes. “I saw you through the window.”
“I didn’t do nothing. Saw what?”
“Saw you and Bailey wallowing your hands on the Blaynes’ bed.”
“We were just checking out the chenille bedspread. Nothing wrong with that.”
“You shouldn’t have put your hands on the bed where Negroes sleep. It was a stupid thing to do.” Will cleared his throat and spit like a grown man chewing tobacco would . . . anything to make him feel adult.
“You’ve got it all wrong. They save that bed for Yasmin. It’s their guest bed. Nobody sleeps on it every night. Do you know what chenille is? It’s a new kind of fancy bedspread. Yasmin got it for them.”
“Sister, I’m trying to protect you. What would your classmates say if they knew you went to colored folks’ houses and put your hands all over their beds?”
I cut my eyes at him. He had crazy notions.
“Keep your distance from Manuela.”

“Keep your distance from Manuela.”

Raw Spots

A young African-American girl walks home from church through the woods. A neighbor jumps from behind a tree into her path, slings her to the ground, and expresses his new manhood. She cannot escape.

The girl walks home along the public road. An elderly Caucasian man, who lives as an eccentric recluse, shoots at her feet. His goal is to coerce her into following him into his hay crib for his casual pleasure.

Like wind whistling through the trees, the adults around me in my childhood spoke of such events. Although I never saw or heard what was described in hushed tones, I had the assurance of actuality. It was as real as bare spots in my father’s cornfield where lightning changed the electrical charge so crops wouldn’t grow there.

I saw scars in brown flesh as devastating as the tracks of tornados along the edge of the highway . . . children without fathers . . . mothers ripped from their dreams of advancement in life . . . anger glazed over with sugary submission.

Trudy, the brave and mischievous child of The Dream Bucket, lives in her rural Mississippi world, in an earlier time than mine. She knows tragedy. Like the black fish-net veils draped over faces beneath women’s hats at church, the adults try to keep the raw spots of life from Trudy’s sight.

After the conclusion of The Dream Bucket, Trudy makes friends with an ethereal young woman named Manuela Blayne.

Since some of the scenes in Manuela Blayne occur on the front porch of the old house where the Cameron family of The Dream Bucket have lived, both of these stories now can be obtained in one book with the haunting image of the cabin featured on the cover.

For a short time, it is a #freebie on as a Kindle book. Please read these stories together. Maybe you’ve already finished The Dream Bucket. You may want to take another look at it, as Trudy tells Manuela Blayne, her latest story in her own voice.

All I ask is your reaction. Please share your honest opinion as an Amazon review. The fictional accounts told in Covington Chronicles III and IV are not literal facts, but they have a level of truth based on childhood in rural Mississippi. I will be grateful to hear from you.