THE RIVER HAS SECRETS SHE WILL NEVER TELL… Somewhere deep in the forest, where not many have ventured to go, lies a secret. Most of the folks in Anna Brownfield’s little dirt-road town “somewhere in the south” don’t have time for fairy tales about some secret place in the river that can take you to another place and time if you touch the water there. Yet, Anna, who’s now eighty-seven years old, can tell you she knows the ones that have stories to tell. Take a journey back in time if you dare, back to a time when in many ways life was simpler. Go back to a time when you saw the world through the eyes of a child and dared to imagine the impossible.
Become the eagle, and take a journey into the past… Back to 1740. Ten winters have passed since his people were taken to serve as slaves for the white men. Now, Soaring Eagle is a strong, proud, Lakota Sioux warrior who will stop at nothing to find his people and return them to their sacred lands.
Then back to the present…Joe “Dreaming Hawk” Thomason has no answers for the dreams he’s been having. Nor can he explain the strange sense of closeness he feels to the Native American elder who tells the stories by the fire at night for the guests at Windy Mountain Campground and Resort. The elusive story teller has given little information about himself, leaving Al and Naomi Edgewood to wonder about the future of the campground. Yet, it is this air of mystery about him that continues to draw the guests each year.
Since this is “prom season”, I have decided to share this little excerpt from my first book, “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind”, with you. Although I assume most of the schools have had their proms by now, the memories we create at our high school proms are timeless treasures that we keep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. My first prom was very special to me, as my husband, who was also my high school sweetheart, was the one who took me. In this scene, Corey, who is a high school teacher, is talking with some of the other teachers as they wait for the students to begin arriving. As he and his wife, Karen, are both teachers, (Karen teaches middle school), they soon find themselves on a mission to create a “path for learning” for their children, as advised by the mysterious Native American friend he meets, who has a hand in preparing them for their upcoming vacation, one that will take them on a journey that they will never forget. So, without further ado, here is an excerpt from the prom scene in the book:
Also, the book now has a new cover, although you may still see the old version of it for a while until it has time to update in their system, however, if you order the print version, you will receive the new version. My books are also in the Kindle Matchbook program, which means if you buy the print version, or have in the past, the Kindle version is free. Visit the page for more info. Get your copy and join the Wilkersons as they are about to embark on a journey they will never forget!
He drove cautiously through the neighborhoods. Already, limos were parked here and there, waiting for their passengers, elegantly dressed young men and women posing out in their yards as cameras snapped away, preserving the memories that would be treasured years down the road.
He showed his teacher’s ID badge to the security officer and drove into the already fast filling parking lot. It was still a little early but many were arriving early to get into the line where pictures were being made, although some had chosen to have theirs made professionally. A handful of teachers and staff had arrived and stood around sipping punch and talking as he walked into the elaborately decorated gym turned dance floor.
“Hi Corey!” a couple of them called out to him. A few parents had come to help serve refreshments and were helping to set up the table. The DJ for the evening was busily setting his equipment up. If he hadn’t known better, he would have never known it was a gymnasium. For this year’s theme, they had set it up to look as though one had walked onto a cruise liner.
“They did an excellent job on this didn’t they?” Kathy Harrelson, one of the eleventh grade English teachers, commented as he walked up and joined them.
“Yes, they certainly did!” he replied. “I would have never known the difference!”
“Makes you want to go and take a cruise doesn’t it?” James Edwards, an Algebra teacher added.
“It sure does!” Corey said, looking around really taking note of it all for the first time.
“Actually, my husband and I are supposed to be going on one this summer! We’re very excited about it!” Kathy said enthusiastically.
“I know you’re looking forward to it!” James said. “Well, it’s about time for our guests to begin arriving! Think I’ll go and sneak one more cup of this punch,” he continued, excusing himself.
“Now, save some for the students!” Kathy called after him, smiling.
“Seems like I heard someone say we were going to start having the prom at a hotel ballroom next year,” she said in a questioning tone.
“Yes, they were talking about it at the board meeting,” Corey answered.
“I didn’t know. I wasn’t able to make the meeting,” she said.
“Well, that would be a nice change,” Tom Knudson said. As students were beginning to arrive, they all made their way to various locations, some near the door to greet those coming in. Then, in the next moment, it happened.
The lights went down, now replaced by special lighting that made one think of being in the ballroom of a cruise ship. In an instant, the whole scene was transformed. The “magic” of the evening had begun. A local lighting business had even donated a couple of less expensive replicas of chandeliers such as those used on cruise liners for them to use for the evening. Suddenly, it was as though they had all been transported to another place. It was truly amazing how they could do this so well, that it was almost convincing.
Now came his favorite part. Being the outgoing, well-liked teacher that he was, he had taken a place near the door. He loved watching their faces light up as they came in, their expressions star-gazed as they looked around, taking it all in. They had even had some help in constructing something similar to the front end of a cruise ship. This was where the king and queen would be introduced later in the evening.
Just then, Rudy Jenkins, the school’s principal, walked over and said something to the DJ, who then handed him the microphone. After a quick welcome announcement along with a reminder to everyone to help make it a safe and fun evening for all, he handed it back to the DJ, who took it and immediately began speaking. He spoke quickly and enthusiastically, starting the song playing when he was halfway through.
“Alright, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this year’s prom, the event you’ve been waiting for all year long! This year’s theme is “Cruising”, so all aboard! Our “ship” is now departing, so hope this will be a wonderful evening for everyone! Now, to start things off, I’ve had a request to play this song in memory of Aiden Jacobson, who was last year’s prom king, so in his memory, and in honor of our theme for this year, here’s a special song to get this ship sailing, so take your lady or your man by the hand, get close, and hope everyone has a lovely evening!”
There were gasps and comments of approval as couples took to the dance floor and began moving slowly with the music. It was the love theme song from a movie about the Titanic. The enchantment of the evening had begun. It always had a way of working its “magic” on him. He stood sipping punch and watching as they let the music take them away. More continued to arrive, and each time, the same amazed expressions as they looked around. “Welcome aboard! Hope you enjoy the evening!” he said as they entered. He always enjoyed seeing all the new styles and designs of dresses and tuxedos. It was like a sea of colors as he watched them, their dresses swishing and swaying as they danced through the evening.
If you enjoyed this sneak preview excerpt and would like to read more, you can purchase “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind” from Amazon. My other book, “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”, first in the “Enchanted River of the Rose” series, which is also a time travel fantasy, is also available for purchase. Check back or subscribe to my email via the tab above so you can receive an email as more titles become available in the near future!
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. — Maya Angelou
Tonight, I had the opportunity to be a part of an event that was very special to me as an author. I was invited by a teacher who was present at my reading at the Breezeway Cafe’ in Dunn, NC, to be a part of Arts Night at Buies Creek Elementary, which is near Campbell University. I really enjoyed discussing my books and my writing, as well as reading excerpts from my books. I met some awesome folks, and of course, had some of my books on hand. It was a lot of fun involving the kids, asking them questions, etc, and making it fun for them. Being that I have worked as a substitute teacher for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, it made it a lot easier, and I am finding that I am more comfortable with them. I am also a grandmother of three little boys, so, being a “Mamaw”, I have learned to have fun with them. The best thing of it is, I sold a few books, but I came away with something more valuable than that even. I told my husband on the way home, “you know, maybe I am writing for the wrong age groups (Adult so far, although “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose” is also a coming of age story so it is unique in that it can be enjoyed by young and old alike, as “Anna”, who is now 87 years old, is reflecting back on the story as it happened through her childhood/early teen years).” I really got to thinking about that, and, well, who knows? Maybe I will try my hand at writing for the younger group. I didn’t realize until this experience, what a huge opportunity exists here. There is a need for good books for school age children. So, I left inspired myself, and hopefully inspired some future authors as well. Of course, I told them that if they wanted to maybe write their own books one day, to pay attention in spelling, grammer, etc, and make good grades. Who knows? Perhaps there might be a future novelist among them. I certainly took away some much needed inspiration myself, and that, to me, is priceless.
What I can say is, never, ever, underestimate your audience, or be discouraged if it is but only a few. There were only a handful of people that showed up for the reading at the Breezeway Cafe’ in Dunn, NC, beside the Library. One of them just happened to be a teacher, who invited me to share my writing and my aspirations with the wonderful teachers, parents, and students I met tonight. It is often the smaller doors that lead to the greatest opportunities. After all, what greater privilege is there, than having a part in inspiring young minds?
Also, I am pleased to announce that “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind” has a new cover. If you visited my page earlier and tried to click on the Amazon link and found it “unavailable”, sorry about that, I just had to wait for them to approve the new cover, but it is up now. You will see the (old) new cover for a while, just until it has time to update in their system, but if you order it, you should receive the newer copy.
Here is the new cover for the book:
Just a note to parents on this one (“Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind”): This one is on an adult level, although I tried to keep it family oriented, however, there are a couple of “suggestive” scenes. I do not go into detail with these, as that is not my focus, but in these instances, it was for the addition of a new, or future character in the story. You will see how they all connect at the end of the book. Also, in my books, any mention of these instances will only be with “married” couples. For the most part, I tried to maintain a sense of family values, and in the latter half of the story, as teachers and as parents of our future leaders, musicians, authors, etc., I hope you will be pleasantly inspired as you follow Bryan and Stephanie on their path to maturity as their parents seek to create that “path for learning” for them, and that in the process, you will be inspired as you strive to create that path for your own children. It is with this main focus that I wrote this part, and I hope you enjoy following the Wilkersons on a journey they will never forget. With that in mind, it is more for you, the parents and the teachers, that I have written this one. There are chapters within the book that could probably be enjoyed as stand alone scenes in themselves. To those of you who are teachers, I feel you will particularly enjoy the latter part of the story with the Wilkerson family. I hope you enjoy the journey! The book is dedicated in loving memory of my late Native American friend and mentor, “Gray Eagle”, without whom this book would not have been written.
“River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”, (Click the title/link for my “Interview with Anna”.) on the other hand, has been written more with the younger generation in mind, although I feel that due to the nature of the story, as it involves time travel, and the older “Anna” reflecting on the events as they happened in her early years, I think it could be enjoyed by young and old alike. However, it does have romantic elements in it, as part of the story is Anna’s reflecting on meeting her true love, which is part of the story. So, I leave it to you to preview it as you see fit. It was inspired partly by a movie which my son introduced me to called “Tuck Everlasting”, which was adapted from a children’s book, so for the most part, that is the level I strived to write it on. As for me, I gained inspiration and encouragement from this experience with you all that just may bring about more books written especially for the younger generation in the near future. Again, thank you!
To Joseph Felice, the teacher (and very talented musician, I might add) who invited me, and the teachers, students, and the Principal, I sincerely thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful event. I wish you all and each and every student at Buies Creek Elementary all the best as you pursue your goals, and may your journeys be enlightened with good books as you prepare our leaders, writers, and musicians of tomorrow!
I will be holding a book reading, along with an insightful talk on my reading inspirations, and question and answer session,
I will have a few of my books handy! I have a few with the new covers, and some with the old ones.
If you would like to come, but are not sure of where the college is, here is the address:
Learning Resource Building (LRC) Building E
Johnston Community College
245 College Road
PO Box 2350
Smithfield, NC 27577
I know, I meant to post this much sooner, but I have had a lot going on lately, sorry for that. But I am just posting it here now, for any of my local friends who would like to join us, you are most certainly welcome to come! The picture above is not very good, since I had to take it off my computer screen, but is a copy of the poster they are using to advertise for the event around the college, with the exception of the fact that I changed the pics of my books to the new covers I have just designed. So, consider this an invite! Feel free to reblog this or share it!
It’s finally here! The first book in the “Enchanted River of the Rose” series, is finally here! I know I haven’t been on here in a while. I guess you could say I sort of took a break from being online due to circumstances out of my control. Now that I am back, I am happy to announce that the first book in this exciting new series is finally here! The characters in this story will take you back in time, to the early days of Southern America, to a time when the town story tellers sat in the rocking chairs in front of the old stores telling stories of days gone by. But this isn’t just any story. It’s a story that will take you back down a winding path, into the forest, and out where the “enchanted lady” the folks in Anna’s town refer to as “the secret place in the river” winds her way through the forest, where it is said that if you touch the sparkling water there, before you realize it, you will have gone forward or even backward in time. As far as Anna knows, not many folks have ever found the secret place, at least not that would admit it. After all, who would believe them? As Anna tells it, in those years just before the turn of the century, most folks were more interested in getting their piece of the “progress pie” than in entertaining some fairy tale about some “enchanted secret place” in the river. Yet, there are some folks in town that have stories they haven’t told, and Anna has her ways of knowing who they are. Some of the folks in town may not have believed Anna’s story, but Anna knows a few secrets. One of them is, not many folks were ever able to resist once that “enchanted lady” in the forest came a callin’. But now, she’ll tell you that old Sam, or “Tater”, as the townsfolk call him, tells the wildest yarns, but don’t tell her I told you that! The story gets more interesting as she goes on, but then, that is because Anna is such a good story teller. But then, will you believe Anna’s story? What if things could have been different? Who knows? Pull up a chair and sit for a while. You might just hear a story you just wouldn’t believe… But don’t just take my word for it. If you missed my interview with Anna, you can go back and read it here. But I’ll have to let you know, she’s something else. I’ll just say, she tells it like it is. So, take a journey back in time, if you dare, to a time where in many ways, life was simpler. Go back once more to that time where you saw the world through the eyes of a child. If you like this one, be sure to look for the next one in the series, coming soon. After all, you just never know about Anna. She as well as Sam “Tater” Jenson, and some of the others all have stories to tell. Pull up a chair and sit with them for a while. It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy their stories as much as I did. I certainly enjoyed writing it, and I can’t wait to get the next one in the series finished! If you like what you have read here and want to sit for a while with Anna and hear more, you can get your copy in book (print) or Kindle versions on my Amazon page.
The Print and ebook (Nook) versions are now available (online) on Barnes & Noble.com –
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy it! If you read it and you like it, be sure to pass this on to a friend! Also, be sure to stop back by the Amazon page and leave a review for future customers! Thanks and y’all come back! Anna’s just getting started…
It is late in the summer of 1952, in this little town “somewhere in the south”. I am here, sitting out in front of the store with “Anna”, our story teller from my upcoming “Enchanted River of the Rose” series, the first of which is “River of Secrets: Summer of the Rose”, which is now available in book and Kindle versions on Amazon.com and in ebook (Nook) online at B&N . Meanwhile, why don’t you go on into the store here and get you a drink and come back out and sit down here with “Anna” and me and we’ll just let her tell you a little of what to expect. I told her it would be nice if we gave everyone a little of what it’s all about so she agreed to let me interview her. Now, let me just say, before we get started, “Anna” is one of the best story tellers around, and folks here in town will tell you, she knows how to tell a story. So, without further ado, let’s see what she has to say..
WHAT IS IT? ME: So, Anna, tell me, what is this “River of Secrets” all about?
ANNA: “Well, you see, folks say there’s a place somewhere along the river that runs deep into the woods here alongside our town that holds a secret. They say the water there in that place is like magic. It can take you places. The story goes that if you were to find this place, and touch the water there in that certain place, you will look around and see that you’ve gone forward in time, or even backward. But now, as far as I know, nobody’s ever found it, at least that would admit to it.”
WHERE IS IT? ME: So, nobody you know of has ever found this place?
ANNA: “Well now, that all depends on how much of this story you want to believe. Of course, not too many around here ever told their stories, but then, who would believe them anyway? So, you just have to read my story and then decide for yourself. But, if you are willing to look through the eyes of a child once again, there is a little place somewhere down that little path in that forest of imagination you took as a child, where you could believe that just about anything’s possible. But of course, you know too, that I’m not going to just come out and tell you that. Now, that would spoil the magic of the whole story, now wouldn’t it?
ME: OK, I can understand that. So, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you, Anna?
ANNA: Oh, naw, I don’t mind a bit! I’m eighty-seven. I was born Anna Elizabeth Brownfield, the youngest of eight children. I was born in 1865 just as the Civil War was ending.
ME: Anna, what is the name of your town here?
ANNA: “Wouldn’t you love to know? Of course, I’m not going to tell you that! Then all you folks would be a tryin’ to get here and see if you could find that place, now wouldn’t you?”
ME: (Laughing) OK, well, that makes sense. I can understand that. So, tell me, why do they call it a “river of secrets”?
ANNA: “Folks have called it that because that river, well, they say it’s like this enchanted lady that’s out there just a windin’ her way through the forest. The way we all put it, old Lady River has secrets she will never tell. That’s the truth too. I can tell you that river’s got secrets she will never tell. One thing I can tell you for sure is, ain’t many ever been able to ignore her when she comes a callin’.
ME: So, the river has a way of calling you?
ANNA: Oh yes! That’s how she gets you. See, there’s just this way the water kind of takes on this sparkle to it that just makes you want to go just a little farther, until before you realize it, you’ve done and gone too far.”
ME: You talk about Tater telling his story after a while. So, what do folks around here think of his story?
ANNA: Now, that’s a mighty interesting question! Of course, now, you know I learned from the best. Old Tater knows how to tell a story. Course, now, everybody around here knows he’ll knit you a yarn a mile long if you’ve got time to sit and listen to him. But now, old Tater, he loves to tell tall tales. So, there again, you just have to kind of take what he says and put it through the strainer, if you know what I mean, and just decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t.
ME: So, tell us a little bit about Flapjack.
ANNA: (Laughs) Oh, that old dog, he’s something else. He’s always just kind of belonged to himself in a way. All I can say is, he plays a big part in our whole story, and I know a few things about old Flapjack that you don’t, so you just have to come back and listen to the story and see.
ME: Alright. So, tell me, what do you mean by “summer of the rose”?
ANNA: “Oh, well, that’s the whole romantic part of the story. Most of us have some kind of interesting story of how we met our true love. The rose plays an important part of my story. But then, I can’t tell you much more than that, you see. It would spoil the story. So, just come on back sometime and I’ll tell it to you. Well, I’m getting tired. I’m gonna go on back in there and rest a bit. But now, come on back, you hear? Come on back sometime soon, and I’ll sit here and tell you the whole thing. Believe you me. It’s a story you won’t soon forget. But now, just remember, if you mess around here long enough, Lady River out there, she knows you’re here, and she’ll soon come a callin’. If you’re like most folks have been, you won’t be able to ignore her. Everybody around here knows she’ll keep on a callin’ until she gets what she wants out of you.
ME: Well, Anna, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and answer my questions. I’m sure folks will enjoy your story!
ANNA: Oh, you’re quite welcome! Come on back now, and I’ll tell you all about it! You be careful going back through them woods, now. That old river, she’ll take you on a trip you won’t believe if you mess around her long enough! Bye now, y’all come back!
ME: Good bye, Anna! We’ll be back for more of your stories!
We close that gate for now, and return to the present. Be sure to look for the second book in the series, coming soon, titled, “Return to the River, Scent of the Rose”. But don’t let “Anna” fool you. She’s just getting started!
Now, here for you is a short excerpt from the first chapter of “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”. Remember, here, Anna is talking to you:
“…The truth was, probably everyone had wondered about it at one time or other, maybe even talked about it. But they kept it quiet if they did.
As I sat there listening to Tater’s story, I began to think back to when I had been sitting on the river bank by the bridge earlier. That’s when it hit me, something I think I’d known, and probably everyone around there had, but no one wanted to admit. Or maybe most of us were afraid to. There were times when the wind would pick up a certain way, that there was just something about the way the water moved down stream that seemed almost as if it were enticing you to follow it. It was just something no one could really put their finger on, that made it seem the water itself had taken on a mysterious way about it that almost seemed to beckon you…
No one else seemed to notice when Flapjack suddenly lifted his head up, looked around, then got up and walked off, headed in that same direction he always took—no one but me that is…”
Well, here it is. I finally got this up. I actually have another website which has been up for some time, although I am still working on the whole networking thing. I have a lot going on these days. I am a mother, grandmother, singer, songwriter, as well as a writer. I guess the singing kind of got put on the back burner for a while, although I do plan on getting back into it at some point in the near future. I recently published my first book, “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind”, which is in book/print and Kindle/ebook formats on Amazon and in book/print on Barnes (and) Noble.
I have several exciting new novels coming in the near future, some of which are previewed in my “Books Coming Soon” section here. Currently, “River of Secrets: Summer of the Rose” is in the editing process and will soon be available, so I am very excited about this one. I have actually started on a second novel, so this might be turning out to be a series! Click on “Books Coming Soon” and read through the Sneak Preview Excerpts.
So, with that said, again, I do hope you will check back as “River of Secrets: Summer of the Rose” will be going up very soon. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will come back soon!
In the meantime, enjoy this video I put together after a recent trip to Raven Rock State Park, here in Lillington, NC, near where I live. I go there often, to be alone with our Creator and gain inspiration (as well as burn some cholesterol, ha ha) and sometimes play my Native American flute. I got rather creative with this one. Also, let me introduce you to a friend of mine, who is an amazingly talented artist. It is his music, which I used with his permission, that sort of introduces mine in this video. His name is Charlie Wayne Watson, and he and Sinde have both been a great inspiration to me. You can find his music at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/CharlieWayneWatson and he is on facebook as well. He has several CDs, some of which have provided me with many hours of peaceful healing and relaxation, as well as inspiration as I write my books! By the way, “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind” just might have a sequel coming at some point in the near future as well. Anyway, here’s that video. Enjoy…