Let’s Chat! Mending Lily

Welcome to Readers! And Lily!

Lily The Mending of Lillian Cathleen Linda Brooks DavisLily, my latest heroine, stars in my soon-to-be-released novel, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, Book 2 in The Women of Rock Creek series. (The working title, Where Healing Waters Flow, faded into the woodwork when The Mending of Lillian Cathleen showed up.) Watch for a fresh, new cover for The Calling of Ella McFarland, an equally lovely cover for The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, and news about the series in weeks to come. Here’s a smorgasbord of tidbits from this story that touched my heart.

Setting

Lily Great War The Mending of Lillian Cathleen friends Linda Brooks Davis1914: The Great War has just broken out in Europe.

Needham, Oklahoma—an imaginary town with real-life characteristics

Fort Worth, Texas—otherwise known as Cowtown (or Where the West Begins)—known for its stockyards and infamous Hell’s Half Acre with its illicit business transactions conducted in saloons and brothels.

Characters

Lily The Mending of Lillian Cathleen friends Linda Brooks Davis shantyOur heroine Lily appeared as an abused thirteen-year-old girl in The Calling of Ella McFarland. She grew up in a shanty on a horseshoe of land created by two hairpin curves in Rock Creek. Thickets and brambles obscured the property from the curious stares of Needham’s townsfolk. Lily’s father Walter conducted his unholy business and took out his drunken rage on his daughter and wife Ruby on the five-acre piece of sod. Rock Creek has come to be known as the dividing line between prosperity and poverty and our heroine, as “the girl from the other side of Rock Creek.”

Now twenty-two and setting out as a woman in her own right, Lily faces life-altering choices that force her to evaluate her values, faith, and aspirations. She’s swept into Fort Worth’s underworld of saloons and brothels where she confronts evil and uncovers mysteries about her past.

The men who love—and hate—Lily

Lily The Mending of Lillian Cathleen friends enemies Linda Brooks DavisLily doesn’t understand why her father Walter has never loved her. She can’t remember a time when she wrapped her arms around his neck. Or crawled onto his lap. She never heard “Well done” or “I’m proud of you.” Certainly, never “I love you.”

Why? She can only guess. (However, answers are coming.)

But Cade McFarland—her friend Ella’s twin brother—has loved Lily since they were children. A prince in Lily’s eyes, Cade is big and brawny and voices his opinions in as big and burly a voice—with everyone but Lily. He handles her like a fragile lamb. He tends a flock of sheep and looks at Lily with such love and tenderness that she finds herself looking away—for reasons she keeps to herself.

The women who love and hate Lily

Lily The Mending of Lillian Cathleen friendsElla McFarland Evans loves Lily and always has—since the first time she caught sight of her in a McFarland cotton patch. Lily drew Ella like a moth to a flame, and Ella’s wings scorched a few years ago. But their friendship endured, deepened, and strengthened. That friendship plays a part in our heroine’s journey of discovery and healing.

Adelaide Fitzgerald, a wealthy heiress whose grand property—Broadview—borders Rock Creek and McFarland property—dreams of an opera career in Italy. She postponed her dream nine years ago when Lily needed her, but she believes her time has come at last.

Maggie Gallagher, Addie’s former wet-nurse and lifelong housekeeper, serves as a mother figure to Addie and Lily both. She emigrated from Ireland and brought her Irish bromides with her. Maggie is a rock of faith and good sense in a household in need of both.

But Sabina Gallagher, Maggie’s daughter, despises Lily. Is there no limit to her spite? Perhaps … and perhaps not.

Why?

The characters’ motivations vary as surely as the characters themselves. The players and the forces that drive them develop over time and through unique experiences that sculpt the characters into who they are in 1914.

Watch for the release of The Mending of Lillian Cathleen in the next few months to learn more about Lillian Cathleen, her loved ones, and her fascinating discoveries that send her world spiraling.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, I thank you for the power of words and story. Yours is the greatest story ever told, but You’ve given us stories, as well. I pray You’ll bless each word authors write for You and that You’ll multiply their power for good in the lives of readers everywhere.
~ For Jesus’ sake

10 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Mending Lily

  1. Marilyn R

    Linda, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen is going to be a wonderful story to read. Thank you for sharing. With Lily’s abuse history, I want to see how she has blossom into a lovely lady. I know God has given you inspiration plus all the hours of research you’ve done. God’s continued inspiration, blessings and guidance with your writing. Hugs

     
     
    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn. I can’t wait to share Lily’s story.

       
       
  2. Linda Davis

    Oh my goodness, Linda! Even your reminder of the story of the first book… Even your synopsys is so intriguing. You have been so richly blessed with a way with words. Your talent is absolutely amazing gift. Don’t send me a gift card. I’m so excited I can hardly wait to read your new book. Love you!

     
     
    1. You gave me chills, Linda. Thank you.

       
       
  3. Alison Boss

    Thank you, Linda, for sharing about your upcoming book, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen! You’ve painted a vivid picture to whet your readers appetite 🙂 You can tell you have put alot of work and research into this story. The love story between Cade McFarland and Lily sounds so sweet!

     
     
    1. You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head, Alison. I have poured myself into this story. Better said, it captured me! I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers. But I need to be patient. P.S. And you’re right—the love story between Cade and Lily gives me chills. 🙂

       
       
  4. Linda, thank you for praying for me. I love your story, and I can’t wait to read it!

     
     
    1. I can’t wait to share it, Gail. It comes from a deep place in my heart. Waiting is so hard.

       
       
  5. Perrianne Askew

    I love the old farmhouse. It looks like a painting (or something my Dad would like to paint). You stories sound very interesting.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Perrianne. A freshened-up version of The Calling of Ella McFarland is on the horizon. And close on its heels … Lily’s story.

       
       

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1914: The Way We Were

1914 and Today

1914: The year my current work-in-progress–a sequel to The Calling of Ella McFarland–is set. (Tweet That!)

As an author of historical fiction, it goes without saying I enjoy most anything history-ish. In my research I’ve uncovered a bevy of facts, timelines, photographs, anecdotes, and personal commentaries about life in the second decade of the twentieth century

My Photo Album

These fascinating tidbits are gradually creating a snapshot collage fit for You Are There, a 1950s television series hosted by Walter Cronkite

“New” sometimes amounts to little more than an update of the “old.” But at other times, the new-fangled can’t hold a candle to old-timer ways. 

The Great Divide

Bar none, two of the best stories I’ve read to illustrate the great divide between 1914 and today are these: The first comes from the October edition of The Rotarian; the second from the October 31st edition of Telephony: The American Telephone Journal.

“God created the first talking machine; Alexander Graham Bell the second. Bell lengthened woman’s tongue and raised her voice until mere man struggles in vain to escape her.”

“After two trials in the county court S.J. Fuller, a prominent Fort Worth lumberman, has been convicted under the state law which prohibits the use of profane or abusive language over the telephone and fined $5. (Tweet That!) It was charged the lumberman ‘cussed out’ the chief operator of the Rosedale exchange of the Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Co. in Fort Worth when he was unable to get the connections wanted.” 

Political correctness didn’t exist in 1914.

1914 Families

The children of 1914 played with teddy bears, dolls, and cars. They stacked blocks, enjoyed tea parties, and went on imaginary safaris. 

My 21st-century grandchildren have done the same. But Barbie has little in common with the china-faced, stuffing-bodied doll of a century ago. 

How I would love to be a time traveler on a 1914 bus. I’d soak up my surroundings. Hairdos. Clothing. Dental work. And shoes.

For traveling comfort, hurrah for today!
Care to take off for New York in a 1914 bi-plane?

I’d watch and listen for how people thought. In their dress. Their manners. Their facial expressions. And their conversations.

Who were the 1914 Chatty Cathys? And the hometown comedians? Were their conversations peppered with profanity or crude remarks? 

Ordinary Life: 1914 Style

Want to trade your smart phone camera for the 1914 version?

Fashion. Women’s high-necked, low-hemmed 1914 fashion reflected the early-twentieth century values of modesty and virtue. What does the all-but-naked fashion celebrated on red carpets say about modesty and virtue in 2017? (I would post an example, but, frankly, they’re shameful.) My grandmother’s dress reflected her view on virtue. Does mine?

Church attendance. 1914 folks knew where to find one another on Sunday morning. A community might boast paved streets, but churches would abound. Restaurants were few and far between, but Sunday dinner in friends’ homes was common. Today Sundays often consist of hunting, golfing, boating, football, TV, brunch–you name it–anything but church. My grandmother’s friends knew where to find her on Sunday mornings. Do mine?

Bedtime prayers. 1914 parents read to their children at bedtime and capped off the day with prayers.

I suspect more often than not children in 2017 go to sleep to something on an iPod, iPad, or tablet. What do your children and grandchildren expect at bedtime?

For family-friendly games, I’ll take 1914.

Entertainment. Parlor and lawn games were common in 1914. So were reading and singing around the piano. Teens interacted at church socials and taffy pulls.

1914 Life, 2017 Style

Today most children and teens go for YouTube, video games, blow-’em-up movies, or nothing more than to be left alone behind closed doors. When given the choice, do your children or grandchildren choose a board or video game? Or something else?

I’m intrigued by the lives former generations lived. I often wonder how I would have handled losing children to measles or polio. Would I serve my family bread everyday if I had to make it from scratch? Complain about the heat if I had never experienced air conditioning or the cold if I had to stoke a fire? Make it to church on Sunday if I had to hook up a team to a wagon and endure the hard wooden seat as we bounced over ruts? 

Would I have joined other women in a suffragette picket line?

Would I have worn a corset–or simply rebelled?

There’s a reason why the hobble skirts of 1914 were a passing fad. Eeeegads!

What sort of hat would I have chosen–an unadorned one that hugged my head or something outrageous with feathers and flowers and a stuffed bird or two? 

So … Would I choose 19142017, or something in between? Honestly, when boiled down to their essences, love, family, friendship, and an-honest-dollar-for-an-honest-day’s-work have held their own. So has faith and its outworking in some quarters. Personally, I prefer taking what was good about life in 1914–like faith and love and devotion–and spit polishing it for 2017.

And–absolutely, positively, bet-your-bottom-dollar surely–I’d keep cursing on the telephone against the law!

How about you?

P.S. Which would you choose? Pickup Sticks or Rubik’s Cube?

 

 

 

 

 

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born
for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

2 thoughts on “1914: The Way We Were

  1. Marilyn R

    Linda, thank you are sharing this fantastic post. Yes, I would prefer some things as they use to be. Families praying together, attending church, sitting down around the table for meals, modest clothing and visiting with one another on the front porch or playing together versus what is happening in family units today.

     
     
    1. I agree, Marilyn. Our world would be in a far different place if only … I long for Heaven more each day. Thank you for joining me in these thoughts and adding your touches. You’ve blessed me.

       
       

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