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.

       
       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s Chat! About Beauty and Beholders

Beauty and Beholders

Beauty. Most of us can agree beauty is as subjective as beholders themselves.

What’s the origin of the well-known idiom, Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder? I looked it up. 

Irish romance novelist, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, coined the idiom in her 1878 novel, Molly Bawn

We may apply this truism to the latest beauty pageant: “No! Not Miss Tall and Dignified! Miss Petite and Sassy should’ve won!”

Or to a “find” on Antiques Roadshow: “Egads! That piece of junk is worth more than the national debt!”

Memories of Beauty and Beholders

Which reminds me of living as a military family in Germany in the 1970s. Not long after arriving, we began hearing about American couples going “junkin’.” On those Wednesdays, German locals would set out on sidewalks any items they considered junk. And Americans flocked to them.

One couple might come home with a gorgeous 100-yr-old “shrunk”. (Think hutch on steroids!) Another, a finely carved, 150-yr-old grandfather or grandmother clock. And another, a set of generations-old hand-painted plates. To the locals, “old” meant “ugly”, but to Americans, the older, the more beautiful.

But that was before Antiques Roadshow debuted in 1979 and we learned the truth of a similar idiom: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

A Family of Beholders 

No better illustration exists than this one from my family history.

My mother and father both came from impoverished backgrounds. Mother had two dresses–one for Sunday and another for every other day. Daddy finished high school at 16 and struck out on trains heading in the direction of one harvest or another, sending his paycheck home to help out.

When Mother and Daddy met, 16-yr-old Mother lived with her widowed mother and brother in an uncle’s barn. They would have lived in the uncle’s house, but there wasn’t an inch of space after the rest of the Great Depression-deprived family moved in.

Beauty in the Great Depression

When they married, Daddy was working for a local farmer for $5 per week. He borrowed $5 for his and his bride’s wedding clothing and paid his employer back $2.50 per week.

Daddy made a deal with his employer to live in an old farm house situated on a piece of land he worked. Some would call the house a shack. But considering where Mother came from, she called the old shanty a castle.

Beauty Reborn

Decades later, after Daddy was a landowner in his own right and had built Mother the brick home she always dreamed of, she took up oil painting. Their first home had deteriorated by then to nothing more than weathered clapboards on the verge of collapse, unlivable.

Mother decided she’d paint the old place the way it looked when she and Daddy claimed it as home—to preserve the truth about what it looked like. The two of them “worked” on the painting for months, angling their heads left and right, recalling details, Daddy noticing something not quite right, and Mother making an adjustment or two, adding a little something here or there, their memories guiding her hand. 

The above painting is the thing of beauty the two of them came up with.The reality, however, was something altogether different, to which the photo below attests. 

Beauty Goes Full Circle

You might say Mother was as subjective a beholder of beauty as you could find. But I wonder … Is that so bad? Consider this: Romans 3: 11-18 paints an ugly portrait of humankind.

“There is no one righteous, not even one … no one who understands … no one who seeks GodAll have turned away, they have together become worthlessthere is no one who does good, not even oneTheir throats are open gravestheir tongues practice deceitThe poison of vipers is on their lipsTheir mouths are full of cursing and bitternessTheir feet are swift to shed bloodruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (NIV)

However … Zechariah 2: 8 paints an altogether different picture:

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says [to you, His people]: ‘…  whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye …”

Beauty, Up Close and Personal

I love this photo of my grandson Braden when he was 3. When I look closely enough, I can see myself in his eyes. I’m so close to him, my love so intimate that it’s as if I’m a little person within his eyes. 

That’s the intimate picture Zechariah paints of God’s love for His pitted-with-flaws people. He holds us so closely … treasures us so deeply … we’re embedded—implanted— within Him … the apple of His eye.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that subjective view of me any day. I’m pitted with flaws, scarred, bruised, and covered in the scabs of sin. I’m every bit of the ugliness the apostle Paul lays out in Romans. Just as unrighteous. Willful. Bitter and despicable. Yet in God’s eyes, I’m … if not an apple, for sure I’m a peach! 

I’d be a fool to reject that kind of love.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, please give us eyes to see You as our Eternal and Holy Beholder
and ourselves and others as the Apple of Your Eye.
~ For Jesus’ sake

21 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! About Beauty and Beholders

  1. Alison Boss

    I left a post a couple of days ago, but it never appeared online, so I will try again 🙂

    What a wonderful post, Linda! I loved reading about your mother and father’s story and about their first home. What a gift she had for oil painting! I love the picture she painted of their first home, and then to see a comparison to what the home really looked like. It is interesting how each person’s perception of something determines the way they view it. I also enjoyed reading about Americans ‘Junkin’ in Germany in the 1970’s. What amazing treasures they found! I so enjoyed all the analogies you made about beauty and how it is perceived…very interesting! I loved how you wrapped it all up in how God views us. We are but filthy rags, yet God views us through the blood of Jesus Christ, and sees us as the apple of His eye….Truly a miracle! I am so thankful to have Jesus as my Saviour.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Alison! I’m sorry your comment didn’t show up last week. I’ll comb through Spam. That happens sometimes. 🤨 Thanks for letting me know. I really appreciate your thoughts.👏 Please come back. 💛

       
       
      1. Alison Boss

        Thanks, Linda. It was probably a fluke my comment didn’t post or an error on my part. I will definitely be back 🙂

         
         
  2. Steph J.

    What a nice post! I love the old pictures too.

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Steph!

       
       
  3. Marilyn R

    Linda, this was a lovely post filled with memories of your heritage past and present, along with the wonderful Word of God. I had heard about the Germans sitting the old out on sidewalks for whoever wanted it as they preferred the new. So thankful God sees the beauty in all of us despite our blemishes, imperfections, heartbreaks we cause, etc. but always loving us and calling out to us as He truly sees the beautiful individual He created in each one to share eternity with Him by following His plan of Salvation. God’s blessings and thank you for sharing.

     
     
    1. Amen, Marilyn! Aren’t we blessed.

       
       
  4. I love reading your stories, Linda. Your mom and dad are beautiful people. Thank you for reminding us of God’s love for us.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Gail. You’ve made my day! 💛

       
       
  5. Patty

    So interesting about the American and German view of old stuff or junk! We are going to an estate sale tomorrow hoping to find some interesting old ‘junk’.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Patty. I hope you find a treasure trove at the estate sale.

       
       
  6. Shamekka Sheffield

    This was beautiful to read💕

     
     
    1. Thank you, Shamekka. My mother left me lots of beauty to write about.

       
       
  7. Perrianne Askew

    Wow! Deep and meaningful thoughts. I LOVE your mothers painting. I’m sure it has a lot of meaning for you. She is quite talented!

     
     
    1. Thank you, Perrianne. I never knew when I was watching (and dealing with 🙂 Mother all those years ago that she was giving me such a wealth of writing material. 🙂

       
       
  8. Carlene

    What beautiful thoughts, reminding us that riches are not measured by material possessions.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Carlene. That’s so true about riches, isn’t it?

       
       
  9. Becky Smith

    Wow! Great post! Love the family history, and the painting is wonderful!! Your words are so encouraging and inspiring! Thank you!

     
     
    1. Aww. Thank you, Becky! It’s a blessing to me to share stories like this one. God bless you today!

       
       
  10. Paula Shreckhise

    Beautiful post! Thankyou!

     
     
    1. Thank you, Paula. Your words encourage me. God bless you and yours today and always!

       
       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *