The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part One

Welcome, everyone.

Awakening Miss Adelaide is set to release on July 9th. This story begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up brim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders.

Awakening Miss Adelaide
My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest.

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Joe, Wilson, and Sam Brooks, circa 1917

This dear lady was born in Sebastian County, Arkansas in 1870. She married and bore four children. Her eldest daughter, my grandmother, married in Hall County, Texas in 1911. Her grandson, my father, entered the world in 1914.

Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork?

Mysterious Memories

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Grandmother Ona Mae Brooks

Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself. All we know certainly is that her eldest child, my grandmother (photo, left), assumed the role of “woman of the house” at eleven years of age. She prepared meals and kept the house and tended three younger siblings. 

Due to a paucity of records, photos, and other documentation, mystery veils Great-grandmother’s growing-up years. We know only that she and her husband married and lived in Indian Territory and Wise County, Texas from 1888 to 1900.

Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose her last name to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life.

Precious Memories

Over forty-eight years of commitment, Great-grandmother wrote a handful of letters to her daughter. I am the keeper of those treasures, along with two items of handwork–a baby dress she sewed by hand in 1914 for her grandson, my father; and a table doily in 1920.

Awakening Miss Adelaide

Awakening Miss Adelaide

Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with my family history and some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented me an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of certain unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care. 

Awakening Miss Adelaide
herefore, with an abundance of love and respect for Great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all. 

I offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He pleases. May this story based on the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load by highlighting the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Book 3, The Women of Rock Creek

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the Great War–and the Great Influenza–knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from her quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

How to Reach Me and My Books

The Women of Rock Creek series

Book 1: The Calling of Ella McFarland

Christmas Novella Collection 

Book 2: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

Book 3; The Awakening of Miss Adelaide








I’m offering a print or digital (winner’s choice) copy of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide every two weeks during the 6-Part series on Adelaide. Just comment, and your name goes into the hat. Drawing dates: June 19; July 3, 17, & 31; August 14 & 28.

~ ~ ~

Lord, I pray the words I’ve written on the pages of this novel will bless others in ways I can’t imagine. ~ For Jesus’ sake

28 thoughts on “The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part One

  1. Sweet, kind Linda, I can only imagine (that’s likely my favorite song. Our youngest son, Jonathan, sang it at my father-in-law’s memorial service), how wonderful your soon-releasing book will be. Having read and enjoyed “Ella”, I will look forward to being drawn in to where I don’t want to put the book down. It sounds wonderful. Knowing you want our Lord God to bless your offering, blesses my heart, as I’m sure He does yours. Much success, my friend!

    1. Hi, Jane. So wonderful to see you in our circle. Your comments always encourage me so. God bless you.

  2. Deanne Patterson

    It’s beautiful to see you are keeping your family history alive by your writing and pictures. I love to tour old houses and see the objects the family used in their daily life and imagine how their daily life would be. I can’t wait to read your book bringing your family’s history alive.

    1. Hi, Deanne. It’s great to see you in the chat circle. I’m like you; I love family history stories. I have a slew of them 🙂 Looking forward to your reading Adelaide’s story. God bless!

  3. Suzanne Sellner

    What a fascinating story with reality prompting it! I look forward to reading The Awakening of Miss Adelaide.

    1. Hi, Suzanne. Welcome to the gathering! Your comments encourage me. Thank you ever so much. God bless!

  4. Judi

    I love the history of your great grandma. I cannot wait for this book! Have already told my husband when the book comes out don’t bother me I’m reading an amazing book.

    1. Oh my! I love your comments, Judi! You sound like me. Turn out the world and let me be. 🙂 God bless you!

  5. Cecilia C Garcia

    Can’t wait for july 9. I throughly enjoyed reading The Calling of Ella McFarland and The Mending of Lillian Catheleen. In fact, I could not put them down when I stated reading. Feel like I know Adelaide already and excited to read about her adventures. Really thrilled to know the author and to have experienced the same stromping ground which was good old Raymondville.

    1. Hi, Cecilia. Go, Bearkats! Go! Great to have you join the circle. You made me smile. I hope you enjoy Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

    2. Paty Hinojosa

      Omg! What a story about your great grandmother! I love to hear about my or other people’s ancestors life. And reading a story based on true characters is my favorite pastime!
      Your new book sounds awesome! I’d really love to read it! Knowing it is based on true characters makes it more relatable and special!
      I just purchased The Calling of Ella McFarland by the way! The cover and blurb of your books are awesome. I’m sure you will be a new favorite author soon!

      1. Welcome to our circle, Paty! Your comments encouraged me so. Thank you. I hope you love Ella’s story. She started it all 🙂 I hope you’ll come back. God bless!

  6. Linda, I am so intrigued by your subject matter in this book. You are so accomplished at telling your family’s stories. I have loved the first two and am looking forward to this one. The cedar chest pulls at my heartstrings, as I can visualize the contents. Also, did you know that many ladies were classified as insane when they were suffering from hormone imbalances such as post partumn blues and menopause? They said they were suffering from a case of nerves. Keep writing these great stories.

    1. Hi, Jane. It’s wonderful to know you’re in the circle, my friend. How women in general were treated was very sad–and sometimes criminal. Thank you for participating in the chat and encouraging me so. God bless you!

  7. Teresa Brooks

    Can’t wait to read this latest book, Linda! So proud of you! May God use it to touch hearts and show His love! You and your writing remain in my heart and prayers!💗

    1. How wonderful to see you in the circle, Teresa! I count on your prayers every day. Love you lots!

      1. Elma Brooks

        Love reading about your memories .Would love to read this book sounds adventurous. Thank you.

        1. Love your last name, Elma! 🙂 Welcome to the circle. I hope you get to read Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

  8. Diane Buie

    Linda, I have a feeling that your newest book, due in July, will surely make us all cry! ( I did not mean for that to rhyme). 🙂 Just considering the time period in which you are writing and the subject matter; disabilities (seen & unseen), is a theme I am drawn to as you are. I admire your ability to tackle such a topic and despite the pain that is obvious to be in store for readers, you and will also give us a hope only God can provide. Thanks for the chance to enter.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Diane. You encouraged me so! I hope you love Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

  9. Melissa Andres

    Wow! What a heartbreaking story. I wish we could know what was really happening. I’m really looking forward to reading Adelaide’s story!

    1. Hi, Melissa. So good to have you in the circle. Thank you for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m excited to share it July 9. You encouraged me today.

  10. Alison Boss

    The story about your great grand mother broke my heart. I wonder what really happened? I think it is wonderful that out of her tragedy you have created the story of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide! It sounds so intriguing and I look forward to reading it!! Thank your for this post, Linda!

    1. Her story truly is heartbreaking, Alison. The letters she wrote her family are real heartbreakers. Thanks for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m so excited to share it July 9!

  11. Looking forward to reading this story. Looks very interesting.

    1. Welcome to the circle, Melissa. Thank you for expressing an interest in Adelaide’s story. You encourage me.

  12. I love reading your posts, Linda! Can’t wait to read Adelaide’s story!

    1. Hi, Gail! So great to see you in the circle! Thanks for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m excited to share it July 9.


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Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite: Jamie Langston Turner

Welcome, Everyone!

Jamie Langston Turner vies with a couple other authors for #1 in my hit parade.

Recently I decided I want occasionally to veer off my usual trail on “Let’s Chat!” to highlight certain authors—Featured Favorites–whose works have impacted me and my life. I love all my author friends (and lots I haven’t met), but if I must pick one for top billing today, it’s Jamie.

My favorite of Turner’s novels? No Dark Valley.

My giveaway this week: $5 Amazon gift card to someone who joins the chat below. (Winner can apply to any of Jamie’s ebooks)

Why Turner? And why No Dark Valley?

I’m drawn to any novel’s important themes. Well-drawn and memorable characters and storyline. Emotions. Beauty of the language. Take-away messages. Intrigue and/or surprise and more. I found all of this in No Dark Valley. So much so that I’m including it in the boxes of keepsakes I’m creating for my children and grandchildren.

I read all of Jamie Langston Turner’s books a few years ago and will never forget them. Call it a “soul mates” thing. Touching dim memories from my distant home and church past. Speaking to a tender place in my heart where regret and shame lurk. All of those are true. 

If mind-blowing adventure, crime, death and destruction, sex, and violence aren’t your thing . . . Rather, if you’re looking for beautifully written, touching, meaningful fiction that captures your imagination, whirls you into unexpected crevices, and thrusts you out into new landscapes with a chuckle or two, all the while leaving its mark on your heart . . .  If you’re looking for fiction that enthralls you now and stays with you always, Jamie Langston Turner is your gal.

No Dark Valley: Beyond the Remorse, Forgiveness Beckoned

A Little Something From the Front and Back Covers:

She had bolted shut the door of her heart . . . Now she held the key in her hand . . .

She had expected to feel angry. Anger was the kind of emotion that could carry you through a funeral with perfect composure. She hadn’t expected to look down at her grandmother and be flooded with this strange conglomeration of guilt, regret, curiosity, sadness . . .

Jamie Langston Turner

Her grandmother’s funeral meant Celia Coleman must return to the small town she had hoped never to see again. The memories of that long ago home and church–and of her own behavior there–are not happy ones But now the floodgates are about to open.

Bruce Healey is struggling with guilt over his own past, and Celia wants nothing to do with this neighbor of hers. But when God lifts them each from their dark valleys of shame, their hearts could indeed be ready to give and receive love.

Excerpt from Chapter One: “The Birds Hush Their Singing” in which Celia arrives in Dunmore, GA

Jamie Langston Turner

‘We been hoping you’d come,’ Aunt Beulah called. She stepped out onto the porch, letting the screen slam behind her. ‘Come on inside before you freeze to death. Everybody’s here eating.’ Her words came out in little white puffs. She was wearing a nubby black sweater over a navy blue dress and pink terry-cloth slippers on her feet.

Celia felt a wave of panic. So that explained all the cars parked up and down the street. If she had known about this, she would never have agreed to come. She had expected only Aunt Beulah and Uncle Taylor, not everybody. ‘Come on by the house first,’ Aunt Beulah had said over the phone. ‘We can have us a little visit before we go to the funeral home.’

Jamie Langston Turner

‘Now, tell me again which cow this is,’ Al said as they started up the sidewalk. On the drive here Celia had told him the names of her grandmother’s five sisters–Clara, Bess, Beulah, Elsie, and Molly–to which Al had replied, ‘They sound like cows.’ He had then laughed, for what seemed to Celia a little too long, at his joke. He was right about their names, of course. And her grandmother’s name had fit right in with the rest: Sadie.

‘This one’s Aunt Beulah,’ Celia said. ‘She’s the only one of them who ever liked me.’

‘Watch out for that icy patch there!’ Aunt Beulah called. ‘Molly nearly slipped on it earlier. I got Taylor to sprinkle some salt on it, but it might have refroze.’ She shaded her eyes as she watched Celia and Al approach. ‘I’m sure glad you could come. I told them you would.’ The implication, clearly, was But nobody believed me.

Aunt Beulah stepped back and opened the door again. Behind her Celia could see a roomful of people, all jammed together with plates of food balanced on their laps. Somebody cried out, “Mercy, you’re lettin’ the cold in, Beulah!”

Celia felt her knees go weak as she started up the steps, Al at her elbow. “I don’t think I can do this,” she said to him. “These people are perfectly capable of violence. There’s no telling what they might do.” She could picture herself in the middle of Aunt Beulah’s living room, surrounded by all her Georgia kinfolk coming at her with their knives and forks.

‘Don’t worry, I’m here,’ Al said. ‘I won’t let them do anything.’ He put his hand on her back. Celia knew he was looking forward to meeting her relatives, to see for himself if they were as weird as she had claimed.

The hum of talk stopped as they entered. Celia glanced around at the cricle of faces and nodded. She didn’t actually look at the faces, but at the wall slightly above their heads. She could sense that they were all looking her up and down, that she was being weighed in the balances of their narrow minds and found severely wanting.

From Chapter 25, “One Holy Passion,” in which Bruce Healey observes Celia:

Jamie Langston Turner

On a Sunday afternoon in late October, Bruce Healey was sitting at the patio table in the backyard trying to carve a jack-o’-lantern to surprise Madison when he saw Celia pull into the driveway next door and park her red Mustang. It still surprised him that a woman like her, so efficient, sensible, and reclusive, drove a red Mustang instead of, say, a dark brown Volvo 280.

He had already gotten all the stringy goop and seeds out of the pumpkin and was working on the second eye–a simple triangular design, which was turning out to be larger than the first eye and a little lower on the face, down toward the middle of its cheek actually. So it would be a freak, but who cared? Nobody expected perfection when it came to jack-o’-lanterns.

Jamie Langston Turner

He paused for a moment to watch Celia get out of her car and walk to her front door. He opened his mouth to call to her but for some reason decided against it even though he had a legitimate question already framed and ready to ask: “How many trick-or-treaters usually come around this neighborhood on Halloween?”

In fact, he knew in his heart that he was sitting here in the backyard with the express hope of seeing her. But something about the brisk, beeline way she was moving toward the door kept him from speaking. Not that it was much different from the way she normally walked to the door–as if she had just remembered she’d left a cake in the oven. After watching her disappear inside her apartment, he turned his attention back to the jack-o’-lantern’s enormous misaligned eye.

Bruce Healey had met a lot of women in his life. All shapes and sizes, young and old, all kinds of dull and fascinating personalities, faces that made you look twice, others that made you wish you hadn’t. When he was in college, he used to say he could never get married because he’d always be wondering about all those other women he hadn’t had a chance to meet.

From an email written by a reader from Dover, PA:

Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Thank you for allowing God to speak through your words. Your work has blessed me abundantly.

Ditto from me! 

Jamie’s Books

Jamie Langston Turner_

How to Find Jamie Langston Turner



Jamie Langston Turner was born and raised in the South—Mississippi and Kentucky. She has lived in South Carolina for 45 years and in 2016 retired from teaching creative writing at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

She began freelance writing in the early 1980s, and over the next ten years she wrote short stories, articles, plays, and poems for a variety of magazines as well as material for reading, science, history, music, and literature textbooks.

n 1992 she received a phone call from an editor of Moody Magazine, who had read two of her short stories and urged her to consider writing a novel. Within weeks she started her first novel, Suncatchers, which was published in 1995 by Thomas Nelson. Then she published her second novel, Some Wildflower in My Heart, with Bethany House in 1998. Thereafter, five others, also with Bethany: By the Light of a Thousand Stars (1999), A Garden to Keep (2001), No Dark Valley (2004), Winter Birds (2006), and Sometimes a Light Surprises (2009). Her eighth novel, To See the Moon Again, was released by Penguin/​Berkley in September 2014.


Four of her novels have been finalists for the Christy Award, and two were named winners of the award in the category of contemporary fictionA Garden to Keep in 2002 and Winter Birds in 2007. Also, Winter Birds was named as a best book for the year 2006 by both Christianity Today and Publishers Weekly

Jamie has been married for 47 years to Daniel Turner, who is on the music faculty at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, and they have a son, Jess, who is a composer living in Indiana, and two wonderful grandchildren, Carolyn Svana, 9, and Charles Kjell, 5.

` ~ ~ ~

What wonderful gifts You give, Lord. And when the recipients of Your gift of writing like Jamie use them as You intend, what glory they bring to You and encouragement they provide to readers.
We pray You’ll bless each word Jamie writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

16 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite: Jamie Langston Turner

  1. Chloe Flanagan

    I’m not entering the giveaway, I just wanted to say that it’s so great to read this post about Jamie Langston Turner’s work, especially No Dark Valley. It’s such a great book that I think about parts of it even now, several years after reading it. I also loved To See the Moon Again. Her work really overturned my preconceived ideas and definitions of Christian Fiction.


    1. Ditto, Chloe! And you’re welcome 🙂 I’m the same way about No Dark Valley. I’m leaving it in a keepsakes box for my children and grandchildren. (One day when they remember their crazy ol’ Mama D, I think that story will resonate.)

  2. Melissa Andres

    I love learning about new-to-me authors! Jamie’s books sound wonderful. I’ll definitely try to get my hands on one! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, Melissa. It’s my joy and honor to feature Jamie.

  3. Judi Marshall

    From just the snippets that I read here her books sound wonderful. I am so glad you choose to do something like this

    1. Hi, Judi. Great to see you in our circle. I think you’ll love Jamie’s books. Needless to say, I do. 🙂

  4. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    I have not heard of this author. I look forward to reading her books. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Welcome, Lucy! I hope you get to read Jamie’s work. I think you’ll love her too.

  5. Faith Creech

    I have read some of Jamie’s books and I love them. Thank you for highlighting her!

    1. I’m so glad you’re in our circle, Faith. Jamie’s books are truly memorable.

  6. Thank you for sharing about Jamie Langston Turner. I am glad to learn about her and now, I want to read her writings.

    1. Hi, Melissa. Welcome to the circle. You’re entered in the drawing, girl.

  7. Paula Shreckhise

    I love stories about quaint towns in the south. This sounds right up my alley! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

    1. Hi, Paula. I love having you here in the circle. I hope you get to read Jamie. She’s fantastic.

  8. Kim G.

    I absolutely love Jaime Langston Turner books!! I wish she would write another story. I really enjoyed this Linda, it’s rare to find someone who’s read her fabulous work.

    1. Hi, Kim. You and I are soul mates I guess. Jamie’s stories stay with you, don’t they? You’re right … It’s been awhile since she’s released a new one. Let’s pray she’ll do so again before too long. Too wonderful to miss.


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