Hello All! I have a fun surprise for you today! My subscribers sent in interview questions for one of my classic background characters from The Battle for Heritage Series, Mrs. Ida Armistead! I hope you enjoy this post “Written” by Mrs. Armistead! With that said, I’ll turn the computer over to her!
Wait, Miss Ryana Lynn, do come back, I’ve no idea…or perhaps I do have a small idea…no I’ve not an idea at all! What am I doing? I wish Hubert were here, he could tell me what to do… Oh, hello there. Dear, there are so many of you, I shan’t ever get all your names right.
Miss Ryana Lynn told me I was to answer some questions a few young ladies sent to me, and I have them right…oh, dear! I’ve lost them again! Perhaps they are in my apron pocket…or did I leave them in my handbag? No, it was in the breadbasket I set by the back door. That’s not right at all… *goes to search her house*
*returns three hours later*
I don’t know what I shall ever do with all those preserves, too much that’s just the problem. Now, what was I doing…? Oh, the questions! I found them tucked by my Bible. Let’s take a look at these from Ms. Natalie C.
“How do you like to spend your day?”
Well, there is so much to do and never the time enough to do it! I get up around 4:30 and do my morning devotions. That is always first. Then my day falls into general disorder. I can never quite decide if it is best to feed the chickens first or prepare breakfast for Hubert and me, and whichever I do, it’s never entirely done right, but he says he appreciates the efforts…or was it that he wouldn’t trade me for a prize heifer? Oh, I can’t remember, but I do know that he loves me. I never have to doubt that. Now that the children are grown, I have time to myself. I tend to work on a quilt or an afghan for the grandchildren or a new mother in town. But it is so hard to decide what exactly one wants to work on! When I get too overwhelmed, I sit in my rocker and read my Bible. That always brings me peace.
“What is your favorite Hymn?”
There are far too many! I could never pick a favorite. Amazing Grace, How Firm A Foundation, Oh How Happy Are They…I love so many. I sing several every day!
“How are Your Kittens? Well, I suppose they’re cats by now.”
Kittens…oh yes! Biscuit and Butter are our barn cats. It was so hard to name them. There were Cream and Sugar, Sun and Storm, Salt and Pepper, North and South…Far too many. I think my grandson finally picked the name they have now. But regardless, they are doing quite well! Fat, sassy, and keeping on top of the mice.
And now there are a few from Ms. Katja.
“What do you think of the Mason Kids, particularly Richard?”
Kids…I didn’t know the Masons had goats…wait, what was that, Ms. Ryana Lynn? Oh! Children! People in 2020 call children baby goats? It has more meanings, you say? How odd! Well, I must say, I am quite partial to the Mason children, though they probably don’t know it. It makes me so happy when they were all still home, sitting in church together. Now, Richard and I, we have a bit of a friendship. Up until he left for the war, he would help me down from our wagon, as my husband is also advanced in years. And he always assisted me back in. And of course, he was my favorite attendant at the general store. Such a good young man. I hope he gets him a good wife because I shall be sorely disappointed if he doesn’t.
“What’s your favorite book of the Bible?”
Too many favorites! I do so enjoy John, but then, Mark is good also. Then there are all the minor prophets and the history books and poetry…Psalms is divine. Well, all scripture is… Malachi. I’ll just say Malachi and be done with it!
“Were you born here?”
Me? Born in Four Tree Springs? Oh, dear, no! I wasn’t even born in North Carolina! I am from Saltville, Virginia. I am the third born of fifteen children and married Hubert when I was sixteen. Had to make room for number eleven, don’t you know, or was it thirteen…? Regardless, he was driving through town, my father liked him, and so we were married that weekend. He was such a good man, and his mother was a dear and just took me right in. I never could keep his eight sisters straight, though…
“What’s a Favorite childhood memory?”
That’s been so long ago! I might say the birth of my ninth sibling…or the seventh? Never mind, he was born on my birthday, and father said I might choose his middle name. I decided, after much deliberation, that his name should be August. We were born in March. But that was his name, and I call him my dear Auggie to this day.
Well, I survived this reasonably well, I think…or perhaps I just confused everyone, even more, …*sigh* I believe I shall leave and make me a cup of tea, or maybe some fresh water…
And that my friends, was an interview with Mrs. Armistead! I hope you enjoyed it!
Until Next Time,
I love books. I love good Christian books. And while historical fiction is my favorite, I do love a nice medieval setting sometimes. So, when I found out that Amanda Tero was writing a series of Novellas in this genre…and that there was NO magic in them…and that the last one was going to be a retelling of ROBIN HOOD…yep, I was hooked.
Protecting the Poor
(Published August 2019)
About the book:
Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshire has become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?
Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?
As Lord Feroci's sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.
Find on Amazon.
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About the Author:
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continues to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Connect with Amanda
Now there are some who call Robin Hood a socialist and a thief and I’m not going to get into explaining why neither is true (that is neither here nor there). The same accusation can certainly not be made of Dumphey and his Merry Men! This book…*sighs* It was so beautiful. I loved it so much and would recommend it to anyone, especially boys, since it’s kinda about boys, but girls will enjoy it too. And there is no romance!
I loved the archery aspect of the book and the outdoorsy setting of most of the story. And Lord Feroci… that man is evil. He is the perfect mix of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Some of my favorite parts in the story were the Biblical lessons taught through the story. As terrible as this may sound, I feel that some spiritual themes and scenes in stories come across forced and cold. Not the case here! Noel’s child-like innocence, faith and yes, fear, are easy to relate to and understand. Zuzene’s wisdom and trust in God is unshakable and makes you wish you could seek her counsel. Dumphey’s struggles with doing right in all things, dealing with guilt and attempting to witness without driving the listener away are relatable and natural, something I greatly appreciated.
*I was given a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. *
Miss Amanda Tero was gracious enough to give me an interview to share with y’all, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
Ryana: What inspired you to write a retelling about Robin Hood?
Amanda: Robin Hood has always, always been a favorite story of mine—I mean, I wasn’t really even a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella… so when it came to choosing a third tale to tell, I chose something I adored. Plus, I had to find a character to spin off from in “The Secret Slipper.” Sheriff Feroci and Abtshire had the perfect workings of being the new Sheriff of Nottingham!
Ryana: What was your favorite part of writing Protecting the Poor?
Amanda: Ooh… you know, what comes to mind is the grueling labor this book was. I mean, for real! Compared to anything else I’ve published, this has been by far the hardest. But! I really did like writing the action scenes. Like, a lot.
Ryana: What do you want people to learn from Protecting the Poor?
Amanda: There is a dual-message in “Protecting the Poor.” From Noel, readers can learn from his example with how to cling to God with a pure heart—but also, how to overcome fears and follow God when you don’t think you can. From Dumphey, I hope readers learn boldness, not in action, but in sharing God’s gift of salvation.
Ryana: Who was your favorite character to develop?
Amanda: Patey! I wanted to have a mischievous, sly fellow who was flirting with danger yet could be influenced to do what’s right. He was by far one of the most fun characters to work with.
Ryana: What's next on your desk?
Amanda: With “Protecting the Poor” released, I’m working on the release of my newest novella, “Wedding Score.” It’s a first-person, light-hearted work that focuses on single girls and contentment. Something close to my heart for sure!
Ryana: What is something you learned from writing PP?
Amanda: Be submissive to the season of life in which God has you. Sure, there were lessons I learned as I was studying what messages to put in “Protecting the Poor,” but the biggest lesson I learned was that God’s timing is perfect. It took a year and a half longer to get PP out than I hoped or planned, but God’s timing is perfect. He didn’t have to allow me to finish it at all, and He did!
Ryana: Advice for those wanting to write a retelling?
Amanda: Writing retellings are super fun! My top tips would be…
- Figure out the “flavors” of the original tale to keep in your retelling (for instance, in “Protecting the Poor” I made sure to keep archery, unjust authority, a band of men, and hunting “forbidden meats” even though I practically debunked the theme of “steal from the rich to feed the poor”)
- Make sure it’s a retelling, not a rewrite (don’t have verbatim conversations or even scenes and plotlines).
- Give a unique twist (what will make this stand out from the original tale and make it wholly yours?).
- But… make the retelling recognizable (goes with the “flavor”—you don’t want someone to read it and have no clue that it was supposed to be a retelling)
Thanks so much for having me on your blog and being a part of “Protecting the Poor’s” release!
And now for the fun part…the giveaway! And guess what?!? Two winner will receive not just Protecting the Poor, but the entire Tales of Faith Series! One U.S. Winner will receive paperback copies, and one international winner will receive ebooks! Enter here!
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Do you want to get a signed copy of "Protecting the Poor?" Order here!
About the Series
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Do you want to be involved in Amanda's next release?
Wedding Score is open for reviewers, bloggers, and influencers. Sign up here.
Shout-out to all the wonderful bloggers who are participating in the release of "Protecting the Poor."
Monday - August 26, 2019
With a Joyful Noise - Protecting the Poor Release Post
Life of Heritage Corner - Interview, Review, Giveaway
Great Books for God's Girls - Interview, Review
Peculiar Miss Darcy - Interview
Honey Rock Hills - Review
Debbie's Dusty Deliberations - Spotlight, Review, Guest Post
Tuesday - August 27, 2019
We've Got Pockets - Review
Maidens for Modesty - Giveaway, Guest Post
A Brighter Destiny - Spotlight
Wednesday - August 28, 2019
Soldier Girl Stories - Interview
Purposeful Learning - Spotlight, Guest Post
Thursday - August 29, 2019
Rachel Rossano's Works - Spotlight, Guest Post
In My Bookcase - Review, Giveaway
Friday - August 30, 2019
Losing the Busyness - Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
Resting Life - Guest Post
Saturday - August 31, 2019
Blossoms and Blessings - Spotlight, Review, Guest Post
Verbosity Reviews – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae - Review
Reading on the Edge - Spotlight
Monday - September 2, 2019
With a Joyful Noise - Giveaway Winner Announced
Have a Blessed Week!
I did it! Ryana Lynn, did you see that! I am actually typing! Y’all, this laptop thing is so interesting! I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m surprised at how easy it is! Oh…I suppose I should introduce myself! My name is Dixianna Mason of Four Tree Springs, N.C. Ryana Lynn told me she has written a series of books about my family, but not all of you have read them yet. She thought perhaps you should meet me and get to know me a little better. Well, I’m nothing special, just, well, me! I just happen to live during a war…just like you!
Oh, Ryana Lynn says I’m rambling -What’s that thing you write when you laugh? Oh! - lol! That looks so cute!
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, you may wonder why I’ve taken over the blog! Well, today is my Birthday! Yes, I am a Valentine’s baby! And as a present to me, Ryana Lynn has sweetly allowed me to fulfill a dream of mine since…well, since I met her…lol! (I’m getting this!) If I lived in your year, I would be 173. But I’m not in your time, I am in mine. The year is 1864 and I just turned 18! And officially an old maid…like I said, there’s a war on, so…I’m waiting patiently.
Huh? Oh, all right, apparently, I need to end this introduction and get into my main topic. So, The End.
My topic today will be…me! I am going to tell you a little bit about myself and hope you find it interesting…
My Favorite Instrument. As you can see on the photograph above…wait, it’s not a photograph?...oh, the “blog graphic” above, I play the fiddle. I play hymns, folk music and patriotic pieces, usually with my brothers. I can play the piano, but fiddle is my passion…how do you…oh, there 😉 I love those little faces!
Okay, back to the fiddle. My fiddle was made in 1812 by my great-grandfather, Richard MacIntyre, for my grandmother, Dixianna Rose MacIntyre Mason, only she wasn’t married at the time. She was named for her parents, Richard (Dixie is a nickname for Richard, don’t ask me how that got started) and Anna. Maw-Maw has always gone by Anna, because she felt, when she was young, that Dixie was too masculine. How things do change!
Maw-Maw gave the fiddle to my father when he was thirteen, and he passed it along to me when I was thirteen, though I was playing it by the time my arms were long enough to hold it.
My Horse. Do any of you like horses? I do! My horse is a slate gray Mustang Stallion named Confederate 😉 My Papa Rains (My mother’s father) bought him for me right before the war began three years ago. Confederate is quite playful, though if you had seen him when I first got him, you wouldn’t have thought so. He had a rough life, poor baby, but now, he gets all the love and attention I give him and plenty of pasture to run in. His favorite treats are apple peels and carrot skins. I know, I’d love to give him the whole thing, but with the war on, we need all the food we can find and there’s no money for extras. Not that I’m complaining.
My Favorite Color. Contrary to what one might think, my favorite color is purple. Many assume it’s green, because of my eyes and my red hair and the fact that green looks the best on me, but purple is my favorite. My favorite dress was purple…my brothers bought me the material for my birthday…sure miss that dress. Ryana Lynn says you should read book 3 if you want to learn more about what happened to it…
My Favorite Sibling…
Just making sure you were paying attention! I don’t have a favorite sibling and Ryana Lynn says I can’t tell you much because of something known as spoilers. But I will tell you this: Growing up in a house full of boys is difficult, but also quite the adventure! I used to loath the slamming of doors, but with the war on now…I kinda miss it.
One more fun fact and then I shall…how did she put it…oh! I shall “Wrap-up” this post. You people of the 21st Century sure have some interesting ways of expressing yourselves! But it’s also quite intriguing!
I’m rambling again.
My Favorite Song. Hymn wise, it would be What Wondrous Love is This? So hauntingly beautiful. Patriotic wise, I like The Homespun Dress and of course, Dixieland 😉 And I was born on a frosty morning! I also love the North Carolina War Song. It’s to the tune of Bonnie Annie Laurie, a Scottish folk song that my Maw-Maw Mason adores. It’s not well known outside my state and Ryana Lynn said that in your time, most people have never heard of it. It’s so pretty though…now I think I’m gonna cry!
I suppose this is where I “wrap-up!” I hope you enjoyed my very first (and probably only) blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed it! But, I must rush back to my world…the troops are still in winter quarters, but soon, the fighting will resume…I encourage you to take a moment to thank God that the war your country is fighting now isn’t being fought on your home soil. I’m not so fortunate…
Have a blessed day,
P.S. Below is my favorite Psalm. I hope you enjoy!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
King James Version
A Note From Ryana Lynn: Here's Dixie's song, The North Carolina War Song. She couldn't figure out how to post it, lol ;)
Post five! I wonder how long I will keep up with how many posts I’ve written…
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage! Today I have a special blog post. A dear subscriber asked me to write a series on Writing Myths/Historical Myths. So while this won’t be a monthly series, I will be gathering more information for this topic in particular! Hope you enjoy this post that has been begging to be written for a few months now. Without further ado, let’s hop to it!
A few months ago, I read a post that said one should never let history get in the way of a good story. Fiction before fact. I have to disagree with this bit of advice. Let me explain why.
History is unyielding. No matter how much you want to change it (like our textbooks today!) you cannot truly change history. It is as it was and just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can change it. Gen. U.S. Grant owned slaves, so it would be silly for me to write a story about a staunch abolitionist conversation between him and my main character. I don’t like it that he owned slaves. I don’t like slavery at all, but I cannot erase it from history.
Your readers won’t trust you. When you keep most of your history straight in your story, but change a timeline to suit your story, your readers will assume you are telling the truth. I can’t say that Stonewall Jackson died on May 15th just because I want to make sure one of my characters has enough time to ride all the way to Florida to fetch a long lost relative and make it back in time to hold his hand as Stonewall dies. That’s ridiculous. But what’s worse, I’ve lied to my readers by giving them a false date. Now, I understand adding fictional events to a story, like a skirmish or a debate or a town meeting or a conversation between a fictional character and a real person, but never change historical fact. Your readers will feel betrayed when they dig into the story and find out you lied.
You don’t have to add to history to make a point. If you are writing something fictional about a real character, it must be consistent with his character or be based on something they actually did. Now, I’ll give you four examples that will help you understand what I mean.
I said all that to say this: You can use real people in fictional circumstances as long as it is believable that they really would have done that, and it doesn’t conflict with historical fact. The situation/reaction must fit their personality. This is part of what is called Creative License.
But if you don’t get anything else from this post, get this. You do not change History to accommodate your novel. Ever. Your novel is flexible; History isn’t.
I hope this post was helpful for those writing Historical fiction. It can be confusing trying to find difference between lying and creative license. The absolute best advice I can give you is to pray over the scene. Ask God if that’s a scene He would want you to write. Your parents would be a big help too, or a fellow Historical Fiction author. It helps to bounce ideas off each other!
Have a blessed day!
Semper Fi! // Happy Marine Corps Day!
From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, the Marine Corps has been there, ever ready to defend America from any foe who dares to mess with us. Having lived near a Marine base and being a member of a church were nearly every man on the membership role has been or is a Marine, I've had quite a bit of exposure to Marine Corps culture. It's unique, like every other Military branch. For example, don't call them an ex-Marine or a former Marine, because "Once a Marine, always a Marine!"
They like to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: Marines and those who wish they were Marines. They found out this wasn't true anymore when they met me, lol! You could not pay me to go to Parris Island (MC Boot Camp in South Carolina)!
Well, instead of loading you down with tons of facts about the Corps, I decided to share a bit of flash fiction I wrote last year for a writing contest. The main character is a Marine and it showcases his relationship with his siblings...oh that I could tell you more about that! Anyway, here we go!
They say you learn from your mistakes. Not always.
Salem Springfield well knew that Becca, his sister, was a jumpy person. Very jumpy. And when startled, Becca often over reacts. Like the time when they were younger and he threw a rubber snake at her while they were working in the garden. She had screamed and thrown her hoe…barely missing Salem’s head. There were many other such incidents…far too many to list now.
Well today, they had been conveniently forgotten. He had returned earlier than expected from deployment and was finally going to get to do a surprise homecoming to his parents and siblings. After doing a little reconnaissance, he found out from a neighbor that everyone was home, except Becca and their younger brother Jason. They had run to the store for some ice cream and should be just about home.
It was getting late when Salem ducked behind their family’s small outbuilding. He saw headlights and watched at Becca pulled her dark green Volkswagen Bug into the driveway. He grinned. It was time.
He snuck around behind her car as Jason stepped out, holding the cartons of ice cream. “I hope we got the right kind of Butter Pecan,” Jason said. “You know how particular Tim is about his ice cream.”
Becca, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat, putting her keys away and impromptu cleaning out her purse in the process, laughed and continued rifling through the pockets. “I think I got the right kind…Jason, where’s my cell phone?”
“In the cup holder where you put it earlier,” Jason called, closing his door and heading for the house.
“Thanks,” Becca laughed, unplugging the device and putting it in its proper place. Salem noticed she was carrying the purse he had gotten her for her twentieth birthday. It was a patchwork style purse, featuring four different kinds of military camo, since they had family in each of those branches.
Finally, Becca stood and closed the car door, dug through her purse to get her keys back out, locked the door and replaced the keys. She was so predictable. She placed her purse on her right shoulder and headed for the house.
Salem made his move. He silently came up behind her and touched her arm, saying, “Hey, Becca!”
It all happened so fast, Salem was completely caught off guard. Becca screamed at the top of her lungs, whirled around and sprayed Salem in the face with her infamous can of Pepper spray…the one thing Salem had forgotten about her routine. She always carried it with her.
“Oh, my eyes!” Salem gasped, tripping backwards to the ground as Becca continued to scream. Jason came barreling out of the house with Tim, Randy and Dad on his heels. Every house light in the base housing neighborhood came on, or so it seemed.
“You just stay right there!” Randy, the oldest of the Springfield boys, ordered.
“Randy, it’s me!” Salem choked, fighting the urge to rub his eyes. That would only make the situation worse.
“Salem?” Tim shouted. “What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed?” he added, shoving his pistol back into his pocket.
Becca turned as reality sunk in. “Oh, Salem! I’m so sorry!”
Mom joined her family and when she saw, aided by Jason’s flashlight, Randy helping Salem up, she immediately took control of the situation. “Get him to the kitchen sink!”
“Is everything alright?”
Dad turned and saw their neighbor MSGT. Williams shouting from his porch. With a smirk, Dad called back, “It’s all good. Just a surprise homecoming.”
Williams laughed. “Sounded more like a cat fight!”
“When pepper spray’s involved, that’s about right,” Dad replied.
“Oh no! You’ve got to tell me about this tomorrow, Doc!”
Meanwhile inside, Salem was holding his head over the sink while his mother sprayed cold water in his eyes from the sink hose.
Rachel and Mary hurried down the stairs. “What happened?” Mary asked in alarm, observing what looked like a drowning in process.
“Salem’s home,” was all Jason could manage. Mary stared at her older brothers gathered around the sink. She looked at Rachel, then Becca, who explained what had happened.
“That was real bright,” Rachel snickered, patting her younger brother on the shoulder.
Salem wrinkled his nose at her. “Who’s bright idea was it to give Becca Pepper spray?” Salem defended, drying his eyes.
Randy grinned. “Yours, remember, Jarhead? You better be glad she wasn’t carrying her Navy SEAL knife Dad bought last week!”
“You beat all, Salem,” Tim said, laughing at his brother’s red eyes, still watering from the ordeal.
“Salem, I am so sorry,” Becca lamented, her voice quite pitiful. “You really startled me! I shouldn’t be on such a hair-trigger.”
Salem shook his head and gave his younger sister a side hug. “You did exactly what you should have done in that situation. You had no reason to think it was me and not some lunatic.”
“Uh, that’s debatable,” Dad said with a chuckle. “Seems like she was dealing with a lunatic!” Everyone laughed.
“The mighty Marine taken down by a civilian girl!” Randy teased.
Mom smiled and hugged Salem tightly. “Welcome home, son! It’s so good to have you back!”
“Thanks! I was wondering if that part of my presence had been forgotten!” Salem said, hugging her back.
Welcomes and hugs were exchanged by the family, their ice cream snack turning into a welcome home celebration. Salem smiled. It was so good to be home with his family.
Dear Lord, he prayed silently, thank You for our family. Thank You for letting us get back together, all safe and sound. Please protect us in the days ahead and guide us through whatever You may choose to bring our way…and help me learn from my mistakes!...
Copyright© 2017 Ryana Lynn Miller
Ahh, the Springfield family...one of dozens of story ideas that I have :) A few things have changed in my planning for this story, but the gist is the same. And the relationship between Salem and Becca is just so adorable...I so have to write this story so someday y'all can see just how close these two are!
Anyways, happy Marine Corps Day! Hope you enjoyed this somewhat random post, lol!
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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