Monday, August 27, 2012
Today I have the honor of having Naomi Musch visit. Naomi will do a PDF giveaway of any book in her Empire in Pine Series - winner's choice - The Green Veil, The Red Fury, or The Black Rose. To enter the drawing just leave a comment with your contact info. Thanks so much for visiting toady, Naomi. Take it away....
I've asked some of my characters from The Black Rose, Empire in Pine Book Three to travel with me around the blogosphere and introduce themselves to readers. Jesilyn and Corianne are taking the hot seat elsewhere (visit the links), so here today on Anne's blog I'd like everyone to meet one of the gentlemen from The Black Rose. Paul Winter is a preacher who came north a few years ago with his sister Marie. He had a missionary desire to bring the Gospel of hope to the men in the lumber camps, but it's not been quite what he expected.
First, here's the synopsis of The Black Rose:
Despite the panic of 1893, logging has reached its golden era in the growing state of Wisconsin, and twins Jesilyn and Corianne Beaumont enjoy a comfortable life with family in the bursting Great Lake city of Superior. But when jealousy incites Jesi to seduce Cori's fiancé, a flight and fall from grace lands her in a boomtown brothel, where a fresh start is denied her.
Camp preacher Paul Winter longs to offer hope in the logging and mining towns of northern Wisconsin, but not in the way he expects when he meets a redhead he calls Pie Girl. He's never had to battle his own longings quite this way before.
Meanwhile, stung by Jesilyn's betrayal, Corianne's bitterness might separate her from a second chance at happiness and peace. Only by Grace can both women begin new lives, and budding love can bloom in places neither of them expects.
Hello, my name's Paul -- yeah, like the apostle. But I haven't had the ministry reach he had. In fact, seven years into my sojourn up here in the Wisconsin woods hasn't produced a single soul who really seems changed by the Gospel. I often wonder in my talks with the Lord, is one soul too much to ask? The fellows are a good lot for the most part, but if they stumble into a preaching service on a Sunday morning, it's probably more out of boredom than hunger for the Word. Most of them are sleeping off a big Saturday night spent in Hurley or Ironwood bars and saloons.
Hayward, Hurley, and Hell are the three hottest places on a Saturday night. That's the saying around here and with good reason -- it's true. Seems like some fellows want to spend their days tip-toeing along the brink of disaster. Some gals too... (frowning)
Where was I? Oh, yeah... In fact, I nearly gave up. I heard from an old friend -- okay -- maybe she was more than that -- but she told me about a church looking for a pastor down in Sheboygan. I wrote them a letter. My sister Marie is as solid as ever. Sometimes I think God should've made her a man -- a preacher. She's that strong and sure of where He wants her. But nah... she's too much a lady.
I was thinking seriously about leaving the northwoods then, even though my heart didn't want to give up what I thought God's calling on me had been. Then came Jane. Pie Girl, I called her, until the day I had a reason to know her by any other name. And even then -- Jane -- well, of course it wasn't her real name. We never had reason to doubt her until I met a man named Beaumont who was looking for his daughter Jesi. There was no mistaking the resemblance.
But Jane or Jesi -- it didn't really matter. She brought some sparks to our lives. Some folks might say Marie and I were fools, taking in a liar, a -- a fallen woman. But that's not how we saw her. Not how I saw her... (Looking at his hands) I saw something beyond what she even saw of herself, and I know the Lord did too. I don't regret what happened after that. I don't regret it at all.
(Looking up) I didn't expect to fall in love with her, of course. But her loving me -- well, that was a different story. A lot happened to her in Hurley, things you don't get past easily, especially when the past has a way of reappearing. Then there was that fellow back in Superior -- Clay Dalton. Sometimes I don't think I hit him hard enough...
Some preacher, huh? Seem to always find myself in the middle of some kind of brouhaha. And you wonder why I doubt myself.
I truly blushed telling that part to Naomi when she wrote our story. But God's pretty big. I'm over it. For all I know, there'll be more black eyes to come. Naomi sent you folks a scene about that crazy notion Marie had that I should marry Jesi just to shelter her. Marie is nothing if not persistent, but that's partly what I love about her. She's ever the big sister.
I'll be curious to hear how Jesi and her sister Cori do talking about all this on the other --what do you call 'em -- blogs? They might be twins, but they can think as differently as wet and dry.
Here's where you can get the whole story if the excerpt tickles your fancy. In the meantime, below is that scene I mentioned.
~ Paul Winter
Desert Breeze: http://tinyurl.com/793uv89
Excerpt featuring Paul from
The Black Rose
Paul dropped the lid to the chest and stood, brushing past her. “This is foolishness.”
“You like her, Paul.”
“Of course I do. She’s a sweet girl. She’s had some misfortune.”
He looked up and was met by Marie’s precocious grin. “You know what I mean.”
“You like her.”
Paul strode into the main room and looked for something to do. He stirred the fire and added more wood, prolonging the activity.
Marie shadowed him. “You like her a lot. I’ve seen you looking at her.”
“Marie…” So she had noticed. Paul had feared that. No use arguing now. “Yes, I’m very aware of her, and I am attracted to her. But too many things stand in the way. The main one, I’ve already mentioned. Then again, she hasn’t shown the slightest interest in me. She’d probably run off scared out of her wits if you even brought up this idea.”
He scowled and stared into the fire.
“She needs us. It’s obvious she has no place to go, no one to turn to. I think she’d consider the idea.”
“Marie, you’re not talking about me protecting her. You’re talking about me marrying her. That’s something else entirely.”
“Paul, surely you’ve heard of marriages of convenience.”
“I’ve never planned to be part of one.” His thoughts swept to Imogene Gillette, the girl he’d nearly married. The girl he had loved.
“Of course not.” Marie’s voice softened. She moved next to him and looped her arm through his. “But what if it’s God’s will? What if this is the soul you’ve been praying for? What if a marriage of convenience could become a perfect union of love and a lifetime of commitment?”
“What if it can’t?” The lifetime part worried him the most.
To that, Marie fell silent.
The door swung open, and they looked up from the fire. Jane hurried in out of the wind as light snow flurried down. She swept off her bonnet. Her bun tumbled askew, and her face was flushed with cold. Her beauty made Paul blush when he realized, once again, he was transfixed… and now Marie knew.
She strode over to take the empty basket from Jane.”How did it go?”
“Perfectly, as usual.” She unbuttoned the heavy coat she’d borrowed from Marie. “Cookee said to tell you he has some venison hind quarter in the smoker and that you should come get some later, Paul.” She smiled at him, and her eyes shone.
What if Marie is right? He swallowed, trying to imagine the possibility, while at the same time his instincts warred inside him. What if it is the answer... God’s answer?
Naomi and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin's north woods near their five young adults and three grand-children. Amidst it, she writes stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles. Her entire Empire in Pine series, available now in eBook from Desert Breeze Publishing, will also go to print in 2013. She invites new friends and old to say hello and find out more about her books, passions, and other writing venues at http://www.naomimusch.com or look her up on Facebook Naomi Musch - Author and Twitter NMusch.
Posted by Anne Patrick at 6:00 AM