From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower: Autumn’s Splendor

  

It has been a while since I have posted from Aspen’s diary. Today seemed like a great day to find an entry that fits. As some of you know, I have spent the last couple of months moving from one state to another. Here in my new home, the mountains above me are changing color and the canyon I drive through to work each day is showing signs that fall is here. It’s my favorite season. Not my nose’s favorite season, but I still love it. Happy Fall!

“Little Harbour is a pretty little place when I can step back and appreciate it for what it really is. This was freedom for a handful of people before my father was even born. It’s this small, heavily treed area next to the sea, set back in a slight cove of sorts.
This was where my father fell deeply in love with my mama, where the visions of his future with her took root. I sit here beneath a sweet smelling tree and close my eyes to the pain and frustration of being here and I try to imagine a time when my father smiled and spoke words of adoration to his Lyndsay. I try to hear the sound of her laughter and I wonder if she was as docile as a young woman as she was when I left her side. I like to think she had some sass to her, a mind all her own. 
And now, I shed my cloak of duty and see this place through child-like eyes where I can appreciate the unique colors of the leaves surrounding me: the gold and yellow hues, the reds, browns, and oranges that have dropped over all the leaves on the trees, as if the sprites had been hard at work painting a masterpiece for the world.
Here, beside the sea, there are few days of sunshine. But to feel that occasional beam on my face makes me smile and to breathe in that crisp, sweet air that blends with the brine of the sea, fills my body with comfort and hope before I puff it out in a cloud of smoke from my mouth.
The Autumn Splendor shows me that there is always hope. That all things are temporary. Everything changes constantly. I need to take comfort in that knowledge. It isn’t always easy, but it is beautiful.”

I have a handful of short stories that tell the tale of Aspen’s mother and father, long before she was born. I call these short readings “The Tales of Elgolan”. They are short supplemental readings that expand on a certain story from The Aspen Series. Right now, the first story in the “Tales” stories is available to you at no charge when you join my Lords and Ladies Club. This first installment is called “The Serpent Strikes” and is not available anywhere else, unless you buy the book from my publisher. 

  

I published the next story on Amazon last month, “The Devil’s Lair”. And today, “Brimstone’s Ashes” went live! There are two more installments about Vatric and Lyndsay to go! They will go live on the first of the next two months! All of the “Tales” stories, except #1 are only .99! This isn’t because they are crappy stories, it’s because they are shorter reads than a full novel. So pour a cup of tea and get lost in the dramatic “Tales of Elgolan” stories!

   

 

And on a side note, if you have not yet read Noble Courage, the first of the Aspen Series, you have a couple of options: A. Download from Smashwords for FREE or B. Download from Amazon for .99 (they refuse to match the free price for me, but they might for you). Either way, you get a full novel to read, to love, and to enjoy. I decided to price it lower because it was the first in the series and I love my readers. It’s a great adventure, in my own biased opinion, and I want EVERYONE to feel like they can enjoy it. So how can you give me some love? Read the books, leave me your thoughts, and be a part of my club. Members knew about the release of the “Tales” stories weeks before anyone else. I love to stay in touch with my biggest fans! And the greatest compliment to my work would be to share it with someone you know. Thanks for the love!

  

From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower: A Mother’s Love

  

Having just spent Mother’s Day with my sons, I felt the need to express the joys of motherhood and reflect on the sacrifices made by mothers all the time. I hope you enjoy this little piece of Aspen’s. When you finish, tell your mother you love her.

A mother’s love is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.
~ Aspen Darktower


“I take pause as I watch my little ones play at my feet. Our quarters are close here in Foxglove, so we see the children often. My heart fills with joy each moment I spend with them and it makes me wonder…Did my own mother feel this same sense of happiness as she watched me play?

There were so many things I never got to tell my mother and so few things we ever spoke about.

As my sons talk to each other in a language all their own, my mind wanders to the day my mother passed away. She finally appeared to have found peace despite the fact that her life was taken from her. Still, it was heartbreaking to say goodbye. It was unbearable to return her body to the earth.

There are days that I miss her smile. There was comfort there. There was love. I would give anything to sit with her again and have her brush my hair. I want to wrap her in my arms and offer her the safety within that circle. I wish I could kiss her cheek and feel the warmth of life.

I thought I’d have my whole life to share my love with her. I thought she would enjoy her grandsons. I never thought she would go so soon.

For my mother so loved me that she shielded me from the world. She could not shield me from my Da, so she protected me from everyone else. She loved me enough to insist that I better myself- that I learned from every experience, for she knew of my destiny. I can still hear her haunting words in my mind as I was whisked away from her so young, “Make me proud.”

I threw down upon my mother my feelings of hatred and anger. I lashed out at her with a forked tongue. Every drop of hurt in every tear I cried was wrongfully directed at my mother and Da. I was selfish; she was selfless.

I look at my little boys and I know if I had to endure that much hatred from them, I would be utterly destroyed. It is this realization that floods my soul with unimaginable guilt and plagues me with regret. Once that loved one is gone, there is no reconciliation. There is only the guilt.

And so I find myself in a position of motherhood. The love I feel for my children is overwhelmingly powerful and grows stronger each day. I marvel at my sweet creations and celebrate all that my mother did for me…and continues to do for me, even from the grave. A mother’s love knows no bounds, yet it binds a woman with a power no one else will ever experience. That is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.”

In light of the love between a mother and child, I will be having a sale on my books to celebrate my own mother’s birthday! Mark your calendar for May 31st! Noble Courage will be free and the rest of the series will be a steal at .99 each on Kindle! Happy birthday, mom!

 

My sister left, my mom middle, me right

 

From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower

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Today is a gorgeous day that feels like spring although it’s only February. While Mother Nature may merely be taunting us, I’m enjoying the sunshine as it streams through the windows and I thought of Aspen. What was a refreshing spring day like for her? And so I consulted the record book.

Aspen never dated her ramblings. She merely recorded her life’s details for her children. Upon buying a record book in Foxglove Pass, she began to fill it, and many others, with memories. Enjoy!

“Sometimes I think back to the first day I arrived in Cliffehaven, how frightened I was and how much anger I held within my breast. It’s strange how love is like a seed planted in the soft spring soil. You bury it to forget it exists, down deep where it’s dark and unseen. But how miraculous it is when it is warmed by the affections of another and watered by your tears that it begins to grow…even when you had forgotten it existed. Much like the sun warms a seed and the rain wash it to give it life, love places roots down in that dark place and its substance fills the void with life. As it begins to show evidence of its existence, and is properly manicured and gently tended, love will grow quickly and heartily. And when it matures, it gives off its fruit and rewards the keeper ten-fold.

A strong word of caution: When the spring begins to turn and the heat of scorn or the frigidity of loneliness interferes and that seed begins to die, so will the love that had grown so beautifully. It is then up to the one doing the tending to return it to the life of the spring and once again coax it from that dark place.

Each of us holds a seed within. Each of us can tend another’s seed and either make it grow or kill it. The choice is our own.

I look out over the grand city of Foxglove Pass, at the grandeur of the flags rippling in the breeze beneath the soft blue sky and radiant sunshine and my mind wanders back to home where the gray stones of the castle are cold beneath my hands, the village is bustling with merchants, and clouds of dust billow up from the farmlands as planting begins. If I close my eyes a moment, I can hear the waves of the sea crashing over the shores that are near. Gulls cry out as they fly inland and then back out to the water and the fragrant posies are sweet as I would breathe in the fresh air. Home is a simple place and I miss it so.”