26 June 2020

The Melody of Mulberries | Excerpt + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


This sequel to The Whispering of the Willows is set in the late 1920s' Appalachia, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart.

This Big Creek sequel follows the lives and loves of two siblings. Coral determines to visit the family's nemesis, Charlie, now in prison for the rape of her sister, Emerald, and the murder of her inlaw. When Mercy re-enters brother Ernest's life, he has already found a new attraction in his elder brother's widow.

Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish purple berries were soft and sweet - perfect for pies and jams.

When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds. When the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.

Where Emerald Ashby's story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, sixteen-year-old Coral Ashby's story begins. Like the changing mulberries, Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate life through the late 1920s. Coral is determined to visit the family nemesis, Charlie, who now stews in prison.

When Ernest's previous love interest, Mercy, returns to the holler of Big Creek, she discovers that his heart is now singing a melody for Charlotte, the older Ashby brother's widow. But Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools and a special friend who guides her way.

Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.

Publisher: Capture Books
Release Date: September 1, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


EXCERPT

“Charlie, we’re having a not-so-nice meeting today, and I’m thinkin’ we need to talk about pleasantries,” she began. “Do you know why I’m liking mulberries so much? I like the pies and jams and the berries picked fresh, but someday I am wanting to touch silk, and, in other parts of the world, them silkworms do enjoy eating the mulberry leaves.”

“You is done crazy,” Charlie declared.

“Sometimes I am,” she answered. “But among the women in the holler there’s a longin’ for finer things. Not to get rich and leave their husbands and littles but just to know about and touch and see.”

She could feel Lottie and Office Handley looking at her.

Charlie shifted in his chair. “I’ll be remembering that the next time I go courtin’.”

“Tell me about courting, Charlie. I ain’t never been.”

“Well, if courtin’ is meeting gals in speakeasies and doing unspeakables, I have plenty to be telling.”

“I ain’t never been in a speakeasy either.”

She could see Charlie softening.

“Coral, gals like you don’t belong in such places. They belong in churches wearing white and marrying men who will treat ‘um right.”

“Charlie, men like you don’t belong in such places neither. There’s a better way. You belong in church wearing your finest, waiting for a pretty gal to say ‘I do.’”

“That ain’t gonna happen’. You and me both knows it.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tonya Jewel Blessing 
National/International Speaker, Published Author, Co-Founder/Director Strong Cross Ministries

Tonya grew up in rural Ohio. She currently lives in South Africa with her husband of 35 years. Tonya decided to trust Jesus for the destination of her young soul at the age of four. As a young adult, she worked for a well known television evangelist, and traveled with a Christian drama group throughout the Midwest.

Tonya attended Arapahoe Community College and Akron University, and has enjoyed a trusted position in formal and informal ministry settings and training opportunities. Tonya also worked as a children’s pastor, youth pastor, and women’s pastor. She served on staff at Praise Church in Littleton, Colorado for a number of years, and also worked as the Director of Women’s Ministries for Journey Church in Strasburg, Colorado. She has served on a number of ministry boards that support concerns for women.

Tonya and her husband operated Strong Cross Ranch Colorado for over eleven years, a place of respite for missionaries and ministers. They had the honor of hosting over 2,000 guests during that time frame. The Blessings relocated their ministry to South Africa in June of 2012. The ministry continues to serve and partner with local pastors and missionaries through a variety of creative and responsible means. The Blessings oversee building projects, feeding programs, educational services, interventions, and church planting.

Tonya is a well-known national and international speaker, often serving women in areas of the world which cannot be publicized. She writes articles and devotionals for missions’ magazines and women’s groups and is also a published author. She is the author of two historical fiction books The Whispering of the Willows and The Melody of the Mulberries. Both novels are set in Big Creek, West Virginia, during the late 1920’s. Tonya has also co-authored a devotional called Soothing Rain: Living Water to Refresh Your Soul. All three of Tonya’s books have received literary awards.

Tonya enjoys speaking and sharing her life with women at retreats and events. She thinks that women are amazing, and appreciates that the female gender is multifaceted yet fragile creations of God. In her personal life and as a speaker, Tonya believes that God’s Word is powerful, and needs to be read and written on her heart and on the hearts of women everywhere. For additional information, please review her author and ministry webpage.

She was ordained in 2011 and is currently pursuing further pastoral and biblical studies. For additional information regarding Strong Cross Ministries South Africa, please visit the ministry web page – www.strongcrossministries.org.


GIVEAWAY


One winner will receive a $30 Amazon Gift Card

Open internationally (to those who can use one of Amazon's branches)
Ends July 1, 2020

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