Winner in General Fiction for 2015
A Laurel Award Finalist,
A Selah Award Finalist,
A Genesis semi-finalist,
a . . .
and an . . .
Now available in audio book!
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The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
About the book:
Twenty years earlier
The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched.
The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark.
“Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing away the fear.
Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him.
“And she’ll read to us, and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear. She rolled over.
Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room. Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
“Please. That hurts.”
“Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn’t open. Just like when she and Mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes.
Rubbing at her eyes, the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money.
It's a funny thing: imagination and where it will take you.
Dan, my husband, came up with the idea for the plot of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. Because we like to keep up with various current events throughout the country, awhile back, the cult news in Texas caught our eyes and we began a "what-if" session.
- What if there was a cult?
- What kind of odd and sometimes scary habits could the cult exhibit?
- What if the protagonist was a woman--a strong woman who fought against the cult?
- What could possibly give a woman the courage to fight against this cult?
Some of the problems I needed to be careful of:
- I had to develop the Caralynne character angry and bitter enough to cause havoc yet write her as a sympathetic, likeable person to the reader. If the story was to work, doing this was a have-to
- Research was vital. Three of the things I checked on were:
- Keeping track of ages was a biggie. Countless times I changed the age of different characters. The timeline had to be right for everything to come together correctly.
- Another item that took care was the Elder Simmons character. He was/is so evil, so obnoxious, it was difficult deciding on one "good" trait within him. It would have been easy to not allow him even one. But I did.
- The last thing I'll mention is similiar to Number four. Although the cult is wicked and seriously lacking in true biblical doctrine, and the men are cruel and abusive, I showed them as good providers of the home and hard workers.
And the Answer to the Sixty-four Dollar Question
* The Children of Righteous Cain, the cult.
* Use the Discussion questions for the novel in your
book groups, church groups, etc.
* information about West Virginia,
* fun facts,
* and a few recipes.
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