Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. As I began to lay the foundation for my latest novel, Where Dandelions Bloom, several factors were easy. I already knew I wanted to base the heroine on the story of real-life Civil War hero and spy Sarah “Emma” Edmonds. Cassie Kendrick was birthed from Emma’s struggles . . . running from an abusive, alcoholic father determined to marry her off to an even more abusive man. To escape a fate that seemed worse than death, Cassie dons the uniform of a soldier and enlists in the Union Army. The hero, Gabriel Avery, was completely fictitious but inspired by Civil War photographers like Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, whose work completely changed how war was reported to the public. Gabriel is running from the darkness of his past by trying to find his worth in recognition. I came up with the idea for young, precocious Jonah Pfifer when I stumbled across some fascinating research. The youngest soldier in the American Civil War was only nine years old! Most people assume children were only used as drummer boys and buglers, but as the war dragged on, and casualties increased by alarming numbers, recruitment offices became desperate….
Who doesn’t love an old fashioned ghost story? Whether it’s something scary on Halloween or a frightening tale told late at night sitting around a campfire, ghost stories have been around for as long as humans have been telling stories. In fact, I’m such a fan of ghost stories I created a whole series “Secrets of Redemption” that combines the psychological thriller genre with a haunted house. (Because who doesn’t love a haunted house? Except … is the house even haunted? Hmmm.) And, to celebrate the launch of the 3rd book The Evil That Was Done in my award-winning “Secrets of Redemption” series, I thought I’d dive into the question of why ARE we so obsessed with ghosts. Below are five reasons to help explain our ghostly fascinations: 1. Overall, stories provide a safe container for us to feel our emotions. So many of us spend our lives trying to push our uncomfortable emotions away (such as sadness and worry and shame), or numb them or run away from them or whatever it takes to not feel them. The problem with that is if we aren’t feeling our difficult emotions, we also aren’t feeling our joyful, happy emotions. And, as…
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