There's a fun promotion running right now where you can get a lot of YA and Children's books for free, including my book, Victoria: A Tale of Spain. The giveaway runs through March 16 and includes a wide diversity of kid's books from preschool to YA. There's something for everyone. Download as many books as you want by subscribing to the author's newsletters here. If you're already on my newsletter, you can also download Victoria: A Tale of Spain from the promo. Just enter your email. If you run into a problem, use this link instead. And be sure to check out all the other authors!
. . . . .
For almost 15 years, A Year with the Harrisons remained the same. The book was begun in 2005, released to some early readers in 2010, and the primary difference when it was finally published in 2018 was that people weren’t as friendly about it as they’d been when reading the manuscript years earlier. A few touch-ups to polish it further and trim a little padding last year were just cosmetic work on a book that was now at a standstill. But the story itself remained steady and constant. In the book, the characters themselves, a family of homeschooled girls, comment on how stationary their world is. Their home, visited by their aunt 40 years ago as a teenager, is just the same when she steps back into it.
But this year, the Harrison time-warp finally wasn’t there anymore. Something really changed. It used to be a very bouncy, cheerful sort of book, packed with slightly cartoonish, slice-of-life incidents. (Think Dickens, since 19th-century novels were an inspiration for writing the Harrisons.) And that content is still there, but somehow A Year with the Harrisons has become very quiet. Letty, the heroine, seems to have changed a lot more than just her age shooting down from the first draft. She had been a college girl and was now in high school—not a huge change and mostly made to market the book a little younger since I publish a lot of books with that angle. But Letty is . . . different. After all these years of working with the character, I feel as if I suddenly don’t know her.
Betty, Letty's father’s cousin, helms the second half of the story, which is about Mr. Harrison’s side of the family. I included her to give a small-town flavor to the community where the Harrison girls live. Originally Betty seemed a bit cynical, a working woman and rather bored single mother managing her life. But lately it seems there’s more to her plot than that. Her interest in the homeschooling family is shown in the first chapter and while it’s not aggressive, I’d call it watchful. Observant of them. Every time she sees Letty, she asks her questions—to which Letty replies off-handedly, not aware that Betty might be watching her family. Letty’s lack of insecurity about this means she and Betty are pretty cordial considering they have little in common and Betty is much older.
And that’s just one of the relationships. In A Year with the Harrisons, something is not what it used to be. People have gone from this quiet story—but they’ve been replaced by someone else.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
This blog serves as the newsletter for Sarah Scheele.com. Posts are delivered to your inbox every Saturday. For fast subscription instead of visiting a link to another website, fill out the form below and you will receive the 9-Chapter Sampler shown above, in PDF. To get the book in Epub or Mobi formats you will need to use the external link above.
When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.