Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tiffany Amber Stockton’s Clash

Tiffany Amber Stockton’s Liberty’s Promise competed at Clash of the Titles during our Best Hook—Historical week. Here’s a treat for you. The opening paragraphs of the book…
Heedless of the home-stitched stockings showing at her knees, Raelene Strattford ran down the tree-lined lane, her skirts flying behind her. Strands of hair from her crown of braids came loose and flailed in the cool breeze. After being cooped inside the house for the past week, abed with a fever, it should have been refreshing, but Raelene was distracted by the lone wagon coming toward her.

It wasn’t the one she expected. This one belonged to her neighbors, not her mother and father. One man drove it at a dirge-like pace as another walked alongside, both with heads down. But what made Raelene run even harder were the two workhorses tied behind it. Her family’s workhorses! That could only mean. . .

A sob tore through her body.

Tiffany’s excerpt would have worked beautifully for our current Clash--Most Gut-wrenching. Check out this paragraph found further on in the excerpt…

Mama and Papa lay in the back of the wagon, bloodied and battered. She covered her mouth to catch the moan rising from the center of her anguish, but it escaped. And with it, Raelene’s strength. Her knees buckled, and she would have landed on the ground had it not been for two strong arms that held her upright.

Imagine the horror of finding both your parents in such a state? Gut-wrenching, indeed. It was this depth of emotion that drew us to Tiffany’s excerpt.

I happen to have read Liberty’s Promise and can attest to its historical fluency. Set in farm country of colonial Delaware, it had elements that are both unique and familiar. Tiffany admits that one of her favorite time periods is Colonial. “I'm fascinated by the founding fathers and the people who forged the great nation of the United States.” That fascination led her pen a novel filled with all the rugged, romance of our infant nation.

And soon, we’re to see more of Delaware from this multi-published author who says, “I am about to start a new series set in Delaware during the late 1800's, so you can bet you'll see references to my first series set in Delaware, even though there's over 100 years difference in the time periods.” Fun, fun! Delaware’s not a state we read about much. It’s rather tiny and generally forgotten.

In England, I visited Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest and Major Oak, a tree estimated to be 800-1000 years old. I stood there in awe and wondered what secrets it held. What stories could that tree tell? My imagination went wild.

Tiffany had a similar experience, but instead of wondering the stories, she wrote them. This is Tiffany’s tale of how Liberty’s Promise came to be…

“About eight years ago, I was driving by a house that I passed almost every day while running my usual errands. This day, in particular, something made me stop the car on the other side of the road. I rolled down the window and looked at the historic marker at the edge of the driveway with a notation that said, “circa 1740.” I thought to myself, “If only those walls could speak.” What a story they would tell! That started me on a research journey where I learned everything I could about the home, only to learn that not a lot was known or recorded about the actual family who lived there for nearly 200 years before the house and original land was sold at a state auction. So, being the writer that I am, I took a literary license and … made it up!”

Well, you did a fine job, sweetie! We were honored to have you at COTT.

Learn more about Tiffany at her website.

Up next week, host Jennifer Slattery with one of the authors from our October Nature Scenes Clash.

A guest post by April Gardner. April is the founder and senior editor of Clash of the Titles and author of the best-selling novel, Wounded Spirits.

Sorry folks, this is not a giveaway but come back tomorrow for a spotlight and giveaway with Cheryl Moeller. =) And don't forget that we DO have a giveaway today with Leann Harris.

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