I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Step Back in Time With Me...

by Pat Trainum writing as P. T. Bradley

This is Wednesday Friendship day and I want to bring back my dear friend Sandra Robbins so she can tell you about her latest release, Angel of the Cove. She’s been a great encourager to my writing, but let’s get to her new book.

Sandra, this is a fascinating book. Where did the idea for Angel of the Cove come from?

I have always enjoyed studying history. It fascinates me to find out what the world and the lives of the people who inhabited it were like in times past. The Smoky Mountains have always held a special attraction for me because of the rich history from the Cherokee who lived there to the bustling tourist attraction the area has become today.

A visit to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park will give you an insight into the past especially if you take the time to explore places like Cades Cove. Having visited the Cove on trips to the Smokies, I became interested in the people who lived there in the past and what their lives were like in this remote valley deep in the mountains. This interest led me to research more about the families who were forced to sell their homes and farms to the government when the Park was established, and it saddened me to think of how devastating that must have been for those whose families had called the Cove home for generations.

So as a tribute to those hardy people I decided to tell the fictional story of one family who called the mountain valley home. Angel of the Cove is set in 1894 and introduces the characters of Anna Prentiss, the young girl who comes to the Cove for the summer, Simon Martin, the mountain preacher, and Granny Lawson, a mountain midwife.

One of your characters is a midwife. How hard was that to research?
It really wasn’t that difficult to research. The internet is filled with all kinds of information about the birth of babies and about the problems midwives encountered in mountain areas. With the Cove being so remote, the midwives were the most respected women in the community that really seemed more like a big family. They were called granny women or sometimes angels, thus the name Angel of the Cove.

There is one scene toward the end of the book where Anna must go alone to deliver Martha Martin’s baby because Granny has suffered an accident and can’t walk. When she arrives, she finds the baby is breech. I did a lot of research for that scene. Again the internet is a great tool because I found not only descriptions of a breech delivery, but I also found pictures of what it would look like. Even after I wrote the scene, I wasn’t sure if I had accurately portrayed what would have occurred in the event. So I checked it out with an obstetrician who told me that was exactly correct. I think it’s very important for writers to remember there are people all around us who have expertise in different areas. We should never overlook these experts.

I know this is the first of a series. When does the next book take place?

The second book in the series is Mountain Homecoming. It takes place in 1914, twenty years after Anna first came to the Cove. During this period in the Cove’s history, life was changing for the people who lived there. Lumber companies had discovered the vast tracts of timber covering the Smokies, and they hurried to take advantage of the virgin forests. In those days there was little thought to the environment, and the primary logging practice of companies was to clearcut everything in their path. The Little River Lumber Company alone bought up 86,000 acres of mountain land and began an operation that would continue until the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Mountain Homecoming is the story of Matthew Jackson who returns to live in Cades Cove and Rani Martin, Simon and Anna’s only daughter. As they face a changing future, they must also confront the problems of the past. This is a story of God’s faithfulness throughout the generations.

Angel of the Cove is a great example of how we can be so intent on our own desires we miss God's plan. Has there ever been a time in your life when you chose His plan over what your heart wanted? Leave a comment and tell me how it turned out.




20 comments:

  1. I like this post, Pat. Having been to the Cove many times, this is a must read. Thanks!

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  2. I would love to go to Cades Cove, especially after reading Sandra's book! Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl

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  3. I love the Smokey Mountains and enjoyed touring a homestead because of the preserved history. But it never occurred to me that, in order to create the part, the government forced people to give up their land. I've got to read this book! Pat, thanks for hosting Sandra.

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  4. I've only been through the Smokeys once--loved them--want to go back. It sounds like this book has all my favorite ingredients to add to my must-read list. Thanks, Pat

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  5. Roxanne, Dee, this is a great book. The Smokey Mountains are my favorite mountains to visit. I actually live in what is called the foothills even though our highest elevation point is 100 feet. lol

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  6. Arlene Coulter8/22/12, 1:32 PM

    I can't wait to read this book! Cades Cove is one of my favorite places in the world and the setting for many great childhood memories. Thank you for writing it!

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  7. I'm trying to remember if there was ever a time when I chose God's plan over what my heart wanted. I know there have been far too many times when it was the other way around!

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  8. Arlene, thanks for stopping by! I would love to take a trip to Cades Cove. It sounds like a great place.

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  9. Teri, I'm afraid that's the case here as well, although a few years ago I felt God wanted me to work in the abstinence program instead of writing, and I chose to do that and never regretted it.

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  10. Great post! A time that I chose His plan over mine would have to be when I first took steps to become Catholic. I was a newlywed, and my husband and I were checking out lots of different churches and denominations, trying to find one that felt most like home. I loved the way I felt during Mass, when I physically was moving along with the prayers (kneeling, standing, crossing, participating). I just wasn't sure I felt up to the year-long process of classes to officially become a Catholic. I didn't know where to begin. And then, out of the blue, and acquaintance said he had seen me at Mass. He asked if I was member, and when I said no, he told me exactly who to contact for the classes -- which began the next week. It was too perfectly wrapped and handed to me to not realize it was His gift. I signed up and couldn't be happier.

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  11. Beth, what an awesome story! Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for stopping by.

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  12. What a wonderful post! I love the cover. Best of luck with your novel!

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  13. Like so many other commenters, I love the Appalachians. My mom and I averaged driving 12 miles an hour when we drove the Skyline a few years ago. We do a bit better than that on the Blue Ridge.

    Sandra, your stories sound so interesting. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and love of that beautiful region.

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  14. I think I've been behind you, Johnnie...lol. Seriously, I've been to different parts of the Appalachians and they're just gorgeous.

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  15. Thanks for the fun interview, Pat!

    Great to get to know you better, Sandra.

    I love the cover of the book. It's going on my TBR list!

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  16. Loree, thanks for stopping by. Glad I've added a new book to your list!

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  17. Thanks Patricia. Yes, Cades Cove makes a great setting.

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  18. I'm late to reply, but the cover is beautiful, and the story sounds wonderful.

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