Shannon here: Ada Brownell shares an excerpt from her latest Historical Romance, Love’s Delicate Blossom. Comment or answer the question at the end to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Feb 2nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Ada:
HOPE OR ONLY A BOX?
Joe Nichols had seen a Hope Chest before. His three sisters had them. Theirs were beautiful oak chests lined with aromatic cedar. They were about the size of a traveling trunk, but some much smaller. Beautiful pieces of furniture, often hand made, and they were valuable for blanket and quilt storage.
So why had the mention of a Hope Chest, or even the thought of it strike fear in his heart?
This excerpt from Love’s Delicate Blossom gives a little insight:
“Just spread the quilt top out here,” Mama said.
Joe stood by watching Amy spread the quilt.
“Oh, this is beautiful,” Mama said, her eyes shining. “This top must be about two-thirds completed. Sure. I’ll show you what to do. Haven’t you ever quilted before?”
“No. Mama always insisted I practice the piano. But now I’m trying to get things to put in my Hope Chest. Daddy made it for me a couple of years ago and I’m getting old enough I should be filling it up. I should have started one when I was 13 or 14.”
Joe felt himself grinning. He might be one of those standing in line to court her. Yet in the back of his mind he pictured the pretty redhead he met in Iowa. He’d never seen a woman that made his heart thump like that one. Spunk, grit and beauty flowed into her like a sunrise, promising great things for the future. A woman like that would be a great wife, but she wasn’t here.
“Mother, Amy and I couldn’t help but smell all the good things you’re preparing for supper, and I mentioned maybe she should stay and eat with us.”
Mama turned her head and looked Joe’s way. “Why that’s a great idea, Joe. Amy, if you have a phone at your house, call your father and ask is he’d like to come over too.”
“My father will be home from the feed store soon,” Joe added, “and I’m sure he would enjoy visiting with your dad.”
Amy quickly turned and folded up the quilt top, “Daddy’s always tired in the evening. I left soup on the back of the stove. If I can use your phone I’ll call him and tell him I’m staying a while. Surely he can find the soup, a bowl and the crackers.”
In just a few minutes she phoned her pa and came back in the kitchen beaming with pleasure.
While Joe went out to milk the cows, Amy and Mama buried themselves in women talk. Joe knew while he fed the chickens and took care of the milk, they would make the biscuits and coffee, set the table, and have everything ready to eat. When Joe walked in to the house, Pop already was seated at the head of the table talking to the pretty young lady and having a good time.
A shudder went down Joe’s back. His sisters were so much older, so he wasn’t aware that girls started collecting things for their married life so young. His jaw dropped as he quickly washed. It was almost like they started setting a trap for men, hoping to catch one. He remembered overhearing girls talk about their hope chests and all the nice things they’d have for the “married life.”
It made sense if they were courting or engaged—but it sure sounded like a trap to him when women started making and collecting things for a home—expecting to catch a man.
Suddenly Amy didn’t look so pretty. He’d better watch his step or he’d get stuck courting her and then the trap would spring. No. He would avoid beautiful women until he was sure he had the right one.
He pulled out Amy’s chair and sat across from her. Then her dark brown eyes connected with his. She smiled. He flashed one back, and still stared into those chocolate brown snappy eyes. His heart quickened to an interesting rhythm. He shook his head, looked away, and then realized Pop was getting ready to pray. Joe shut his eyes tighter than normal. Staring into the eyes of a beautiful woman could be as dangerous as hooking eyes with a wolf. Either one could spring and you’d be dead meat.
About Ada: A redhead and the eighth child in her family, Ada Brownell looks at things from a different angle. Ever thought about what’s in a fertilized egg? She knows when she eats her breakfast egg, there’s the DNA for feathers, the rooster’s crow, the scratchy feet, the capacity to grow, walk, peck, fly short distances, digest food, and even create eggs and other chickens.
So when Ada wrote Love’s Delicate Blossom, she took a good look at peach flowers and noticed they’re as amazing as a chicken, even if they don’t squawk. Like the egg, the most important thing in a blossom is life, if it’s still attached to the tree. That’s just the beginning of the awesome blossom. Love also is a living substance, born, nurtured, and sometimes everlasting.
Ada is the author of nine books, fiction and non-fiction, that reflect her brand: Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She has written hundreds of articles and stories for Christian publications, and even more as news articles when she worked as a journalist at The Pueblo Chieftain, the last seven years as a medical writer.
She’s been married sixty-five years, has five children (one in heaven), nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Ada has played the piano or organ for churches, sang in choirs, trios, as a soloist; plus taught church youth for at least thirty years. Learn more and connect:
Ada’s Blog Ada’s Amazon Author Page
About the book – Love’s Delicate Blossom: A Christian historical romantic suspense that could cause your heart to skip a beat, make you weep, shudder, laugh, and rejoice. Love’s Delicate Blossom sets a tone and opens a world from your great-grandmother’s time. Reader: The historical elements are what readers read the genre for.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Love’s Delicate Blossom – Amazon
Question for Readers: If you had a “Hope Chest what did you put in it? Did the men you dated know you had one?”
Shelia Hall says
Yes,I had a hope chest! Had sheets,dishes,quilts and other things that you would need to set up housekeeping!
Candace West Posey says
Yes! And I still have mine. It’s cedar on the inside and filled with all kinds of trinkets, my baby clothes and blankets, and my wedding dress.
We didn’t have those here where I live, at least none that I knew of.
Shannon Vannatter says
Hey Ada, my parents had a cedar chest made for me for my birthday when I was a teenager. I mainly put keepsakes in it, but I did buy a few dishes from a yard sale and put in it. My soon to be husband knew I bought the dishes at the time. I don’t think girls really do hope chests anymore since there are wedding showers now. It was a nice tradition though.
Wendy Newcomb says
I did not have a hope chest but if I had, I’d have put a quilt in there, handmade by me mom.
wfnren at aol dot com
Shannon Vannatter says
I have a winner! Wendy Newcomb won the drawing. I appreciate Ada for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.