Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LINDA SWIFT--GUEST AUTHOR


Please welcome Linda Swift, guest author, as she reveals her newest release titled This Time Forever, a Civil War novel.
Posted by Celia Yeary
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To quote the famous lines of Sir Walter Scott,  "Breathes there the man with soul so dead"… Or "Southern author who has no Civil War book in her head."

I have always known I would one day write a story about this fascinating war when brothers fought brothers and a whole way of life disappeared forever.

 Gone with the Wind remains my all-time favorite book and movie (and not because Clark Gable played Rhett Butler although that was a plus). And later the TV mini-series North and South  took  permanent first place for TV shows.

My story was a long time in the making and it has had a difficult journey thus far. Kentucky is a border state and I had to live in Alabama and Tennessee before I absorbed true Southern culture. Then I spent time in New York State and experienced a different way of life.

Somewhere along the way, Philip Burke appeared.
In the same way, Clarissa came to live in my head.

Philip was a good man, but he was conflicted. He wanted to be something his family opposed but he did not want to oppose his family. Fighting a war was not in his plans but his conscience would not let him do otherwise. He believed himself to be in love with a "suitable" woman and asked her to marry him. Then fate brought him to Whitehaven and Clarissa and his first word to her foretold his future.

 Clarissa was a true Southern belle, beautiful and genteel but underneath had the courage and determination of a "steel magnolia" to quote this overused clichĂ©.  She had married of necessity and had no idea what passion was until Philip defined it. She, too, was conflicted. She had a mother's deep devotion to her children, but revulsion for a husband who used and abused her. Then she was confronted with desire and denial and guilt. At times, I wanted her to be more aggressive and independent than she was, but the restraints of the times held her back and I couldn’t rewrite history.
 
There were certain poignant sections of history that I made great effort to include such as the Christmas Eve when both armies were facing, ready for battle, but joined each other singing Christmas carols and patriotic songs. Who could not read that and weep?

 And who  could  not weep when they got a rejection letter after such a marathon writing frenzy? And only because it was "more story" than this publisher was currently accepting. More rejections followed but finally an acceptance and publication in the first year of the CW Sesquicentennial. I am embarrassed to say that I did not promote it as it deserved and it went largely unnoticed.
THREE ACTORS IN THE FILM
CLARISSA'S WAR-ADAPTED FROM THE NOVEL
THIS TIME FOREVER


 Now in the last year of the Sesquicentennial it is being released again,
and this time I hope to do it justice.


And since a short film titled Clarissa's War has been adapted from the book and is being filmed this autumn in Nashville, TN by Reel Cool Films,
I think This Time Forever is finally going to fulfill its destiny.
 
~~*~~LINDA SWIFT - BIO

     Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Linda holds an Education Specialist Degree from Murray State University with post-graduate work from U. of Alabama and was a teacher, counselor, and psychometric in public schools in three states. She credits her husband and adult children for providing encouragement and technical support necessary for survival in the cyberspace world

Linda's first two books were published by Kensington. She currently has thirteen e-books (and print) available from Amazon and other distributors. This Time Forever was released Oct. 1st and a short film titled Clarissa's War is being adapted from the book by Reel Cool Films of Nashville, Tennessee.
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Blurb:

The Civil War brought casualties beyond the bloody battlefields as North fought South. Philip Burke, against his family's wishes, volunteered to defend the Union and became a prisoner of war who bartered his medical expertise to remain out of prison. When the Union Army invaded Tennessee, Clarissa Wakefield's antebellum mansion became a Confederate hospital.  Philip was placed in charge and against propriety she volunteered to stay on and help nurse the wounded. Clarissa's husband was a Confederate soldier and Philip's fiancĂ©e waited for him in Oswego but the fire between them soon raged out of control.
As the opposing armies fought for possession of Chattanooga, Clarissa and Philip faced their own battle. Caught in the passions of war and love, with hurt inevitable either way, would they be faithful to their vows or listen to their hearts?
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Excerpt: Philip and Clarissa meet

            Clarissa made a slight curtsey to the lieutenant as he took her proffered hand and bowed politely.

             "My pleasure, madam."

            Then she extended her hand part way toward the captain before she saw that he wore a faded Federal uniform. She stopped and glanced uncertainly at Lieutenant Johnson.

            "Captain Burke is a Confederate prisoner, ma'am," he told her, "but you have nothing to fear. He is also a surgeon and will be in charge of the hospital here."

            "Oh, I see." Unsure what protocol dictated, again she tentatively extended her hand. It was taken with a touch so gentle she would not have felt it except for the tremor that passed between them at the contact, causing her to look up into the most penetrating eyes she had ever seen.

            For a long moment they stood, warm brown eyes lost in the depths of cool deep blue, then the captain made a visible effort to break the spell and spoke softly. "Charmed."
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The print and ebook are now available at Amazon and Smashwords.



 ~~*~~*~~

 Linda Swift
"Tales That Touch The Heart"
My Facebook Page
My Amazon Page
My Website

46 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to be your guest today, Celia. I hope to chat with your SOTW members and other readers during the day.For now, I'll wish everyone a good morning and a good cup of coffee. Which reminds me, I need to have one myself.

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  2. I enjoyed reading this book. I laughed in places, but cried some too. So horrifying to realize the losses on our own soil and how inadequate medical care was for many of the soldiers. But the growing romance, the emotional depth, and the interesting characters kept me turning pages.

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  3. Thank you for taking the time to comment today, Rebecca. I have to confess that I cried a few times writing this book as well! And to me the saddest part of the book was when Jeb died at Stone's River. I was crying the whole time I wrote that and he wasn't even one of the main characters but I think he personified the average soldier in any war who just does his duty without queastioning why. And sometimes give his life as well.

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  4. I just adore the stories of long ago. My daughter is the one to do genealogy for our family, and almost anyone who asks for help, but to have a story that goes along with names is so much joy. They actually did live! Reading your Civil War story is wonderful! Thank you!

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  5. I enjoyed your post, Linda. How true, you can't rewrite history. My family was very close and they fought on both sides. It must have been heartbreaking. Best luck!

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  6. I love,love,love anything to do with the Civil War, Celia! And while it's true that a lot of people think all Civil War romances are cliche; when you delve into historical facts, there are so many stories with many diversified characters that can come out of that setting.

    Best of luck with your story! Hope it gets the attention it deserves.

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  7. Linda, this sounds like a wonderful story. I hope our country never has to face this kind of war again.

    Your story will get the attention it needs this time, Linda.

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  8. Linda, I love the south and its stories. You book and film sounds great and I wish you luck in both.

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  9. I have to be away all afternoon but I'll be back online and respond to every one of your comments. And thank you so mcuh for taking the time to leave them. They WILL be answered. Do come back later.

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  10. How exciting that a movie is being made from your novel! I don't see many Civil War novels these days, just as I don't see anything set in the Revolutionary War era. I think both periods make for exciting historical romances.

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  11. My grandmother taught American History for thirty-five years and absolutely loves anything about the civil war era. Glaucoma has taken her ability to read fine print, but I loaded your book onto her kindle last week as it will read books aloud to her. She usually listens to a chapter or two per night, but told me she has broken her rule for your book and expects to finish it tonight or tomorrow. Your characters have come alive, even through a mechanical voice. I have been commissioned to tell you that she likes how you have balanced the good and bad motivations of each side of the conflict, and that she adores Philip.

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  12. Wonderful post, Linda. I love historicals from almost every time period. Was it hard to do research on medical practices during the Civil War?

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  13. Thank you for your comments, momofemmett. A very unusual name here. Makes me want to know the story behind it! I wish I'd had the patience to pursue genealogy but after a short while I gave it up. As the only child of an only child with no grandchildren, it seemed a rather pointless hobby. I do have many family records and photos from my mother's side of the family and I am always amazed to find a cousin or aunt from whom I seem to have developed some traits.

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  14. Rose, I agree that the Civil War was a very tragic war, especially with family members on both sides of the conflict. It was a very emotional story to tell and keep the family events correlated with the ongoing battles of the war. And I felt very obligated to get those right! Thanks for your coomments.

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  15. Susan, I agree with your feeling for the Civil War period. I could write many stories about this without running out of plots. But I have chosen to write my next story about Philip's and Clarissa's children. And not problem about calling me Celia. We confess to being "cyberspace sisters."

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  16. Thank you for your comments, Sandy. And I'm certainly trying to give This Time Forever all the help I can this time around. It truly is the "book of my heart" and I still feel guilty that I had five books released that first time it came out, (with five different publishers) and I just didn't do it justice. I'm trying to make amends now!

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  17. Thank you, Judy, for your good wishes. And I do think there are few people, in the South anyway, who don't love a Civil War story.And even people in other countries seem fascinated with our US Civil War.

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  18. Jacqueline, when I first wrote This Time Forever, my agent could not get a single publisher interested in it due to the subject not being in vogue. But the Sesquicentennial four years ago changed that somewhat. There were several romances released on the subject, but the current world events have overshadowed the commemoration and now near the end of the four year period of the Sesquicentennial things are winding down. But I like to think with Robert Browning "The best is yet to be." Maybe This Time Forever will have its day in the spotlight before the music dies dowon!

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  19. Renee, you post has brought tears to my eyes. My mother had Glaucoma and would have been blind is she had lived a little longer. My husband also has an eye problem that has affected his activities so I sympathize with her problem. And what a compliment that she is breaking her self-imposed rule to "read" on through my book. She has "seen" exactly what I tried to do, with balancing the good, bad, rich, poor, white, black and show that there truly was no right or wrong, just a tragic situation that had to dealth with by all the characters in this book. Oh, do let me know her comments on the end of the book. I want to hear how she felt about it. I can't tell you how much I thank you for taking time to share her story with me.

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  23. Thank you for your comments and complients, Linda. As to your question, there was quite a bit of information on the medical practices of the time. I was not using Google or online research a lot when I wrote this so I found most of my information from library books. And I must have gotten it right as my book has been approved by the Chattanooga Historical Society and three Civil War Museum Directors!

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  24. PS Renee Reynolds. Please tell your grandmother she will have to get in line for Philip! EVERYONE loves him, and me most of all!

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  26. Hi--I am Celia, the blog administrator. Linda, somehow your reply to Renee got repeated five times, then the second reply to her was repeated twice. Yahoo must have done a stutter-step.
    I just wanted you to know nothing was wrong....except all the repeats.
    And now, we'll continue with our regularly scheduled program.

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  27. Your book sounds very interesting, Linda. And your path to publication, then the difficulties that have ensued in promoting your efforts as well, is both frustrating and heartening: frustrating because you had to try so hard to get it out there and then not much happened, but heartening because you did not give up.

    Best of luck, and I hope the short film helps greatly.

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  28. Beth, the difficulties I have experienced with This Time Forever have made it more dear to me and determined to promote it to the fullest this time. There are many cliches I could quote here to describe my determination but this one says it all. "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
    Thanks for your comments and good wishes.

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  29. Linda, I'll have to read This Time Forever. I love a good Civil War story, and this one sounds exceptional -- mostly because the story took over and wouldn't let you fit it into any preconceived mold. I admire authors who hold tight to their vision and create the stories they were meant to tell.

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  30. Yes, Kathleen. This Time Forever was a story that definitely "told itself." I had slowly written the first five chapters, getting acquainted with the characters, and submitted that to a publisher who wanted to see "the rest of it." There was no "rest" but I promised to send it as soon as I made a few edits. This turned out to be 17 more chapters and I felt as though I was just recording the story from that point on. Writing as fast as I could, I could scarcely keep up with what was happening in the story. Oh, and don't forget the $2.99 sale ends Oct. 15th.

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  31. Congratulations, Linda on getting the movie made based on your novel. Outstanding! I hope there will be more to come from some of your other works.

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  32. I tried about ten times to comment yesterday and blogger messed with me grrrrr. Welcome to Sweethearts, Linda. I love this post and yowzers, a movie yet! Congrats. We just returned from a trip down South and I just reveled in the history from the South's point of view. I was SO glad to learn why Beaufort SC and Savannah were spared Yankee wrath, and saddened to learn of the engineer who "planned" Sherman's burning of Atlanta. Wow. A man trained to build up then using his gift to destroy. Anyway, I love it when our own books make us cry! You nailed that. Best wishes and come back soon.

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  33. JD,thank you for your congratulations. This will just be a short film done by an independent film company to be shown at film festivals and ultimately will be available for download online for a fee. (I don't know much about the latter just yet) And yes, I have some suspense short stories that I would love to have Reel Cool Films consider but first this one. And if you want to know more about the progress of the film, "like" my This Time Forever FB page. Here's the link:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/This-Time-Forever/695625847197456?ref=hl

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  34. Tanya, thank you for not giving up! You musst be a Taurus like me. Or suffer from "dog with a bone syndrome" as I do. Read my comments to JD and I won't repeat myself about the film. I'm so happy your visit to the "deep South" was a great experience. I wish you could have visited Chattanooga where most of This Time Forever is set. I lived there four years and it was like living in a Civil War Museum. I know the experience inspired me to write this story.

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  35. Linda, I am reading This Time Forever. I like that you kept it "real". I can see all the research and hard work you put into this story. I wish you all the best of everything.

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  36. A fascinating period in our history, and poorly understood as the generations pass. Thanks, Linda, for your hard work.

    I recall my mother reading GWTW a page at a time while doing her housework.

    -- Dac Crossley

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  37. I'd love to see the film, Linda! Although I'm British, I'm still fascinated by the Civil War (and even went on a guided battlefield tour in VA, MD and PA a few years ago). Your story reminded me of the John Jakes trilogy, and I especially liked the way you told us about Philip and Clarissa long before they actually met, leaving me wondering just how they were going to meet (and of course that kept me turning the pages to find out!)

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  38. Linda, the book sounds wonderful. Remind me a bit of the movie Horse Soldiers with William Holden as a Union surgeon. Boy, did he look good in that uniform!

    It's so cool that your book is being made into a film. I sympathize with your difficulties in getting it published. I had the same problems with my French & Indian War story. Hope the book does well this time around.

    I haven't written about the Civil War, not yet anyway, but two of my ancestors fought, though both for the Union. My husband had an ancestor who was a Confederate. Old times not forgotten, as the song says.

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  39. Thank you for your good wishes, Sarah. And I hope you are enjoying This Time Forever. It was interesting that you commented that I kept it "real." I really had no choice. These people became real to me. If you want to keep up with what is happening as the film making moves along, check out my FB post tonight. I'm talking about Whitehaven being found.

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  40. Thank you for commenting, Dac. And yes, it was a fascinating period in history. There was so much more involved than the issue of slavery and I did try to show that in this book. I can just see your mother doing her housework and stealing a few moments to read a page from GWTW. She would not have dared let the housework go and read the whole book first, would she? That is the way women are programed to make choices, or at least was in my generation!

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  41. Thank you so much for your comments, Paula. And even though you are in the UK, when this short film finishes its appointed rounds to film festivals, it will be available online for download for a small fee, in a new program that I have to learn more about from the director of Reel Cool Films before I explain it further.
    As for Philip and Clarissa not meeting until several chapters into the book...I actually had a publisher who wanted the story to begin when they met and let the other information become backstory. And it could have done so. I wrote an new beginning and let the meeting become Chapter 1 but so much of the reasons behind the war and the attitudes of the people of both North and South about the war, and disbelief that it could happen were lost. And I simply could not cut all that out, not even to get a book contract!

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  42. Linda, thank you for your nice comments. I am not familiar with the movie you spoke of but wish I'd seen it. I keep stressing that this short film by a small independent film company is not going to be a Hollywood production but I'm proud to be involved with it none the less. And your comments prove the point of how families were split by this war. In the past, you and your husband could probably have never met and married!

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  43. The second day of my guest blog is almost over. I want to thank all who have visited for your thoughtful comments. And a special thanks again to Celia Yeary for the invitation to be here. I will check back tomorrow in case there are any late comments that I need to read.

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  44. Linda, congratulations on your success. And what fun to have a movie made from your book! Wishing you continued success.

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  45. Thank you, Caroline. It's nice to see you. And I wish you to be back to full health and energy soon.

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