Sunday, September 28, 2014
EVERYTHING (ALMOST) YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CHERYL PIERSON by Cheryl Pierson
Well, here’s a bit about me. I’m from Oklahoma, born and raised here. My parents and two “much older” sisters and I lived in Duncan, where I was born, until the summer I turned 6—that was 1963. That summer, my dad, who worked in the oilfields as a chemical engineer, was transferred to Seminole. My oldest sister, Annette, had managed to graduate from Duncan High School, but my middle sister, Karen, was going to have to do her last two years in Seminole.
We were pretty much the typical family, like the Cleavers, only Mom didn’t vacuum in high heels and pearls like June did. She kept busy with my sister Karen’s activities, and I started first grade that year at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, just a three-block hike from my front door.
THIS IS ME AT AGE 3--TAKEN FROM A LARGER PICTURE OF THE FAMILY TOGETHER. MY DAD LOVED TO EXPERIMENT WITH PHOTOGRAHY
I was lucky to have a stay-at-home mom, who loved to bake and cook things from scratch. Being a child of the Dustbowl and the Great Depression, it was the only way she knew to cook. A wonderful seamstress, she made a lot of our clothes, including my first prom dress!
Talk about an idyllic childhood. It was small-town America. The “neighborhood gang” rode our bicycles all over that part of town with no restraint, other than most of us were not to go past the main busy street, Strothers. However, there were plenty of other places to ride and we explored every inch of them. My best early childhood friend, Jane, moved in the same week I did, and she was only one year older than I. We grew to be as close as any sisters, and I was heartbroken when her father was transferred a few years later. I took dance lessons and played the flute in band. I was a classically trained pianist, and though I hated the hours of practice, if my mom was still here today, I would tell her what she always said I would—“THANK YOU.”
MY BEST FRIEND, JANE, AND ME IN MY SANDBOX. JANE PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR OF CANCER. I WILL MISS HER FOREVER.
Going to the library was an every-Saturday affair. When Mom went to get her hair done, she dropped me off at the library. Goldie Barnett was the old maid librarian. Books were her life. She had a humped back and the sweetest, gentlest smile that you ever saw. She knew every book on the shelves, and loved to see young people come in and choose “no more than seven” to take home with them.
In the summers, we ran wild, playing sandlot baseball, riding bikes, climbing trees (yes, I was a bit of a tomboy!) and lying on an old packing quilt in the shade with a pitcher of cold lemonade and a favorite book for hours on end. We made frequent trips to Durant, in the southeastern corner of the state, where both my parents were from and where we still had many, many relatives on both sides. My dad’s parents had a huge garden that we would go down and help harvest. This was where I learned the fine art of shucking corn, picking beans and okra, and canning tomatoes.
MY MOM AND DAD AS NEWLYWEDS IN 1944
When I finished my junior year in high school, my dad was transferred again—this time, to Charleston, West Virginia. I was told time and again how lucky I was to have been able to stay in school in one place all those years. I didn’t feel so lucky, though, to have to leave everyone I knew, and all that was familiar. I finished high school in Winfield, a small suburb of Charleston, and started college nearby. Turned out, the move was “in the cards” because I met my husband, Gary, there at college.
HERE I AM AS A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL. MY MOM MADE THIS DRESS FOR ME--SHE WAS A WONDERFUL SEAMSTRESS!
Gary and I were married in 1979, and here we are nearly 36 years later—still together. Only because we never owned a gun, I’m sure. (Just kidding, really!)
Gary had been married before and had two children from his first marriage, Jennifer and Russell, who came to live with us in 1982. It was really a saving grace, because this was a very hectic time, and a time filled with upheaval, as Russell’s mom insisted on taking him back to live with her, leaving Jennifer with us. Time flew, and in 1986, our first child, Jessica, was born. I had started to write by then, but only at night when everyone else was in bed. In 1989, our son, Casey, came along, and by then Jennifer was a senior and ready to graduate.
These are my "babies" now--just before their birthdays this year (both in September).
We moved into Oklahoma City from one of the outlying suburbs and bought the home we still live in today. For many years, my life was full with taking the kids to their sporting events, play practices, and school activities. I worked part time during those years, and taught piano and guitar for many years, as well. Jessica, Casey and Jennifer all live nearby. Sadly, we lost Russell in a car accident when he was 18.
I’ve loved to write my entire life. I remember as a child, my mother would take little notepads to church with her in her purse for me to “occupy myself” with. In elementary school, I wrote poems, short stories and even a play that my 4th grade teacher let us practice and perform in class. My writing career took off a few years ago when I sold a short story to Adams Media for their Rocking Chair Reader collection. I sold several more to them, sold some newspaper articles, and then sold my first novel, FIRE EYES, a western historical, to The Wild Rose Press. I had a wonderful editor there, Helen Andrew, who really helped me find my way with the book, and will be forever grateful to her. It is now re-released through Prairie Rose Publications, along with most of my other works.
Last year (2013), a good friend, Livia Reasoner, and I teamed up to open a publishing house, PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS. In one year’s time, we’ve expanded with a total of five imprints: Prairie Rose Publications, Fire Star Press, Painted Pony Books, Prayers and Promises, and Tornado Alley Publications. We’ve enjoyed publishing many seasoned authors as well as several very talented new authors, as well—and publish a large variety of stories and formats, from anthologies to single-sell short stories, and novels, of course.
I also continue to write westerns for the Western Trail Blazer’s anthologies and shared world novels about the fictional town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. These are some wonderful tales of the old west, and it’s a lot of fun to work with other authors on a common project.
WOLF CREEK BOOK 1: BLOODY TRAIL--THIS STARTED IT ALL!
This is my granddog, Embry, who has lived with us not for the last 4 years or so. Jessica rescued him from a shelter, then had to sell her house and move into an apartment. So you can see, with his size, he would not have been happy there. He came to live with "Grandma and Grandpa" and is the king of the house here. Remember the old joke, "Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit? Anywhere he wants to..." That's true in our house, too--Embry weighs in at 200 pounds!
Here's the blurb and excerpt from my latest short story, SPELLBOUND, that appears in PRP's COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO VOL. 2 which will be available for presale this week, along with Volume 1!
Angie Colton and her young sister, Earlene, leave their circus life behind when their mother is killed and their father fears for their safety. Now, living in their hideaway is their only chance to keep Angie from the clutches of the evil man who may have murdered her mother. But Angie has a desperate secret she hides—she and Earlene are both witches, and are just coming into their own.
Brett Diamond must save his brother, Jake, from a ruthless killer. Teller Magdon is determined to force Brett to rob a bank in order to keep Jake alive. But on his way to Ft. Smith, Brett is wounded by an unknown assailant, and taken in by a beautiful angel and her hellcat younger sister. With no time to spare, Brett must confide in Angie about his mission—and Angie must decide how she can help him, yet protect herself from the evil that has managed to find her through an ironic twist.
There’s only one thing for certain: their chance encounter is a work of Fate and love. No matter what happens next, they’ve both been left Spellbound!
Her kiss was tentative, sweet, and yearning. Brett let his breath fill his lungs slowly. Her hand caressed his cheek. He raised his right arm and threaded his fingers through her shimmering mass of golden curls, remembering how her head had felt, resting on his shoulder, and the thoughts he’d had as she had snuggled her body close in to his.
She lifted her mouth from his and he gave her a slow smile. “You tryin’ to bewitch me, Angie…or are you just practicin’ your kissin’ on me?”
She smiled back, letting a finger toy with his hair. “Maybe it’s a little of both…I do need to practice…as you said.” Her smile faded, and she met his eyes. “But I do wish it was in my power to bewitch you completely, Brett Diamond.” Her teeth caught in her lower lip as if to keep the rest of what she wanted to say inside.
Heat rushed through Brett’s body at her softly-spoken admission. He pulled her to him, a low groan escaping his chest as her lips met his one more.
“Angie,” he whispered, her name like a prayer in his heart.
She pulled away reluctantly, and Brett cursed himself for scaring her with his aggression. He was taken off guard when she spoke.
“There’s things about me you—you don’t know. And you don’t ever want to find out, Brett.”
“What’re you talkin’ about, Ang?”
She shook her head. “There’s other reasons why Papa wanted us to leave the circus and live out here away from people.” She gave a short laugh. “I guess—maybe he thought he’d keep me and Earlie safe, but…he wanted to keep other people safe, too. From us.”
Uneasiness settled over Brett. He didn’t want to hear any more. He wanted to hold on to his newfound dreams of what life might be like if he settled down with Angie Colton…and he had a feeling she was about to shatter all his illusions.
“You asked if I was tryin’ to bewitch you, Brett. Truth is, I—could, if I wanted to.”
Brett laughed outright at that bold statement. Angie was overcom-ing her uncertainty in leaps and bounds, for sure.
“Why’s that, Ang? You a witch or somethin? The real deal?”
She gave him a long look, remaining silent. The tension in the room stretched between them until Brett felt the air would shatter around them.
“Yes, Brett. That’s what I am. The real deal.”
That’s my life in a nutshell. Not too greatly exciting, just a life mixed with some trials, tribulations, and wonderful happiness. I hope you haven’t been bored—I loved getting to read all about you all and getting to know you better.
Hugs to all my SWEETHEART sisters!