My parents, both of whom have passed on. To them I want to let the world know how supportive they were in anything I attempted. They always told me, there will always be someone who does something better than you, but you will do things better than others. It all balances out. Follow your dream and you will achieve it. You know what? They have been right. They also read to me. Of course I kept demanding it and they gave me the love of language my honoring my need for stories.
My first grade teacher, Mrs. Williams. I spent most of my early life in and out of the hospital. I missed most of my first year of school. Since I attended a small school with multiple grades in one room, she passed me with my classmates and I did first and second grade together, with her as my teacher. She also read to us every day, a gift I still treasure.
To all those delinquents whose life intersected with mine. While they did not always come out of the system alive, they offered me a look at how others lived and what it took to survive in a world they were ill equipped to live in. Some grew and succeeded in life, others chose to spend their lives incarcerated or made a choice that led to their demise. From them I learned patience and compassion.
To Chris Nichol from PPLDs Special Collections who encouraged me to share my love of research and history with the world. As a result I've written four papers for their History Symposium, which is streamed world wide. Those papers were: ' Karol Smith; from Real Life to Reel Life', ' The Cripple Creek Volcano; a thirty-five million year disaster', 'Doc Susie and Hollywood; Myths of 19th Century Women Doctors in Colorado' and 'Joe Ward; the Man at the Center of Colorado Springs first Sensational Murder Trial'
To Cheryl Pierson and Livia Washburn Reasoner of Prairie Rose Publications for believing in a novice fiction writer and giving her a chance to follow a dream. Because of these women my first story "Home for His Heart" was followed by "Never Had a Chance", "Lost Knight" and so many others.
This is not a complete list, but I would be remiss if I didn't have great gratitude for my fellow authors and the wonderful stories they share with the world. And last but definitely not least, to all the wonderful readers who read the stories I and my fellow authors write. Thank you!
May you all enjoy your lives and loved ones this coming holiday season and throughout the upcoming years.
From "A Gift of Forgiveness"
Laughter shook the room, as the silly story ended. Nettie was sure that John had made it up for Ila and Albert to enjoy, and it seemed they weren't fooled. Both asked whether it was true. John turned to Nettie and, with a twinkle in his eye, then looked straight at both of the children. "I swear on a Bible, it's a true story."
Ila looked very serious. "John, don't swear on a Bible and tell a fib. You could get into a lot of trouble. I know."
John looked at Nettie, a questioning look on his face. He didn't seem to understand what Ila was talking about. To forestall any further questions, Nettie ventured, "Ila, if John says the story is true, I'm sure it is. Now, I'd better get started on that dinner. Why don't you help set the table?"
As Ila moved ahead, John leaned in and whispered, "What was that all about?"
"It was just her way of making sure you were not telling a fib," Nettie whispered back. She didn't feel she could tell him how Ila felt about testifying and what the whole incident in her past had done to her. Still, from the look in his eyes, she could tell he knew there was more to it than that. Feeling trapped, Albert saved her the explanation as he took John's hand. "Come see what I found."
John gave Nettie a look indicating he would let it go for now, and followed Albert.
"That's one lie I don't want to tell again," Nettie said as she headed into the kitchen.
Doris Gardner-McCraw -