Recently, I held my second Georgia book-signing event at Towns County Public Library in Hiawassee. As we were running out of books and time, Jeff ordered a “used” book in good condition from Amazon as they were temporarily out of their new copies. I already had four copies to work with; all I needed was one more book.
Two weeks ago, the book arrived in our mail in a green ‘Thrift Books’ wrapper’. True to its description, the book was better than ‘good’. It was ‘mint’. Jeff flipped open the cover.
“Well, I’ll be darned. This is one you signed!”
“Oh, yeah? Let me see.”
Sure enough, scrawled across the top of the Dedication page was a brief note I’d written to ‘Emma’ with my signature, below.
“I don’t believe it,” I gasped. “It’s as though the book found its way home.”
Years ago, in January of 2009 to August 2013, Emma’ and her son watched me working feverishly on the story when it was still no more than a bunch of scrambled sentences and characters that would rival any Cecil B. DeMille’s cast.
I can almost hear Emma’s voice as she watched me bang away at the keys.
“When are you ever going to finish that thing?”
Frankly, at that point, I hadn’t a clue.
In the Summer of 2017, when my publisher asked me for names of people who could review the book, Emma’s review was one I submitted. To follow is her editorial review of From Her Mother’s Arms:
“I could not stop reading once I started until the end. It was so timely for the era as my own children were involved. I believe that you have found the real time for those characters and I believe that your sequels will be successful when the main people grow so keep up your real timeline …I plan to loan it to my niece who reads a lot along with her being an Officer in several organizations here in Sarasota County.
P.S. Most females cannot pass up a tearjerker. Which it surely is.”
When the book was published, at last, in August 2017, I sent ‘Emma’ a copy. of the finished product.
Not long after the book went ‘live’ on Amazon, I began to see poetry that her son posted on his WordPress blog. The imagery left no doubt that Emma was gravely ill. About a week later, he confirmed that she had, indeed, passed away. Whoever sorted through her belongings must have returned the book to Amazon.
I cannot sell this book to anyone else, nor would I even want to. Instead, I have retained it as my copy to use in future events. To this day, I still marvel that From Her Mother’s Arms found its way home to its author’s hands.