Blog Tour: Guest Post by Beverly Scott: The Inspiration of Family Role Models

     Today's guest writer is Beverly Scott. She is the author of Sarah's Secret. It is a western novel about Sarah and Sam, who shares their stories about the Western Frontier. In this guest post, Mrs. Scott writes about the people who inspired her novel. I hope you will find her story to be enlightening. If you find this post to be inspirational, please pick up a copy of Sarah's Secret! Thank you, Mrs. Scott!






The Inspiration of Family Role Models

     Years ago, one of my favorite aunts came for a visit when I was in my mid-thirties experiencing a low point in my life.  She gave me a life-long gift by reminding me of the role models I had in the strong women in my family.  From them, I could always find inspiration and direction.




     Both of my grandmothers had been school teachers.  My paternal grandmother, Ellen, also became a school superintendent.  Ellen was a great cheerleader and encouraged me to succeed in school, get good grades and go to college.  My maternal grandmother, Grace, was disappointed that she had to give up teaching school to become a farmer’s wife.  But she continued to read the Atlantic Monthly and other books and periodicals.  She wrote letters about what she read and shared her opinions about the news and politics in letters to her adult daughters.




     My aunt pointed out that both Ellen and Grace had significant challenges in their lives: Grace, reluctantly left school teaching which she loved, to manage her husband’s family farm which she resented.  She worked hard to survive the depression and the dust bowl.  Ellen was left a widow when her youngest of five children was a few months old.

     Ellen has been a special inspiration to me.  Sarah’s Secret is a fictionalized story of her life.  As a widow without a means of support, Ellen applied for widows benefits.  The Government Agent who came in April of 1912 to interview her in person, filed a descriptive report, (which I recovered from the National Archives).  She was living in a tent south of Thedford, Nebraska where she had filed a land claim.  He reports that:


“she hopes to establish a home for herself and children; but it looks like a most hazardous undertaking as she is practically an invalid because of rheumatism (sic), and her children are undersized puny looking little fellows, and they are more than a mile from the nearest water….In their present desolate surroundings their condition is pitiable in the extreme.”

     This was the occasion when she learned that her husband had a former wife and family.  The agent describes:


“until I informed her of the fact, claimant declares she had no knowledge of the existence of a former wife.  Her grief and tears where convincing of the truth.  She begged me not to tell anyone in her home neighborhood.”

     This helps explain why no one in my family knew about a prior family.  Ellen shared no information about him with her children.  Despite her crippling rheumatoid arthritis, she pulled herself together; returned to teaching school; became a school superintendent; and raised her family.

     Both Grace and Ellen were also models of strength, resilience and accomplishment for their daughters.  All four of my aunts and my mother completed college educations at a time when the lack of financial resources and societies’ cultural norms were major deterrents. Yet, they were persistent and resourceful.  They found work to pay their way.  Between the first wave of feminism and the second, during my young adulthood, all these women had successful careers and raised families.  They worked hard to overcome many obstacles.  For me, my grandmothers, my aunts and my mother have been pillars of strength and fortitude...  role models of how meet life’s challenges and find a satisfying life.





Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott

Publication Date: January 31, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 306 Pages
Word Project Press
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Western



     Follow the paths of Sarah and Will (or Sam) as they tell their stories of trust, secrets, and betrayal on the frontier in the old West. Their pioneer spirit helped to fuel the expansion into the Western territories of the United States. The two are historically on their separate journeys, yet they remain intimately connected. Through the fictionalized Western frontier tale of Sam and Sarah, the author, Beverly Scott, was inspired to reveal rumored secrets from her family history.

     In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a barroom gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive as a cook headed to Dodge City. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Fort Worth, Texas to be hanged.

     Although Will changes his name to Sam, he remains an irresponsible, lonely and untrustworthy man on the dodge from the law who abandons the women he loves. He ultimately seeks redemption and marries Sarah.

     In 1911, Sarah, a pioneer woman and widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a mysterious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!”. Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she draws on her pioneer spirit to hold her family together and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings.

     When Sarah returns to Nebraska she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her secret even from her own family. Will Sarah find forgiveness in her heart and the resolve to accept her new life alone?


Praise for Sarah's Secret:

     “In the flash of one moment, the trajectory of a man’s life and of those who loved and depended on him changes forever. The developing plot draws the reader in as we wait to see how this one action reaches into and impacts the lives of future generations. Set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War nation, when thousands headed west to escape their past, disappear into the horizon, and remake themselves, this biography is a rich study of pioneer ethos and the risks faced every day. The women touched by this man, who kept his secrets close, are heroines of courage, steadfastness and goodness. Beverly Scott is an author who has a way of painting word pictures that make you feel like you are a part of the story as it unfolds towards the discovery of his devastating secrets.” -Patricia and Craig Neal, co-founders, Heartland Inc.

     “Using the plain spoken language of the women and men who scratched out life on the hard scrabble plains in the early days of this young country Bev Scott crafts a sharp picture of the violence and the love that shaped the middle of this nation. Every river crossing, each spring planting reveals the conflicts inside the characters and their struggle to survive in contested territories.” -Jewell Gomez, Author, The Gilda Stories


Amazon | IndieBound


About the Author:

     Bev specialized in serving executives and managers as a leadership coach and organizational consultant for over thirty-five years. She taught organization psychology and founded The 3rd Act, a program whose mission supports positive aging. As she grew into her own third act, she started a genealogical journey to uncover the details of her grandparents’ lives. She concluded that the story needed to be told as fiction using the known facts as her framework.

     “Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness,” Bev’s debut novel, is the culmination of her long-held desire tell the family story and confirm the whispered story about her grandfather.

     Bev previously focused on publishing non-fiction work, including the second edition of “Consulting on the Inside,” which she co-authored with Kim Barnes, published in 2011. She has written numerous professional articles and contributed to “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70,” edited by Ronnie Sellers and Mark Chimsky. Bev blogs on several sites, including her own, “The Writing Life” on www.bevscott.com.

      Bev enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, reading and spending time with her grandsons. She lives with her spouse in San Francisco. You can connect with Bev on Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, August 14 
Kick Off at Passages to the Past 

Tuesday, August 15 
Guest Post at History From a Woman's Perspective 
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 

Wednesday, August 16 
Review at Pursuing Stacie 

Thursday, August 17 
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook 

Friday, August 18 
Excerpt at What Is That Book About 

Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog 

Monday, August 21 
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time 

Tuesday, August 22 
Review at A Holland Reads 

Thursday, August 24 
Review & Interview at T's Stuff 
Review & Interview at Books and Benches 

Monday, August 28 
Feature at A Literary Vacation 

Tuesday, August 29 
Review at Book Nerd 
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! 

Wednesday, August 30 
Review at Linda's Book Obsession 

Friday, September 1 
Review at Creating Herstory 

Monday, September 4 
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views


Giveaway:

     During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Sarah’s Secret! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Sarah's Secret by Beverly Scott

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