Marilyn Friesen

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Showing posts with label twins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twins. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Marita's Momentous Decision

If you're still undecided about whether to buy Two Mothers, Twin Daughters or not, here is a little appetizer that just might get you hungry enough to grab the rest.

Marita didn’t just hold the babies, she clung to them. How will I ever decide?
It was while in the case room: bright lights and whiteness were all around when the questions first shattered her joy. She had been anticipating the soul-stirring moment when the nurse would finish cleansing the squirmy newborns, wrap them snugly in soft receiving blankets and place them one by one into her longing arms.
"They are fine, perfectly fine," the genial doctor reassured her when she fretted about how small they were. "Sure, they are a bit tiny and will need extra care for the next two or three weeks, but are strong and healthy. Congratulations, Mrs. Sutherland!"
Marita half arose on the bed, her arms reaching out, then she was cuddling them. For a long moment, she had eyes for nothing more than those incredibly beautiful, incredibly precious rosy-red bundles of humanity.
Finally, wonderfully convinced that they were healthy, her heart melted.
To think they were hers, gloriously hers to love and to cherish as long as she lived.  She felt a yearning protectiveness grip her as while gazing into those wide cloudy blue eyes, making an instant connection. A throb of joy filled her heart. I may be young for such tremendous responsibility, but oh, I want to, I want to give them the best care possible.
 Will Randall be a caring father? He hadn't liked it when I got pregnant, and that was before I knew there were twins! How will he treat them? Can I trust him not to hurt these sweet treasures from Heaven?
"Mrs. Sutherland, are you alright?"
"You’re pale: maybe I should put the babies back in their bassinets now."
Marita looked blankly at the young nurse then down at the babies in her arms. She did feel faint.
She stared at the retreating figure taking off with her children.
My own babies!  What’s going to happen to them? Will Randall be cruel, or unfaithful? Before we married, many young women flirted and made google eyes at him.  What if he decides having a wife and two babies is not to his liking?

What shall I do? Can I go to Deer Flats if he is gaol? Dare I?  I refuse to leave the babies in an orphanage while I am a cashier at some dumpy department store and I can’t leech off the Seifert's forever!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Something's Happened to Mommy!

This is the part of the sequel to Two Mothers, Twin Daughters I am working on. Don't forget the contest closes at Christmas, but free ebooks will still be available if you have Kindle.

Mummy,” Emily sounded troubled so Marita looked up from the sock she was mending. “When did you allow me to wear my bangs cut and my hair in curls?”

Marita dropped the yarn and sock back into the mending basket and reached for the photograph Emily was studying. Emily handed the picture to her mother but her eyes widened when she saw the stricken look on Marita's face.
“Oh, Alice, my little Alice,” Marita moaned as tears sprung to her eyes.
Emily was shocked to see her mother kiss the picture repeatedly. After staring at her for an instant she whirled out the door.
“Daddy!”She shrieked as she flew across the freshly fallen snow.

Randall ambled slowly towards his daughter. He was used to her excitability.

“Daddy!” she shrieked again, “Come quickly! Something happened to Mummy!
“Emily, where are your boots?” Without slackening his stride,
he scooped her up into his arms and strolled through the wide open door.

Randall was startled by his wife's expression. “Marita, are you alright?”

Marita smiled at him, her face radiant in spite of the tears.
“Oh, honey, do you know who this is,” she asked, showing him the picture.
“Em—No. No! This is Alice! Our Alice! Where did you get this?”
Without waiting for an answer, he continued; “ They're identical! They really are! Except for the fancy ringlets on this little girl's head, and,” he glanced mischievously as Emily, “this one's eyes are so huge!”

“Do you know that girl?” Emily asked.

Marita hesitated; “I saw her as a baby,” she replied.

“How come she looks so…. terribly… much like me?”

Oh, if only something…anything would happen to disrupt this conversation
. I’m not ready for it!… Will I ever be?

Marita swallowed the lump in her throat and knelt beside the child. She cupped the solemn little face with gentle hands. “She looks so much like you, honey because she’s your twin.”

“My twin? My very own twin?” Tears of understanding slowly filled Emily’s eyes. “I always wanted a sister. Now I have one and she’s far away.” She turned away and looked unseeingly out the window. Slowly, strange new questions came to her mind. But why is she gone? Why doesn’t she live with us if she’s my sister? How come I don’t remember her? Will they send me away, to? Out loud she announced, “I’m going to write my twin and tell her I love her.”
Was there a hint of defiance in that voice, or a quiver of loneliness?

“Not right now, dear. It’s time to set the table for supper.”
As Emily carried the stack of plates to the table, her lovely blue eyes were round and sad. “Why didn’t you tell me I had a twinnie?”

Marita studied her expression, “Because you were too little to understand.”
“But why isn’t she here with me? I want to play with her. I want her to sleep in my bed.”
Marita's eyes pleaded with her husband to help. Surely he would know what to say.
“We’ll get her as soon as possible,” he said tickling her nose with the end of her braid.
Emily didn't smile. The plates made a quiet thud-thud sound as they were placed on the table. When she was done, she stood looking out at the cloudy sky.
“Where is ‘Swizzerland’ Mummy?” she asked. “Is it very far away?”
“Very far, honey. But we want to get Alice back as soon as possible.”
“Did they kin-nap her?”
“Kidnap? Oh no. They took care of her for Mummy.”
When Emily didn’t answer, Marita wondered how she was processing the information. When she merely played with the food on her plate, Marita worried but didn't pressure her to eat.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Don't Look If You Are Not Planning to Buy the Book

A Sweet Lily

Up ahead a lantern was glowing cheerily from a front window even though the hour was late. Marita hoped it was where they were going. Yes! They were turning down the narrow lane leading to the sweet white cottage!

Was that a flower behind those daintily ruffled curtains: a bright red geranium, perhaps?

Even before Mr Sutherland stopped the horse by the garden gate, the front door was flung open by a pleasantly plump grandma-type with snowy white hair. She hustled towards them with wide-open arms.
“Marita!” she cried, giving her a warm embrace. She held her out at arm’s length then gazed into her eyes.
“I have been longing to comfort the girl Randall chose. I just knew any girl Randall loved I would love, too. You have had such a hard time the past few months, and, perhaps I can make it up for you in some way. ”
Marita felt faint.
Mrs Sutherland tipped her chin with a finger. “Randall’s little wife,” she murmured shaking her head and smiling faintly. She is so lovely, yet seems dejected.
“It grieves me that you had to know pain and suffering at your age. I hope you were able to share with your parents in spite of that awful war going on.” (Marita winced.) “May I be like a second mother to you since yours is so far away?”Marita nodded, trying to swallow the lump in her throat.  Like a mother? My own never showed such tenderness to me. Randall’s sweet-faced mother beckoned her to come into the kitchen.
There on the small square table, spread with a dazzling white cloth, a very English looking tea awaited them. Marita gasped delightedly.

“I know it’s late but thought you might be hungry after such a long trip. I even remembered to heat the milk that you Englishers’ love to add to your very strong tea. I had to ask around about some of the other details, though. Perhaps you will like it just a little? I so hoped to make you feel a little more at home in our strange back woodsy country.”
“Like it?” Marita gasped, “Oh, Mrs Sutherland, I love it!” She impulsively gave her mother-in-law a heartfelt hug then stepped back, ashamed. Eighteen years had gone by and not once had she ever been tempted to hug her own mother.
“What’s the matter, honey? Is something wrong?”
Marita numbly shook her head.
“Don’t you like cream puffs? They are made from our own Jersey cream but perhaps don’t look near as lovely as what your mother made. Marita winced again, fancy mum ever making cream puffs, the richest thing she ever made was scones, and that only once!

“… Although I did make them just today-- it was such fun preparing for your arrival. That’s all right if you don’t like something; I want you to feel at home here, not anxious.”
The kettle was whistling merrily so she filled the teapot.
“Or don’t you care for cookies? I frosted them a little before your drove in the yard.” When she smiled, her light blue eyes twinkled and a dimple lurked near the corner of her mouth.
 Cookies, Marita did not know what she was referring.
“I, I’m not sure what you are talking about,” she confessed.
“Cookies? Do you not know what cookies are?”
 “Do you mean this?” Marita pointed to the neatly arranged pile of iced sugar cookies on a pink plate.
As Lily nodded, Marita reddened. I have to remember that biscuits are ‘cookies’ here in Canada.
“But is everything all right? I hope it’s not all too strange…”
“Oh, Mrs Sutherland, it’s not that—It’s nothing like that at all. Everything is just wonderful, just…too, too…wonderful.”
After thrusting Emily into her grandmother’s unsuspecting arms, she buried her face in her hands and turned away.
At that moment, Ben slammed the back door. He had returned from caring for the horse and wagon.
 “What’s that woman crying about now?” he growled brushing a piece of straw off his plaid flannel shirt.
Lily looked bewildered: “I have no idea,”.
“Try not to take your father-in-law’s gruff ways too personally,” she said in a low voice.  “He is quite deaf in one ear and suffered from shell shock during the first war.”
Marita’s head jerked up. That’s one possible explanation for his unfriendly behaviour I never thought of.
Mr Sutherland dragged a mint green chair out from beside the table and helped himself to a couple of cookies.
To Marita’s surprise, Lily leaned her hands on Ben’s shoulders, massaging them, and then stroked his greying hair. She murmured something into his good ear, which he must have understood because he nodded.
Marita stared.  She isn’t even afraid of him. Did she know how Ben had kept Randall from writing to her? 
Lily soon sat down, however, and while they were sipping tea and munching on treats, gently encouraged her daughter-in-law to tell about the trip, her family and the war.
Marita’s heart overflowed with love towards the woman. She felt safer with her mother-in-law than with Margaret even.  It was a healing balm to be sharing with her. Even her husband’s features seemed to soften when he gazed at his wife.
“Just call me Mom or Lily if you’re more comfortable with that,” Mrs Sutherland invited after a while. “My husband’s name is Ben, or perhaps you knew that already?”
Marita nodded. “How do, Ben,” she said self-consciously.
He grunted.
Inevitably, the talk turned to discussing Randall.
Ben’s lips compressed into a tight line when his son was mentioned, his eyes hardened. Marita turned to look at Randall’s mother’s and saw that hers were troubled.
“We’re sorry about Randall ending up in jail,” Lily confided, “and I’m sure he is too. He can be so impulsive, but truly has a tender heart! Maybe you can help him—somehow…” She gestured helplessly with her hands.
Marita couldn’t begin to guess what had happened yet it must have been most dreadful if he had to be imprisoned for it, she was too scared to ask.
Ben soon lumbered off to bed, but Marita and Lily shared into the wee small hours of the morning, which really wasn’t that far away.
Why is it that God has blessed me with such wonderful people in my life if I am just a nobody?” Marita exclaimed while they were washing up the dainty tea dishes together.
“A nobody? My darling child, why would you call yourself that?”
Marita didn’t answer directly but her mother-in-law gently drew her out, and soon she was confiding many seemingly insignificant details of her basically cheerless past. Lily’s heart yearned to find ways to bring joy and comfort to the young girl.
Marita shared quite a lot about Margaret, and as the clock crept past the midnight hour, she shyly confided about praying while travelling through the long dark night.
“That’s wonderful, simply wonderful!” Lily burbled, clasping Marita’s hand. “I prayed and prayed that you would learn to know my Jesus if you didn’t already.
That gives me more courage to believe that Randall might believe someday, also.”
 “Life isn’t near so hard when you have a friend like Jesus to take your troubles to.”
The two ladies had gone to sit in the tiny living room while visiting. Each had chosen a comfortable, floral print armchair on either side of the potbellied stove.  Lily kept her hands busy knitting a pair of wool socks for her husband while Marita had the baby nestled in her arms.
Emily was in the dreamy borderland between sleep and wakefulness and was making sucking sounds with her lips although her tummy was warmed and filled.
The sweet little innocent caused stirrings of maternal tenderness in the young mother, but a second later, she bit her lip as a shadow clouded her brow.  Lily noticed the change in her expression but could not comprehend why.
Eventually Lily saw that Marita’s eyes were falling shut. She felt stricken.
“Here you are so worn out and I’ve been yattering away! I’m sorry, Marit, I’m so sorry.”
Marita barely opened her eyes, barely smiled.  Lily hastened to show her to her room.  Ben had set the luggage just inside the door and Lily insisted on carrying it all by herself to Randall’s old room, which would be Marita’s for now.
“You have that precious darling to carry, and you’re much too tired to carry anything else,” Lily insisted.

“Not even my handbag?” Marita murmured drolly.

“Well, maybe your purse,” Lily conceded.

When Marita walked into Randall’s old room, a wave of loneliness threatened to overpower her. There was a quilt on the bed made up of a mixture of solid and plaid squares of cotton material. Marita was sure the pieces were from Randall’s shirts although she had never seen him in civilian clothes.

A row of books, much read, was on a shelf next to the corner. Forgetting her tiredness, Marita went over to exam them, eager to see what kinds of stories had interested her husband. There was Black Beauty with its setting partly in dear old London, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, but although most of the titles were unfamiliar, even the lingering scent in the room reminded her of her missing husband.

Lily had taken her granddaughter from Marita. Now she gently laid her on the bed in order to remove her wrappings. Emily stirred sleepily while Lily was diapering her but didn’t awaken.
“My, she must be very tired,” Lily remarked, a soft note of longing in her voice. “She makes me think of my own little twins,”
Marita's head jerked up; her mouth dropped open.
“W-what did you say?” she blurted.
“My own little twins: I guess Randall never told you.” She sighed deeply while picking at the lace edging on the little bonnet in her hands.
“They both had lots of dark hair and were so very tiny… Born far too prematurely, so they didn’t make it.” She dabbed at her eyes with the eyelet bonnet.
“My heart still aches when I think of them and the joy they could have brought to our home: two sweet little angels, Rachel and Rhoda. Rachel was the stronger and larger of the two. We hoped she would make it at least. But when Rhoda’s little heart gave out, Rachel seemed to lose the will to live.”
“I don’t know why I’m talking to you about this. I haven’t shared it with anyone for a long time. I guess because you feel so much like family, and you have a baby girl.”
 She searched her apron pocket for a hankie.
“We had them sleeping together in a softly padded wicker basket because they were premature. We placed it on the door of the oven to keep them warmer. They’d actually snuggle. You wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it for yourself.”
Marita did believe it, her own girls did the same, and now they were separated, forcibly: by their own mother.
Now Lily was looking into Emily’s eyes and cradling her gently in her arms. “So when Rhoda died, Rachel got restless—in a few hours she turned blue—and we couldn’t, we just couldn’t revive her—I still don’t know why she—they had to go to.” For a moment, she couldn’t continue. “
“It was the dead of winter, February, in fact, and the snow plough rarely comes out this far, so the doctor wasn't able to come.”
Lily was vaguely aware of how white Marita had become, and how increasingly agitated, but hadn’t thought about it until later.
 Marita’s hands fumbled as she searched for a nightgown for Emily and shook it out.  Soon the new grandma was lovingly dressing the child.
“Losing the babies caused me to turn to my parent’s faith for comfort and I began reading the Bible Mother had given me when we got married. I surrendered my life to Jesus and He’s been healing my broken heart, but Ben, -Dad- turned the other way. He became so bitter—”
“I—I guess I’d better go to bed, now,” Marita gasped.
 “Oh, I’m so sorry! Did I say something wrong? You must be extremely tired!”
“Ya, I am,” Marita stated flatly to shaken to realize just how rude it sounded. “I just want to go to bed.”
“Oh, Marita,” Randall’s mother fussed,” I am so thoughtless! May I bring you something, an aspirin, perhaps? You’ll be way too tired for a bath, I suppose?”
“I’ll go to bed just like I am, tonight.”
Lily kept apologising for keeping her up so late, but Marita was not listening. Lily got a distinct feeling Marita wanted to push her out of the room but was too polite to, so with a breaking heart, walked to her own room.
Lily felt perplexed by the girl’s actions. I thought we were getting along so nicely. What did I say that offended her? As she slid in quietly beside Ben, she prayed earnestly that God would help her to understand.

Remember the contest? Soon it will be December then you will have only 25 days to buy one of my books. Excerpt from one of the books offered. They are available in many countries.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Did the Twins Miss Each Other?

Remember to get your copy soon. The deadline for the contest is in December. www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com Margaret lifted anxious eyes to the sky. Lord, what am I supposed to do, she cried inwardly. The sky looked innocent enough, a few cottony clouds floating by; they weren’t the cause of her turmoil. She wrung her hands in anguish then realized they were still stuck into her slightly shabby gardening gloves. With a sigh, Margaret dropped to her knees in the handkerchief-sized garden behind the tall Victorian style apartment and dug out a thistle. Her mind wasn’t on what she was doing. Soon the children would be home from school and she must be composed before then. But how could she be? She had been having a peaceful morning with her just-turned-six year old but all changed. Alice had been chattering away about what they would do when David and Sally came home from school ‘for good’ and the holidays began in a few days. Margaret knew most of it was fanciful thinking but she liked listening to the lively little girl’s chatter, who wasn’t really her daughter but fostered. The happy mood continued over the noon hour. Alice didn’t protest being told to rest for a little while since they had walked earlier to the shops in downtown Halifax. It was after her nap the trouble started. “Mommy,” she called, “I had a dream.” A dream? Just a dream? Not one that was funny or interesting or scary? Margaret went into the storage area, turned bedroom and yanked the shade to make it rise. The sunlight streamed across the rumpled bunk, single at the top and twinned at the bottom. Alice’s eyes drifted shut then she opened them again. “I dreamed I had a twin,” She stifled a yawn then sat up. Margaret’s heart clenched as she sat down beside the precious girl, reaching for her hand. “Care to tell me about it?”Alice leaned her head against her shoulder. “She was small, just like me, and had red hair just like me, but it wasn’t in curls like mine. She had two long braids. They f’opped over her shoulders an’ she got no bangs.” “You mean she didn’t get hurt?” Alice had run into a doorknob the day before. Alice shook her head and touched her forehead. “No bangs like me,” she explained. Margaret felt the colour drain from her face. “Anything else?” “I was looking in a store window and she looked back at me.” Margaret wished she could say it was just her reflection. “She looked like me. She looked sad, we both did.” “ Why do you think you were sad?” Alice shrugged. “ I guess ‘cuz we didn’t know we were so close. Even our dresses were the same. They were like my first day of school dress.” She bit her lip. “I think you called it a plaid. The green one.” Margaret swallowed but made herself respond. “’That’s interesting. Did you like dream?” Alice shrugged her shoulders. “Kinda. But kinda not.” “Why not?” Alice gazed into her mother’s eyes. “When I waked up I felt like crying. ” She flung her arms around her mother. “Mummy, I wish I had a twin!” Margaret stroked her daughters’ hair. “I think a lot of little girls dream of having a twin. I wanted a sister, badly, when I was a little tyke.” “But dream Mummy,” she looked up at her Mother again, “Like in sleep-time dream?” “That is strange, “ Margaret murmured, “Very strange.” As she twisted one of Alice’s shiny locks around her finger, a faraway look came into in her eyes, her cheeks were pale. Alice lay her head back on the pillow murmuring “I’m still sleepy, Mommy,” so Margaret tucked a light throw over her and said she would be in the garden. That was fifteen minutes ago and Margaret still wasn’t in control of her emotions. Deep down she knew why. With every passing month, no, week even, she felt condemned for not encouraging Marita to break the wall of silence between herself and Randall. Many times she had taken out paper and pen to write 'you must tell your husband Emily is a twin, you must get your daughter back,' but it was too hard, she couldn’t bear to let Alice go, and she knew the rest of the family would be devastated also. Davy had been tossing the ball up in the air on the way home from school and catching it with his gloved hand until he caught sight of Margaret with a watering can. She was sprinkling their elderly landlady’s petunia-lined walk. “Hi,
Mom.” “Hi Davy, how’s my boy?” “Fine.” I guess.” Mom’s been crying. I wonder what happened. “Can I have a peanut butter sandwich?” “Of course, son. I meant to make some peanut butter cookies since I know you love them so much but it didn’t get done.” “That's okay,” Davy mumbled so low Margaret didn't hear him. He kicked at a pebble on the cement sidewalk then glanced once more at his mother before turning the corner of the house and pounding up the stairs. “Davy, you scared me!” Alice’s giggle floated through the open kitchen window as Margaret put the trowel and watering can away. She was about to join her children in their hot, stuffy apartment but old Mrs Bentley poked her head out the back door and invited her in for a cup of tea, she couldn’t say no.

Friday, May 19, 2017

I ReCalled It!!

RECALL!! Did you order a copy of Two Mothers, Twin Daughters and find that some chapters had been duplicated? If this is your experience please send the copy to me and I will replace it free of charge. (Meet me on Hangouts for my address.)

Two mothers fleeing the British Isles during World War Two. Why does one worry about being a war bride, while the other one, who is married to a widower, seem more content? Why does Grace, the younger one, give one, but only one of her twin daughters away? Why was Grace's husband sent home from the war? What will it be like leaving a city in England while bombs are exploding and submarines lurking, to settle in a Canadian wilderness? What will happen to the identical twins? How will they cope if, or rather when, they find out they have been separated as newborns? 
Book One of the Grace's Dilemma Series.

Check back from time to time and you will find out when the revised version is ready. Yes, it will be better than ever.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What's WORSE the Present or the Future?

New contest on the go. You're the winner if you buy the 25th book by December 25th. Prize: Free night in our bed and breakfast.

How can Marita cope with a war going on, forbidding parents, a charismatic but absent husband, and being a pregnant teenage war bride? To top it off she must leave England and end up in a Canadian wilderness she has never heard of. Here's just a nibble to whet your appetite. It's the first chapter.
Marita staggered: extreme exhaustion caused her to slump against the rail of the ship, Tena-rae. The last few weeks had taken such a heavy toll on her both physically and emotionally. It made her heart ache even worse when arm in arm a group of girls leaned against the rail and crooned “The White Cliffs of Dover" as a tribute to their homeland. When the thick gloomy fog had thinned somewhat, she saw those white chalk cliffs rearing up in their entire splendor next to the choppy ocean. The girls had moved along, still singing, but Vera Lynn’s words floated back to her:
‘There'll be love and laughter
And peace ever after tomorrow
When the world is free.’
Like wisps of fog, vestiges of final moments with her mother stained her cheeks."Get out of my life! You are a disgrace! You are good for nothing!' Her mother's harsh shriek rang in her ears, crushing her spirit. Marita's blue-gray eyes burned with unshed tears. Am I good for nothing, she mutely asked the wisps of fog floating by. If I am, then why was I born? If her heart was any heavier, it would sink like a stone in that vast gray expanse of ocean. She hated anyone to see her crying so bit her lip to steady it. The memories of her mother, Mrs. Parson's, raging voice were harder to still.
"We taught you not to go to the bar! We told you not to get involved with those drunken Canadian soldiers!"
"But it wasn't a bar!" Marita protested. "It was at the community center and most of the soldiers drank moderately."
 It had felt hopeless trying to reason with her mother's rigid back turned towards her, so Marita faced the moisture streaked kitchen window instead. She stared unseeingly into the darkness to hide the teardrops that managed to trickle out between half-closed eyelids then mindlessly swished the dishes that her mother had left for her to do, through the sudsy water.
Marita knew she was a thoughtful, respectful girl, perhaps a little shy, so it was a breathtaking day in her boring life when she and her friend first met those two Canadian soldiers. They, especially the auburn haired one, looked so sharp in their crisp, khaki uniform. She and her school chum, Betsy, had been walking home from school, arms laden with books. The sky had been a bright pretty blue, which was a luxury after so much rain and fog. In a few days, the academy would be close for the summer break, and they were walking along with light, brisk steps.
Then, stepping smartly, two soldiers pivoted around the corner, saluted, and offered to carry their books. Marita caught her breath and stared. What could have been more flattering than having such incredibly good-looking privates salute them? She still marveled at how easy it had been to chat with those courteous strangers with intriguing Canadian accents.
Marita’s lips curved upwards at the memory. I am normally so reserved, yet I actually bantered and giggled with them even more than Betsy did! It would have astonished the schoolmaster, and probably most of the scholars. Her smile faded, but it did feel like the real me.
Almost without noticing, their feet had carried them far beyond the Parson's home street. Flustered, she had tried to take her books away from her companion, Randall Sutherland, but he just held on the tighter. "Not unless you come with me to the dance tonight," he teased with an easy grin.
The color drained from Marita's cheeks. A dance? I've never gone to a dance in my life! Dances are wicked, she knew that. It was not dancing that tempted Marita, but the opportunity to get to know Randall better. We wouldn't have to dance, would we? Maybe we could just, well... stroll around in the moonlight as they do in storybooks. Maybe we could, uh, sit and visit or something.
Looking back, Marita knew that it was then that she felt the first niggling pang of uneasiness, but she was too busy laughing at Randall and the other private's nonsense to pay much attention. Marita's head lowered, shamefaced. The soldiers had teased and wheedled them, drawing attention to Marita's bouncy curls that were shiny as a raven's wing’.They praised her petal soft cheeks 'that an angel would envy’ and teased Betsy about the cute up-tilt of her freckled nose.
"Two such charming girls should not be allowed to shrivel up 'like dried old apples'," Randall had declared. Finally, laughingly, Marita gave in, just as Randall unwrapped a sweet and popped it into her mouth.
"Just this once:" she sputtered, trying to speak sternly but had dissolved into giggles. She had to resort to covering her mouth to keep from drooling. Marita didn't recall where Betsy and the other soldier had wandered off. They had strolled away in a different direction while Marita happily trotted beside a soldier who was chivalrously carrying her books.
They had been strolling for a long time, Marita unconsciously detouring the streets where there was the most severe bomb damage.
It had been easy to prattle lightly about many things and forget the heavy cares of a war going on at least for the moment, then, feeling wonderfully weary; they collapsed on a sheltered bench in a common.
Randall unceremoniously dumped her books on the grass beside him and reached for her in what struck her as a rather possessive manner, Marita shrank back alarmed, so he quickly released her, but left his arm resting on the back of the bench.They chatted until Marita saw dusk creeping on and worried about not going directly home after school.
What if the air siren went off? Where would they go? She looked around for an air raid shelter. They were so far from the black, stuccoed cottage she called home. Will my parents be anxious?  Marita hoped so but seriously doubted it. She was more concerned about her mother's fury. Even though it was her final year at the secondary school, her mother had many ironclad rules to keep her in line and her father half-heartedly submitted to them. Coming straight home was one of the ordinances. She knew there would be more waiting for her than gentle concern or even a stern reproof for not showing up promptly
"How am I supposed to get out of this difficult situation?
"Oh well, the damage is done," Randall grinned mischievously. "If you're going to get into trouble anyway, you might as well make it worth their while. Why not go out for supper-- I mean High Tea with me? I'll treat you to steak, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding...kidney pie, or whatever your British appetite is craving."
Marita doubted that even the more swish restaurants could offer such swell fare in these hard times but her mouth watered at the prospect after so many months of unwelcome rationing.
"If you will allow me to ring up Mom from the pub you want to take me to," she bargained, “then I’ll go. He nonchalantly agreed.
Thinking back, Marita easily recalled how her face flamed as her mother's strident voice carried over the wire. How many of those patrons heard the dressing-down I got?
The scene that occurred after the dance was one that she would rather blot from her memory. Even though she had hurried to do the dishes left for her, and make amends in other ways, it was impossible to appease them.The anger! The mistrust! The accusations! Doesn't Mom have any faith in me at all? Why couldn't Dad have said just one word in my favor? I have never defied their wishes before! Had they not taught me to be uncommonly obedient? I even stammered out an apology that I really meant.It was not well received.
What a relief when she was able to slip off to her dreary attic bedroom. After she had washed the dishes, dried, and stacked them in the cupboards, her mother had turned to rail on Dad.
 That night Marita felt like her vision cleared, since then she became increasingly impatient with her elderly parents' medieval ways.
Abruptly her thoughts switched channels. Oh, I wish Randall's gaiety didn’t come from a bottle, so often. He is a wonderful young man, so charming and well mannered: he doesn’t need drink to boost his morale!
A scene from one of their many times together floated into her memory: "Randall you had one drink, already, must you have another?" she had reached out to touch the cold glass.
"I'm fine, Sweet: no need to worry. I can hold my liquor. This will be the last. You should taste it. It's quite pleasant, in fact." She shuddered in refusal and he had didn't pressure her.

Do't forget to nab your copy before the contest is over.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Twins Are Still Separated

Two Mothers, Twin Daughters

Some folks seem to enjoy reading excerpts from the book I am writing, so I’ll update you once again. OOPS! That's a lie! The book is done and is on the market now. Check it out at: www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com
T hree years went by, and the twins were still separated.

Margaret listened; for once the children were quiet. It seemed they had settled down nicely for their naps, the two younger ones, that is, and Davey Juniour wouldn’t be released from school for another hour or so.  She reached for her Bible on the nearby nightstand and took the latest letter from Marita out from just inside the back cover and clutched it in her hands while bowing her head in prayer.  The much read letter was already a year old so Margaret carefully unfolded the sharp creases to read it once more.

“Dear Margaret,
I can’t bear to tell my dear mother-in-law what we are going through so hope you can take it since I feel I would crack up if I couldn’t share with someone!

Randall’s out of work—again, has been for three months this time. In a way I am not sorry he lost this job but we are in desperate straits. He had had an epileptic fit while on scaffolding and fell. The job wasn’t waiting for him when his leg finally mended.  

Sometimes I am at my wits end to know how to respond to him.  We are hungry nearly all the time but I know he finds enough money to spend on beer. How long must I excuse his behavior on the war? Does David sometimes seem to be unreasonable---still?

Oh, Margaret, what can I ever do? I would offer to take in babysitting but our one room suite and half bath are far too crowded to entertain extra children. 

Thank you so much for the gift of money you slipped in your last letter.  Oh, Margaret, it’s a good thing Randall wasn’t home when the mailman arrived with the cash. I bawled buckets and Emily was all over me trying to comfort me so I tried to tell her they were happy tears.

I  hope I can someday repay you.  I have to dole it out slowly so he won’t get suspicious and wonder where it came from. As it is I have to hide it because he rifles through my purse in the vain hope I’d have some money stashed away.

So far I have only bought a small bag of oatmeal and some powdered milk with the money, and oh yes, a bag of carrots because they keep for a long time in the icebox,  we won’t go hungry for a while.

Emily is healthy, for which I thank the Lord. Her sweetness and innocence helps me to trust our Heavenly Father more. I have much time on my hands so often turn to Mum-in-law’s Bible in time of need. I still worry a lot and get sharp with Randall way too often, but I’m glad I have Emily and I’m glad I have God.

Lots of love, |

P.S. Sorry for being so full of myself: I really do want a long, fully detailed letter about everything that’s going on in your life and especially about Alice.  (Sorry if I sound selfish.)

P.S. 2. We are in Vancouver now, but I’m sure we will be moving soon.

Margaret refolded the letter then gently placed it back between the worn covers of the Bible.  She sat lost in thought until her burdened heart caused her to slip to her knees in prayer. She laid her head on her arm.

“It’s been so long, Lord. Marita is almost dearer to me that a flesh and blood sister might be. Please be with her. Keep her, comfort her, and help Randall to overcome his drinking habit. Thou knowest what awful memories are still gripping him, and we don’t.  Thou knowest the anxiety Marita faces: please help him to find a good job, and keep it. May Marita continue to call upon you when the floods threaten to overwhelm her—“

“Mommy, Alice spilled the milk on the floor!”

It was obvious that Sally would have gotten the milk out of the refrigerator because Emily was too young to handle the door.  Alice was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a tea towel.

“Let’s not use a tea towel to clean the floor next time, okay, Sweetie. Sally, you fetch a rag from the rag bag.”

“But she spilled it!”

“Just do as I tell you.”

 "Alice, wait for Mommy to pour your milk for you okay”— she almost called her ‘Sweetie’ again but then remembered it was too easy to favor the daughter of her troubled friend over the other two.

Margaret was thoughtful, prayerful, as she tended to her motherly duties . They walked to the corner to meet Davey and he prattled joyfully about his day at school, she served the children cookies and milk but hardly heard them.

David came home two hours later and once again Margaret was so thankful that the man she married had a steady job as a mechanic. There were still far too many veterans drifting aimlessly through life, addicted to the bottle, and not coping well with their violent past. David seemed to be so steady in comparison. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Take A Peek into My Upcoming Book (but don't cry too hard.)

It  was a good thing that the rocking motion of the train kept Emily sleeping. For many miles her mother leaned forward, shaking with sobs. Then Marita tried to get a grip on herself.
People will be wondering what's wrong, or think I'm mighty queer if I can't stop being so emotional. She managed to hold it in for about five seconds, then a sleepy movement of Emily's little fingers got her thinking about Alice and the tears rolled down her cheeks.

When Emily woke up she was acting restless and fussy. Marita stared at her; she had never acted so upset in quite that way before.  Why does she twist her head from side to side like that and keep whimpering? Does she have an ear ache? Oh surely not!  I have no idea how to soothe an earache, on a train at that.

Emily's whimpers turned into loud, lusty wails and just as she picked her up, it hit Marita like a rock. Emily is missing her identical twin.

Worry lines puckered Marita's forehead. I thought it was only me that would suffer, but look what I have done to my little girl!

 In her agitation it was impossible to calm the crying three month old. What can I do? Oh, what can I do? People are beginning to stare at me, I'm sure of it!

She felt the back of her neck and ears scorch from the real or imaginary disapproval of those around her. What would Margaret have done? She was always so calm, so tranquil with the crying babies while I would get frantic.

Oh, she often sang.

For a moment Marita could see Margaret in the old, scuffed up rocking chair singing sweetly to which ever baby was upset.  The chair was stuffed into the corner of their bedroom because there was simply no other place for it, but the melodies would float through the small space even on the darkest of nights.

Suddenly Marita realised how blessed she had been to have Margaret help her care for the newborns, especially since she was so young and inexperienced.

The songs started coming back to her, and as she crooned, her own spirit calmed.

"Jesus Saviour pilot me over life's tempestuous sing. Boisterous waves around me roll, hiding rock and treacherous shoal, "(Edward Hopper.)

She rocked harder as the wails grew louder, but Emily's crying wasn't affecting her quite the same anymore.  She was thinking of the words.

"As a mother stills her child, Thou canst hush the ocean wild." Ocean wild: that's exactly what my heart's been like for so long now.
That's the secret of Margaret's serenity. She lets Jesus hush the storms, the grief and heartache in her own spirit.

Hot tears sprung to Marita's eyes. Margaret suffered much but she always was there for me.

She let her tears fall on Emily's downy hair.

"Lord, I want what she has," she whispered.

A small child hopped off the chair at his mother's side and stood in the aisle watching her.

Marita smiled at him.

"Baby," he said.

"Yes, she's just a baby. She's sleeping now."

He nodded. "Baby cry. Baby go nigh-night."

"Yes, Baby has gone 'night-night."

He observed them silently.

"What's your name, little boy?"

He didn't answer.

"The baby's name is Emily.  Mine is Mar- Mrs. Smith.  Can you say Emily?"

"Mmm'ee. Baby small."

"Yes, Emily is very small, yet, "

He put his hand on the top of his head, it barely reached. " Me big boy. "

He watched Emily making little sucking noises. "Baby hun-gee."

"Baby's fine for a little while. Are you hungry?"

The small champ nodded.

 Oh dear what have I gotten into?

Marita gently laid the baby beside her and reached into her purse.  Margaret had slipped a small paper sack of crackers into her hand while they were at the train station.

She took one out and showed it to his Mum. "Is it okay if I give him one?"

"Bobby, you aren't hungry, are you?"


"Oh well, just one then. It will tide you over 'til we reach Toronto, You should have a nap while we wait."

"What do you say?"

"Tang-too!" He made a bee-line for his mommy's lap and snuggled there while munching on his cracker, completely oblivious to the crumbs his mother was patiently brushing off his shirt and her skirt.

By then Marita was singing another song.

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear..." She looked at Bobby so sleepy in his mother's arms and wondered if she had ever felt safe and secure snuggled up close to her mother.

 Oh, Lord, give me that feeling of security that comes from being close to you. I want to trust you with my whole life; she gave a little shudder, thinking of Randall in gaol, even the unknown future.  She looked down at Emily again, especially the future.

When Emily woke up, and after she had gotten her little tummy filled, Marita arranged her new woolen coat on the floor with the satin side up. Emily seemed to enjoy being able to kick and stretch in the less confining space.

Emily looked so sweet in the cloud soft sweater set Margaret had diligently knitted for her. Margaret had taught Marita how to make one also, and she felt a bit guilty for taking the better one. It was obvious that Margaret's was so much fluffier.

Marita stooped down to remove the light yellow bonnet from the tiny girl  and was pleased to see that Emily's coppery red hair was definitely beginning to curl.

Emily smiled at her and cooed.

Maybe she will get over the loss of her sister soon. Please God.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Peek into the Preview and the Sequel!

Have you been worrying what new book to get that bookworm in your family? Fret no more! This gripping novel will be a satisfying read for many different ages and a variety of tastes.  Here's a great book to enjoy during those leisurely winter evenings. 

With bombs landing all around, air raid sirens screaming, and blackout curtains compulsory, London is definitely a place to escape from, but for a pregnant teenage war bride fleeing is a frightening option. Sailing on a ship with submarines lurking nearby makes her uneasy, but so do more personal fears. Does Randall still love her? Would he be furious to find out she is expecting twins? Should she give one up for adoption since he doesn't know she is carrying two? Later she even discovers that he is in jail! Oh, what shall I do, what shall I do, her heart cries! Follow Marita as she learns to turn to God for answers and her path; sometimes dramatically unfolds before her--and hope for the best! More info at http://www.marilynfriesen.com .

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Happened to the Twins?

With bombs destroying nearby streets, air raid sirens screaming, and blackout curtains compulsory, Birmingham, England is a fearful place to be, but for a pregnant teenage war bride fleeing to Canada to be with her husband is a frightening option. 

Sailing on a ship with submarines lurking nearby makes her uneasy, but so do more personal fears. Does Randall still love her in spite of the fact she's already pregnant? Will her parents ever forgive her for marrying him? Will he be furious to find out she is expecting twins? Will it help if she gave one up for adoption since he doesn't know she is carrying two? 

Later she discovers that he had been deported from the army for a reason no one is talking about and soon after arriving home ends up in jail also for a mystifying reason! 

Grace has big problems but there is hope.

 Two Mothers, Twin Daughters is the first in a series called Grace's Delimna.  It will be available on Amazon very soon. For more books by this author go to www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com