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Hi, reader friends! Today, we welcome back our author friend Robin E. Mason to celebrate her historical series with a JustRead blog + review tour spotlight including an author guest post and a giveaway!
about the series
The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.
It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.
about the author
I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.
I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.
guest post by Robin E. Mason
Family and Friends
and Why They Show Up in my Writing So Much
Ya know, those peeps you sometimes just want smack up ‘side the head? The ones who can irk you and get under your skin like nobody else on the planet?? The ones who you also can’t live without???
Yup, those ones! Gotta love ‘em!!
I was not close to extended family growing up. And I only discovered how much I missed that when I realized how much it shows up in my stories!! I go to great lengths to establish who’s who in all my stories, and even if a cousin’s wife’s brother doesn’t make an appearance in the story—I know who he is. And how old he is. And probably who his friends are…
I believe it goes to our identity. Our roots, our heritage. Who we’re related doesn’t define who we are, certainly. But who we are does stem from where we come from. (follow that??)
But more than that, I thrive, apparently, in family gatherings. I long for extended family reunions, or gathering of friends. I’m that odd mix of introvert-extrovert, and I come alive when peeps come around. *usually…
My blog is all about friends and family, like an open-door family room, or front porch with year-round lemonade or tea or coffee. A place to hang out, chat and laugh, or sit in silence. A place of fellowship and connection. (notice the lack of electronics and anything digital???)
Maybe that’s why family is so important, fellowship and connection. A place of open arms, no matter what. caveat: not a place of condoning unacceptable activity, but of love in spite of unacceptable behavior.
These connections, friendships and family, are so prevalent in my stories because they have been so lacking in my life. I have my cherished friends, those friendships that have outlasted time and distance and life-events. There have been those “for a season” friends who have left my circle. And those friends who weren’t truly friends deep down, who went their own way because they chose not to grow with the friendship.
But the connections that remain—those are our circle, whether family or friend. Truly, though, friends that stick with you are family.
In a way, perhaps my fictional characters are filling a void in my life. Perhaps they are the placeholder as Father restores what has been lost and damaged.
Or maybe, they are extensions of Father’s love and family, my heart pouring out into fictional people what I long to share with family and friends, not on a written page. (I can’t say “real” people because my characters are very real to me—in a very lucid and fictional sense!)
Seasons is about four friends and the unlikely bond they share. Four girls from four different circumstances. In an era when family status defined them, they followed their hearts, and friendships that were birthed from their bond were stronger than any societal rigors.
And in the end, it’s the connection with her friends that restores what Simone has lost—her memory. Even in the cobwebs of lost memories, her friends, their names, their faces, came to mind. For all their spats and differences, they banded together to find the answers she sought.
Once restored, her family welcomed her back with open arms and hearts, the loss of years as bitter for them as it had been baffling for her. And within the shelter of family and friends, her story—if not always in real life—knew its happy ending.
The journey of the series is a, well, series of relationships restored, both family and friends. The connection between the characters survives any trauma inflicted against it. I established a family in my stories for a reason, if not with intent and purpose; it wasn’t until my 6th or 7th book that I realized this phenomenon I had created—and why!
The why is the foundation that family creates, and is. And what I believe is our innate instinct to preserve. Or, in so many families, to restore. Isn’t that what you do when there is a crack in the foundation? Restore it? Rebuild it? Make something new from the old? Make something beautiful from the ugly? Something vital and healthy and growing from that which was despised and discarded?
Isn’t that what Father God does with us? And isn’t it into His family that He invites and welcomes us? Are we not sons and daughters, and not puppets or minions? His chosen ones, His peculiar people (some of us more than others… ) His beloved.
Perhaps this golden thread of family in the tapestry of my stories isn’t so accidental after all. Perhaps Father wove it in as my hands wrote the words. Just as He had woven that precious thread into the tapestry of my life.
Robin E. Mason is offering a Seasons series prize pack for her tour! ONE winner (US only) will receive:
a packette of Saisons Plantation tea
a Seasons series mug
a Seasons bookmark (handmade by the author)
Seasons notecards (also handmade by the author)
4 pairs of earrings (one pair to represent each book)
AND winner’s choice of (1) signed print copy of Seasons book of choice OR kindle copies of all 4 books!
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Giveaway will run from midnight June 11, 2018 through 11:59 pm June 18, 2018.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Be sure to check out other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Say hi to Robin and let’s chat about her guest post and series in the comments!