As Characters Mature…

What age is maturity? 20, 35, 70? Many days I do not act or feel like I am any more mature than a thirteen-year-old. On others, I carry the weight of the world, evident in my wrinkles, drooping shoulders, and overall fatigue. I believe maturity is a constant growth device triggered by life experiences. Some people gain those early and some struggle to accept them and bathe in immaturity a while longer.

This week I thought about Elizabeth Elliott Lestarjette in her role as heroine in all five of the Revolutionary Faith novels. I tried to put myself in her shoes and circumstances. I really do not think I would have fared as well as Elizabeth. But perhaps when faced with the circumstances, my personality flaws would have matured more rapidly to cover my insecurities.

Elizabeth enters the scene as an eighteen-year-old young lady in 1772, Charles Town. Marriageable age. Studious. Garden and cat lover. Musician (teacher). Loving, obedient daughter. Sister and friend. Upper-middle class family. On any normal day, I would guess her to behave as an average teen. What made her maturity level elevate?

The Pre-Revolution decision—

Loyalist or Patriot

The series spans ten years, until Elizabeth is twenty-eight. I look back to my twenties, and I do not shine with any outstanding level of maturity. Why does Elizabeth’s level rank higher than her years?

The American Revolution

in her hometown

I watch the news of war. She lived it.

I might have pinched pennies for groceries. She managed with hoarded food.

I teach school. Her school closed.

I have two children. She did, too, but she had to protect them with her life.

My husband works. Hers impoverished them by supplying the war effort.

I lock my doors. She lived with blackout drapes and curfews with a pistol by her side.

It intrigues me to wonder about the effects of war and famine, of disease and poverty, of death and prison on a young family. Did Elizabeth age physically? Did her face show the signs of distress? Did her mind collapse into a mode of survival with no intellectual outlet? Did her emotions plummet into depression and woes?

My theory after living for many more than 28 years is that the human experience of living takes on a day-to-day existence when faced with calamity. We have a pandemic with all its shortcomings, of which many are emotional. Elizabeth had a war, including a siege and occupation. The big picture with no answers is too much, too daunting, too unbelievable. It’s doable if in little pieces.

I look at the covers of my books to Elizabeth as a young, dreamy, carefree girl to a young, mature woman. Ten years with the experience of a much older woman. I’ve been challenged by Elizabeth—by all women facing the unknown, all pioneers in history. I strive to be a mature being who somehow maintains a portion of the fun-loving, spontaneous, joyful moments.

Please follow Elizabeth on her journey in the Revolutionary Faith series.

Wait for Me (#5) will be released February 9!

Can you think of other characters that have “matured” in the book(s)?

Release Day–Less than two weeks!

I’m so excited about the release of Wait for Me, Book Five in the Revolutionary Faith Series!

February 9, 2021

The rhythm of Wait for Me beats across the miles, into the prisons, through the shackled town from the heart of God to His war-weighted people.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1780—With the inevitable occupation of Charles Town by the British pounding at the gates, Louis Lestarjette braces for possible imprisonment or worse. How can he provide for his growing family with the evil chains of the enemy binding his source of existence? The scenarios of imprisonment and starvation warp his grasp of control. He realizes he has no control over the outcome of the stronghold of the British, only a sense of survival at almost any cost.

The reality of her impending confinement within the walls of an occupied town ground Elizabeth with an innate drive to protect her children. She bends her definition of Patriot and mother as she invades the enemy’s territory and violates the strict rules, possibly exposing her family to harm. When her brother finally turns his allegiance to the Patriot cause, she allows him to bring the battle into her home as they consider the rescue of endangered soldiers. Her belief in justice amidst chaos wavers as Elizabeth faces the delivery of her baby and of her beloved hometown.  

Discover the destiny of the Lestarjette family in the final book of the Revolutionary Faith Series as they hope and wait upon deliverance from a world under siege.

Preorder ebook here: https://www.amazon.com/Wait-Me-Revolutionary-Faith-Book-ebook/dp/B08HVWDQNL/

Paperback is available for purchase on February 9, 2021

I hope you will purchase and read Wait for Me!

Not So Minor

When I say “minor character,” what do you think? The more I read and the more I experience life, I pose the question, “Are they minor? Really?” The word “minor” tends to diminish the impact or importance of something. Not so! Not in novels. In novels the protagonists or major characters have the main story line. The other characters have a story, too, but reserved for another time, another point of view. I propose that without the “minor” characters, there is not much to a story. What do you think?

In novels the minor characters are friends, sisters, brothers, parents, children, store owners, ministers, etc. But are they really minor in the lives of the major ones? Not at all. In my life, all the people who make up my circle are so very important that if one were missing my life would be off-centered. Hence, the reason it takes me time to adjust when someone moves or dies or grows up. None of these precious people serve a minor role.

Perhaps, “supporting” is a better word, for isn’t that what they do every day? What would a novel be without the interaction of the ones who complete the circle? As I launch the final novel in the Revolutionary Faith Series, Wait for Me, I have a love for all the characters that make Elizabeth and Louis into the people they are. The same roles of ones who have molded me: family, friends, teachers, mentors.

As you read the pages of Wait for Me, pay attention to the following special people:

          Sarah—Elizabeth’s best friend

          Anne—Elizabeth’s sister

          The Elliotts—her parents

          George—her brother

          Samuel and Christopher—Louis’ best friends

          All the children

          Jeannette and Henry

          Lucy

          Tom and Raymond

          Ellen and Amy

They each have a story. Each person in your life has a major role too. Let’s try to be thankful for those supporting us in so many ways.

Do you enjoy the minor characters in the novels you read? Who is an example?

Pre-order link for Wait for Me ebook:

https://www.amazon.com/Wait-Me-Revolutionary-Faith-Book-ebook/dp/B08HVWDQNL/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=wait+for+me+marguerite+martin+gray&qid=1610674918&sr=8-1

Counting Down to Release Day

February 9, 2021 is less than four months from now. I’m so excited about holding the last book of Revolutionary Faith in my hands. Wait for Me throws the characters into emotional and physical dilemmas most people will never have to face. I hope you are ready to fall into step with Louis and Elizabeth on their journey.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter one of Wait for Me.

Chapter 1

Charles Town, South Carolina, January 1777

Elizabeth Lestarjette tugged at an escaped ringlet. The pull kept her focused on the present news, rather than the what ifs of the past or the speculations about the future.

Her brother’s fevered body struggled on the bed in the caretaker’s cottage. With few options, the hidden room posed as a safe place to sequester George. The fever had raged for two weeks, ever since Christmas Eve.

No, no, no. You can’t die like this. Not with Louis gone. I don’t think I could stand to lose you now.

Stay tuned for more info as the date draws near….

To pre-order Wait for Me with a bonus short story please follow this link:

http://www.celebratelitpublishing.com/posts/book/wait-for-me/

Lucy’s Story with Pre-order

With my Revolutionary Faith Series coming to an end, I find there are so many characters with their own stories. Jeannette’s story was at the end of Draw Me to Your Side. I’ve even written her into another novel set in France. I’ve written Tom’s short story. George deserves one too.

For my last book in Revolutionary Faith, Wait for Me, I’ve included Lucy March’s story. Remember her? She is Elizabeth’s cousin who lives in the back country outside of Charles Town with her family. Did she always live there? What did she think of life on a farm? Who was Clifford March? Of course, she deserves more than a short story.

You can read about Lucy in Adventure’s Cost. You receive it as an eBook bonus if you pre-order Wait for Me from Celebrate Lit. http://www.celebratelitpublishing.com/posts/book/wait-for-me/ It will be sent on release day, February 9, 2021. The print format will also have Lucy’s story at the end.

Adventure’s Cost even gets its own cover. Isn’t she lovely? Thanks again to Roseanna White for her awesome artistic cover.

I appreciate your anticipation with me! Four months and counting.

http://www.celebratelitpublishing.com/posts/book/wait-for-me/

Wait for Me Cover Reveal

We’ve waited for this for a year. Now the wait is over. The cover for Wait for Me, Book Five of the Revolutionary Faith Series is here. I’m so pleased with the beautiful artwork by Roseanna White. Although the book will be released on February 9, 2021, we can feast on the cover and anticipate holding the novel in five months.

I am showing this to my faithful blog followers before anyone else. You are special to me and therefore, deserve the first peek. I hope you are as pleased as I am.

Heavy sigh…heart pounding…here it is.

I’ll post more information about pre-orders, bonus item, and excerpts later. For now, enjoy the inspiring cover. Be sure to leave your comments.

Minor Characters are Major

1750 FranceAn author recently reminded me that minor characters really play a major role in novels. That started me thinking about what she means. Do I agree? I do. Without thinking about it, I’ve used support men and women in my novels as a way to develop my heroes and heroines. The authors I read find ways to advance the plot with interesting characters that add depth to the protagonists.

What would a story be without the mothers, sisters, best friends, grandmothers, and friends of the heroine? What would my life be without the same group of people? As my sisters prod me to be better and to grow, an author can have them interact to reveal inner strengths and weaknesses of the major characters.  Do you sometimes find the life of minor characters as interesting and important as the main ones?

 

I’ve thought of a few examples of the utmost importance of the support role. See if you agree.  What about Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, and her best friend Charlotte Lucas. The way Elizabeth interacts with her longtime friend shows a side of Elizabeth that her mother and sisters don’t necessarily see. Elizabeth is deliberate in her dealings with Charlotte, even hurting her when Charlotte chooses to marry Elizabeth’s cousin. Many minor characters shine in this novel: Mrs. Bennet, all her sisters, and even Caroline Bingley. I wouldn’t want any of them to disappear from the novel.

 

Little Women offers a great cast of characters with Jo raising as the heroine with her three sisters and mother playing tremendous roles. Any of them could have been the number one character, but it was presented with Jo as the future author wanting to tell her family’s story. Without the sisters and mother, Jo’s world would have been very dull indeed.

 

And of course, I can add my heroine for my Revolutionary Faith Series. Elizabeth Elliott brings a mother, sister, cousin, best friend, and grandmother into her story. She is surrounded by women of strong character strengths and flaws. Her relationships with each form help form her views, her role, her beliefs, her traits….I’ve been able to develop these women through the five book series.

Surround Me front (3)Do you have a favorite example of a book or movie with an impressive support character? 

Because Fiction Magazine

I’m very excited about this new online magazine–Because Fiction Magazine

becausefiction-narrow-bannerBecause Fiction Magazine link

The subscription is free! So sign up today.

Every month there will be giveaways and articles by authors. There are categories to fit your interests: contemporary, historical, women fiction, suspense.

because fiction official bannerPlease read my article and enter the giveaway. There are many giveaways so while you are there, check out other authors and their giveaways. Each month I will have a new article and giveaway.

because fiction banner 2 (1)Here is the link to my page and article on Because Fiction: Marguerite’s page on Because Fiction

A little bit about the historical edition.

April Historical Fiction Edition

Welcome to our new online magazine where we share the heartbeat of Christian fiction. Each issue will be delivered right to your inbox every month. Each monthly issue will be split into categories so you will receive different issues. YAY!

Along with having articles, stories, and interviews, each issue will have giveaways and sometimes even a free book! Be sure to click on the “read more” button so you can enter the giveaway or grab your book.

Be sure to stop by the #BecauseFiction website to check out Chautona Havig’s #BecauseFiction Podcast, see our latest book reviews, subscribe to the free magazine, and check out our #BecuaseFiction Read alongs where authors are reading chapters of their books – So fun!

Bloggers, readers, and authors alike are sharing the #BecauseFiction hashtag so be sure to search it on your favorite social media platform.

In this issue we are featuring all things historical and amish fiction. We hope you enjoy what the authors have brought. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Because Fiction Banner

Surround Me Recap

IMG_3694Do you have more time to read while under stay at home or shelter in place mandate? Things are crazy, far from normal for most of us. As I wrote my Revolutionary Series, I could only imagine the abnormalities, inconveniences, awkward, scary, and disruptive day to day life. Although, I don’t feel threatened by war with fighting, bullets, and cannon, I do face, as you do, a physical threat. And, a threat to my way of life. The good is that I have slowed down, enjoying my garden, reading more, writing more, eating better, and cherishing my loved ones (without touching them.)

In Surround Me, Elizabeth and Louis are facing something on the horizon that they have not experienced before. Sound familiar? There were no answers, just preparation for what might happen. “Battles rage in Elizabeth Elliott’s heart as the threat of war invades her hometown.”Surround Me front (1)

Purchase Surround Me here

An excerpt from the first page of the novel:

Bordeaux, France, June 1773

     His hands tightly gripped the railing, turning his knuckles a startling white compared to his wind-chapped and tanned skin. The pressure in his grasp mimicked the turmoil in his head. Louis Lestarjette’s gaze lifted to a sea of deep-blue waves. Charles Town and any semblance of land had disappeared weeks ago. Why the upheaval now when he had already had weeks to prepare for his journey and his family reunion? Could a prodigal son truly go back home? How would he be received? The same questions rolled over and over in his head.

     If he had made a mistake, he would never forgive himself. All the what-ifs jumbled in his mind, tumbling into compartments he thought he’d closed in order to keep away doubts and insecurities. Where was the peace he had claimed? The voyage was a necessity for business, for the colony of South Carolina, and for his family. He had determined even after the first five weeks on the ocean that his love for Elizabeth Elliott would only increase with time.

So, they enter a period with a crazy new normal. Sound familiar? One reviewer for Draw Me to Your Side remarks about the eerie similarities to what we are going through now–a revolution of sorts.

4 togetherHave time to read? Try this series and tell me what you think.