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        4 Women                                    

 
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By E. B. Alston

 

Christina lived in a tiny South American country.

 

Abigail lived in colonial Massachusetts. 

 

 Lynn lives in the United States.

 

Sarah lived in post Civil War Kansas.

 

What they had in common was courage and a will to act!
 

ISBN 978-0-9796209-2-8

 

Paperback-172 pages- $11.99

 

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About the Book

 

You know women like these. They are strong women, who have what it takes to deal with life altering circumstances. Sometimes they have choices about what to do but other times, they have no other option. 

In Twilight for the Gods, Christina de La Rocha has risen from the impoverished slums of her small South American country to a position as personal confidant to the president. She has been working to change the political process in ways that benefit the poor and downtrodden in her country. Her crisis comes just when success seems to be within her grasp. She proves that ultimate courage is not the exclusive domain of men.

In Colonial Justice fifteen-year-old Abigail Wagstaff must defy her violent Calvinist father to save the life of the man she loves. 

In Nowhere to Run, Lynn Pierce faces the kidnapping of one of her sons. How she turns the tables on the kidnappers is the stuff of legend.  

In A High Plains Christmas, Sarah Fitzgerald Montgomery is a refugee from a defeated Confederacy. The daughter of a wealthy planter, she grew up in aristocratic circumstances. But her way of life turns to dust after the defeat of the South. In 1866 she and her war-wounded husband moved west to Kansas to start over in a new place away from the ravages of war. When her husband dies from his wounds four months after their first child is born, Sarah is alone in snow-covered Kansas with a tiny baby to care for. But she is not a woman who will give up her dream.

 

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 Early Review:

If you like to read about women who are courageous, resourceful, spunky and optimistic, 4 Women is the book for you.

 

Christina choose to be an optimist and turned a potentially degrading situation into a life of respect, admiration and power.  Abigail stood up to a tyrannical father and proved that true love can overcome obstacles. Lynn took command of a difficult situation.  In spite of her fears, she never relinquished control and successfully botched the plans of kidnappers. Sarah affirmed that desperate means call for desperate measures.  By keeping her wits about her, she altered her status from a lonely widow to having an entire town support her in her choice of a new husband. 

 

All of Alston’s women share a common characteristic.  Each woman could have allowed herself to wallow in self pity.  Instead, all four women were fighters.  Each used a combination of wit, ingenuity, determination, and gumption to affect positive changes in her life. 

 

Pick up this book for the sheer pleasure of good reading.  Revel in the stories of the women themselves.  Complete the book with your self esteem reinforced by the lessons in self empowerment. 

 

 

Judy Jacobs

Editor and Literary Critic

St.  Joseph  MO

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Excerpts from Twilight for the Gods:

 

A military officer showed up. The big man asked when the lady would arrive.

“They are trying to hurry,” he explained. “But she is being difficult this morning.”

The big man grunted something that I took to be a curse word and lit a cigar. They made private small talk while the minutes ticked away. I dozed off a few times only to be awakened when one of them laughed.

The sky was brightening in the east when a second limo pulled up and stopped. The driver opened the right rear passenger door and stood at attention as a head full of blonde hair emerged. I watched as my new companion stood up. It was Christina de La Rocha, the famous movie star. She looked just as beautiful in person in the pre-dawn light as she did onscreen. I’d seen her at parties but I had never been this close to her. Her beauty held up to close observation very well. Ms. de La Rocha was, in addition to being the only movie star in this tiny country, the president’s mistress. Scuttlebutt gave her credit for his popularity.

She was the most famous international advocate for her country. If not for her, few people would ever hear her country named in conversation. One of the national television stations played her six movies over and over in a loop twenty-four hours a day and it was the most watched television station in the country.

The big man escorted her onto the plane and motioned for her to sit in the seat facing me. I was about to take an airplane trip seated five feet in front of the famous Christina de La Rocha.

She was immaculately dressed. Upon closer inspection her face was over-made up; not enough to diminish her loveliness but, instead, it made her seem more human; less goddess-like, if that makes any sense. 

“Good morning,” she said in that voice everybody loved to hear.

“Good morning,” I replied.

“Do you know what this is all about?” she asked.

“Not a clue.” I pointed to the big man. “He told me this was very important and ordered me not to worry.”

She laughed, “Politicians! They think everything they do and think is of the highest importance.”

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The pilots boarded the plane followed by the big man and wine-breath. After the big man closed the door, they sat in the right-side seats with the big man in the seat beside Ms. de La Rocha. The airport was empty when we took off.

The plane turned southeast toward the Andes Mountains. We climbed to about thirty thousand feet. The door to the cockpit had been left open and I could hear the pilots talking. After the plane leveled off, wine-breath served coffee. The big man told us we’d get breakfast when we arrived at the resort. Ms. de La Rocha was quiet as she looked out the window at the mountainous terrain.

She was smaller in person than she looked onscreen. Her cream-colored skin was without blemish. To look at her was to want to touch her. Jewelry looked good on her and she was wearing quite a lot, all of which looked very expensive. Her clothes and shoes were of a style and quality worn by the very rich.

The big man and wine-breath were also expensively dressed. The big man seemed like somebody who was used to getting his way. He reminded me of Mafia characters in American gangster movies. 

About two hours after we took off, the plane began to descend. It was cloudy and I could tell from the pilot’s conversation that they were having trouble locating the airport. One asked, ominously, if there were any peaks in the area taller than five thousand meters. Then I heard one of them exclaim, “There it is!” and the pilot made a sharp World War II fighter plane turn to the left.

 

Excerpts from Colonial Justice:

 

The year was 1691. They had been missing for two weeks when they sheepishly crept into town at dusk. He was arrested the moment they stepped into the town square. Her father had seen to that. The girl was firmly escorted home and confined to her room. 

Abigail had been the apple of her father’s eye. He insisted that she had been kidnapped, but this was obviously not the case judging by her behavior when she had to be torn from the arms of her lover. 

Cooler heads were advising him to let them be. They were old enough to marry and everybody knew they were in love. She was a mature girl of fifteen and he was almost eighteen. Let them get married right away. Then the legends of their elopement would grow into a happy story to be told at family gatherings. 

Her father would have none of that. And when his wife, her mother, sided with the cooler heads, he went into a rage. She had seen him like that before and retreated back into her kitchen. She had lost too many of those battles and she had no stomach to fight this one.

He raged like a mad bull and would have hung the young man on the spot if the sheriff hadn’t forcibly prevented him from doing it.

 

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One of Seth’s daughters had already caused him great embarrassment. She had blossomed into a statuesque and flirtatious beauty who wore tight dresses and stylish hats to church. Her husband relished his wife’s attractiveness and approved of her showing herself off.

Oddly enough, the one who complained most about her was his brother who told everybody that would listen how his brother was besotted of this flouncing, jiggling Jezebel. She had a sensuous walk and she would flip her dress in a way that showed her ankle and the calf of her leg. The tavern window was full of faces when the lookout announced that she was passing by.

 

Excerpts from Nowhere to Run:

“Hey there kid. Wanna see something neat?”

The boy looked their way but didn’t respond. His parents had warned him about talking to strangers.

They followed the boy and called out again. “Want a free Sony PlayStation, kid?”

Still no response.

They lost their heads, drove ahead one block, turned around, and approached the boy so the middle van door was next to the sidewalk. Just before they reached him, they threw the door open; Troy and Trent leapt from the van, grabbed the boy and jumped back inside. 

Unfortunately for the men, the boy’s parents had taught their son how to deal with situations like this and his reaction caught them by surprise.  He yelled at the top of his voice. He also started kicking Troy with his feet and hitting Trent in the face with his fist and scratching at Trent’s eyes with his fingernails.

They were unprepared for this little hellion. It was as if they were in the back of the van with a wildcat. Trent put his hand over the boy’s mouth to stop his yelling but the boy bit his hand. He stopped trying to scratch Trent’s eyes long enough to grab Stefan’s glasses and throw them on the floor. Then he stopped kicking Troy long enough to stomp Stefan’s glasses into little pieces.

 

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Trent drove up to the Pierce home at eleven a.m., rang the doorbell and stood back while he waited for the boy’s mother to come to the door.

A tall redheaded woman answered the doorbell and asked him what she could do for him. She was well dressed and her clothes spelled lots of money. 

“Lady, have you got a blond-headed kid about nine or ten years old?”

“Yes, I have a son who meets that description. What has he gotten himself into this time?”

“We’ve got him ma’am.”

“Got him?”

Trent swallowed hard. This was not a woman who was easily intimidated. “We’ve got him, lady.”

“Why don’t you come inside?” she said with a puzzling expression on her face.

She opened the door and he stepped inside. He was hoping she’d let him inside the house so he could scope it out. This was a nice house. These people had plenty of money. She closed the door behind him. Trent didn’t notice that she locked it.

“Excuse me,” she said as if everything was normal. “Wait here. I must put something on the stove.” 

It sounded like an ordinary thing for a housewife to say. She turned and went into the kitchen. He could hear her run water into a pot and set it on the stove. He heard her place a call and tell somebody named Dan to come home immediately. He heard her open a drawer and take something out of it.

 

Excerpts from A High Plains Christmas:

When the first snow fell they’d been dispatched to this line shack with a wagon load of flour, cornmeal, bacon, beans, coffee, salt, pepper and sugar with instructions to return on March 15th. Zed was assigned to mark the calendar. Today was Christmas Eve, 1869.

All of them were refugees from the Civil War. Zed and Bob had been with Grant’s army at Appomattox. Abe and Gilbert were with Lee. Although they had little in common there were no animosities between them. All of them had lost friends and relatives in the war and they were burnt out with conflict. Abe and Gilbert grew up on adjoining plantations in Alabama. They were fugitives from the occupation army because they had violently resisted confiscation of their land and property after returning to their devastated homes. Zed and Bob just couldn’t go back home so they wandered west like so many scarred veterans from both sides.

 

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“I need a lot of money before spring.”

“What for, ma’am?” He was thinking she needed money to go back east.

“So I can hire a field hand to plant corn and harvest the wheat.”

“You’re a farmer?” he was incredulous.

“Yes.”

“How big a farm?” He figured she had a quarter -- 160 acres.

“Two squares.”

“Ma’am that is a lot of land! Ain’t you got a husband?”

“My husband’s dead.”

“I’m sorry to hear it.” He was genuinely sorry. “How long ago?”

“Six months.”

She had a four-month-old baby and her husband had been dead two months when their child was born.

He hesitated before he said anything else. “Then you ought to go back east where you come from, ma’am. This is rough country, especially for a woman.” He almost added, “Like you,” but didn’t.

“I can’t go back.”

“Why not?”

“There’s nothing to go back to.”

“Ain’t you got no family?” She was very well groomed and he thought she must have come from a prominent family.

“My parents are dead.”

“Ain’t you got no other kin?”

“I’ve got lots of kin people back home but they can’t help me.”

“Why not?”

“Their condition is as desperate as mine.”

“Where are you from, ma’am?”

“North Carolina, near Weldon. My father owned a plantation on the Roanoke River.”

“Can’t you go back there?”

“No. All of our land was sold to Yankees to pay Yankee taxes.”

She glared at him, “Over 38,000 acres of good bottom land and when my daddy died of a broken heart he was living in a shack on 33 acres. Imagine! Jacob Fitzgerald living in a shack! ” she added bitterly.

“Sorry ma’am.” 

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“For what?”

“For getting mad. It wasn’t your doing.”

“It’s alright. The war caused a lot of bad things to happen.”

“I wish the war hadn’t come,” she said wistfully.

“Me too, ma’am.”

“I’d be at home tonight. We’d be opening presents now. Daddy always got his girls clothes from London. We’d run upstairs and try them on and run back down to show them off.” She looked at him, “It seems like it happened a million years ago on another planet.”

“Times have changed,” he admitted.

“It won’t be like that ever again,” she replied sadly.

“No ma’am, it won’t.”