Monday, March 4, 2013

Chasing Dreams and the Legacy of Courage

My mom is my hero. She's the greatest and strongest woman I know, and I'm so blessed to have her in my life. Growing up, that wasn't how I looked at it. We fought a lot (and still do!), and have said some mean words to each other over the years. But I wouldn't be where I am today, and I wouldn't be me without her influence and constant love and support she's shown me throughout my life. At most times, I didn't deserve her kindness and forgiveness. 

My mom is an amazing writer, who has never really caught a break. Quite a few years ago, she started to self-publish, because publishers kept turning her down and there were people who really wanted to read her stories. At first, they were just binder books, some in large print and others in really small print. She self-published the first six books in the series, Legacy of Courage, and had many followers and fans. Over the years, people kept sharing them with their relatives, friends, and neighbors until she had people asking when the next one was going to be out. 

On August 21, 2010, tragedy struck. We lost our rock, our hero. I lost the greatest man of my life. My brothers lost their father. My mom lost her husband and best friend. He was her biggest fan and supporter, and he never let her give up on her publishing dreams. He was with her every step of the way. If she had stopped writing and broken down, no one would have blamed her. 

I've come to realize over the last few years that my mom is strong, more strong than I've ever given her credit for. Instead of losing her spark, she kept writing and thought of new ways to self-publish. My uncle, her brother, found a small publishing company that's run by a church. Instead of binder notebooks, she now has the first three books in the series published as real books. They are each over 200 pages. And the covers are simply gorgeous. 

I'm going to do everything I can to help her get her books out there. Now, maybe I should tell you a little bit about them. They are historical inspirational love stories. We follow the main character, Cara Bancroft, as she goes on a journey of self-discovery, learning what matters most in life, and finding love in the midst of it all. The series is set in the 1850s, and the historical elements are spot on. In the first book, Cara is a young widow with three children and one on the way. Then comes Adam, who takes the job at her farm so he can earn money to go to the university. This series takes you on their journey: a journey of love, trust, hope, courage, and faith. 

Don't let the fact that Legacy of Courage is a Christian series leave you uninterested in buying them. I know that in this day and age, people want the secular books. They want the sailor's mouth, dirty dialogue, filthy humor, and steamy sex scenes. I enjoy those quite a bit myself. But these books are truly wonderful (and I'm not just saying that because I'm the author's daughter). They will have you laughing, smiling, crying, and becoming attached to Cara as she learns who she is as a person and finds her place in the world. After you read one, it'll leave you itching for the next. 

Right now, the books shown here are in paperback. My mom, Carol Underhill, is currently working on selling them as ebooks, possibly Kindle books. She is also working hard at trying to publish book #4, Courage to Forgive. It should be out in paperback in the next few months (but don't take my word for that, as I have no idea if that'll happen). Other self-publishing authors will know how long it takes and how much hard work it is to get their books out there. 

Seeing my mom self-publishing to follow her dreams makes me smile. She's a truly gifted writer, and I hope someday a big publishing company will take notice of her work. It's hard to publish Christian books in the market right now, but I know my mom will not give up. 

I'm so proud of her. 

♥ ♥ ♥

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