Today, I welcome Bethany Turner on her Rave Reviews Book Club SPOTLIGHT Blog Tour. Bethany is sharing her first book in her Abigail Phelps Series – I’ve Loved These Days. Take it away Bethany!
When I began writing the Abigail Phelps Series, I chose the name Abigail because a) I like it, and b) it could be shortened to Abby, which I also like. I chose the name Phelps because a) my son had a teacher with the surname Phelps, and we loved her, and b) because it sounded okay with both Abigail and Abby. That was it. That was literally the extent to which I put serious thought into my lead character’s name. And my Abigail lived in Simsbury, Connecticut because figure skating plays a major role in her story, and Simsbury has an international training facility. Abigail. Phelps. Simsbury. That’s the entire origin story.
So imagine my surprise when my husband stumbled across the real Abigail Phelps, by way of the Abigail Phelps Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution…in Simsbury, CT. There was an entire history which I hadn’t known existed. The real Abigail Phelps had been the mother of three men who fought in the American Revolution, and was a part of the family which had essentially founded the town of Simsbury. The Phelps Tavern, Phelps Homestead, Abigail’s Bar & Grille, Phelps Road…Simsbury’s history is eternally intertwined with that of the Phelps family.
And I’d had no idea.
Once I did know, there was no turning back. My fictional Abigail’s story was forever changed with the knowledge of the real Abigail’s legacy. My novels, which had already been formed with the intent of blurring reality, took on the story of the real Abigail Phelps of Simsbury, CT. Last year I was asked to speak in Simsbury, and I had the opportunity to witness the historic Phelps landmarks for myself. My Abigail is her descendent, and her journey has been shaped by that legacy. As has mine.
Excerpt from I’ve Loved These Days, Book One in the Abigail Phelps Series
March 17, 1994
Dear Mrs. Onassis,
It was such a lovely gift to receive your letter. I did receive some advance notice that it was on its way, of course, but I can’t tell you how touched I was when it showed up in my mailbox. I’m so very sorry that your health is as it is and, as is often the case in life, I wish we didn’t wait for dire circumstances to force us into conversations which should have taken place years ago. And I want to apologize for my share of that blame.
The twelve years since you and I last spoke have not been without their challenges, have they? I’m not certain, however, that I can agree with your assertion that all of the difficulties between John and myself stem from that day. Truthfully, they go back further, and I shoulder the responsibility. Be that as it may, he and I are in a good place now, and I can’t ask for more than the friendship we have developed. It’s the most important of my life.
And then there are your other assertions, which I wish I could deny. I wish I could laugh about how far off-track you are, but of course I can’t. You’re absolutely right. He knows it and I know it, though I really had no idea that you knew it as well. I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. He always said you knew from the very first day – which is why you gave him the ring. That very first time you met me you knew that he would never be the same again, didn’t you?
For the record, I was never the same again either. And while times have changed and opportunities have been lost, I still know in my heart of hearts that I never will be. But we can’t go back, and we can’t undo. What’s more, I don’t really want to. While my life is not perfect, it is uniquely, ridiculously mine, and I would not trade it.
So, put away the regret. I have. It didn’t take me long to discover that it didn’t do me any good, and it didn’t do him any good. But thank you. Thank you for acknowledging that you wish it had gone a different way – there’s nothing wrong with that, is there? And while I don’t regret, I’m not too proud to admit that yes, I wish some things had gone a different way as well.
Please take care of yourself. Relish these days, surrounded by your friends and your family and your books, and the people and things that you love. And please know that my affection for you remains strong. You never said an unkind word to me, and I thank you for that.
And yes, don’t worry – I promise to take care of him for you.
With sincere affection,
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/seebethanywrite
I’ve Loved These Days – Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSWE6U4
Scenes From Highland Falls – Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSX6HD2
Two Thousand Years – Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LSYL5UQ
Thanks to Rave Reviews Book Club for sponsoring the tour for Bethany. Please take a few minutes and investigate more about her Abigail Phelps Series. For more information about RRBC and these SPOTLIGHT blog tours see the website and if you join, tell them P. H. Solomon sent you.
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.