A New Year with an Author From the Past

We remember Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish novelist, for Treasure IslandKidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But even a little research reveals another legacy this author left us.

Stevenson lived only forty-four years, became a literary celebrity during his brief lifetime, and ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. Literary geniuses Hemingway, Kipling, Jack London, and Arthur Conan Doyle admired his works, and G.K. Chesterton declared that Stevenson “seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins.’

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Robert loved to travel, and fell in love with a married American woman in France. Eventually, she returned to the States, divorced her husband, and married Robert. He gained two stepsons in this marriage, and the couple continued to seek adventures in California, Hawaii, and Samoa.

Perhaps not the perfect example of piety, but neither was King David–and millions still read both men’s writings. Stevenson still exhibited faith. During these days between Christmas and New Year’s, I consider the winter storm bearing down on the route we’ll soon travel to Arizona, and his Christmas prayer informs me.

“Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, Amen!”

Acknowledging the world’s hate and evil, Stevenson prayed for deliverance and “… to be merry with clear hearts …”  What does this mean? Perhaps to face evil and hate head-on, yet still find joy. RobertLouisStevens_3125983b

Stevenson knew pain first-hand, since he suffered from hemorrhaging lungs and lived only to the age of forty-four. He wrote many of his best manuscripts from bed, including Treasure Island, conjured after drawing a map for his son. First serialized in a magazine, this story captivated young readers’ hearts.

Since Stevenson’s death in 1894, evil and hate continue to have a heyday. But this author’s prayer still calls us to share the angels’ song and marvel with the shepherds and wise men.

As we enter a new year, his words fit this hurting world’s needs–and ours, to be realistic, prayerful, grateful and forgiving. To be merry with clear hearts–and to use our creative gifts to the best of our ability.

Sounds like a goal for 2016!    

July 6 Dora Hiers – Coming Home

A little about Dora, one of those amazing women developed in both LEFT and RIGHT brains!  Please leave a comment to qualify for her giveaway, a copy of her July release, BECK’S PEACE.

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!

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While our two sons were young, we lived in Florida, where seasons and cooler temperatures were non-existent. So, every winter break we loaded the car with heavy coats, sleds, and Christmas presents, and traveled to some faraway state, hoping to find snow.

After arriving at our destination, we would tuck all the presents under a miniature artificial tree and turn on the sparkling lights. Then, we’d snuggle in front of the fireplace and cheer for our favorite football teams or watch a movie, sipping hot chocolate loaded with whipped cream and sprinkles. In the morning, we’d all scramble to the window to see if it had snowed during the night. Nothing beat that first sight of freshly fallen snow, clean and pure, and shimmering like diamonds.

Now that hubby and I are empty nesters, we travel quite a bit more than we did when the kids were young. We’ve taken to cruising every year and have enjoyed visiting Italy, France, Croatia, Spain, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. We’ve tried new foods, explored new cultures, experienced unfamiliar situations, deciphered foreign languages, and encountered wonderful people along the way.

As much as I love traveling, the best part for me is…wait for it, wait for it…

Coming home. That sweet feeling that wells up as I walk in the door. Home, where everything is familiar, where our dog roams the yard without a leash, where I don’t need to pull up a map on my cellphone. Home, to a soft mattress and pillows shaped just the way I need them, coffee just the way I like it, and local restaurants with food and words I recognize. Home, to precious family nearby, where we don’t have to rely on Internet connections to chat or Google Hangouts to soak in their sweet faces. Home, to the comfort of a routine because that’s the way I roll.

Beck Harmon left home and wandered for ten years, seeking peace over his father’s death. Our motivation might be different, but he would say the same about his travels. The best part was coming home.

Which states/countries have you visited? What’s your favorite aspect of traveling? Least favorite?

 

Beck’s Peace – Release Date: 7/24/15

Burn survivor Savvy McCord doesn’t blame her best friend for running away. She can’t even look at her scars without wincing. When Beck’s disappearing act spans years, she relinquishes dreams of love and marriage. Unable to face Savvy’s expectations of happily-ever-after, Beck Harmon deserts her, far away from the rumors that he’s just like his father. When the wanderer returns, dreams of forever blossom in Savvy’s heart, but she worries he’ll leave again. Can Beck convince Savvy that her true beauty comes from her inner strength and faith? Will his idea to help burn victims regain their self-confidence restore Savvy’s trust in him? Will love be what the wanderer needs to find peace for his hurting soul?

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