Monday, November 4, 2013

Patty Smith Hall

Twice in the last month, I’ve found myself sitting at the bedside of a loved one preparing to step out of this life and meet their Savior face to face. Both my grandmother, Ruth Clark and my father-in-law, Bob Cooper have played such a vital role in making the me person and writer I’ve become, stretching my faith and encouraging me when I didn’t always believe in myself. It only seems fitting to share their memory with you today.

My grandma encouraged my love of reading early, and I attribute her with introducing me to my first Harlequin Romance when I was around twelve years old. That was because every Friday, Momma would load all of us into a car and we’d head out shopping, Grandma’s favorite activity. Of course, a day of shopping was completely without a trip to the Woolworth’s cafe. On one of those visits, I noticed the new book section of the dime store featuring Harlequin. Being twelve and only getting enough allowance to go roller skating with my friends, I couldn’t afford even one book. But Grandma wouldn’t hear of it. She’d pull a five dollar bill from her purse and hand it to me, telling me to get whatever books I wanted. To this day, I think Grandma had some insight from above and decided to give me a head start by helping me ‘know the Harlequin brand.’ Years later, when I published, Grandma would share family stories she thought I might want to use in my books. She share her stories of being a poor farm girl in rural Georgia right up until a few weeks before she passed September 30th.

I knew I’d met a kindred spirit when my (future) father-in-law quizzed me the first time Danny took me home to meet the family. Bob didn’t shy away from asking me about my beliefs, how my relationship with God was or what my life goals were. That he loved his stepson enough to find out if I was good enough for him touched me--and I must have passed the test because Danny and I are still together all these years later. Over the last thirty-two years, Bob has challenged me, made me think out of my comfort zone, and helped me grow my faith in Christ. He shared history books out of his personal library to help me research ideas for my stories, always encouraging me in my mission field of writing. Alzheimer’s cruelly robbed him of that wonderfully sharp brain, but even at the end, I see his sweet spirit etched on his slumbering face.

Two very different people that God used in my life, to grow me in my faith and encourage me. I’m a blessed woman to have been loved by them both.

Dr. Joshua McClain is headed west
First stop: Hillsdale, Michigan, to break the marriage contract his late mother arranged between him and Katie Clark. Years ago, Katie left him behind in Charleston. But after a train crash, he comes face-to-face with Dr. Kathleen Clark, his childhood friend all grown up.
When Josh shows up in town, claiming they're betrothed, Katie refuses to consider an arranged marriage. She'll marry for love or not at all. Besides, he's headed for Kansas Territory; her practice is here in Hillsdale. So why are they both finding it hard to break their betrothal and say goodbye?
More about Patty:
Patty Smith Hall made up stories to keep herself occupied since on boring Sunday drives into the Georgia countryside when she was too young to stay home by herself. Now she's happy to share her wild imagination and love of history with others, including her husband, Danny, two smart and gorgeous daughters, and a Yorkie she spoils like a baby. She resides in North Georgia.

12 comments:

  1. Wonderful tributes! The book sounds great, too!

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    1. Thank you, Connie--and thanks for coming by!

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  2. Patty, I'm sorry for your losses. It is never easy to say goodbye to our loved ones.
    The Doctors Bride sounds like a good read. Thank You. Blessings to you and your family

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    1. Thank you, Jackie--I really think the Lord was preparing me for this season of loss. When I was writing The Doctor's Bride, my Biblical focus was from Ecclesiastes--'For every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.'

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Patty

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  3. So sorry for your loss of those precious people - but you have written today's post as wonderful tributes to them. Your descriptions alone make me wish I knew them. What a blessing to have had them in your life. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Words can't describe these two wonderful people--and after their suffering, I'm so glad to know that they're in heaven with the Lord they both loved!

      Thanks for visiting with me today!
      Patty

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  4. Not sure blogger took my comment.......I am so sorry for your loss; thanks for sharing your precious memories.
    I am anxious to read your book; thanks for the giveaway.
    I am in NE Georgia.
    jacsmi75 [at] gmail[dot]com

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    1. Jackie, I live in NE Georgia too! Isn't it beautiful right now? Thanks for coming by to visit with me today.

      Blessings,
      Patty

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  5. Love to read your book. I'm a nurse and am drawn to any nurse, doctor or medical books. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I'm a former nurse so I understand your love of medical romances! Thanks for dropping in today, Sharon!

      Blessings,
      Patty

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  6. So sorry you lost your precious people......God bless you
    Your book sounds great though
    Please have a terrific day
    God bless you
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. Thank you, Chris. As far as this book is concerned, I had a ball writing it. I had the privilege of working with three very talented writers--Laurie Alice Eakes, Gina Welborn and Pamela Griffin--in coming up with the idea for a series based around a real-life train wreck that happened in Hillsdale, MI during the winter of 1856. With no way out of town until the weather broke and passengers from the train stranded, it was the perfect recipe for romance!

      Blessings,
      Patty

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