Welcome to the Courage Chronicles blog hop and giveaway!
I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting the first four posts of the giveaway! If you’ve missed any, you can read the stories about courage, plus, enter up to five times into our grand prize: A custom piece of art, hand painted by the authors, plus five novels—one from each of us!
Fri. May 10: Joanne Bischof (You’re here!)
G I V E A W A Y D E T A I L S
(ENTRY link below!)
After watching each video, you can enter the giveaway by answering a question that’s answered in the video (except for Joanne’s post … oopsie! You’ll find the answer to my secret question listed in the written excerpt below 😀 ). You only need to fill out one form from one author to enter for the prize (the painting + 5 books!) but you can earn up to five entries by visiting all five posts and filling out all five forms! Yay! The event runs May 6-10, 2019, with the giveaway closing May 17, 2019 at 9 am EST. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.
A N E X C E R P T F R O M D A U G H T E R S o f N O R T H E R N S H O R E S (this contains the clue to enter the giveaway!)
Cora moved about, and by the sound of it, was shifting bottles in her medic case. Her footsteps crossed the floor, followed by the gentle rattle of the chains that belonged to the hanging farm scale. Though most oft used for weighing bags of apples, it had been hung into place near the newly arrived cradle—both rituals belonging to the time just before a new babe.
With the scraping sound still in the yard that was much less familiar, Aven glanced out the window.
Haakon stood in front of the cidery and with a rasp in hand, ran it against the weathered wood, causing a portion of the vow written there to fade. Same as he’d been doing that morning. The shirt between his suspenders was dark with sweat, his boyish confidence gone, and in its place was a raw and real ability that bespoke years of sea and survival.
Cora’s own gaze moved to the window. A shadow passed over Cora’s eyes—brief but telling. The woman wasn’t pleased with the youngest Norgaard, that was certain. Cora watched as Haakon worked and Aven recalled that this very woman had helped bring him into the world once. Perhaps even in this very room. So close was Haakon in age to Cora’s daughter, Tess, that Aven had a sense Cora might even have been his wet nurse. A motherly bond that she couldn’t yet begin to fathom. ’Twas a broken heart shining in Cora’s eyes and it made Aven’s own chest ache even more.
At the washstand, Cora poured a glass of water while she watched Haakon scrape at the nearest board. “He due to have a time of it if he aimin’ to make that writin’ go away.” As Haakon continued his work, so softened Cora’s countenance. With the markings made be secret leaders of the Ku Klux Klan, Aven realized just how potent Haakon’s actions were to Cora. More than she had yet considered.
Yet ’twas a motherly protection for Aven in Cora’s voice. “How you farin’ with him home?”
“I’m not certain. At first I was stunned to see him. He came with no word or warning.”
“Ain’t that just like Haakon?”
Aye. The shock had worn off and now she just felt sore. “I don’t know what to think or believe. There has been time enough to prepare for that, but I don’t know that I’m as ready as I might have been.”
“I say you’re doin’ right fine. More than fine.”
“We’ve spoken briefly and he asked me to forgive him.”
Cora’s hands that had been busy adjusting a pillow stilled. “What had you to say?”
The scraping continued—muted by distance but steady with determination.
“I told him that I forgive him, but I’m not sure of what to do. I don’t feel any different, Aunt Cora. When he is around, I’m not sure how to be. I’m still uneasy. Though I don’t believe he intends ill will, I still know what he is capable of.”
Cora patted a cool touch to Aven’s arm. “There be no shame in unease. Not when it be of such a nature as you’ve known. Your trust been broken and he must bear the consequence.”
“But how can that be? If I’ve forgiven him…am I not doing something wrong?”
“Forgiveness be a gift taught to us by the One who forgave first and who forgave the most. You took that to heart when Haakon done asked you and I’m right proud of you and your answer. Mighty proud. But that you’s unsettled around him be the cost of his choice. Unlike forgiveness, trust be a cost only he can pay.”
Aven watched him through the window as he stood there, speaking to Sigurd who was helping. In this moment, she could see a trace of the kindness she’d once known was in him.
“It be trust he need to earn and that’s what sin does. Forgiveness…it pure and good, but it just the start of it. Offering one don’t mean the other be remedied as well. When a person be hurt, there need be a minding to both hope and sense.”
With Cora the faithful soul to have delivered most of the infants in the region for decades, she’d surely seen her share of injustice when it came to the ways of a man with a woman. How many trembling hands had she laid newborns in? How many misty-eyed mothers had she spoken these words of comfort to?
The side of Cora’s mouth tipped up in a smile…one that bespoke a faith as bright as the sunshine streaming in. The shawl still in hand, she lay the soft folds over the footboard of the bed. “Overcoming such hurts ain’t so different than what that man be aimin’ to achieve out there.” Her eyes shifted to the window once more. “All that been painted there may soon be scoured off, but the grooves of their doin’ will remain. Those hollows will serve as a reminder that iniquity be possible. And the scraping away is what the restoring does. Our hearts ain’t so different than the side of that barn. And we not so different in the hands of our maker.”
Here is our finished painting! Hand-painted and signed by each author!