It is late in the summer of 1952, in this little town “somewhere in the south”. I am here, sitting out in front of the store with “Anna”, our story teller from my upcoming “Enchanted River of the Rose” series, the first of which is “River of Secrets: Summer of the Rose”, which is now available in book and Kindle versions on Amazon.com and in ebook (Nook) online at B&N . Meanwhile, why don’t you go on into the store here and get you a drink and come back out and sit down here with “Anna” and me and we’ll just let her tell you a little of what to expect. I told her it would be nice if we gave everyone a little of what it’s all about so she agreed to let me interview her. Now, let me just say, before we get started, “Anna” is one of the best story tellers around, and folks here in town will tell you, she knows how to tell a story. So, without further ado, let’s see what she has to say..
WHAT IS IT?
ME: So, Anna, tell me, what is this “River of Secrets” all about?
ANNA: “Well, you see, folks say there’s a place somewhere along the river that runs deep into the woods here alongside our town that holds a secret. They say the water there in that place is like magic. It can take you places. The story goes that if you were to find this place, and touch the water there in that certain place, you will look around and see that you’ve gone forward in time, or even backward. But now, as far as I know, nobody’s ever found it, at least that would admit to it.”
WHERE IS IT?
ME: So, nobody you know of has ever found this place?
ANNA: “Well now, that all depends on how much of this story you want to believe. Of course, not too many around here ever told their stories, but then, who would believe them anyway? So, you just have to read my story and then decide for yourself. But, if you are willing to look through the eyes of a child once again, there is a little place somewhere down that little path in that forest of imagination you took as a child, where you could believe that just about anything’s possible. But of course, you know too, that I’m not going to just come out and tell you that. Now, that would spoil the magic of the whole story, now wouldn’t it?
ME: OK, I can understand that. So, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you, Anna?
ANNA: Oh, naw, I don’t mind a bit! I’m eighty-seven. I was born Anna Elizabeth Brownfield, the youngest of eight children. I was born in 1865 just as the Civil War was ending.
ME: Anna, what is the name of your town here?
ANNA: “Wouldn’t you love to know? Of course, I’m not going to tell you that! Then all you folks would be a tryin’ to get here and see if you could find that place, now wouldn’t you?”
ME: (Laughing) OK, well, that makes sense. I can understand that. So, tell me, why do they call it a “river of secrets”?
ANNA: “Folks have called it that because that river, well, they say it’s like this enchanted lady that’s out there just a windin’ her way through the forest. The way we all put it, old Lady River has secrets she will never tell. That’s the truth too. I can tell you that river’s got secrets she will never tell. One thing I can tell you for sure is, ain’t many ever been able to ignore her when she comes a callin’.
ME: So, the river has a way of calling you?
ANNA: Oh yes! That’s how she gets you. See, there’s just this way the water kind of takes on this sparkle to it that just makes you want to go just a little farther, until before you realize it, you’ve done and gone too far.”
ME: You talk about Tater telling his story after a while. So, what do folks around here think of his story?
ANNA: Now, that’s a mighty interesting question! Of course, now, you know I learned from the best. Old Tater knows how to tell a story. Course, now, everybody around here knows he’ll knit you a yarn a mile long if you’ve got time to sit and listen to him. But now, old Tater, he loves to tell tall tales. So, there again, you just have to kind of take what he says and put it through the strainer, if you know what I mean, and just decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t.
ME: So, tell us a little bit about Flapjack.
ANNA: (Laughs) Oh, that old dog, he’s something else. He’s always just kind of belonged to himself in a way. All I can say is, he plays a big part in our whole story, and I know a few things about old Flapjack that you don’t, so you just have to come back and listen to the story and see.
ME: Alright. So, tell me, what do you mean by “summer of the rose”?
ANNA: “Oh, well, that’s the whole romantic part of the story. Most of us have some kind of interesting story of how we met our true love. The rose plays an important part of my story. But then, I can’t tell you much more than that, you see. It would spoil the story. So, just come on back sometime and I’ll tell it to you. Well, I’m getting tired. I’m gonna go on back in there and rest a bit. But now, come on back, you hear? Come on back sometime soon, and I’ll sit here and tell you the whole thing. Believe you me. It’s a story you won’t soon forget. But now, just remember, if you mess around here long enough, Lady River out there, she knows you’re here, and she’ll soon come a callin’. If you’re like most folks have been, you won’t be able to ignore her. Everybody around here knows she’ll keep on a callin’ until she gets what she wants out of you.
ME: Well, Anna, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and answer my questions. I’m sure folks will enjoy your story!
ANNA: Oh, you’re quite welcome! Come on back now, and I’ll tell you all about it! You be careful going back through them woods, now. That old river, she’ll take you on a trip you won’t believe if you mess around her long enough! Bye now, y’all come back!
ME: Good bye, Anna! We’ll be back for more of your stories!
We close that gate for now, and return to the present. Be sure to look for the second book in the series, coming soon, titled, “Return to the River, Scent of the Rose”. But don’t let “Anna” fool you. She’s just getting started!
Now, here for you is a short excerpt from the first chapter of “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”. Remember, here, Anna is talking to you:
“…The truth was, probably everyone had wondered about it at one time or other, maybe even talked about it. But they kept it quiet if they did.
As I sat there listening to Tater’s story, I began to think back to when I had been sitting on the river bank by the bridge earlier. That’s when it hit me, something I think I’d known, and probably everyone around there had, but no one wanted to admit. Or maybe most of us were afraid to. There were times when the wind would pick up a certain way, that there was just something about the way the water moved down stream that seemed almost as if it were enticing you to follow it. It was just something no one could really put their finger on, that made it seem the water itself had taken on a mysterious way about it that almost seemed to beckon you…
No one else seemed to notice when Flapjack suddenly lifted his head up, looked around, then got up and walked off, headed in that same direction he always took—no one but me that is…”
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