Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spotlight on Black Men in Bright Blue from the latest book by David-Michael Harding - My Favorite Story!

Rachel Justice saw the black men in bright blue in
her dreams. Being ten years old lent itself to dreams,
but being a young white girl in 1863, especially in
South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union,
the presence of the black men bid her keep her dreams
within herself. Yet to Rachel the dreams were much more
visit than just playful specters dancing across the
nightscape of her mind. And still, the thoughts--
real, dream, or otherwise, may have given cause for
punishment or even The Treatment and rightly so she
considered for the black men in bright blue had no place
in her world. It was best they stay in the cloudy land of
dreamy short lived visions that crowd a young girl's
{Continued from yesterday}
Many who voted in the poll on the stories in David-Michael Harding latest book, chose the same two top stories that I did. I loved the lead story...      

"The Underground Railroad didn't take
tickets. Just courage."

Rachel began to have dreams of black men 
running in bright blue denim pants...

But my favorite was "Black Men in Bright Blue" which has now been made available (as has others) as a single purchase for only 99 cents. If you love historical stories regarding the Civil War, you may want to acquire just a single, even though I would recommend you check out all of the stories in the book first!

Now, all I had to do was read the first paragraph, quoted to the left, to stop and consider... I believe that nightmare vision could only have come to somebody who was psychic or directly from God... I'll let you ponder that for awhile and tell you a little more about this story. Because, can you think of any other reason why a little white girl would begin to have such strange dreams???

Black Men in Bright Blue

I don't know about you, but I think anybody who cared about people during the Civil War would have considered becoming involved with the Underground Railroad. Not because we would have been supporting the North over the South though. I think anybody who would have lived in the South, having Black men and women live on the farms, working together daily, coming to know them as friends, or at least companions with whom we had gone through a lot, would have been concerned about how some of those individuals were being treated. Indeed, even the daughter of the house was afraid of "The Treatment" that was handled by Mr. Calloway, the plantation foreman who routinely carried a neatly coiled leather whip. "The whip had a name around Providence. It was called The Treatment. Though she had never seen him use it, she had once heard it cracking above the cries of a grown man..."

While Rachel had vowed to herself that she was going to stay away from him, she also was curious and tended to "nose around" listening to various conversations to know enough that she knew there was a "fight for independence" as her father called it, but she didn't quite understand how the word independence was being used and who the independence was for...

Rachel had stopped near the house and was spying on the crying writer.
Behind Joby, coming up the hill from the shanty town...As Rachel continued
from behind the safety of a peach tree she saw that the man was Calloway and
he was pulling The Treatment from his belt.
She edged through the orchard toward the dirt road and Joby. As she came
to the edge of the orchard Rachel saw Calloway lay the whip out behind him,
uncoiling the black snake for a strike. She wanted to scream a warning, but
was frozen. The whip snapped toward Joby and cracked sharply just inches
about his head. Both children jumped. Joby spun in the dirt in his heels and
palms tried to back pedal away from the advancing task master.
And then one day she was pulled right into the reality of slavery...when she met a young boy named Nathaniel Job, who everybody called Joby. He stopped to help her when she dropped a heavy package of blue cloth she was carrying to an older woman's cabin there. 

She even, as they walked, talked to him about reading and writing and showed him how to write his name... Fortunately for Rachel, they had met Calloway on the way back...

What happened to Joby made her soon understand...what her dreams were all about...

Heart stopping! A must-read in my opinion!

"Gramps, this business about the wolves, isn't that from centuries and centuries ago? I mean, I've heard the story before, but thought the silver and the staying in after dark was like a tradition or something at St. Aldens. Not real...

For pure drama, St. Alden's was probably my second favorite story!
What's it about? Just a institution of higher education--where all the students are invited (or inherit the right to come), driven hard in their studies--and provided totally free!

What's the catch? Ahhh, it could be that hidden place where the treasury of the school is maintained...and replenished... Or not!!!

"The Jumket" about a trip to Las Vegas - a trip for Jonny that you'll never forget... He was in his 60s when he met his first hooker... This is fun and quite heartwarming in a crazy sort of way...

Harding has certainly given us choices--the whole thing or just what you want to read! "Forever Beneath the Celtic Sea" is a hard story to consider, but, somehow in your gut you know it's possible...In any war...

"We're not going to fire on an ocean liner," he said to no one present. "It must be a battleship or something. Or maybe a liner converted to a troop ship." As Guenther continued to reconcile himself to the order he hurriedly cranked open the doors of chutes one and two then retreated to his station over the firing handles. He closed his eyes and literally shook his head in an effort to clear his mind free from beneath a weight he had never felt before. The stealthy killer he worked and slept in had no need to attack a civilian passenger lines. "What reason would there be?" he heard his voice say to his ears only...

Now if you finish checking out this last story, I think you're going to admit that every single story is unique and worth your consideration. This last story is a truly insider look at what "really" happened during some of the battles that once took place here in America. The key draw of this story is the story teller Henry Brass! You'll enjoy every word...

"That's my point I suppose. People is people. The Comanche didn't trouble us. We was fair with them and them with us. There was parts of the big mountains we didn't trap or hunt because they asked us not to. Simple as that. Respectful people. You can go a long way on respect in West Texas."
"I can't disagree, Henry. You get back what you give out, don't you think? I mean, if you treat people right, like as not they'll treat you right. Love your neighbor is what the Book says."
Henry tristed his head a little and looked at me out of the side of his red sunken eyes. "You a preacher?"
"Nawww," I laughed. "They'd never have me!"
"Doubt that. It'd be there loss if it were true.

And that's what I'm saying to all of you--it will be your loss if you don't read the book or at a minimum a couple of these stories...But don't ask me to pick because I enjoyed the whole book!



David-Michael Harding is a life-long writer whose work has appeared in national publications and has been recognized by the international writing community. He is a collegiate writing instructor and former semi-professional football player. His experiences provide readers with well researched, crushing fast-paced action. Most of his days are spent writing from the cockpit of his sailboat, Pegasus, somewhere off the Nature Coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. 

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