The Hist Fic Chic is proud to welcome Sherry A. Burton, author of Discovery (The Orphan Train Saga – Book One), to the blog today! As a part of her blog tour, her book is in the Featured Spotlight (The Author’s Roost) and you have a chance to read an excerpt from her amazing story below.
Born in Kentucky, Sherry got her start in writing by pledging to write a happy ending to a good friend who was going through some really tough times. The story surprised her by taking over and practically writing itself. What started off as a way to make her friend smile started her on a journey that would forever change her life. Sherry readily admits to hearing voices and is convinced that being married to her best friend for thirty-eight plus years goes a long way in helping her write happily-ever-afters. Sherry is the author of The Orphan Train Saga novels, a planned eighteen book historical fiction saga that revolves around the historic orphan trains. Books in the saga include Discovery, Shameless, Treachery and Guardian. Loyal, the fifth in the saga, expected to release summer of 2021. Sherry resides in Michigan and spends most of her time writing from her home office, traveling to book signing events and giving lectures on the Orphan Trains.
While most use their summer breaks for pleasure, third grade teacher Cindy Moore is using her summer vacation to tie up some loose ends concerning her grandmother’s estate. When Cindy enters the storage unit that holds her grandmother’s belongings, she is merely looking for items she can sell to recoup some of the rental fees she’s spent paying for the unit.
Instead, what she finds are secrets her grandmother has taken to the grave with her. The more Cindy uncovers, the more she wants to know. Why was her grandmother abandoned by her own mother? Why hadn’t she told Cindy she’d lived in an orphanage? And how come her grandmother never mentioned she’d made history as one of the children who rode the Orphan Trains?
Join Cindy as she uncovers her grandmother’s hidden past and discovers the life that stole her grandmother’s love.
JOIN HER BLOG TOUR for REVIEWS, READINGS, CONTESTS, & MORE!
The year was nineteen-twenty-one, it was January, and I had nearly reached my eighth year, when my mother took me to the orphanage. I still remember her face clearly and can still see the dark curls that fell loose around her shoulders. I think she was tall, but maybe that was just a child’s perspective. She was thin; that I do recall. Then again, so was everyone who lived in our tenement. Maybe it was because we were always hungry.
It was raining the last time I saw my mother. I was cold and wet, and my mother told me to go inside where I would be warm. I asked her if she was coming inside and she said no, she didn’t want to spoil the floors with her wet shoes. I didn’t have to worry about that. I wasn’t wearing any shoes. Mother was dripping wet, the rain had stripped her of her curls, and her deep black hair lay plastered against the side of her head like a hat. I asked her why she was crying. She told me it was just the rain on her face, but I could hear her sobs and knew she was lying. Before I could respond, Mother opened the door, pushed me inside, and the door closed behind me. The doors nearly reached the ceiling. A deep rich brown, they were the largest doors I had ever seen. An elephant could have walked through without issue. I have never forgotten the sound it made when it slammed shut. A solid thud that vibrated like rolling thunder. The sound has woke me from my dreams more often than I can count. Maybe that is because my mother never bothered to kiss me goodbye.
I was still staring at the door, when an older girl wearing a blue gingham dress and a crisp white apron came and asked me what I was doing. I told her my mother brought me. She shrugged and told me I must have done something very bad for my mother to have left me. I couldn’t recall doing anything bad, but the girl must have been right, as I never saw my mother again.
The girl took my hand and led me down the long hall, which was empty except for a few paintings on the wall and large red crocks evenly spaced along the floor near the wall. I didn’t want to leave the entrance. The building was so big, and I was afraid my momma would not be able to find me. The girl was bigger than me and looked mean, so I went with her. She took me to a room with tall windows and dark walls, where a lady wearing a black dress was sitting behind a large wooden desk. The girl told the lady she’d found me in the hall. The woman picked up a clipboard and asked me if I spoke English. I remember smiling and shaking my head yes. Not everyone in our tenement spoke English. My momma did, but not very well. Momma and Papa and I came over the ocean on a big ship from Poland. While I remember my papa, I do not remember what his face looked like. He died before the ship reached America. They said he was sick. Two men carried him outside in the rain and threw him over the side.
Oh, how I loathe the rain.
Momma said my Ojczulek – that’s the Polish word for Papa – taught me how to speak English so people would like me better. I wish I could remember my papa better. The woman asked my name. I told her my name was Mileta. She asked me what my last name was. I told her that was the only name I had. The lady didn’t seem happy about that. She asked what my mother’s name was. I was going to tell her it was Mamusia – which is the Polish word for momma, but then I remembered what my papa told me and I said her name was Momma. The lady smiled and wrote something on the clipboard. It was the first time the lady smiled. Papa must have been right. My clothes were wet; I was barefoot and so cold I was shaking. The woman must not have liked that I was dripping water on the floor because she told the girl, who she called Clara, to take me to the washroom for a bath and delouse. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but from the look on the girl’s face, I was sure I wasn’t going to like it.
THANK YOU, Sherry, for stopping by the blog today on your blog tour!! I wish you well on your amazing book.
D. K. MARLEY
Author of “Blood and Ink”, “The Fire of Winter”, “The Prince of Denmark”, and “Child of Love & Water”
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