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Details of Between Midnight And Morning-A Novel by Beverly Mitchell Dodd

Plot Summary:

Some people accept that what they have been told is the truth, but others end up wondering, questioning. They are the ones who become free-thinkers, or skeptics. Perhaps they are born with the tendency to challenge accepted wisdom and freely do so. Or perhaps, like Lena, the protagonist in the novel Between Midnight and Morning, something happens which causes the tendency to awaken after many years of lying dormant beneath layers of religious indoctrination, tightly woven with intimidation and fear. Some people, like Lena, are trapped, wanting to free themselves from those many tightly woven layers, but fear holds them back.

If you are one of those people who are trapped, or a fortunate one who found the way out, you will want to read this novel set in a fictitious town in the beautiful wine country of Western New York.

It is a story of a young woman who, after suffering tragedy and loss, leaves her family and their ways and marries someone very different from them and herself. With her husband and son, she creates a new world where she finds some freedom, where the layers begin to loosen. But when she is thirty-five years old, that new world she created falls apart, and her father and sister persuade her to move back to the town where Lena was born, where they live. They envelop her once again within the layers and try to recreate what she had left seventeen years earlier. Fear resurfaces, and Lena struggles to find the way out, this time to true freedom, the freedom that can only come from within.

Excerpt 1:

A gull's streamlined body pirouetted overhead. It coasted downward and poked its hooked bill into the water.

"By March she'd been in the hospital for a long time. Daddy asked a minister, a faith healer, to come and pray for her. We were all there, Beth, Robert and Daddy and..." She hesitated.

"And?" he said softly.

"The minister anointed a white handkerchief with oil and passed it to each of us, then he put it on Mama's forehead. He asked us to join hands with him and each other and he laid his other hand on the handkerchief. When he prayed my fingers felt like I was touching them to electric barbed wire..."

Excerpt 2:

Everything converged, presented itself as whole before her eyes: the expression she interpreted as revulsion on his face, his surprise and a memory of a reflection of her cold, mottled face within the side view mirror of her car, the scars purplish red and beaming through layers of makeup.

Excerpt 3:

At the instant she opened her mouth to answer, to attempt for the first time to recount the experience, it seemed she was wakening, as she had from her coma in the hospital. In that miniscule space in time she had entered the world fresh and new, as though being born; she could remember nothing past. Those moments had flashed then faded like brilliant fireworks; faces bent over her with concern; mouths spoke words she could not digest. Memory returned and with it a horde of questions she could not ask.


Details of Aditi: The Journey To Terencil-A Novel by Beverly Mitchell Dodd

Plot Summary:

Do you remember hearing stories of individuals who seem to disappear from the face of the earth? Or stories of people who suddenly desert their loved ones without goodbye or explanation? Families, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances are left bewildered and wondering why.

Aditi: The Journey to Terencil is a story of desertion and the person who deserts also wants to know the reason why. Perhaps her journey across the United States, her many adventures as well as misadventures, and her stay with Aditi and the other women at Terencil, will give her the answers she seeks.

Excerpt 1:

I am sitting here, Aditi, in the room Nadine and Sandi shared. I am writing. Do you remember when you told me I should resume my writing? Everything was so different then. Now the many rooms, the long halls of Terencil, are silent. Everyone is gone. I found some food in the basement, canned things, to add to what I already have; it’s enough to get me through to the middle of summer perhaps. Spring this year was cold, and the summer isn't a lot warmer. Not like last summer, up here in the mountains, with you.

Excerpt 2:

I allowed myself to go limp, to fight against the compulsion to fight, denying self-preservation. With all the strength I could muster, I surrendered. A few more seconds of excruciating pain and he let me go, to fall unhindered by any apparent reflex to the concrete where he stood over me for a long time. I stared into the sky and ordered my eyes to see only darkness. So that I might live, I lay on the ground and silently called up the ambience of the finality of death.

Excerpt 3:

You knew everything that went on beneath the canopy. Except for that one time. Why, Aditi, why? I can’t for the life of me understand. But, no, no, I can’t think of that now. There’s so much more of my story I have to tell before I attempt to recount that day.

Details of Preachers Wife-A Novel by Beverly Mitchell Dodd

Plot Summary:

Growing up in a small city in Michigan, Abigail has a dream for her life. That dream is dashed when tragedy strikes her family, and she becomes lost and cannot find her way. She marries a minister and has three children, burying shocking secrets of the past and believing she has forever set aside her vision of her future.

Yet the dream does not die entirely. When she begins to actively pursue her dream once again, she also begins to change in many ways. These changes, which at the same time amaze and frighten her, bring her into intense conflict with her religious community. This is the time in her life when she meets Reece.

Reece also at one time had a vision of his future, but his dream, too, was dashed when tragedy struck. He continues to hang on, faithfully clinging to the one with whom he shared that dream. He is afraid to let go, to love, to live. This is the time in his life when he meets Abigail.

Excerpt 1:

“"Hello," he said to her, as she turned in his direction. “"Abigail, isn'’t it?"”

“"Yes,"” she said and for a moment stared at him as if he had intruded on her deepest, most secret thoughts. Then she grabbed one of the skulls and made a move to return it to its shelf in the cabinet.

"“No, leave them,”" he said. “"I need to borrow them for my class tomorrow."”

She said, “"Dr. Connelli gave me permission to get them out. I like to study them. I guess they fascinate me. I wish…”..."

"“What?"” he asked, crossing the room to stand on the opposite side of the counter from her. “"What do you wish, Abigail?"”

She shook her head. "“Nothing, nothing really."” Then changing her mind, she burst out with, "“I wish I had known about them before."”

"“Before? Didn'’t you learn about them in high school?”"

“"He taught me a cursory amount, just enough about evolution to pass my equivalency exam. He told me it was wrong, evil.…”"

He watched the color rise in her face as he listened to the fierceness in her voice. Realizing she was embarrassed by her outburst, still he could not stop himself from asking, "“Who, Abigail? Who taught you?"”

“"My father. He was a minister,"“ she said.

Excerpt 2:

It was only a second after this thought that she became aware of the slithering thing that crept up behind her from all corners of the basement. In less than a second, her whole body started to burn hot and beads of sweat popped out on her forehead and trickled into the locks of hair at her temples. She experienced then what she never had before. She heard it quite clearly, the voice that shouted, "“You cannot be trusted. If I had told your sister, if I had told her, you can be sure she would have kept quiet."”

Excerpt 3:

Abigail made a contemptuous snorting sound and jumped from her chair. She began to pace the room. "“I can'’t sing. Or play the piano. Such a disappointment for her."”

“"Why do you say that?”"

“"Well, Gracie, my older sister, could sing. We'’d be singing in the back seat of the car and suddenly I guess my mother couldn’'t bear it any longer. She'’d turn around and tell me to be quiet. Gracie would go on singing, and she didn’'t say anything, but if I started up again, she’'d turn around and glare …at me. Her tone-deaf kid."”

“"Tell me about other memories of your mother, Abigail."”

"“Good or bad?"”


About the Author:

The author of the aforementioned three novels lives with her family in Western New York. When she is not at her day job as a clinical social worker, she is busy contemplating her fourth novel.