Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Listen to Your Mother

The more I get on in life the more I appreciate the things my mother taught me. One of my mother’s sayings that I often have cause to recall with a certain amount of chagrin is, “Be careful about the things you say you’ll never do.”

Over the past few years I’ve said, “I won’t self-publish” more times than I care to recall. The statement was always accompanied with the explanation that I have great admiration for authors who manage all the intricacies of bringing out their own work, but I needed all the help I could get— a full support team of editor, cover designer, formatter. . . all the highly specialized skills needed to produce a book.

Then it was time to get to my long-standing goal of bringing my Cambridge Chronicles series of historical novels back to life with ebook editions. Although these books had been one of my most successful projects, going through several editions with several publishers including large print versions and an omnibus volume, I wasn’t able to interest a publisher in the venture of bringing them back in ebook format.

I believed in these stories which recount the work of the 18th and 19th century Evangelical Anglicans— stories of God’s power working through people of faith to bring new vitality to his church and new life to his kingdom. Keeping strictly to the historical facts—often using the characters’ own words—the books chronicle the work of John and Charles Wesley, the Countess of Huntingdon, Rowland Hill, Charles Simeon, William Wilberforce, Florence Nightengale, the Earl of Shaftesbury, D. L. Moody, The Cambridge Seven, Hudson Taylor, and several other religious leaders of their day. In addition to the historical detail, each story features a romance and thoroughly researched backgrounds.

So I had a choice. I could let the stories remain obscured in their out of date versions, or I could leap off the high-diving board and bring them out myself.

I jumped with the launch of Verity Press named after my newest Granddaughter and for the truth I believe these books proclaim. I renamed the series Where There is Love and gave each book a new name using the Where Love___ format. Artist Ken Raney, who had produced brilliant covers for my books with Greenbrier Books, did the covers and a professional formatter who had worked for a friend, took on the tekky stuff I could never cope with. I’m still working on getting everything I need together but Where Love Begins, the first book in the series, came out just in time for Valentine’s Day and the second book Where Love Illumines will be out soon.

All of which is proof of another of my mother’s truisms, “Life always gives second chances.” In the case of the books in this series it’s second, third and fourth chances.

What sayings of your mother have stayed with you for life? Or what do you say as a mother or father or aunt that you hope will stay with the younger generation?

Where Love Begins: Catherine Peronnet’s world is shaken when she learns Charles Wesley is engaged to marry another. After all, Catherine’s initials were first on the list John Wesley gave to his brother listing acceptable matrimonial candidates.

And that’s not all that’s wrong in Catherine’s world. As teacher at a Methodist Society school in London, she sees her brother beaten while preaching in the open air, her favorite pupil forced to leave school because of his family’s poverty, and a prisoner receive his death sentence in Newgate Prison. Catherine undertakes the joys and hardships of a circuit-ride preaching tour to Canterbury where a French invasion threatens then must face the terrors of the Great London Earthquake before coming to an understanding of the gentle calling God has for her.

Where Love Begins is available free on  Smashwords and for .99 on Amazon
To see more about the complete series and all of Donna Fletcher Crow’s books go to


  1. I LOVED the historical accuracy that went into this first book in the series, Donna. I'm so glad you decided to eat your words and bring it out yourself. My mother didn't have a lot of sayings. More "doings." I have tired to follow her example of reaching out to the underpriviledged and mentally challenged as well as run my hand over the table when I think it's clean. If I feel roughness, it isn't!

    1. Thank you, LeAnne! What wonderful legacies from your mother. Yes, my mother would approve of following your mother's example. My mother would say, "Do as I do, not as I say."

  2. My father was fond of quoting, "the heart may conceive and the mind devise in vain, if the hand be not ready." My mother loved the "if you put your hand to the plough, there is no turning back." Together they made me understand that great ideas need willing hands!

    1. Wonderful, Alice! Thank you for sharing those great maxims.

  3. Replies
    1. Much deserved, Ken! Anyone needing a cover for you book, I can't recommend Ken Raney highly enough.

  4. Congratulations, Donna, on the resurrection of your series! So a propos as we approach Resurrection Day! Congratulations also on obeying your wonderful mom, LOL! My mom was a great encourager who said I could do whatever God called me to do. And she was right!

    Blessings to you!

    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Truth through Fiction ®
    The Madonna of Pisano
    Surrender to Love
    A Christmas Homecoming

    When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.

    Book 1: The Madonna of PIsano, (Now available)
    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell (Coming Soon)
    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra (Coming Soon)

  5. How wonderful, Mary Ann--no mother can do better than encourage her child in God's grace. What a great heritage.