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A few excerpts

Besides Shirley's books, she also has authored numerous articles and short stories and makes available a monthly ministry newsletter. KOINONIA UPDATE. Feel free to sign up for one. A light-hearted reflection is included in each one.
Reviewers are Saying:
[Flame From Within] is a larger-than-life novel by a woman who truly knows how to develop a plot. This epic work of fiction ...is an incredibly well-written, easy to read, impossible to put down, chronicle of one young lady’s journey through the years of the Civil War.
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(an excerpt from the book)

     “Lulu, tell Miss Amthys’,” Doris called from down below.  “Him’s here.”

     “Comin’,” Lulu hollered back.  Lulu stepped into the room moments before Aimée’s customer arrived to give her mistress another once over.  Once again, she smiled in approval. 

     “Miss Aimée.  That war… that man, he gonna take to you right quick.  Come on now,” she said, hustling her along, “you don’t want to keep him waiting.”

     “I’m not interested in anyone taking to me right quick; and I don’t care if he must wait!  Why do you hurry me along so?”  Aimée stood in front of her chair and stared into her mirror. 

     Will he be gentle with me? Lord, if you truly are there… make him not be mean to me, nor harm me. 

     “I guess I’m as ready as I shall ever be.” 

      Aimee fussed with her skirts and pulled herself towards the door.  So far, she had sensed protection somehow from the worst.  Today would change all that. 

     By the time she reached the foot of the stairs her fears increased.  Turning around briefly she looked up to see Lulu still observing her. 

     Lulu nodded as she moved on towards the parlor.


     He was facing the window. 

     The tall, impeccably built officer, dressed in his Union blues carried himself with a commanding air of self-confidence.  His legs stood apart his hands were clasped together behind his back. Aimee couldn’t see his face, but did catch sight of the wide brimmed hat sitting on the edge of the table beside him.

     She smelled the pungent perfume of Nina immediately, as the woman walked up behind her and leaned in to whisper something in her ear giving her a start.  

     “Treat your guest kindly, Rosette.” 

     Nina took her fingers and pinched Aimée’s ear lobe sharply.

     “You did not mention he would be a Yankee.” Aimée said pulling away.

     Nina disregarded her. 

     “Say hello…now.”

     The odors of intoxicants seeped through the woman's pores and heavily clashed with her stale perfume.

     Aimee's cringed just as the officer turned around and looked down at her with a grin. She almost lost her footing. 

     “Not you!  I—I cannot believe ‘tis you!” 

     Nina stepped in front of her. 

     “What is this?  Rosette,” she stated coldly, her teeth clinched.  “We do not postulate with our customers.  The fine officer here has come requesting you specifically, and has paid a pretty penny on your behalf, to have you accompany him this afternoon!  You will not let him down…now, will you?” 

     With an abrupt turning she grabbed Aimée by the elbow and led her to the Yankee.  “My apologies, Captain,” she said sweetly.  Rosette is fairly new with usnot yet accustomed to our ways.  She is a bit timid.  Perhaps you can go easy with her…this first time?”

     “No problem,” replied the captain, still smiling.  “I’ve been looking forward to this—outing, with—Rosette, here.  I’ve heard…good things!  Later this evening, I vow I shall return her right to where she belongs.” 

     He seemed to be perusing Aimée from head to toe then stopped again as if to see the smoldering look, clearly smitten by the girl with her fetching and innocuous demeanor. 

     “Marvelous,” said Nina, clasping her fingers together, and glancing over at the panic-stricken young woman, then back at the officer.  She lifted a brow showing surprise at how an officer of the Union would choose a woman of innocence, over all her others, who were much more experienced. 

     “Your gentleman awaits your greeting,” she reproached Aimée with a jerking nod.

     Aimée nodded reluctantly then glared at the captain.  She had no desire to greet him in any other way than she had done already.  Instead, all she could think of were cinders flying through the air, the smell of singed garments, and destruction.  All because of men like the one who stood before her. 

     She vowed right then she would hate every moment she had to spend with the man, loathing it with every ounce of strength she had. 


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I See God in the Simple Things
(an excerpt)

from the book (COMING in the near future!)
from "Gooey Clay's Okay"
     On our farm, I discovered vast differences in the soil from one end of the property to the other.  Out the back door and off the deck the soil was dark and rich, but in the front of our house the earth felt and looked more like gummy clay than workable earth (similar to a stale wad of chewing gum). What could I do to make it more accommodating for my seeds and plants?  Stubborn ground has always made me want to give up before I even begin the process of any kind of gardening even with the realization that I will never yield a harvest of flowers this way. 
     I began thinking about how the Lord is always molding me and shaping me every day of my life.  He doesn't give up just because I require arduous exertion.  In the Old Testament books of Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Scriptures refer to the Lord as the Master Potter.  He enjoys working with clay! (I did note however that it didn't mention chewing gum.)