Tag Archives: Grace’s Pictures

Books on Sale For June!

The ebook edition of Grace’s Pictures is on sale this month for just 99 cents! It’s a great time to get started on the series with book one. All ebook formats of this title are available for less than a buck!

You can find lots of good books at special prices on my publisher’s web site but hurry. These prices are only in effect during the month of June.

Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson

Go here to get your deals: http://ebookdeals.net

Ebook Sale on Grace’s Pictures!

Grace's Pictures by Cindy ThomsonMy publisher is offering the ebook version of Grace’s Pictures for just .99 for a limited time!

It’s the first book in the Ellis Island series, so if you haven’t started the series, or you missed this one, this is a great time to grab a copy.

Hurry First book in Ellis Island Series only .99! #ebookdeal http://cindyswriting.com/graces-pictures/ Click To Tweet

You can find buy links on this page: Grace’s Pictures by Cindy Thomson and also read the first chapter for free!

Christmas at Hawkins House (Ellis Island Series)

Creative Commons, Paul Townsend

Creative Commons, Paul Townsend

Christmas Past

As most people who enjoy learning about the past, I am intrigued by past Christmas traditions.  The Christmases of our ancestors were varied depending on the culture they came from. In book one of my Ellis Island series, Grace McCaffery, a recent immigrant from Ireland, must learn to prepare Christmas dinner for her American employees. Here is a excerpt from the book:

Grace muttered under her breath later in the day as she polished crystal glasses and placed them back in the dining room sideboard. Christmas Eve and she was expected to create such fancy dishes as she’d never seen before. “Spiced chutney and turtle soup and butter crème pie. How am I supposed to make those things? And why would anyone want to eat them?”

Thomson, Cindy (2013-05-17). Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island Book 1) (p. 165). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Turtle soup BBC photo

Turtle soup BBC photo

Grace grew up in a poor house in Ireland. Her experience with Christmas traditions was limited.

“…We didn’t much celebrate Christmas in Ireland.” She stretched the truth a bit. Some Irish folks would expect visits from Father Christmas, but Grace held few memories of holiday traditions herself. Even before the workhouse, they’d had no time for it. They went to church and roasted whatever portion of lamb their neighbors could spare. Nothing more.

Thomson, Cindy (2013-05-17). Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island Book 1) (p. 204). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

“Nothing more.” Observing Christmas was simpler in the olden days.

Is Christmas Different Today?

Christmas is certainly commercialized today, but even back in the early 1900s, people complained. They thought too much emphasis was put on toys, too many of them in store windows. Too many? Still to come was the Christmas catalogue and lines to sit on Santa’s lap and give him our wish list. But even so, those complaints seemed to sense what was to come. It’s easy to romanticize the past, but despite how different our versions of Christmas might be, people are not all that different. We still want peace–on earth and in our homes. All the rest is just glitter and wrapping.

Christmas Lights

Families still gather together. People go to church for candlelight services. Most people who don’t work in service essential jobs like fire fighting or nursing still have the day off because it is a special day, a sacred day. That was true back in the early 1900s. It is still true today.

Mary and Jesus

photo by PROWaiting For The Word

Grace, like the characters that follow in the next books of the series, learns that although people are different in their customs, their economic status, and social interactions, everyone wants the same thing: to be loved. As the Grinch learned in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, perhaps Christmas is about something more–something more than we tend to think it is. Perhaps, after all, it is about love.

Birth Order and Fictional Characters

My Ellis Island Characters

So far I’ve avoided birth order with my series, pretty much anyway. Grace McCaffery was an only child until she was an adult. Of course, she did work as a nanny for four children, so there was some sibling rivalry there that she had to work to understand, but basically she was an only child.Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson

And then Annie Gallagher. She was only child. Her mother died after Annie was born and her father never remarried. She had a special relationship with her father, very different than Grace’s experience.

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson

And now Sofia’s Tune. She is the oldest of five children, plus their entire neighborhood consists of people who lived near each other back in Italy. She feels protective, impatient, and sometimes ignored–all within her family unit. Is she a typical oldest child? Yes and no.

Friends as Family

You may have noticed if you’ve read these books, but friends become family as these immigrants have to redefine their lives. Historically, the people who came through Ellis Island often left their families on the other side of the Atlantic. They built new family units.

Why Ellis Island immigrants had to create new families. Click To Tweet

This idea intrigues me. I want to know, do you count some friends as family?

1934Siblings in Fiction

227571Countless novels have featured siblings or explored birth order and relationships. Little Women, for instance or Peace Like a River, just to name two. Which are your favorites?

Tell me your favorite novels exploring sibling relationships. #booktalk #bloggingbooks Click To Tweet