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BLOG:  A Voice In The World - From the heart of Ginny Dye
April 19, 2013


The Story of the Mirror

People often ask me what inspired the "Mirror" that appears throughout the Bregdan Chronicles.  I love this story...

It was a warm Spring day in the countryside outside Richmond, VA, where I lived at the time.  A friend, Bobbie, had come to visit for the weekend so I decided it was time for an exploration party.  We jumped in my truck and worked to become "lost".  It's still one of my favorite things to do...

I head into unknown territory and simply drive - going wherever the road takes me.  I figure I can always ask someone I see how to find my way back to civilization. :)  So, anyway, back to Virginia... It's very easy to get lost in the wooded back roads that crisscross the countryside. 

We were having a wonderful time roaming through the country, admiring the profusion of dogwoods and azaleas that were in full bloom everywhere. 

Suddenly I slammed on my brakes and threw the truck into reverse.  I'd found what I'd been looking for all along...

"What are you doing?" Bobbie asked, looking slightly alarmed.

I smiled as I stopped next to a driveway and turned in.  "We're going down here!"  As soon as I'd seen the long, asphalt driveway lined with glimmering maple trees, with soybean fields stretching out on either side, I knew I had to go.

"Do you know these people?" Bobbie sputtered.

"Not yet!" I responded cheerfully, craning my neck to take in the beauty of dozens of deer roaming through the fields.  Wow!  There had to be a story in this.

Bobbie was definitely alarmed now... "What do you mean, not yet?  You can't just drive up to someone's house!"

"Sure you can!"  I grinned at her.  "I do it all the time.  Don't worry; everything will be fine.  I just know this has got to be a fabulous place and I want to meet whoever lives here!" 

I laughed at her expression. "Honest.  I do this all over the country.  I've met some really great people.  No one has shot me yet.  You're going to love it!"

"I obviously don't have a choice," she grumbled, her face saying she was completely unconvinced.  She opened her mouth to say more, but her words faded off in a gasp as we rounded the last curve.  "Wow!"

"Wow! is right..." I murmured as a huge old brick mansion, embraced by even bigger oak trees, appeared before us.  Azaleas and dogwoods lent bright spots of color, but it was the peacocks...

"Peacocks!" Bobbie exclaimed.  "There must be dozens of peacocks!"

She was right.  They were everywhere, there brightly colored fantails all flaring out as we drove up.  I wasn't sure whether it was safe to get out - I'd never been around peacocks - but now that I'd driven down the drive, I couldn't just sit there.  I climbed out of the truck cautiously, grateful that the peacocks kept their distance.  I stared around, planning what I would say when I climbed the columned porch.

"What now?" Bobbie asked nervously. 

I was saved from answering by a shouted hello in the distance.  I turned and watched as an elderly man glided up on his beautiful Tennessee Walker mare.  It was easy to tell he was an accomplished horseman.  It was also easy to tell he had to be in his 90's.  I watched in amazement as he jumped easily off his horse and then turned to face us.  "Hello ladies!"

I finally found my voice.  "Hello.  My name is Ginny.  This is Bobbie.  We were driving around and saw your driveway.  I knew right away that I had to meet whoever lives in such an amazing place.  So here we are!"  I smiled brightly.  This intro had never failed me. 

It worked this time, too.  Michael was delighted to have us as guests.  Over the next few minutes we learned he had lived in this home, perched on the banks of the Rappahannock River and built by one of original signers of the Declaration of Independence, for over 50 years.   Michael, bored after relinquishing control of all but 3 of his 12 companies (and yes, he was 93!), turned his property into a refuge for deer and peacocks.  This man was amazing, and full of fascinating stories.

Finally he said what I had been waiting for him to say.  "Would you like to come in my home?"  I think I was heading for the stairs before he even quit talking!  He laughed and caught up.  Bobbie, who had been uncharacteristically quiet, was right on my heels.

Walking into his home was like walking into a museum.  The first thing you saw was a rather simple table that held court in the middle of the large foyer.  He pointed to it.  "That's the table Washington and Cornwallis signed the surrender papers on for the Revolutionary War." 

I simply stared at it, for once at a loss for words as my mind spun through the stories hidden in the walls of this home. 

But it was when I walked into the study that I was completely bedazzled.  As a writer, I was instantly in love with the walls of shelves full of first edition leather books, but it was the mirror...

I walked over and stood before it silently.  I'd never
seen anything like it.  Free standing.  7 feet tall. 
Ornate gold that glimmered in the light filtering into
the study. 

Michael walked up behind me.  "That's the only piece
left from 5 generations of my family before the Civil
War," he said softly.  He ran his hand over the
gleaming gold.  "Our family home in Georgia was
destroyed by Sherman when his troops came through.  The slaves, knowing how much this mirror meant to my family, hauled it out into the woods and
buried it before Sherman's troops got there. 
Everything was destroyed except for this mirror.  After
the war, when all the slaves were freed, one of them
came back and led my grandfather to where they
had buried it."

I reached out my hand and stroked it gently.  "So
many stories.  So many secrets," I murmured.

"Indeed," Michael agreed.  "It's been a vital piece
of our family history."

We spent most of the afternoon with Michael,
knowing it was a day we would never forget. 
And the mirror lodged itself into a permanent place
in my heart!

The Bregdan Chronicles were not even a thought in
my head on that Spring day.  When I began to develop
them I knew the mirror had to play a central role.  If you haven't read Storm Clouds Rolling In yet, you still have to discover its secret and just how it plays into all the remaining books!   :) 





BLOG:  A Voice In The World -  From the heart of Ginny Dye
Feb. 18, 2013

I'm Glad I Chose to Live

I remember the days when hope was non-existent. 

I remember the days when all I wanted to do was end the pain. 

I remember the days when death beckoned to me like a long-lost friend.

I fought my way through to Life, Hope & Joy-Filled days. 

Country music singer, Mindy McCready did not.  

She killed herself on Sunday, February 17, 2013.  She
was 37 years old.   My heart goes out to her and to the
ones she has left behind.

Mindy had this to say in January, 2012.  "I haven't had a
hit in almost a decade. I've spent my fortune, tarnished
my public view and made myself the brunt of punch line
after punch line.

I've been beaten, sued, robbed, arrested, jailed, and
evicted.

But I'm still here. With a handful of people that I know and
trust, a revived determination, and both middle fingers up in the air, I'm ready. I've been here before. I'm a fighter. I'm down, but I'll never be out."

Until she lost hope. 

Until she lost the ability to believe life could be better – that she could make it better.

Mindy is one person.  One person who shines the light on the lack of hope that permeates so many people’s lives. 

Are you one of them?  Do you know one of them?

Will you let Mindy’s death be a wake-up call?  For yourself?  For someone you care about?

Suicide happens because people lose hope.  For that moment they can’t see beyond the darkness and pain.  The present overshadows everything, and they choose to stop the clock. 

Nothing will bring Mindy back.  Nothing will bring back the million people around the world who make this decision every year. 

If people commit suicide because they have lost hope, the question
should become how to hold on to HOPE.

Hope is the bird that sings to the dawn while it is still dark.

This is my all-time favorite description of hope – one that resonates in
my heart continually.  It really says it all…

You hold on to hope by letting your imagination project yourself into
the future.  You paint a picture in your mind of what you want for your life,
regardless of what it is like right now.

In my dark days of dealing with childhood abuse, when the pain was a pillow suffocating any ability to draw a breath, I painted a picture of what could be…

I surrounded myself with pictures and images of what could be… of what I wanted… and I held on to them when I believed I would never deserve or have them.  I made a choice every single day. 

I chose to believe that while no-one (including me) has total control of their life, I DO have the power and ability to create anything I want.  I can’t control the road to get there, but I believe I do have the power to create the outcome – if I’m willing to navigate the twists and turns. 

No one chooses pain… no one chooses the mantle of depression… no one chooses abuse… no one chooses loss. 

But we can all choose Life in the midst of reality.  We can choose to believe that while our road may not be the one we’ve chosen, we CAN end up in a much better place if we simply choose to keep moving forward. 

When the voices rang in my head to choose death, I chose to surround myself with the evidence of what could be.  I looked at my pictures.  I read things that gave me hope.  I studied the lives of people who had walked through the pain before me.

And, yes, I thought of the pain of the ones I would leave behind if I chose death.  I do not believe suicide is a sin.  I personally believe that people, bereft of hope, who make that final decision are wrapped up in God’s loving arms as soon as they take their last breath. 

But the people who are left behind… their lives are wracked with pain as they deal with grief, loss & guilt.  They spend their life asking questions, and wondering if they have reason to hold on to hope. 

I didn’t want to be the cause of that for anyone.  I’m grateful now that my desire to spare anyone that kind of pain helped me hold on to life and hope when I didn’t care about myself. 

Perhaps the most important thing I did was journal.  Having a place to pour out my feelings and thoughts was the true lifesaver for me.  Being able to put it all into words made it seem somehow manageable.  As the pain poured out, my writing made room for answers and solutions.  It paved the way for hope.

It made me believe that I could be the bird that sings to the dawn while it is still dark.

I chose hope. 

I chose to sing through my writing.  I chose to write stories & books filled with hope and light.  I chose to be a Voice In The World.

My great hope is that you will choose HOPE – that you will choose to sing to the dawn while it is still dark.

Blessings,

Ginny


BLOG:  A Voice In The World - From the heart of Ginny Dye
August 29, 20133

The Day I Discovered The Truth...

I was three books into The Bregdan Chronicles before I truly understood why I was writing them, and why I was so passionate.  The truth was rather hard to swallow…

Before I take you back to the real reason I discovered, I want to give you a little more current history.  I was six years old when Martin Luther King gave his famous I Have A Dream speech during the March on Washington in 1963. 

I was 13, and in the 7th grade, when the first black students started coming to my school.  Because I was an athlete I had the honor and privilege of making some great friendships because we played sports together.  I was fairly unaware of the violence brewing beneath the surface.

I was 15, and in the 9th grade, when the violence spewed over; resulting in race riots in almost every high school in Charlotte.  I was still in Junior High when I received a call to the office, and was told my brother had been badly beaten during a riot and had been taken to the hospital.  

My Algebra teacher, a wise and wonderful teacher, helped me make a choice that day to not respond with hatred and anger.  (That’s probably another blog post…) And, yes, my brother recovered.

When I was 16 I had the privilege of connecting with a wonderful group called the New Directions – one of the very few interracial singing groups (consisting of high school and college kids) in the South at the time.  I made many wonderful friends, both black and white – relationships that have lasted to this day.

My family was completely mystified by those relationships.  In a family fraught with bigotry, fear and hatred, I was working to build relationships and bridges. 

My father forbade me to spend time with my black friends.  I did it anyway.

He forbade me to visit them in their homes and neighborhoods.  I did it anyway. 

It was not rebellion – it was a compulsion; something I knew I had to do, but I didn’t understand why.  I simply knew it was the right thing to do.

I was 19, and on my way with a black friend to a favorite swimming hole near my college campus when we rounded a curve and saw a burnt cross in a rural front yard – the work of the KKK.  We never made it to the swimming hole that day – our fear drove us back to the security of our college campus. 

I have always hated prejudice and have worked to end it.

Which brings me to the day I learned the real truth…

My research for Dark Chaos (Book # 4 in The Bregdan Chronicles) had led me to a lunch with the director of the Black Historical Society in Norfolk, VA.    She asked me during our phone call to bring copies of my first three books.  At the time I was writing under the pen name of Virginia Gaffney but, of course, I had introduced myself to her as Ginny Dye.

Lunch with Effie was a complete joy.  She was a tiny lady with wrinkled ebony skin and glowing eyes that reflected a wonderful soul.  She was also an amazing source of information about the Grand Contraband Camp, Fort Monroe, and Hampton University.

Toward the end of our lunch, her eyes continually strayed to my books.  She finally asked the question that changed everything.  “Where does the name Gaffney come from?”

I told her of my maternal great-great-great-grandfather who had come over from Ireland to escape certain death because he had converted to Protestantism.   He had swum out to a boat in the middle of the night and had hidden aboard until they were far enough from shore that he knew they wouldn’t turn back.  He worked his way across the ocean, ended up in New York, and then made his way to South Carolina.  I’ve always heard him called “Captain Michael.” 

I proudly told her how Captain Michael Gaffney had owned a large plantation, founded Gaffney, S.C. and, then, Limestone College.

My gift of writing came from my grandfather (though it probably goes back further), so I used his name and dedicate all my writing to him.  (Though I use my own name now, you’ll find him on the dedication page for Storm Clouds Rolling In.)

The whole time I was telling my story, Effie had the funniest look on her face.  I finally stopped.  “Effie, what is going on?” I asked.

She sat back in the booth and gave me a long look.  “One of my very best friend’s last name is Gaffney, and she says her family founded Gaffney, S.C.,” she finally said.

“Cool!” I said excitedly.  “We must be related.”

“Yeah,” Effie agreed, “but, honey, she’s black.”

Now, there was nothing earth shattering about that.  I had done enough research to know that either Captain Michael’s slaves had taken on the Gaffney name, or Captain Michael had impregnated one of the slaves and begun a whole black side of the family.  Rather, I was excited to learn more.

When I left her I went to Hampton University to do some more research.  While I was there I got in the elevator to go to the top floor of the library.  Two black students, both wearing name tags because of a conference that day, were in the elevator with me.  I was astonished when I looked at these two strapping black men, and realized both of them were Gaffney’s!  I was too stunned to say anything at the time.  I’ve always wished I could go back…  Someday I will, and then I’ll have another whole series to write… :)

As soon as I got home that day I called my mother to excitedly share the news.  Let’s just say she didn’t respond positively… She was incensed that I would believe Captain Michael owned slaves – insisting it just wasn’t true.  My calm response that of course he owned slaves because he owned one of the largest plantations in the South during the 1850’s, and up until the Civil War, only made her more angry.

Her reaction made me determined to find answers.

The next morning I drove to Gaffney, SC (7 hours away) and walked into the Gaffney Family archives housed at Limestone College. 

Within 5 minutes I had the information I needed that Captain Michael was indeed a slave owner.  That was hard enough to accept, but it was when I turned the page that my understanding came…

I learned that when Captain Michael passed away, my great-great-great grandmother had given their entire estate (worth millions in today’s currency) to the KKK.

The Ku Klux Klan??

I blinked my eyes and then buried my face in my hands, simply unwilling to believe that was my heritage – that generations of my family had supported the work of the KKK.  The truth was horrifying and humiliating. 

Until God whispered in my ear and I suddenly understood… 

Generations later, it was my job to redeem what had been done.  It was my job to be a voice for love and equality. 

It was my job to share truth, and bring people to life through my books – people who could compel readers in this generation to think and then open their hearts to love and equality.

It was my job to help abolish prejudice and inequality through the gift God has given me.

It was my job – but more importantly it was my privilege.

As that reality filtered into my heart, I raised my head, closed the book, and walked out into the bright sunshine – surer than ever of what I was supposed to do, and who I am called to be.

So I write…

I am so excited to write Carried Forward By Hope (Book # 6 in the Bregdan Chronicles) because finally I will get a chance to share how our country was rebuilt.  I will also come to fully understand the fears and prejudices on all sides of the equation that have created the world I live in today – and then share it with all of you.

50 years after Martin Luther King gave his speech it’s time for each of us to continue the struggle for equal rights for all people.

YOU matter.  YOUR actions will help change history – for either good or bad.

That is...


The Bregdan Principle

Every life that has been  lived until today is a
part of the woven braid of life.

It takes every person’s story to create history.

Your life will help determine the course of history.

You may think you don’t have much of an impact.

You do.

Every action you take will reflect in someone else’s life.

Someone else’s decisions.

Someone else’s future.

Both good and bad.


What will you do?

How will your life impact history?






BLOG:  A Voice In The World - From the heart of Ginny Dye
September 18, 2013

I'm SO Glad The War Is Over!!

Several weeks ago I watched the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington.   Tears spilled down my cheeks so many times; perhaps because, through the writing of The Bregdan Chronicles, I have a deeper understanding of the price African-Americans have paid to get where they are today – and just why they are still so far from where they should be. 

The beginning of their freedom – the end of slavery – came during the American Civil War.

Shallow thinking… bad decisions… media driven choices… more than 620,000 men killed or wounded… endless heartbreak for families… millions of lives impacted during America’s bloodiest conflict. 

In order to write the first five books of The Bregdan Chronicles I had to dive into thousands of hours of intense research.  What I discovered sickened and angered me.   In spite of the horrors of all the following wars, not one has matched the atrocities of the American Civil War – the one we brought on ourselves.

Don’t worry…I’m not going to give away any of the story line because I know that not all of you have read all the way through to The Last, Long Night yet. 

So why am I writing this?

Because I’m SO glad the war is over!  Perhaps this Blog is my way of bringing closure…  I’m not sure I could have written about one more battle, or about one more decision that resulted in the suffering of so many innocent people.  The truth of what I learned infuriated me, saddened me, and forced me to dig deep into my heart and soul to find the bright lights shining in the midst of so much darkness. 

I am constantly astonished that history has “romanticized” the Civil War.  Battles are re-enacted without showing the true horror.   We teach it in our schools without bothering to tell the whole truth.  How can children commit to making sure such a thing never happens again when they’re not even given the respect of being told the truth?

The only thing I was sure of after just the first few months of research is that I knew NOTHING about the American Civil War.  That very truth made me angry, as well.  How am I supposed to make wise decisions when my education was so shallow and one-sided?

I love history.  I would have told you I knew a lot about the Civil War.  I knew nothing.

I grew up in the South.  Want to guess what version I heard? 

Many of you grew up in the North.  I already know you heard something different than I did.

If you live somewhere else in the world, you’re probably totally confused by the conflict that ripped a young country apart.  You’re not alone.  It’s impossible to make sense out of something that never should have happened in the first place. 

So now I’m doing research for Book # 6 (Carried Forward By Hope).  I’ve longed to reach this point because I was so tired of writing about the war.  There were many hard things that happened during the Reconstruction years in America as a divided country worked to become one nation again, but at least the efforts were about rebuilding – not just destruction.

I’m so glad that now I get to put my focus and attention on rebuilding this great country – as well as shining a bright light so that TRUTH takes center stage! 

I’m so glad that now I have the opportunity to show how what happened in the years following the war have reverberated down through the rest of our history – making the March on Washington necessary, and causing so much racial turmoil in our country. 

Perhaps if we can understand, we can search deep in our hearts to discover what we really believe and feel – and just how that impacts the world we live in right now, as well as the relationships that surround us. 

Carried Forward By Hope comes out December 1st!  

Make sure you sign up for my mailing list so that you don't miss all the LAUNCH FUN! Use the form at the top of the page...

BLOG:  A Voice In The World - From the heart of Ginny Dye
October 21, 2013

I Love Having A Powerful Purpose!

When I began working on a huge project this Spring it honestly never dawned on me I would be giving it away... I also didn't dream I would be so excited about it, or that I would put Book # 6 of The Bregdan Chronicles on hold for 1 month to make it happen NOW!

Many years ago I began writing stories about people who have overcome intense obstacles, done amazing things, or our making an incredible difference in the world.  Today I have over 700 of them! 

The question has been what to do with them...

I LOVE to journal.  It is the most precious part of my day.  Every morning I fix a cup of hot tea, come down to my office and spend at least an hour writing... thinking... praying... creating... 

I have longed to create something powerful that would introduce and encourage journaling...

I spent 18 years of my life working with teenagers.  I love all people, but teenagers are simply my favorite human beings.  Teenagers & Tweens are so very powerful if they are given the right tools to walk in that power without being sucked into the craziness of our world. 

I have longed to create something that will enable girls, especially, to walk in that power...

And, finally, because I'm a woman, I am so aware of the power females (girls & women) have to change the world.

As the Founder of Together We Can Change The World, I wanted to wake girls up to the power they have to make a massive difference in their world...

Until September, 2013, I thought all of this would come together to create an additional revenue stream.  An early morning journaling session revealed I am to give it away to provide education for girls all over the world - both here in the United States and internationally.  I've already developed partnerships with 4 different organizations - that will grow as the income grows.

WOW!  I already felt such a drive and purpose around this project - the knowledge of what it was to be used for has absolutely taken it to the next level!

I began work this spring on The Powerful Girl Journal.  I totally believe EVERY girl between the ages of 10 - 18 should have one!   There are 20 different covers for Volume 1 - here are some examples.





































There are 16 more designs for girls to choose from - allowing them to choose a Journal that best reflects them.  Next year there will be 20 more!

The Powerful Girl Journals are designed to be treasures kept for their entire life so they can look back on their journey. 

Most journals are too small... 
               -  The Powerful Girl Journals are a full 8 1/2 X 11 so there is lots of room! 
        -  There is a full lined page for each day of the year!

Most journals give you nothing but empty space...
              -  I have included 52 stories (1 a week) of powerful girls and women who are a total inspiration!
              -  I have included powerful quotes for every day!
-  I have included over 100 ideas for how girls can make a difference in their world.

These Journals are close to 500 pages long - a roadmap for girls as they live their lives and grow into Powerful Women! 

And, most importantly, each journal sold will generate $11 to provide education for girls around the world! 

Think about it!  Selling just 2300 books will provide education, clean water, food & clothing for an entire village in Africa.  Think of the ripple effect as girls, who have never had access to education, suddenly have the whole world opened to them.

Providing education for girls all over the world.  I truly believe there is no more powerful way to change the world.

With YOUR help I intend to reach 5 MILLION people from November 14th - January 10th. 

If just 1% of them respond and buy a Powerful Girl Journal for someone special in their life, over $550,000 will be raised for EDUCATION!  Imagine the impact this will have!

You can also be certain the money will be well used.  I am only partnering with organizations that put 95% - 100% of their funds into their mission - EDUCATION!  It took me a long time to find them, but I am confident in their integrity and purpose. 

Since I'm willing to give all the profit away, I'm hoping you will help me make it happen!  Whether you can reach 25 people, or 250,000 people, YOU can help me make this happen.  Will you join me?








Thank you for helping me make a miracle happen for THOUSANDS of girls around the world. 

One other thing... The Powerful Girl Journal will go on sale November 14th.  Unless you're one of my "partners".  My partners will be able to buy these amazing journals on November 7th - a full week before the rest of the world. :) 
It's my way of saying THANK YOU for helping me make a miracle come true!

I'm hoping all The Bregdan Chronicle readers who are going to have to wait another month for Carried Forward By Hope agree it's for a great reason.  All of you will be part of making something amazing happen!!

Ginny


BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
December 6, 2013


It's Been 16 Years...


I received an email recently that blew me away.  It’s amazing to me when history comes full circle…

16 years ago I moved from Richmond, VA out to the Pacific Northwest.  I took 3 months for the move, traveling and stopping for wonderful adventures along the way – pulling a pop-up camper that was home during that time. 
I believe (I’m not sure) that I was in Wisconsin when something broke that needed to be replaced.  I searched through the yellow pages (there was no Internet) and found a trailer repair shop that was stuck out in the middle of nowhere. 

When I went in to get the part I signed my name to the receipt.  The young girl taking my money stared at my name and then looked back at me, her eyes wide with a question. “Is something wrong?” I asked.

She kept staring at me and then reached behind the counter and pulled out a book I recognized instantly.

“Are you her?” she asked incredulously.

I smiled, stunned that I had found a young girl reading one of my teen novels in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin.
“Guilty,” I admitted, and then laughed.  “Who are you?”

Thus began a wonderful conversation.  Sherry had read every one of the five teen novels I had written - twice.  She was reading book # 1 (Time For A Second Chance) for the third time when I walked in the door. 

Wow!

Another customer came in so I made arrangements to take her out for ice cream that afternoon, and then returned to the state park campground I was staying in and extended my site for another day.  Our ice cream treat turned into 3 hours of laughter and talking – and lots of counseling for a troubled young girl struggling in life. 

I swung by the shop the next morning on my way out of town, gave her a big hug, and then continued on my way.  I never heard from her again.

Until two weeks ago.

Sherry Godek found me through Google, came to my website, and then sent me an email.  (You gotta love technology!)  She asked me if I remembered that day 16 years ago.  How could I forget?!   Then she asked me what had happened to the series of teen novels I had written.  She has two daughters of her own now (11 and 12) and was looking for the books to share with them.  Then she told me she was also involved with a youth group, and that she wanted them to start reading the books.

I called her the next day.

“Where can I find them, Ginny?” she asked eagerly.

“You can’t,” I said reluctantly.  I spoke into the ensuing silence.  “They were taken out of print years ago.  The disks I first wrote them on are simply too old for anyone to pull the books off and put them in a Word Document.  I tried for a long time to find someone who could do it, but couldn’t.”  There was still silence so I kept going.  “I thought about bringing them back into print this spring, and actually started to retype one (because I still have a set), but quickly realized I didn’t have the patience to type an old manuscript so I gave it up."
 
“But, Ginny, you can’t just let them die,” she insisted when she finally found her voice.

I promised I would see what I could do, we talked longer, and then I hung up to ponder it, and also rejoice that a 16 year old I had met 16 years earlier had been so impacted by my books that she found me!  What a joyous surprise!

When an idea popped into my head I went to FiveRR (a site where I’ve found many of the people who help me) and found a wonderful typist in India who would retype all of them for an amazingly low price.  Encouraged, I scanned them all and sent the page images to her.   She sent me the final book two days ago!

Then I contacted my amazing Pakistani graphic artist, Iqra, and asked her to create the covers. 

Then I began to ponder how I was supposed to use my time right now.  How long would it take me to rework and revise five 225 page books?  When should I do it?  What should my priorities be?  Coming right on the heels of finalizing the Powerful Girl & Powerful Woman Journals, I was ready to finish up Carried Forward By Hope for The Bregdan Chronicles.

My initial decision was to put the teen novels on the backburner until spring.  It was a good plan, and one I felt I owed all the readers of The Bregdan Chronicles, but an uneasiness kept springing up in my soul.  I finally hiked to the top of my mountain and sat on my favorite rock-outcropping until I made a decision I could be at peace with.  When I came down, I knew what I was supposed to do.

And I’m doing it… Bringing back the Pepper Crest High Series.   Teenagers… horses… high school… relationships… challenges… I’m having a blast!

I’ve almost finished with Second Chances (Book # 1).  I’ll have the other four finished by the first week of January.  It seems right… to have these powerful books back in print, and have all my books back in print within one year of when I discovered the Amazon Kindle program.

I know so many of you are anxiously waiting for Carried Forward By Hope.  Will it help if I tell you there are no other projects hiding in the wings that need to be done once I get my teen novels out?  I’m as eager as you are to discover what will happen in Book # 6! :)
 
I’m not going to give you a specific date for the release of Carried Forward By Hope – other than to tell you it will be as soon as possible.  Early spring is safe…  I’ve learned to not announce specific dates for a book release because life too often seems to have other plans for me! 

If you want a sneak preview of the Pepper Crest High Series, CLICK HERE!

I’ve got more exciting news coming early next week – something a lot of you have been asking for for a long time!  Until then...

Blessings,

Ginny

BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
March 3, 2014


Will Spring Ever Come??

I suspect most of you reading this are like me... You're praying and hoping spring will come because you're not sure you can take even one more minute of this never-ending winter, with its relentless round of snow & ice storms.  Throw in massive rains, destructive flooding, and torrents of mud, and what do you have?  You have a winter that everyone is eager to have GO AWAY!

I discovered long ago that the only way to handle non-relenting challenges is to LAUGH in the face of them.  Challenges only have the power we are willing to give them.  As I stared out my office window this morning at the snow-covered mountains through the curtain of rain pounding my windows, I knew I REALLY needed to laugh.  Which is why I made this video... (If you have a hard time viewing - watch with Chrome!)





























Okay, I'm really not an extreme skiier... All I really want to do is go play somewhere that has lots of warm weather and sunshine, but that's not possible right now.  WHY?  Because I'm hard at work on Book # 6 of The Bregdan Chronicles (Carried Forward By Hope). 

I think it's a very appropriate title for this winter.  I am being carried forward by the HOPE that spring is coming... I'm being carried forward by the joy of writing this new book... I'm being carried forward by the challenge of stretching my brain cells with more new information and knowledge than I thought possible as I research and write... I'm being carried forward by the sheer joy I know many of you will experience when I'm finally done and RELEASE this new book!

I'm not going to make any more "date promises" because I too often miss them - just know it's coming along very well!  So much more is also going on!

I've had so many of you ask me about the Pepper Crest High Series (the teen novels I stepped back to complete and put back on the market).  All but one are finished and available!













































**********************************************


I'm also happy to tell you that ON TO RICHMOND has now been completed in Audiobook
Format - and Spring Will Come is being created right now. 

DID YOU KNOW??

Whispersync for Voice

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook.

If you own this Kindle book, you can add the professional narration of Storm Clouds Rolling In  OR On To Richmond for the reduced price of just $1.99!  WOW!

All you have to do is go back to Amazon by clicking the appropriate book cover in the right-hand column to grab your own copy!

And...

BREGDAN CHRONICLES AVAILABLE ON ALL PLATFORMS!


I've been asked so many times if my books were available for the Nook... or for Kobo... or for... any of the other 100+ Ebook platforms there are.  My answer has always been no - simply because I didn't want to take the time to put all my books into all those platforms.  That would have been a full-time job! 

I finally discovered the way to get it done!  Wooohoooooo!  All of my books will be in full distribution by the end of the week in ALL the platforms. 

And now I'm going back to 1865 and 1866! :)  With maybe a little extreme skiing thrown in!!

Blessings,

Ginny
BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
March 25, 2014


The Truth I'd Rather Not Know


You're about to find out....
     *  The truth about my great-great-great grandmother
     *  When Carried Forward By Hope will be released
     *  If you're one of the ones who have made me cry!

Let's start with Great-great-great grandmother, Polly Gaffney.  If you've been reading my Blog for a while, you know that I discovered my ancestor had given her entire estate to the Ku Klux Klan when she died.  That was enough to break my heart...

A couple weeks ago, when I was doing research for Carrie Forward By Hope, I discovered Polly Gaffney was also a murderer.

On or about January 13, 1817, Polly Gaffney allegedly killed a female slave named Phyllis who worked for the family. Phyllis was the slave and legal property of Polly's husband, Michael Gaffney, at the time of the murder, which was said to be very brutal. The female slave was killed with a single knife wound that was 2 inches in length and 6 inches deep, stabbed under the left arm above the rib cage, historical accounts reveal. Her body was allegedly mutilated afterwards.

Polly Gaffney was allowed bail on the charge of $1,000, which was signed for by her husband. A man named Robert Stacey, who evidently served as some type of judge or magistrate at the time, swore out the murder warrant against Mrs. Gaffney.

The historical file of this case states that when the case was tried, Mrs. Gaffney was found guiltyand ordered to pay a 50-pound fine for the murder, along with the court costs. These charges were paid by the Gaffney family.

In fact, Polly never spent any time in jail whatsoever, primarily because she was expecting her sixth child at the time. The child was subsequently born July 9, 1917. (Cornelius John Gaffney)

******

Yikes!  I also discovered dear Polly also funded, not just the KKK, but the horrifying reign of terror and torture in 1875 that resulted in thousands who were killed to make sure that South Carolina politics continued to be run solely by the white men who had led the South into the Civil War. 

Okay - definitely NOT what you want to discover about your ancestors, but it did something very powerful in me.  I've always felt not just a desire, but a combination of a compulsion and a responsibility to write these books.  Each thing I discover about my family gives me more certainty that I'm MEANT to write these books - to reveal the truth that everyone needs to know because what happened back then is the reason we live in the country we live in RIGHT NOW. 

I wasn't sure how much further I was going to go with this series because there are so many other stories I want to tell, but after that enlightening day of research about Polly Gaffney, I know there are many more books coming.

Many more books of those who tried to continue the enslavement of the blacks, and all the courageous people who made sure that didn't happen!  Now it's my privilege to tell this story!  Be ready for many more books!!























Have you made me cry?? Or laugh??  Or made me so very glad I have the best readers in the world??

If you've written a review of one of my books, you probably did. :)  Everytime I get a little overwhelmed by the pressures of research or writing, I go to Amazon and read my Reviews.  They never fail to give me the motivation and energy to continue forward.

As I press through to finish Carried Forward By Hope, it would mean the world to me if you would go and leave a review for one (or more) of The Bregdan Chronicles.  I will consider it a personal message from you to me...

I'm even going to make it easy for you.  :)




















Thank you!  I'm diving back into research and writing.  Thank you in advance for your reviews that will keep me going!

Blessings,

Ginny Dye




Release Date:

May 15th, 2014!!
BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
April 4, 2014


BIG MAMA


I LOVE how many emails I got from readers last week.  I answered every one!  It's a wonderful break from writing. :)  I also appreciate all the wonderful reviews so many of you left last week.  I've included a couple of them at the end of this BLOG. 

I've been amazed how many of you want to know more about my family - and then whether I'm going to write the story of the Gaffney family.  Actually, that was my initial plan when I started writing historical novels, but as I dug up more truth, my mother begged me to not write it until she died. :)  Really!  She passed away 2 years ago after I was deeply into the Bregdan Chronicles.  Will I ever write a series around it?  I don't know - only time will tell.

But for today, I'm going to tell you about Big Mama - my full-blooded Cherokee great-grandmother.  It's very interesting that I'm the only one of my siblings that know this story and have seen the picture of my 7 foot tall great-grandfather and his 6 foot tall Cherokee wife.  I guess Nina (my grandmother) knew I would need to know about it someday - or perhaps she just saw her mother in me. 

My blue eyes would negate that heritage - my complete connection with nature and my passion to be in the outdoors in solitude connects me closely with the woman I never met. 

Any inter-racial relationship creates challenges, but Pop and Big Mama had it extra tough.  The small South Carolina town they lived in carried the bigotry and hatred so rampant in that part of the country for so long.  When Pop died, Big Mama turned to alcohol to deal with her loss.  Let's just say she wasn't a happy drunk when she drank.  My grandmother, an only child, suffered greatly. 

When Nina was only sixteen, Big Mama died in a house fire accidentally set when she was drunk.  Nina was on her own. 

Then Nina met my grandfather (Wallace Gaffney). They married shortly before he shipped off for World War I, and as many soldiers do he spread his sperm so that he would have a legacy if he did not return! :) 

Well... the blue-blood Gaffneys of Gaffney, SC, were less than excited about having a half-breed for a daughter-in-law.  They were even less excited about having this half-breed raise their granddaughter. 
So... when my mother was born they kidnapped her!  They said no half-breed was going to raise a Gaffney.  They took her from Nina and planned to raise her in their home.

I don't know the whole story, but I know Nina got her back.  Trust me, you didn't want to mess with my grandmother when she was angry!  And needless to say, there were hard feelings for the rest of their lives.  When my grandfather returned from war he moved from Gaffney to Charlotte, NC to escape the bigotry of his family. 

My grandmother was an extraordinary woman.  She was strong, independent and smart.  She could stand in front of a store window, look carefully at a dress my mother wanted for school, go home and cut it out without a pattern, and make an exact replica.  (Trust me - I inherited none of that talent!)  She could fix anything, and made the best lemon-meringue pie in the world!  She also had a dark side that I'm sure came from all the prejudice and hatred that was aimed at her for most of her life.

My Mom?  She hid the truth.  Just like she would never admit Captain Michael was a slave owner, she never once admitted to being 1/4 Cherokee.  I'm not sure where she thought she got her jet black hair and dark colored skin... :)  She had blue eyes, but that was the only reflection of the Gaffney family - except of course her refusal to accept the beauty of her heritage. 

I love the fact that I'm 1/8 Cherokee!  I love how deeply I tan. I love how at home I feel in the solitude of the wilderness.  I love knowing I am a mix of all that has come before.

Just as YOU are.  You are a mix of all that has come before!  I encourage you to embrace all of it!

So many of you have asked how I ended up so different after coming from the background I do.  I guess you'll have to wait for the next Blog to learn that story! :)
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_________________________________________________________

Have you made me cry?? Or laugh?? Or made me so very glad I have the best readers in the world??

If you've written a review of one of my books, you probably did. :) Every time I get a little overwhelmed by the pressures of research or writing, I go to Amazon and read my Reviews. They never fail to give me the motivation and energy to continue forward.

As I press through to finish Carried Forward By Hope, it would mean the world to me if you would go and leave a review for one (or more) of The Bregdan Chronicles. I will consider it a personal message from you to me...

I'm even going to make it easy for you. :)




















Two of the reviews I received this weeks:

I have read all of the Bregdan Chronicles, loved everyone of them. I can feel myself getting lost in the pages. I have always been an avid reader of history. While waiting for the sixth book, I have gone back to re-reading the series. Can't wait for the new one.
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Historical fiction is my favorite genre & I am loving Ginny Dye's Bregdan Chronicles series. Spring Will Come is the third installment and it has really opened my eyes to the severe reality of the civil war, I love following the story of Carrie, Robert, Rose & Moses & Granite too!

Like many people, I have a fascination with this period in American history & the more I learn about it the more intrigued I become. Following a series like this gives insight into those horrific times, whilst giving glimpses of the bravery and love that got everyone through.

I am about to start reading Dark Chaos the fourth book in the series & I look forward to many more books in coming years.
______________________________________________

Thank you! I'm diving back into research and writing. Thank you in advance for your reviews that will keep me going!

Blessings,

Ginny Dye

Release Date:

May 15th!
BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
April 11, 2014


The Day My Brother Was Beaten...


I get one question over and over again... Ginny, how did you turn out so different from your family??
My only exposures to African-Americans when I was growing up were the large numbers of black people I saw whenever I went to downtown Charlotte, and my family's maid, Ruth.  I will never forget her. 

Ruth was tall and slender, with proud dark eyes that always looked at me with kindness - something coveted by an abused child.  I don't remember much about her, but I do remember I felt safe with her.  I used to set up my little ironing board beside hers whenever she ironed.  I don't use that skill very much :), but I do have it!

Fast forward to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system in the early 70's - the beginning of bussing and integration. 

Sheryl was my first black friend.  I've been an athlete all my life - playing just about any sport they would let me play; and many that I only got to play because my two older brothers knew I was as good as they were!  The first black students showed up at my junior high school when I was in the 7th grade.  I was almost at my height of 6 feet by then, and the queen of the basketball court.  Until Sheryl showed up... She was GOOD!  I didn't care what color she was - we just had fun playing.  And then fun laughing... and talking.  She reminded me of Ruth.

Looking back now, I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her to be one of about a dozen black students at this WHITE junior high school.  Without having any clue I was doing it, I knew I gave her a friend when she thought she would only have enemies.  And I helped pave the way for her with my other friends.  I had no idea I was doing anything unique - I was just befriending a fellow athlete.
Two years later, the underlying tensions over segregation boiled over into a year of violent riots in almost every area high school.  I was in my last year of junior high (9th grade), but both my brothers were in high school. It was also the year I took my first steps toward faith.

I will never forget the day I was called out of Algebra and told one of my brothers had been badly beaten during a riot.  I was to get my things and be ready when my mother arrived to take me to the emergency room.  I can remember my heart racing.  I can remember fear pulsing through me.  And I remember something else... the roots of hatred and prejudice taking hold.  They had hurt my brother!
Just as I was leaving, my very wise Algebra teacher called me aside, took my hands and gazed into my eyes.  "You have a choice right now, Ginny.  You can choose to hate or..."  she let her words trail off as her blue eyes held mine, "you can choose NOT to hate."  She didn't tell me to choose love - I'm sure she knew I couldn't even comprehend that - she simply told me I could choose NOT to hate.  Over her shoulder, I could see Sheryl looking at me with very sad eyes. 

I made a decision that day.  I made a decision NOT to hate.

That same year I was introduced to a singing group called The New Directions.  They may have been the first inter-racial singing group in the South; made up of teenagers who wanted to share the message of God's love.  I loved their music and singing!  I also had the opportunity to become friends with some of them.  What a blessing!

Those friendships grew and expanded.  One of the members had a little sister four years younger than me that sometimes hung out with them.  She became my "little sister" as well.  When I got my drivers license I would drive the 90 minutes to her house for the weekend.  I never thought anything about spending weekends in a black section of their town.  I laughed, talked and played basketball.  It wasn't any different from home.

Until my father found out what I was doing.  Whew!  He laid down the law and refused to let me go there anymore.  I looked into his eyes, and saw the hatred and prejudice I had chosen to never live with.  My father didn't live with us, so it was relatively easy to do what I wanted to anyway.  Yes, I was born rebellious - though I choose to see it as my determination to live my life under my own code of ethics and morals. 

My relationship with all the New Directions and my "little sister" continued to be very important to me.  Each day taught me more and more that being black simply meant they didn't have to work as hard for a tan as I did! :)  They were my friends, and I loved them.

My college was mostly white, but I was close to The New Directions' hometown, so I kept my world balanced. 

Fast forward to my decision to write an historical novel series... I knew if I was going to write about the Civil War that I had to do it from everyone's perspective.  Some people have asked me how I can write from a black person's perspective.  It's no more difficult than writing from a white person who lived in the 1860's!  Other than the color of our skin, we shared nothing in common.  Our worlds are totally different. 

Just as research has given me perspective into Carrie's world, it has done the same into Rose and Moses' world.  Understanding human nature fills in the rest of the gaps.  People, no matter what period of history we're talking about, are still the same.  Our basic wants and needs have never changed.  History might mandate the circumstances under which we pursue them, but they don't change the basic needs, wants, fears, actions, etc.

I believe that people are people. 

It's also the reason I love writing this series because I can carry people through all the circumstances history throws in their face. 

Another question I get is how far in advance I plan the next book in the series.  I'll be back next week to answer that one! :)
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_________________________________________________________

Have you made me cry?? Or laugh?? Or made me so very glad I have the best readers in the world??

If you've written a review of one of my books, you probably did. :) Every time I get a little overwhelmed by the pressures of research or writing, I go to Amazon and read my Reviews. They never fail to give me the motivation and energy to continue forward.

As I press through to finish Carried Forward By Hope, it would mean the world to me if you would go and leave a review for one (or more) of The Bregdan Chronicles. I will consider it a personal message from you to me...

I'm even going to make it easy for you. :)




















Two of the reviews I received this week:

I loved this story and can't wait to start the next book. The characters came alive and I fell in love with most of them. I hope that Robert changes his opinion about slavery and finds his true love. I hope Moses lives a long happy life and raises many children and all become free.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the rich details of southern living with some history thrown in. Excellent reading!!
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Moreso than any other book, I did not want Dark Chaos to end....I found myself losing track of time as I was reading until 4 or 5 in the morning. A history buff from the word go, this series has brought the reality of the Civil War into my heart. The books have also shown me that warfare and politics of today have changed little send then.

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Thank you! I'm diving back into research and writing. Thank you in advance for your reviews that will keep me going!

Blessings,

Ginny Dye

BLOG:  A Voice In The World - from the Heart of Ginny Dye
April 18, 2014


I hope you don't mind if this Blog post is relatively short.  I'm very aware I have a book due in all your hands in just 3 weeks, so I trust you agree with me that is my top priority right now. :)

I am often asked how far in advance I plan the next book.  That answer is easy - not until I've written the one that comes before it.  All I knew about Carried Forward By Hope is that it was going to take place from April 1865 - April 1866.  Quite honestly, I wasn't at all sure there was enough going on in history to support a large novel for that time period.  HAH!

When I started research, my mind was blown by what I discovered.  One of the most important things I learned in doing the first 5 books covering the Civil War was that I knew NOTHING about the Civil War - though I would have told you differently in the beginning.  The research - discovering the truth through hundreds of hours of digging - is every bit as much fun as writing.  Leaving the war behind has made me realize I knew more than NOTHING about Reconstruction.  I have been appalled, exhilarated and enlightened...

Research is also what creates the next book.  It would be so easy to have created an outline for 10 books - deciding far in advance what is going to happen with each character - and then writing the books to bring that to reality.

That approach also has absolutely nothing to do with how life is lived.

Think about it... wouldn't it be easy to plan exactly what you're going to do today if you knew for certain what your life was going to be one year from now? 

None of us have that privilege.  We make our plans, and then we roll with whatever life throws our way.  12 months from now may look exactly like what you had planned; it may also look NOTHING like what you had planned...

We never really know what is going to happen - a death... a new life... a failure... a success... an historical event... sickness... the beginning of a relationship... the ending of a relationship...  new job... losing a job... financial struggles... or an unexpected windfall.  The list could go on, but the important thing is that every single one of these situations can totally change the path of our life. 

It really is true that how we live our life has very little to do with what happens to us - it has everything to do with how we handle what happens.  It has everything to do with our choices... with our attitudes... with our ability to trust there is a plan and a power much bigger than us that will help us walk through. 

So... I finished The Last, Long Night and then began to do my research for Carried Forward By Hope.  I created what happened with Carrie, Robert, Rose, Moses and the rest around what happened in our country. I have the joy of being surprised along with the rest of you as I realize one of the character's lives isn't going to unfold as I thought it would because the reality of life isn't going to let that happen.

Do I follow my own outline?  Hah!  I always write one up, but then it takes on a life of its own.  You would probably not recognize the first 5 books from any of the outlines! :)  For instance, with Carried Forward By Hope, I realized I was going to have to make some changes when I got to Chapter 12 in the outline, but actually had 22 Chapters and 300 pages by then.  Yikes!  Since I really didn't want to write an 800 page book, I knew I had to make some changes.  Once again, life & history dictated...

That's what keeps the process so much fun.  It is most certainly never boring! 

I can't wait to hear what all of you think about Carried Forward By Hope!  You'll have it soon!!
I'm going to end by repeating something I said above:

It really is true that how we live our life has very little to do with what happens to us - it has everything to do with how we handle what happens.  It has everything to do with our choices... with our attitudes... with our ability to trust there is a plan and a power much bigger than us that will help us walk through. 

Next week??  I have a rather massive surprise for you... :)
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_________________________________________________________

Have you made me cry?? Or laugh?? Or made me so very glad I have the best readers in the world??

If you've written a review of one of my books, you probably did. :) Every time I get a little overwhelmed by the pressures of research or writing, I go to Amazon and read my Reviews. They never fail to give me the motivation and energy to continue forward.

As I press through to finish Carried Forward By Hope, it would mean the world to me if you would go and leave a review for one (or more) of The Bregdan Chronicles. I will consider it a personal message from you to me...

I'm even going to make it easy for you. :)




















Two of the reviews I received this week:

I found the whole series to be a wonderful read. Although it is fiction, there is so much history of the time entwined through the pages it brings one to an awareness that may not have been felt before. As it happens, I just returned from an educational trip with 5th graders to the very places in the book, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. It brought it all into reality and gave me an even deeper appreciation for this series. Can't wait to read the sixth book.

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I have just read other reviews that could have been mine!! Apparently we all concur that we have been transported back in time just as assuredly as a time traveler through the succinct histrionics brought to life by Ginny Dye. She boarded us on that trek with her first book Storm Clouds Rolling In, and, as all will agree, we were absolutely unable to and unwilling to end the journey. Her amazing characters became so tangible to us. We easily could relate to all their true hearts and strengths and characters. She made the entirety of the Civil War become a documentary in our mind's eyes and entwined our hearts with unforgettable people we wait with baited breath to carried forward in their lives post Civil War!! Ginny, you are Epic!!!

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Thank you! I'm diving back into research and writing. Thank you in advance for your reviews that will keep me going!

Blessings,

Ginny Dye

Release Date:

May 15th!
Release Date:

May 15th!