Giveaway of Paulette Callen’s “Charity”

To celebrate the publication of Charity by Paulette Callen, we’ll be giving away three e-book copies and three paperbacks of this special book.

Paulette Callen wrote a few words about Charity that we want to share first:

A Question of Character

In hiCharity- 1600 Barnes and Noblegh school freshman English class, I read my first Shakespeare play.  Julius Caesar. Our assignment was an essay, defending our opinion of who was the main character, Caesar or Brutus.  I picked Caesar.  After all, his name was the title.  Duane Ohnsted picked Brutus.  After all, he had the most lines.  I was wrong; Duane was right.

Recently, someone asked me: Who is the main character of the Charity novels?  Gustie or Lena?

I don’t know how much text is devoted to Lena’s point of view and how much to Gustie’s.  It doesn’t matter.  They share top billing.  They are both main characters.

But it didn’t start out that way.

My grandmother Lena was a storyteller.  She didn’t tell me the how and the why behind her stories.  I had to weave that from my imagination.  But my main character was Lena, based on my grandmother. I placed her roughly a generation earlier than she actually lived.  To my knowledge, she did not have a best friend or confidant. I created one so that my character would have someone to talk to, so that the novel would not be a series of her internal monologues.  However, from the moment her shadow fell across Lena’s kitchen floor, the character of Gustie sprouted her own wings and took flight.

I read everything I could find on that period of history in the northeast corner of South Dakota.  This was before the Internet, and it wasn’t that easy to find materials.  I managed, with help from South Dakota State Historical Society, a professor friend at the University of Wisconsin who sent me books (which I returned) from the university library, and some highly informative local publications, which I found in a lot of surprising places (including my hometown drug store).  I discovered numerous accounts of two brothers or two bachelors homesteading together, or two sisters or spinsters doing the same thing.  I thought, What are the odds?  Some of these couples had to be COUPLES.  I wondered: What was it like for a gay person, back here, back then?  So Gustie came with her secret, but in order for her to be open to a friendship with someone as feisty and edgy as Lena, I reasoned she would have to be alone; I ruthlessly killed off her love before they even arrived in Charity. 

However, fate or my muse decreed that Gustie should not be alone.  So just a note about how Jordis came to be in my novel.  I grew up twelve miles from a Dakotah Sioux reservation.  Throughout my childhood, I saw only a few Dakotah people.  (Segregation was alive and well in more places than just the deep South.)  But they were there, and they were especially there back in the time I was writing about, even though they were not much mentioned in my research materials.  So, I embarked on a new field of research about the Dakotah.  A lot has been written about the Lakota, the branch of the Sioux west of the Missouri River.  They are the people who fought the United States Army and never lost a battle.  They are the people of Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull.  But the Dakotah, east of the river, had a less headline-grabbing history.  I tried to stick with books and articles written by men and women of Native American heritage, not books about them written by white historians.  Much information is available now, but this was more than 20 years ago. Still, (again, before the Internet) I found materials and made the decision to land Gustie first on the rez, just east of Charity.  But still no partner for Gustie.  Then, as part of my general research into Native American culture, I attended Pow Wows in the Midwest during my summer vacations.  At one such event, I saw the face that launched the character of Jordis—a young dancer whose profile was right out of Native mythology, so striking, so perfectly chiseled with very dark and luminous skin.  She has to be in my book.  And so she is.

Lena and Gustie are both main characters.  Charity is the story of their friendship.  You can’t have one without the other.

Interested in reading Charity? Well, participate in the book giveaway. Anyone can participate. Just leave a comment below or send an e-mail to and let us know if you would like to win an e-book or the paperback. The deadline for the giveaway is Monday 11.59 p.m. EST, which means 6 a.m. on Tuesday in Germany.

We’ll do the drawing on Tuesday evening and will announce the winners on Wednesday here on the blog. Recourse to the courts is excluded.

In case you don’t want to wait and see if you won a copy: Charity is available from amazon and Smashwords.

Good luck to you all

The Ylva team

Share this Post!

About the Author : Astrid Ohletz


  1. Sally October 6, 2013 at 08:47 - Reply

    Pick me, I’d love an e-book copy. I’ve not read this author yet and would love to read this book!

  2. Gwen October 6, 2013 at 08:58 - Reply

    Would love to win this book. Sounds real interesting.

  3. Sue H October 6, 2013 at 12:12 - Reply

    I read this book a few years ago, it was wonderful. I’d love to win an ebook of this second edition.

  4. Caroline October 6, 2013 at 12:42 - Reply

    I would love to win an e-book copy of this book, it sounds really interesting.

  5. onamarae October 6, 2013 at 14:35 - Reply

    I am fascinated by the history you mention…I grew up in rural Kansas and have a similar background historically. I would love to win a print copy of this book. I have come to love your publications and expect this one to be just as good!


  6. amy October 6, 2013 at 16:23 - Reply

    story sounds really interesting, please enter me in the drawing for an ebook.


  7. Marie October 6, 2013 at 17:02 - Reply

    I love it when the characters grab the writer and virtually scream ‘I must be in your book’ — I would love to win your book and look forward to meeting all your characters.

  8. Nikki Busch October 6, 2013 at 17:53 - Reply

    I’ve always loved books that have homesteading as a plot, and have a keen interest in Native American culture, particularly since my partner may have some ancestry in that area.I would love to win a paperback of your book. If that’s not available, I’d be happy win an e-book.

  9. AJ Johanson October 6, 2013 at 19:19 - Reply

    Please pick me! I’m overseas in Afghan and would truly love an e-copy! Reading keeps me sane out here! I really am not into tv and movies, literature offers so much more to the mind’s imagination! Thank you for considering me 🙂

  10. Sharon Clark October 6, 2013 at 20:09 - Reply

    I would love to read it in ebook form Please 🙂

  11. shelley murphy October 6, 2013 at 21:34 - Reply

    I would love to read this in an ebook. Please.

  12. Beth October 6, 2013 at 22:38 - Reply

    I always need more books.

  13. Cindy October 7, 2013 at 02:09 - Reply

    Sounds good. Please enter me in the drawing.

  14. Sarah October 7, 2013 at 02:58 - Reply

    Please enter me for the drawing.

  15. Marie Foose October 7, 2013 at 04:25 - Reply

    Sound like a good book! Please include me in the drawing. I am looking forward to reading it!

  16. Liz Moran October 7, 2013 at 10:13 - Reply

    This book sounds really interesting – American history from a different perspective especially as I’m Australian. I’d love to read it on my eBook reader.

  17. Glenda Poulter October 7, 2013 at 14:37 - Reply

    I love historical fiction. Throw in a mystery and it’s all that much better. I would love to win a copy. Winning is the only way I get new books now since our financial situation is compromised.

  18. Carrie gooch October 7, 2013 at 14:59 - Reply

    I have heard great things about this book! I would love to win a copy, a paperback one would be great,

  19. Erin Saluta October 7, 2013 at 15:20 - Reply

    I think the history of the writing, character development is great! Thanks for sharing- it sounds like it made some great characters and a captivating setting.

  20. -Lisa W. October 7, 2013 at 16:04 - Reply

    This book sounds great. Paperback or e-book, either one would be wonderful.

  21. Lisa T. October 7, 2013 at 17:45 - Reply

    I’m interested in reading Charity. Please add my name to the drawing for a paperback copy. Thanks!

  22. Bethany Minor October 7, 2013 at 18:50 - Reply

    I’d like a copy of the ebook.

  23. deshieldss October 7, 2013 at 19:21 - Reply

    I would like to win a paperback copy

  24. Lynne Buckley October 7, 2013 at 19:54 - Reply

    I’d like a copy of the e book, please.

  25. Cheryl October 7, 2013 at 21:59 - Reply

    I’d love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a fascinating read.

  26. RJ October 7, 2013 at 23:24 - Reply

    I would love to read Charity. Please sign me up!

  27. Janice Kennedy February 11, 2014 at 00:21 - Reply

    I have just finished reading Death Can Be Murder and Fervent Charity. I enjoyed both of them very much. It was a big treat reading the last names of people in my area. I am currently reading Command Of Silence and finding it quite interesting. Please put my name in the drawing for the book Charity. Thanks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.