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 high 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 email@example.com 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
Pick me, I’d love an e-book copy. I’ve not read this author yet and would love to read this book!
Would love to win this book. Sounds real interesting.
I read this book a few years ago, it was wonderful. I’d love to win an ebook of this second edition.
I would love to win an e-book copy of this book, it sounds really interesting.
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!
story sounds really interesting, please enter me in the drawing for an ebook.
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.
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.
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 🙂
I would love to read it in ebook form Please 🙂
I would love to read this in an ebook. Please.
I always need more books.
Sounds good. Please enter me in the drawing.
Please enter me for the drawing.
Sound like a good book! Please include me in the drawing. I am looking forward to reading it!
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.
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.
I have heard great things about this book! I would love to win a copy, a paperback one would be great,
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.
This book sounds great. Paperback or e-book, either one would be wonderful.
I’m interested in reading Charity. Please add my name to the drawing for a paperback copy. Thanks!
I’d like a copy of the ebook.
I would like to win a paperback copy
I’d like a copy of the e book, please.
I’d love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a fascinating read.
I would love to read Charity. Please sign me up!
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.