The book is about a young girl who has lost her mother at an early age during 1900s. She's the only girl in a family of seven children. Her mother dies very tragically on a lake when she was only four years old. This is about how a family handles a death of a loved one and still goes on to become a complete family. The sacrifices that families make in order for their children to be successful. Almost like today's world? Annie's mom was a brilliant concert piano player and renowned in many music halls of New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Annie gets all the right scholarships and awards to be able to go to St. Claire's Academy for girls in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of course, loneliness and fears set in for the fourteen-year-old teenager. In time, she connects with friends and meets a wonderful girl named Rebecca that becomes her lifelong friend. Coincidently enough, Rebecca also has the same family scenario as Annie. No mother, a large family, and a talented mother who also has died. Both moms were piano concert players, beautiful women, and highly respected in their towns. As wealthy as Rebecca's dad was, Richard, Annie's father, was not.
Time passes and Annie and Rebecca hear music being played during the night from the forbidden room at the attic as they sleep, but they are awakened. This room has been forbidden from day one, and all were told to never ever go near this room. During many nights, the music plays, and Rebecca and Annie's curiosity leads them to the forbidden room. It was a visit the girls would never forget.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Whispering Memories THAT HAUNT THE SOUL
By KAY RICHE
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 Kay Riche
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMy father, Richard, is a hard worker—with very broad shoulders—tall, and exceptionally good-looking. He's a member of the Pennsylvania Railroad and, over the years, has learned the railroad business with expertise. My dad is a senior engineer and is very well respected among his peers. He has a daily route starting at Harrisburg, to Altoona, then Lancaster, and the last stop is Philadelphia before returning home again. The train where Dad worked as an engineer was called the Dream Train. Many knew the reason for the selection of the train's name. My dad named it in dedication to my mother. Dad felt this was a perfect name even though it wasn't advertised or gossiped about. Dad had many dreams for himself and his family in his lifetime. Many thoughts and memories have been shattered since his wife had passed away several years ago.
Brenda, my mom, died when I was just four years old. She was a very powerful woman in politics and the performing arts. She was only forty-two years old, an outstanding, beautiful blonde, five feet and five inches tall, of slender build, with beautiful long legs and blue eyes. Mom was artistic, smart, and striking. I was her only daughter and looked so much like her. My mother was very involved in politics but had no time for utter hearsay in town. She loved making her home comfortable, her husband happy, and her children safe. This was her main objective in life. My mom died very tragically. Most of the townspeople couldn't believe the unexpected event and the hardship that it has put on my family and the town.
Mom, who was a renowned concert pianist, had performed the night before for a concert production in Philadelphia for a political campaign. This was a ritual for her to raise money for many idealistic causes. This usually made her extremely tired and overwhelmed with anxiety. It was a must that she performed with perfection.
At the end of the concert, the applause was gratifying and rewarding. The standing ovation, the cheers, and the applause were always worth the sacrifice. She always had to be her best no matter what her challenges were.
The next day, my mom went to the lake, as she has always done on a daily basis. Mom was an avid swimmer; some might say a remarkable one. While growing up, Mom entered many swimming meets and usually won all the blue ribbons. She was the celebrity of the town, headliner of the news bulletin. When she swam, most people wanted to be there in her company to cheer her on when she won. Brenda had an aura and charisma to her spirit; everyone loved and respected her.
The lake was near the town and up toward the flowing springs, where the townspeople loved to fetch freshwater from the rocks. On the winding slopes were also the wonderful bushes of the lilac flowers that were treasured by most. Mom would gather up flowers for her friends and enjoy the wonderful smell of the lilacs that she scattered around her house in her expensive glassware on her tables.
She loved to go to the lake when time permitted her to do so. After spending time swimming, bottling water, and cutting her beautiful flowers for her vases, she would return home. Many hours were spent on the lake since she enjoyed these moments that she could treasure with God and her spirit and say her private prayers. It was her time when she felt she could rejuvenate her soul and go back to her recollections as a young girl that had always whispered to her soul.
Most would identify with this phrase and realize the value of the words. Mom was very contented to have a moment with God and her soul up on the lake. This made her day exciting and superb. My mom was a believer and tried to give her family the same beliefs with God and love, to believe and trust in the Lord.
Before this day, many severe, harsh rains passed. Even though the sunshine was bright and warm to her body, she forgot that this kind of weather would bring out many other unheard species in the water.
The sign on the dock said No Fishing, but it didn't say anything about swimming. She approached the boat from the side of the bank. She pulled the boat into the water, grabbed the oars, untied the rope, and proceeded to go into the water. Mom ended up rowing the boat to the middle of the lake as she had done so many other times. Feeling so energized, she jumped overboard into the refreshing lake. Mom decided that it was way too hot not to go for one more dip. Oh, how she loved to swim.
Time had passed quickly that day, and before she knew it, exhaustion had set in. Even though Mom was so tired, she had to take that last desired swim. Jumping into the cool water and enjoying herself was a delightful way for her to end a day. Mom proceeded to swim around by the boat and enjoyed the coolness of the fresh water. She did a few laps and went back and forth from one side to another in the lake area. Mom always enjoyed the little ripples of cool water splashing on her body. This was a must for her to do; the planned course that she had chosen for herself each week was important. When her fingers officially turned into prunes, Mom knew it was time to get out of the water. She decided to head back down to the house. She ended this perfect day as a memorable one.
She was totally unaware that in a matter of seconds, her family and world would change. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw something approaching her rapidly. She whipped her head around briskly and saw that a family of poisonous snakes were wrapping themselves around her arms, neck, and then her legs in the water. A massive snake had already wrapped his body around her neck, making it almost impossible to breathe.
She tried aimlessly to fight them off, kicking and splashing, but to no avail. They were way too slippery and slimy and moved in an exceptional speed toward her body for their vicious attack. Even though she was a strong avid swimmer, this was too much for her to contend with. Sometimes you should listen to your body when it tells you to depart. However, instead you take time and gaze at the clouds and feel the warm breeze on your body and meditate into your emotions.
The snakes started to nibble on her fingers and then her ears; before she knew it, they spread themselves all over her body. There seemed to be millions of the little creatures, going after her eyes and biting at her face with tremendous force. Although she fought frantically to get them away from her, she was not strong enough for this fight. When the attack was finished, the snakes had what they wanted; they proceeded to leave her all bitten up. The school of snakes had won this battle.
It was exactly what we were all told to be aware of. Many stories were told of the poisonous snakes that come from the waters in the swamp area when it rains heavily on the slopes. The mud would come down the hills, and the brush was so thick that it was nearly impossible to see anything else. You just wouldn't think about the dangers of the slopes. If you looked up to the skies, you would see the most beautiful rainbows or hear the birds chirping in the trees and be able to feel the splashing of the cool lake water on your body. It never seemed that danger would ever be present at this spot.
Chapter TwoThe sky grew dark, and everyone was arriving home to enjoy dinner and an evening of some laughter. Dad was looking forward to spending time with his children. My dad loved coming home to the smells of the apple pie, the lilac aroma, and my mom's wonderful cooking. Mom's sister had all the children at her house for the day. Aunt Suzie was planning to go to the general store in town with us to get some baked goods for tonight's dinner. We loved going shopping with Aunt Suzie. Suzie was very good to my dad, my mother, and all the boys, but especially to me, Annie. Usually, Suzie allowed us to buy candy sticks or fresh baked apples. It was such a special treat for them.
Aunt Suzie was a gracious host and was often asked to prepare most of the special dinners for the officials in town. Everyone knew that Aunt Suzie was a wonderful cook and that she had the best variety of meals to offer in her home. She was a plump little thing, had a beautiful smile, and had a God-given talent to love everyone. All the townspeople adored her. She taught most of the children in town to knit and make throws. Her work was very creative. Much of her time was put into baking, teaching crafts, and helping others in the town.
So, when Aunt Suzie was going to take you to the store or watch you for a moment, you were ecstatic about this because it was special for you. My mom and dad were so thankful for the joy and laughter she gave us. She was a caring person and yet subtle about being funny and smart. I sure felt God gave us a treasure with our aunt and uncle.
The time waiting just seemed to become longer and longer, and yet no wife or Mom appeared. Dad was getting a little concerned for Mom's safety. Dad knew that she was going into the woods and up the hilly slopes to the lake to gather her thoughts. She did this so many times, especially in the pleasant weather. The day was hot, and he knew how she enjoyed rowing the boat and swimming in the cool waters. Time elapsed, and now he was worried about his precious wife. Dad asked Suzie to please keep the children while he went looking for Brenda. Dad replied, "Maybe she went to pick up material for a dress which she was expecting to make for Annie?" At this moment, Dad then decided to start walking down to the town to see if she was at the dress store or had just taken another road into town back to the house.
Clearly, no one had seen Brenda on this day. Many of the men told him they would go with him up the slopes since it was colder and darker than before. He needed help now and quickly. Time was starting to run out, and they had to get to the lake before the cold air would hit the hills and the temperature would drop extremely low. The dogs came, and so did many townspeople. Brenda was a critical resident and loved by all. She was one of a kind, most men told Richard. With her being a beauty so special, many wished that they walked in Richard's shoes.
The men in town decided to hit the slopes up toward the lake. Many rows of townspeople were scattered across the mountain slopes. The search parties hoped not to come face-to-face with wild animals that roamed around after dark. Fire lamps were in everyone's hands, so they were able to see their way through the bush. They carefully held on to them to avoid the woods catching fire. This was the best way to put fear into any unknown animals that might have been waiting on the slopes.
As everyone climbed the slopes, dogs barked and the evening air nipped at their toes and fingers. Everyone was eager to find Brenda quickly. Dan, Richard's brother-in-law, was really getting upset. He knew that the more hours they spent looking, the less hope there was of her being alive. The men had all reached the lake. After much time, they finally saw Brenda. In true horror, the sight that no one wanted to see was Brenda's body afloat on the water. It was nighttime, and it was cold and dreary to be at this place at this time of night. To see this sight was an outrage and an upsetting situation for anyone to be in. Richard stood like a stone brick wall when he saw her body. His body movement was impaired because of the loss of his wife. Uncle Dan became the strength to Dad at this time. Dad needed a strong shoulder to lean on. These two men were very close through the years since their wives were sisters. They had unspoken admiration toward each other and an undercover respect and love.
As Richard and the men looked on, Dan approached the water and very graciously grabbed Brenda's wrist to pull her out of the water to the body of land by the lake. The men gently took the weeds and brush off her body.
Neighbors Harry, Roger, and Edward helped Dan put their coats over the water-damaged, battered, bitten woman whom they all knew as their loving neighbor and friend.
Richard wept over his dear wife and just dropped to the ground on his knees. He looked at his dear brother-in-law and friend Dan and knew it was time for him to proceed with the others down to the town. The body was still intact, and they proceeded down the hills and into town, where everyone was waiting eagerly for the voice of hope for Brenda, but instead it was a knife-wrenching word that ripped their hearts out with tears of sorrow. As they approached the town, most of the townspeople were waiting. Pastor John was a man in the crowd with his parishioners. When the men were finally at the bottom of the hill, they saw the grief, crying, and weakness that presented itself all over the men.
The men carried her, their friend, carefully with respect and adoration. After all, she was their neighbor and loved one. As they all knew, they were lucky to have found her so early; if darkness had set in, the animals would have destroyed the body by the morning.
At this moment, the townswomen knew they had to comfort Richard. Since Brenda was such a believer in our Lord, they felt the best thing was to have a circle of hands and pray. As they saw the body pass by them, the sobs were loud and the screams increased with pain. Their wonderful friend, a tremendously good woman, a wife and mother, now was gone.
They would never see her smile again in their homes or parish or hear her laughter in their stores. Only the memories that Brenda left with them would be remembered. How could this happen to such a fine lady? One wonders!
Pastor John led the townspeople in prayer at this time. When Richard walked by, he nodded to reassure family and friends that this was comforting for him. This was a sad moment for the town of Harrisburg.
Dad could see the sorrow, grief, and horror on everyone's face. It was now time to tell his children the tragic news—the death of their mother. He thought about the sickening words that he had to tell them: that their mother was dead and would never return to them, ever.
Chapter ThreeBrenda's body now had to be taken to the funeral parlor to be prepared for the funeral service. Richard, being so humble, thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers and said very softly, "She died in her paradise." She died in the one place where she knew God was always with her in spirit and prayer, where she could enjoy her beautiful lilac bushes and pick a few to always bring home.
It's hardly a surprise that as Dad's final day with Mom ended, he was stressed. You could practically see the sweat forming on his brow, which was not the image that everyone had of him—the strong and all-together man. What was surprising was the source of tension showing on his face. The heavy breathing from Dad and Uncle Dan projected so loudly that most could almost hear their hearts beating rapidly and strong. You heard the scared and tense voices, their worried and defeated look that was on both their faces.
It was so intense—the pain, anguish, disappointment, and sorrow. We all knew there were things we could control and things we could not, and this was one thing that no one could control.
Dad now had to do his worst job ever—to approach his children and Aunt Suzie and tell them about the heartbreaking disaster that Brenda had encountered. As the doors opened into the dining area and the family saw the anguish on Richard's face, no one had to speak any words. An old saying is that your face tells all. Since I was only four years old, it was difficult enough, but for my older brothers that had a few years on me, they seemed to understand it better. Of course, their approach was different from mine. I just ran to Daddy and asked where Mommy was; where was my Mommy? My brothers, of course, asked the why and how questions. Dad knew how to handle these circumstances; he told us all to sit down on the couch as he held me in his arms. I do remember the sobs from everyone. Aunt Suzie and Uncle Dan repeating, "She's so young. It's not fair such a wonderful woman." With the best explanation that a father could do at this time, he explained about the attack of the snakes and in terms that we were able to grasp, how the snakes took Mom's life.
As he went into the brief details very meekly, he told us to grab hands and bow our heads and pray for Mom. Respectfully, he repeated that she would be missed and God would take care of her. Dad told us to remember her continually in our hearts and that sometimes the days would be longer and sometimes shorter, but when we need her, we just raise our heads to look above and Mom would be present. "Now let's do our best to get ready to sit down to enjoy our dinner and rejoice, for Mom is in God's kingdom, where we will all meet in time. Amen."
Excerpted from Whispering Memories THAT HAUNT THE SOUL by KAY RICHE Copyright © 2012 by Kay Riche. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great, loving, funny and mysterious. I just couldn't wait to see what happened to the girls in the attic and with the spirits. Wonderful book, for myself and young adults. When are you doing the 2nd to follow? Better words should be posted for word search, found by accident. Thank you for the joy.
I read the book and enjoyed it to the fullest. I am so glad that someone brought back the innoence of children and not the need to write about sex, foul language, nudity. Clean cut, good for you Kay Riche. My grandchildren are all looking forward to reading the book. I can't wait for another one of your books. Again thanks............