LASR Anniversary: Velda Brotherton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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One year we camped for a week at Lake Ouachita State Park in the Ouachita Mountains of Southern Arkansas. The lake is like most waters in Arkansas, crystal clear and a bit cold. Its shores stretch for miles throughout the deep valleys of the jade green mountain peaks. In the shadowy inlets, fishermen sit in boats, casting glistening lines into the still hiding places where fish feed.

Near our tent was a nice sandy beach and one afternoon after a shivery swim, I stretched out on a blanket in the hot sun. From a nearby campsite I heard music straight out of the Sixties and raised on my elbow to check it out. Three men in chopped off jeans lounged around an umbrella tent, singing along. An occasional outburst of laughter floated in the summer air.

The water was as still as a sheet of ice, the sun a shining reflection creating odd ripples in the still warm air. I was young then, and a bit of a romantic, already hearing voices that clamored for their stories to be told. So it wasn’t surprising when I began to write scenes for those men and a woman lying alone on the beach.

It would be years later before I wrote that book, and many more before it was published. But I often think back in wonder at how stories are born. And how many books I have written from some random experience that grew to fruition in my mind.

Creativity forms in a special place in the mind. Artists paint an imagined or dreamed of scene on canvas, musicians write heart breaking songs from ethereal notes that come to them on stormy or sunny days, and a young writer forms the framework for a novel while lying on a sunny beach on a summer’s day.

Once There Were Sad Songs came from that long ago day. Steven, Lefty and Shadow grew into complicated characters fighting to build a life after a debilitating war, and Mary Elizabeth joined them in her efforts to leave an unhappy existence and find a bright, shiny new world.

Velda Brotherton cover 4 (2)In the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence. Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever.

Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again. But once he’s found her and realized the way he must go, it’s impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

About the Author:In the 28 years Velda has been writing she has experienced unusual, sad, happy and exquisite times. Many of those have become books. With 19 published in both fiction and nonfiction, she just signed a four-book contract that will see her into next year with books in three genres. She continues to write in her first love, western historical romance, and the latest, Rowena’s Hellion will be out this year.

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  1. Interesting time period

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. SHELLEY S says:


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