Author Evelyn M. Hill…His Forgotten Fiancée 

 

 Welcome Evelyn M. Hill, author of His Forgotten Fiancée!  

 

 

                                    Book Description

                                                   BUY

Liza Fitzpatrick is stunned when her fiancé finally arrives in Oregon City — with amnesia. Matthew Dean refuses to honor a marriage proposal he doesn’t recall making, but Liza needs his help now to bring in the harvest, and maybe she can help him remember…

Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future?

 

I will never write about a character who goes bungee jumping.

When possible, I try out the tasks my characters have to do. I want to know what it is like to cook biscuits on a cast iron griddle, how heavy a rifle is when I hold it, how wearing a prairie bonnet limits my peripheral vision like a horse with blinders and what it’s like to use a scythe.

When I wrote His Forgotten Fiancée, I had to write about Matthew using a scythe to harvest crops. He was a lawyer by profession; he knew as much as I do on the subject. I read about people scything, but that’s not nearly as effective as hands-on research.

Googling lead me to Scythe Supply. They sell scythes that are customized to your height, so you can use them comfortably.

                                                               Winslow Homer, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

They made it sound so easy to use one. And I did want to know what it felt like to scythe. Besides, my lawn was looking something like this:

                                                          Jim Clark, USFWS, Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

All right, I have to confess. It wasn’t only for research. There were other reasons to try using a scythe. While my lawn is really too small to hire someone to come take care of it, I can’t cut the grass with a gas-powered lawnmower. Something about these lawnmowers triggers an allergic reaction. I don’t have problems with a push-reel mower, but those don’t do as good a job when the grass is wet. And in the Pacific Northwest, in spring and fall, the grass is pretty much always wet. Using a scythe appealed on more than one level.

So I got one and tried it out. I have to say that I loved, loved, loved how quiet the experience was. I hate the sound of my neighbors’ gas-powered motors. When I scythed, I could hear the birds singing over the swish of the scythe through the grass, and I had no problems breathing. Bonus, my arms got a workout. They felt a little sore when I was done, but not horribly so. And my lawn ended up looking like this:

This is what I wrote for Matthew’s experience of scything for the first time:

Matthew discovered he liked using the scythe. Gripping the snath, he swept the blade in an arc, keeping it low to the ground. The cradle attached to one side of the scythe scooped up the wheat stalks and laid them out on the ground to his left. Then he stepped forward and swept the scythe again. Another step, another sweep of the blade. He could mark his passage through the field by the ever-lengthening row of stalks lying on the ground on his left. The kitten watched for a little while before going off to explore the bushes along the stream.

Liza followed behind him. She gathered up the stalks, winding another stalk of wheat around the bundle and tying it into a knot. He stole a glance at her. Her fair face was flushed, and sweat trickled down and she wiped her brow, but she did not stop bending over and gather up the stalks.

It was laborious work at first, but soon he developed a rhythm. The heat of the sun beat through the thin cotton of his shirt, and sweat trickled between his shoulder blades. But soon, he lost awareness of everything but the swish of the scythe, the sound of bird song, and the sense that he was participating in life, becoming part of something greater than himself. There was a definite feeling of satisfaction when he reached the end of the row and looked back and see what he had accomplished. Here, the results of his efforts were tangible and immediately rewarding, not just moving paper from the In tray to the Out tray.  —

GIVEAWAY!

For a chance to win a signed copy of His Forgotten Fiancée answer Evelyn’s question and  leave a comment on this blog post.  

QUESTION: Have you tried using a scythe? I admit, I’m not sure I’d like to have to use one to harvest the south 40, but for a tiny, rain-soaked lawn? It’s got a lot to recommend it.

 

 

Evelyn M. Hill 

According to family tradition, Evelyn M. Hill is descended from a long line of Texas horse thieves. (But when your family is not only Texan, but Irish, tall tales come with the territory.) This might explain why she devoted much of her childhood to writing stories about horses. Once she grew up, the stories naturally featured a tall, handsome cowboy as well. She lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, where she gets to do all her historical research in person, and she loves to hear from readers!

His Forgotten Fiancée released January 1, 2018  

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Guest Blogger

35 Comments

  1. My first job right after high school was working at the City Parks Department for the summer. We went around maintaining the various parks by mowing, weedeating, painting the playground equipment, repairing anything broken, cleaning the bathrooms, and etc. I learned all kinds of skills, I’d never even mowed a lawn in my life…lol! I grew up in Illinois so you can imagine how hot & humid it got! I do remember using some kind of scythe clearing out real long cat tails & marsh grass from ditches along the water. Talk about hard, backbreaking work, whew!! I had blisters upon my blisters. I can’t imagine doing anything more than what I did though, but on the bright side, you’d have some pretty toned arm muscles 🙂 It was a fun job though and I had a nice tan and sun bleached hair after that summer!

    I live on the Oregon coast now, and it’s awesome to know you live in the Pacific Northwest too! I say this is God’s country out here with the beautiful scenery and I’ve even come to love the rain. I

    I’m loving that cover, who can resist a rugged man holding a sweet kitten?? I also admire an author who tries out things her characters would do in the name of research, now that’s devotion to getting facts accurate!! Thanks for sharing the story behind the story and for the giveaway chance. LIH are my favorite and it’s sad the line will be ending this year…I do admire historicals!

    1. Trixi — yes, using a scythe to clean out ditches is a different experience. I admire you for taking that on.
      And I’m jealous that you live on the coast. That’s my favorite part of this wonderful state.

      I’m sorry to lose the LIH line too. I am glad I got the chance to write one!

  2. I have used a scythe and wasn’t thrilled with the experience. I am very short and the scythe was too big for me to handle comfortably.
    I too live in the Pacific Northwest and know what you mean about wet lawns.

    1. Estella, one thing I liked about the Scythe Supply company was that they took my measurements (height, length of my arm) and customized a scythe that was the right height for me to use. Being vertically challenged, I can sympathize with the pain of trying to use one that’s too big!

  3. I had never even heard of a scythe until now. I bet it is a good workout using one. Your grass came out looking nice.

    1. Thanks, Janine! The old-style scythes such as my character used were much heavier. The one I have is made of a light-weight wood that’s not too bad to use.

  4. Evelyn, I loved this post. It’s fun to hear the backstory to the story. I have never used a scythe, but I’ve watched my husband use one. He had a push mower, the kind with the blades, that cut the grass as you pushed it. Not gas powered. Not noisy. It was kind of fun to use it. I had to go look up what they are called. It’s a reel mower. You’ve just inspired me to use that this summer. Would love to win a copy of your book!

    1. Hi Sally! I like push reel mowers too. A gardener told me that they’re much better for your lawn than the gas-powered mowers. Something about the way they cut the grass is less destructive, apparently.

  5. I have never used a scythe unless it was years ago that I can remember. I have used a weed knife before and wasn’t real fond of it.

    1. I haven’t heard the term weed knife before, Quilt Lady. Is that a type of sickle?

  6. I was a farmwife for over 30 years so I have used a lot of tools and a scythe is one of them. I certainly wouldn’t want to use one to clean a hillside but I also found it soothing to use a scythe to trim around our house and barn. I have a small scythe that belonged to my great uncle and I hang on to it for sentimental purposes. Thanks for a very interesting post.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Yes, that’s a good word for it, Connie. Soothing. 🙂

  7. as a current farm wife, I have used many tools of the trade = we do not currently own a scythe – his dad has one, but it is not sharp enough to use – snow on the ground now anyway!

    1. I live in the wet part of Oregon, so we don’t get much snow. It’s pouring rain at the moment, but I’m so glad it’s not that freezing cold that everyone else in the country is getting right now!

  8. I have never tried using one before… thanks for introducing your book… I love amnesia stories!

    1. I agree, Colleen, amnesia stories are great fun — to read and to write 🙂

  9. no, can’t wait to read your book

  10. Yes! I found a scythe in the shed of the house we were renting. I made sure the blade was well attached and went to work in the side yard that was so overgrown with weeds and grass it was not even accessible. I thought it was a wonderful thing…until the next day, I could not move my arms! Maybe I overdid it just a bit.
    The book sounds great!

    1. Ouch, Andrea! On the plus side, I bet you looked great in sleeveless shirts after that 🙂

  11. when my husband and I first started dating, he and his roommate were responsible for mowing the townhouse yard where they lived. not wanting to invest in a mower nor pay a penalty, they used a scythe to take care of the grass.

    1. Hmmmn. Maybe this is now becoming a trend!

      1. This was 27 years ago. The roommate came up with the solution. I think he was the one using it.

        The guys lived right outside the city limits of a major US city. More urban than suburban area.

  12. Interesting post. I have never used a scythe Living in New Jersey my who!e life , in the city there was never a need. At my age now I imagine if I did my arms wouldn’t work for a week afterward. 🙂
    Carol Luciano

    1. Or you could just hire a handsome young cowboy to scythe the yard for you? 🙂

  13. We have a scythe and a sickle. When we first got it, I tried out the weight and swing of the scythe. We have never had grass tall enough to use it on. The weeds in my flower beds this past summer were more than numerous and tall enough to try it on, but it would have taken my flowers, too. I have used the sickle a few times. It is pretty efficient, but I think ours needs to be sharpened. The scythe is so large and a bit heavy. I can’t imagine spending hours cutting a field of grain.
    Congratulations on the release of His Forgotten Fiancée. It sounds like an enjoyable story. I hope it does well.

    1. Thank you, Patricia! This is my first book, so I’m very excited.

  14. I haven’t ever tries using a scythe, but I like that you were willing to try one to add authenticity to your story. This sounds like a great book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    1. It’s always a concern when writing history–is it accurate? Does it feel real? It’s like writing about a foreign country that you can only read about and never visit. Thankfully, people are still people, no matter what century they lived in.

  15. Have you tried using a scythe? yes. I am looking forward to reading His Forgotten Fiancée. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    1. Emma, I’m surprised at how many people have tried using a scythe. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!

  16. I love your blog, Evelyn. You’re quite the adventuresome writer. I know it would help the story to know how to shear sheep and ford a raging river, but I’m just not that motivated. I’m more the kind to cook biscuits on a hot iron griddle. 🙂 Or wear old timey lace-up shoes. I have worn a prairie bonnet before and it really does limit your vision.

    Wishing you much success!

    1. Thank you, Linda!
      I’m with you about the sheep and the raging river. And I don’t miss the lack of plumbing or other lovely modern conveniences that we enjoy in modern times.
      And thank you for checking out my blog! I appreciate that.

  17. I have never used a scythe, but I adire your diligence in doing your research. And yes, no zip lines for me either! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

    1. Yes, Perianne, we can sit with our feet up and watch other people doing the zip line and bungee jumping. (Shudder)

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