A Special Grandmother by Paisley Kirkpatrick

Paisley Kirkpatrick2I may have inherited my great, great grandmother. She lives in my head and feeds my muse. I have no other explanation for how her words got in my head, but if it is true and she is living in there giving me plots, I am not complaining. Up until I asked a speaker on past lives who spoke at our Sacramento Valley Rose chapter meeting, I had no idea where my ideas came from or why this time period and the gold country has always been important to me. I consider her a gift and I intend to always nurture it.

Her pen name was Mary Kirke. She sailed from the east coast to San Francisco to marry the man she loved — he was my great, great grandfather who wrote the journal I used for research in my Marriage Bargain story. Mary is supposedly the first woman to have had stories published in a magazine and the originals are kept in the Sacramento State Library. My mother was able to get copies of her stories and while I was writing Forever After, I happen to read them. When I read the first one (which I later found out was about her own journey to San Francisco by sea), I was gobsmacked when I read two sentences that were written verbatim to two sentences that I had written in my story, with my heroine traveling under the same exact circumstances. Chills raged through me – how could this be? I asked the speaker if I could have inherited my ancestor’s memories. She said maybe, but she figured I probably inherited Mary.

These two ancestors lived in the west and left quite a footprint in the history here. Do you think I have this talented woman in my head, feeding my muse? It’s a question that I probably will never know for sure, but then again — how did those exact words in the same order happen?

I have an ebook copy of Paradise Pines Series: Forever After to give away to one of the commenters today. This isForeverAfterCoverArt Marinda Benjamin’s story. She is the last of the Benjamin sister stories in the Paradise Pines Series. My next book introduces the MacGregor brothers.Β 


Abandoned by her sisters, her father in jail, Marinda Benjamin takes on the care of her ailing mother the best way possible — working for an unscrupulous man with the power to crush her.Β  Forced to spy on a decent man, Marinda’s honesty saves her virtue and revenge restores her self-respect.

When Ethan Braddock discovers his brother’s poker pot cleaning his private office, he jumps to the right conclusion — she’s there to spy for his nemesis. Ethan can’t help but find her irresistible. In spite of what his heart tells him, his brain reserves judgment on her character. Until he unravels the mystery of her connection to Danforth, trust is the one thing he can’t allow himself. For that, she’ll have to prove herself.


“I’ll bet this little lady against whatever you’ve got in your hand.”

A sudden hush stifled all the noise in the Hidey Hole Saloon. Master against novice. Who would win? Then quiet snickers began to echo off the wood walls. The regulars of the saloon moved in for a closer look.

Marinda Benjamin stared around at all the patrons who just witnessed her humiliation by Danforth’s claim. She latched onto the back of her employer’s chair to steady her crumbling nerves. Jonas Danforth had bet her, body and soul, in a card game.

Fancy women dressed in garish attire crowded around the poker table. Some stared at her with pity while a few sneered in obvious enjoyment of seeing another Benjamin sister fall from grace.

She wracked her brain for a way of preventing the ridiculous bet, but she knew Danforth held all the cards. Yet she had to stop this travesty. “Enough!” She stepped up beside his chair. “You can’t do–“

The menace in Danforth’s glare as he looked at her stopped her from saying more.

A malicious sneer marred his face. “As long as I hold the loan on your house, you’ll do as I say. Is that clear?”

She wanted to run, but her feet refused to move. She wanted to speak her piece, as she always did, but now was not the time. So instead, she held her head high. She refused to allow Jonas Danforth to see her frustration. He had broken her father’s spirit. He would not break hers.

The town’s mischief-maker sat across from Danforth. Patrick Braddock glanced her way. “She looks like she might be worth five twenty-dollar gold eagles and I could use a servant. I call your bet. Let’s see what ya got.”

The knot in her stomach tightened.


Desert Breeze

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24 thoughts on “A Special Grandmother by Paisley Kirkpatrick”

  1. It is very interesting to hear your story. It really does sound like she is there with you helping you write.

  2. Welcome, Paisley! We’re so happy to have you join us again. Always nice to have you chat with us. How neat that you have that special bond with your great great grandmother! I’m sure it gets pretty eerie at times when you discover just how linked you are. Great that you can tap into that.

    FOREVER AFTER looks like a great book. The excerpt really hooked me. Wishing you lots of success!!

  3. I loved reading about you and your great, great grandmother. What an amazing connection you have! How exciting and chilling to have written two sentences verbatim!

    Thank you for sharing an excerpt from FOREVER AFTER. You have certainly left me wanting to know what becomes of Marinda Benjamin!

  4. Welcome, Paisley! What a fabulous connection you have with your great, great grandmother. Really fascinating. You really hooked me with that opening line. Definitely made me want to read more and more and more!

  5. how interesting,,you must feel a very special bond to this woman,,ive always thought I was born in the wrong era,,I would have been just as happy back a 100 yrs ago

  6. Loved reading your theory about your Great Great Grandmother! There must be a special bond there that we may never understand but how wonderful!

  7. What an interesting post. You and your great, great grandmother certainly have a wonderful connection. How very special for you.

  8. Very interesting story on your great great grandmother and I have heard of things like this before. I loved your blurb and the book sounds really good. Thanks for sharing with us today!

  9. Thank you, Linda. I guess the saying bats in your belfry really pertains to me. πŸ™‚ I do appreciate grandma’s help with my stories because I sure don’t know where the ideas come from sometimes. πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you, Renee. I always have liked this opening to my story even though I’ve been told for years it wouldn’t work. It seemed perfect to me and great grandma. πŸ˜‰ I appreciate you stopping by and chatting with me today. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Vickie, I think life back in those days was a lot more peaceful, but after the research I’ve done I am thinking it was also a lot of hard work. Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today. πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Connie, I agree with the bond being special between grandma and me. I have always loved this time period and maybe she is the reason why. I wonder if I stopped writing if my head would burst from the stories she continues to feed me. Appreciate your support today. πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Melanie. I agree with you, I sort of like having her in my head. I think she’s always been there because I’ve always had stories in my head and people talking to me. Yes, I do believe what they say about some authors – they are a happy bunch, even if they are a wee bit crazy. πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Quilt Lady. I know we’ve talked before because I am also known as a quilt lady. Nice to see you here today. I am not complaining if my grandma is in my head – lots of extra help always appreciated. πŸ™‚

  15. Love this! Just don’t let my grandmother know she could live in my head. I might get whooped if she saw half the stuff rolling around in there.

  16. Having experienced several instances of knowing what was happening elsewhere as it happened and feeling a strong connection with places and things connected to my family’s history, I have little doubt you are connected to your great, great grandmother. Whether she is influencing you or inhabiting you, may never be known. Your writing her experiences and exact words is fascinating and not easy to explain.
    You are writing about an interesting time and place in our country’s history. I like the sound of the stories. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  17. Thank you, Patricia. It was a shock at first, but since our daughter died eleven years ago, my belief in knowing I have some kind of mystic sense seems even more real because she is around me all of the time and also around our younger daughter. Her presence is peaceful to me and has helped me get through some tough times.

    I grew up listening to stories my grandfather told me. He said he heard them from older miners. They lived in another gold mining town of Nevada City, California. I have always loved writing stories about the gold rush era.

  18. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Paisley! I have kind of this connection with my late grandmother. She’s my total hero. Hope I can leave this kind of legacy to my grandkids. xo

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