Kat Martin | My Mother’s Dream
April 9, 2011
My mother dreamed of being a writer. When I was a girl, she talked about it
often. In high school, Tulare Union in the San Joaquin Valley, she was the
editor of her high school newspaper. She loved writing and more than anything,
she wanted to go to college and become a journalist.
But the country was at war back then, and my grandparents were poor. My mother
never achieved her dream, but I could hear the yearning in her voice when she
talked about it, and maybe that was the seed that set me on the path to becoming
Or maybe it was the love for reading she instilled in me.
As a young woman, I saw reading as something I had to do to get through high
school and then college. I enjoyed learning new things, and especially enjoyed
reading history books. But reading just for fun? I couldn’t really imagine it.
Then I discovered the Bestseller List.
My mother loved every sort of book and particularly true crime murder books.
But my tastes were not the same and other than the textbooks I read in college,
I had no idea what to choose. I began picking up books off the top 15
bestseller list in the grocery store and discovered the wonderful world of
Books by Wilbur Smith and Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, Frederick Forsythe,
Herman Wouk, Arthur Haley, Robert Ludlum, Jack Higgins. Anya Seaton, Kathleen
Winsor, and Frank Yerby wrote heartwrenching Romance novels.
I was hooked.
Over the years, my mother and I often traded books and then discussed them,
which lots of moms do with their children today.
I loved reading, but a career as an author never crossed my mind until I was in
my thirties and I met my husband, Larry, who was had written a western novel.
It was a wonderful book and I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t been able to get
it published. I thought maybe I could help him by doing a little editing and
during the process, realized how much I was enjoying the work.
I decided maybe I should try writing something myself and jumped in with both
MAGNIFICENT PASSAGE was
the result, my first published novel, which I am happy to say is being
republished this July with a magnificent new cover.
More than fifty books later, my mother is gone, but I’m still reading, and I am
still writing and I thank her every day for introducing me to the career I love
“Something’s come up,” Reed said. “Might be a kidnapping.”
Marly’s face went pale. “Oh, my God.”
Reed turned to Barney Andersen, the owner of the restaurant, a big blond
Norwegian whose family had settled in the northern part of the state in the old
logging days. “Hey, Barn, can you take Marly home? I’ve got an emergency.”
“No problem, Sheriff.” Barney tossed his rag up on the bar and started toward
“And put the word out, will you? Little Timmy Carter is missing. He was taken
from his mother while they were in the mall. See if you can round up some
volunteers to help with the search.”
“You got it.”
“Is that your friend Emily’s son?” Marly asked as she rose from her chair.
Reed grimly nodded.
“I’ll help, Reed.” She looked over at Barney. “I’m going with Sheriff Bennett
to help with the search.”
Barney nodded. “I’ll close up here, gather as many folks as I can, and be out
there as quick as I can get there.”
The big Swede pulled his apron off over his head. “You just find that little
Sitting in the passenger seat of Reed’s car, Marly rode anxiously toward the
shopping mall, where the little boy had disappeared. As they pulled into the
parking lot, one of his deputies walked over and Reed rolled down his window.
“We’re getting the command post set up,” the deputy told him, an attractive man
with a slightly crooked nose, hazel eyes, and brownish red hair, “and we’ve
sealed off the area.”
“Nothing turned up on your preliminary search?”
“We canvassed the mall. The boy wasn’t there. We found some footprints on the
trail leading into the forest, but they disappeared in some rocks. We’re ready
to go back in as soon as we’ve got a search grid.”
“What about the media?”
“Timmy’s photo has been shown on the local TV stations and the search has been
announced on the radio so we’re getting a good turnout of volunteers. We’re
trying to get hold of a picture of the woman who took him.”
Reed tilted his head toward Marly. “Patrick Murphy, meet Marly Hanson, Winnie
“Nice to meet you,” Patrick said.
Marly leaned toward the window. “Same here.”
Reed parked the car and they climbed out. A number of people had already
arrived in the parking lot. Men and women milled in front of folding tables
where maps were spread open and search grids were being laid out. More cars
showed up by the minute. Half the town of Dreyerville seemed to be there to
volunteer for the search.
When someone needed help, everyone pitched in. But then that was the kind of
town it was. Marly had almost forgotten.
As the three of them crossed the lot, she spotted her mother’s old white Buick
easing into one of the spaces. Her mother and her daughter, Katie, climbed out
and walked back to the trunk of the car. With help from one of the men, they
carried a big blue plastic thermos over to one of the tables, hot coffee, Marly
figured, for the volunteers.
Her mother seemed so different now, no longer afraid to be out among people.
She had truly become part of the community, something Marly never would have
expected. Winnie had always been too worried about what people would think,
what they would do if they discovered the truth about her abusive husband.
Winnie and Katie waved, and Marly waved back.
“Emily went in to try on a dress,” Patrick said as they crossed the lot. “She
was only gone a few minutes. The woman--Anna McAllister--volunteered to watch
Timmy but when Emily came out of the dressing room both the woman and the boy
Deputy Murphy’s worry was apparent. Marly remembered Reed telling her the
deputies all watched out for Emily after her husband died. It was obvious she
meant a good deal to Patrick Murphy.
Reed rested a hand on the deputy’s shoulder. “We’ll find them, Pat.” Reed
turned his attention to Marly. “I need to talk to Emily.”
Worry lines dug into his forehead as he headed for the woman sitting in a chair
near one of the tables, petite and dark-haired, slender and pretty. Marly
expected to feel a stab of jealousy but it never came. Reed had said they were
only friends and she believed him. Instead, she felt a sharp pang of concern
for Emily and her son.
REVIEWS OF A SONG FOR MY
NY Journal of Books
Reviewed by Kate Cuthbert
sure to tug at the heart strings . . .
Read more of this review
Reviewed by Eric Mays
An encouraging read from one of the most talented writers writing today. .
Read more of this review
Night Owl Reviews
Reviewed by Lily Raines
a story about doing the best you can with what you have . . .
Read more of this review
Coffee Time Romance & More
Reviewed by Laurie
charming story . . .characters are remarkably well depicted, believable and
likeable . . . pacing is outstanding . . .
Read more of this review
35 comments posted.
Re: Kat Martin | My Mother’s Dream
My mother loved to write, too, though I don't think she ever had a novel in mind. She preferred writing thoughtful articles and, above all, letters. I used to have to edit the latter to make sure that she had exactly the right words and grammar. However, in the barren years after WW II, she wrote a little book about a flower wedding for me and illustrated it with black silhouette-type illustrations. For my mother's 80th birthday, we held a reunion for her family. They came from Australia, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. For that occasion, I translated the little book into English, from the original German, and my younger brother printed out an edition that included both languages and, of course, the illustrations, for each family as a souvenir of the celebration. This book and a miniature violin made by the elder of brothers when he was 12 years old are among my dearest and most prized possessions, most especially since he passed away from cancer just over a month ago.
I hope to read your story.
(Sigrun Schulz 3:16am April 9, 2011)
I was challenged by the dulcimer and conquered it well enough to play some simple tunes for my Mother before she passed away.
I certainly look forward to reading A Song For My Mother.
(Marjorie Carmony 7:11am April 9, 2011)
My mom and I have very different tastes in books. But we do swap books
(Beth Melito 7:40am April 9, 2011)
My mom and my cousins are constantly trading books. It is a great way to be introduced to some amazing (new to me) authors.
(Pam Howell 8:53am April 9, 2011)
Looking forward to reading this story - thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest!
(Katherine Reese 9:02am April 9, 2011)
I am so ready to read this story. My Mother and I had a wonderful releationship but after she passed away I still felt that I should have done more to show her how much I loved and needed her. We have one Mother and should always remember that!
(Sharon Terwilliger 10:38am April 9, 2011)
Good morning, ladies. Interesting discussion of mothers and how they influenced our lives and in lots of cases got us started reading. I loved Marjorie's comments about playing the dulcimer for her mother. How cool is that? kat
(Kat Martin 10:50am April 9, 2011)
My mom and I had very different tastes, mine more to romance novels while she loved cookbooks and history. Still, she managed to pass a few of her recipes to me that I will treasure always.
(Pamela Stewart 11:24am April 9, 2011)
I definately have you on my TBR list!! Your excerpt has me hooked!! My Sister taught me how to read at the age of 3, and I was reading Physics books. I've been a voracious reader ever since!! The past couple of years have put a bit of a monkeywrench in my reading, though. I'm a caretaker where I live, and also do a volunteer knitting class one day a week, so that takes up most of my time. I always have to have a knitting project going. My reading time is almost non-existent right now, which saddens me, because that is my form of escape. I also wanted to be a writer, but my Mother discouraged me from being an English major in college, so being the rebellious Daughter, I chose not to go. Big mistake!! Still got along great with my Mother, though, and miss her greatly. She's been gone 8 years now. I loved your posting today. Maybe one day I'll find the time to pen that book I've had in my head all these years!
(Peggy Roberson 11:49am April 9, 2011)
Interesting blog. Thank you for sharing.
(Leanna Morris 11:54am April 9, 2011)
I read one of your books last year, and since then, I've been searching for others in the bookstore. I'm looking forward to reading A Song For My Mother. The conflict between mother and daughter sounds intriguing and I know you will find a special way for them to resolve the problem.
(Anna Speed 12:06pm April 9, 2011)
Sharon--one of the themes of this book is that we need to tell family how important they are to us before it is too late. Wish I had been more oopen with my own mom.
(Kat Martin 12:37pm April 9, 2011)
Peggy-- I hate when I don't have time to read. It is my passion and my relaxation. Think you should definitely try writing that book! kat
(Kat Martin 12:45pm April 9, 2011)
Anna-- this is a very different book for me. It's a gift-sized hardcover for Mothers Day. It tackles some tough issues, but as always you can count on a happy ending. hope you enjoy! best, kat
(Kat Martin 12:49pm April 9, 2011)
SOUNDS WONDERFUL..I WOULD LOVE TO WIN!
(Silvana Moscato 1:14pm April 9, 2011)
Hi, Kat! Love your books and am looking forward to reading A Song for My Mother. Thanks for blogging with us today. Quite a tribute to your own mom. BTW, did your husband's book get published?
(Cathy Phillips 1:19pm April 9, 2011)
There is nothing more dynamic then the relationship of a mother and daughter. My mother was my best friend and is dearly missed. I look forward to reading your book.
(Joan Richard 1:35pm April 9, 2011)
Would love to win this book. I have read all of yours. Need something to cheer me up also as we'll soon be leaving the warmth of Arizona State and heading home to Washington State and the rain.
(Pam Alderson 1:37pm April 9, 2011)
This excerpt was great. Would definitely love to read thisbook.
(Pat Lieberman 3:30pm April 9, 2011)
I started to read my mothers true romance magazines until my mother took me to the pulic library. I buried myself into books, children's section then to adult novels. My moto is to everyone----read, read, read. If someone can take the time to put their thoughts on paper, we should make an effort to read what they have to say. A Song For My Mother sounds great.
(Rosemary Simm 3:48pm April 9, 2011)
hi, ya'll just back from a giant book fair at the RT Book reviews convetnion at the Bonaventura in downtown LA. unfortunatley my new book wasn't there, but the new series was there. Fun to meet so many booksellers and readers. The motto at the signing (with 1500 readers) was definitely read, read, read!
(Kat Martin 5:51pm April 9, 2011)
Cathy-- my hubby's book, Shadow of the Mast, is available as through amazon as an ebook.
Psam-- raining in Montana, too. Should be lovely in Washington soon.
(Kat Martin 5:56pm April 9, 2011)
Very touching thanks for sharing
(Dawn Staniszeski 7:05pm April 9, 2011)
Thank you for your story. It sounds touching!
(May Pau 7:06pm April 9, 2011)
Off to the Mr. Romance Pageant! should be entertaining. have a great evening. warmest, kat ps. hope you enjoy A Song for My Mother.
(Kat Martin 7:58pm April 9, 2011)
I don't know what my mothere's dreams were - I wish I had d her; there are alot f things I wished I had asked her about. I know she loved her family, so having us all happy & healthy was very important to her. I know she loved to read & that she would have loved this book.
(Diane Sallans 8:07pm April 9, 2011)
My mom read classics to me when I was little. Her sister read Alfred Hitchcock to me (to help me go to sleep?):). I have always had such a passion for reading. When my kids were younger,I told them, "You never need drugs to 'get way'....all you need is a really good book!"
(Sandy Fielder 8:21pm April 9, 2011)
I am so jealous that your at RT watching Mr Romance, drool !
I love that my daughter and I share books, we discuss the stories and even at times try to rush th other tru so we can get the book :)
Looking forward to reading your new book !
Have fun at RT !!
(Kym Amaral 8:56pm April 9, 2011)
I'm sure my love of reading came from my mother, she always had abook handy to pick up when there was a lull in the activity.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 9:20pm April 9, 2011)
My mom and I don't get along all that well but she did get me started reading. Any time she wasn't busy with something else there was a book in her hands and I just naturally started picking them up and reading them. It started out with Regency romances, harlequins and then modern romance and fiction. After I moved out, we both continued reading and have traded books for quite a while, it is one passion that we both share.
(Denise Boyd 9:41pm April 9, 2011)
My mother did not write nor did she read; she couldn't believe it when I came home with books from the libraries, school and public, and always wondered where I got my love of reading from.
(Diane Sadler 10:16pm April 9, 2011)
My Mom and I both loved mysteries! We went to the Library every week and brought home 6 books each.
(Teresa Ward 11:31pm April 9, 2011)
me i was book nut i go to the library to torture my mom and read all the time i read up to 300 book in summer and report on them and i did win a lot of contest i still love the books and would blog on yours
(Desiree Reilly 11:46pm April 9, 2011)
I wish my mom were here to swap books once more.
(Joanne Bozik 12:54pm April 10, 2011)
I wish my Mom still read like she used to. She got me hooked on them and I still remember growing up and seeing her with a book in front of her. One of us kids would want to talk to her and she'd hold up a finger, gotta wait until that paragraph, scene, or even chapter was over because she was so engrossed. It was only natural that I'd have to start reading when I was a teenager. She'd want me to do something and I'd hold up my finger. It actually became a joke between us. My poor brother, sister, and father paying the price.
(Christina Harrison 4:36am April 11, 2011)
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