Friday, 11 October 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Guest Post: Moria's Time by Dayna Leigh Cheser

Please welcome Dayna to my blog today. She is guest posting about the politics behind her book, Moria's Time. Be sure the enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom as she's giving away a $25 B&N Gift Card; 5 RUNNERS-UP: eBook copy each of "Moria's Time". Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Oct 19. Must be 18 years of age of older to enter.
Taboo Topics, but …
One of the things I’ve learned in life is that unless you are very sure of the person or people you’re talking with, the best thing you can do is avoid discussing certain topics.  At the top of the list is politics.  That said, I promise I’m not going to discuss politics in such a way that any heated, or possibly offensive, discussion will ensue.  Well, at least that’s my intention.  
In addition, when I started my series, one of the promises I made to myself was that I was not going to do my version of John Jake’s series North & South (1982), Love & War (1984), and Heaven & Hell (1987), where two friends who meet at West Point before the war are fighting on opposing sides.  Many fine authors have written about the Civil War over the years, and I have nothing new to offer, except as it pertains to the Grayson family in my books.
What I’d like to do is talk about my books in regards to the politics of their time, the early to mid-1800s.
In Janelle’s Time, book 1 of the TIME Series, I avoided politics completely.  However, in Moria’s Time, book 2, the Civil War is looming on the horizon as an inevitable event in the future.  It was a huge deal then, so much so that we’re still feeling the ramifications of it today.  
The events leading up to the Civil War were a part of the Grayson family’s everyday life, so including some political discussion in the book, both as basic news and how it affected the family is only natural.
Early in the book, Moria, the subject of a vision, is an infant, but the vision is troubling to Richard and Janelle.  As a young woman, Moria will travel far from home to a dangerous place, dangerous not only to her, but to everyone around her. Richard and Janelle want to protect their baby, but can’t as they don’t have enough information.  They eventually arrive on a war as being what fits to the vision so, in the mid-1830s, they start asking questions, including about the possibility of a war between the states at some future date.  In the end, all they can do is make sure she has the information she needs to take care of herself when the time comes.  
The Grayson family lives in New Hampshire, far from the drama to the south.  Damian Gerard, Richard and
Janelle’s oldest son, at ‘almost sixteen,’ and unbeknownst to his family, has made a pact with his friends from school.  If war breaks out, they will, as a group, sign up and fight for the Union.  The first indication of his abolitionism the family has comes when Damian Gerard learns of a planned trip to Rochester, NY, and wants to come along so he might meet his hero, Frederick Douglass, the American-slave-turned-writer, who lives there.  The effects of Damian Gerard’s abolitionist feelings on the family dynamics include forcing thoughts on contingency planning and other discussions.  
Also, Richard decides to send Damian Gerard to West Point, which serves two purposes.  First, as an officer, he’ll be less likely to be ‘cannon fodder,’ one of those many thousands of soldiers who start marching towards their confederate counterparts only to be mowed down by cannon and artillery fire.  Second, Damian Gerard will be a better man for what he’ll learn there, including and especially discipline.
As Moria’s Time ends, the Civil War has not yet broken out, but it won’t be long.  Damian Gerard’s story is starting to unfold.  First, he’ll meet a very special woman.  And, later, as the Civil War rages, he’ll serve his country as a Union Army officer.
It isn’t only the family members who are affected by the Civil War.  The family owns a large farm in south-central New Hampshire where, among other things, they raise and train horses, a breed developed by Richard’s father and grandfather in England.  To protect the family’s livelihood, Richard and his staff move the horses to safe quarters outside the United States, and ‘everyday’ horses are in their place when the Army comes to call in need of mounts.
Whew!  I made it through all that without inciting a riot!

Janelle Grayson is distraught over a troubling vision. Old Agnes MacKendall has seen her infant daughter, Moria, as a young woman, years in the future, traveling afar to a perilous place, fraught with danger.

Janelle and her husband, Richard, are both concerned about the vision. They decide to do all they can to prepare their precious little girl for what likely lies ahead for her. It’s a future charged with risk the likes of which, for the unprepared and ordinary person, could spell certain doom.

So begins Moria’s Time—Book 2 of the TIME Series.

At six-years old, Moria starts to learn about her heritage. Like her mother, Moria is a MacKendall. The women of this Scots clan have unusual powers including, among many other skills, natural medicine—which Janelle soon discovers is Moria’s special and strongest gift. Richard agrees with Janelle that she should train Moria, focusing on, and nurturing, her rare strengths in preparing for her future. By the time she’s a teen, Moria is a talented natural healer.

At fourteen, Moria meets Elizabeth Blackwell who befriends and mentors Moria, guiding her through the long and arduous journey to her goal of becoming a doctor.  

Later, while visiting family in England, Moria meets Florence Nightingale—who will figure significantly in her life in the future. The family also meets Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Later, Miss Nightingale summons Moria to London, where she works at a charity hospital and meets Dr. Simon Hensley.

Moria becomes one of the first 38 nurses bound for Scutari, Turkey with Miss Nightingale. Dr. Hensley, in love with Moria, follows her, much to her chagrin, but she’s skittish—about men, relationships, anything and anyone that might distract her from the challenge of being a woman daring to want a career in the male-dominated field of medicine—and, so … she rebuffs him.

At home for a visit, Moria is overjoyed to reconnect with her twin sister, Adelle, and meets her beau, Walter. He and Adelle convince Moria that Dr. Hensley isn’t the enemy. He may well be the one to protect her from the men she fears. Back in Turkey, Moria and Dr. Hensley work things out.

Simon and Moria return to London after the war. At Devonwood, the Grayson family estate, Moria’s Grandmother convinces Moria can marry Simon and not endanger her future. Simon proposes; Moria accepts. The twins plan a double wedding.

After the wedding, Simon and Moria visit medical schools for interviews. Moria is turned away from school after school, simply because she’s woman. Finally, a school in Pennsylvania accepts Moria who graduates at the top of her class.

Does Moria have the right to impose what her needs on Simon? How long will Simon put his life on hold while she pursues hers? Do they really want to open a practice? As doctors, is a practice all that’s available to them? There are so many questions, and too few answers.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Purchase from Amazon, Kobo and B&N

Richard, savoring a moment before bed to think, recalls an earlier discussion with Angus about Janelle.
He's worried that Janelle will defy his wishes and travel into the future, looking for Moria, to protect her. His wife has always had a mind of her own.
(Richard)  He played over in his mind the brief conversation he’d had with Angus while Maura and Janelle were doing the dishes.
“Is something is worrying you, Richard?” Angus had asked.
“Are my emotions that transparent?”
Angus chuckled. “I’ve known Janelle for a longltime.”
Richard nodded. “Aye. I am worried. While we were still in England, she was ready to go charging into the future, looking for Moria. I made her promise she wouldn’t do it. I had to make her promise … several times … using different criteria each time to cover every angle.”
Angus laughed. “That’s Janelle. She is a bit headstrong and she does find herself into all sorts of situations. Do you think she’ll go off on her own?”
“I hope not. But, she’s determined to protect Moria at all costs, even if it means putting herself in danger in the process.”
“She’s a mother, Richard.”
“And I’m a father, but I wouldn’t go off on this wild goose chase.”
“Don’t worry. She’ll see getting obsessive is pointless.”
Richard, looking out over the moonlit lake, sighed.
‘Well, Janelle, I certainly hope you see this obsession is just that—pointless.’
Richard let his mind wander, which meant it went straight to the baby in the next room. He had to get inside her head.
‘What are you up to, my little one? Where are you going and what will you do there? Is helping others so important to you?’
He sighed again.
In the moonlight, the image a young woman drifted in the space outside the window. He searched for the details of her face, but the image wasn’t clear. An older woman, perhaps ten to fifteen years older, drifted into the scene. Her dark hair parted in the middle and pulled back into a bun, she was slender with a long neck, but very plain. She was speaking and the younger woman was listening.
As he watched, the image faded and then was gone. Richard put his hand on the windowpane, willing the scene to return. ‘Was it you, Moria? Were you the young woman? Who was the older woman? Will she influence your life, and how?’
When the vision didn’t return, Richard rose and eased into bed, gathering Janelle into his arms where she snuggled close in her sleep. He drifted off and dreamed of the scene outside the window over and over again.

My mother, a non-fiction author, two brothers—one as a newspaper editor, the other, a copywriter—and a sister, a church newsletter editor, prove that clearly, writing ‘runs in my family’.  Much of what I’ve written over the years was never published – much of it never shared with anyone.  

My father, a school teacher/reading specialist, started teaching me to read after story-time one night when I was four years old.  I’d stopped him mid-story to ask how he was able to say the same thing every time he read that story to me.  My lessons started that night, beginning a life-long love affair with books—and for that, I am grateful.

The short stories I wrote in junior high school entertained my peers – and the occasional teacher who intercepted them in their travels.  At the high school level, one English class assignment was to write an autobiography.  In the teacher-specified chapter entitled ‘Future Plans’, being a published writer topped the list.  I can’t remember not wanting to write.

After a college professor told me I ‘couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag,’ I stopped writing for years.  It was not until the late 1970s, when I wrote an article for the now-defunct World Radio News (San Diego, CA), that my writing gene was reactivated.  The article was about our amateur radio club providing communications for a March of Dimes Walk-a-thon.  Seven of the twenty pictures my husband submitted with my article were used.

In early 2002, between jobs and wanting to write seriously, I obtained a third-shift position as a gated-community security officer and used the ‘free time’ to write what became Janelle’s Time.  When the draft was complete, it went on the shelf.  At that time, the industry was shifting from the Post Office to the internet – a very confusing time!  In 2009, when I started my Twitter page, @Writers_Cafe, the WIP came off the shelf.  What I’ve learned from my (now) 19,000 followers is prodigious – I feel like I’ve earned a degree!  By August 2011, it was ready—at last—for submission.

@RileyCarney, a Colorado teen, and prolific YA fantasy author, who heads her own non-profit literacy project moved me to write an article about her.  Never officially published, countless people have seen the article, thanks to Twitter retweets and some carefully chosen email inboxes.

On New Year’s Day, 2010, my shiny new blog, A Place for Writers, went ‘live.’  It evolved into a combination chronicle of my writing journey and helpful posts on publishing industry topics.

In the fall of 2011, I added ‘DIY Interviews’ to my blog (see the ‘DIY Interviews’ tab of my website for details on doing an interview).  Not a primary task in the overall scheme of things, over fifty authors have submitted interviews to date.

Janelle’s Time is book one of my ‘TIME Series’ and was published in July of 2012. Book two, Moria’s Time, was my winning NaNoWriMo project for 2011.  It’s now complete and will be released in August 2013.  There are three more books in the series: Adelle’s Time (my winning 2012 NaNo project), Logan’s Time, and Clarissa’s Time (my 2013 NaNo project for 2013).

In September of 2012, I switched from my blog A Place for Writers, and went to a full website:  With thirty+ pages, my new blog, ‘Posts by Dayna,’ is there now, along with ‘DIY Interviews,’ and extensive information about the ‘TIME Series.’  

My husband, Pete, and I have been married for forty-five years—no children—and have lived in Southwest Florida for over twenty years, originally hailing from New England.

Connect with Dayna Leigh Cheser

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is a new author for me and I have not read any books by her. I did really enjoy the blog post and find the blurb and excerpt very intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Thanks for the comment.
      You probably haven't read anything by me as I'm a new author, but not new to writing. My debut novel, Janelle's Time and the sequel, Moria's Time, will be followed by 3 more in the series. I hope to publish Adelle's Time in the spring.
      Thanks for stopping by and reading the post.
      Have a great day,
      Dayna Leigh Cheser

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Crystal. Best of luck!

  3. Hello Samantha Holt,
    I'd like to thank you so much for hosting Moria's Time and me on your blog. As a blogger myself, I know the time and effort it takes to do a 'regular' post, never mind a vbt post.
    Thanks again, and have a good day,
    Dayna Leigh Cheser