About this special cover:
This is a slightly modified version of a masterpiece painted by the hand of my Nana, Mildred Louise Atnip-Howard, born on April 6, 1929.
By age ten, her mother had died and her father dropped her and five younger siblings off at Boles Home Orphanage in Quinlan, Texas. There she sat for days on the front stoop, waiting for him to return . . . but he never did. She was left to figure out how to live life as an orphan, while simultaneously being a mother-figure to her younger siblings.
Mildred grew to be a pillar in the Boles Home community. Admired by her peers for her faith, beauty, strength, gentle nature, and integrity, she graduated high school, attended college, and then went on to have a family of her own. After raising seven children, she and her husband, my Papa, went back to Boles Home, where they spent five years fostering over one hundred-twenty girls. She was the mother figure and positive role model many of them never had. She was truly a remarkable woman.
My Nana died on December 28, 2010, from cancer-related illness. Our family was devastated. For the past few years, we’ve been on the path that leads through pain, to healing. Her life taught me to be strong, to strive for gentleness, forgiveness and integrity, and to never stop believing in myself and expecting great things to come. Navigating the choppy, murky waters of grief after her death gave me a new outlook on everything. How precious life is. How it can be gone in an instant. How this too shall pass, and healing comes. How things don’t always happen the way you think they should or when you think they should, but that ultimately, when you look back, you’ll see the secret inner-workings of it all. And “when the secrets are revealed, you will see the way the magic works.” (The Treemakers)
I can only hope that my story—and the use of her masterpiece as its cover—can honor her life; her true magnum opus.
Many of the aforementioned themes are represented in my upcoming novel, “The Treemakers.” Though it is a Dystopian/Scifi and a story of its own (Joy is not modeled after my Nana), the search for the spark in the dark is there, as well as the discovery of it in the most unlikely place, and in the most magical, unexpected ways. I really hope you enjoy it.
Let me reiterate how grateful I am to have made the decision to become an independent author. If I had not, I may not have had the opportunity to honor a woman who means so much to me, my family, and so many other people. Having the freedom to choose to honor someone amazing who is no longer with us, as opposed to “what will sell my book,” was not much of a choice. (Though, I hope it’ll do both! 😉 )
Here’s a summary of “The Treemakers”
What if death was the only way?
In this bleak dystopian future, the Earth is dying. Left behind are the orphans of Greenleigh, doomed to a life of building mechanical trees for Bygonne.
Their rules state:
No talking, laughing, playing, or physical contact of any kind during working hours—which are from six a.m. to six p.m.
A passionate storyteller, and mother figure to the children enslaved in the Tree Factory, sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery must operate deadly machinery with a baby on her back, and only dream of what life once was.
“What was it like out there? When sunlight was still precious, nourishing…? Now, it fries everything through that lovely hole in the sky.”
But the iron bonds of friendship and family, the discovery of magic in the dark, and fiery love amidst devastation soon fuel her search for a way out.
“Our hearts and breath are a symphony in the stillness, beating and breathing a dangerous song of freedom in a servant’s world. I’ve never felt more alive. The promise of possible death clashes against the realization of power over the Superiors. I refuse to follow their rules any longer.”
Aided by an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret, Joy and the Treemakers embark on a quest for freedom, and for the truth about the existence of a forbidden paradise.
To purchase “The Treemakers,” in the US, follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/Treemakers-Christina-L-Rozelle-ebook/dp/B00P49KVKG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420127222&sr=8-1&keywords=the+treemakers
To purchase in the UK, follow this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P49KVKG/