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The Secret Heritage Book 1
BY ALLISON BRUNING
All Elsa Garrett wants in life is to be Franklin’s wife. He’s asked her father for her hand and knows he has permission to ask her. Yet when and how would her boyfriend with Asperger’s Syndrome ask the question? When Franklin has a diabetic seizure all hope seems lost once Elsa learns Franklin can no longer marry her due to an obscure law in Ohio relating to his seizure. With the help of Franklin’s parents, Elsa has a plan. But will it work? Lost in a society that doesn’t understand Franklin or why she would ever choose to be with him, Elsa comes face to face with death, destruction, and misfortune as she tries to clear her boyfriend’s name. With each step towards progress Elsa falls two steps behind. One simple task shifts her entire life towards a direction she could have never imagined. Alone, pregnant, and without her Franklin, is despair all she has to look forward to in her new life, or will fate finally bring them together?
Character Interview, Elsa
1, What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
Elsa Beatrice Garrett. I don’t have a nickname. I just use my first name.
2. Who is your best friend? What kinds of things do you do when you’re together?
My best friend is my boyfriend, Franklin Thaddeus Raymond. He’s different than most men I’ve ever known. Franklin is mathematical and logical genius but has problems socializing. He doesn’t like to be touched, either. He can become so fixated on something that it is hard for him to transition to something else without have a mental breakdown. Dr. Riley has wanted to commit him to an asylum since he was a few weeks old but Franklin’s parents refused. They don’t think Franklin’s insane, just different.
I don’t see the crazy man everyone else does. Sure, Franklin can become overwhelmed sometimes but that doesn’t define him as an insane man. Few people, aside from his parents and I, see the true genius he is. Franklin loves to invent things. His inventions have helped his father’s factory. My boyfriend loves to sit in his room and invent things all day long. It’s so amazing to watch him work. He loves to share his new inventions and ideas with me. I feel so blessed to know that he trust me so much to let me in his room while he works. I’m careful to leave everything in its place while I’m there. He can have fit if I move anything just one inch. Franklin’s parents tell me that I’m special because I’m able to understand him more than anyone else they know and that he trusts me. Franklin doesn’t trust many people.
Franklin’s parents own a factory in Marion, Ohio and they have large farm in Marion country. They have more money than my family but that doesn’t bother us. Franklin is their eldest son; thus, he is going to inherit everything. But that doesn’t go to his head. We like to spend time together just conversing. Sometimes we’ll go on wagon ride, take long walks on the farm, or go to town.
3. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?
I am one of ten children to Oren and Margaret Garrett. We have always lived in poverty. My father is a disabled vet from the Civil War. He has arthritis in his knees and hearing problems. My mother was a nurse during the war. She’s a very caring and loving woman. My parents have always had hard lives. They come from poverty in Victorian times. We still live in poverty but the times are changing. This is 1904! A new century! I have faith things will get better for my family.
My siblings and I were homeschooled until we all had Influenza. Six of my siblings died from that horrible disease. We have always been on our own. My father refuses to allow us anywhere near his family in Wyandot Country, Ohio, which means we know nothing about either side of the family. We live with my eldest brother, Henry and his family on a farm in Marion Country. He has Tuberculosis. We moved in to help his wife, children and the farm.
My older sister, Deborah, is married to Judge Liberty Watkins of Marion, Ohio. Father has disowned her because she married him. She was thirteen and Liberty was thirty-six years old when they secretly married without his consent. Father thinks Liberty and his family are a bad influence on us. But I think Liberty is a good man. I have been secretly visiting my sister.
My younger brother, Nathan, is strict and stern just like father. We don’t always get along. He’s more of a problem for me. He doesn’t want Franklin and I to be together because he thinks Franklin is a lunatic.
4. Do you have a birthmark? Scars? Where is it/are they? How did you get it/them?
5. When you’re angry, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you deal with your anger?
I like to talk about my feelings with Franklin but most of the time I talk to my mother or Deborah before approaching him with whatever is bothering me. That way he doesn’t feed off my feelings. Franklin can sometimes frustrate me so much that I must vent my feelings. If I’m angry with Franklin then I will talk to his parents. I don’t want my parents to think worse of him or they might forbid me from seeing him again.
6. If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us?
What’s a refrigerator? I don’t know what that is. (NOTE: They weren’t invented until 1913.)
I would make you chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted corn on the cob and for desert, apple pie.
7. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing?
Franklin. There are so many people who are against our relationship because of his difficulties. I can’t imagine a life without him.
8. What makes you laugh out loud?
I haven’t had many of those moments in my life. I’ve lived a life of hardship. I love the way Franklin makes me laugh and smile. I can forget my rough life when I am around him.
9. Has anyone broken your heart? Who was s/he?
Franklin is the only man I’ve been with. I’m only sixteen! Franklin is nineteen.
10. What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it?
Peace. I really don’t think there will be in peace in my life. I’m facing hard situations in my family and with my relationship with Franklin. All I want most in life is for everyone to get along. I’m just focusing my life on my relationship with the man I love. I want to have a family with him.
Franklin sighed as he paced his bedroom. Why was everything so difficult? He knew what he wanted in life. Elsa. He knew how to get what he wanted. Marry her. It was all so simple. Then why, oh why, was everyone and everything standing in his way? His mind grew cloudier as his headache spread. His stomach turned. All he wanted to do was cry but he couldn’t. All his emotions bottled inside him threatening to erupt. He fell to his knees, leaned over, pounded the floor, and screamed. He just didn’t understand! Why couldn’t he break through the social codes that had prevented him from being with his beloved? How was he to live his life without her?
Hayden knelt beside his friend and placed his hand on Franklin’s back. Franklin twitched. “Sorry,” he said, lifting his hand from Franklin’s back. Franklin swiped his hands through his hair, rolled into a fetal position, and disconnected from his surroundings. He stared into nothing while the darkness surrounded him. His inner peace. It was nice and quiet in his head. Not a thought, sound, or sight. Just darkness, security, and peace. No one could find him in here.
“Franklin,” Hayden yelled, tapping him on the cheek. Franklin jerked out of his dark place and lifted his eyes to his sandy blond friend. “Stop it.”
“Leave me alone,” Franklin whined.
“No, get up.”
“Get up! Even if you withdraw from everything that surrounds you the problem with Elsa will still be here when you come back.”
“I don’t know what to do!”
“I do and I’ll help you get Elsa back.”
Allison Bruning originally hails from Marion, Ohio but fulltime RV with her husband and their Australian cattle dog, Lakota Sioux. Allison is the bestselling author of several novels, short stories, children’s books and a poetry book.
Allison’s educational background includes a B.A. in theater arts with a minor in anthropology from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. She was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in cultural anthropology and education. In 2007, Allison was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards. Allison received her Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing at Full Sail University on June 28, 2013. She is the principal and owner of Academic Warriors, an international online school for autistic, gifted and special needs students, www.academicwarriors.com. She is also a speaker, bestselling author, director, choreographer, photographer and graphic designer.
Allison’s interests include Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family, and genealogy.
Links to Allison’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Allison, for sharing your book with us!
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