For Book & Art Lovers – A Behind the Scenes Look at an Author & Artist’s Dream Come True

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It’s been a year and then some--stretches of months where hills are mountains and valleys are endless. A year filled with a crazy concoction of joy and sadness, doubt and elation, and wondering what challenges wait around the next bend. It’s especially been a season in which I’ve asked, “Am I walking by feelings rather than by faith?”

Many conversations have taken place – with myself and God. I’ve sought direction, guidance, and clarity as my role as an author, artist, educator … mother, wife, daughter, sister (those are stories for another day!). I’ve pleaded my case of lack of time, getting myself in over my head with too many responsibilities, and yes, even confessed my fear of failing. But, God continues to remind me that without the depths, there are no heights, without the dark, there is no light, and without trials, there are no celebrations. Amazing the dichotomies of life!

And then there was light! An incredible dream came true for an author and artist … giving new meaning to, “It takes a village.”

I’ve been chosen this year as the Village Read author and guest artist. More specifically, my novel, RUSH, is the 2019 Village Read by Arapahoe Libraries and Greenwood Village, and in conjunction, my artwork is featured in two outstanding Colorado art venues!  

It’s not only fun to be part of a good thing, but it’s welcome at just the right time when I needed a fist pump, a big ol’ pat on the back, and hip, hip hoorays to muster the courage and energy to carry on with my creative pursuits—to keep on, keeping on— to do the things I love and am passionately called to do.

That’s my story. That’s where my heart and head are as the following events begin to play out over the next several weeks and into the dog days of summer. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and provide the nuts and bolts of what’s ahead. I sure hope you can journey with me – it makes the ride so special!

What is the Village Read?

Connecting with the Colorado community through the love of a good book is what the Village Read is all about. The program was the brainchild of the Arapahoe Libraries and Greenwood Village with the purpose to celebrate the rich experience of people coming together to read, discuss, and delve deeper into the content, research, and meaning of a story.

Here’s a brief synopsis of RUSH, based on the real-life story of my great-great grandmother:

Mary Louisa Roberts won the race of a lifetime—or so she thought. In competition with desperate homesteaders, ruthless land seekers, and a sheriff determined to see her fail, Mary rides out on a horse to strike her claim in the 1893 Oklahoma Land Rush. When she finally thrusts her flag into the dirt, 160 acres becomes her own. But with that claim, she risks more than she could ever imagine. A naïve school teacher and young mother abandoned by her hard-drinking, gold-seeking husband—whom she now believes to be dead—Mary is faced with letting go of a past riddled with loss, hardship, and reminders that a woman isn’t capable of surviving on her own.

Daniel McKenzie, an illustrative journalist sent on assignment to document the race, has his own past to forget. Bound by a lost love and guilt from a haunting event in the streets of Boston, he wonders whether he will ever know happiness again.

Will Mary’s and Daniel’s stubborn and independent spirits keep them mired in the past? Or will two broken hearts find forgiveness and love in the wild plains of the Midwest?

Whether you’ve already read the book or looking for a gem of a summer read, below is a schedule of some of the Village Read events and links. Through the library system, you can download a free e-book, check out a paperback, and even purchase a copy at the library, Curtis Center for the Arts, and through my website, Be sure to click on the links to learn more and mark your calendar for the ones you want to attend.

Join Me for These Events!

  • The Village Read Kickoff with The Mayor and Author – Aug. 1, 6-8 p.m. Koelbel Library

  • Historical Fiction Writing: Bringing the Past Alive

Aug. 3,  11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Southglenn Library

Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Castlewood Library

Aug. 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Aug. 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Curtis Center for the Arts

  •       Book Talk: RUSH – Aug. 22, 7 - 8 p.m., Koelbel Library


The Fun Doesn’t Stop!

In conjunction with the Village Read, my artwork is being featured at two very special events and locations:

  • The 36th Annual All Colorado Art Show – July 13 – August 31, Curtis Center for the Arts, Opening Reception, July 13, 6 – 8 pm.

  • “Bella Fiori” – Floral Abstraction Paintings by Jayme H. Mansfield – August 1-31, Koelbel Library Gallery

I hope to see you, and perhaps even friends and family!

Curious … have you ever wondered if you wandered off the path intended for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.



For Book & Art Lovers – A Behind the Scenes Look at an Author and Artist’s Dream Come True - #AmReading #artist - @JaymeMansfield (click to tweet)

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