GIVEAWAY from Sally Smith O’Rourke

Original painting for cover

It’s dark when I head out for the hospital every morning, and one day last week I was taken by the waning moon on the western horizon. Pin points of light and the pale yellow crescent against the midnight blue of the morning sky reminded me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

The Dinky Bird

tn_P&PcvrAs some of you know, my love of Jane Austen began with the gift of Pride and Prejudice from my mother. At 15, I had just completed the third book report for English class. The teacher was partial to Dickens, and so, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist became the required reading for the semester. My mother gave me P&P so I would know that not all classics were dark and foreboding, in fact some were light, witty and engaging. Years before that, mom tried to interest me in reading (I was a tomboy and preferred playing outside to being quiet with a book) by giving me what had been her favorite book as a child, Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field. It worked to a degree, as I became a lover of poetry.field cover

While titled Poems of Childhood, in retrospect and reading it as an adult, it wasn’t written for children, it’s filled with poems about the things that scare children, things that go bump in the night, and death, there is quite a bit of death. I found out as an adult that Field and his wife lost a young child before writing most of the poems in this book. But I digress. The book is illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, I have been a fan ever since. One of the poems is The Dinky Bird about a land over the sea where the Dinky Bird sings in the amfalula tree. I loved the freedom the painting represented and still do. But mostly I love Maxfield Parrish.


Mike (my late husband) and I once sent a Christmas card with the Parrish painting called Christmas, later we found a print of it which hangs in my living room, even now.

The Moon

That morning that I saw the moon and stars in the dark blue sky, reminding me of a Parrish painting, I also realized that my love of Parrish was what drew me to the painting used on the cover of my latest book, Days of Future Past, mostly the color palate I suspect since the painting looks a bit more like Monet.

The Stars

Now that I’ve rambled one about absolutely nothing, I will leave you to your day. However, if you’d like to win a signed copy of Days of Future Past or an electronic book for your eReader, please leave a comment and let me know how you like the painting and cover (designed and executed by Janet Taylor) and which Maxfield Parrish painting you like most. Or just say hello.

I’m hoping that I will be able to schedule my time to include a regular post for the blog, at least once every two weeks or so. I’m already working on the next one.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win Days of Future Past.

Original back cover design

Original back cover design

Original painting for cover

Original painting for cover


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