Bethany Quinn on Redemption

Katie asked me to come back and talk about redemption.

After talking about my past and this whole idea of shame, I have no idea if she’s thinking third time’s a charm, or three strikes I’m out.

Regardless, three is my favorite number. So here I am.

Redemption. Not really sure what I think about that word. Crickets, really. So I decided to look it up. Here’s what I found, plus my commentary.


  1. An act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed (How’s that for helpful?)
  2. Deliverance, rescue
  3. Deliverance from sin; salvation (Pastor Fenton? Is that you?)
  4. Atonement for guilt (Now I have to look up atonement.)
  5. Repurchase, as of something sold

Number three brings up too many unpleasant memories.

I have adverse reactions whenever I hear the word atonement. So number four is out.

I don’t think Katie had number five in mind when she brought up redemption and number one is not at all helpful. There should be a law that prohibits dictionaries from using the actual word in the definition.

So I guess I’m left with number two.

Deliverance. Rescue.

I’m not sure how I feel about either of those words.

It’s not like anyone rescued me from Peaks. I had to do that on my own. I’m the one who earned the grades that got me the scholarship. And I’m the one who landed the job in Chicago.

But still….

If I’m being totally honest. Sometimes, when I’m feeling tired or worn out or unsure, the idea of being rescued is an appealing one.

It reminds me of a recurring dream I had as a kid, when we moved away from the farm and into that trailer park. For an entire year I dreamt about a prince as handsome as my dad. He would ride into the park on his white stallion and rescue me from all that had happened. He would bring me back to Grandpa Dan’s farm. And he would make everything better.

But that was just a silly little girl dream.

I learned a long time ago that princes don’t exist.

I asked Bailey what she thought about the whole redemption thing. I don’t agree with everything she says, but in case you’re interested in reading, you can click here.

Let’s Talk: What’s your favorite definition of redemption? Did you ever dream about being rescued when you were little?

Interested in reading Bethany’s story? You can preorder Wildflowers from Winter on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or

Check out Katie’s Facebook Author Page or Dani Pettrey’s Facebook Author Page for a word of encouragement regarding redemption.

Come back tomorrow for the Where Lilacs Still Bloom blog hop and a chance to win fun prizes!

Bethany Quinn on Shame

Another Wednesday and I’m back. It seems the universe has a good sense of irony.

Anyway, Katie’s busy with rewrites and since it was kind of cathartic to have my say last week, and since I’d prefer to get to know the people who will be reading my story, I figured I’d give it another whirl.

Back in the beginning, when Katie was trying to get to know me, she asked me this question.

Are you ashamed of your past?

I just sort of stared at her.

First, because she was really starting to remind me of Dr. Nowels, sans the toupee. And in case you don’t know Dr. Nowels, let me assure you, the comparison is not meant to be flattering.

Second, because I thought the answer was obvious.

My past isn’t exactly something to be proud of.

I grew up in a trailer park with a mother who had to work third shifts at an aluminum plant. We drove a rusted out Pinto with a faulty muffler and I had to wear my brother’s hand-me-downs. I did one stupid thing when I was twelve and had to spend the next year in therapy. The next ten with a stigma that refused to go away.

Is it any wonder I left?

Nobody likes feeling shame. It’s not an endearing emotion.

When I explained all this to Katie, she raised her eyebrows and sucked on the end of her pen. Like whatever I’d said nudged an invisible puzzle piece into place.

I didn’t rise to the bait. I didn’t ask what she was thinking.

Because it doesn’t matter. I’m an architect, a really good architect. With a masters degree from Texas A&M. With a new car and closet full of nice clothes.

I’m well respected. I’m independent. And that stigma I had growing up? Nobody sees it here. I know how to hide it. In fact, I can almost pretend it never existed.

Even though we’re not BFFs or anything, Bailey and I understand each other. Because her past isn’t all roses and sunshine either. She’s well acquainted with shame. In fact, she’s talking about it here

Let’s Talk: Do you ever struggle with shame? How do you deal with it?

Interested in reading mystory? You can preorder Wildflowers from Winter on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or

Check out Katie’s Facebook Author Page or Dani Pettrey’s Facebook Author Page for a word of encouragement regarding shame. 

Two people are reviewing Wildflowers from Winter today. One from Heather Sunseri (she asks a powerful question and hosts a giveaway) and another from Casey Herringshaw

Bethany Quinn on Going Home

If you haven’t noticed, Katie likes to get all spiritual on Wednesdays. So when I started looking for an opportunity to introduce myself, to tell my side of the story, I was hoping for a Monday or a Friday. Anything but a Wednesday. Yet here I am and we all know what day it is.

I figure I should take what I can get.

My name is Bethany Quinn. Wildflowers from Winter is my story. And I’m here to tell you that Katie and I haven’t exactly seen eye to eye lately.

We used to be fine. We used to coexist in peace. Until she started talking about Peaks. Until she got it in her head that I should go back.

I keep telling her she doesn’t understand what she’s asking.

Because unlike me, she likes her hometown.

To her, home is a happy place. With two loving parents, a perfectly respectable house, and a bunch of nostalgic memories.

She never had to deal with death. Or unwanted stares. Or whispers and gossip and speculation that tiptoed much too close to the truth.

Her memories frolic. My memories lurk.

They loiter on the corner outside of town, next to Jorner’s General Store and that green population sign.

They linger in the trailer park where I lived for ten miserable years.

They skulk among the stiff wooden pews of First Light and the deep end of the public swimming pool and in that tall silo on my grandpa’s farm, where everything started.

You see, Katie left home with every intention of going back.

I left with every intention of staying away.

Yet here she is, telling me it’s time to face my past. Insisting it’s the only way to move forward. As if I’m not already moving forward. As if I’m not an architect for one of the most prestigious firms in Chicago. As if I don’t live in an impressive downtown loft. Or have a boyfriend who is charming and successful and takes me to places like Vail on the holidays.

She keeps looking at me like she’s unimpressed. Like I’m the one who’s missing something.

She keeps telling me it’s time to go home.

Only she doesn’t understand that Peaks isn’t my home. It stopped being my home a long time ago. Going back won’t help anyone. Not me. Not my mother. Not Robin.

I’m not the only one fighting this battle. I was talking to my friend Bailey (check out what she has to say on Dani Pettrey’s blog) the other day and we’re starting to suspect that Katie and Dani are in cahoots. Because Dani keeps pushing Bailey to go home too. The two of them insist it’s for the best.

Whose best? That’s what I want to know.

Let’s Talk: Have you ever had to do something when it was the last thing in the world you wanted to do? If so, how’d you come out on the other side?

Interested in reading my story? You can preorder Wildflowers from Winter on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or

Struggling with the past? Check out Katie’s Facebook Author Page or Dani Pettrey’s Facebook Author Page to read a note from the authors. 

Katie’s over at Jessica Nelson’s blog today chatting about publication.