When Addie’s family history suddenly becomes of interest to an outcast at school, they set out to find the legendary healing gift. Some say it is witchcraft, others a gift from God. Will Addie find a blessing, or a curse? And can it prepare her for the choice she must ultimately make?
Based on legends from the Ozark Mountains, The Sixpence is Christian fiction for mature teens and adults.
Editorial Review (Permission to post snippets or in its entirety with credit to Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite.) Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite
Tattie Maggard writes an intriguing tale in The Sixpence. Addie is sixteen years old, a teenager longing for love and a hopeful future. On the way home from a study date, she has a car accident, barely making it out alive. As a result, Addie is without a car. If she wants another, her parents agree she will have to buy it herself. Feeling smothered and stifled by her parents, Addie hastily searches for employment. But she didn’t expect to be tutoring Terrel Gunter, a Senior, a mysterious loner, a troubled soul. Terrel promises her $500 if she will help him with a special history assignment. Much to Addie’s surprise, Terrel uses her to interview her Aunt Eunice. Terrel has questions regarding Addie’s relatives – “old timers who could stop blood” by quoting a special Bible verse. The last person to have this gift was Addie’s great-grandmother, Lotus. The lingering rumor running through the community was that Lotus was a witch. Eunice gives Addie and Terrel the family Bible. Daily they search the highlighted scriptures for the healing verse. But at night Addie begins to read between the lines, learning more than she set out to discover. Their quest almost costs them their lives. The gift of blood stopping is “as much a curse as it is a blessing.” Eunice warns Addie to “be ready, to battle for your soul.”
To satisfy her curiosity, Tattie Maggard writes a fictional story based on stories she heard about her great-grandmother. As you read, you sense her imaginative personal touch, depicting genuine emotions within her characters. The Sixpence can easily be compared with Frank Perriti’s The Oath. Both reveal a special gifting among a select few and portray the characters’ battle to pledge allegiance to the voice of God or the taunts of Satan. The settings are similar in that they mutually take place in small, backwoods rural areas with an atmosphere of longstanding folklore. The Sixpence is written more for the young adult reader, and has a lighter story line.
This work of fiction appeals to a broad range of readers. Young adults can relate to Addie and Terrel’s coming of age search for purpose – Why am I here? And the lifelong conflict of selfishness – Can I take short cuts in life, to accomplish MY goals and aspirations? The more mature reader understands Aunt Eunice’s longing to pass on wisdom to the next generation. The novel also exposes the grief and trauma of death, unforeseen accidents and debilitating sickness. The prevalent and lasting message of The Sixpence is that God uses sinners to advance His kingdom. In the words of Addie: “God wanted me to have the gift even though I was messed up.”
You’ve said that when the creeks “get up,” you have to stay home, explain that, please.
We have localized flash flooding here when it rains a lot and our low water bridges become impassible, pretty quickly!
Any “bucket list” places you would like to visit? I’ve never seen the ocean but honestly, I have no desire to travel. I do have plans of visiting The Ark Encounter in Kentucky when it gets built though.
What would you like the world to remember about you? I try to live intentionally, spending my time and energy towards things that have meaning to me. No one on their death bed ever says, “I wish I’d of had more time to watch TV.”
Tell us a little bit about your family. I’ve been married longer than I haven’t been, and I have a six year old daughter that I am homeschooling.
What, or who, inspired you to research this topic and write this story? I was out mushroom hunting one fall day with my husband on land that is extremely rich in our family’s history. It occurred to me that other people may not know what it is like to hunt down a mushroom in the woods and that they may find it interesting. It made me think of all the other things I knew about the area we live in that isn’t really common knowledge everywhere. Thoughts of my great-great grandmother came to mind and the story was formed right there in the woods. I didn’t find a lot of mushrooms that day because my thoughts were somewhere else but I did come home with a story and had a first draft done in four days.
What is the book about? The Sixpence is a coming of age story about a teenage girl who uncovers the mystery surrounding the legend of her great-grandmother, Lotus, and her gift of bloodstopping. It’s about young love and loss and how our desires evolve and deepen as we learn and grow.
The Sixpence has an element of truth to it from the ’’old days,’’ tell us about that. Many people from my area and other areas I’ve researched have described healers who could stop blood with a verse from the Bible. Some believe it, others don’t. The book I wrote wasn’t intended to promote this idea as truth. It also wasn’t designed to prove that idea false. The Sixpence is a “what if” story. It’s definitely fiction as it goes beyond even all the amazing stories I’ve read about bloodstopping and those handed down to me from relatives. I really just wanted to show God’s wonderful grace in the form of fiction while preserving my family’s heritage for my daughter.
Who do you feel will benefit the most from this book? This book was written mainly with older teen girls in mind. I’d like to see it being read by girls who go to church but may not know what salvation is truly about.
What are you working on next? The Sixpence is the first book in a planned series of four. I have no idea when it will be
completed because I’m not that great with deadlines but books two and four already have first drafts. I also have another story I wrote in a writer’s group directed by Jill Williamson. It was the first story I’d ever written that actually made sense enough for someone to read and understand. It’s a beautiful story but it’s not that beautiful on paper yet, but I’d like to finish it as well. There are also a few modern day fairytales dancing around in my head so we’ll just have to see what happens!
Tattie Maggard is a lifelong resident of rural Douglas County, Missouri. She’s a stay at home wife and mother who reads, writes, and shops for Kindle bargains in her free time. She runs a popular blog, Christian Book Finds, and home schools her young daughter. She also enjoys sewing and playing old tunes on the pennywhistle. Southern Missouri has always been her home but just recently she has learned to fully appreciate its cultural differences. She plans to continue her series, Ozark Mountain Healers, in the beautiful hills surrounding her home.
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