Watercolor Update
May 14, 2020 by noelbranham in Books, Nature, Texas 14 Comments

Just including a little scene from The Simple Soul of Susan in watercolor form! I think Susan and Calder look a little younger than I intended… but you get the idea. Any guesses as to which scene this is from?

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The Love Interests of Christy: David vs. Doctor Neil MacNeill
January 26, 2018 by noelbranham in Books 10 Comments

(Contains Spoilers for Christy!) I read Christy (by Catherine Marshall)  in two days. Not only was it a beautifully written and timeless narrative of Appalachian culture… it was also a most refreshing romance. One of the most satisfying tropes in any story is the main character (Christy) falling in love while being unaware of it happening; she had never felt like this before. Sometimes true love, if its never been experienced… can indeed be unrecognizable. Love had to be -pleasing relationship… never mind that he basically watched her fall into a creek and didn’t help because his Sunday best couldn’t be soiled. Thankfully, towards the end, she discovered that her relationship and feelings for David weren’t loved at all. Now I’ve heard the questions before: When did she fall in love with Doctor Neil MacNeill? Did the Doctor really love her? Was she just a rebound after his wife died? How was the relationship with Neil relationship better than her and David’s? Here are some answers about how Christy and Doctor Neil’s relationship was TRUE LOVE: Respect: Christy has many ideas regarding how to improve education in the impoverished mountains. But David doesn’t take her seriously: “David smiled at me in a patronizing […]

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What People are Saying about the Simple Soul of Susan Vol. 1
December 5, 2017 by noelbranham in Books, Texas 8 Comments

“This was an enchanting story of love, betrayal, and redemption! The author truly did a remarkable job showing the progression of the characters over time and hooking the reader with the real-life situations that I’m sure every reader can relate to. In this story are mini-tales of unrequited love, embarrassing relatives, school bullies, and friendships won and lost. The relatability and genuine honesty of Noel Branham’s book moved me and made me wish the story was never-ending. It’s a rare book that does that. Susan Combs loves Calder Hurtz. Her best friend since a young girl, she has spent years loving him, all the while hoping her love would one day be returned. Calder is a flirt, constantly having a different girl over each night to do homework, and Susan has started to realize that her place in his life is not what it once was. Determined to move on and get past her love once and for all, she begins to branch out and make new friends. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Susan learns about how powerful love really is, and while she makes mistakes along the way, the treasure awaiting her at the end of it all […]

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