Guest post: "OLD DOGS AND BLUE LEOPARDS" by Sylvia Dickey Smith, author of 'Original Cyn'

Not only can old dogs learn new tricks but leopards can also change their spots. You don’t believe me? I tell you it is true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. For you see, I am that old dog leaping backwards over an inflamed barrel. I’m also the blue leopard with big orange polka dots.
I describe myself as born backward—one foot first, and left-handed—and seem to have done most things backward ever since. At seventeen, and still a high school junior, I married a preacher and soon became known as the preacher’s wife. Today, it is difficult to imagine a girl, barely 17, take on that responsibility—a kid playing grown up. But I sailed along just fine, any answer I needed given to me by my husband. He even gave answers to many questions I never asked.
I started college as a forty-year-old freshman and in a few short years gained a degree in sociology, a master’s in educational psychology, and then a divorce! Five years later, I got engaged, bought a house, took a honeymoon in Hawaii, and married in Las Vegas on the way home.
You still with me so far on this backwards thing?
After many years working in the human services field, I retired and took on a whole new career—I wrote a mystery book that led to the Sidra Smart Mystery Series, along with a cookbook to match. I wrote the award-winning A War Of Her Own, a historical novel set in Texas during WWII, and now, my recently released contemporary novel, Original Cyn. 
I write strong women. Why? I’ve realized that writing is my passion, but writing strong women is REALLY my passion. So, I might write mystery, historical fiction, and contemporary, but whatever I write, it features a strong woman. Of course the character likely won’t start out that way, but by the time I’m through with her, I guarantee you, she will be. My latest, Original Cyn, takes on a controversial subject relevant to societal discussions today. It is my first attempt to write on a topic that I know many will object to, and that’s just the way it goes. Standing in my power. Speaking truth to power.
Think that’s a reflection of my life? You bet your bottom patootie it is.
One thing I’ve learned is it makes no difference whether you live your life backwards or forwards, the important thing is that you LIVE IT. And never say, never. Never not do something—anything, because you think you’re too old, too dumb, too smart, too whatever.
If you want to do it, go for it.

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Title: ORIGINAL CYN
Genre: women’s fiction
Author: Sylvia Dickey Smith
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Purchase on Amazon

About Original Cyn:  Protagonist Cynthia Carter’s life appears perfect—but for the fact that she and her husband, The Reverend Wilburn Carter, are controlled by fear.  Cynthia is afraid she’ll displease Wilburn and if not him, his parishioners. But her biggest fear is the emptiness swelling inside her.

In the pulpit, Wilburn is the hero:  God’s right hand, the messenger, the revered Reverend. At home, however, is a different story: he’s cold, controlling, selfish and self-consumed.  Every Sunday, Wilburn stands at the podium and worries which parishioner might stab him in the back.  But his deepest, darkest fear is that people will discover he’s a phony.

As Cynthia drowns in her lack of identity beyond what’s assigned by her preacher-husband, she wonders if she should stay in the relationship.  Could there be more to life than just being the Pastor’s wife?  Before she can decide, events force her to flee.  If she goes far enough fast enough, those back home will have to deal with the chaos they created—deal with it or go to hell in their sanctimonious handbaskets. Until a phone conversation leaves her with even more difficult choices…

A powerful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking story, Original Cyn is extraordinary. Novelist Sylvia Dickey Smith takes readers on an unforgettable journey that spans anguish, heartbreak, hatred, love, fear, humor, peace and joy.  Resplendent with compelling characters and an exceedingly-relatable storyline, Original Cyn is wholly—or perhaps holy—an original tale about moving beyond the black-and-white and living life in full, vibrant color. Sylvia Dickey Smith’s latest novel is a richly-drawn, rewarding read destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.   


About the Author  

A fifth generation Texan, Sylvia Dickey Smith was born in Orange, Texas and grew up in a colorful Scots-Irish family living in the midst of a Cajun culture. At 34, Sylvia’s curiosity about the world took on a whole new dimension when she moved to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Awed by the differences in customs and cultures, particularly as they related to West Indian women, Sylvia began a journey of study and self-discovery. Back in the U.S. at 40, she started college and didn’t stop until achieving a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in women’s studies and a master’s in counseling. For the next twenty years, Sylvia worked in the field of human services and taught as an adjunct professor at the graduate level. Sylvia Dickey Smith lives in Texas.

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