The Devil's Bastard...just the title is intriguing. This book was written by a very special determined woman who I am fortunate to call friend. Just over 15 years ago, I arrived at the Honolulu airport ready to take on the responsibility of living with and caring for 4 children I had never met. Although I felt totally at ease and comfortable talking on the phone to Lucy "a.k.a. Charlsie Russel"and Jay "do you understand the pressures I'm under" Slagel, I was only 23 and never lived outside of Kansas and I had just flown, I don't want to google the distance right now, so I'll just say A LONG WAY from home. I still remember seeing Lucy for the first time, as I approached baggage claim. There she was, a commander in the Navy, in uniform! As I approached this woman who in size, only came up to my shoulders, hee hee, I felt totally as ease, albeit a little embarrassed at my BIG suitcases.
I lived with Lucy and Jay and their 4 little children, Joey, Chucki, Kayci and Brett, and after about 8 months or so, I was informed that another child was on the way! They were looking at me carefully as Jay questioned "Are your bags going to be packed and on the porch in the morning?" Of course being 24 (they surprised me on my birthday!) , living in Hawaii a couple blocks from the beach, and full of energy, I was thrilled. Sarah was born and having 5 children to take care of wasn't much different than 4 (as my sister can probably attest to).
Lucy retired from the military when Sarah was 9 months and Joey, the oldest, around 10 years (if memory serves me) and they moved to her home state of Mississippi. I stayed in Hawaii for awhile and then moved to TX, but we always kept in touch. In fact in the last 15 years, I think I only missed Thanksgiving in Gulfport maybe 3 times. While raising her children (and husband, ha ha) Lucy was constantly on the go but managed to find time to continue her passions, one of them, writing.
Her determination to succeed led her to publish her books herself (after 7 years of rejection from publishing companies). This woman nurtured 5 biological and who knows how many more "stray" children as she pursued her dream. I have attached her website, which is very well done and informative. Kudos to you Lucy! You will always be a role-model for me..um, not that I want to have 5 children or anything, but you are living proof that anything is possible if you follow your dreams! http://www.loblollywritershouse.com/index.html