As a child, I was the one in class that would imagine conversations between the historical figures in my books. Did Pocahontas really rush forward and throw herself across the body of John Smith to save him because, she had fallen in love at first sight. Or what went through Isabella’s mind when she looked at those pearls, then handed them over to be sold, supplying three ships to sail, on a thread of knowledge, and find a new land. So many stories, so little time.
The coming of age of America, with the Civil War and the taming of America’s frontier unleash thousands of stories. It’s this time period that speaks to me the most. I looked at the men and the women “out west” and chose three ladies of the evening to write about. The mythical house of Sweetbrier Academy is fashioned from bits and pieces of the various up scaled houses in New Orleans and then placed it out in the wide open Wyoming Territory. I had each of my girls rescued from the dower situations that ravaged the south after “the war”. Yes, as a born and bred Southerner, we refer to history as before or after THE WAR meaning of course the Civil War.
My ladies are Faith, Hope, and Charity. Each girl from the south, each girl brought to Sweetbrier by the benevolent Miss Opal Benedict. There at the house, these girls who had nothing are schooled in history, music, art, and oratory. They bond together like a family. The tease and like any parent, Opal longs for her ‘girls’ to be out of the business. In the three tales I’ve crafted you will find out how the girls beat the odds and secure their greatest treasure to be loved by the man of their dreams.
Please come by and pick up a copy of Sweetbrier Academy Book One, Having Faith in print at Amazon of if you prefer e format at www.redrosepublishing.com . Also out in e format is Sweetbrier Academy Book Two Holding on to Hope. As always check out my website www.nancyoberry.com to see when I’m swinging by a bookstore near you. If you purchase an ebook or print copy of the Having Faith, or an ebook of Holding on to Hope, email me with proof of purchase and snail mail address and I will be honored to send you a book plate and some other freebees as my way of saying thanks.
I hope to hear from readers and will leave you with this small excerpt from Having Faith.
From Sweetbrier Academy Book One, Having Faith
“Wonderful, you’ve done very well,” she placed a hand upon her arm. “Tonight you will rise to the next level of a courtesan.”
Before she could continue, the door opened. Miss Benedict turned, her face lighting into a radiant smile as three men strode into the room.
“They’re here,” she whispered squaring her shoulders and moving toward the doorway.
Faith watched the gentlemen as they removed their travel cloaks, Big John appearing as if by magic whisking the items away. Craning her neck and rising on her toes, Faith appraised her potential suitors. All the men were tall. A good thing, she thought. It was her preference for the man to be above her own height. She felt it made a better fit when it came to coupling.
The youngest male was perhaps nearing six foot, the two older gentlemen at least three inches taller. As she continued to watch, the gentlemen removed their hats. One of the older gentlemen sported a head of snow white hair. She remembered seeing him before. Once in New Orleans when she first came to Sweetbrier, then a second time just after they set up housekeeping in Wyoming.
As she watched, he stepped forward, giving a broad smile and engulfing Miss Benedict into his deep embrace. Unable to curtain her curiosity, Faith moved closer, her ears easily picking up the conversation.
“My lord, Opal, you get more beautiful each day,” he whispered in her ear. His husky voice seemed affectionate and inviting.
“Howard,” she greeted him, “good to see you as well,” A underlying note of emotion carried across with her words, Faith’s instincts told her this man, Howard, was more than a good friend. As they broke their embrace, she watched Miss Benedict thread her fingers through his.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?” Miss Benedict inquired turning toward her other guests.
Leaning over, he planted a chaste kiss upon her cheek before gesturing to his fellow travelers. She noted that while their hands dissolved their union, he encircled Miss Benedict’s waist, drawing her to his side as if she belonged to him, completing his picture. The words she spoke earlier in the day echoed in her head, “To find your mirrored half, your companion”. Faith understood.