Dime novelist May Meriwether decides a Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new heroine and sets out to the
Lone Star State
with her companion
in tow; dreams of a family relegated to the recesses of her heart. But a
widower resurrects a smidgen of hope. Only his superstitious beliefs stand in
the way, and his love for his dead wife. Would there ever be room for her in
his heart? Would he give up his God? Chester
(from end of Chapter One)
Her two-room suite on the third deck practically took her breath away, much fancier than her own bedroom and the parlor back home. Dinner, served almost as she boarded, tasted divine.
After putting away the rest of her things, he placed her valise on the writing table, took out the manuscript, ink well and quill pen. “Anything else, ma’am?”
“Yes, please. I need another forty thousand words. Have any idea where I might pick some up?”
“May I suggest the same place you obtained all the others?”
Chester, Chester, . I was afraid you
might say something completely and dreadfully useless like that. Why can’t you
ever tell me what I want to hear?” Chester
He grinned, bowed, then backed out like a real butler, and like she was a real lady.
“Where’s your room?”
He stopped at her door. “Directly across the hall. Supper’s at eight, ma’am. A warning bell will sound.” He bowed his head. “You should be able to cut that forty by a third before reclining for the night.”
She curled her lip. “Work, work, work. You’re such a slave driver.”
He smiled again and closed her door.
No way could she write that fast, much less think of that much for her arrogant, mindless heroes and her whiny coy heroines to do or say. That’s it.
She’d have them marry, say I do, and be done with the lot of them. Too bad the contract she’d signed clearly spelled out one hundred thousand hard-won words.
Why, oh why, had she accepted the advance?
She slipped out of her skirt and bustle then plopped into the chair. It didn’t even swivel, and the seat cushion wasn’t soft enough, and…now who was being whiny? She smiled.
After all, weren’t all the well-rounded characters she created at least a tad like her? She hefted her hiney to the back of the seat cushion and straightened the blank pages.
No time for complaining and whining.
She stared at the last page she’d worked on, reread it, and picked up the pen. She carefully opened the ink well then tickled her chin with the feather. The tickle never failed.
An idea emerged, and she dipped the quill in the offending black liquid. Soon flowing phrases filled the page. Like soldiers marching to a sure death, the letters formed their lines and hurried to their boring demise.
Doing what paid so well, she started mussing the next pristine white paper page.
Two wrong turns and five hundred decent words later, the supper bell rang and set her loose from the chains of her imagined dungeon. Shortly,
followed her down to the grand dining
He located then held her chair out. Once seated, he scooted her closer to the table then backed away.
She nodded at the woman to her right. “Good evening, ma’am.” Then bent her wrist and extended her hand to the gentleman on her left. “Hello, May Meriwether, sir. Good evening.”
He took her fingers ever so gently. “The same May Meriwether who killed her husband last year?”
With fourteen titles released by six publishers, Simon & Schuster author Caryl McAdoo is excited about her newest historical (1850)
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Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart