Once upon a time, in a desert dry, dry away, lived an author with a problem. Aw, who am I kidding? This gal had lots of problems. Tons. Great, heaping gobs of problems. But of all the problems that plagued the hapless writer, the worst was that malady known as overachiever-itis.
One day, our desiccated author learned of another writer’s generosity, and it sparked an idea. The idea? To offer a special “thank you” gift for the readers who purchased her next novel before the end of launch week.
If only it ended there. No one would question the sanity of the spinner of words for a short little bit of a story to satisfy a curiosity that the novel might spark.
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Remember that overachiever bit?
After that, our word weaver decided to do another short tale, a devotional, a follow-along-journal, a study guide. Each thing grew longer, more complicated. Reason protested, and the author listened.
For about five hundred words of her latest short story, “The Fate of Abigail Cooper.” Then a new idea took hold, a wild hair that roamed free without the restraint that domesticated creatures should have.
“I’ll write it in the style of the stories that peppered the old housekeeping magazines–like The Brown Book of Boston. I’ll throw in a recipe, an old photograph, a funky advertisement. It’ll be cool…” she said. “They’ll love it!” she said. “And it shouldn’t take that much more time.” SHE SAID. (Someone forgot her lessons on not overusing dialogue tags!)
What’s The Brown Book of Boston?
It was a magazine popular at the turn of the 20th Century. I found one while doing research for Such a Tease, and bought it. That sucker is cool! I spent a minor fortune on a magazine so I could look at their photography contest. It better prove to be more useful in future books. That’s all I’m sayin’.
Now this magazine is huge–about legal paper sized and probably sixty pages? Maybe more? It’s in gorgeous condition with tons of neat advertisements, recipes, household tips–the works. If I can pull this off, my “Brown Book of Rockland” will be a mini copy of that idea. You’ll get the short story, broken up by cool looking advertisements and tips, along with some of those little extras–including a column by Aunt Louisa. “A Young Lady’s Guide to Deportment.”
Abigail first appears in Sweet on You–a young woman of dubious character who is taken in by an unscrupulous man. However, without her help, more than one young woman could have been horribly misused by that man. I consider her the unsung heroine of the books.
She appears again in Such a Tease, but only briefly. So, that was the question I asked myself. “Who is Abigail Cooper? How did she end up in such an unsavory situation? And is there any hope for a better life for the young woman from the Dry Docks of Rockland?
Want your copy?
It’s simple. Skip on over to the BONUS page, and read how. It’s simple. You order the book, you forward the receipt, and on release day (or a day or two later), you’ll get a link to where you can download your copy. And if you order before 3-22-17, you’ll save almost 20% off that book.
Psst… Ashley might kill me but I’m going to give you a heads up. On Tuesday, Meddlin’ Madeline: Sweet on You (Book 1) Will be just .99 to celebrate this release! Squee!
And as for the story… here are the opening lines…
I remember golden sunshine, skies so blue they didn’t seem real, and one fluffy white cloud. A lark sang outside our window. And between the trills that always thrilled Ma’s heart, I heard that last breath escape.
Oh, and that hapless author in the barren blistered end of creation?
Yeah… she’s already planning the next bonus. Will it be a short story? A recreation of the character’s journal? A recipe book of all the great foods the character makes with pictures and everything? All of the above? Who knows? She doesn’t… but you’re sure to find out in about… oh… six weeks. 😀
How does she handle it? I asked. She said, “Just embrace it. It’s not like you’ll be able to overcome.”
So there you have it.