Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday #snippets Openings--Sweet Lenora

The sails are unfurled and the crew is ready for the To the Wind on a blog tour which begins next week. (I'll be posting blog stops and dates later this week, stay tuned)
Before To the Wind came Sweet Lenora, the beginning of the love story that has become Anton and Lenora.
Here is how the story begins

 On the day of my father’s funeral, the gray October sky opened and shed copious tears. It was good that the sky was so willing to cry as I could not find my own sorrow. It seemed I buried it upon learning of his death.
We stood around the gravesite as he was laid next to the mother I had never known. My Aunt Louise looked up now and again from under the awning of her black umbrella to insure herself that I had not jumped in after the coffin or run off into the rain. To Aunt Louise, I was a spoiled and fractious child, not a young woman of twenty with a mind of my own.
“High time you found her a husband,” she had said to Father on more occasions than I cared to count. “It will not do to let her run wild.”
Father hardly let me run wild. I suppose he was indulgent after his own way. My mother died giving me life. My only brother, Edward, eight years older than I, had sailed on the MaryAnne five years before and we’d had no word of him since. As I was left sole heir, Father had deemed it necessary that I know about the shipyard. He allowed me free run of the yard’s books. I learned firsthand how
the ribs are covered with planks, how to caulk to make the ship watertight and seaworthy.
My father and my Uncle John ran the largest shipyard in all of Salem. They had shipping interests throughout the seven seas, clipper ships that sailed to the ends of the earth and came back deep
laden with China silk and India spice.
Despite whatever Aunt Louise may have thought, there were suitors aplenty. Letters of introduction forever filled the salver. I wished them all away. I knew well enough that marriage meant an end to my days at the shipyard. Once married, I would not be able to read as I pleased from Father’s library or walk as I pleased about the town. My days would be filled with endless calls to ladies sitting in
dim parlors. In short, I would be as miserable as my Aunt Louise.
The young men came by despite my wishing. They took my handkerchiefs and kissed my hand. They danced me over the floor and promenaded me through the rose garden. I knew they would never love me for the woman I was. When they looked at me, they saw a dowry kindly wrapped in a pretty package.
Father felt differently. He did love me for myself. He taught me about ships so I could someday know enough to run the business if need be. He was not so anxious to sell me to the highest bidder. I
felt blessed by such an arrangement. Until Father died, quite suddenly, when his carriage overturned.
After the burial, I went to my room. I stared into the mirror at my reflection, a green-eyed girl with red-gold hair and a pale face,and I wondered why my countenance refused to crumple into grief.
What was wrong with me that I had not broken under the weight of my father’s death?

For more on Anton and Lenora, please visit my Anton and Lenora  page

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