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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Butterfly Bride~~Cover Reveal!

"Handsome is as handsome does."

Michelle Lee
makes me another fine cover, one which nicely ties my "Sisters" (Pennsylvania Brides?) series together.

Butterfly Bride concerns the adventures (and misadventures) of Miss Elfie Neiman, after the young lady arrives at the stone mill house in German Mills, Pennsylvania. Here she will live with (and try the patience of) the young couple Karl and Sophie Wildbach and their cook, Divine, all of whom you may have already come to know in the course of Hand-me-Down Bride.

Sophie's Story http://amzn.to/1Nn8iOw

Not one, but three handsome suitors, all from different backgrounds, take a strong interest in the adorable, musical Miss Elfie, so she has a lot to think about before finally making up her mind.

Or, perhaps, an even better description of the story might be that Miss Elfrieda finally comes to know a little more about herself.

And, after all, isn't that the biggest part of growing-up?


Juliet Waldron

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Roan Rose~~Tragedy at Bosworth Field

On August 22, 1485, England would be conquered for the last time by a foreign invader. 

The final battle of the Wars of Roses, the moment when the long-lived Plantagenet dynasty came to a bitter end, was fought by a small number of soldiers compared to the earlier bloodbaths that had taken place at Towton, Wakefield, and Mortimer's Cross--just to name just a few.

Henry Tudor styled himself a Welshman and flew the ancient  banner of the Pendragons. His army was comprised mostly of French mercenaries. Although an anointed King of England would die in battle on this day, if truth be told, Henry did not win by force of arms. The Battle of Bosworth Field was, for Henry, the culmination of long  years of intrigue.

Treason! said to be King Richard's final cry as he "fought bravely in the midst of his enemies" was the true reason for Henry's victory.

Here, Rose tells what she saw :


In the gray which proceeds dawn we came upon the king’s pickets at the rear guard. Here, my soldier friends went in and I stayed among a little group of women of the army waiting in an orchard. In the camp, the lords were arming. There were gay banners and the flash of metal on the hill above.

From that distance I heard canons begin to boom and heard the distant thud of gun stones. Into the summer dawn rose a black smoke, as if hell had opened a gate. There came next the battle roar. At last, in the valley behind the hill, I began to hear the terrible cries of the wounded.

Some of the women simply stayed under the trees. Myself and a few others, pale and full of fear at what we knew in our hearts—we went forward—to help, to look for our men. In dread we skirted the hill which had been the king’s camp.

A mob of ravens had already gathered, a murderous racket in the trees. Hearing them, the hair on my neck prickled.

There were three ravens sat on a tree . . .

 The grim old song! Crossing myself, I began to walk. If they gathered so eagerly, there were none left to do me harm...

Down, down in yonder green field

There lies a knight, slain ‘neath his shield...

        The dead lay everywhere. I stepped among them and then over them. Of the first lords I saw was one who lay belly down, arms extended, hands still gripping his battered, emblazoned shield. A trail of gore marked his progress through the crushed grass. He had been crawling, stubbornly refusing to release his arms. The shield was dented and crushed, the corners actually hammered out of shape. One heraldic quartering had been obliterated, but the other was still identifiable. It was my Lord Duke of Norfolk, ever true to the house of York.

As I approached, the ravens flew up with a chorus of caws and a funereal clatter of black wings. They did not go far, just rose, circled, and then landed again in the nearest tree, confident of their feast. It took my breath way to round the hill and come upon this rare work of men—strong bodies now broken and dead horses, the fallen, trampled standards, the greasy sheen of blood upon long August grass.

A haze hung in the air and the wind was rank with dust, black powder from the hellish guns, and that slaughterhouse stink. I crouched to see if any still breathed, but stiffening death was all I saw. On every side lay Richard’s men, men I knew, tabards emblazoned with the boar, now soaked with their own entrails...

~~Juliet Waldron

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

A little bit about a Butterfly...

A snippet from a WIP I'm hoping to finish soon:
Butterfly Bride
Sequel to Hand-me-Down Bride
Set in post Civil War Pennsylvania


Here, Elfie -- Sophie's little sister-- attends the first big event of the summer in the valley--the Ice Cream Social.

She's been invited by the Schwans, whose nephew, the Reverend "Wash", has taken an interest in the pretty newcomer.

When the reverend is distracted by church business, she spends the day with other young people, first, a pair of wealthy neighbors, Ripley King and his cousin 'Dina, and later with Sam and Mellie Moonshine, who are from a big extended farm family that live atop the nearby ridge.

At the very end, Washington finds her again. He's disappointed at the way the day has gone.

http://amzn.to/1Nn8iOw  Big Sister Sophie's story...

The sun lowered, the shadows grew long. Tomorrow would be another work day. People were packing up their picnic baskets, collecting straying children and dogs, and preparing to return home. Washington held Elfie’s arm as they walked back to his wagon.

“I’m sorry to have stayed gone for so long.” Elfie thought she’d better take the bull by the horns.

“Well, never mind. All’s well that ends well.” Elfie was about to sigh with relief, when Washington added, “You are rather a butterfly, aren’t you, Miss Neiman?”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”  They turned to face one another. He looked, she thought, rather critical, one of those “I’m older and wiser” kind of faces that she resented.

“I had hoped,” he said calmly, “to spend a little more time with you today.”

“Well, um, ah, yes! And I was also looking forward to that as well, but um…I was so hoping to see the lake and Mr. King and Miss Wildbach were so kind as to invite me...” Her mind had darted about looking for an answer which would—she hoped—mollify him. She rather hoped a non-apology would do.

After all, this was not her fault, was it?
A reverend had to deal with those committee men upon whom his permanent appointment to the pulpit might depend, so, really, what else should she have done? Stayed with his aunt and her middle-aged friends and talk about knitting, or folks she didn’t know and a mob of babies when she’d finally escaped her sister’s house? Good Lord!

Still, she knew she’d disappointed him. She didn’t like to think about herself that way, and thought she ought to try to make it up to him. He was really a very pleasant, genteel fellow.
How much my dear lost Papa would have liked him…

Along the way back to the carriages, ‘Dina and Rip crossed their path. Behind them trailed Mrs. Green and Judge Markham and a pair of tired looking maids. When, from a little distance, Mrs. Schwann called to Washington to “go get our conveyance, my dear, I’m simply walked off my feet,” and he excused himself and walk away again, Elfie lingered.
Soon, the truant threesome had drifted together again.

“Ah, good! You’ve found the Schwann’s,” ‘Dina said, catching her hand. “We weren’t sure where you’d got to.”

“Like a sleek little duckling, Miss Elfie always comes up paddling.” Rip grinned. He was still damp and not, Elfie noted, entirely steady on his feet. He blew a big kiss in her direction.

“She’d better learn to swim, if she’s going to live ‘round here,” said ‘Dina, giving Elfie a woman-to-woman look. It was clear that she was, to some extent, was supporting Rip. As they stood together, Elfie caught the scent of bourbon. Ripley must be even worse for wear than he’d been earlier!

As if to confirm her suspicion, close by, a disapproving elder was heard to say: “Young fella’s thoroughly corned…”

“Come along, Miss Neiman!” Aunt Schwann had turned back and again raised her voice. Elfie thanked heaven that Washington had gone ahead, for their wagonette.   She spun about to respond with a bright wave.

 “Um, yes, Ma’am. Comin’ right away!” Quickly turning back to her new friends, she added, “Good-bye, Miss Wildbach. ‘Bye, Mr. King. Thank–you so much for taking me across the lake!”

'Dina winked and said, “Run fast, or the old goose will leave you behind, I swear! What a sour puss!” At the same time, Ripley made a dramatic gesture of farewell and said something that sounded like: “Pray do not absquatulate, m’dear  Miss Neiman…”

Whatever that meant! He was an endearing figure, playing the clown, and remaining so appealing with his bright hair, blue eyes, and young body.
He and 'Dina really were like matching bookends, so blonde, so well-dressed and ever so gay! 

“See you soon, Miss Neiman,” said ‘Dina. “Come along now, Mr. King, you great booby!”

Elfie had to grab the brim of her hat and dash after the receding figures of the Schwann party. By the time she caught up, the step stool had already been placed and Aunt Schwann was being helped into the back...

~~by Juliet Waldron


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Saturday, August 6, 2016


While baby #3, Alexander Junior, stirs in his sleep beside his mom, Daddy is awake and making big plans...

http://amzn.to/1UDoLAi    Books by Juliet Waldron
http://amzn.to/1YQziX0  A Master Passion  

...Betsy awoke. The newest baby, Alexander, grumbled in bed beside her, but her husband was gone. She knew he was not far, though, for she could hear him nearby. Lifting her head, she saw his outline against the moonlit window.

He was thinking aloud. Or, more properly, trying out a speech. Like the Iroquois, he often composed orations in this way, creating without benefit of pen and paper.

“Congress stands in a very embarrassing situation,” Alexander spoke into the darkness. “On the one hand they are blamed for not doing what they have no means of doing; on the other, their attempts are branded as encroachments and lust for power. It is the duty of all those who have the welfare of the community at heart to direct the attention of the people to the true source of the public disorders—the want of efficient government—and to impress upon them that the States must have a stronger bond of Union, one capable of drawing forth the resources of the country. This will be a more worthwhile occupation than complaining about a weakness which is built into the current constitution...”

He turned towards her, having divined that she was listening.

“I shall go to the Annapolis Convention after all. Something could happen, something that could finally pull this country together. We can’t leave untried any possibility.”

He returned to their bed, and took a seat beside her.

 “My Betsy.” He stroked her hair, “I shall soon be leaving you again.”

She slipped her hand through the open nightshirt to touch his chest. It was hard not to be cross. He seemed happy when he was home with her and the little ones, but he was also gone a great deal; he arranged his life that way.

She had a premonition that like his tenure in the Continental Congress, he’d return to her from this latest Convention in a state of rage, boiling over, like a neglected kettle...

The spectacle of thirteen states, creating trade barriers, warring over boundaries, with differing currencies and laws, all while the Continental army remained unpaid and with a huge war debt coming due, was not one which inspired confidence in either foreign lenders or in America’s more thoughtful citizens.

Hamilton and his father-in-law agreed that without a central government which paid its debts and soldiers, they were sure to come to grief. Some land-grabbing European power could easily appear on the scene to fragment and then gobble up the weak, separate states...

Autograph cover in his best secretarial hand

~~Juliet Waldron, A Master Passion

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