The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part Four

Welcome, everyone.

The Women of Rock Creek series is composed of novels and novellas. These stories focus on each of the audacious females who hail from Needham, Oklahoma in the first two decades of the twentieth century. They originate with Ella McFarland. And extend through Lillian Cathleen Sloat and Adelaide Fitzgerald. Later, the stories highlight Ella’s girls–Amaryllis, Blossom, Camellia, Dahlia, Ebony, and Julia Jane Evans. Readers travel with the feisty women from Oklahoma to Fort Worth, Italy, Washington, D.C., and deep South Texas. Subsequently, their adventures pull readers along with them on horseback, in buggies, wagons, automobiles, trams, trains, and even on a transatlantic passenger ship.

Besides Adelaide, a host of all-important characters await the reader in the wings . . .

The All-Important Women of Rock Creek Characters

Actually, the characters who populate a locale run the show. If a character doesn’t come across as someone a reader has known or could know or won’t ever forget, the writer has missed the boat.

Here are a few of those who come to life in The Women of Rock Creek series:

Ella McFarland

women's rightsFor example, take Miss Ella McFarland, heroine of The Calling of Ella McFarland. This young woman is the quintessential ever-busy, strong-willed, sassy-tongued defender of women’s rights. You see, Ella doesn’t think a problem exists that can’t be solved. Honestly, she rarely encounters a mountain she can’t climb. In fact, when she sets her sights on a goal, folks had best step aside.

Examples of her goal-oriented, confident, determined, sassy tongued self are found in the first chapter of The Calling of Ella McFarland
         ~Ella had aimed for this day all her life. She would allow nothing to spoil it.
         ~Women, more prone to divided loyalties than men?

         ~A finger of ire picked at her restraint. “My parents must account for your uncertainty?”

Lily Sloat

And then there’s unforgettable Lily Sloat. This thirteen-year-old, severely abused child in The Calling of Ella McFarland has grown into a poised, confident young woman in The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

Thanks to the love of Ella McFarland, Lily has been rescued from a life of deprivation and abuse. And thanks to Adelaide Fitzgerald, she has received a college education. In 1914 she seeks a life of her own far beyond the cruel hand of Walter Sloat.

But Providence intervenes in ways Lily never could imagine. And the woman who emerges on the last pages of this story bears little resemblance to the cowering girl Ella McFarland first met.

Maggie Gallagher

The Women of Rock CreekMargaret Gallagher hails from Ireland. She is the feisty, Irish-born housekeeper at Broadview, Adelaide’s estate on the banks of Rock Creek. Forever spouting Irish wisdom, she loves both Adelaide and Lily as if they were her own. In fact, she’s the only mother-figure Adelaide has ever known, and she has stepped into Lily’s mother’s shoes since her death. Maggie’s shoulders are broad and strong enough to lift heavy loads yet tender enough for a young girl’s tears. 

Blossom Evans

The Women of Rock CreekThis thirteen-year-old dreams of newspaper photography. The curiosity that will make her a good newspaper woman one day, unfortunately, embroils her in serious trouble in The Mending of Lillian Cathleen. But courageous Lily Sloat and the women of Rock Creek save the young girl. And she has prime material from which to write an expose.

 

Adelaide Fitzgerald

Adelaide Fitzgerald steps onto the stage in The Calling of Ella McFarland–not directly but through the experiences of Ella McFarland. Addie makes a cameo appearance at the end of the story, and then she plays a significant, albeit not a leading role, in Book 2: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen.

Addie was orphaned as an infant but was left an heiress to a fortune, part of which is Broaview, her grand Oklahoma estate on the banks of Rock Creek. She’s generous to a fault and an opera singer who is renowned in Europe. She has given up the opera stage to bring Lily to adulthood and finds herself free to pursue her calling when in 1914, Lily graduates from college and the Great War breaks out in Europe.

Then The Awakening of Miss Adelaide unfolds in 1918. Where will the war lead Addie? What will become of her opera career? Will love finally find her? Or has her time passed her by on all fronts?

Emmeline Ashbury

Perky Emmeline Ashbury hails from Washington, D.C. Modeled after the real suffragist, Dora Lewis, Emmeline befriends Adelaide in Washington, D.C. In the process, she demonstrates real-life concern for the city’s underprivileged. Always attired in powder blue, the energetic octogenarian introduces Aadelaide to the urban neighborhood center she built for poverty-stricken children and their mothers. One of the women of Rock Creek in spirit, Emmy serves as a model and inspiration to Adelaide.

Eleanor Brackenridge

Photo retrieved from Texas State Historical Association https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbr04

A true character from San Antonio Texas history, Eleanor Brackenridge plays a pivotal, albeit imaginary, role in The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. The real Miss Brackenridge lived as the quintessential strong, leading lady: businesswoman, suffragist, women’s and children’s advocate, and supporter of higher education for women. A true heroine, Miss Brackenridge steps into imaginary shoes alongside Miss Adelaide in this story set in 1918-1919.

P.S. I’ll be giving away a print or digital copy (winner’s choice) of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide on each of the two remaining dates–July 31 and August 14–so be sure to join the conversation.

 

4 thoughts on “The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part Four

  1. Debbey Cozzone

    Looking forward to reading The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. Love your use of female heroines as models for the characters in your book. Anything with history intrigues me.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Debbey. You and I are birds of a feather–finding history intriguing. Thank you for stopping by.

       
       
  2. Three role models for women created in each of the three novels. Each of your characters face such unique situations. Looking forward to reading The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels and have shared my personal copies with several friends.

     
     
    1. Hi, Jane. Great–as always–to see you in the group. You always encourage me. Thank you.

       
       

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The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part Three

Welcome, everyone

Miss Adelaide. I loved crawling into this character’s skin and getting to know her in the 1918-1919 time period.

As a historical novelist, I find research to be my favorite part of writing. You see, I lose myself in it. Completely.

But then, ceating the characters comes in a close second to research. I love taking a blank slate in hand and deciding how characters look and behave. What they value and despise. And what personality traits they possess.


In addition, creating the setting is pretty awesome. Ever wonder what it would be like to live in 1918? Or wake up in an Italian villa? How about standing alongside suffragists on a cold January morning in 1919?

So come along with me into The Awakening of Miss Adelaide for a taste of those experiences . . .

The Characters

women's rights

The Women of Rock Creek series is composed of novels and novellas. These stories focus on each of the audacious females who hail from Needham, Oklahoma in the first two decades of the twentieth century. They begin with Ella McFarland. And extend through Lillian Cathleen Sloat and Adelaide Fitzgerald. Later stories will highlight Ella’s girls–Amaryllis, Blossom, Camellia, Dahlia, Ebony, and Julia Jane Evans. Readers travel with the feisty women from Oklahoma to Fort Worth, Italy, Washington, D.C., and deep South Texas. Subsequently, their adventures pull readers along with them on horseback, in buggies, wagons, automobiles, trams, trains, and even on a transatlantic passenger ship.

And then there are the women’s love interests! What a bevy of beautiful, brawny men. Hey, if you’re going to pick up a piece of chalk and a blank slate, why not create gorgeous hunks?

Miss Adelaide
Add crystal blue eyes, and this is Andrew Evans, Ella’s love.
Miss Adelaide
Lillian Cathleen’s Cade McFarland in the flesh.
Miss Adelaide
Add ten years, and this is Adelaide’s Texas rancher, Brady Duvall.

For now, let’s examine the character Adelaide. Who is she? What does she value? And what are her strengths and struggles?

Miss Adelaide Herself

Adelaide Fitzgerald. Retrieved from https://binged.it/2HBl1ge

From the beginning, Myrna Loy of Old Hollywood fame was my idea of a perfect Miss Adelaide Fitzgerald. This quintessential historical heroine has it all: beauty, wealth, prestige, talent, and the adoration of audiences from America to Europe. She’s an introvert who finds performing on the opera stage to be exhilarating but exhausting. Consequently, she enjoys getting away from the hullabaloo to her villa in the Maremma hills of Tuscany, Italy.

Opera performances slackened during the Great War, but Miss Adelaide found plenty to keep her busy at the villa. A working ranch, the estate raised prize-winning Maremmana cattle and horses. It provided the perfect setting for the covert activities Adelaide was involved in during the war: transmitting coded messages. Doing so fulfilled Adelaide’s need to contribute to the greater good.

Speaking of which, Miss Adelaide was orphaned as an infant but was left an outrageously wealthy heiress. Also, she is a gifted opera singer and a philanthropist. Her antennae are always searching for someone in need. From along the banks of Rock Creek back home in Oklahoma to the hillsides of Tuscany, big-hearted Adelaide has earned her reputation as Angel of the Opera.

Luciana Martino, Servant and Friend of Miss Adelaide

Miss Adelaide
Luciana Martino

The quintessential devoted servant, Luciana Martino stands by Miss Adelaide through years of triumphs and tragedies. She’s the sort of woman you want to run to when you hurt. And when you celebrate. Miss Adelaide owes Luci a great debt.

Eleanor Brackenridge, Mentor and Friend to Miss Adelaide

Miss Adelaide
Handbook of Texas Online: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbr04

Eleanor Brackenridge, a true-life, famous character, once lived and breathed in San Antonio. A giant among famous Texan women, she served on the board of regents of Texas Woman’s University. In addition, she led the Texas suffrage and temperance organizations. And she co-founded the San Antonio Woman’s Club. Miss Brackenridge served as the director of the San Antonio National Bank and the San Antonio Loan and Trust. Also, she was the vice-president of the San Antonio Health Protection Association, which was formed to combat tuberculosis in the city. 

A storyline that extends into San Antonio, Texas and involves women HAD to include Eleanor Brackenridge. She was the essence of Texas womanhood.

Wrap-Up & Giveaway

The characters in this fast-paced story are numerous and varied. They endure the ravages of the Great War and Spanish Influenza. They ranch in Tuscany, Italy and South Texas. Spy during the Great War. They march as D.C. suffragists in demonstrations for the vote–and find themselves in prison. Endure unjust commitments to mental institutions. And fight for the underprivileged and mistreated. They allow nothing to stop them. So hang onto your hats!

Meanwhile, I’ll draw a name from among those who join our chat. A winner this and in subsequent weeks will receive a print or digital copy of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide–winner’s choice–on July 17 & 31 and August 14–so be sure to join the conversations.

Miss Adelaide

P.S. The winner of the drawing is Stacy Simmons! Congratulations, Stacy, and thank you for joining in.

6 thoughts on “The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part Three

  1. Stacy Simmons

    Hi Linda, I love how you tie history into your beautiful novels. Your newest novel sounds wonderful and each of your book covers are gorgeous. Have a blessed weekend.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Stacy. You’re such a dear.

       
       
  2. Alicia Haney

    Wow, you books sound intriguing! I love the covers they are Beautiful. Thank you for describing the characters and telling us a little about the books, really makes me want to read them! I will be adding them to my TBR list for sure! God Bless you.

     
     
    1. Hi, Alicia. Your comments encourage me, lift my spirits! Thank you. I hope you get to read all of them. They surely do have my heart in them.

       
       
  3. Perrianne Askew

    I’m interested in Eleanor Brackenridge. We used to have a hospital named Brackenridge here in Austin and we are fairly close to San Antonio (1 1/2 hours or so). I wonder if it was named for one of her family members? I’ll have to look it up.

     
     
    1. Eleanor Brackenridge was amazing. She was the first director of a savings and loan/bank and a college and was on all sorts of boards and committees having to do with education. A real philanthropist. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hospital was named for her.

       
       

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