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

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:

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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The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part One

Welcome, everyone.

Awakening Miss Adelaide is set to release on July 9th. This story begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up brim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders.

Awakening Miss Adelaide
My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest.

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Joe, Wilson, and Sam Brooks, circa 1917

This dear lady was born in Sebastian County, Arkansas in 1870. She married and bore four children. Her eldest daughter, my grandmother, married in Hall County, Texas in 1911. Her grandson, my father, entered the world in 1914.

Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork?

Mysterious Memories

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Grandmother Ona Mae Brooks

Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself. All we know certainly is that her eldest child, my grandmother (photo, left), assumed the role of “woman of the house” at eleven years of age. She prepared meals and kept the house and tended three younger siblings. 

Due to a paucity of records, photos, and other documentation, mystery veils Great-grandmother’s growing-up years. We know only that she and her husband married and lived in Indian Territory and Wise County, Texas from 1888 to 1900.

Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose her last name to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life.

Precious Memories

Over forty-eight years of commitment, Great-grandmother wrote a handful of letters to her daughter. I am the keeper of those treasures, along with two items of handwork–a baby dress she sewed by hand in 1914 for her grandson, my father; and a table doily in 1920.

Awakening Miss Adelaide

Awakening Miss Adelaide

Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with my family history and some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented me an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of certain unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care. 

Awakening Miss Adelaide
herefore, with an abundance of love and respect for Great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all. 

I offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He pleases. May this story based on the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load by highlighting the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Awakening Miss Adelaide
Book 3, The Women of Rock Creek

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the Great War–and the Great Influenza–knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from her quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

How to Reach Me and My Books

The Women of Rock Creek series

Book 1: The Calling of Ella McFarland

Christmas Novella Collection 

Book 2: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

Book 3; The Awakening of Miss Adelaide








I’m offering a print or digital (winner’s choice) copy of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide every two weeks during the 5-Part series on Adelaide. Just comment, and your name goes into the hat. Drawing dates: June 19; July 3, 17, & 31; August 14.

~ ~ ~

Lord, I pray the words I’ve written on the pages of this novel will bless others in ways I can’t imagine. ~ For Jesus’ sake

28 thoughts on “The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: Part One

  1. Sweet, kind Linda, I can only imagine (that’s likely my favorite song. Our youngest son, Jonathan, sang it at my father-in-law’s memorial service), how wonderful your soon-releasing book will be. Having read and enjoyed “Ella”, I will look forward to being drawn in to where I don’t want to put the book down. It sounds wonderful. Knowing you want our Lord God to bless your offering, blesses my heart, as I’m sure He does yours. Much success, my friend!

    1. Hi, Jane. So wonderful to see you in our circle. Your comments always encourage me so. God bless you.

  2. Deanne Patterson

    It’s beautiful to see you are keeping your family history alive by your writing and pictures. I love to tour old houses and see the objects the family used in their daily life and imagine how their daily life would be. I can’t wait to read your book bringing your family’s history alive.

    1. Hi, Deanne. It’s great to see you in the chat circle. I’m like you; I love family history stories. I have a slew of them 🙂 Looking forward to your reading Adelaide’s story. God bless!

  3. Suzanne Sellner

    What a fascinating story with reality prompting it! I look forward to reading The Awakening of Miss Adelaide.

    1. Hi, Suzanne. Welcome to the gathering! Your comments encourage me. Thank you ever so much. God bless!

  4. Judi

    I love the history of your great grandma. I cannot wait for this book! Have already told my husband when the book comes out don’t bother me I’m reading an amazing book.

    1. Oh my! I love your comments, Judi! You sound like me. Turn out the world and let me be. 🙂 God bless you!

  5. Cecilia C Garcia

    Can’t wait for july 9. I throughly enjoyed reading The Calling of Ella McFarland and The Mending of Lillian Catheleen. In fact, I could not put them down when I stated reading. Feel like I know Adelaide already and excited to read about her adventures. Really thrilled to know the author and to have experienced the same stromping ground which was good old Raymondville.

    1. Hi, Cecilia. Go, Bearkats! Go! Great to have you join the circle. You made me smile. I hope you enjoy Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

    2. Paty Hinojosa

      Omg! What a story about your great grandmother! I love to hear about my or other people’s ancestors life. And reading a story based on true characters is my favorite pastime!
      Your new book sounds awesome! I’d really love to read it! Knowing it is based on true characters makes it more relatable and special!
      I just purchased The Calling of Ella McFarland by the way! The cover and blurb of your books are awesome. I’m sure you will be a new favorite author soon!

      1. Welcome to our circle, Paty! Your comments encouraged me so. Thank you. I hope you love Ella’s story. She started it all 🙂 I hope you’ll come back. God bless!

  6. Linda, I am so intrigued by your subject matter in this book. You are so accomplished at telling your family’s stories. I have loved the first two and am looking forward to this one. The cedar chest pulls at my heartstrings, as I can visualize the contents. Also, did you know that many ladies were classified as insane when they were suffering from hormone imbalances such as post partumn blues and menopause? They said they were suffering from a case of nerves. Keep writing these great stories.

    1. Hi, Jane. It’s wonderful to know you’re in the circle, my friend. How women in general were treated was very sad–and sometimes criminal. Thank you for participating in the chat and encouraging me so. God bless you!

  7. Teresa Brooks

    Can’t wait to read this latest book, Linda! So proud of you! May God use it to touch hearts and show His love! You and your writing remain in my heart and prayers!💗

    1. How wonderful to see you in the circle, Teresa! I count on your prayers every day. Love you lots!

      1. Elma Brooks

        Love reading about your memories .Would love to read this book sounds adventurous. Thank you.

        1. Love your last name, Elma! 🙂 Welcome to the circle. I hope you get to read Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

  8. Diane Buie

    Linda, I have a feeling that your newest book, due in July, will surely make us all cry! ( I did not mean for that to rhyme). 🙂 Just considering the time period in which you are writing and the subject matter; disabilities (seen & unseen), is a theme I am drawn to as you are. I admire your ability to tackle such a topic and despite the pain that is obvious to be in store for readers, you and will also give us a hope only God can provide. Thanks for the chance to enter.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Diane. You encouraged me so! I hope you love Adelaide’s story. God bless you!

  9. Melissa Andres

    Wow! What a heartbreaking story. I wish we could know what was really happening. I’m really looking forward to reading Adelaide’s story!

    1. Hi, Melissa. So good to have you in the circle. Thank you for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m excited to share it July 9. You encouraged me today.

  10. Alison Boss

    The story about your great grand mother broke my heart. I wonder what really happened? I think it is wonderful that out of her tragedy you have created the story of The Awakening of Miss Adelaide! It sounds so intriguing and I look forward to reading it!! Thank your for this post, Linda!

    1. Her story truly is heartbreaking, Alison. The letters she wrote her family are real heartbreakers. Thanks for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m so excited to share it July 9!

  11. Looking forward to reading this story. Looks very interesting.

    1. Welcome to the circle, Melissa. Thank you for expressing an interest in Adelaide’s story. You encourage me.

  12. I love reading your posts, Linda! Can’t wait to read Adelaide’s story!

    1. Hi, Gail! So great to see you in the circle! Thanks for your interest in Adelaide’s story. I’m excited to share it July 9.


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