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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Let’s Chat! All About Mending

Welcome, everyone!


M
ending. My mother honed this household task to a fine point in my youth—the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Nowadays, rips, tears, lost buttons, and worn spots often deem given clothing unworthy of wear. And relegate it to the giveaway bin or rag basket.

Mother adopted a different position. With “a little mending,” she judged most tattered clothing worthy of wear. Her mending basket was bottomless.

She learned frugality during the Great Depression. She could claim only two dresses as her own, one for Sunday morning/Wednesday night and the other for every other day. Understandably, she never strayed far from a needle and thread.

mending_Linda Brooks Davis_Lillian Cathleen
W
hen I think of Mother, I see her at the sewing machine or beside a lamp with handwork. Got a worn spot on a pair of jeans? No problem. Just sew on a patch. (Not today’s easy-peasy iron-on version but an actual scrap of fabric.) A rip in a seam? All it requires is a stitch or two. Or hand-me-downs that drag the floor or hike in the back? Just hand Mother a pincushion, needle, and thread. And prepare yourself for getting “a little more wear” out of your “new” . . . whatever.

The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

mending_Linda Brooks Davis_Lillian Cathleen
M
other’s propensity for mending brings to mind a very special young lady, Lily. She’s a secondary character in The Calling of Ella McFarlandBook 1 of my historical series, The Women of Rock Creek. In this 1905 story, she is an aubused 13-yr-old who by most anyone’s measure belongs on the trash heap. Or in a cotton field. Certainly not in women’s clubs. But not in Ella McFarland‘s eyes.

Nine years later, it’s 1914. Lily, our heroine of soon-to-be-released The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, is a 22-yr-old ready to take on the world—sort of. She’s received Ella’s attention and the generosity of Adelaide Fitzgerald, a wealthy neighbor with a heart bulging with generosity. But this former sharecropper’s daughter wonders where she belongs—truly.

Once destitute, battered, and ashamed, Lily asks, “Will my past forever define me?”  Finding the answer plunges her into quandaries, turmoil, and danger. I can’t wait for this story to release in October. Please stayed tuned for more about that.

Meanwhile, here’s a little background for the story . . .

Did You Know: The Mann Act of 1910
[Photo credit: Retrieve August 21, 2018 from http://bit.ly/2w8PBsO]

A historical writer like me soon realizes research isn’t an option. It’s a requirement. Thankfully, I love history. In fact, I often wander into the past when I should be bringing the past into the present as a part of my daily word count. 

The Mann Act of 1910—otherwise known as the White-Slave Traffic Act—represents one of the historical tidbits that fascinate me. Turmoil over the abduction of underage girls had reached such a fever pitch that Congress passed this law to control the heinous trafficking across state lines. 

Did You Know: The Suffrage Movement in 1914
mending_Linda Brooks Davis_Lillian Cathleen
(Photo Credit: Bettman/CORBIS) retrieved from http://bit.ly/2PwE52j August 22, 2018

The battle for equal rights for women would live or die in the ballot box. Actually, the struggle began way earlier than most of us realize. The first official gathering of women for the purpose of advancing “the Cause” was the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. 

Progress toward the vote for women waxed and waned over time. By the time Lily steps onto our stage in 1914, some states and territories have granted women the vote, but national elections are still denied them. And since there isn’t an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the vote, individual states can do as they please.

Did You Know: the Great War
Great War trenches. [Photo credit: Retrieved August 21, 2018 from http://bit.ly/2wkiukT]

Understandably, the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 forced other issues into the background and stalled the women’s cause somewhat. But plenty of the movement’s leaders worked behind the scenes, on street corners, and in front of the Capitol and the White House. In addition, women were filling the roles their husbands vacated to fight in Europe. Consequently, this development fostered the public’s acceptance of women in the workplace—and the ballot box.

So when the War ended in 1918, the stage was set for passage of the 19th Amendment a year later. This granted women unfettered access to the ballot box. When the amendment was ratified in 1920, a major mending job was complete. 

Back to Our Lily . . . and the Eternal Mender


I’
m excited to share Lily’s story in October. Writing it touched places in my heart I didn’t know existed. I was often reminded of Jesus reaching out to women. Like the woman caught in adultery. Or the ostracized Samaritan woman at the well. The women who wept and worshipped at his feet. And those whose devotion swept them into persecution and even death.

I sometimes think of the scene where He extended his hands to Thomas. Seeing and touching his scars was a transforming event that some say took the apostle to a gruesome death in India or elsewhere. We can’t be sure, but what we do know is his response was to fall to his knees declaring, “My Lord and my God.”

I was never deprived or destitute, battered or abused. But I possess mended places that once were broken, ripped, and torn—scars, all the same. So in response to Thomas’s worship and to Jesus’ offer to come to Him for rest and healing, I say, “Amen!”

P.S. I’m giving away a print copy of The Mending of Lillian Cathleen to someone who joins our chat. 

28 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! All About Mending

  1. Paula Shreckhise

    I would love to start this series. I have been sewing since I was 10. My Mother taught me on her Singer treadle machine. I try to mend or alter instead of throw out . But I have resorted to giving clothes away due to my aging midsection. I still sew for crafting projects at church and for the grandkids. You facts about history never fail to inform and intrigue me. Thanks!

     
     
    1. Welcome, Paula. Ella McFarland would pronounce you and me “cut from the same bolt of cloth.” 😊 Thank you for your faithful contributions to our gab sessions. I hope we can meet face to face one day. Bless you!

       
       
  2. Tabitha

    Congratulations on your new book. It seems we are all in need of ‘mending’ at some time or another. Thankfully our Lord and Savior is always there to lend a helping hand. I look forward to enjoying your books. God bless.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Tabitha, for joining the circle and for your kind comments. God bless.

       
       
  3. You have such a way with words. Though it’s fiction, your voice is so poetic. Lily’s story is a wonderful read, a beautiful tale that will definitely keep readers engaged! <3

     
     
    1. Thank you, Caryl. You are such a support and encourager to other authors. Love you, friend!

       
       
  4. Candace West Posey

    I haven’t read your books, but just reading about it makes me want to. I love these kinds of stories!

     
     
    1. Hi, Candace. Welcome to the gab session! It’s wonderful to “see” you here for the first time. I’m excited about re-releasing The Calling of Ella McFarland. And then releasing Novel #2 in the series—Lily’s story. I love the history, especially the eras in which my grandparents and parents lived. God bless you!

       
       
  5. Penny

    You’re an amazing story teller, Linda! You certainly grabbed my attention with the historical information and photo’s to match. I look forward to reading this book. God bless!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much, Penny. You’ve made my day!

       
       
  6. Susan Wallace

    Linda I haven’t read any of this series but I want to begin with The Calling of…
    Ella McFarland. Are the first 2 on Amazon? I enjoyed this historical information very much. Ordering The Calling of EllsMcFarland today. 🙏🏻👍😊

     
     
    1. Yay! At this point there’s Book 1, The Calling of Ella McFarland (1905). And its sequel, A Christmas to Remember (1908). Then A Christmas Measure of Love (1910), which is the prequel for the next full-length novel, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen (1914)—but it isn’t available until October. I’m also re-releasing Ella’s story with new cover and some added material in October. I love seeing you here on this blog, Susan! Love you!

       
       
  7. Marilyn

    Congratulations on your new book, Linda B. Davis.
    This history you shared was informative and interesting to read. I’m looking forward to reading Mending.
    I remember our mother Mending clothes and something I still do.
    Blessings upon your soon to be released book.

     
     
    1. I always love seeing your name in the list of commenters, Marilyn. Will we ever meet in person this side of Heaven? I hope so. Thank you so much for your faithful readership. God bless.

       
       
  8. Sue Giallombardo Walker

    Congrats my dear friend
    ( & Kojie sister) on your new book.. will order soon.. so happy for your success.. Hugs!!

     
     
    1. Thank you, precious long-time friend! It’s coming out in October, hopefully by the 15th. I’ll be sending up flares close to the exact date 🙂 so stay tuned.

       
       
  9. Melissa Andres

    Wow! Beautiful post…and such interesting history! I’m really looking forward to reading your new book. My daughter’s name is Lillian and we call her Lily, so that’ll be fun as well!

     
     
    1. Is that Lillian/Lily thing cool or what? Love it. Thanks for joining the circle, Melissa. I’ll be hollering (as Lily would say) the exact release date as soon as I know it. 🙂

       
       
  10. Congratulation Linda! I’m so excited to read the story! Hope, you are well.

     
     
    1. Thank you, my far-off, yet tucked-into-my-heart friend. Please let me know about your book … not that I can read German …

       
       
  11. Linda D. Davis

    I just love the history you share. It’s so fascinating, intriguing, and heart-wrenching. So much of me would love to have lived in those nostalgic centuries. I’m so thankful you share your incredible research ways with words. You are an amazing beautiful soul.

     
     
    1. Aww. Thank you, Cuz. You always lift me up. You have the gift of encouragement.

       
       
  12. So looking forward to this book. I could not put the first one down and know this one will be just as enthralling. God blessed you with a great talent. Thank you for continuing to write. This is a very timely subject matter.

     
     
    1. Thank you, my hometown friend. We share many of the same memories–of home, mothers, church, school. Your encouragement means so much.

       
       
  13. Pat

    This is so exciting, Linda! Lillian Cathleen is a heroine I’d love to know more about. Enjoyed your post.

     
     
    1. You’re such a faithful reader and commenter, Pat. You encourage me. Thank you.

       
       
  14. Stacy Simmons

    I’m excited to hear more about your forthcoming novel Linda. It sounds very good. Enjoyed the rest of your post too.

     
     
    1. Hi, Stacy. Welcome to the chat circle. I’m honored you accepted the invitation to this gab session.

       
       

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