The Forgotten Debutante
by Becky Lower
In 1863, fifteen-year-old Saffron Fitzpatrick, along with the rest of the country, is war-weary. Her entire teenage years have been spent mourning the dead and following the battles, instead of dancing at her debutante ball.
Ezekial Boone ran away with his older brothers when he was just thirteen to join the fighting, thinking it would be great fun. When his four brothers died during the intense fighting in Chancellorsville, he decided it was time to return home.
These two souls come together for a brief moment when Saffron helps Ezekial on his way from the battlefield to the farm. They share a kiss, a first for both of them, and a fond memory.
Fate brings them together once more, three years after their first encounter. They find they have more in common than a wild ride through the city and begin to build a relationship.
Even though the war is over and people are tired of fighting and death, Saffron and Zeke may not be able to find their happy-ever-after, especially if an older protective brother and the Army have anything to say about it.
Where to buy the book:
Amazon page: http://amzn.to/1FOy3Sd
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1V0b11r
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1V0b11r
About the Author:
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America. Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at email@example.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com
New York City
July 15, 1863
Releasing a shallow breath, Saffron Fitzpatrick glided down the stairs on slippered feet, avoiding the creaky spots with unerring accuracy from years of practice. She surveyed the hallway and let out the rest of the air from her lungs. All the servants were still in the basement, preparing the noonday meal. If she hurried, she could escape the house undetected. She ran to the back door, her curls bouncing around her head, and let herself out into the yard.
Heart pounding, she stood, back up against the door, and listened. No frantic footsteps from inside the house meant her break to freedom had gone unnoticed so far.
After two days of being housebound due to the draft riots, Saffron had tired of heeding her father’s warnings to stay indoors. Even though his motives were sound and he was only trying to protect her from the roaming mobs, she would surely perish from boredom if she spent one more moment inside. Although her intent to breathe some fresh air was dashed, because the city was foul with smoke from the fires being set around town, she still cherished the freedom of being outdoors. Her skin erupted in goosebumps at her boldness. She cringed back against the door as the distant shouts came closer.
But she had a mission: she needed to see Biscuit. She could certainly get from the family brownstone to the carriage house in their backyard without running into any of the rioters, couldn’t she? Talking to a horse beat staring at her bedroom ceiling. Or reading another boring book. Her intent clear, she pushed herself away from the door and ran to the small building.
She opened the door to the carriage house. Diffused lighting came through the windows near the roofline and the cool air was filled with a familiar, comfortable combination of hay, horse dung, and leather. Saffron inhaled the scents as she waited for her eyes to become accustomed to the subdued light. Biscuit nickered a nervous greeting. She tiptoed across the brick floor toward Biscuit’s stall.
And came to an abrupt halt.
The apples, which Saffron kept in a bucket to dole out to the horse, were all gone. As were the carrots. Someone had been in the carriage house, and possibly still was. Perhaps one of the marauders had scaled the stone wall surrounding their backyard, and came in here to set the carriage house on fire. But why would he have removed all the produce first? Her heart began to beat erratically, and her hand went to her throat.
She backed toward the door, hoping if she were quiet, whoever was or had been in the carriage house would not notice her. She’d go back to the house and sound an alarm. Then, armed with the servants, she could return and confront whoever was here. But Biscuit nickered again. If someone was intent on setting fire to the carriage house, Saffron needed to take her horse into the yard first, then call for the servants. She picked up a hayfork and made her way forward, her slippers not making a sound as they moved over the floor. She opened the door to the stall and found what was upsetting her horse, and the answer to why all the good treats were gone. A Union soldier was asleep in the hay next to Biscuit. Lord in merciful heaven! Of all things!