Introducing a new look to MissSissinghurst.com!
As of March 25th, 2018 we have changed our site to Vintage House Publications due to the publishing of my first novel Proper Mourning: A Legend’s Tale. It is my debut novel and until June 21st it will only be sold on Amazon.com. I’m looking to get some more reviews of my work on either Goodreads.com or Amazon. So please consider downloading it. It’s free for kindle unlimited users!! Or $1.99 for everyone else and $11.95 for paperback. Here’s a chapter teaser for you…
“Lily, you must remember Robert Pickett?” Dr. Dunoway asked, ironically.
Lily blushed. Robert brought her hand to his lips. Those lips which once kissed her cheek, that had traveled many miles away for many years, seemed farther away now than they had ever been. She immediately felt how estranged they were.
All eyes were on them and although she looked quite composed on the outside; inside, her heart was pounding uncontrollably, and she had a sudden fear it could be heard by every ear in the room.
“Robert,” she greeted him, looking him over.
He towered above her, much taller now. His auburn hair, wavy and a little disheveled from his hat, was worn in a short neat cut. He wore his blue suit well, and it made the shade of his hair and his big brown eyes wonderfully prominent. Indeed, he had grown into a beautiful man.
“My goodness, you’ve gotten tall!” It was all she could think to say, a repetition of Aggie’s earlier comment. She must have unknowingly filed it away for her own ready-made greeting, knowing full well she was too nervous to invent something of her own.
He seemed so sophisticated in his suit, and his manner was evidence of his high society breeding. She was certain city life had transformed him into a stranger. She had the urge to leave the room to check her reflection again and compose herself, but her feet remained plastered on the pinewood floor.
Danny stood there simply observing this reunion. Lily could usually read him, but his expression was blank. He was busy with thoughts of his own affair. An observing look was stretched on his face, though his eyes were dazed as if he were looking through her.
Aggie had fried the fish and served cold potatoes with fresh baked bread and wine. They drank and talked. Mr. Pickett discussed the city and why they had come back, explaining it had to do with a business deal he was working on. To his luck, no one asked him to elaborate on this discussion because Mrs. Pickett had derailed the party’s attention by asking for another glass of wine. She had sat silently by her husband’s side, sipping her glass empty. She looked content enough, but when Mr. Pickett spoke, Lily observed a certain look of disgust and exhaustion on the woman’s face.
Although his father seemed quite irritable and his mother quite unhappy, Lily had always remembered Robert having a natural light about him, like an internal happiness and joy his parents did not possess. He carried with him an enjoyment of life and a jolly look in his eye. She remembered him that way: happy, self-aware, and observant.
However, Lily didn’t understand the way he looked at her now, like he was about to tease her any moment. With a smug, pinched face, he looked to be mocking her. Perhaps she was misreading him? Too much time had passed. She had lost sight of him, and their past closeness had become misconstrued by distance and change. He seemed unfamiliar to her now.
Robert stared at Lily during dinner much of the time. She tried her best not to look in his direction, but there was a moment he caught her eye. She felt the flip-flopping feeling in her gut once more as his look hinted of a longing, of a deeper knowledge of the human condition – of her condition. He looked as though he had many secrets he needed to tell her and keep from her all at once. A thousand words could have been used to translate the thoughts roaming in both their minds, but for Lily, all thought was overshadowed as she counted the miles between them.
-END OF TEASER
Proper Mourning is a literary examination of grief, love, slavery, and freedom. Set during the American Civil War, horseback riding, trouser-wearing country girl, Lily Dunoway, is strong-willed and eccentric with her best friend, Robert Pickett, by her side. The two have a happy childhood together, riding horses and playing at their spot by the Stony River. When Robert suddenly moves away, Lily fears she will never recover from the loss, but then she meets Danny, an orphan from Scotland. He and Lily soon develop a deep friendship and as they grow up together, eventually love. It seems Lily has forgotten Robert, but when he returns, hoping to win her heart again, Lily finds herself making compromises which are both painful and triumphant amidst the raging egos of men.
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