Welcome back, Anne. How
did you come up with the idea for this story?
This story is included in the Orphan Train Series. My
Grandfather was on the orphan train years ago, so I became interested. He
landed in Cincinnati
where the train also ends in Keara’s Escape.
If you were planning
a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would
you invite and why?
I’d invite the three people in my critique group because I
have learned to love them, and we help each other make every book the very best
we can. I would also invite my mentor, Lena Dooley because she has helped me so
much along the way to publication and after as well. I would invite my helpful
agent, Joyce Hart, and I’d also like to invite each one of my editors to
express my thanks and appreciation for them.
Now let’s do that for
a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you
invite and why?
Since I write mostly historical fiction, I would invite the
same people I invited to the contemporary fiction party. Most of the historical
fiction authors I enjoy are long gone to be with their maker. I seldom get the
opportunity to read my favorite living historical fiction authors these days,
because most of my limited reading time I spend on research. However, I would
make this party a “come as your favorite character” party and ask each to dress
as their favorite historical character. I would dress as Scarlet O’Hara or Ann of Green Gables.
Many times, people
(and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What
is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
I’m having the most delightful time in my writing career
these days. I have four publishers and each of them looks for a different book
from me. So, I have no problem finding something to write. My biggest problem
is balancing my time so I can fulfill contracts in a timely manner. I am
usually working on a least two books at any one time. I’m so grateful to my
publishers and my readers who make my days so special.
Tell us about the
A Spinster on the run from a trumped-up robbery charge finds
a position as a Placer Agent on The Orphan Train leaving New
The Pinkerton Agent assigned to protect the train falls in
love with her, discovers her disguise, and must bring her to justice.
Will her skeptical, hurting heart accept his love? Will she
truly escape her past? Will the orphans under her care find loving homes at the
end of the line?
Please give us the
first page of the book.
THE ORPHAN TRAIN
Keara Keegan gathered the yards of deep blue velvet material
from the shelf of the small manufacturing company where she worked as a
seamstress. She held the soft folds of the plush fabric against her cheek.
Could she use the skills she’d learned at Ma’s knee back in Ulster well
enough to create a dress fit for the mayor’s wife?
Ma always said she could accomplish anything she set her
mind and heart to. Her throat clogged. How she missed her family. Living in America was so
different from what she’d expected. Different from what she’d been promised. So
different from the emerald hills of Ireland.
still felt alien and crowded. In the six months since she’d stepped off the
boat from her long voyage, she still understood little of the culture. The lost
and alone feeling still plagued her. Except when she lost herself in the joy of
She lifted her plain, brown cotton skirt and trotted into
the back room to the cutting boards. Working on this luxurious cloth would help
make up for the overtime hours Harry Brockner expected from her. She shivered.
Mr. Brockner was a beast. She folded the blue velvet into a
long double length and smoothed the shimmering fabric on the cutting board.
Other than his letting her keep the remnants of material from all the gowns
she’d sewn for Mr. Brockner, she’d found no other good in the hulking man. He
took every opportunity to hover over her, to place his large, rough hands on her
when he cornered her in the lunch room, even after she refused his demand to
As if she could! She detested Mr. Brockner’s merchant-fat
belly, his tall beaver hat, and his fancy clothes. She so yearned to throw his
elaborate cane down into the deepest well. She held in a scream each time he
tapped her on the shoulder with that nasty walking stick when he stood so that
his hot breath on her neck forced her to turn around.
She should search for a new place of employment, but with so
many other seamstresses fresh off arriving boats seeking jobs, there was no
other place available. Each day Mr. Brockner grew more difficult to evade. Even
the drunkest Irishman back in Ulster
had been easier to fend off.
She picked up the big shears.
Commotion in the front storeroom caused her to glance up.
She tiptoed to the intervening closed door and pressed her ear against the
Among the harsh tones and loud voices, she recognized Mr.
“Yes, Sergeant, the girl’s name is Keara.”
“And she stole what exactly?”
Keara stuffed her hand to her mouth to stifle her gasp.
“At first she only pilfered small items. Scraps of material,
thread, pins, and the like.”
“And?” The policeman’s gruff voice sounded impatient.
“Then I noticed small amounts of money missing.”
Keara’s heart plummeted. The wooden floor seemed to rise
beneath her ankle-high buttoned boots. She braced herself against the door.
“But yesterday, Keara stole a large amount of money from the
cash register. She took every dime and dollar. And I want her arrested and
No mistaking Mr. Brockner’s window-rattling voice. No. No.
She must think. Keara backed away from the door and her boots rooted to the
wide plank floor. How could Mr. Brockner accuse her of such nonsense?
“Now, Harry, everyone knows you’ve been pestering the girl
to marry you. Why don’t you just—.”
“I want her arrested and sent to prison. She stole over five
hundred dollars. And I want her to pay for every dime she stole. I’m a
respectable businessman and wield great influence in this part of New York. If you don’t
arrest her, I’ll go over your head.”
Footsteps shuffled in the front room and then headed in her
Not even stopping to think, Keara dropped the shears on the
nearest surface, and running on tiptoes toward the rear door, stopped only long
enough to grasp her reticule and shawl.
She burst out the back door, but closed the barred, wooden
door with the smallest click and ran down the darkening street. Her
boardinghouse was near, but Mr. Brockner knew where she lived. She gasped for
breath, her corset cutting off her air, but pressed on darting up the two
flights of steps and turning the knob to her room. She glanced around the tiny
living/kitchen area, but saw nothing she owned. In her bedroom she pulled open
drawers and stuffed her meager portion of clothes into her hand luggage. She
couldn’t leave the precious scraps of cloth Mr. Brockner had given her, so
stuffed them into her luggage bag as well.
Glancing around the tiny room with its single bed and bare
floor she mentally inventoried her possessions. Had she packed them all? Were
those heavy footsteps on the front stairs? She couldn’t linger. She rushed out
her door, closing it gently, and tiptoed for the back stairs.
If she were arrested she would be at Mr. Brockner’s mercy.
She had no way to prove her innocence. No person to turn to. She had no choice.
She must flee.
How can readers find
you on the Internet?
I love to hear from my readers. They can find me at:
And readers can find my books by clicking on the links
Thank you so much, Lena
for this opportunity to talk with readers. As ever you are an inspiration.
Thank you, Anne, for
sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it.
leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow
these instructions to be in the drawing.
Please tell us where you live, at
least the state or territory or country if outside North
. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the
number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of
eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any
pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on
this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You
will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz,
Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave
your comment if you want to be included in the drawing.
Here’s a link: