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
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 featured book.
A Spinster on the run from a trumped-up robbery charge finds a position as a Placer Agent on The Orphan Train leaving
York for Cincinnati.
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 SERIES
New York City
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
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.
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 marry him.
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
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 wood.
Among the harsh tones and loud voices, she recognized Mr. Brockner’s.
“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 prosecuted.”
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 direction.
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:
Visit with Anne at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com, www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor, @TheAnneGreene, on Pinterest at The Anne Greene, on Book Fun Magazine at www.bookfun.org/profileAnneGreene, and at www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.
And readers can find my books by clicking on the links below:
Thank you so much,
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.
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