A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton quickly draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Mr. Daggers.
Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar Daggers is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Meanwhile a special talent of Penelope’s makes her the ideal candidate for a paying job in the Suffrage Movement.
During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love.
Targeted Age Group:: 21-91 years old
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have a box of letters from my ancestors, who can be found on both sides of the Civil War. I also have photographs of these folks from my family. I was inspired by their stories, and thought thematically, it might be fun to explore the dark side of Industrialization. Specifically, I have always been drawn to Henry James and Edith Wharton, but felt that for a modern reader, the language should be more accessible.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Some of my characters, like Penelope's sidekick, Verdana Jones just came to me, wholly formed, living and breathing. Other characters, like Penelope's friend, Stone Aldrich, I rewrote and revised over and over until he felt authentic. As a general rule, I immersed myself in the time period, going to historic houses, historical reenactments, and reading heavily.
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