Autumn Lady and the Gilded Age



Hello, readers!

I was thinking about you while feeding my chickens this morning. Does that sound strange? I hope not. You see, I get some of my best ideas hanging out at my vegan farm, Sock Monkey Ranch.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted. Life is a balancing act of spending time with family and friends, caring for the animals, and reading and writing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Yet, it can be challenging covering everything day-to-day.



It dawned on me this morning that I need to add smaller doses of my favorite things. So, I’ve decided to write my blog posts more frequently. Each of my subjects will be broken down weekly. I’m going to start with my latest novel, Autumn Lady. It’s a historical romance set in 1870. I’m including a synopsis of the story below.


Some of the topics discussed will include: Gilded Age, Painted Ladies, the Barbary Coast, Bare-Knuckle Boxing, and Ireland’s Great Hunger.  I hope you enjoy these short articles. So, let’s get started!



Autumn Lady Synopsis:

Mara McClain is a young Irish immigrant looking to begin anew in Victorian-era San Francisco, after the California Gold Rush. She struggles for both love and independence, as a budding businesswoman in a male-dominated society.

Set amid the fascinating backdrop of San Francisco’s Golden Age, Autumn Lady draws from an eclectic cast of characters, both historical and original. It’s an idiosyncratic journey through the highs and lows, ballrooms and back rooms, alleys and the promenades, and the enchantment and viciousness, of an American city on the brink of a new era.

Autumn Lady is not just the story of Mara McClain, it is the story of both a woman and a city coming of age in one of America’s most exciting historical periods.


Autumn Lady is available in both Ebook and paperback editions. I’ve included links to purchase and review. My novel is also signed up with NetGalley and Booksprout for the month of July, 2018. You can download a free copy in exchange for an honest review. A review is the greatest gift you can give to an author. It’s truly our life’s blood!

I hope you enjoy the story. I’m looking forward to sharing more blog articles this year. Hope you have a happy weekend, readers. 🙂 Don’t forget to grab a good book!

Here’s a little teaser from Autumn Lady!


“Her eyes focused intently on her stitches, skilled fingers working the needle, moving rapidly over the cloth. An image of a cottage emerged within the colorful threads. Seven days had passed since her departure from Philadelphia. The train chugged forward, mile after mile it traveled, leaving behind the comforts of home. A sudden bump on the tracks made her pitch occasionally forward. She braced
herself, clutching the arms on the leather seat. Just focus on your sewing, listen to the rain. Hail pummeled the window in violent sheets. The train car jostled from side to side, teetering on its tracks. Steamy swirls of mist floated by the glass. She let out a deep sigh. Echoes of the past surfaced in her mind. Her mother lying in a pink, satin lined casket. Plump, little hands clasped her beloved Rosary. No longer would she count the prayer beads, patiently reciting Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers. Mara’s chest tightened at the thought. The embroidery blurred as hot tears stung her eyes. She tried to blink them back. One drop escaped and rolled down her rosy cheek. She brushed it away like an annoying insect. Crying was useless. She had to stay in control. The train would soon arrive in Oakland.

Her inheritance would hold her over for a few months, she planned to invest most of her money into her business. Mara had reached out by letter to various rental homes in San Francisco. She’d been corresponding with a Mrs. Sarah Levy, a widow who owned a well-known boarding house in
the city. The room was described as modest but affordable. Mara did not require much, only a clean space for a bed, a window to write by, and a safe haven. The matron would provide meals. It was a leap of faith. She knew it. Opening an art gallery was a gamble. Would she find customers? She needed to procure a variety of artworks. So much was at stake. She’d reached out to
dozens of art patrons over the past several months. There were few responses. Would anyone be interested in her gallery?
She would have to wait and see. Hopefully, she would figure it all out before her money ran out. Failure was not an option. She tried to push her worries to the back of her mind. Just take it one day at a time. The train whistle shrieked as it rolled towards Oakland Depot.”



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