Treat yourself to the gift of romance this Valentine’s Day! ❤️📚☕️
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.
“His eyes flickered with a touch of mischief. He chuckled softly, “Yes. That’s right, darlin’.”
Dimples surfaced around his mouth as he smiled. “Miss McClain, I happen to be very familiar with that side of town.”
Mara was not sure why this was so amusing. She looked up at his face. His skin was quite fair in contrast to his dark hair. Thick, black lashes framed vibrant brown eyes, flecks of gold radiating around the pupils. The color was intense, mysterious. She wanted to keep looking, but thought it rude to stare. Instead, she turned way, studying the street, searching for another carriage.”
Photograph: 1870 San Francisco- California Street
“The horses moved in unison, blowing vapors of steam into the cold night air. A black gelding trotted on the left side, while a petite sorrel mare pulled on the right. They both appeared underweight, their ribs jutting painfully beneath glistening coats. Their heads were held rigidly by bearing reins, locked in a severe upright angle. They headed east, eventually making their way down Kearny Street. Mara looked out her carriage window.
Loud, celebratory voices echoed from the open doors, passing saloons and gambling houses. The air was heavy with cigar smoke and perfume. A team of horses crossed their path, and they stopped momentarily in front of a two-story building covered in bright pink paint. A large sign outside read, Lola’s Ladies. Scantily clad women paced the building’s balcony, waving and throwing kisses to the eager men below. A dark haired woman leaned over the railing, bending seductively to show off her well endowed figure.
She dropped a pink silk handkerchief over the balcony. It drifted lazily down toward the sidewalk. Two young men rushed for it, fighting over the treasure. The taller of the two caught the linen, but his companion snatched it out of his hand and he made his way inside the pink hotel.”
Painted Ladies of San Francisco
I hope you enjoyed today’s trip to the Barbary Coast. You can discover more of Mara McClain’s adventures by clicking the link below. Happy reading!