Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sneak preview of "Riverbend"

A few weeks ago, I promised that you would meet Damaris, the heroine in my WIP, "Riverbend." I think the best way to do this is to let you read the first chapter, which introduces Damaris and her astonishingly brief courtship. Here's the link: Riverbend

I read the chapter to my writers' club last Sunday. I was nervous because we have some very talented writers. I wanted feedback and especially to know if they thought the chapter -- or the opening paragraphs -- were enough to draw the reader into the story.

I have lived with Damaris in my head for many years now. I tried to make her a secondary character in another novel, but she was too strong. She wanted to tell her own story ... oh, here she is now.

I read the chapter and hated it.

Hated it? Why?

It reminded me of that terrible day I was forced into that loveless marriage with Matthew Pope. I was only sixteen and didn't dare defy my Papa, but I soon wished I had. The only reason I obeyed is because I thought, as Mrs. Pope, I would be the mistress of a big plantation. 

Yes, Riverbend. But that didn't happen, did it.

No, my first discovery was that Riverbend already had a mistress, the slave Zoe. And she became my mortal enemy, although I was no threat to her until... (Shudders)

Was Zoe really a witch?

For awhile, I thought she had cast a spell on me, but I was able to overcome it. The other slaves certainly thought so. They hated her as much as I did.

What a terrible life you had, almost a captive on that farm, with only your son Matty for company.

(Smiles) It wasn't that bad. Both Zoe and Mr. Pope ignored me as worthless so I was free to do as I pleased. And I had Matty, until his father took a sudden interest in his education. That's when Simon came...

Ah, Simon. Wait--don't leave now!

I told you she was shy. There are some things she doesn't like to talk about, such as her elopement--a very dangerous step in that day and time, when a divorce was hard to obtain. She had to love Simon very much to give up her chances of ever seeing her son again.

Again, here's the link to the first chapter: Riverbend  Please let me know what you think. I welcome all comments.



  1. An interesting look at our history. Your heroine is self-possessed and intelligent, especially at her young age. I think you handled the dialogue quite well. Here's hoping Damaris has a happily ever after!

    1. She does, but only after trials and tribulations.

  2. I have been anxiously anticipating this book for a while. I can't wait to have a copy in my hot little hands. Excellent as always Sandy.

    1. Thank you. I still have some work to do on it.