There’s a new novel coming from Ida Flowers, the sequel to The Bairn of Brianag , which one or two of my readers (well, okay, maybe only my sister) may have read.
The new book is the story of August, the calm, serene, and sympathetic member of the Briang group of friends; you remember her, right? the one who steadfastly supported Jessie through her trials in The Bairn, even when she had no idea what was really going on in Jessie’s life much of the time.
Like many young women, past and present, August believes that she can save you from yourself.
When she sees Richard Wheeler for the first time, from across the room at the Harvest Ball at Brianag, the first thing she notices about him is his sadness. Soon she learns that he has recently lost his wife and infant child. Her heart goes out to him the way it does for hungry dogs and abused slaves. But when, a few days later, her father tells her that he has arranged for her to marry Mr. Wheeler, her feelings of sympathy are turned upside down as she is propelled into a swirl of emotions that she has never before experienced first-hand.
August is a girl who doesn’t really hope for nor expect much more from her life than what she already has. She loves her parents and her home and her horse and friends–in fact, her world is very small, and she is content with it. But when Richard Wheeler enters her life, she begins to understand why Jessie behaves the way she does sometimes, and begins to shock herself with her own behavior.
The books in the Brianag series (there are three; Cathy’s story will come last, although it takes place before Jessie and Robbie’s adventures, so it will be a prequel) take place in Colonial South Carolina and are inspired by my research into the American Colonial era and also the origins of my own family tree, which, for the most part, are Appalachian. It seems that I have always known that “bairn” means “baby” and “lass” means girl, but if you get to wondering, well, that’s why you’ll see little snatches of Scots and Gaelic in the dialog of these stories: because there was–and is–a strong Scots-Irish influence in Appalachian culture, and although it came mostly after the colonies were liberated from British rule, I have taken the liberty in these stories of sending a few Scots over from the mother country a little early.
Here’s an excerpt Excerpt.1 from August’s story. Let me know if it sets you on fire (or not). I welcome honest feedback. Meanwhile, I’m working on revisions and hope to have The Fires of August ready for Amazon by Christmas.