Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas weekend too. I wanted to mention that I’m getting the book Mail Order Bride Verity finished up and edited. It is the fifth book in the series, but they can be read in any order and don’t require reading other ones. But, if you’ve read Mail Order Husband Frank, I want you to know that Charlotte (the woman that is Frank’s sweetheart) is the cousin of Verity. So, you’ll get to read about her as well as a few others from past books (but again, I want to emphasize, this book is a standalone novella and doesn’t require a knowledge of the other ones).
Verity is a teacher at a girls’ academy, but finds out that she is going to be replaced by a woman from England with a stronger background in other languages and French literature. Although, the academy will not be firing Verity, she will have to teach instead composition and the mechanics of writing. She is unhappy about this change and coincidentally received a letter from Charlotte on the day she found out this news. Here’s the beginning of the first chapter and I will be announcing both on this blog and the newsletter when the book is published on Amazon. You can sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page to be notified as well as find out about updates and specials. You an also always write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to say hello! To read the beginning click
Beginning of First Chapter- Mail Order Bride Verity by Rose Jenster
Verity Kemp smoothed an imaginary wrinkle from her perfectly pressed collar and eyed her reflection critically. It was not out of vanity, although Verity was quite pretty, but out of a natural care that she took with everything. Not a single strand of her dark hair was out of place. It was drawn back smoothly into a tidy bun.
Despite the plainness of her dress—a pale gray dress with only the addition of a white lace collar to ornament its simplicity—she looked attractive. There was a bloom to the curve of her cheek and her blue eyes were alert and missed nothing. Still, she looked at herself almost sharply in the mirror. She had, after all, been summoned by the headmistress of Vaughn Academy and wanted to be above reproach in every particular.
Verity had been teaching literature at Vaughn, an elite boarding school designed to turn the daughters of prosperous families into fine young ladies with impeccable manners, accomplished young ladies perfectly suited to making a good marriage. Under her instruction, the students developed an understanding of the principal poets, playwrights and novelists, without being exposed to any troubling or radical ideas. Verity had decided opinions on any sort of ‘modern’ or ‘political’ writing, feeling that the classics were always best for a young lady. So it was with this modest, even prim attitude that Verity rapped on the headmistress’ office door.
“Miss Kemp, do come in.” Miss Debenham invited her to enter.
Verity stepped forward, closing the door behind her softly. She stood with hands folded before her until Miss Debenham took her seat and nodded to a chair for Verity. Once she was seated, she waited silently to be told the purpose of this interview. She had learned enough in her years of teaching at Vaughn to know that Miss Debenham disliked being hurried or questioned.
“You have been an instructress here for how long, Miss Kemp?” Miss Debenham inquired.
“Four years in the spring term, ma’am.”
“In those four years you have been responsible for all instruction in English literature as well as French literature in translation. Is that correct?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Verity said, feeling a flutter in her pulse. She paused. growing concerned that there might be some problem with her teaching.
“You have done a perfectly adequate job in that post.”
Verity felt only slight relief at this statement. There was a sense of dread about what would follow.
“However, you will be reassigned for the coming term. You will now instruct our first and second year students in basic composition and orthography.”
Verity barely kept from gasping in dismay. She was suddenly, terribly unhappy. As much as Verity Kemp loved literature, loved the romance of reading old, important books, she despised the mechanics of writing as well as the tedious composition and correction of paragraphs and essays. It was as if she had been gliding along a lovely crystal lake in a comfortable boat, only to have her companion tilt the vessel so sharply that she was plunged into the slimy, fishy depths of it. It was an inner struggle not to scowl and bite her lip.
“I see, Miss Debenham. If you feel I will be more effective in that position, of course I bow to your superior judgment as our headmistress.” Verity chose her words very carefully.
“I’m pleased that you see this as I do. It is an opportunity for you to grow as an instructress and experience a different aspect of your subject. We have been fortunate enough to hire a Miss Emily Law from England to assume your former responsibilities. She is not only an expert on the writings of her countrymen but also a fluent speaker of French so now we will be able to offer French literature in its traditional form. As you know, our students learn to converse in French and German, so it is highly best that they avoid the translations.”
Verity knew exactly what that meant. She herself had not been educated at Vaughn Academy or any other school like it. She was not accomplished in languages or needlepoint. Verity had only been a poor girl who was very clever and did well in her classes at public school.
She had none of the refinements a teacher at Vaughn should possess. It humiliated her to be made to feel it. She went to such great pains to have the best manners, a well-groomed appearance and to look and act like she belonged there. Now she was being demoted from the job she loved, only to teach classes any green girl in a public schoolhouse could manage…..
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