Character Reveal: Beryl Clarke

The character reveal is a feature on my website. Characters from my books (in print or works-in-progress) answer questions from a standard personality assessment test. Today’s character reveal: Beryl Lucille Clarke Mitchell. Beryl is Miranda’s aunt and mentor, and a protagonist of the Fellowship Dystopia series. Who Beryl had just turned fifty-two when she appeared in the first book of the series, My Soul to Keep. Younger sister to the Fellowship’s premier preacher-politician, Counselor Donald Clarke, Beryl learned to hate him when he betrayed her. She and Miranda escape Redemption in My Soul to Keep. Now, fifty-four at the beginning of If I Should Die, she is the First Mate aboard the Lady Angelfish. She’s sworn to protect her niece, Miranda. And she will, even if she never learns to love the water like Miranda. 1. Who is your role model?  As a kid, I read everything I could find about Annie Oakley. I was thirteen years old when my father took my older brother, Donald, and I to a shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I saw Annie Oakley shoot 100 clay targets in a row at sixteen yards. Man, I wanted to shoot like her, to be like her. She was one sharp-eyed sixty-two-year-old. But Pop started […]

Character Reveal: Miranda Clarke

The character reveal is a feature on my website. Characters from my books (in print or works-in-progress) answer questions from a standard personality assessment test. Today’s character reveal: Miranda Clarke, the protagonist of the My Soul to Keep series. Who Miranda Rose Clarke was about to turn twenty-five when she appeared in the first book, My Soul to Keep. Daughter of the Fellowship’s premier preacher-politician, Counselor Donald Clarke and his wife, Kara Louise Lancaster Clarke. She made a break from her parents and the Fellowship in My Soul to Keep. Now, twenty-seven at the beginning of If I Should Die, she is the captain of the Lady Angelfish and the Freedom Waterway.  1. Who is your role model? When I was in grade school I found and read a banned book about Harriet Tubman. Brave, resourceful—she escaped slavery then went back and saved other slaves. And when the Civil War broke out, she was a nurse, spy, and scout. And she rescued more slaves. I can only hope to be as successful and brave as she was. 2. Who knows you the best? My crew—Aunt Beryl and Wanda. You can’t live 24/7 on a smallish yacht and not know each other.  […]

When a Department Store was an Experience

Department Stores, they ain’t what they used to be. There was a time when a trip to the department store was an experience. You had a nice meal, you got personal service, and you were pampered. Before department stores came about, upper- and middle-class women didn’t go shopping. Door-to-door salesmen brought their wares to the home. Or servants went to stores for groceries and such. People thought it was too dangerous or risqué for a woman to be on the streets alone. The First The first department store opened in London in 1796. They sold furs, fans, haberdashery, jewelry, clocks, and hats. It was called Howell & Co’s Grand Fashionable Magazine  Macy’s opened in 1878. Department store owners sought upper- and middle-class customers. Everyone else lacked the time or the money to shop at their leisure.  Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping. — Bo Derek The Experience Aimed at women with money, most stores had elegant tea rooms or full restaurants. The buildings had high ceilings, luxury fixtures, and beautiful views. They had lounging areas, personal assistants to help you shop, and weekly fashion shows. Women loved the freedom that shopping gave […]