About the author:
Thank you to my readers too; you are all my secret friends. Love, Sara
What inspired you to write your book?
I was recovering from surgery and “out of commission” for a period of time. The computer and I became well acquainted and Scarlet Worthy took over. With her in control of me we were off and running…..
Here is a short sample from the book:
After an hour of daydreaming, I toweled off and wrestled to best make some order with my hair. I chose the conservative white blouse and a black skirt. It’s a rather snug-fitting item for an interview, but it’s the only item I own that I feel at least somewhat attractive. I for sure don’t want to look mousy. First thing in the morning I’m going to splurge on a pair of heels. My ratty flip flops will not serve me with a Lady of a Manor.
My shopping trip was urgent, my funds low, and the selection sparse. When I returned to my hotel room, I modeled the black leather pumps. I walked back and forth in my room to insure that I was steady. I had not worn heels in what seemed like ages, but I was impressed with my rapid adaptation to the new shoes.
In the mirror, I looked decent. The broadcloth tuxedo blouse worked well with my black skirt and the heels made my trim legs appear surprisingly athletic.
I pulled my red hair into a ponytail, and set the base of it with a cheerful green bow. The bow complemented my green eyes. My nose is thin, petite and my skin a creamy white. I would have applied some makeup, but I had none No matter, I thought. I was frighteningly unskilled at its application, so it was best not to experiment at this late date and with so much riding on a successful meeting.
I began thinking. What if I don’t even get a call? What if all of my preparations were for nothing? I began to feel silly. I looked in the mirror, blushing at my lack of humility. Who do you think you are Sybil? You have no work experience to speak of, and you’re nothing but a shy simple farm girl with a degree. What were you thinking, silly girl? You have no right feeling so confident. Shame on you….
The phone rang. The shrill sound jolted me, interrupting my self-abuse. I dashed to it, struggling to remain upright in my newly purchased heels.
“Hello?” I answered meekly. Who is it?”
“Ms. Smith, this is Arthur at the front desk. A message came for you while you were out. I’ll send it up to you with the room service attendant. May we get you anything else?”
I took a deep breath and tried to compose myself. No one knew I was here. I had no friends in Bath. It must be the position….
“Yes Arthur that would be most kind,” I responded. “And a pot of tea, some tea would be wonderful. Thank you.”
I sat nervously waiting for the correspondence from the front desk. I looked at my watch. It was ten AM. The mail could not have arrived this early. Settle down, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Maybe it’s bad news from the University? My mind was spinning in gloom.
There was a rap on my door. I opened it, and the room service boy entered with my tea. I motioned toward the only table in my modest room. He placed the room service tea set on the table.
There, next to the tea set sat a silver tray that cradled a simple white envelope. Silver, how nice, but silver, how unusual. I thought.
His mission complete the silent boy backed out the door and closed it behind himself. I poured some tea without taking my eyes from the envelope. I seated myself and pick it off the tray as if it were an historical document. On the front, in the most precise and ornate script, it read: Miss Sybil Smith, C/O The Old Abbey Hotel, Bath Spa.
I turned the envelope over, and on the back of the envelope, embossed words – Lady Julia Sweeten-Roseau, Brighten Manor and a wax seal. I brought the envelope closer to my eyes. The seal was made of red wax and pressed with heat to ensure privacy.
A note made only by the eyes of the sender and directed for only those of the addressee, I thought. I felt suddenly special, and also a bit nervous.
Imbedded in the Manor Crest was a scripted loop of a heart at the top of the crest that was connected a duplicative inverted heart looped at the bottom. The center of the crest held the initials J S R.
I opened the envelope slowly, careful to ensure as little damage to the linen paper. The note was penned in the same exquisite scrip as that of the address:
My Dear Miss Smith,
Lady Julia is in receipt of your petition for employment as a servant to Brighten Manor, and as a personal assistant. The Lady finds your written response acceptable and worthy of an interview. Lady Sweeten-Roseau’s man servant will be dispatched this day with instructions to collect you at your hotel at promptly two pm. Your return transportation will be provided.
The note was straightforward and it left little room for noncompliance with the instructions. I sipped my tea thinking. What did you expect Sybil? Did you think that the note would warrant some gushing review?
I continued to work on the remainder of my tea while rehearsing my interview performance in my mind. I gave up assuming any presumptuous dialogue or adopting some phony persona.
Just be yourself Sybil. I thought. Just tell the Lady that you will do your best. No. Tell the Lady that you will do whatever she wants you to do. Anything, just make her happy with your service to her. You need this job.