When I found the picture of the the "fancy woman" at a website I often buy pictures from, I knew I'd found my Lilah. As for the river picture, it took some time to choose from several available. The photo actually is of the Rio Grande, one of the adventure locations in Lilah's story. I chose this picture because the terrain best resembled what I described in my book.
For those not having read the first book in the Finding Home Series: Cry of the West, which is Hallie's story, Lilah is her sister, whom she hasn't seen in twenty years. Hallie and her second husband, Cooper Jerome, have sent one of Cooper's old army buddies, Rush Garrett, to search for Lilah and deliver a letter from Hallie begging her to return to Oregon with him.
Rush, indeed, finds Lilah in New Orleans, but the person she has portrayed in her sporadic letters to Hallie is not the same one he encounters. She most definitely is not a seamstress!
Here is a short excerpt from chapter one. To read the entire excerpt, click here.
Settling onto the settee in the sitting room of her two story townhouse, she reached for her book on a nearby table but ended up staring blankly into the empty hearth, fingering another tear. Just as she had anticipated, her fading beauty had brought her to a crossroads. Now, at the age of thirty-eight, threads of gray hair were making an appearance and tiny lines creased the sides of her mouth and eyes; her shapely figure carried a few extra pounds. To the casual observer, she was just as lovely as she had always been, but to her benefactor, she was his aging mistress.
For the past fifteen years, Charles Karney had kept her in style, and she had been the envy of women in her profession. However, Charles had finally been charmed by another; a young, beautiful and vivacious courtesan with golden hair and burnished skin, possibly the most exotic woman in New Orleans, and coveted by all the wealthy gentlemen who supported mistresses, often with the approval of their wives.