Excerpt From “My Mozart” by Juliet Waldron

It was said of the enigmatic Mozart that “…’tis unfortunately all too well known that fast living in ill-chosen company shortened his precious days.” My Mozart is the story of Nanina Gottlieb, who meets the composer during her childhood. Gifted, intense and imaginative, Nanina makes the great “Kapellmeister Mozart” her own, personal divinity.

During the composer’s last summer, his wife has left him. In debt and suffering the emotional isolation of genius, he takes refuge with his disreputable Volksoper friends, who want him to write a “peasant opera” for their audience. Nanina, now grown, and still in love with Mozart, is among their number. No one, least of all the composer, understands the depth of her obsession, or how a brief affair will permanently alter her life.

Excerpt:

“Mozart, Ich liebe dich. I love you. Love you.”

“Come here, Nanina Nightingale. Come and give your poor old Maestro some of your ‘specially sugary sugar.”

My mouth on his‑‑the friction produced warmth and sweetness, with a decided undertone of the expensive brandy he liked, flowing from his tongue to mine. I slid my arms across the brocade of his jacket, none too clean these days, and swayed a slender dancer’s body against him.

Let me assure you that my sophistication was assumed. It really doesn’t matter – then, or now. I was young, foolish, and drowning in love. I was seventeen. He was thirty five.

He had once been boyishly agile, doing handsprings over chairs, turning cartwheels of joy at a prima donna’s kiss or a perfect performance of his own celestial music. He was never tall, and was, like most men of his age, working on a bit of a belly. Still, he kept more or less in shape by a daily regimen which included running from bailiffs, dashing out the back doors of taverns to avoid payment, and climbing in and out of the bedroom windows of adventurous (and talented) musical gentlewomen.

I believed he knew everything–that he could see right through me with those bright blue eyes. He probably could. He’d been my music master–and, more–my deity, ever since I’d met him, in my ninth year.

His jacket, now spotted and stained, must have been fine enough to wear in the presence of the Emperor. Bright blue, it perfectly matched his eyes. I can still feel the fabric sliding under my fingers as my arms passed over his shoulders and around his neck.

I can still see him‑‑a woolly frizz of blonde hair, long, aquiline nose–a ram that had once been an angel. Sometimes, when he was loving me in some exquisitely naughty way and joyfully smiling as he did it, I could almost see horns.

So you will understand exactly how I loved him, so that you will know that it was a real passion, I’ll tell you that I adored the feel of him, the smell of him, the taste of him. They’ve tried to turn him into a tinkling porcelain angel, but I’m here to tell you, here and now–he was not.

Mozart’s eyes were big, slightly protuberant, and as I’ve said, so blue. Alarming, those eyes! Once they’d shone with the pure light of genius, radiant and blissful as a summer noonday. Lately, they were simply wasted. My adored Maestro was mostly either drunk or hung over.

He’d fallen from grace. Everyone knew it. Creditors hounded him. There were too many wild parties, not enough money. His wife had given up coping, had gone back to the Baden spa where she had an on-going romance with a big, handsome Major.

And who could blame her? Pretty Constance, in the last ungainly stages of yet another pregnancy, fleeing Vienna after a winter of freezing and begging for handouts…

Even a seventeen year old idolater could recognize her defection for simple self‑preservation. I didn’t judge her. I didn’t judge myself. I was simply glad to have her out of the way. When she was gone, he was restless, at loose ends, spending most of his time hanging around our theater. Of course, nothing could have suited me better.

Oh, I can still hear my painted Mama lecturing, telling me all about Wolfgang’s debts, his drinking, and his wife. If I must go whoring, why couldn’t I be sensible, make it pay?

Naturally, I knew that the lady who filled his mind was one of his damned piano pupils. She was struggling with a very real fear of her husband and with her own natural chastity. Dear Mozart always imagined that if a lady played his music with “taste and feeling”, she belonged to him in a deeper and more complete sense than she could ever belong to a mere husband. The notion proved in every case disappointing, and, in the final exercise, fatal.

He often held forth upon “acting like a Kapellmeister/ dressing like a Kapellmeister”, long after he’d been ejected both from the court and the wider world of gentlemanly convention. When sufficiently drunk, he used to amuse everyone at The Serpent, clowning with a violin like some impoverished, itinerant musiker.

One night, a pair of Englishmen who’d been dining there dropped a handful of kreutzers and asked in broken German if he knew the way to “the house of Kapellmeister Mozart.” As the regulars roared, Mozart answered with the filthiest English curse he knew and haughtily stalked away, leaving the money on the floor. The waiter, Joseph Deiner, God bless him, scooped it up and applied it to Mozart’s perennial bill.

* * *

It’s hard to tell how you will like a true story, but to my mind, all the best tales grow. Have patience. This, I assure you, is a love story.

* * *

I was born a musiker, a poor, pretty, talented girl who could have become an actress or a singer, a dancer or a prostitute. When I was seventeen, with no parents and working for Emmanuel Schikaneder, I’m afraid the latter was the fate most likely.

Today my beauty and voice are gone. Memories are all that remain. Except for my old friend Joseph, it was lonely for a very long time, but lately troops of well meaning Volk have been knocking on my door, bringing little presents and asking questions about the old days.

“Fraulein Gottlieb,” they say, “you were the Magic Flute’s first Pamina. Tell us about the way it was. Tell us about the great genius, Mozart.”

I hardly dare speak. Once well begun, this old woman might ramble straight through from beginning to end. My adored, long dead Maestro has become famous, a kind of Martyr to Art. I have no wish to stain the marble purity of the image that his wife, with so much skill and determination, has spent the last thirty years creating. I understand the theater of life, this proscenium beneath the arching sky. Sometimes–paradoxically–honor requires a lie.

So, to such visitors, I say the obvious, about how poorly his talent served him while he lived. Then they reply, as if this makes up for the pain: “His music survives.”

For a performer like me, it’s the opposite. In that most present of present moments, we are the lark of song, the erotic geometry of dance, the drum beat of declamation. For a performer there’s nothing beyond the flashing now, and when we grow old all that is left for us is the rusty rumination of some aged member of a long ago audience.

This being so, I’ll tell you who I am, or rather who I was: Fraulein Anna Gottlieb, Nanina to my long dead friends. I was a performer once admired, first as a dancer, then as a singer, and last, when I grew older, as a comedienne who had learned all about getting belly laughs from those two great clowns of the Volksoper stage, Barbara Gerl and Emmanuel-The-Devil-In-Human-Form Schikaneder. I was the darling of the fickle Viennese for years.

* * *

My parents performed in Vienna and died there, and I grew up in that city a performer, as close to a free woman as it was possible to be. Papa was a violinist; Mama was a dancer. Their marriage was the kind often made in the “immoral” last century and quintessentially Viennese. It was a marriage of convenience.

Mama had, for a few shining years, been a star of the Court ballet. She said quite frankly that of all the men who had been sleeping with her, Papa had been the only one willing to marry her when she’d discovered she was pregnant. My mother, once a member of the elite Court Figuranti, claimed my birth ruined her career.

“After you have a baby, it’s as if you’ve been anchored to the ground,” she’d complain. “You just can’t do those floating leaps anymore.”

Whenever mother told me this, she’d run her long hands reflectively down her sides. She was not, by any stretch of the imagination, fat, but she was continually in mourning for some lost, youthful perfection.

“Poor child!” She’d stroke my dark curls, so unlike her own. “Of all the rich Papa’s you might have had! Instead, the capricious womb opens for the seed of a poor musiker, a fellow I lay with in pity.” Clearly the Fate in control of my destiny had done right. I loved my Papa and he loved me.

I think he would have loved me no matter who had fathered me, but happily for both of us, I strongly favored him. We were both small, slender, pale brunettes, with thick, curly hair. To Papa, I was always “Princess.” Like all young creatures, I was pretty enough, although I didn’t have the particular flash that Nature gives to blondes.

A woman the world judged beautiful, my lovely Mama could make conditions. She was quick to slap, quick to scream and scold.

If Papa overheard that remark about “the capricious womb,” he’d retort “Fool that I was to think that real devotion could reform a public woman.”

And then I would hide somewhere, for that was always the start of a battle. Mama would scream about Papa’s lack of money while he detailed her infidelities.

* * *

My god, Mozart manifested on a beautiful June day, when the sun blazed in the bluest of skies.

Mama hated dancing at garden parties. There were grass stains and insects, but to children summer was the best party time. We could run in gardens and make our own ballets and plays. It was a treat to be out of the hot, smelly streets of the summer city. There were always other children present, theater brats, just like me. Parties were an important part of our education, for this was the way we too would someday earn our bread.

We could run through great halls or hide behind the tapestries. On bright summer days, we could romp through gardens big as city blocks. Unattended food was everywhere. As long as we didn’t get in the way, break or steal, no one cared what we did. The first thing was always to extract a glass or two of wine from the tray of a passing servant and share it out. Then, enjoying the pleasantly giddy sensation that followed, we’d wander out into the garden.

***

A lifelong passion for historical fiction set Juliet Waldron’s feet on the writer’s path twenty years ago. Mozart’s Wife won the First Independent e-Book Award for fiction. My Mozart, recently published as an e-book, is the companion story, seen narrated by a sensitive, talented teen musician. Genesee and Independent Heart are another pair, each set during the Revolutionary War in frontier NY. The former won an Epic Award for Best Historical, and received five stars from Affaire de Coeur and Romantic Times. Red Magic is a newly pubbed Kindle book, a fantasy romance with a hero who was a supporting character in Mozart’s Wife — one of those who wouldn’t “go away” until he got a starring role.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Mozart-ebook/dp/B0089F5X3C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340567219&sr=1-1&keywords=My+Mozart

http://julietwaldron.com

http://cronehenge.blogspot.com

 

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Excerpt From Genesee by Juliet Waldron

Born to a runaway teen and an Iroquois warrior, abducted as an infant and brought to a frontier town by her Dutch uncle, black haired, black eyed Genesee van Cortlandt is caught between two warring cultures.

When the American Revolution explodes the uneasy peace of the New York border country and Genesee is carried into captivity, will a new found love prove strong enough to bring her home again?

–Winner, EPIC Best Historical Novel

CHAPTER I

Albany, May 1776

“Genesee van Cortlandt,” her cousin giggled. “Good Lord! What are you doing? You’ll break your neck.”

The prettily rounded figure of a young Dutch woman with rosy cheeks and an enviable head of tumbling honey brown curls leaned out an open window. Close by the substantial two-storey brick house a huge tree grew, an apple tree with spreading limbs, a tree her father had been so fond of that he had put his workmen to the trouble of enduring its presence while they built the house.

The speaker was in fashionable undress – a shift and stays covered by a crewel stitched morning gown that had, in quieter times, come from London. Behind her a couple of well dressed and well fed Black girls crowded, peering out the window and adding their exclamations to hers.

“Look at Miss Jenny,” one of them cried. “Just like a cat!”

On a broad limb of the tree, a limb which had been rudely cropped in order to keep it from intersecting with the wall of the house, her long straight black hair held with a scarlet ribbon, without a cap and dressed only in a fine white muslin shift, was a slender, supple girl. For a heartbeat, she steadied herself and then proceeded on small brown bare feet along the mottled limb.

Genesee didn’t acknowledge the others. All her attention was focused on balancing. There would be a whipping descent through a lattice of branches to a bone-snapping conclusion if something went wrong.

Jenny knew what she was doing was foolhardy. Still, it was always fun to play the wild frontier woman and shock her elegant Cousin ‘Nelia.

When she reached the trunk, Jenny smiled triumphantly. A flash of even, healthy white glowed against nut-brown skin.

“And where are you goin’, Miss Jenny?” asked one of the slaves, her round face and beribboned cap bobbing beside that of her young mistress.

“Down,” came Jenny’s casual reply as she indicated the grass, “and then I shall climb back up again.”

“Never!” her pretty cousin declared with a giggle of disbelief.

“Wait and see.” Jenny caught a lower branch and swung boldly down onto the limb below. The ease and daring of the maneuver led to gasps from the onlookers and a shower of apple blossom, for it was that time of year.

Although this descent was taking place by the window of an untenanted bedroom, Jenny was low enough now for caution to be in order. She didn’t want one of the housemaids to catch sight of her.

Cousin Cornelia had accepted a proposal of marriage from a man her father, wealthy Stephan van Cortlandt, deemed unsuitable. Hence for the last month, she had been imprisoned in her bedroom. Only ‘Nelia’s maids and a few female relatives were allowed access.

No one will ever lock me up, Jenny thought.

“You know Papa’s going to have an apoplexy if he finds you downstairs,” Cornelia exclaimed. Her pretty face expressed a most unfilial pleasure at the idea.

Wrapping her arms around the trunk, Jenny stared into the spiral of limbs below. Perhaps if she went sideways she could see where next to go. It was still too far to risk jumping.

That was when two young men in the blue and buff uniforms of the Continental army came rapidly around the corner. Their gaze was aimed to the upper window, as if they had come expressly to speak with the lady imprisoned there. As soon as they spied Cornelia, they removed their hats.

“Do I have the honour of addressing Miss Cornelia van Cortlandt?” The shorter and fairer of the two politely queried the lady high above as she languidly leaned upon the sill.

“You have, sir,” ‘Nelia replied, coolly withdrawing her gaze from the limb upon which her cousin stood, imperfectly screened by white blossom and new leaves. “And who might you be?”

“Captain Alexander Dunbar of the Army of Independence, at your service, Miss Cornelia.”

The taller officer kept looking over his shoulder, as if he were expecting to be caught. The speaker appeared unconcerned. His blue eyes were fixed upon the buxom girl framed in the window.

Jenny, peering down through the branches, saw a perfectly erect and slender young man of medium height. His fair skin and rosy cheeks gave him a china doll beauty.

Many young officers defied regulation with flowing locks, but in this case the cut was military, shorn close to the head. Alexander Dunbar’s coppery hair was curly, doing its best to defy the extremity that had been worked upon it. There was only one nod to fashion, a thin braided queue which made a bright rat’s tail down the back of his neat blue jacket.

“I would love to make your acquaintance further, Miss Cornelia, myself and Captain Troup,” he gestured at his tall friend, who smiled and inclined his head. “For tales, not only of your beauty, but the charm of your conversation have reached our ears.”

“Get to it, Alex,” the other man urged.

“Miss Cornelia, I have been entrusted by a mutual friend with billets doux.”

At this, Cornelia bounced like a puppy and clapped her smooth hands together. Both of the young men grinned, and theatrically raised fingers to their lips.

Jenny was praying that they would keep their eyes on Cornelia and not look into her tree. Beneath her shift was nothing at all. The faint breeze of this warm spring day was gently tickling bare flesh.

“Are you a good catch, Miss?” curly headed Dunbar inquired.

“Saucy!” Cornelia was merry, choosing to misinterpret. She tossed her curls. “What do you think?” She had missed flirtation dreadfully ever since she had been locked up.

“In two minutes’ acquaintance you have taken his measure, Miss.” Captain Troup wore a big grin.

Dunbar took what looked like a tennis ball from his pocket and waved it at Cornelia. “Ready!” he called, missile in hand. As he prepared to throw, he moved back, seeking a better angle. The black maids giggled in anticipation.

They were interrupted by the blowing approach of a hard ridden horse. Without so much as a by-your-leave, Captain Dunbar and his friend ran the other way.

Above, Cornelia wrung her hands. Jenny crouched, still as a hunted cat.

The horseman now in view was a fat young man who reined in his sweating animal just beneath the window.

“Still playin’ Juliet?” he shouted. “If you’d say yes to the right fellow, you know, you could get out of there.”

“Say yes to you, I suppose you mean, John de Laet,” Cornelia retorted with a disdainful toss of her curls.

“Of course,” the interloper replied. “What do you know about this Gray fella anyway?”

Jenny leaned her dark head against the tree, studied the top of de Laet’s hat, not many feet away, and prayed he wouldn’t look up. John would not only report to her uncle, but, she knew, do his best to see under her shift.

“Mr. John Gray is a gentleman of Oxfordshire,” Cornelia retorted. “His family is not only high born but probably twice as rich as yours.”

“Oh, that I doubt very much,” cried de Laet, much nettled. “Why hasn’t he proved it to your father?”

Cornelia didn’t deign to reply. Instead, she scornfully flounced away from the window.

“Gotta talk to Miss Cornelia nicer den dat, Mr. John,” advised Black Betty with an impudent white grin.

“‘Nelia! Please!” The fleshy lover rose in his stirrups and gave a pitiful wail.

Another horseman rode up. This, Jenny saw, was ‘Nelia’s younger brother, Nick.

What luck, she thought. There had not been a soul around until she had climbed out here. Now it was like a market day.

“Do stop bawling,” Nick chided. “You sound like a calf who has lost his mother. Come on, old fellow,” he added a little more sympathetically. “If you dine with us, Papa will make her come down. Then you may gaze at the capricious creature to your heart’s content.”

Not waiting for a reply, Nick tapped his horse and trotted away. After a final yearning glance at the window, John de Laet sadly followed.

Cornelia reappeared hopefully. Jenny looked left and right, wondering what was next. The officers had, after all, dodged away in the direction of the heavily trafficked kitchen wing. If Mrs. van Cortlandt caught sight of them, they would be warned off, for ‘Nelia’s Mr. Gray was in the Patriot army too. Any blue coat near the rear of the house was suspect.

Catching hold of the limb above, Genesee began to pull herself up. Retreat, at this point, seemed prudent. It was impossible to know when or if the messengers would return.

She ascended a level, but wished that she hadn’t. Here, hunkered down among the leaves and glowering from a nest, was an anxious mother robin.

At a near run from the back of the house, the blue coats made a rushing return. Jenny stood rock still, and pretended, to the bird and to herself, that she wasn’t there.

This time with only the preamble of a wave, Captain Dunbar tossed the ball. The missile flew unerringly.

The smack of the landing was greeted by a muffled shriek of laughter. The young men took several judicious steps backwards, taking cover beneath the spreading limbs of the apple.

That was the moment the robin decided Jenny was not to be tolerated. Taking wing with a squawk, she made a swooping dive straight at her shiny black head.

Jenny, who had spent enough time tree climbing with her brothers to have felt the wrath of disturbed nest sitters before, instinctively flung up a hand to ward off the bombardment.

The gesture threw her off balance. Accompanied by a gasp of surprise and a rip of muslin, she fell.

Captain Dunbar, head up at the last minute, gallantly tried to catch the girl accelerating towards him. In the next instant they were sprawled upon the ground, the young officer on his back, Genesee across him.

For a dazed instant, Alexander Dunbar was drowning in a cascade of night, of black shining hair thick as a pony’s tail. The girl, with a wild toss, threw it back over her shoulder.

The eyes that gazed into his were black as her hair. Though her features were delicate, he thought she was too brown, too all over dark, to even be Spanish.

Dunbar knew about more than what was normally exposed – face, neck and arms – because the loose fitting white shift, not held in place by stays, had slipped off her shoulders. The fine brown of her skin was the same everywhere, right down to one pert, girlish breast.

“Miss – ah – are you all right?” Alexander, still flat on his back, attempted a formal inquiry. He rested a hand upon one delectable bare silken shoulder.

He did not obey his impulse and seize the girl. He did not press his lips against that tender new-budded breast. He was a perfect gentleman, although a lusty voice inside was calling him a thousand kinds of fool for not taking advantage of the situation.

Stunned by the fall, Jenny stared at the young man beneath her. Apple blossom dotted his close-cropped head like confetti.

The cue came from his exotic eyes, a kind of hot spring blue flooding with black. Truth was felt and seen at the same time. The breath of this bright spring day – and of the young officer – warmly touched her nakedness.

Yanking her shift into place, embarrassed to her soul, she slapped him. Then, with a leap and a flashing flurry of white muslin and brown bare legs, Jenny dashed into the high grass of the orchard and vanished.

“Wait till I tell McHenry about this!” Troup grinned from ear to ear as he extended a hand to help his friend up. Alex took the offered hand, but not before pocketing a scarlet ribbon this Beauty had left behind.

From above there came a chorus of choking laughter.

“I didn’t mean to offend your servant, Miss Cornelia,” Alexander offered, stepping out from under the tree.

The lack of clothes and shoes – and especially the brown skin – all signaled this was the station of the pretty creature that had fallen upon him. Captain Dunbar was West Indian bred, a place where dark skin and servitude naturally went together.

“Even if she was climbing a tree in her nightgown, she’s Miss van Cortlandt too, you wicked impertinent fellow!” Cornelia cried passionately, shaking a finger at Dunbar like a schoolmistress. “How dare you insult my cousin? ‘Tis shameful behavior in one – one who professes to be a gentleman.”

“Please – ah – excuse me, Miss Cornelia,” Alexander replied, stammering with astonishment. “I – I did not know.”

‘Nelia spun away from the window, and then executed a sweeping return, for she’d remembered the precious letter.

“Nevertheless, Sirs,” she amended in a voice that had gone sweet, “I owe you all my thanks for the treasure you have so trustily delivered.”

Summarily, long pale hands pulled the shutters closed. The two men were left staring at each other in a shaft of light and idly drifting blossom.

“God, Alex, how ever do you merit such adventures?” his friend exclaimed, slapping him on the back. “Still, at least I was privileged to be your witness. A pretty, nearly naked lass did actually fall out of that tree. A gift better by far than an apple.”

Alex, grinning, didn’t answer. Instead, he bent his head and concentrated upon brushing petals from his hair.

“That must have been,” Troup muttered, “the half-breed Miss van Cortlandt I’ve been hearing about.”

“A half-breed Miss van Cortlandt?” Alexander asked, straightening.

They started a leisurely stroll towards the front of the house. The message for their friend Gray delivered, they could now present themselves to the master of the place, Stephen van Cortlandt. They actually had business, having been sent to discuss some matters of provisioning by their commander, General Schuyler.

“Odd that Gray didn’t say anything about her,” Alex remarked.

His mind was full of the girl. Those beautiful eyes, those white teeth, the spicy fragrance, the elastic feel of her body, had been violently arousing.

“Well, Gray did most of his courting before the war started, in New York City,” Troup explained. “He and Miss Cornelia danced together for an entire winter season at the Governor’s house. Then the war began and her Papa called her home, and a good thing, too, the way things are going.”

“And Gray is still a gone man,” Alex observed.

“A wealthy English Tory converted to our Cause – and all because of a fair Patriot lady,” Troup agreed. His grin showed that he enjoyed the irony.

“Yes, the lady above is indeed fair,” Alexander agreed. He unabashedly adored the fair sex, fell in love with comic whole-heartedness, a kind of pratfall of passion, like an unwary walker stepping into a hole. The ladies wholeheartedly returned the compliment, for Alexander was not only handsome and well made but utterly charming.

Still, most of these recent plunges had stopped well short of consummation. Since coming from Saint Thomas to a more puritanical New York to attend college, Alexander had sternly controlled this side of himself. It hadn’t been easy, for he had a sensual nature and his schooling in the arts of physical love had been thorough, but he was too poor to marry and he had too much care for himself to join his college friends when they went to the New York brothels.

“So,” Alexander asked, “did some van Cortlandt gentleman take an Indian wife and keep the child?”

“Well, it’s something of a scandal, I gather, for everyone goes deaf and dumb any time she comes up,” Bob replied, “but I’d assume she’s a souvenir of someone’s fur-trading days.”

Alex nodded thoughtfully. The sun was high, warming him through his jacket. He had been in New York for four years, long enough to know that days like this were rare in an upstate spring.

He threw a wistful glance at the orchard. He wished he could see the girl again.

A fantasy was spinning, one in which he gave chase, caught her in his arms. He’d start by kissing her soft fragrant mouth and quickly move to taste that high breast, to savor the all over sweetness. Then, when she was panting and trembling, there’d be a paradisiacal struggle, ending in a hot, spilling conclusion.

Troup noticed the far away expression. “What’s the matter, Alex?” he teased. “Did you think that was a pretty slave girl they’d thank a handsome fellow like yourself for jumping?”

“What do you take me for?” Alex grumbled. His friend’s words had sent the fantasy up in smoke, not the least because it reminded him of things he wanted to forget, like the day his Master, Peter Cruger, had sold Diana off the island.

Fiercely, he thrust the bitter memory away. That he had been young, that he had been poor, that he had been unable to rescue the first woman to whom he had ever given his heart, did not bear thinking about.

“Oh, you don’t fool me,” Troup continued with a broad grin. “I know your taste for brown skin, Dunbar. Today, I think, you were tumbled upon by the queen of them all, a veritable nut brown maid, just like the old song.”

“She was indeed a most beautiful girl. Her skin was like satin.” Alex stopped himself from saying more. It was hard not to confide at least a part of what the encounter had stirred.

Troup looked knowing. “I believe I’ve heard she has a dowry,” he offered. “Nothing like Miss Cornelia, of course. It’s wild land I think, somewhere down the Mohawk where it’s touch and go to keep your scalp.”

“As you know,” Alex retorted, taking a deep breath and attempting to chivvy himself back to sanity, “a poor man can’t fool about with country virgins ‑no matter how delectable. My destiny, Sir, is a widow with a house in town.”

***

Bio

A lifelong mad passion for reading history led Juliet Waldron to research and write twelve novels. At the 2001 Virginia Festival of the Book, Mozart’s Wife won the First Independent e-Book Award for best e-published fiction. Hand-me-Down Bride, set in German Pennsylvania just post Civil War, has been published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Genesee, set during the Revolutionary War in upstate NY, won the 2003 Epic Award for best historical novel, as well as succeeding as a romance, receiving five stars from Affaire de Coeur. http://julietwaldron.com/genesee/index.htm

Genesee is available in Kindle format at Amazon!