Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

Word Count: 104,000
Pitch:  When Confederate nurse Annabelle risks her reputation to help starving Union soldiers, she meets one who might hold the key to the life she dreams of after the War.


The prisoner’s howling started just as Mama finished frying the salt pork for our breakfast. She moved the skillet from the stove to our kitchen table, and the popping sounds of the grease fizzled out, leaving nothing to cover the captured soldier’s cries.Mama glanced out the window toward Castle Morgan and then furtively at me. I wanted to say, Of course, I can hear him. I wanted to say, I am not a child. The prisoner was the third one Lieutenant Jones had punished on the ladder in as many days.

“I wonder what this one did,” I said as I halved a slice of cold cornbread and wedged a piece of smoky pork inside.

“I can’t imagine. He looks too young to be a soldier.” Mama turned her back to the window, and I knew she was thinking of Josiah again. My brother, killed somewhere in Virginia two years ago this month. I hadn’t swum the creek since he left. I hadn’t climbed a tree. Would he recognize me if he came back?

There was no profit in thinking of it – he wasn’t coming back.

“Come eat, Mama,” I said. “We can’t be late on my first day at the hospital.”

She smoothed my hair behind my ear as she sat in her chair beside mine, the way she had since I was a little girl.

“It’s not too late to change your mind, Annabelle,” she said carefully. “You could wait another year and see.”

“A year!” I said, spluttering cornbread onto the homespun tablecloth.

CLUE: Mr. Boddy is found in the study lying
face down, head turn, foaming at the mouth. An empty martini glass is clutched
in his hand, a smudge of red lipstick staining the rim of the glass. 


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