Upon entering her room to change, Ophelia walked to the window to take in the view of the rolling hills and trees beyond the manor. The sky was a gorgeous bright blue with a few wisps of white clouds here and there. She was dying to get out to the stables and ride.
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England September 1893 Wiggs, the usually calm and stately butler, came running down the steps to meet Asher as he rode up to Woodclyffe Manor. “Welcome home Master Asher! I beg your pardon, Lord Wyndclyffe,” he bowed low, showing Asher Hammersleigh, the new Earl of Wyndclyffe, his due respect.
It’s been almost a year since I have had the urge to write. It feels like a million months have passed since my imagination created something worth putting to paper (or on the screen of my laptop as the case may be). Last spring and summer I was on a roll, having written almost half… Continue reading Ugghh… another hiatus
As I was about eight or so chapters into Asher and Ophelia’s story this weekend, I suddenly discovered that I had gotten so carried away that I’d written myself into a huge plot hole. Oops! As a brief background to my dilemma, it’s important to know that Asher & Ophelia’s story takes place at three… Continue reading Plot Holes & Serendipitous Research
The third generation in the line of the strict male primogeniture created by John Jacob Astor I’s will was the first generation to live entirely under the wealth and inheritance amassed by the first two generations. Long gone were the days of that first Astor in America: there was no longer a need for fur… Continue reading The Rise of Astor Dynasty: Gilded Age Wealth and Status
William Backhouse Astor was the second son of John Jacob Astor I and one of five children who survived to adulthood. When John Jacob I died in 1848, his eldest son, John Jacob Astor II, could not feasibly inherit due to mental health issues; William Backhouse was named as his father's heir and became the… Continue reading The Rise of the Astor Dynasty: Part II
The first John Jacob Astor arrived in America from Walldorf, Germany in the late 1700's after the Revolutionary War. Over the course of his lifetime he held many professions: butcher, like his father; instrument maker and dealer, like both his brother and uncle; furrier; tradesman; and real estate investor. By 1810, when he was in… Continue reading The Rise of the Astor Dynasty: The First Generation in America
The funny thing about time is that it's constant; it continues on and before you know it another day, week, month, or even a year has gone by. And then you're left wondering what the heck just happened? Tonight we celebrate as a New Year and a new decade begin. For me, it's a time… Continue reading A New Year, A New Decade
On my way into the office the other morning, I was reflecting on my family's past and how it compares to my lifelong crazy love affair with the Gilded Age. I have always been fascinated with the era and as a young girl, I longed to be a part of those grand families, to live… Continue reading A Legacy of Love
In a little over a month it will be the ten year anniversary of a loss that was so profound, it nearly broke me. My fiancée, and the father of my two boys, passed away on the night of February 16, 2009. I was in my late twenties back then, engaged to be married to… Continue reading From the Ashes of Dreams