Today’s sample is from my current work-in-progress, Bayou Fire. Enjoy!
“Papa, I don’t want to go!” Evangeline pleaded. “Why can’t I stay here in New Orleans and continue to learn from the Ursulines?”
“The matter is settled, daughter. It’s past time for you to finish your education in Paris. When you return, you’ll have your debut. It will be time well-spent, whether or not you’re ready to believe that. A man wants a women with refinement, Evangeline, and you’re not going to get as much of that here as you might think. The book-learning you get from the Ursulines is all well and good, but there is more of the world to be seen. You need to be ready to assume your role as wife and mistress of a household.”
Evangeline didn’t care; the only man she’d ever been interested in was long-gone from the parish. Other young men paled in comparison to the memories of Alcide Devereaux that her imagination had created; none of them stood a chance with her. Still, Papa’s word was law, so Evangeline and Monette were packing their trunks. Mama was enceinte again, so she wasn’t coming. Every pregnancy since Evangeline had failed, and the doctor seemed to think that would be the case again. Still, they were taking no risks.
“Think of it this way,” Monette told the girl later on. “We’ll be able to do and see what we please once we get there. Those lessons your papa has arranged are only for a couple of hours a day; you may find that you never want to come back here.”
Monette also hoped that the time abroad would help Evangeline forget all about Alcide Devereaux; he was probably dead by now anyway. If God was on their side, she might even have her head turned by some handsome, rich Parisian man and they’d never come back at all.