• Suzanne Norquist

Sarah Has Everything Under Control (Sort Of)

Updated: May 19

My second novella “Mending Sarah’s Heart” in a Thimbles and Threads Collection releases on July 1st. A novella is shorter than a full novel, but longer than a short story—if that isn’t a fluffy definition, I don’t know what is. There are four novellas in the collection, each written by a different author.

Rose, the heroine of my first novella, carried a sewing basket everywhere she went. She used her sister Sarah’s seamstress shop as an excuse to get to know the ladies of the opera company. The hero of that story had begun to wonder if Rose even knew how to sew. She did.

Now I get to tell Sarah’s story. She’s the responsible sister, a widowed mother of two young boys. All she wants is a quiet life—to run her shop and raise her children. If only life were that easy.

The Emporium of Fashion has come to steal her customers. I discovered advertisements in historic newspapers for “Emporium of Fashion” and “Palace of Fashion”. They claim to sell everything at low prices. With the industrial revolution, east coast factories pumped out cheap, ready-made clothing.

I Googled Emporium of Fashion to see if I could find a business with that name today. No such luck. Modern store names leave you guessing about what they sell. Maurice’s could sell clothes, furniture, toys, or sporting goods, but Emporium of Fashion has to sell clothes.

 I imagine it to be like the K-Mart of the old west. What would Sarah think of the Emporium? Here’s how her story begins.

And, as if declining business doesn’t create enough problems for Sarah, her oldest son has started getting into trouble. For this element of the story, I had to research things like, if a tooth has been punched out, can it be put back in? A fuzzy memory from my youth comes to mind. I found a quirky first-aid video about this.

Then, enter the hero—Jack Taylor, charismatic, handsome, and rich. He claims to be her deceased husband’s business partner. Experience has taught her to avoid men like Mr. Taylor. She’s not a silly girl anymore, and he won’t turn her head, no matter how persistent he is in his efforts to help her.

He is persistent, although somewhat misguided. This is where the story gets interesting.

I proposed this story two years ago, but traditional publishing is a slow process. The collection hits the bookstore shelves in July. Watch for a Barnes and Nobles book-sighting selfie from me, like this one from when Bouquet of Brides released.

#tooth #dentist #HistoricNewspapers #MendingSarahsHeart #EmporiumofFashion #ThimblesandThreads

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