Wareeze Woodson: A Lady’s Vanishing Choices

This is a tidbit of recent history, all of 60 years ago. This is a true incident, not of historical value, but interesting.

This spark stayed in the recesses of my mind for years. When I was a young child, a friend of my dad’s stopped by our house. No one thinks a child of five or so is paying any attention, but I had my antenna up. The friend was vastly upset and his story came pouring out. Seems this friend and two or three other guys along with a few women were camped out on the beach at Galveston. They drank and caroused for a few days, nearly a week of heavy drinking. Earlier on the last morning, the campers woke only to discover one of the women had died during the night. They buried her body there on the beach and scuttled away like so many crabs rushing back into the sea.

My dad tried to talk his friend into going to the police, but the fellow was afraid he’d be blamed for the incident. He was the one that brought the women with him to the party. He wouldn’t report the incident. When hurricane, IKE, hit Galveston, so much was destroyed. During the rebuilding, a skeleton of a female was discovered and reported on the news. It was believed the remains had been in the ground for fifty years or better. I thought it must have been the same woman. I remembered! SPARK, SPARK.

When Bethany Littleton was a child, she wrote several letters not included in the novel, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices. Here is a little peek at the first one.

Dearest Mummy,

I don’t know how to send this letter to Heaven, but it makes me feel better to write to you. I’ll keep it in a box until I can find a way. I miss you so much. My tenth year is nearly here, my first birthday without you and father. There is a kind lady in the village and I like her. She has a shop and lets me visit her. She gives me tea and cake, too. Not just for my birthday either.

Uncle Arthur and Aunt Gertrude are so mean. Eleanor isn’t nice either, except sometimes. I wish father had named someone else to take care of me. I don’t like this new place near Chatham either. I have a small room under the roof and I can hear the rain at night. I’m afraid of storms where wind rattles the windows and lightning flashes in the sky. Sometimes, the cat visits my room. I like animals.

Me and my dog ran away yesterday, but the vicar found us and brought us back. Aunt Gertrude said I was a wicked, bad girl, wild and as plain as a pudding. I have no dowry either. I don’t know what that all means, but it sounds dreadful. She took my dog away. I cried and cried, but my dog is still gone. I’ll never let Aunt Gertrude see me cry again. No matter what. I’ll wash my face and learn to keep everything inside.

I shall leave here when I reach one and twenty years and never, never come back. I didn’t mean to let tears fall on this page. Still, no one shall ever, ever read it, so it don’t matter. When I have time, I’ll write again.

Love,

Bethany

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About A Lady’s Vanishing Choices

Vexed with her aunt, Bethany takes the gig without permission. She pulls up to master her temper and wanders into the woods. From her sheltered position, she watches a man bury a long bundle large enough to hold a corpse. She thinks she has escaped undetected, but danger follows her. In her reckless handling of the ribbons, she nearly runs Lord Royce Rivton off the lane.

Lord Rivton is in search of a spy and must investigate her family, his closest neighbor. Both at cross purposes, the sparks fly and when he rescues her, he places her in a compromising position. They marry as expected, but their road is not smooth. She is still in mortal danger. He must find and capture the killer/spy while trying to save his wife. A tattered string weaves together this tale of murder, abduction and espionage.

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Excerpt

The clatter of a thud and scrape against the ground reached Bethany’s ears. What on earth? Alert now, she strained to listen. Again the thud and scrape echoed in a steady rhythm. She recognized the noise of a shovel being plied. Such a sound deep in the forest instantly announced something unusual, even sinister and dangerous. The hairs on back of her neck stood on end and she froze in place. She was alone, vulnerable. Discovery of her presence could herald a ruined reputation perhaps even sending her into actual peril. She shivered. Why had she allowed vexation and self-pity to drive her to act on such a reckless impulse?

Holding her breath, she inched forward ever so quietly and crouched behind a screen of bushes. Alarm curled down her spine, but the urge to discover the source of the sound pushed her forward. Peeking through the foliage, she viewed a small clearing with a mound of freshly turned dirt piled in the center. A man flung another scoop full onto the heap and continued to dig. What could possibly be his purpose? The odor of moist soil reached Bethany, reminding her of her situation, alone and deep in the woods. She recalled the old adage about curiosity and the cat. She caught her breath. The cat died. Nevertheless, she couldn’t drag herself away.

About the Author

001 copyI am a native of Texas and still live in this great state. I write period romance tangled with suspense. I married my high school sweetheart, years and years ago. We raised four children and have eight grandchildren, and grandchildren are Grand. At the moment, all my children and my grandchildren live within seventy miles of our home, lots of visits. My husband and I still love each other after all these years the stuff romance is made of, Happy Ever After!

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