JANEY BURKE despises her life at St. Jerome's Orphanage in 1902 Sturgis, South Dakota. She harbors a messy stew of hurt, anger and confusion after having been deposited there at the age of eight by her own mother. She compensates by carrying out elaborate pranks and fiercely defending the younger children against bullies. Though these actions endear her to her peers, she is a thorn-in-the-side to the home's authority figures. Only her friendship with the shy half-Shoshone girl, EMMA TWO-SHOES makes life tolerable. Then on her fifteenth birthday a dapper stranger waltzes into St. Jerome's. Janey learns that this Englishman, SEBASTIAN KENT, has come to take her to Deadwood to be reunited with her mother. She is further shocked when he reveals her mother is the Wild West icon, CALAMITY JANE. Angered when he discovers Emma stowed away in Janey's steamer trunk, Sebastian confesses that he is using Janey to get an interview with her mother so that he can write a dime novel. In fact, he has never even met the legendary woman. Janey and Sebastian form a tenuous bond in order to both get what they want. Deadwood, the girls are taken in by her mother's best friends: the beautiful but bawdy MADAM DORA DUFRAN and the prim boardinghouse matron TILLY UTTER. Both women issue the girls a warning that while Deadwood Gulch is no longer the helltown of its Goldrush Days, it is still a place where proper young ladies must be wary. They particularly tell them to steer clear of BIG LU MOORE, suspected of dealing in white slavery, and JOHN NOBLE, a wealthy citizen with a penchant for young girls. Dora and Tilly put Sebastian in charge of watching out for the girls' safety, but he is distracted by his love for one of "Dora's girls," COZETTE PETITE. While Janey is merely disgusted with his blind infatuation for the gold-digging soiled dove, Emma is heartbroken that her crush on him is unrequited. In addition, Emma realizes that she will be both penniless and alone once Janey reconnects with her mother. So when Big Lu offers to place Emma into the hands of a wealthy childless couple, Emma jumps at the chance. She takes advantage of a chaotic Independence Day celebration to make her way to Big Lu's infamous Mecca Rooms brothel to meet her adoptive parents. But Big Lu's real intention is to sell Emma to John Noble, a closet pedophile. When Janey discovers the kidnapping, she enlists the help of Sebastian and EZRA SIMPSON--a gentle giant who has fallen in love with Emma but has kept his feelings hidden because he is black. There follows a harrowing rescue during which Janey accidentally shoots John Noble. Emma falls into a coma from having been given too much of the sedative, laudanum. Emma recovers, but when they learn that Noble is also going to live, Janey, Sebastian and Emma must make a hurried and clandestine exit from Deadwood to escape his wrath. Author_Bio: Rebecca Willman was raised in rural Ohio. She attended Anderson University, Wright State University and Urbana University and had two careers--the first as an educator and the second as a non-profit director. During those careers she worked with children of all ages from kindergarten through college. While a classroom teacher, her favorite part of the day was reading to her class from a good book. Since childhood, she has also loved writing her own stories and poems. Along with writing, she also enjoys being active in community groups, traveling, researching history, and reading mysteries. She resides in Springfield, Ohio with her husband, Larry. They have two grown children and one granddaughter. Keywords: Historical, Teen, Coming-Of-Age, Orphans, South Dakota, Women's Issues, Bullying, Friendship, Action-Packed, Suspenseful
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|Size: ||317 KB|
|Publisher: ||First Edition Design Publishing|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9781622878321 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|