I’m very happy to announce that The Star-Crossed Seamstress has reached bestseller status on Amazon. It is #1 in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
During the editing process, my editor suggested I remove the opening scene, to start with Skylar’s arrival in England. I pay her for her sage advice, so I complied. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean the scene can’t see the light of day! In the movies, certain scenes end up on the digital version of the cutting-room floor and are perhaps included on a DVD as a bonus for viewers. Consider the following deleted scene as a bonus, and have a very happy Friday! ~ Suzanne
Deleted Opening Scene from The Star-Crossed Seamstress:
Skylar eased out of the cramped Second Class cabin she shared with another passenger, made her way down the deserted, narrow corridor and ascended a flight of carpeted stairs. As she stepped onto the open deck at last, she filled her lungs with fresh air, heavy with moisture and smelling of salt. The chilly Atlantic Ocean wind whipped her face and threatened to unmoor her brunette hair from its pins, but she merely wrapped the knit scarf around her neck more securely and tightened the paisley woolen shawl around her shoulders.
An abrupt rolling motion sent her lurching across the deck, but fortunately the sturdy railing prevented her from falling overboard. After nearly two weeks aboard the steamship, she’d thought she had gained her sea legs, but the ocean was uniformly unpredictable. Nevertheless, she took a firm grip of the railing and made her way toward the stern. Nothing would deter her from staring down her future, no matter how much uncertainty lay ahead.
When she reached the bow, however, a low bank of fog obscured her view. It seemed her destination would remain hidden a while longer. She was startled by a long, low horn coming from the steamer’s helm. Moments later, she was joined by one of the ship’s officers, dressed in a natty blue uniform. “Good morning, Miss Lake.”
“Hello, Mr. Chapman.” Skylar smiled. “I didn’t hear your footsteps just now.”
“It’s difficult to hear anything else when the foghorn blows.” The man’s green eyes twinkled underneath his cap. “’Tis a bit early to be getting your exercise, isn’t it?”
“I was hoping to catch a glimpse of land, actually.”
“The fog will burn off by mid-morning and we’ll be off the coast of Ireland by then. The Emerald Isle is not a sight you’ll ever forget, but then you’re bound for England, are you not?”
“Yes, and I’m eager to arrive.” She turned away from the railing. “I suppose I’ve no choice but to be patient.”
“Just so.” The officer escorted her back into the deckhouse. “Will this be your first visit to England?”
“Not exactly. I was born there but left with my parents when I was a very small child.” Her shoulders moved up and down in a slight shrug. “I don’t remember it at all.”
“You’ll get acclimated soon enough, to be sure.” He peered at her. “You’ve family meeting you dockside, do you not? Liverpool’s not the sort of city a young lady can move about unaccompanied.”
“Mama sent her sister a letter with my travel plans, so my Uncle Amos is sure to be there.” Skylar paused. “Thank you for looking after me so faithfully during this voyage, sir. It’s somewhat daunting to be traveling alone.”
“’Tis no trouble at all, miss. In fact, you remind me a trifle of my granddaughter.”
“I appreciate your kindness.” She thought longingly of a cup of tea. “Is the Saloon open for breakfast this early?”
“The staff is only just beginning to set up, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they are ready for passengers.” He gestured down the empty corridor. “Why don’t you wait in the library?”
“That’s an excellent idea.”
They parted ways and Skylar ducked into the well-stocked library to pass the time before the ship’s staff could furnish her with her morning beverage. She scanned the shelves, wishing she could find an inspiring book about a newly impoverished young woman fleeing America to escape the stigma of a family disgrace. After finding nothing of the sort, of course, she settled on Louise May Alcott’s Little Women. As she skimmed its pages, however, she realized that she’d devoted her time on the east-bound voyage almost exclusively to American authors—likely due to an increasing sense of homesickness for the country in which she’d been raised.
With a sigh, she put back the volume she’d chosen and picked out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice instead. From now on, she must make a conscious decision to select British authors over American ones. It certainly did no good to pine for America any longer, since she could never go back.