Edith Maxwell here. Sometimes with publisher schedules, the time between when we submit a manuscript and the publication date seems impossibly long. And then suddenly it's upon us!
The wait for Called to Justice has been like that, but now the April 8 release date is rushing ever closer. I'm busy arranging guest blog posts, nailing down a date for a launch party, and requesting early reviews. A well-known historical fiction author said this about the second Quaker Midwife Mystery:
"Edith Maxwell has given readers a wonderful gift with Called to Justice. It's a riveting historical mystery featuring a refreshingly different kind of heroine, a Quaker midwife who also solves crimes with wit, intelligence, and gentle grace. It's a page turner. It's a fascinating look at nineteenth-century American faith, culture, and small-town life. And best of all, it's the second of what is sure to be a long and beloved series." -- William Martin, New York Times bestselling Author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter
And of course the book is available for preorder wherever books are sold. So I thought I'd give you a taste of the very first page:
The day had seemed an unlikely one to include death.
On a sunny, hot Independence Day, citizens from miles around had flocked in carriages, by trolley, even on bicycle to the streets of Amesbury, Massachusetts to celebrate our country’s one-hundred-and-twelfth birthday. Colorful buntings hung from buildings, including John W. Higgins, Boots and Shoes across from where I stood. I strained to keep my place at the edge of Main Street that morning while others jostled for an advantageous spot from which to watch the parade.
I’d walked down from the modest home where I lodged with my late sister’s husband and his five children. My beau, David Dodge, was taking me to watch the fireworks tonight, but he needed to make rounds at the hospital today so I was on my own for the morning.
I was laughing along with the crowd at one of the horribles, a policeman dressed as a British bobby pulling an outhouse on a cart labeled “Amesbury Lockup,” when someone tugged at my sleeve.
“Rose,” she whispered.
“Hannah,” I said to the young woman at my side. Hannah Breed was a Quaker like me and one of my niece Faith’s fellow employees at the Hamilton Mill. The smile slid off my face when I focused on her pale visage and drawn, frightened eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“Faith has said thee is a midwife.”
“I am.” I touched her shoulder. “Thee is troubled.”
“I need to talk with thee.”
I took Hannah’s hand and pushed through the crowd behind us until we gained the relative quiet of Currier Street. I stood facing Hannah in the welcome shade of one of the Salisbury Manufacturing Company’s buildings.
“Please tell me what ails thee,” I said, although I suspected the cause. She attended Amesbury Friends Meeting, as did I, and I’d detected a change in her the last couple of months.
Hannah gazed at the embroidered handkerchief she twisted in her hands. As she glanced up at me, a roar erupted from the crowd we’d left behind.
“I’m in trouble, Rose. I don’t know where to turn, what to do.”
I clasped my hands and waited without speaking. As a member of the Religious Society of Friends, I was accustomed to silence.
“I have not been well. I’m sick often throughout the day. I thought it was a touch of illness.” She paused, lifting her chin. “But then I missed my monthly.”
Readers, what do you think? I hope you're as excited as I am. So tell me, do you like to read a teaser snippet from a book before you decide to buy it? Do gorgeous covers convince you? Do tell!