The St. Lawrence River’s moods

As in all my Thousand Islands Gilded Age stories, in Colleen’s Confession, Colleen Sullivan comes to love the St. Lawrence and Comfort Island. She loves to draw it and dreams of growing in the craft. But tragedy strikes and her orphan dreams of finally belonging and becoming a wife and an artist are gone. What will her future hold?

Here’s a short excerpt to which you can likely relate:

The fiery sunset ignited the sky with an effervescent warmth that kissed her cheeks. They sat still and quiet, the silent spell broken only by the crickets and bullfrogs. On the August winds, dark clouds rode upon colorful chariots.

Colleen glowed in the pumpkin light. “I love the river more and more each day. When I draw it, I am swept up in its majesty and wonder.”

She turned to her latest drawing, a serene rendering of the landscape before them. In the foreground, a fish jumped, its mouth open to catch its dinner.

“You amaze me, fraulein. Truly.”

Just then, Colleen seemed one with the beauty of the river—yet not. Something hidden in the deep recesses of her being hung there like moss entwined in the propellors of a fine yacht. How could he untangle it?

Jack agreed with her admiration of the St. Lawrence. “Sometimes the river gurgles and coos like a happy infant. Other times, it growls like an angry bear. Sometimes it groans like an old man after a long winter’s nap. And other times, it dances like a fair young maiden after her first kiss. The Saint Lawrence River is like that. You can’t tame her, for she’s wild and free.”

“Like the bald eagle?” Colleen searched his face, her gentle eyes fringed with dark lashes, long and thick. “Your eloquence paints a pretty picture, sir.”

She’d listened to his tale of the bird? Perhaps he could break through to the formidable fraulein after all. “Like the magnificent bald eagle. You’re as beautiful as an eagle soaring on a St. Lawrence sunset. I can’t wait to see you fly even higher, Colleen.”

His thoughts had tumbled from his heart to his lips before he could catch them. His pulse hammered wildly as he sucked in a breath, wishing he could retract the premature confession. But he couldn’t. So, he waited—for her to gasp and flee.

She didn’t. Something had changed.

Do you love the river, too? I’d love to know!


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