Philadelphia, Perdy Rogers chafes under the strict rule of her Quaker
grandmother and the endless duties of her apprenticeship in Betsy Ross’s
upholstery shop. So when her best friend shares a secret and invites Perdy to
help plan an elopement, she’s thrilled to be with her friends again. But Perdy
has no idea that one favor will unravel the stable fabric
of her life and involve her in a tangled web of deceit, lies and treachery.
Disguised as boys, three girls head to the river to
put Perdy’s plan into action, but only two return. When the third, a young
milliner’s assistant, is found drowned with gold coins sewn into her hems,
coded spy letters in her bodice, and a journal implicating another sewing apprentice
as her co-conspirator, all eyes turn to Perdy Rogers. But she’s no spy!
Accused of treason, she struggles to prove her
innocence with the help of a handsome stranger and learns the hard way that
freedom, whether an individual’s or a country’s, comes at a cost.
As a Master Educationalist Gayle C. Krause taught Children’s Literature, creative writing, storytelling techniques, and acting in upstate New York, where she trained young men and women to become successful Early Childhood and Elementary teachers. She also directed the Pre-K Laboratory School affiliated with her teacher-training program and taught at a local SUNY college as an adjunct professor.
Her years as a creative role model for teens and pre-school children have led to her career as a children’s author. She is a member of SCBWI, KIDLIT, INK, The JAGRS Writing Group, and a past member of the Historical Novel Society and The Poets’ Garage.
I slip my hands in and out of my pockets and glance side to side as I climb Lizzie’s steps. My heart skips a beat. I breathe deep and knock, hoping I won’t face Constable Duffield again. Hushed whispers filter through the open window and it takes a while for Lizzie’s mother to answer.
I smile. “Hello, Mrs. Duffield, is Lizzie at home?”
Somber-faced, she addresses me at the door. “No, she is not.”
“When will she be back?”
Callousness clouds Mrs. Duffield’s usually friendly eyes. “She won’t be home until Christmas, and even then, she won’t be home to you.”
I wince. “Pardon me?
“Let me make this clear, Prudence. Elizabeth has been sent to boarding school in Boston. We don’t want her associating with the likes of you and
Priscilla Moore. Lord knows what you’d try to get her to do.”
My mouth drops. “Me? I—”
“Good day, Miss Rogers. Do not return to my door. You’ve no business here, even when Elizabeth returns.” She slams the door in my face.
Dazed, I stare at the brass doorknocker. A cold wave, as brisk as a January breeze, rushes over me and I back up. With my hands half-curled into fists, I stumble off Lizzie’s porch, the very one where I played knucklebones as a child. The porch that just the other night was privy to Priscilla’s secret, and the part we all played in it. Now, I’m not to step on it again.
Not allowed to talk to Lizzie.
They sent her all the way to Boston to make sure I couldn’t.
I bite my lip and perch on the stone wall adjacent to Lizzie’s house. What do they think I’d try to get her to do? My gaze drops to Jonathan’s clothes, still tucked under my arm.
Blue eyes, long blonde curly hair, average to thin build – 5’ 3”
Dark eyes, long light brown hair, average to thin build – 5’ – 4”
Black curly hair, blue eyes, athletic build – 5’ 10”
Blue eyes, curly blonde hair, chubby cheeks – pre-school age
Dark eyes, dark brown hair, non-athletic – 5’ 9’