A Lady of Esteem ~ The Extras
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A Lady of Esteem Inspiration Music
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A Lady of Esteem Dig Deeper Devotionals
Bible passage - 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Discussion Questions - Read devotional for context
1. Can you relate to Anthony's concern about falling into old patterns? Do you avoid certain places or things in order to avoid falling back into sin?
2. Why is it sometimes harder to forgive yourself than it is to forgive others?
3. What does it mean when the Bible says you are a new creation?
4. Does it scare you or encourage you to know that God is looking at what you truly think and feel and not simply what you say and do?
Bible passage - John 3:16
Bible passage - John 1:12
Bible passage - Romans 8:38-39
Discussion Questions - Read devotional for context
1. Do you ever feel undeserving of God's gift of eternal life?
2. What sort of disagreements and problems occur within your family? Have you seen similar problems in the family of God (the church)?
3. Have you ever thought about what acceptance by God truly means?
4. Does knowing God has your back at the end of the day give you the courage to try some things you wouldn't have otherwise?
A Lady of Esteem Alternate Prologue
A Lady of Esteem had many versions before finding its final form. Along the way it had several different prologues, some of which I thought were really insteresting.
The prologue below was NOT edited. Nor is it what I would consider particularly well written. Of course, at the time that I wrote it I thought it was amazing.
So why am I posting it? Mostly because the Hubs wants me to. Also because this little chunk of writing is the reason I began pursuing publication. Without this prologue, I don't know that I'd be writing today. It was the first thing I showed anyone. I showed it to the Hubs and he raved over it. He continues to ask if I'm going to put it out there, so here it is.
If this doesn't interest you, head on back to the A Lady of Esteem page for more bonus materials.
Original Prologue, Written Summer of 2010
The thirteenth Viscount Stanford was a solitary scholarly fellow, as his father had been before him and to his knowledge his grandfather as well. He had never intended to become the viscount, as his elder brother Robert had married and dutifully produced two boys who were being raised with a series of tutors as scholarly as their ancestors were. No one, least of all John Chadwick, expected the entire family to perish in a dreadful carriage accident while traveling along the coast.
When the solicitor had arrived with the terrible news, John had been studying the history of ancient Greece with the intention of helping his nephews redesign the back garden in the Grecian style. He had sat silently through the entire story until the solicitor finally said, "This means you are now Lord Stanford. The papers will be delivered tomorrow." The stunned John had muttered a simple "Oh, my."
The next day he had listened to all that was required of him, signed any paper sat in front of him and placed a black band about his arm to signify the mourning of what was left of his family. He did not know what to do as a viscount, and so he had decided to carry on much as he had prior to the death of his brother.
It was possible that at one point he had intended to get married and beget an heir, but once his period of mourning was over he never quite seemed to get around to it. He preferred to stay in his country estate, managing the responsibilities of the viscountcy in the mornings and following various scholarly pursuits in the afternoons. In the evenings, he had decided to take on the project of learning Russian to fill his time now that his house was empty save a handful of servants. He knew that the title would pass out of the family in some direction, but he could think of no one who would be alive to care when that came to pass.
It came as a surprise to everyone the day Miss Amelia Stalwood arrived on the doorstep. When the butler had opened the door, he saw a young girl of 10 clutching an oversized valise and sitting on an old wooden trunk. Her big brown eyes were sad as she watched the carriage that had delivered her ride off at a reckless pace down the lane. The butler also turned to watch the carriage drive away. At one point a head popped out of the window to look back at the house. There was only time to notice that it belonged to a woman before it popped back into the carriage and disappeared.
"I am to deliver this to Lord Stanford," the girl said quietly, holding out a folded piece of paper with no seal to the butler.
Lord Stanford had even less of an inkling of what to do with the child than his butler had. She was apparently a cousin of some relation to his late sister-in-law. According to the letter, the uncle was a wastrel and the grandmother could barely afford to feed herself, much less a child, and in the interest of family could he please see fit to raise this little girl?
He had not the faintest idea of what to do with a little girl, but he also didn't have the heart to turn her away. While Lord Stanford saw no reason to procure a wife and children of his own, he also saw no reason to ignore what little family he had left, no matter how loose the connection. So he hired a local girl to act as governess and, after a year of having his studies occasionally interrupted by the pitter-patter of playing feet, decided that the child might do better at his townhome in London.
Being a man who put such great importance on knowledge and education, he determined that the girl should be taught by someone with more experience than the daughter of the local impoverished gentry. To that end, Amelia was sent to London on her own, escorted by a single maid, with the promise that the new governess would be selected to meet her there.
The townhome had not seen residents since John Chadwick became the viscount and the staff had been whittled down over the years. Only a butler, housekeeper/cook, and maid remained. To this household Miss Amelia and her governess were joined, bringing with them a large increase in the amount of money allotted to the household each quarter.
The viscount instructed his solicitor to add his new ward into his will and then promptly forgot the whole thing.
He learned how to say "peace and quiet" in Russian.
Amelia learned how to disappear.