Laura at Megan's Antique Shop

Originally, Laura didn't know how much furniture and other items her mother was selling. She had no idea how much money was needed to maintain the house and was rather naive on the subject in the early part of the story. On this particular day, she was missing her mother, confused about the motives for liquidating things, and very angry about the whole situation. In the first draft, she stormed into the antique shop, demanding answers from Megan. As the scene went on, Megan calmed her down, offered tea and scones, and shared some insightful stories about Eleanor, thus allowing Laura (and the reader) to learn another dimension about her mother. It also showcased Megan and her connection to the family. But, we kept cutting it down, tweaking it, taking out the anger, making Laura more aware of her mother's predicament, and then there was NO tension. Scenes need tension or else the reader gets bored. This is a shortened version of the scene. Over the course of many drafts of our novel, a lot of the scenes that featured Megan, Paul, and the Barnes family were eliminated. Its kind of fun to track them down now, after the book has been published, and share them on the website. What do you think, should we have kept this scene, expanded and unpacked the emotions, further developed the relationships, or did we make the right decision in leaving it out of the book?  Weigh in with your opinions on Facebook!Laura paused in front of Megan’s antique shop. Next door, a tidy walkway led to her bed-and-breakfast, Apple Cottage. Megan catered to her guests morning and night, and kept a shine on her antiques during the day.

And somehow an odd alliance had made Megan Giles and Eleanor Colfax-Bram best friends.

The summer stretched in front of Laura like an empty road. There was no one she could share her worries with who wouldn’t tell her to put the manor on the market and pack her suitcase. She pulled open the door and a bell jangled overhead.

Megan looked up and smiled. “I’ll be right with you,” she said, as she went back to demonstrating the locking mechanism of an ancient strongbox to a customer.

Laura wandered back into the depths of the antique store. A glass case along one wall held a collection of miniature portraits, painted in the days before Kodak. Each keepsake had a card beside it, and a good many referred to a Colfax relative. Just like a family photo album. With a start, she realized that more than furniture had been sold from Bannock Manor.

It was disheartening to think that her mother had stooped to selling the small, personal items. Maybe she chose them because she didn’t think her daughter would ever notice. She was right; Laura hadn’t.

Stools and chairs of every era, shape and size were on display, and two settles had been placed before the fireplace, their high backs raised so that when a fire was lit the heat would stay in and the drafts out. On the mantle, Laura found a framed photograph taken years ago at a Bannock Manor garden party. A bouquet of roses stood on a punch table in the background, while Megan, wearing a matronly dress, her round features relaxed in a smile, stood beside Laura’s willowy mother. Laura picked it up, relieved that there wasn’t a price tag on it, just a sticker saying Not For Sale.

“I like that one.”

She whirled at the sound of Megan’s voice.

“Is everything okay?”

Laura tried to fake confidence. “Fine. Everything’s fine, really.”

“I’m sorry, love,” Megan said. “I miss her too.”


Site Photography by Deborah Reed

Poetry by Lisa Shapiro