Posted on Monday, 8 January 2001
Author's Note: This is my first attempt at a NA story, as my favorite JA novels are a close three-way tie between P and P, NA and P. This story is loosely based, and I mean very loosely based on a silly movie called "American Dreamer" that starred Tom Conti and Jobeth Williams. The elements that will cause this storyline are a secret love of romantic suspense novels, a first trip abroad and an accidental blow to the head.
No one who watched Katie Morland grow up would have ever expected the events that occurred when she reached the age of seventeen, for Katie had had a normal childhood among her fairly large family of five brothers and four sisters. She had had a reputation for being a tomboy, she was the star pitcher on her neighborhood pick-up baseball team, as for her reading habits, she had been read the usual traditional children's books from her cradle: "Good Night Moon"," Harold and the Purple Crayon", and "Madeline" to name a few. When she started school, and began to learn to read it was "The Cat in the Hat" and other Dr. Seuss favorites, and as her reading skills developed, she graduated to chapter books, she especially loved series such as Gertrude Chandler Warner's "The Boxcar Children" and "The Little House" books. As she grew into pre-teenhood, Katie fell into horse love as most young girls of her age did, so you could likely find books such as Marguerite Henry's "Misty of Chincoteague" and "Stormy: Misty's Foal" in her backpack, or Mary O'Hara's "My Friend Flicka", and other horse stories. She had had almost convinced her Father, a respected Methodist Minister that she could take care of her very own horse. When she began Junior and Senior High she began to read the Classics, such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen, but it was when she graduated as valedictorian of her class, and her Mother's best friend Mrs. Theodore Allen decided present Katie with a trip to England, with the Allens accompanying her. Katie, having fallen in love with all things English, was overjoyed.
Posted on Wednesday, 10 January 2001
Now for someone whose taste in reading appeared to be of the best, it would probably come as a shock that our heroine had a fondness for a series of romantic novels that told the adventures of a young woman called Emily Montclair, written by a Diana di Angelo. Now, I like another famous author will not have her heroine decrying novels, though I will not make the famous defense that she made, I will only add that it makes no sense even in this day and age for the heroine of one story to decry the heroine of another as silly, or trashy, as some have done. As I have said Katie was very fond of this series of novels. She had been introduced to the series the summer she was fifteen, and she spent her first summer as a counselor-in-training at a church run summer camp called Wesley Pines. Katie was introduced to the books by her tent mate a girl called Belle Thorpe, whose mother was a friend of both her mother and Mrs. Allen. After this fortuitous introduction, Katie could not get enough of the series, and waited avidly for the next book in the series. She had read them so avidly, that by the time she graduated from High School, she had all the books in the series memorized by heart.
The series was set in England, and as I stated before, told the adventures of Emily Montclair, a young Lady of independent wealth, who, through her somewhat impulsive nature, found herself involved in, what could only be described by the decriers of novels of this sort, as outlandish. She was accompanied by the Reverend Peter Attenbury, a young vicar whose main role was to extricate Emily from the situations she had got herself into, on account of her impulsiveness. Now, I will say right now that they were actually quite good and well written, but the novel decriers won't listen to the novel readers of the world, when it comes to something that might be good for them.
As Katie's birthday fell during the time that she would be gone, her parents gave her combination going-away/birthday party and when the cake was brought out, and Katie blew out the candles, she made a wish that something especially exciting would happen while she was in England, but just to insure that it came true, she kept it to herself, though Mrs. Allen had instructed Katie to be careful as she made her wish, as it may just come true. The party held, good-byes said, bags packed, two days later, Katie and the Allens were safely seen onto their flight, and were on the way to England.
Author's Note: The Emily Montclair series doesn't exist anywhere, except in my imagination. I just made them up for the purpose of my story.
Posted on Thursday, 31 May 2001
Katie's and the Allens' flight was a normal flight, no dramatic sort of happenings such as: wild turbulence, a woman going into labor, someone having a heart attack, someone choking that required the use of the Heimlich maneuver, or even an attempted highjacking. It was rather a routine, boring flight, nor was the drive to the hotel, where Katie and the Allens were to meet the rest of their tour group. The group even went to a real pub for a taste of English atmosphere, and when Katie and the Allens returned to their rooms, Katie did not find her room all topsy-turvy, as if someone had broken into her room, looking for something, nor was there anything stolen from her room. Everything was quite normal, no unusual happenings, that is, until they boarded the bus for Bath. Catherine had especially had wished to see Bath, as she was interested in seeing all the places connected with the woman who had given the world such beloved heroines as: Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse and Anne Elliot and such handsome heroes as: Fitzwilliam Darcy, George Knightley and Frederic Wentworth, the trip to Bath began quite normally. The Allens sat together, behind some friends of theirs who they had traveled with two years before, yet Mrs. Allen spent her time bemoaning the fact that were no families with sons Katie's age or older. Why hadn't this family or that family come this year?
Katie, sat in a seat by herself, immersed in the latest Emily Montclair novel, which had been a gift from her next younger sister Sally. Katie couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to her favorite heroine this time.
Posted on Saturday, 23 March 2002
As I mentioned before, Katie's and the Allens' bus ride to Bath began most normally. Katie, who sat by herself was reading the latest Emily Montclair adventure, which has been given to her by her next younger sister Sally as a combination birthday and goodbye present. Katie had been all eager to find out what would happen next to her favorite heroine, while Mrs. Allen bemoaned the fact that there were no nice young men on the bus who were Katie's age. Actually this did not bother Katie, as she had only left the tomboy stage, and to her, the male of the species was still someone you played baseball with, not had tender feelings for, not that there had many opportunities for such, as Katie's father was a minister and some young men were afraid to approach someone like Katie's father, or ask Katie for a date. Now as a child, Katie was considered neither pretty or plain, just an ordinary, normal looking girl, though as she had matured, she had developed into a nice looking young lady, and sometimes she dreamed about what it would be like to have a steady boyfriend.
All this changed, when the bus was just about to drive away. All of a sudden! Katie noticed a commotion just outside the bus door, as a young man appeared and began to knock on the closed doors. The driver opened the doors and let the young man onto the bus. Katie noticed that the young man was about two or three years older than she was. He was very tall and had a mop of dark brown curls, and brown eyes. His face was quite handsome and as Katie was the only seat that did not have another person, the young man politely asked Katie if he might sit next to her and Katie smiled and replied that he might. For those of you who like to read novels of the sort that our heroine loved to read will no doubt recognise this young man as the hero of my little story. The young man soon introduced himself as Henry Tilney, a young man who had been hosteling across England and was surprisingly from a town not far from Katie's hometown.
Posted on Wednesday, 15 May 2002
Catherine smiled up at the strange young man and offered him the place next to her on her seat. They introduced each other and as the tour bus began to make it's way to Bath, the strange young man made Catherine laugh at the silliest of things. They both played a sort of game, where they tried to make-up stories about their fellow passengers. Some of the stories were the most absurd. All in all Catherine found that Henry, as he wished to be called, was a most intriguing person and she truly wished to get to know him better. He had told her that he had chosen to take a year off from school, before he entered Divinity School, as he was studying to become a minister, yet he seemed so different from the Divinity students who at one time or came to stay at her family's house, in the spare room. Most of them were all sober and serious.
Though Catherine was enjoying her seatmate, she was becoming very tired, and it wasn't long before both young people were having a great difficulty stopping the yawns that kept coming and soon most if not all the passengers on the tour bus were sound asleep, which was a fine thing, if you weren't counting on the bus swerving to avoid a car that appeared to be stalled in the middle of the road, and in the process, colliding with another vehicle.