This is the eighth in a series of character introductions associated with my book, My New-Found Land.
Susannah was a daddy's girl, and luckily for her, her father wasn't a draft candidate. Running a funeral home was not only a good business, but with the pandemic and wars going on it was considered an essential civilian job, making him safe from being sent to the front lines.
Susannah's friends were put off by her father's line of work, but she didn't care. At least she had a father! And he could afford to indulge her with pretty dresses, fancy dolls and bedroom furnishings that were the envy of every girl in their Missouri town.
It was quite a shock when he dropped dead of a heart attack. Susannah's mother had no head for business and her two brothers were too young and irresponsible to be much help. Someone had to keep things going or they would soon all be out on the street. So Susannah rolled up her sleeves and went to work.
She knew a lot about the funeral business from all those years as her father's shadow. But the pretty teenager wasn't prepared for the way it would bleed her life dry. She had no time for friends, no time for romance, and she entered her twenties bitter and lonely.
Ben was one of the few bright spots in her life. He lived on a property on the lake and was a widower with a tragic past. Many people in town still blamed him for a long-ago tragedy, but Susannah only knew that he was kind. When someone couldn't afford a burial or a headstone, she could always count on Ben to help out.
But just when she thought he was beginning to really notice her, along came this rustic upstart from God alone knows where, looking like Ben's long-dead wife and capturing his attention! She says she's only staying until her injured horse is well, but everyone in town says she's going to be Ben's new wife.
Should she kill Diana with kindness, cut her losses and give up, or just be a bitch about the whole thing? Anger and bitterness come easy for Susannah. Doing something different would require changing her entire outlook on things. But maybe changing her ways is exactly what she has needed to do all along if she's ever going to find a way to be happy and get Ben to love her instead of wallowing in his own past and self-pity.
But first, Miss Southwest has got to go.
REMINDER: My New-Found Land is available in print or download at my Lulu Storefront. If you buy in September, let me know so I can enter you in a drawing for promotional giveaways!