When Such Friends Were Met

Dianne Lessard survived France’s Reign of Terror, years without her parents, and the security of a permanent home. In the summer of 1809, she needed a job. Her position as governess was at an end. Her luck seemed heaven sent when she read the ad in the Ladies Gazette requiring a French teacher for a private school. After securing two interviews, she not only had a job, but a new home.
However, Dianne’s happiness is short-lived when her teaching methods go awry and the headmistress, Mrs. Heaton, is not pleased. Can Dianne rise above her failures and conquer Mrs. Heaton’s disappointment?
A handsome Captain on leave from his duties fighting Napoleon’s forces, surprises Dianne with a simple question, and forces her to rethink her once fierce independence for a chance at marriage and family. But then, the Captain is sent back to sea, and Dianne wrestles with her guilt for never answering his query.

Dianne’s faith is sorely tested at every turn, but it is the only thing that remains constant in her topsy-turvy world. Will it desert her when she needs it the most?

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 This story was written for the winners of a prize “Be a Character in a Story” I donated for a fund raising event at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School. As a romance novelist, I thought the idea unique. However, when I found two teachers had won the prize, I was quite stymied as to how to present the story. Although, there is a small romance within this novella, I have taken the liberty of encompassing the lives of two women teachers and the view of their world and their students in 1809. As we are also representing a Catholic school, I thought to include some of the history of the Catholic persecution found in France during that time.

Mrs. Deborah Heaton has been teaching Kindergarten at Our Lady of Mercy in Winston-Salem, NC for eighteen years and Mrs. Dianne Daniel has been right alongside her as teaching assistant for all those years. During our interviews, they both asked me to include a few particular people from their real lives so if you find yourself amidst the pages, thank them.

The lovely hamlet of Wake Forest also holds great importance, as Mrs. Daniel is a die-hard Deacon’s fan and every morning plays the team song along with morning prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Heaton’s love and care for the children she teaches is legendary, as well as having a handkerchief tucked up her sleeve.

And it seems pirates abound everywhere at this school.

It has been a privilege and an honor to write this book.
I hope I have done justice to the “characters.”

Anne Gallagher
August 2013
North Carolina

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