In my romantic suspense novel, Triptych, Miranda, Honor and Sybil Cabot live in a Queen-Anne style mansion overlooking the Potomac River. The mighty Potomac, the fourth largest river on the east coast, runs 383 miles from Fairfax Stone, WV to Point Lookout, MD where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay, the “Mother of Waters.”
Along its shores sit some of the most historic and beautiful cities in the United States—Washington DC being the star. Along its banks you can find the colonial cities of Georgetown and Alexandria, as well as George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon. North of the city lies the Great Falls.
Miranda and her sisters live just below Great Falls, in the bend where the Three Sisters, tiny rocky islets in the middle of the river, lie. The rocks are the stuff of much legend, usually involving drownings and tragic endings. In this excerpt, Miranda tells the story of the three Indian maidens.
Triptych, by M. S. Spencer
Ebook 67,300 words; Print 213 pp.
M/F, 2 flames
Take lost masterpieces, brilliant inventors, and stolen prototypes. Add the Three Sisters, Indian spirits who guard the Potomac River. Stir in three sisters and their lovers. Result? Jealousy, sex, genius, larceny and love. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend demands?
Triptych is available in both eBook and Print-on-Demand.
Excerpt (G): The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters. Miranda sat on an old wrought iron bench by the flower garden and gazed down at them. So many stories had settled on the three islets that rise some ten feet above the water at a bend in the river. There was the one about the three Catholic nuns who drowned. I never liked that version. Sybil’s favorite came from the local Necostin Indian tribe, because, she said, it reminded her of their own father, the Great White Hunter. Foolish girl. She often asked Miranda to tell it on long summer evenings as they tended the fire pit on the patio.
“Come on, sister mine. Tell it again. You do it so beautifully.”
Miranda, as usual, would oblige. “Long ago, an Indian maiden fell in love with a white settler, but the chief, her father, refused to allow their union. One night she made up her mind to defy him and swim across the river to meet her lover. As she neared the middle of the channel, her foot caught in one of the jagged rock fissures that rise from the bottom. Her two sisters swam out to save her, but a great storm blew up. The fierce wind gusted across the water, summoning a huge wave that roared down from the canyons. It pulled all three sisters under, where they drowned. But—”
“This is the best part,” Sybil always interrupted at this point.
“—but, the Great Spirit had mercy upon them, and transformed them into the three rocky islets we know as the Three Sisters.” Here she would lower her voice dramatically. “There are some who claim that late at night, when the rumbling noises of the city wane, you can hear their lonely moans wafting across the still waters. Others believe that, to avenge their deaths, they will pull under and drown any man who tries to cross the river there.”
Three sad sisters, three lonely sisters. Just like us. Miranda rose from the bench, picked up one of Sybil’s pebbles, and threw it hard over the cliff. Moping wouldn’t help her move on.
About the Author
Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, one fabulous grandchild, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
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