All that Glitters by Lisa Flickinger

 

All That Glitters Cover

About the Book

The world has gone plum crazy over gold. Men and women alike would do almost anything to make their fortune. Leaving behind her family and a dying father, Ginny Connor follows the cunning Logan Harris up North to strike it rich. Twenty-year old Vivian Connor embarks on a cross-country chase to rescue her sister Ginny and they are both led into the chaos of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Ginny’s dreams of abundant riches and fancy dresses disappear after being abandoned in Dawson City, Yukon. The desperation drives her to make compromising choices.

Meanwhile, Ben McCormack leaves his farm to retrieve his intended bride from a rowdy, tent town on the Alaskan coastline. Ben’s path inadvertently entwines with Vivian’s and he finds his heart tugging him in a different direction.

Danger and disappointment plague all their journeys to the far North. Will Vivian find her sister in time to return home to see their father? Can Ginny forgive herself for the decisions she’s made? Will Ben find the lifelong love he searches for? When the world listens only to the call of gold, redemption and love become scarce treasures.

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1
“Vivian, are you in there?”

The bedroom door opened; Vivian Connor clutched her embroidery hoop tighter and her needle paused in midair, the indigo blue floss dangling.
Her younger sister Virginia stomped into the room and threw herself onto the bed. “I think … I think I’ll suffocate if I have to stay in this house one more minute.” She kicked her feet and hit the coverlet with clenched fists.
Not again. The pockmarks in the rose coloured wallpaper across the room were a reminder of the last “unfortunate incident” as mother called it. Was it just a week ago? Father had replaced her brush, comb, and mirror with the sterling silver set arranged on the chiffonier. They must have cost dearly, too dearly for a family without any wages. Tucking a ringlet behind one ear, Vivian stood and crossed the room hiding the gift from Virginia’s view. “All right, Virginia, what is it now?”
“Father decided I couldn’t go to the Fireman’s Ball on Saturday. I asked him a week ago when Logan asked me. He said he doesn’t know Logan Harris well enough to trust his daughter with him but I’ve known him for a whole month.”
“Ginny.” The soothing tone masked the exasperation bubbling in her stomach. “You know Father can’t abide one of your fits right now. And furthermore, he’s right. No one knows anything about your so-called hero, Logan.”
“I know everything I need to know.”
“Well then, has he told you where the money he flashes around town comes from?” No, and he wouldn’t either. His kind had been seen before, arrogant, pushy, and good looking enough to get away with it.
Ginny sat up and pinned Vivian with bright blue eyes; her chin lifted and a slight smirk appeared on her lips. “I didn’t think discussing where either of our fortunes came from was important.”
“Fortunes? What fortune? Our family’s situation is worse now than ever before, with Father so sick. Oh, Ginny, you didn’t.” As Vivian’s fingernails pierced the palms of her clenched fists the pain was a reminder to be civil. One must always be civil.
Ginny fussed with the pearl button on the edge of her wrist cuff and gave an exaggerated huff.
One … two … three … deep breath. “Ginny, did you lead Logan to believe Aunt Margaret’s home was our own?”
“Not exactly.”
“Not exactly?” It was hopeless to keep her voice from rising. “You mean you neglected to tell him we were only living here until Mother and Father decided what to do!”
“I didn’t think it was important, and frankly, he didn’t ask. All that really matters is that we have each other.” Ginny laid back on the bed once more and spread her arms out, dainty fingers extended, and sighed. “You’ll understand some day when you’re in love, like Logan and I.”
Maybe a sharp smack to the side of Ginny’s face would matter and perhaps even wipe that smug grin off her face too. How could she be so mean? It wasn’t fair, Vivian was twenty years old, two years Ginny’s senior and almost an old maid. The longing to be in love filled many daydreams, daydreams like linking an arm through one strong and protective for a stroll through town or clasping a hand sturdy and supportive to step up into a carriage. But how would it ever happen when Ginny kept Vivian busy tidying up ridiculous messes? Between that and Father’s illness, there was no time to meet a fellow – let alone court one.
“So if money doesn’t matter, why did Logan ask you to join him as he followed the men up north looking for gold?” Vivian asked. How could her sister be so naïve? Most likely the only thing that Logan cared about was money and finding the easiest way to get it. The gold rush was just the current prospect. Lots of folks had been saying they expected ninety-eight to produce more fortunes than the last two years put together. Every second man was heading up north to the Klondike seeking the elusive gold; Logan Harris was only one more fool.
“Well, Logan feels one should never lose an opportunity. He says the men need all kinds of supplies and services in the Klondike. He aims to meet the demand. I could be rich!” she said extending her arms above her head.
“Shush, they might hear you downstairs. Ginny, promise me you won’t go.” Why bother asking for a promise, she’s never kept them anyway. And she’s never listened to reason either – but her family deserved an attempt. “We don’t know anything about Logan, and you’ve only just met him. And even worse, you’ve misled him. What happens when he realizes you have no family money?” The grooves between the boards of the hardwood floor dug into her knees as she knelt on the floor beside the bed and took Ginny’s hand within her own. “I love you too much to let you do this. We all love you. Please, don’t go.”
“Really, Viv, aren’t you being a bit dramatic? I’m sure you will all get along fine without me.” She pulled her hand from Vivian’s and adjusted the collar of her dress. “You’re always saying I’m such a bother anyway.”
The breath caught in Vivian’s throat. It was true, Vivian thought Ginny a bother but she had no idea how high the resentment had built up, incident by incident, brick by brick, until it was difficult to see over the top.
“…and you wouldn’t believe what it’s like up north. Every second man is a millionaire. There are thousands of opportunities to make a fortune. In Dawson City there are fancy dance halls and splendid theatres. The women wear clothes as fashionable as those in Paris.”
“I am not concerned about what they wear. I am concerned about you.”
“Logan is going to buy a hotel. I can’t wait to live out my dream and walk down the staircase in a satin and velvet gown embroidered with tiny golden flowers,” (Ginny’s finger traced a flower in the air) “and the train flowing behind me on the stairs, my suede gloves on the banister. Everyone will turn and look at me.”
And it still won’t be enough. It will never be enough. Does Logan have any idea? But if Ginny leaves right now, it might kill their father. “Don’t go. I beg you, Ginny, don’t go.”
“Settle down. I promise you, I won’t go until I am sure of both Logan and his intentions.”
“What will happen if Father – ”
“Well, if you don’t think Father can bear the news right now, keep this conversation between the two of us.” Ginny grabbed her shawl from the bed and wrapped it around her petite shoulders and then she stood and walked toward the door. “ I think I will make my way down to Lady Annabelle’s and see if she needs any errands run.”
Lady Annabelle was a wealthy neighbor confined to a wheelchair. Ginny liked to make a habit of helping the elderly woman during the day and reading the Bible to her in the evenings. It was one of the few things to be admired about her sister. But it still wasn’t fair. All the endless hours of taking care of their two siblings, running errands for the family, and doing household tasks fell on Vivian’s shoulders and with no appreciation. Yet Ginny received constant praise from her mother, father, and aunt for the kindness to a stranger.
“Maybe … you should go.”

Lisa Flickinger

About the Author

Lisa Flickinger lives in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies with her husband Matthew and their dog Zeke. When not writing or reading, you will find her combing antique shops, walking in the woods, or sipping a latte with friends. All That Glitters fulfills the lifelong dream of sharing the characters in her head with you, dear reader. Enjoy!

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