Pains, Trains and Automobiles

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It's a brand new year--just one year short of the millenium. Eighteen-year-old Jemima McBustle has become the Nelly Bly of St. Louis--but at a heavy price.

Jemmy is as popular as a porcupine in the punchbowl with the staff of the St. Louis Illuminator. Sneaking off to beat a fellow newsman to report on a dead Lilliputian on the railroad tracks pushed her likeability quotient somewhere between none at all and being pelted with rotten eggs.

To win a moment's peace, her editor ships her out of town whenever he can--this time to Peoria, Illinois, for the opening of the new city hall on January 5, 1899.

Jemmy is in luck. Her rich uncle and her business-mined little sister are eager to make the trip. In fact, Uncle provides transportation--at least part of the way--in his spanking new custom-built Dorris automobile. Uncle also secures lodging at a bizarre home with an eccentric hostess who speaks to her guests through her basset hound.

After finessing the job of her dreams at a St. Louis newspaper, Jemmy knows she must deliver stories that will sell papers. But she finds roadblocks at every turn. Jemmy is determined to keep the career she loves. But she can’t help being attracted to the men who are attracted to her.

And then there's her family--a mother who worries--an aunt who makes matches--and a little sister that's all business.

Should she marry and live a life of ease or should she risk life and limb to cling to her career? Can she hold on when every day brings a new struggle?

What’s a girl to do when all her old boyfriends turn up to bedevil her at the same time?

The journey plunges her into the world of high stakes finance and the unimaginable power of the railroad barons such as William K. Vanderbilt. The trip chases her up muddy hills, through dark buildings, and into a near fatal brush with electricity. 

The clock is ticking. Can a well-bred young lady write her way to fame and fortune in a man's world filled with railroad barons and old boyfriends?


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