Doc Holliday being in love with Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind -- legend and literature come together.
When John Henry Holliday was a young man, he and his cousin Mattie Holliday were best of friends. During their teen years the friendship turned to a romance. Because they were first cousins, family members pressured them to end their involvement. Some folks say it was their tragic love affair that sent him West and her into a convent.
Doc and Mattie became close friends after Doc's father remarried just three months after his wife died. Doc was 14 at the time and gravitated toward his uncle, which would have given him more opportunities to see Cousin Mattie. Ten years after Doc left Georgia Mattie entered a convent and became Sister Mary Melanie. Mattie corresponded with Doc all of his life, but ultimately burned the letters exchanged by the two of them after his death.
Mattie's uncle was Margaret Mitchell's great grandfather. Years later, Mattie Holliday became a nun and took the name Sister Melanie. That was how she was known when Margaret Mitchell visited with her as an old woman at St. Joseph's Infirmary in Atlanta, Georgia. Mitchell is said to have asked her if she could name a character after her in the story she was writing, to which Sister Melanie replied, ''Just make her a good person."
Several years ago I was fortunate enough to take a tour through Margaret Mitchell's home in Atlanta. The docent pointed out two photos hanging on the wall -- one was Mattie and the other Doc. All of us tourists appeared surprised to hear of this love affair and how it had such a lasting effect on the two of them. Some have said that losing the love of his life might have contributed to his alcoholism.
For some reason I cannot understand, this story left an everlasting impression on me. How strange a man who became known as a fast gun of the west had loved a gentle lady who became a nun.
BLURB: Sassy Amalie Renard, a poker-playing saloon singer, shakes up Paradise Pines, a former gold-rush mountain community by turning the saloon’s bar into her stage. Her amazing voice stirs the passions of the hotel owner, a man who anonymously travels tunnels at night providing help to the downtrodden as the mysterious Night Angel. Declan Grainger agrees to subsidize the building of a music hall to fulfill Amalie's dream, but a bounty for her arrest could spoil his plans. Distrust and jealousy stir flames of malice and revenge threatening to destroy their town. Drawing from past experiences, Declan and Amalie turn to each other to find a way to save the community.
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Paradise Pines Series: Marriage Bargain will be released March 21, 2013
BLURB: The dusty trail of a wagon train leads west, but Darrah Benjamin finds it a pathway to love and forgiveness when an arranged marriage becomes much more than a convenience. Wagon scout Chase challenges her determination with his promise -- she’ll give him her heart and invite him to her bed before they arrive at their destination. Darrah will shape her own destiny and claim a woman’s spirit along the way. Charles Danforth, a scout known as Chase, leads a wagon train of emigrants west through plains plundered by murderers. As an undercover agent of President Polk, he has sworn to stop the massacres. Darrah's inadvertent comment gives him the clue he needs to achieve his assignment. His Sioux blood brother helps Chase end the killings, but almost ruins Chase’s chance of winning Darrah’s heart when he kidnaps her to demonstrate the depth of love Chase has for his wife.