This true-to-life rags to riches tale, my first novel, is set during WWII and could have actually happened if not for one thing: Mattie Featherstone never existed, other than between the covers of this 381-page book. But the lifestyles, the culture of the time, and some of the places ring so true, you’ll wonder. It’s classic 1940’s, Dallas, Texas, in and around Oak Cliff.
Too young to be widowed and too pretty to be alone, Mattie Featherstone is both. Suddenly impoverished, this confused, tormented woman abandons her children and seeks refuge in an encampment for vagrants situated near the Trinity River on the west side of Dallas during World War II.
When a twist-of-fate encounter eases Mattie out of destitution into the genteel world of her paper doll dreams, she manages to conceal the truth about her past from her benefactors. She even justifies – in her own mind – the abandonment of her daughters.
However, everything changes when yet another unforeseen event turns her life into sensational headline news, revealing more than even she could imagine.
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From some of my readers:
“I finished the book just now. Wow! It was great. Keep on writing, girl! I enjoyed reading about the places we were familiar with when we lived in the Dallas area. The Kessler Park area still has some nice desirable homes & Highland Park will always be Highland Park! I can picture in my mind what the tent city must have looked like under the bridges that I used to drive across going to work. You brought these people to life. So glad they had a happy ending. I know you have a great writing future ahead of you.” Barbara Petty
“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed The Velvet Bridge. I started reading it and could not put it down. I was totally enthralled with your book, it was wonderful. Mattie so intrigued me, I just had to keep reading to see if she could get her life turned around. That era was really horrifying to me and to lose her husband who was her life, it might had driven me crazy. You have a wonderful gift and I can’t wait for your next book. Again thank you so much for writing it.” Kristi Foster
“When you write the next book, keep one for me. After everyone reads The Velvet Bridge, your books will go fast. I even pick it up and read a little almost everyday, although I have read the whole book twice. Thanks for being the writer you are, and I hope your next book will be out soon.” Bettie Gatewood
“. . .Anita Friddle Stubbs writes from the heart. She doesn’t know any other way. If it doesn’t ring true, she doesn’t put it down on paper.” Terry Mathews
“Stubbs’ book will take you back to a period of time when our state and nation were ‘coming alive’ following World War II when many families, like Mattie’s, were migrating from East Texas to Dallas in search of work. It tells of the ‘tent cities’ that most of us have only read about, and the desperate poverty that existed ‘just down the road’ from Hopkins County. Most of us tell ourselves that if “caught” in the spiral faced by Mattie, that we’d return home to East Texas, but if you didn’t have the support of a loving family, most of us have no idea of the choices we might make. You’re sure to enjoy this great escape into the life of Mattie, and will certainly connect with many of the dirt roads, pine groves, and scenes that depict Stubbs’ upbringing. . . in Hopkins County.” Bobby MacDonald
“I finished The Velvet Bridge last night! I really enjoyed reading it and following Mattie’s journey. Reading the novel has inspired me to devote more energy and effort into family and relationships. I hope you have lots of financial and inspirational rewards with the story.” Liz Sanders
“What a pleasure. Your characters are vividly drawn and you did not slip into stereotypes. Yours is a deeply written, deeply felt story. The dialogue is right-on and I had a vivid mind’s-eye picture of all the places and of the time. Excellent work.” Jim H. Ainsworth
“I enjoyed The Velvet Bridge so much. I could see everything so clearly, the descriptions are great, and the characters and the story are captivating. It brought back so many memories of the 40s and 50s. I played paper dolls from the Sears Roebuck catalog just like Judith and Edith Kay. I hated to finish this book because I know the next book I read will not be as good.” Patsy Hilton
“This was one that I couldn’t put down. The struggles of Mattie, Judith, and Edith Kay are so heart wrenching, my heart aches for all women and children who live with abuse and neglect. but this story is one of happy endings. This book is one everyone MUST read. It is well-written and holds the reader’s attention throughout the entire book. The characters are so vivid and intriguing. I give this one 5 stars. Can’t wait until Anita publishes her next novel.” Barbara Langford
“In The Velvet Bridge, Anita has introduced us to honest, believable people in a gripping story about poor, abused, disadvantaged and destitute women and children. I felt pushed and pulled along through Mattie’s misery, as the story takes several interesting twists. I was reminded what can happen when caring people dare to stare down fate, circumstances, and seemingly impossible odds and in so doing, lift us all to new heights. Women and children’s issues spotlighted in The Velvet Bridge still abound today. Anita’s novel is a good and inspirational read and raises the consciousness bar for us all.” Peggy Montgomery
“I love this book and Mattie Featherstone. What a story! The Velvet Bridge is such a character-driven book and so well written. I couldn’t stop reading it until I finished it. Poor Mattie had such a hard start but she prevailed and I love a book with a happy ending. I’m waiting for your next one.” Jackie Fuller