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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 31 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

I wondered sometimes, how was ma mère. Was she doing well? Did she maintain her vile and lurid behaviors? Had her clandestine carryings-on caught up to her? Had she met her demise?

I wondered how would it be to see her again. And I wondered what would she think of being une grandmère. Would she adore my little girl, my Mercedes? Or would she loathe her as she loathed me?

Cece was sitting up now, and trying to crawl. Everything her little hands could grasp went into her mouth, including my own fingers. And her little teeth were sharp as razors.

Her smile was as bright as sunshine, and warmed my heart like nothing else; I had not known such encompassing love, not even with Yeto. His love held my heart, for certes.

But the love I bore for my child, it had changed me. I was at once sure of her place in my heart and terrified I might ruin her forever.

What if I was like Mamá? What if I became the monster I knew her to be? What if the sickness that plagued her—for surely it was a sickness; surely she wasn’t as she was by her own choice—what if it was in me? What if I carried the same sickness…

But non! Surely not. I had the love of a good man. Strong and good and caring. Surely, Yeto was passionate with me, loving me as I had never imagined. But never did he strike me. Barely had we spoken cross words.

The man was a saint. My heart did a little tumble in my chest, pitter pat, pitter pat, to think of the times I had doubted his love, his integrity—his intentions. Enyeto had stood by my side, reassuring me, affirming his love for me. Time and time again, constant, sure.

Even more remarkable were the times—so rare now—that I railed. On and on I cried and wept, ranting at the behaviors of men. The abuses I had seen, the intimacies I had been privy to. And my husband stood quietly by my side, holding my hand or stroking my hair, waiting for the storm to subside. He spoke loving words to me, his soothing words a balm, healing to my heart and soul. And to my memories.

Memories that were now faded, but a dim shadow, cloaked away with the ghosts of other memories. Memories of a happy time. Memories of years before Walden Plantation. Memories of…

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 26 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

 

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“Of course, you know we were married.” I sat now with the Colonel, just the two of us at Alés House—now my home. “But I did wonder would he ever propose.”

The Colonel laughed and tugged on his cigar. “You, my dear, are a fragile one. And I bow to your man for recognizing that. I dare say he knew a good thing when he had it, and didn’t wish to scare you off.”

“Scare me off?” I sipped at my tea, and shifted as the babe stretched.

“Tell me, Harmonia.” Ashes from the cigar flitted down to the floor. “Had he asked you to be his wife sooner, when you were wet behind the ears still, would you have accepted?”

“Wet behind the ears?” I hooted with laughter, and pressed my hand against my belly. “Me? My dear Colonel, I was hardly wet behind the ears.”

“Naïve, no.” He had read my meaning. “Lissette stripped that from you, much to my great sorrow.”

“Colo—” His raised finger interrupted me.

“You learned and knew far more than any lady should ever know of a man’s nature.”

“But you…”

“My dear.” The Colonel’s voice overlapped mine, diminishing it in the shadow and depth of his own. “I am a man, as base as we come. I’ve seen things—the ugliest things. But I know propriety and decorum, and I choose the better thing.”

He stood then and stretched, went to the window. “Let’s walk, shall we? It’s a most lovely day.”

It was lovely, mild for the first days of June, sunny with tempering clouds, and an easy breeze stirring.

“You, Little Harmonia, were a scared little rabbit.” He patted my hand and snugged it in the crook of his tweed-sleeved arm. “You knew and saw much. But it was distorted and vile what you saw. Your man, what he gave you was not that. What he gave you was a most precious gift.”

For all that the Colonel was a giant of a man, and his work—I never did know what exactly it was he did—in the darkest recesses of humanity, it might have made him an angry and violent and bitter man. But it did not.

Non, the Colonel was most tender and thoughtful and considerate, and he always knew the best in a person.

“He did, yes.” Awe stilled my voice, and trilled in my heart at the man I now called husband.

“Ah, yes. Le Seigneur always knows what the heart needs most.”

We walked in companionable silence, serenaded as we were by nature itself, the folding of water over the rippled mud, the trill of birds as they danced in the sky. The sway of trees as the wind brushed the sky.

“How did you know?” We had walked to the end of the boardwalk, and turned back, stopped to sit in the gazebo that perched over the marsh.

He reached into his jacket, and pulled out another cigar. “I was watching you.” Smoke twirled along on the breeze.

“That was you?” I had known someone trailed me, but hadn’t known who. I hadn’t known the Colonel then, leastwise, I hadn’t remembered knowing him, and the realization that he was the one—

“No, dear girl.” He held the cigar out over the railing. “I’m not seen when I’m trailing someone.”

“What…” The sense of dread and unease washed over me, a surge like an undertow, tumbling me back into murky depths. “But…”

“I guarded you.”

From who?

“Capps had—has—dirty dogs who jump when he barks.” If he thought levity would ease the rising panic, it failed. “Fellows, scalawags, who scrabbled for the scraps and bones he might toss their way.”

“Dogs, Colonel? Really?” Indignity and insult temporarily edged out the panic.

“Capps is a dog, no doubt about it.”

“Isn’t he the one you said… some operation? Lissette was involved?”

“The very one.”

“He was following me?”

“You were in association with Lissette.”

“Not association. Non, never.”

“He wouldn’t know that.” The Colonel pulled another drag of his cigar, the tip bright and hot and angry red. “Nor would he care. You were close with her, lived with her. Whatever you saw or heard, it was too much.”

“He wanted…” What? What had he wanted?

“He wants you dead.”

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

 

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“Simone, where are you taking us?” Pearl always did whine; she was so prissy and didn’t like to get dirty. She ought to have been a princess.

Pearl should have been my dearest friend. She and I were, after all, the same station in life. But Mercedes was as a sister to me and I was closer to her than anyone. She knew me so well, understood me. It was uncanny, really, that she should. Mercedes was a reflection of me, in counterpoint to my whim and caprice she was staid and steady.

Mercedes’ mamá was our housekeeper at Saisons House. And she was two years ahead of me and Pearl. But ma mère et grandmère were kind to our servants; it was as though they were family. And as young girls, Mercedes was permitted to play with me.

She and I got on famously. She read stories of great adventures, and I liked to explore and have great adventures. I don’t know why Pearl ever wanted to play with us; she had a sister, after all, but she always preferred to come to Saisons House of an afternoon.

Scarlett came to Saisons House to play, too. Her mamá and mine were dear friends, and they often came for tea. Scarlett’s sister, Avalina, joined us some days but not always. Scarlett was a tiny girl, and younger than me and Pearl. But she was sassy and spirited, and never lagged behind.

“Why Pearl, it’s a great adventure.” And Scarlett charged ahead of even me, picking through the bare path I had forged earlier.

“What is this place?” Always the sensible one, Mercedes asked the logical questions but failed to see the magic in a thing.

“It looks like a castle.” Scarlett was a tiny slip of a girl but her imagination was not tiny at all.

“Or maybe a dungeon,” I suggested.

“Good grief, Simone.” Pearl crossed her arms and stamped her foot. “It’s no castle. And we certainly have no dungeons here.”

“Oh, what do you know about it, Pearl? You’ve never been in a dungeon.”

“I’ve seen a dungeon.” Her look of disdain changed to one of smug superiority.

“Ha! There’s no dungeons around here.”

“There are in Paris.” She was the only one of us who had ever sailed to France.

“Well.” I defended my argument. “This could be a dungeon.”

“You can’t see the sky in a dungeon.” She narrowed her eyes at me. “Or the trees.”

Pearl and I sniped back and forth for several minutes before Mercedes stepped between us. “Look, you two. It was once a church. See up there?” She indicated a round opening high in what remained of a stone wall. “That was where a window was.”

I scrambled on the wall, the part nearer to where we stood, where it was but a couple of feet high.

“Do get down from there, Simone.” Pearl reasserted her chastising demeanor. “It’s most unladylike.”

Her scolding only urged me higher, though, and soon my feet were well above their heads. “Look at me!” I cried. “I’m a mountain lion.”

“Do have a care, Simone.” Scarlett offered her genuine concern. “You could fall.”

“I’m not going to fall.” And to prove my point, I climbed higher, till I was standing at the pinnacle of the wall, directly above the round opening. “See?”

All three of them then begged and pleaded and urged me to come down. I sat instead.

“I’m not going to fall.”

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 31 January 2018 – WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK EXCERPT – THE SILENT SONG OF WINTER

WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK EXCERPT – THE SILENT SONG OF WINTER

 

#WreadingWednedsay is now dedicated to wreading bits and excepts from my books—there’s five now! And because book 3 in my Seasons series, The Silent Song of Winter, releases next month, here is an excerpt.

 

* not the final cover

COVER REVEAL this Saturday, 3 February

 

As I turned from Bay Street back onto Barnard I saw him. What was he doing here? Of course, Merkel never stayed in one place long. He was a spy or an agent or some such and followed his assignments. I ducked into The Indigo Café and lost myself in a small crowd of friends. They were making quite a racket, laughing and carrying on; I was certain I’d not be discovered.

But this was Marcus Pierpont Merkel and he had seen me. His large hand found my shoulder and I turned to face him.

“Pearl, my dear.” I was enveloped in strength and warmth and comfortable familiarity.

“Merkel,” I hedged, inching back toward the door. “It’s lovely to see you again but I was just going.”

“Ah.” He guided me to a table. “But you’ve no coffee, Madame.”

The silence between us was louder than the group of whooping and hollering friends on the other side of the room.

Merkel ordered coffee for the both of us, and he offered congratulations on my marriage.

“Though I must say I am deeply hurt that I was not invited to celebrate the nuptials.”

“We…” But the smile on Merkel’s face stopped my defenses. “Merkel! You are a rascal. You’d not have come if we had sent a golden chariot for you…” If he was a rascal, I was just cruel. “Merk, I’m so sorry.”

He covered my hands with his large ones. “Time heals all wounds, Princess.”

But I could tell time had not healed his.

“Now then.” He took a gulp of his coffee, steaming hot with neither cream nor sugar. “Tell me about your young man.” His cup knocked the table quite soundly as he set it down. “And tell me why you ran off like that.”

Sugar swirled in my own cup.

“I think you’ve stirred quite enough.” Merkel took the spoon from me and laid it on the table every bit as gingerly as he’d set his cup.

Still I stalled, taking a most delicate and ladylike sip of my coffee.

“Pearl Marchand.” Merkel leaned back in his chair, dwarfed beneath his large frame, and folded his arms across his broad chest.

“Grüber actually.” I took another sip. “It’s Pearl Grüber.”

He didn’t say a word. He could wait me out, I knew. I had witnessed it countless times when he and Papá were playing pool or cards, or discussing business. Business they thought a young lady mightn’t grasp, but business I surely and fully understood.

“Not here, Merk.” I reached for my purse and my parcels. “Not here.”

I was never more thankful for a motorcar than I was that afternoon. Just moments earlier, I hadn’t cared if I walked home in the rain. But my past, my true life, was colliding with my secret life and it seemed I couldn’t outrun it.

“How did you know where to find me?” We had just had coffee, even if only a single cup, and I felt inclined neither to make coffee nor to offer him any.

“Find you?” Merkel seemed always at ease, unruffled, unflappable. “Why should I be looking for you?”

“But you…”

“Bumped in to an old friend?”

“I am not old.”

“Old enough…” He waved toward my very round middle. “You, however, tried to elude me.”

I had no answer so I said nothing, watched the rain coursing down the window.

“Would you care to enlighten me?”

“Look at me, Merk.”

“Lovely as ever, Princess.”

“I’m pregnant.” I placed my hands on my belly for emphasis.

“I’m at a loss here, Pearl, but I’m not blind.” He winked. “That’s no reason to run away.”

“I met him last spring. We corresponded via post and I visited Charleston a few weeks later—told Papá I was going dress shopping for summer dresses—which I did. I didn’t lie to mon père. He came back with me and stayed in the guest rooms at the townhome.”

“Positively scandalous.”

“Marcus Pierpont!”

“My, my. I’m in trouble now.”

“Feel free to show yourself out.” I went to the kitchen.

“A man might like some coffee before he goes out in that rain out there.” He followed me.

“Help yourself.” But I busied myself with the making of it. “Merkel.” I sighed.

“And just why exactly do you think ton père would disapprove?” I shouldn’t have been surprised. Merkel was most perceptive; it’s what made him good at his job.

“You know, Merk.” I poured the coffee. “I never did know what it is that you do.”

“Sure you do.” He drank this cup of coffee just as he had at the café, and reached to refill his cup. “I save princesses from making terrible predicaments.”

“He’s German.” I sighed and added more sugar to my own cup. Merkel raised a brow. “It’s the baby.”

“You think that’s a reason to leave your home?”

“What will everyone think?”

“Why does it matter?”

“Merk, you don’t understand.” I gulped my coffee, still too hot and far too sweet. “I can’t face people.”

“What people?”

“In Saisons. I can’t live with the gossip and the looks.”

He tilted his head, leveled a stare, and poured another cup of coffee for us both.

“They won’t like me.”

Still he was silent.

“Say something.”

“What’s there to say? You’ve left already. You haven’t given anyone a chance.”

Meine Liebchen.” Rolf called as he came through the door.

I went to greet him, and Merkel followed. I made the introductions.

“Sorry my good man. I’d invite you to join us but it’s Valentine’s after all.”

“Nonsense. I couldn’t think of intruding.” Merkel reached for his coat on the stand.

“Tomorrow, though. Dinner, my treat.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book Except, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons, Excerpt, Seasons, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 30 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

Available on Amazon 31 August!

 

My step wasn’t light but the ground was soft and my approach most quiet. Willow nickered gently as Mikal led her along the path.

“What is it, girl?” Willow’s ears perked at my approach. “Ce, what are you doing here?” He turned back toward the stables. “Is something the matter? Are the children—”

I placed my hand on his, raised my eyes to his. “All is well, Mik.” I whispered a kiss along his scruffy jawline.

He cocked his head, brought his hand to where my lips had brushed, so near to his. His eyes shuttered as his hand caressed my cheek and he drew his mouth to mine. His lips hovered for the barest of seconds, then closed in with such tender tension.

I brought my hands to his chest, stroked upward, intertwining my fingers behind his neck.

Mikal deepened his kiss, and the baby kicked.

Mon Dieu.” He relinquished the kiss and caressed our child.

“She likes when you kiss me.” I inched closer, pressed my belly against him. “I like when you kiss me.”

But I moved to Willow’s other side, as Mikal resumed walking. We came to a vein of the river that split off, providing safe drinking—no alligators. Mikal tied Willow to an oak branch and came to me. He took me in his arms.

“I like when I kiss you, too, mon amour.” His hands teased up the length of my bare arms, caressed my shoulders and neck, and tangled in my hair.

I tipped my head back at his touch, and he touched his lips to my shoulders, my neck, my ears.

He moved his hands down my back and my body quivered at his touch. My gaze locked on his, I traced my hands up his arms, cupped his face and drew him to me.

The kiss was explosive, fiery, leaving us at once sated and longing for more. Mikal split the kiss, drew in a ragged breath, and murmured, “Je t’aime.”

He pulled me tight, touched his lips to mine again. Sparks lit the flame, the kiss intensified, heat that had nothing to do with August humidity cloaked us.

Je t’aime,” he repeated, pulled away but didn’t release my hands. “Je t’aime.”

Mikal put space between us, stepped to the water, splashed his face with his free hand. Then splashed me. I couldn’t even feign irritation, the cool felt quite refreshing.

“What was that about?” He found his breath, and it seemed, his senses.

“Can a wife not tell her husband she loves him?”

“You told me well, Wife.”

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Excerpt, Mercedes’ Dream, Release Feature, Seasons Book 1

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

Available on Amazon 31 August!

 

The black water swirled around me, my hair floating atop like silk. My body, though, had vanished in the depths beneath me. I was floating along on the river but didn’t seem to be moving. I felt more than heard fish swimming. Snakes slithered across me but didn’t seem to notice me. Alligators hissed and growled next to me and I was sure one would bite my head off. If my body was even there.

The darkness was as tangible as the water; neither stars nor moon evidenced above. Trees stood silent sentinel and Lissette appeared in their naked branches. She was evanescent, a filmy representation of herself, eyes vacant, hair black as… Pearl’s. I had never noticed how Pearl looked like Lisette. Her hands were as the branches on the trees and her legs were shrouded by a billowing swirling gray gown.

The silence was maddening. More maddening even than my inability to move. I only saw movement about me—Simone was suddenly by my side, sitting in a chair and talking to someone I couldn’t see. The chair didn’t float but sat squarely on the surface of the water.

Pearl was running along a path that followed the river, going nowhere as I was. But Pearl wasn’t Pearl; she was a boy. Dressed in white knickers and black boots, her hair was gone, cut short.

I struggled to be released from… from what I didn’t know. I was not bound by tethers or ties, but neither could I move. If my body was even with me any more.

My eyes riveted to the wall of the church, Saint Allyons, that rose at water’s edge. Scarlett looked directly at me as she plunged into the depths and disappeared. Then she suddenly was atop the wall again, leaping—or did she fall?—into the midnight water. Like a carnival ride, she was on the wall—she didn’t climb, she was just there—again and again.

I felt my body shift and felt pains of labor. But my womb produced nothing. The trees became burning walls. Lissette stood beyond the flames and pointed at me, accusing, but no one else was there.

 

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Excerpt, Mercedes’ Dream, Release Feature, Seasons Book 1

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday  16 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE

 Cover reveal 24 August!

 

Bastille House was a pretentious bastion of wealth that no longer was there. It was no secret that Monsieur Adrièn spent money lavishly and foolishly, gambling away what he had once had. He had enlarged the house to ridiculous proportions, adding rooms and wings that would never be used.

For all his spending, he did not improve the operation of his father’s legacy; Bastille House had produced some of the finest black Spanish grapes in the southeast. I knew it was a lucrative industry even as prohibition swirled around us. I knew, too, that Monsieur Adrièn exported much of his inventory to Nimes in France. And I realized with startling clarity that was where the letter from Madame Adélaide had come from.

 

I now approached the house with no small degree of trepidation. I had had little to do with Monsieur Fontaine, dealing with house staff only on the rare occasion I was even there.

Under pretense of delivering cane syrup for a recipe, I knocked on the servant’s door. I hoped both that someone would hear me, so soft was my tapping, and that no one would hear; I feared Monsieur Fontaine’s reaction should he see me.

The chance of seeing the man in the servant’s level of the house was practically zero but that did nothing to ease the anxiety coursing through me. Anxiety that was very much like the icy chills I had come to recognize.

It did not, however, outweigh my concern for Scarlett. An agitation had stirred in me since her visit. After three days, with the feeling growing and not ebbing, I had to speak to her. I had to know she was well.

Tierney wiped flour from her hands as she opened the door.

Bonjour, Madame Renaldi.” She waved her hand indicating I should enter, and closed and locked the door. “What can I do for you?”

The poor woman was so rigid and tense I feared she might snap like a twig. Her face, though young, no more than thirty, was etched with wrinkles, her skin sallow. Already she wore gray streamers in her dark hair.

“I brought you some syrup.” Her face lit up at the gesture. Our cane syrup was a favorite, and a treat belowstairs at Bastille House.

“But this is not why you have come, it is Madame?” Tierney was as perceptive as her accent was thick.

“No, I’m afraid it is not.” I glanced about and she indicated a chair at the table.

“You are looking for your friend, n’est-ce pas?”

I set the small crockery on the table and she laid her hand over mine, bony and raw as an old woman. Her eyes watered but produced no tears.

“She is… how you say, récupérer.”

Recovering. Scarlett was recovering.

“How bad?” I was not shocked at Tierney’s report; it was nothing new.

Her silence was answer enough.

“Take me to her.” I rose but Tierney shook her head.

“She is in bedchamber of Monsieur.”

This news caused me great concern. Either she was so badly injured she required the care and attention of Docteur Petit, or Monsieur Fontaine was using her for his pleasure again. Probably both.

“She is… no conscious.”

It was worse than I feared. I knew I had to leave. I could not be seen. Monsieur Fontaine would not hesitate to beat me as well, for trespassing.

S’il vous plaît, let her know I came to speak to her.” Now I laid my hand on hers, and squeezed, conveying my grasp of the risk I was asking Tierney to take on my behalf.

Oui, Madame.” Her dark eyes darted around the dank space, fear searching for the face of evil. He did not present himself. “Merci pour le sirop.”

De rien.” I ducked as I exited the doorway, and Tierney closed it with a quiet click.

 

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

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