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Interview With Alanna Lucas, Author of Face to Face

18 Aug

Face to Face, a Regency romance by Alanna LucasI’m delighted to welcome Alanna Lucas for an interview and a look at her new Regency romance, Face to Face.

Hi, Alanna, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Face to Face. What inspired this story? :

Boroughs Publishing Group hosted the ‘What’s in a Name’ contest. The guideline was to take the title of a song that inspired you and adopt it as the title of your story. Face to Face by Siouxsie and the Banshees was the inspiration for my novella.

Blurb:

A masquerade, a chance meeting, and a kidnapping: Little did Miss Penelope Ashurst realize that breaking the rules would result in the adventure—and love—of a lifetime.

Miss Penelope Ashurst wanted one night to shed the strict rules and proper decorum of Regency society.  While attending a forbidden masquerade, she meets the man of her dreams.  It is love at first sight.  His secret identity only adds to the excitement of the evening.  Before she discovers who the mystery lord is, a ruthless man who is only interested in her dowry kidnaps her.

When Ranulph, The Earl of Monfort, first spies the goddess in a golden mask, something inside comes to life and stirs a deep longing.  The weight of responsibility that had been bearing down on him his whole life dissipates.   But before he can profess his love to his goddess, she disappears.

In a race against time, Ranulph searches for Penelope.  However, their ordeal does not end once Penelope is rescued.  While trying to evade the kidnappers, Penelope and Ranulph find their lives in jeopardy.  But as they escape one danger, others lurk to destroy their newfound love.  Can their love conquer all, even death?

What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year? 

When We Dance will be released in September. It tells the story of the hero’s brother from Face to Face. The third novella in this series, which I am currently writing, is a Christmas love story, which will be released in November.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…? 

I love to research, so that is the first step for me. I am a panster who is learning to be a plotter. The transition is an interesting one and I have learned a lot about my writing process. I now make charts and use index cards to organize my thoughts.

Do you have a favorite time of day for writing? 

I tend to be more productive in the afternoon and evening, once I have gotten the everyday life stuff out of the way.

What is your favorite memory from childhood? 

One of my favorite memories from childhood is dancing in the kitchen with my Grammy to the Happy Days theme song J

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love to travel to Europe. I have family in Holland, Germany, Austria, and Italy. It is always great fun to visit them.

What is your favorite food to cook or eat? 

My husband is the cook in my family. One of my favorite dishes that he prepares is pasta with seafood, tomatoes, and basil.

What do you like to read?

I read historical romances and history books. Right now I am rereading (for the umpteenth time) A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It is one of my favorites.

Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now? 

When I write, I listen to classical music. Beethoven is my absolute favorite composer.

These are few of my favorite things:

1. Snuggling with my kids

2. Driving

3. Traveling

And now, Alanna has a question for you: What costume would you wear to a Regency masquerade?

Excerpt:

Her body quivered when the damp air penetrated through her coat and costume. Crossing her arms across her body, she exhaled with frustration. “Where is she?”

No sooner had the words brushed past her lips then an apparition came rushing through the fog. “Ohhh…,” she was just about to scream when the figure draped in white emerged. It wasn’t until Penelope saw the tall staff that she recognized her friend. “Where have you been?” She hissed at Judy. “I was just about to give up.”

“I had to wait for the house to quiet.” Judy took Penelope’s arm and tugged her into the thickening haze. Once clear of the house, walking toward their destination, Judy explained, “I think my brother may suspect what we are about this evening. We have to make sure we stay clear of him. He is dressed like a pirate.”

“A pirate?”

Judy nodded her head. “Eye patch and all. He looks ridiculous.” Her high-pitched giggle caught the attention of a pair of young gentlemen on the opposite side of the street.

Penelope eyed Judy with alarm. “Shh. Do you want to be recognized?” Without further conversation, they scurried along toward their destination.

The thrill of adventure shot through Penelope at the realization of what they were about to do.

You can buy Face to Face at:

Amazon.com

Burroughs Publishing Group

Barnes & Noble

Alanna Lucas, Author of Face to Face, a Regency romanceBio: Alanna Lucas is a historical romance author, who loves writing historical romance just as much as she loves reading them. When not daydreaming of her next hero, Alanna can be found reading, spending time with family, or plotting her next travel destination.

You can find Alanna at:

alannalucas.com

https://www.facebook.com/alannalucas27

https://twitter.com/alannalucas27

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4446010.Alanna_Lucas

 

 

Young Love – Guest Post by PJ Sharon, Author of Pieces of Love

13 Aug

Pieces of Love, a contemporary Young Adult romance by PJ Sharon

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? The embarrassing flush of heat to your cheeks, the flock of hummingbirds in your stomach, and the way your heartbeat suddenly skyrocketed every time the object of your affection was near? Oh, young love! Had we only known that it was all just a chemical reaction in our brains—nothing more than a surge of hormones and the effects of thousands of years of DNA encoded survival mechanisms. Even if we’d known, we wouldn’t have believed it. Have you ever tried convincing a sixteen-year-old that they aren’t “in love”?

Thanks for hosting me today, Babette. I’d like to chat with your readers about Young Adult Romance. What is it that draws us in, even though most of us are far beyond our teens? Is it the quicker pace? Is it the emotional angst? Or does it come down to that innate desire to fall in love for the first time, over and over again?

As the author of young adult fiction, I write somewhat gritty stories about teens in crisis—usually from dysfunctional families. But at the heart of every story, I can’t help but have a sweet romance. Those first kisses, steamy “almost” moments, and the inherent family drama that comes with teen life are all perfect fodder for engaging fiction. And who doesn’t love a “hopefully ever after” ending? The sense that there is so much more to come after we’ve turned the last page, and the idea that if these crazy mixed-up teenagers can figure it out and find love, maybe we can too.

From the time we’re little, fairy tales give us princes and princesses searching for that one true love who will lead them to their happy ending. Heroes who will fight dragons and wicked queens, sail the high seas, or endure whatever torment is necessary to reach their beloved, believing that their souls will remain incomplete until they are reunited.  And then there were those pining princesses who awaited rescue in the tower. Only in our most romantic, hormone addled brains does this seem plausible. It seems impossible that so many of us have been conditioned to believe in this truth and that we seek it out in our earliest relationships. But we have—for generations.

It’s no wonder the divorce rate is so high! Talk about a let-down! Thanks to those hormones and propagation of the species genes, we still fall in love and vow to share our lives “til death do us part”, but no one ever mentioned that Prince Charming snores, has bad breath on occasion, or smells like a goat when he comes home after a long day of dragon slaying. Or that the Princess looks a whole lot different without the tiara, eyeliner, and ball gown. Yes, every princess has a bad hair day now and then, but no one mentioned cellulite! The reality is far from the fairy tale, yet we keep yearning for it to be true and we want to escape into worlds where that truth exists. It’s why we keep reading romance, no matter our age.

But today’s romances aren’t our mother’s romances—especially now that up and coming authors are challenging the myth and young adult books offer so much more. With the state of our current culture, I think today’s teenagers—and readers in general—are a bit more skeptical and a lot savvier. Books and writers are adapting to that change. Hormones and DNA will always mean that humans still want the fairy tale ending, but today’s youth have seen the consequences of wearing rose-colored glasses. With many parents working on a second or third marriage, let’s face it, teenagers are growing up in a very different world than we did and they are tired of broken promises and lies. Even when they are escaping into TV, blasting their music, or reading a book, they want to find the truth of who they are and what life can be. They need to know that there are heroes and heroines who can stand on their own—characters who will fight together for a common cause and win because they are better together than apart, not because they can’t live without each other or are somehow incomplete in and of themselves.

The fact is, nothing defeats us as humans more than unrealistic expectations. Romance novels, whether for adults or teens, have come a long way in this regard. Yes, they continue to stand on the same platform of true love conquers all (because really, doesn’t it?), and that it’s possible to find lasting happiness with another person (there are still plenty of couples who stay together for a lifetime). But these days, largely thanks to reading tons of great YA books, I’m reading novels with strong heroines, equal partnerships, and more than just the chemical reaction that is ignited when pheromones collide(although there’s a lot of very steamy YA out there). Lately I’m finding more characters with depth who respect each other and allow individuality to shine.  Characters who encourage each other to be the best they can be. Characters who are willing to make sacrifices, compromise on occasion, and who are willing to learn and grow. The kind of adults I think we all want our kids to grow up to be. Kudos to the authors writing these kinds of role models for our teen readers!

Of course they all start out stubborn, somewhat foolish, and starry-eyed, but eventually, they come to their senses and see what it takes to build on a foundation of friendship and create a love that lasts forever…and isn’t that what true love really is? I like to think I’m imparting those messages in all of my books.

My recent release, PIECES of LOVE, is no exception.

Blurb:

Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to smoke pot and play guitar. Getting high and escaping into her music seems the perfect solution when her world is shattered by her sister’s death. But when she’s arrested for possession a second time, life couldn’t get any more complicated. Her mother’s breakdown is the final straw that forces Lexi to spend the summer on the West Coast with her grandmother, Maddie. When Lexi steps over the line one too many times, she’s certain her life is over and that she’s destined for juvenile detention—until Maddie decides that desperate measures are called for. A three week Mediterranean cruise—for seniors.

Eighteen year-old Ethan Kaswell, the poster child for good sons, is stranded on the cruise when his father, a famous heart surgeon, is called away. With his own life perfectly mapped out, Ethan finds Lexi’s unpredictability irresistible. Although he’s smart enough to see that there is no future in falling for a “vacation crush,” Lexi’s edgy dark side draws him like an anchor to the bottom of the sea. As the two embark on the journey of a lifetime, will Lexi finally learn to love someone—even when she has to let them go?

What is it about young love that sucks you in? Any favorite YA romances? What about it did you like the most?

PJ is happy to gift an e-book copy of one of her other YA Novels, including HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, SAVAGE CINDERELLA, WANING MOON, or WESTERN DESERT. Reader’s choice! Contest ends Saturday, August 16TH at midnight. Simply leave a comment below and a valid email address to be entered.

Read the first chapter of Pieces of Love on Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/15100869-pieces-of-love

You can buy Pieces of Love at:

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print | Amazon UK

Create Space | Barnes & Noble | i-Tunes

Smashwords

PJ Sharon, author of Pieces of Love, a contemporary Young Adult romanceBio:

Award winning author of young adult books, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ Sharon has been called “a powerhouse of positivity and productivity.” Her mantra is “find balance in all things, and live every day to the fullest.” A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons and lives with her brilliant engineer husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.

You can find PJ at: 

Email | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tumblr | Amazon’s Author Central | Goodreads

Google+ | Pinterest | Linked-In | Authorgraph

PJ’s Newsletter

 

Interview With Laura Strickland, Author of Lord of Sherwood

12 Aug

Lord of Sherwood, a historical romance by Laura StricklandI’m delighted to welcome Laura Strickland for an interview and a look at her new historical romance, Lord of Sherwood.

Hi, Laura, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Lord of Sherwood.

Lord of Sherwood is a story about the descendants of Robin Hood.  Although it’s the third book in my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy and it completes the cycle of stories begun in Daughter of Sherwood and continued in Champion of Sherwood, this book definitely stands on its own. It features a new set of characters and tells a complete tale. So it’s not necessary to read the first two books to enjoy this one, though I do think the circle of magic becomes even more meaningful when all three books are put together.

Blurb:

The ancient magic circle becomes complete…

Curlew Champion, master archer, has always known his destiny. With his cousin, Heron Scarlet, he will become a guardian of Sherwood Forest and further his people’s fight against Norman tyranny. But the third member of the triad is still to be revealed, the woman who will complete the magical circle and, perhaps, answer the longing in Curlew’s heart.

Anwyn Montfort has fled disgrace in Shrewsbury and come to Nottingham at her father’s bidding. He wishes her to make a good marriage and settle down. But the wildness that possesses her refuses to quiet. She knows she’s been searching for something all her life, but not until she glimpses Curlew does her spirit begin to hope it has found its home.

Only the magic of Sherwood can bring them together, and only their union can complete the spell woven so long ago…

What inspired this story?

It’s funny, but when I wrote the first book of this series, Daughter of Sherwood, I had no idea it would be part of a trilogy. Not until my editor at The Wild Rose Press told me she wanted to contract the story did it dawn on me that it needed to be the first book of three. My Sherwood stories contain a great deal of earth magic, and in pagan times the number three was particularly significant. The Celts worshipped a triple goddess: the Maiden, Mother, Crone, and a number of gods had three faces or aspects. In Daughter of Sherwood, the circle of magic that protects the forest must be maintained by a triad, and many important events occur at three-day intervals. It seemed very obvious to me then that the story of Robin Hood’s descendants should be told in a cycle of three tales.

At the time I proposed the Trilogy to my editor, I had no idea what should be in the second book and only a vague idea of how the cycle would end. I’m so glad she had the confidence to trust in my desire and ability to complete the project!

What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?

Right now I’m busy beginning work on a new series of Historical Romances set in Ancient Alba (Scotland) during the Iron Age. I’m hoping to tell the tales of some of the first the warriors who claimed Scotland for their own and, of course, the women who loved them.

Following the release of Lord of Sherwood, I have two Christmas novellas coming out later this year: Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship and The Tenth Suitor, which is part of The Wild Rose Press’s Twelve Brides of Christmas series, new for this upcoming season!

Do you have any good news you’d like to share?

I do have some exciting news! I recently signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for my first-ever Steampunk Romance, called Dead Handsome. I began reading the genre, which was completely new to me, some time ago via my Kindle and promptly fell in love with the darkness and marginality of it.  I challenged myself to write a Steampunk Romance, just for fun, and it turned into a wild and steamy tale set in 1880 Buffalo, New York.

How do you come up with ideas?

To tell you the truth, ideas always seem to come up with me! They occur to me at the oddest times and in the strangest places, frequently when I’m housecleaning, for some reason, driving my car or folding laundry.  Most often they’ll begin with a “what if” question, such as “what if a knight who died of the plague was revived and fell in love with a woman from our time?” and everything just unfolds from there.  I usually have many plots and schemes circling my brain the way airplanes circle an airport.  One of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, says something to the effect of: ideas are always falling through space like cosmic rain. Sometimes they strike somebody, sometimes not. That’s how it feels for me, like being struck by cosmic rain.

Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?

I’m an early bird, so I love to get up very early in the morning when the world is quiet and it’s just me and my dog, Shannon.  In winter, I’m up long before it’s light; my husband and I heat our home with wood so I stoke up the fire and settle with my notebook and pen (yes, I still write using a spiral notebook, dinosaur that I am!)  That’s when my imagination, and the words, truly fly. In summer I love that early time when I hear the first birds begin to sing and the light turns from dim to gray and then to golden as the sun rises. It’s almost as if time becomes suspended then.  An hour can be a half hour or three hours long as I travel in my mind. To me, this is the very heart of being an author, and why I write!

What is your favorite scene from this story and why?

My very favorite scene from this story is near the beginning, when the heroine, Anwyn, disobeys her father and runs amok on market day outside Nottingham Castle. I love the color and vibrancy of it, the descriptions of all the ordinary folk who’ve come to trade, and Anwyn’s restless, irrepressible spirit.  She buys herself a sticky bun, steals a ribbon (just to see if she can, and she pays for it after) and trades a kiss to a farmer for his flagon of ale. I think on some level, I’ve always wanted to be as footloose and unfettered as Anwyn is in that scene!

Where is your favorite place in the world?

This is a difficult question, as I actually have four favorite places: Newfoundland, Canada where my mother was born; Glen Etive in Scotland; the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula, also in Scotland and my own property, located about nine miles south of Lake Ontario in New York State. I love them all for similar and dissimilar reasons: they’re the places I feel most at peace and they share a depth of natural beauty that feels almost magical to me. If I had to choose just one, I’d choose home: after all, I only need to step outside to be there, and also my beloved, now departed pets are buried there. Hallowed ground!

These are few of my favorite things:

1. Dogs.

2. Listening to Pandora radio while I edit.

3. Chocolate in almost any form, though I must admit a partiality to Cadbury milk chocolate … yum.

And now Laura has a question for you all: Do you believe true love can transcend death and survive over time, that two who loved in one life might meet and love again?

Excerpt:

Curlew bowed again. When the man reached Nottingham and inquired after an under-forester called Champion, he would know this meeting for a farce. But Curlew would be well away by then.

A small, wicked smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. He straightened from his bow just as the young woman’s cart reached him. Any well-behaved Saxon underling, as Curlew well knew, would avert his eyes respectfully as she passed. Instead, he lifted them to hers.

And, shockingly, she returned his stare, bold and unswerving as any lad. Nay, not like a lad though—for she was all woman, this one, her face brimming with character, interest, and mischief. A smile twitched her lips as their eyes met and held—it said many things: that she knew he had just spun a fabrication, that she applauded him for it, and that she found him just as fascinating to look upon as he found her.

His blood leaped at that look and he condemned himself silently. This, a well-bred Norman miss, was surely no proper object for his admiration. Only, she did not appear particularly well-bred nor well-disciplined. Who was she?

And would he ever see her again?

Curlew stood there with the blood drying on his hands as the small train lumbered past, grateful for his escape, and utterly scorched by her gaze.

Not until they were well past did he draw a deep breath and strive to shake off the spell that held him.

You can buy Lord of Sherwood: the Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy Book Three at:

Amazon.com | The Wild Rose Press

Bio: Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romance Devil Black as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she is currently working on the second book of a new Steampunk romance series.

You can find Laura at:

Website: http://www.laurastricklandbooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/profile.php?id=100000002632317

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland

 

10 Things – Guest Post by Cynthia Owens, Author of Everlasting

8 Aug

Everlasting, An Irish Historical Romance by Cynthia OwensHi Babette, and thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog! It’s lovely to be back again, and I’m so happy to announce the release this month of Everlasting, the fourth book in the Claddagh Series. It’s been a while since we’ve visited Ballycashel, the setting for the first two books in the series, but it’s wonderful to be back.

Shannon Flynn, my heroine, was wonderful to write. She’s lovely, spirited, stubborn and determined. Her hero, Liam Collins, was just as much fun, romantic, teasing, brooding and protective, he epitomized the kind of hero I could easily fall in love with—okay, I did fall a little in love with him.

As a reader, I always prefer stories that are character-driven rather than plot-driven. Getting to know the characters of a favorite book is almost as good as getting to know new friends. And as a writer, I try to get deep into my characters’ psyches so that I can make them as unique and three-dimensional as I can.

Character Interviews: Before (and during) my writing process, I interview my characters. I have a set of standard questions for them, from their favorite foods to their favorite music. But then I delve deeper, asking them about their best and worst memories, the people who, for good or ill, influenced them most, their deepest fears and greatest ambitions.

These interviews are helpful. Sometimes they help me work out a character’s backstory, and other times they’ll help me plot (though I’m a pantser who rarely plots more than a chapter or two ahead). And sometimes they surprise me, and force me to take a story in a completely different direction.

It’s at that moment, the moment I feel as if I’m channeling these characters, that I know I’ve got them down.

Here are five things about Shannon Flynn and Liam Collins that I learned while doing these interviews.

Shannon Flynn

1. She’s a tomboy. She loved to fish with her father and can shoot a slingshot with unnerving accuracy.

2. She loves to dance. On a Sunday evening you’ll find her at the local crossroads dance, and she never lacks for partners.

3. She knows all the old stories of Ireland’s past. Her father told them to her when she was a child, and she’s never forgotten them.

4. She’s good at sketching.

5. Her closest childhood friend was Sean O’Brien, oldest son of Rory and Siobhán O’Brien, her father’s landlord.

Liam Collins

1. He’s a follower of The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, and his peaceful struggle for Ireland’s freedom.

2. He carried a blanket from Spain to Ireland, which he uses as a bed cover.

3. He has a sweet tooth and a deep fondness for chocolate.

4. He’s loyal to a fault.

5. He’s fluent in Spanish.

I hope these details will bring Shannon and Liam closer to you. And I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from Everlasting.

A Giveaway!  I’m giving away reader’s choice of a signed print copy of one of the Claddagh stories: In Sunshine or in Shadow (Book I) or Coming Home (Book II) or Playing For Keeps (Book III) What’s the one thing you’d like to reveal about yourself that no one (or few people) know?

Everlasting (Book 4 in The Claddagh Series)
Coming Soon from Highland Press

Blurb:

Where does justice end and retribution begin?

She was driven by anger

When her fiancé died trying to feed his family, Shannon Flynn vowed to punish those responsible…even if it alienated her from her family, even if it put her—and them—in danger.

He returned to exact revenge

Eight years after he was forced to flee his beloved Ireland, Liam Collins returns to Ballycashel to find his family devastated and the person he holds responsible for his exile dead.

Can these two wounded spirits come together to battle a common enemy? Or will anger and pride destroy them both?

Excerpt:

Ballycashel, Ireland, Off Galway Bay

January, 1874

“I see them! Sweet Mary be praised, they’re safe!”

Shannon Flynn gripped her mother’s hand so tight she felt the bones crack. On Ma’s other side, her sister Peggy let out a harsh sob. Little Fiona stood a few feet away, white-faced, hands pressed to her mouth in silent horror.

Icy needles of rain slashed Shannon’s face, and though they stood well away from the waves, she could still feel the sting of the sea, taste its sharp, briny tang. She blinked hard against the cloying mist. Was that really the Noreen, Da’s currach? That tiny craft bobbing over those vicious waves, helpless as a cork?

She flinched as the little fishing boat disappeared from view.

“They’ll be fine.” Nora Flynn’s voice rang out, stern and bracing even as she kept her gaze riveted on the storm-tossed sea. “Sure, yer da knows these waters better than anyone. He’s been through many a storm worse than this. He’ll be fine.” Her voice teetered on the edge of despair as wind and rain scored them with merciless claws.

He’s never had Mike with him.

The boat reappeared, teetered at the crest of a towering wave and tumbled sideways. Nora cried out once, pressed her fist to her mouth. The anguished sound echoed in Shannon’s heart. Before she could react, Nora drew a deep breath and set her shoulders. “Come ye, now. They’ll be needin’ us.” She threw a sharp gaze to her two younger daughters. “Peg, look after Fiona. Shannon, come with me.”

Hand in hand, they raced into the sea.

Shannon’s breath gushed from her lungs in painful gasps as icy water clawed up her legs and tangled in her long skirts. Had the sea ever been so vicious and cold? The waves so high? Oh, where was Da? Was he safe?

Was Mike safe?

She clung to her mother’s firm, strong hand as she slipped and almost fell on the sea-drenched shingle and sand. Thick strands of seaweed twined about her legs. Ma pulled her to a stop, her hoarse cry snatched away by the shrieking wind. Could Da and Mike triumph over the furious sea?

Sweet Mary protect them. Keep them safe. Bring them home.

Two heads, one dark and the other fair, burst from the waves, went under, surfaced again. Oh, God, was it possible? Could they really be farther out? The sea clawed greedily at them, pulling them under, down and down. Away from her. The wind tore her hair from beneath her red headscarf, and she lost sight of them for a moment. She swiped the flying strands away, staring harder through a stinging mixture of rain and fog and tears.

Dear sweet Lord, where are they?

“I see them! There’s Da!” Fiona appeared beside them, fighting to stay on her feet as a wave broke over her shoulders. She pointed a trembling finger. “Look, there’s Da!”

“Fiona, get back!” Shannon fought to make herself heard over the crashing waves and the devil’s howl of the wind.

“But I see him, Shannon! I see Da!”

Mike can’t swim! Even as icy realization swept over her, Shannon knew her father would fight to the death to save him.

To the death

She squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back the tears.

“They’ll be all right.” Peggy clasped her hand, swaying against the fierce current. “Please God, they’ll both be all right.”

Please God…

“Tom, look out!” Her mother’s scream reached above the greedy fingers of sea foam just as a mighty wave knocked Da under once again.

Please God… Please God…keep him safe. Keep them both safe.

Moments, hours, days later, Shannon stood frozen under the leaden skies. Da stumbled into the shallows and fell into Ma’s waiting arms.

Da stared into Ma’s eyes, touched her cheek. “Noreen. Ah, Noreen. The currach’s torn to pieces, so it is, but sure, we’re all right now.”

“Ye are, thank God.”

“Da?” Her own eyes wide and dry and burning with salt, Shannon searched her father’s beloved face, saw his anguish.

Fissures shot through her heart.

“Mike?” Shannon scanned the beach in desperation. The gray sea roared and frothed wildly. The broken currach lay on the strand like an exhausted shark. Rain and tears blurred her vision. “Da? Where is he? Where’s Mike?”

Her father’s dark eyes filled with sorrow. “He’s gone, love.” Tom Flynn blinked away tears. “The sea took him.”

“Gone? No!” Her heart ceased to beat. Something was strangling her. Ice held her feet frozen to the beach even as she swayed drunkenly.

“I’m sorry, a storín, so sorry, my dearest. I did everything I could.” Dimly, she saw her father release her mother, move toward her. “But I couldn’t save him for ye.”

He reached for her, his big hands open, his face etched with grief. She flung up her hands, shook her head. Denying. Denying. No. No!

Nonononono!

Then she spun away, ran from her father to mourn alone the loss of the man she loved more than life itself.

The Claddagh Series

In Sunshine Or In Shadow (Book 1)

Coming Home (Book 2)

Playing for Keeps (Book 3)

Cynthia Owens, Author of Everlasting, An Irish Historical RomanceBio:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

You can find Cynthia at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

 

 

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