by Gina Danna
Happy New Year!!! The beginning of a new year is always full of expectations with plenty of hope and desires soon to be met. Yet, there can also be fear of the unknown, of what is to come, that can send some people to worry. Many of us hold a combination of both fear and wonder at what 2017 will bring.
That combination of wonder and joy with foreboding and fear that I used in writing my latest release, This Love of Mine. The story is of the happy newlyweds, the Earl of Windhaven and his Lady, and how their joyous future is thrown off when Lady Eleanor is abducted. She does escape her captors but to remain out of their clutches, she races to the nearby docks. To hide from them, she slips onto a ship to hide, only to lose her footing and fall into the hold, smashing into a crate. When she awakes, she finds herself at sea, a stowaway on a pirate ship and when confronted by the captain, she discovers not only her head hurts, but she can’t recall who she is.
Meanwhile, James’s worst fears come true, that harm came to his ladylove and he starts a search, determined to find her or die trying. What he discovers in his search leads him on a chase to the Americas to find her and win back her love before a pirate steals her away from him forever.
A taste of this tale –
This Love of Mine
James shut his eyes, throwing the pen in his hand to the desktop, and fell back into the padded chair. He was tense as a turned violin string. The lumbering clouds outside his library window had multiplied, darkening a sunny afternoon. The air had become thick. Rain. He could smell it in the wind. It was not a good time to be traveling. Storms could frighten even the most experience equine and roads could turn into muck and mire.
His Eleanor was out in this mess.
And any highwayman who rode the trails, looking for easy—and rich—prey.
He ran his fingers through his dark brown strands, trying to calm his nerves that even now had the hair on the back of his neck bristling. A crack of thunder had him on his feet, fear for her spread like wildfire through him.
He should not have let her go. Eleanor….
A single knock at the door, followed by his butler Benjamin opening it caught his attention.
“My lord, the Viscount of Clearwater requests to see you.”
The door behind the balding elderly servant swung wide open and Albert Summers, Viscount of Clearwater, busted into the room.
“No need for formalities, old chap!” He didn’t slow till he got to James’s desk, a broad grin on his lips and his eyes wide with excitement. “Not going to offer you friend a drink, James?”
James frowned and started to say something when another stag joined the herd.
“Perhaps, old man, after he offers one to his better friend,” the newcomer challenged. George Wilkinson, the Marquis of Stonebriar. Wilkinson slapped Clearwater on the back and both broke into laughter, dragging the reluctant James to join them.
Biting back his chuckle as the two lords began their ceaseless banter on who was the better man, James pulled three glasses out of the sideboard and poured.
“I dare say, James, what has you so damn quiet, huh? That parcel you stole from us wearing you out? Not the young buck you claim to be?” Wilkinson took the glass and downed a gulp before James even heard the last word.
“Stonebriar, be kind.” Clearwater took a glass. “Has years of service to Lady Stonebriar dulled the mind? Or is it that piece you cavort with? What was her name? Penelope?”
James took a sip, letting them distract him. He had to place his faith in God that Eleanor was fine and no doubt she was. The last thing she needed was him dogging her every step. But their eyes glued upon him had him breaking his silence.
“The Lady Windhaven is off for an afternoon with the ladies.”
A heavy breeze, damp with the coming rain, came through the window,
“In this muck and mire? Surely, she won’t tarry long out of doors. A storm is coming.” Clearwater sipped then he frowned. “On the road to London? Perhaps you have cause for concern. Highwaymen love the rain and what it can do to carriages.”
Wilkerson shot Clearwater a look but James caught it. He knew it meant to shut him up, but the thoughts similar to that stated were already in his mind.
“I’m sure she is blessed and safely there. Your men are gallant enough to withstand any attack, of that I am assured.” Wilkerson raised his glass and smiled. But it was a smile as vacant as the one James returned.
As thunder cracked the skies, James shut his eyes and prayed.