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One of them has to go home

Dear Mr. Clemens,

Master Clint is away fighting Yankees and I’m beginning to suspect that my mistress, Miss Julianne, is possessed by haints. Worse yet, Miss Julianne is figuring that out, too. We been together since we was born, so there ain’t much trouble we hadn’t been into. But when she asked me to take her to see Miss Jetta, the old root doctor whose cabin is hidden in the cypress swamp, I told her I thought that was a line we ought not to cross. So off we went anyway. Then Miss Jetta started coming around in the night putting root bags in the nooks and crannies of the house.

Now I found out that Miss Audrey is in Miss Julianne’s body. She says she’s from a place called the future, but she ain’t a haint. She just wants to go home. At first I was mad at her for taking Miss Julianne’s body, but while Miss Audrey and I been trying to figure out how to get her home, we’ve grown to be good friends. A lot of stuff has happened since Miss Audrey’s been here – some good and some so bad it makes my heart hurt to think about it. I don’t want Miss Audrey to leave, but old Miss Jetta say Miss Julianne and Miss Audrey cain’t both stay. And the time is fast approaching when one of them has to go.

Tess Joseph, 1864
Wren Song Plantation slave
Ladies maid to Mistress Julianne Wren

A Splinter in Time

Charleston antiques dealer Audrey Parrish attends an auction preview at Wren Song plantation, hoping to find relics from her past. Instead, she snags her hand on a bedpost splintered by a musket ball and finds herself at the plantation at the exact moment the shot is fired.

Confederate officer Matthew Orrick is staying in the vacant overseer’s cabin while recovering from a battle wound. Audrey is captivated by him, but falling in love is not an option. Altering Matt’s destiny would impact the fate of generations yet to be born.

After Matt discovers Audrey’s true identity, he demands she abandon her attempts to return to her own time. But Audrey’s feelings for him conflict with her concern for the lives that will be erased if she stays.

When an eleventh hour opportunity arises, Audrey has only seconds to weigh her decision – stay with the man she loves, or return to set her own world right?

Excerpt: Matt discovers the deception.

He went to the end of the veranda and looked out into the night. “You are not the Julianne I have known all my life.”

Audrey had been so infatuated with him she hadn’t thought to look at herself through his eyes. Still, she did not believe that he could be speaking literally.

“Tell me,” he demanded, turning back to her.

“There is nothing to tell.”

“You are changed. It began the evening of your fainting spell. The evening  before, you were as I’ve always known you. Now, the  way you speak, your manner, you are an entirely different person. At first it was entertaining, but now it has grown troubling. Has this to do with your trip to the old root woman? Is that the reason she creeps around here in the deep of night tucking her spell bags into the  nooks and crannies of the house?”

“Miss Jetta comes here at night?” Audrey said, stunned.

“Do you expect me to believe you don’t know she  comes when all the Negroes know? They think she is the reason you have suddenly regained your health. I  should believe so, too, but there’s something deeper going on. Tess knows what it is and she’s protective of it. Tell me,” he demanded, “are you a piece of Miss Jetta’s work?”

She was suddenly afraid—afraid to tell him and afraid not to. “No! I only went to Miss Jetta for help.”

“So, you admit it.”

“No. Well, yes. But…”

They turned at the clatter of a tray being set heavily on the table. Tess stood stone-faced looking at her.

“Tell him.”

Audrey shook her head. “No.”

“Tell him,” Tess said, her voice emotionless.

She looked at Tess with rising panic. “He won’t believe me.”

“He’ll believe me,” Tess said. “Tell him all of it.”

 About Linda Shelby.

Linda Shelby lives on a small ranch in central Oklahoma. She loves reading, traveling to historical places and blending historical facts into her stories. Her novel, A Splinter In Time, won the 2017 OWFI award for best book of fiction.

To Love A Knight

Dear Diary:

I have a medieval man in my shower.

Knight

Yes… I just wrote that and no… I’m not drunk, but maybe I should be. How else do I explain the strange trip through Time that took me 800 years into the past and then again to return home to present day San Francisco? I wish I could say I dreamed the whole thing but then I can hear Fletcher humming some medieval melody and the steam from his shower is escaping through the crack at the bottom of the bathroom door. Just listen to him! That deep baritone voice makes my heart flutter like the wings of a hummingbird in flight.

Fletcher… I swear my face flushes inferno hot each and every time he even glances in my direction. He is the stuff dreams are made of. Really! I’m not over exaggerating or lying just to make this entry interesting. I mean who would make up this stuff? If I were an author, I’d probably have a bestseller on my hands. Now isn’t that thought a hoot?

But I digress from telling you about this incredible man who continues to watch over me. He gave up everything he had just to follow me through Time. This chivalrous knight who gave no thought as to his responsibilities to his family and liege lord. A noble knight who now finds himself out of place and time in a future world that no longer values the very essence of all he held dear in another life. I’m unsure how he’ll ever adjust to modern living, despite the brave face he puts on for my benefit.

I’m in love with him. Even writing those words scares the hell out of me, and I’m terrified of what the implications of those feelings could mean to my heart. I could blink, and he could be gone in a heartbeat if God decides such is our fate. I came back to my own place in time because of the anguish I heard in my mother’s cry that spanned centuries. Would the same happen to Fletcher and those he, too, left in day’s long since past? His father, a younger sister, not to mention those he cared about at Berwyck Castle. It’s a lot to consider and it makes my head hurt with just the thought of losing him now that we’ve found one another.

He left his sword leaning up against the wall near the bathroom door, a twelfth century item appearing totally out of place among the things in this room of modern living. The ruby jewel in the hilt winks at me as though the stone has a secret to tell. My only thought is how Fletcher will react when he sees me in my best negligée that I put on just for him. He’ll think me overly bold, but I never wanted a man more than I do tonight. Now if only I can convince him to share my bed, which will be no small task. He’ll probably tell me we can’t until we’re married. He has much to learn about the twenty-first century!

I’ll write more when I can. I just heard the water go off and I’ve only moments before I’m confronted with the man who makes my heart sing. I can only hope that whatever happens between us, that we won’t lose what we have found with each other. Time brought us together. I’ll be damned if I’ll allow Time to tear us apart.

Jenna


Knight

To Follow My Heart: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time Novel (Book Three)

Bestselling author, Sherry Ewing, brings you the next installment of her Knights of Berwyck series, To Follow My Heart.

Love is a leap. Sometimes you need to jump…

After a gut wrenching break up with her fiancé, Jenna Sinclair heads to the coast to do a little soul searching. To say everything is subject to change is putting it mildly. Her world is not only turned upside down, but pretty much torn asunder when she is pulled through a time gate on the beach beneath the Cliff House and transported more than eight hundred years into the past.

Fletcher Monroe, captain of the garrison knights at Berwyck Castle, has wasted too much time pining for a woman who will never be his. When he finally decides to move on with his life and focus on his duties, he is suddenly confronted with a woman who magically appears at his feet. This could either be the best thing that has ever happened to him or another cursed event in a string of many. He soon finds he is wildly attracted to her, but she’s scared to death of him ─ not a very encouraging beginning.

From the shores of California to twelfth century England and back again, Jenna and Fletcher must find a way to reconcile their two different worlds before Time forever tears them apart.

Buy Links:

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Amazon AU | Amazon  BR | AmazonCA Amazon DE | AmazonFRAmazon UK

You can learn more about Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing on her page on the tab above with the Belles or on her website here.

An Irish Wake

Peggy McDermott studied the tray of soda bread sandwiches and tarts. “I’m hoping this is the last of them, Prudie. I didn’t expect to serve up so many.”

The kitchen maid wiped her sweaty face with a corner of her apron and grinned. “Who would expect it? An O’Brien wake at Meirliun turning the whole of County Clare into respectful mourners.”

Peggy snorted. “Respectful mourners hoping to get a taste of whiskey skin tea and a bite of lunch, maybe?”

“Well, it’s a grand salute to Mistress Margaret.” Quickly, Prudie crossed herself. “She looks like an angel, in that white shroud with her hands bound forever in prayer by her rosary, and the bell hooked over her thumbs.”

“You dressed her, then?”

“Aye, Sarah and I washed and dressed her before we laid her in the bier. Livy was useless, wailing in the arms of the master long after her mum passed.”

“Ah, the poor little thing. Her mum was taken too young for an heiress, and that one so near to coming out. Is she doing her duty upstairs?”

“Last tray I took up, she was sitting beside the coffin, looking like a caged raven in her chair—her ginger hair covered in black and pale as the corpse she was, taking condolences with grace and more gravity than even her da.”

“The master grieves in his own way, Pru. Clay pipes and tobacco are laid out in the library for the male tenants and staff. Angus is minding the liquor cabinet. Every puff and toast will protect the mistress’s soul in the hereafter, or so he says.”

“Did Sarah open the parlor window to allow her spirit to escape?”

“Aye, the housekeeper stopped the clocks, covered the mirrors and set the candles at the head and foot of the bier. Her Robbie and my Lewy are dressed as footmen, ushering guests, and standing watch at each end til burial on the morrow.”

Prudie sucked in her grin. The two gloved lads in green coats with white gloves? Both had unusual run of the manor for sons of servants, but the master always took a liking to them. Chinwag at Meirliun claimed he even charged them to look after Livy when she tagged after the boys when she was younger. The mistress was said to be mortified, knowing her little heiress was hanging with low boys. But Livy was willful and even sending her to a Dublin finishing school couldn’t smooth the wrinkles in the highborn lass.

Peggy smirked when she heard the clatter on the steps. “That’ll be me own dear footman. Lewy’s come for the tray.”

Tall and tanned, with his collar askew and no gloves, Lewy snatched one of the sandwiches and popped it into his mouth before his mother could slap his hand. When he kissed her after a swallowed gulp, she baffled the air with her hand. “Tell me you weren’t samplin’ the master’s jug, now.”

“Da gave me a go, Mum. Standing watch like a statue surrounded by death and roses works on the throat.”

“Is Robbie partaking as well?”

“Not with his mum supervising, but he looks like he needs a swill. He’s stunned as Livy watching the bell in her mother’s hands.”

“Tis an old custom, favoring hope of life by the sound of a ringing bell, but I think the mistress is gone for good.” Crossing herself, she wiped a tear from her eye with the back of her hand. “Even St. Patrick himself could not heal the break in her heart.”

Lewy wondered if his mother knew—the common chinwag he had heard . . .about Robbie and Livy.

About the Book

He was lost in time…found by love.

Jessica Brewster is being watched…and things go missing from the remote Wyoming home she shares with her toddler. In a freak accident, she shoots the grizzled thief stalking her before she recognizes the mesmerizing green eyes that belong to the only man she ever loved.  Has Mitch bridged time to find her? In a race to save his life and change hers forever, she takes him into her home and heart. But his memory loss and puzzling clues curry doubt and danger.

Is he truly her son’s father or an irresistible stranger in her arms?’

~Excerpt~

I screamed as the gun exploded in my hand and fell to the ground. The bear moving toward Scout dropped, and I raced to scoop up my son before he toppled into the icy stream. Cradling my whimpering child, I ventured closer and could see at once that it was no bear I shot. A man in a bearskin poncho lay on his side. A mass of dark matted hair covered the side of his face that wasn’t blooming with blood,
running down his cheek, pooling in his ear and staining his thick beard.

 “Is he, is he dead?” I whispered.

 Chuck fumbled for a pulse and we all started when the man groaned and his eyes fluttered open.

Green! His eyes were green. The fear in them registered with me as he searched our faces. When his eyes met mine, his jaw twitched. A flash of memories washed over me and my heart began to thump wildly. I set Scout down when my knees began to buckle and I thought I was going to be sick as I reached out to staunch the blood.

So red against the white snow. His eyes, so…green. Every shade in a spectrum of emotion raced through me. I knew only one man who owned those eyes. Had he come back to me?

Did I shoot the only man I ever loved?

About the Author

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, CJ Fosdick has freelanced for over 30 years, writing stories and articles for local and national publications, including the Post Bulletin and Rochester Women. Stories are published in three anthologies, including Minnesota’s Blossoms & Blizzards and a Prentice-Hall H.S. Literature Textbook. Her novel series debuted in 2015 with The Accidental Wife, voted a Golden Quill finalist for Best First Novel and a top 10 finisher for Best Author and Best Romance in the 2015 Preditors & Editors Poll. She pursues her novel dreams on a wooded country hilltop in Rochester, MN, with husband, family, and a menagerie of well-fed wild and domestic animals.

Publisher Website: www.thewildrosepress.com
Author Website:
www.cjfosdick.com

Author Twitter: Falorac13
Author Facebook:
www.facebook.com/cjfosdick
Author email: Falorac@gmail.com

 

Which Surpasses All: Friends, Love, or Time?

Vanessa entered the bookshop with her head down. Lately, it seemed as if her life was more like that of a story, and she longed to find refuge in one of the books here, so that she might forget her troubles… such as the strange man who she was beginning to think might possibly be from another time and the horrid man her parents wished her to wed, considering her options were so few.

She bumped into a lady. “Oh, I am quite sorry!”

The lady, one Vanessa had never seen before, granted her an easy albeit preoccupied smile. “Don’t worry about it.”

The lady walked away, but Vanessa found herself watching her. There was something about the way the woman held herself, carried herself, the way her clothes fit, that suggested something was… off, for lack of a better word.

No matter. Vanessa found herself a book, purchased it, and settled into a chair to read. She had only turned the first page when someone sat in a nearby chair. Vanessa paid the newcomer no mind until she heard enough sniffs that the person was either very ill or on the brink of tears.

She closed her book and glanced over to see the lady she had bumped into earlier. A book lay open in the lady’s lap, her head hang low, but her eyes were closed as a single tear ran down her cheek.

Vanessa did not wish to intrude, but the lady seemed so lonely and sad, that she stirred herself to speak. “Is there something I can help you with?” she asked.

The lady jerked back, stiffened, and wiped the tear away. “I’m fine. I’m good. No worries.”

No worries? What an odd thing to say!

The lady grimaced. “Do not worry,” she added.

Vanessa closed her book. “I am worrying, though. You are upset. I know we aren’t aquaintances—I don’t even know your name—”

“Katia,” the lady supplied.

“I’m Vanessa.”

They shared small smiles.

After a moment, Katia sighed, her brief happiness disappearing. “I don’t… I don’t suppose it would hurt to talk to someone.”

Vanessa leaned forward. Katia had lowered her voice so much that she could hardly be heard.

“I… I miss my friends,” she blurted, as if this was a terrible secret.

“Do they live far away?” Vanessa asked.

“You could say that,” Katia mumbled. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again.”

“Oh, no!”

Katia nodded emphatically. “I want to see them again, but…” She sighed. Wistfully? Dreamily? Vanessa was not certain.

A crowd entered the bookstore, their chatter and laughter making a private conversation impossible, so they waited until the crowd thinned before speaking further.

“What is holding you back?” Vanessa asked. “From visiting your friends?”

“Time,” she muttered the word as if it were a curse.

Vanessa furrowed her brow. She did not understand. All in all, this Katia seemed like a peculiar lady, but even so, Vanessa found herself wishing to befriend her.

“And then there is Lord Landon…” Katia added, her cheeks staining pink.

“Ah. So time and love are holding you here?”

Katia’s cheeks now burned with seemingly hot red. “O-Of course not love! That’s… Do you think you could love someone who is so different from you?”

Idly, Vanessa found herself thinking of Gerald, the strange man who fancied himself a medieval knight. Despite his oddities—much like Katia—something drew Vanessa to him, something she could not explain.

“I think love is complicated,” Vanessa said after a moment.

“Yes,” Katia murmured. “Complicated. As complicated as…” The last was mumbled, but Vanessa would have been hard pressed to say that she finished with, “time travel.”

Was traveling through time possible after all? Was Gerald not crazy? Could a medieval knight find happiness… and maybe love… today, in the 1800s?

As for Katia, when did she come from? Being from another time would explain her strange mannerisms, the fitting of her clothes, and her odd speech.

Then again, could she truly accepted this notion?

“Who complicates love for you?” Katia asked.

Vanessa laid her book on the table between them. Where to start?

“It all began when I was hungry for a treat from the kitchen…”
Vanessa is the heroine in Love Before Honor, whereas Katia is the heroine in The Test of Time.

LoveBeforeHonor1400x2100To avenge his love’s death, Sir Gerald challenges her murderer to a duel. Her twin, however, feels that Alice never loved the knight and gives him a tea that sends him to into the future, to the Regency era.

Lady Vanessa seeks a Christmas treat when she hears something outside the manor. Upon investigation, she sees a man dressed in armor. Unwilling to turn away a confused man with the approaching holiday, she convinces her parents to house Gerald until the new year.

Scandal has forced her parents to accept William as their daughter’s best chance at marriage. Although rich, he does not understand her or her love of books, whereas Gerald listens to her, confides in her and she him. With the approaching holiday, nothing is certain – not whether Gerald can discover a way back to his duel, whether he can move on from Alice, and not whether this Christmas will be a happy one for either Gerald or Vanessa.

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Nicole is one of the Belles. You can learn more about her here.

Can Love Cross the Boundary of Time?

Landon entered White’s and asked for a drink. His dreams had been trying as of late, the mysterious lady who haunted his nights visiting him often and was beginning to invade his every thought. If he could only drink away her beauty, forget about it, make on with his life as if she did not exist…

With a start, he realized a man had sat beside him, his shoulders hunched, his face closed.

For whatever reason, perhaps because he felt a sudden kinship with the man whose eyes seemed to mirror the growing swell of emotions Landon himself felt, he cleared his throat. “Would you like a drink?” he asked.

“Ale,” the man said after a moment. “The stronger the better.”

Landon ordered one, and it wasn’t until they had shared several rounds without a word that the man felt moved to speak further.

“This be a strange place,” he remarked, glancing around.

Landon frowned. “Have you never been before?” White’s was a staple, where a man could enjoy drink and dice and cards and more.

“Never been to anywhere here,” the man muttered. He glanced around some more and then leaned in close. “Can you be… Who are you?”

“Landon Philamore.”

“A lord, I take it.”

Landon nodded. “And yourself?”

“Sir Gerald of Hanover.”

The man seemed to want to say more, and Landon waited, giving the man time to reason through his thoughts.

“Do you think,” Gerald said slowly, but then he halted.

“I think I great many things.” Landon would have smiled, but the man’s countenance bore too heavy a burden. “Tell me what ails you.”

“I do not think…” Gerald took a deep breath and then said in a rush, “I am not from this time.”

At once, Landon’s heart began to race. The lady from his dreams, the things she sometimes said, her mannerisms, her jokes… On more than one occasion, he suspected the same thing of her.

“I know I must sound daft,” Gerald continued.

“I think you need another drink,” Landon said.

At Gerald’s nod, Landon motioned for two more drinks.

“What is it that you miss most from your time?” Landon asked.

“You believe me?”

He shrugged. “It matters not what I believe. Your beliefs take priority.”

“I do not know what I belief, what I think, who I love.” Gerald stared glumly at his mug.

“Well, I believe that love can transcend anything. Even those from other lands… or other times.”

“Do you?” Gerald asked, the light of hope shining in his eyes for the first time since they began their conversation.

“Yes,” Landon said firmly, but whether he said it for Gerald’s sake or his own, he could not be certain…

Landon is the hero in The Test of Time, whereas Gerald is the hero in Love Before Honor.

ThetestoftimesmallKatia jumps at the chance to go to England with her best friend after Rose ditches her deadbeat boyfriend. While walking through the market, she spies a large mansion and recognizes the guy out front as her high school friend Tony. Just as they start to reconnect, Katia passes through times and lands in the arms of Lord Landon, who looks like Tony but certainly doesn’t act like him.

Soon, Katia learns that this 1815 is different from the one in history books. Trapped in a parallel world, Katia struggles to not fall for Landon but his charm proves too much for her. Just when she is about to confess her love for him, Katia travels through time yet again.

The course of love never did run smooth and if Katia can’t figure out and master the test of time, she’ll never see her friends again, or worse, never be reunited with Landon.

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Nicole is one of the Belles. You can learn more about her here.

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