Lady Sarah, Chapter One, Last Installment Here

Lady Sarah, CHAPTER ONE, Last Installment to appear here. After this, if you wish to receive a chapter a week of this new American Regency romance, please go to the top right to subscribe to my enewsletter and enter your email address. Then you will receive a chapter a week. Now for this week’s installment…

Three years later

Chapter One

December 24, 1796
New Jersey

Alone on the bleak afternoon sitting in her parent’s rear parlor, Sarah suddenly felt buried alive. She cast her uninteresting book aside and drew in air. She’d seen no one but family for months now. The December gloom swallowed her up and she gripped the arms of her chair, holding in all the despair that clamored to be released.

The holiday season always brought memories of New Year’s Eve three years ago, the last time she’d seen Eliot Farraday. That dragged back to mind all the repercussions from that night and finally, the foolish and disastrous decision she’d made. If I hadn’t been just a callow, foolish girl, none of this–

The butler entered with the mail on a silver plate. She composed herself, thanked him and he left her again alone. She shuffled through the few missives. One letter caused her a jolt. Moving to her mother’s secretary in the corner, she inserted the cool silver opener at the wax seal. And then stopped.

She studied the worn, creased and smudged letter which had traveled so far. The most recent letter from their London solicitor had cast her life, cast her once again into the murky shadows outside of society. Could she expect good news from this letter sent from the same law office?

She steeled herself, gripping the silver opener. Yet she could not bring herself to open it, here alone in this empty house in the scant daylight. Her parents were delivering baskets of holiday food and gift to the needy and it would be hours before they returned.

No, she couldn’t face more bad news alone. And she couldn’t stay here alone with her upsetting fears and memories. Her brother Jean Claude should be home and in his sympathetic presence she could bear to open this.

After tucking the letter into her hidden pocket in her simple blue dress, she went quickly to the back hall where her heavy gray wool shawl, lined bonnet and matching woolen gloves were kept. She slipped off the elegant slippers she wore inside and slid her feet into fleece-lined wooden clogs.

She hurried down the frozen lane to the neighboring farm that had belonged to the Richardsons, a Quaker couple who had been like grandparents to her. They were gone now and her brother and his wife had inherited the property.

When she reached the house–one of the few where she still felt welcome–she found no one home. Bereft, she stood in the kitchen, gazing at the plain furnishings, smelling the scent of dried apples, feeling the pressure of the letter in her pocket, the gray emptiness closing in on her. She turned and fled.

The cutting December wind swooped around the corner of the house and nearly snatched her breath away. She hurried out onto the lane, heading for home like a swimmer heading for the shore.

Then she saw a man walking briskly toward her. Something about him struck her as familiar. “Good day?” Sarah called.

“Bonjour, madame,” he replied with evident holiday spirit, and in a voice she recognized.

“Your grace!” Sarah greeted Louis Phillipe, Duc de Orleans.

“Yes, madame, it is I.” A somewhat portly man of medium height only a few years older than she, he wore a thick navy blue great coat and white muffler and a fashionable beaver hat.

Though surprised, she was delighted to see him again. The previous dreadful letter from England had coincided with their first meeting. In the painful weeks that had passed since, his kind note, sent soon after, had meant so much to her. In this man she’d found a friend. She hurried toward him. “But where are you bound, sir?”

“To your home.”

“My home?”

“Yes, your parents invited me to spend the holidays with your family.”

Thinking she should have expected her mother to issue this invitation, Sarah merely nodded, tucked in her chin against the wind and started walking beside him over the packed snow.

“When I received the invitation, I was unable to communicate my acceptance. But I have been able to come after all. I hope I am still welcome,” he said.

“Certainly.” Since the announcement of her divorce, she had avoided all but the closest friends and family, not wishing to experience the humiliation inflicted on her during this man’s last visit. Perhaps that was why her mother had not mentioned inviting him to her.

She was heartened by learning that he would be their guest. So many guests that usually came during the holidays would not be coming this year. Because her parents had not invited them. This was their way of protecting her and at the same time, not causing their prominent friends distress over refusing their usual invitations, all because of her blackened reputation. The letter in her pocket nudged her.

“I’m sure my mother would have sent a carriage for you.” she said, picking up the thread of the conversation.

“I know she would but I was able to secure transport myself nearby. And I will walk the last miles myself. And I find you as my companion, a pleasant boon.”

In spite of her heavy mood, Sarah smiled then at the incongruity of the exiled man, only a few years ago an heir to the French throne, now walking to her mother’s house.

“I see your smile,” he said jovially. “You laugh to see a duke out walking. Dukes are not supposed to walk on a common lane in December.”

She blushed warmly. “I’m sorry–”

“Do not apologize. I laugh myself, but I enjoy to walk freely here. In Paris I am not permitted to walk the everyday streets. In New York I walk at will. The Revolution succeeds! I am liberated!”

Considering all this man had endured–fleeing the overthrow of the French monarchy and the guillotine that had claimed his father’s life, Sarah pushed away her doubts about her own future. She turned back to him. “How is your career as French tutor proceeding?”

“Excellently. Your mother has suggested many fine contacts for me. I am quite busy, enjoying myself and living comfortably in New York City.”

“Good. I am glad.”

“And I am glad of your mother’s invitation to spend Christmas with your family. I had others, but they merely wished to show my off like a prize lap dog. ‘See the tame heir to a vanquished throne.’ Your mother invited me out of friendship or should I say, kinship?”

“Oh!” His frankness startled her. She slipped on the snow.

He caught her arm and steadied her. “Yes, do not worry. I will not reveal our tenuous family connection. A Federalist family with such a Gallic tie! It would be much more appropriate to a Jeffersonian family.”

Sarah smiled ruefully. Louis was referring to her family’s ties to the conservative Washingtons who had been opposed to the Revolution in France when it had taken an ugly turn. And only family knew that her grandmother had been a courtesan at the royal court at Versailles so the two families were distantly related by blood. “I see, you are in a devil-may-care mood today, aren’t you?”

“I am. It must be the anticipation of a week’s holiday. Yet there is something I must settle  with you.”

“Yes?” She avoided a patch of ice.

“You use my title, but you also are titled, Lady Sarah, the granddaughter of an earl.”
That title and the wealth her grandfather had left her had ensnared her with a fortune hunter, not a happy thought. She kept her gaze lowered.

“This is why I bring it up. I ask a boon of you, dear cousin. From now on I will be to you Louis and will you allow me to call you Sarah?”

“Of course, if you wish to. But I warn you again, don’t tell anyone we are related.”

“Would that be so terrible?”

The letter made itself felt again. “I apologize. That is not how I meant it, your grace-”

“Louis,” he substituted.

“Louis,” she amended. “I was afraid more for you than me. I would not want anyone to use our relationship to your disadvantage.”

“I see, Sarah. In that case my lips are sealed.” His tone became more serious. “Since we are alone and you have referred to your difficulties, may I ask how you are since I last saw you?”

“Thank you so much for your note.” In a way she was relieved that he had brought up the topic. “It helped me a great deal.”

“Bon. I was much moved by your father’s explanation of your predicament. Not many women would have been as resolute as you. To leave a husband who dishonored you in such a blatant manner, showing you no respect.” He shook his head. “Many women would have preferred to hide under the mantle of respectability in spite of all they suffered from an unfaithful and foolhardy husband.”

Sarah had been unable to do that. Remembering her former husband, his infidelity and complete disregard for her and his wanton dissipation of her inheritance from her grandfather still filled her with outrage. But now she paid the price for her honesty. Her mother said God forgave all sins, but society never forgave a woman who divorced. “Poor father,” she said, turning back to Louis’s reference to her father. “He still wishes I had let him go to London and challenge my husband to a duel.”

“I can understand both your positions, but what is done is done, n’est ce pas?”

“Too true.” In the social upheaval caused by the revelation that she’d been baseborn, she’d been duped into marriage by a man without honor or even common sense. If he’d had a shred of either, matters could have turned out so differently. But what was done was done. Still her hand strayed to press against the troubling letter in her pocket.

They walked in companionable silence then, the a few inches of snow crunching under their feet. As the sun lowered to the horizon, the wind quieted but the late December day brought thoughts of the warm fire waiting for them and they quickened their pace.

“Sarah, may I be bold and speak more on this matter?”

She glanced at his face which still appeared serious. “If you wish,” she said faintly.

“I thought much of your dilemma in the past weeks. At first I wondered why it should intrigue me so. Then I realized that you and I are not so different–we exiles.”

Sarah pursed her lips and he allowed her time to think. “I see. We are both exiles, aren’t we?” she said at last.

“Yes, but I think in a way your road is more difficult.”

“How so, Louis?”

“I am in a foreign land among strangers, but you are in your own country and yet separated from all you knew…” he began.

She stopped suddenly. A giddy feeling passed through her making her feel faint.

He halted. “Are you unwell, Sarah?”

“No,” she said, shaking her head as though to clear it. “It is just hearing it put into words. You are very perceptive, Louis.”

“I have much solitude and time to think,” he said wryly.

Her smile was wry. “I have, too.” They began to walk again and she tucked her free hand into the crook of his arm companionably.

“So what are your plans, Sarah?”

“Plans?” Her life had been altered forever. What could change that?

“Indeed. You have one advantage over me. I must spend my life always prepared, always hoping to return to Paris or to my estate in Orleans. But you have a whole world in which to find a place to begin a new life,” he said.

“I had not thought of it like that.”

“Well, you must think! Will you spend your life cloistered here like a nun?” He winked at her and patted her gloved hand. “A beautiful woman such as you?”

“Mother was right. You are a flatterer–”

“No, never.” They both laughed as though it felt good to laugh and hurried up the sweeping approach to Westhaven, her parent’s estate.

Just as they glimpsed the butler, holding the door wide for them, a carriage on runners bowled up the drive and drew to a halt. A footman helped Janine down. Sarah’s friend, a very petite pretty blond, wrapped in a modish blue woolen shawl and wearing a hat of exquisite design, Janine’s own design. “My lady, walking in the snow?” she exclaimed. “And le Duc.” She curtseyed deeply to Louis.

Louis lifted her hand and kissed it. “The lovely la femelle styliste. Have you finished dressing the ladies of New York society for the holiday balls?”

“Oui, your grace.” Janine blushed, keeping her gaze lowered in the presence of one she would never have approached in France.

Louis insisted on offering both young women his arms and led them into the house, singing a French melody.

Remembering when and how she and Janine had met on the docks of London three years ago, Sarah felt again the weight of the letter from London in her pocket. What news did it bring? And should she share it now and perhaps spoil her parent’s holiday as well as her own?
#
That evening all alone in her bedroom with one candle on her bedside table, Sarah at last inserted the letter opener under the wax seal of the London letter. She could no longer leave the letter alone yet did not want to worry her parents, especially during the holiday.

7 November, 1796
Dear Madam,
I regret bringing up an unpleasant subject, but I thought you should be informed. your former husband Gerald Frathing committed suicide eight days ago by hanging himself. After your divorce he opened his own law office, but unfortunately his income did not keep pace with his gambling debts. His suicide was precipitated by his imminent arrest on the charge of debt to creditors.  Again I apologize for sending such dismal tidings.                    Your servant,
Charles T. Graham, esq., Solicitor

Overwhelmed by the news, she rested her heavy head in her hand. “How awful,” she whispered. She rose, allowing the to letter flutter from her lap to the carpet. Now the man she’d divorced was dead and what of her? Her world was limited to her parent’s home and a few farmhouses nearby where she was still welcome. Each day blended with each other day till time meant nothing but covering dreary endurance with a false smile.

She had married the Englishman Gerald Frathing the day after her sixteenth birthday. The next September 28 in the coming year 1797 she would be nineteen years old. She rested her forehead against the cool window pane, rattling gently with the wind. What was she to do with the rest of her days? Was her whole life going to be squandered living in seclusion? She wanted to scream, “No! No! No!”

*******

if you wish to receive a chapter a week of this new American Regency romance, please go to the top right to subscribe to my enewsletter and enter your email address. Then you will receive a chapter a week. Also please tell your friends, mention it on twitter and Facebook. Thanks!–Lyn

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Lyn Reviews NY Times Author Lenora Worth

Lenora headshot2013.JPG2

I count NY Times Best-selling author Lenora Worth as a dear friend. But I promise I was honest with my review of her latest Love Inspired Romance, Bayou Sweetheart. She gave it to me when I visited her right after New Years during that January cold snap that followed us down to her home on a bay near the Gulf shore of Florida. I will giveaway a copy of Bayou Sweetheart so be sure to leave a comment

Part-1 Here’s my review.

Bayou SweetheartBayou Sweetheart by Lenora Worth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hadn’t read a Lenora Worth romance for a while. I still think that her Love Inspired The Wedding Quilt is a classic. And I was so delighted to read another of her romances. Bayou Sweetheart seems to be the third in a series, but it doesn’t say so on the book. But occasionally sisters of the heroine would step on stage and some references were made to their recent romances. That didn’t detract from the story and made me curious about them.

Lenora is a NY Times best-selling author and I know why. THE GIRL CAN WRITE! Her descriptions are lovely. Her hero is yummy but dark and mysterious. Her heroine was a free spirit with a wounded heart. It almost had the flavor of a Harlequin Presents romance with its dark commanding hero.

The only reason
Bayou Sweetheart
didn’t get 5 stars from me is that I rarely give 5 stars. And I thought that the plot needed a bit more action. But that might just be me. I tend to favor a fast-moving plot. And I had to love the opening–the heroine dancing in the rain–LOVELY.

This story was like the bayou–gently moving, warm and sweet. Thanks for a good read, Lenora Worth!

To purchase, click here. Bayou Sweetheart (Love Inspired)

Part-2 Another Lenora Worth romance.


To purchase, click the cover.

April Bride is part of a new 12 month series of novellas

about  of course–brides!

Happily ever after guaranteed.

April Bride by Lenora Worth

War changed everything . . . even their love.

Bride-to-be Stella Carson cannot wait another day to marry her longtime sweetheart, Marshall Henderson. But her plans fall to pieces when she receives the terrible news that Marshall has suffered a near-fatal head wound while serving overseas. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he asks to recover privately in a D.C. hospital, and Stella gives him space to heal. But when Marshall returns home to Louisiana, it becomes clear to them both that he is not the man he used to be.

Marshall’s memories of home have disappeared, and he suffers from violent, vivid nightmares night after night. Struggling to regain their life together, Stella reintroduces him to their town, reminding him of his history and their love story and watching glimpses of recognition dance in his eyes. But there is one dark corner in his memory, one important part he can’t remember: his life with Stella.
With only weeks until the wedding, Stella and Marshall must choose between a marriage built on the past and faith in long-ago love or a very different future than the one Stella imagined.”

Part 3-I asked Lenora

if there was a time in your life when you think God challenged you to become stronger? Please share.

I’ve had many times in my life where my faith has been challenged. Once when I was a confused teenager, I wanted to just curl up and die on one lonely night. But God helped me through that long night and I did come out stronger. I have learned that if I rely on the Lord’s grace, no matter the situation, I will always make it through until morning. As the Psalm says “Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I have learned to be strong thanks to God’s love for me. Even at my lowest points in life, I can feel his touch on my shoulder. That always brings me joy in the morning.
Lenora :-)

Thanks, Lenora. I’m so happy you are able to share your love of romance with us through your lovely elegant stories and your heartfelt faith. QUESTION: Have you read a Lenora Worth romance? If not, how long have you been reading Christian romance? Leave a comment and be entered into the drawing.–Lyn

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Lady Sarah, An American Regency, the Story Begins

An American Regency, set in Creole New Orleans

The Story Begins
****

Prologue

New York City
December 31, 1793

President Washington leaned over Sarah’s hand. “Happy New Year, Sarah, you look lovely tonight. Is that a new gown you’re wearing?”

“Yes,” she stuttered as she curtseyed. Her heart raced like a run of sixteenth notes. With her mother and father behind her, she stood in the receiving line in the presidential mansion on Broad Way. She wore a light blue satin dress in the latest, slimmer silhouette.

The president smiled indulgently. “It is charming on you. It brings out your eyes.” Yes, she did have her father’s ice-blue eyes and straight, walnut brown hair. For the millionth time she wished she had instead inherited her mother’s luxuriant chestnut waves. But to the president, she only smiled tremulously in return.

“Christiane!” Washington exclaimed and embraced her mother. “You will always be the belle of any ball! You become more beautiful with each year!”

Sarah pursed her lips.

“Flattering as always.” Her mother smiled and shook her head at him.

“Not at all, my dear,” Mrs. Washington put in. “John, good evening.”

“My lady,” John replied as he bent over her hand. “Thank you for having us tonight.”

“Oh, it wouldn’t be a celebration if we didn’t have our dear friends with us,” the president’s wife said.

“Yes, Christiane,” Washington said, “I was just thinking this evening of the little party we had at Valley Forge on New Year’s Eve. Do you remember it?”

“Yes, Mr. President, that was the year….” Christiane stopped suddenly. Then she said quickly, “Our circumstances are certainly different tonight.”

“Yes, indeed,” Mrs. Washington picked up the thread.

Sarah stood and tried to appear as though she had not understood her mother’s slip.

President Washington had innocently touched the topic that her family had avoided all fall, the fact of Sarah’s own illegitimate birth.

Fifteen years ago at Valley Forge her mother had been expecting her while in Philadelphia her father had served with the British army. Didn’t they think she could figure it out herself? After the ill-fated day this had become public knowledge, her father had explained patiently to her that she became legitimate when he and her mother had finally married. He seemed to think that made everything all right. Her fingers turned white and cold as she tightened her grip on her beaded reticule.

After Christiane promised President Washington a dance of his choosing, they made their way down the line. Sarah wondered if it were her imagination that the greetings they received after the Washington’s were perfunctory in the extreme. But no one dared to snub those welcomed by the Washingtons.

Then Sarah saw Hester across the room and smiled. Her friend was talking to a few acquaintances of theirs from finishing school, the finishing school Sarah had been expelled from after the scandal. For a fraction of a second Sarah had the awful premonition that Hester might snub her. But Hester, dressed in a pink frilled gown, caught Sarah’s glance, made a quick apology and moved elegantly, but swiftly to her side.

“Sarah,” Hester breathed and then she greeted Sarah’s parents.

“You young ladies, don’t want to be troubled with parents tonight,” her father said with forced gaiety. “Go on and join your friends.”

Sarah, still feeling uncertain, allowed Hester to lead her away.  They paused at the edge of the ballroom near two tall potted plants. Not yet sixteen and “out,” they were still more observers, then participants here. Hester touched her friend’s arm in a delicate gesture, she had obviously practiced well. “Eliot will be here tonight.”

“Eliot Farraday?” Sarah said, her lips brittle.

“Of course, and he will speak to you.”

Sarah was lifted up and terrified at the same time. “How could you–”

“His cousin Lavinia told me. He thinks the scan…,” Hester faltered here.

Sarah felt her face grow tighter.

“Anyway,” Hester went on, “he will speak to you.”

“Well, he needn’t do me any favor–”

“Oh, don’t be so difficult. You want him to, don’t you?”

“We will see,” Sarah replied calmly, but her pulse skipped a beat.

The two girls joined the other of Miss Harper’s young ladies that had been fortunate enough to be invited. Sarah exchanged civil greetings with each of her former classmates. She also noted the schoolmistress Miss Harper across the room glaring at her. Feeling acutely out of place, she averted her eyes and listened to the other girls chatter politely.

“There’s Eliot,” Hester whispered into Sarah’s right ear. “He’s being received.”

Without turning her head, Sarah cast her gaze toward the receiving line. She saw him. The top of the young man’s head came up to the president’s chin. His wavy, black hair was pulled into a sedate club at the back of his neck. He was wearing a well-tailored suit of brown. For a moment Sarah let her eye focus on the smooth line of his spine and almost stopped breathing.

“Students, please come with me. You need to visit the withdrawing room,” Miss Harper said, startling Sarah. The three discomfited girls including Hester trailed after their guardian like chicks following a hen.

Sarah’s face burned. The spinster’s message had been clear: they should not be socializing with Sarah Eastham.  The nearby dancers walked through another minuet. Eliot Farraday was partnering his mother.

Glancing over at the grandfather clock, she saw that midnight was nearing. In a way it would be a relief since then the tension of this pins-and-needles evening would be nearly over. In another way, she hated for the party to end. How long would it be till she were invited to another? She realized she needed was a few minutes away from the suffocating presence of so many disapproving faces.

She was well acquainted with the mansion and found her way down the hall to an alcove with a window seat. For a few seconds she hid amid the bouffant sheers of the bay window. The candle sconce glimmered across from her against the ivory wall.

“Miss Eastham, good evening.” The sound of Eliot Farraday’s subdued voice raced through her, making the hair on the back of neck prickle.

She turned slightly and curtseyed automatically. “Mr. Farraday.”

He kissed her hand, but did not release it. “I have been hoping for an opportunity to speak to you this evening–privately.”

She stiffened at his last word.

“Not because I hesitate to show my admiration of you to all,” he hurried to say.

The moonlight on the cold, clear night poured over them. His handsome face was so close, winged eyebrows, strong chin, and luminous eyes. She could hear him breathing and his larger hand still gripped hers, making it feel small and so feminine.
He continued, “But because I wished for a few moments with you–alone.”

Again his last word affected her. Abruptly she sat down, pulling her hand from his.

“I hope I have said nothing amiss.”

“No, of course not. Please sit,” Sarah said, taking herself in hand. “I was merely startled.”

“Certainly.” There was a pause while he pulled up his tails and sat.

Sarah was grateful for their isolation and dimness of the light. She could feel herself blushing.

He cleared his throat. “Miss Eastham, I feel so much the slight shown to you by Miss Harper. I feel it especially, since I am responsible, I fear.”

“Responsible?”

“Yes, you see, I don’t know if you noticed but I often visited my cousin Lavinia at Miss Harper’s home.”

“Yes.”

“Well, after the day of the debate when your…,” his voice faltered. “Anyway my mother said that she thought perhaps she ought to remove Lavinia from Miss Harper’s because of you. I am afraid, I allowed myself to become a bit heated in my response. I let her know of my admiration for you and how unjust it was for you to be held accountable for something that happened so long ago–especially something in a time of war.”

“Oh?” She touched her neckline and under her hand, she felt her heart pounding.

“In any case, it had just the opposite effect I wished for. I fear my mother stirred some of the other mothers and you know the outcome.”

She sighed in reply.

“Miss Eastham, I am sincerely sorry. I wish to make a further confession, if you will permit me?”

“If you wish,” she whispered, short of breath.

“I did not visit Miss Harper’s to see my cousin. I came to see you.”

Now Sarah could not breathe at all. Without thinking, she touched his arm as though to reassure herself that he was really next to her.

Eagerly he clasped his hand over her frozen fingers. “I have watched you all evening. Your proud chin has not dipped as your so-called friends deserted you.” With his other hand he lifted her chin toward him. “You are a noble woman in the finest sense of the word.”

Sarah inhaled suddenly.

“And I have a favor to ask of you.”

“What?” she murmured, smiling at him in the moonlight and candleglow.

Still grasping her fingers, he stood up. “Miss Eastham, will you please grant me the last dance of 1793?”

Sarah’s lips opened in amazement. She was hardly able to believe her ears. He wanted to dance with her. But she had not come out yet. It was not done. “Yes, I will dance with you.”

“Miss Eastham,” he responded in a rush, “you are wonderful. Come quickly. It has already begun.”

Hand-in-hand, they swept toward the music. Sarah flushed with excitement. They entered the hall and Eliot took her in his arms. As they danced, Sarah was only conscious of  his deep blue eyes on her, his hand at the small of her back, the exciting, almost risque music of the Viennese waltz. The glowing candelabras and sconces seemed to twirl by her; though she was moving, not they. The music ended and the church bells all around the mansion began tolling, chiming.

Still in a haze, Sarah curtseyed deeply and didn’t rise.

Eliot bent over her hand, his eyes glowing. “Thank you, Miss Eastham. Happy New Year.”

“And you, Mr. Farraday,” she replied with her whole heart. Around them there were many hurrahs, some kissing, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne”. Eliot and Sarah remained frozen, in tableau, till finally Sarah remembered herself and rose. Still holding hands, they stood quietly amid the frivolity.

Then disapproving and thin-lipped Miss Harper was beside them. “Mr. Farraday, your mother is ill and needs you to escort her home.”

Eliot looked stricken with acute embarrassment, but gave the correct reply and excused himself.

Then Sarah was alone, hollow and humiliated.”

So the story begins. If you’ve read La Belle Christiane, you know all about the scandal of Sarah’s illegitimate birth. But you don’t need to know anything about the first book to enjoy and understand the second book, Lady Sarah.

Today I’ve posted the Prologue that sets the story in motion. Next Wednesday I’ll post Chapter One, but after that if you want to receive a chapter a week, you need to go up to the top right of this page (look for the lime green border) and enter your email so you will receive as a subscriber. I’m hoping you will enjoy the story and give me feedback along the way! I think it will be a lively ride! Don’t miss getting onboard!–Lyn

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Lady Sarah, a New Book in a New Way

My newest, one of my oldest manuscripts, Lady Sarah.

An American Regency Novel Set in Creole New Orleans

In the early days of the new American nation, fifteen year old Sarah Eastham has all the advantages of social position, wealth and influential friends till an old secret is revealed and plunges her into scandal, one not of her making. Her whole life is upturned and she makes a crucial and disastrous decision to marry the wrong man. In 1796 in the aftermath of that misjudgment, she decides to leave the Eastern seaboard and travel to the Spanish colonial port of New Orleans to begin her life afresh, accompanied by her friend Janine LaFleur, a talented exiled Parisian who has family there.

Sarah’s parents Christiane and John Eastham try to persuade her to stay with them but when this fails, they hire as her escort and protector, Douglas McKuen, a young Scottish immigrant, who also wants a fresh start. When Sarah meets him, she feels he would be more suited to the classroom as a professor, but he has set his course on trading with the tribes on the northern Mississippi and making maps. So the three set out together to begin their new lives. None of them is prepared for the challenges of pirates, the British Navy impressing American seaman, and adjusting to a completely different world, Creole New Orleans. Will they find what they seek? And can Sarah’s wounded heart take another chance on love?
*****

This is the back cover blurb of my new independent novel, Lady Sarah,  the sequel to my Revolutionary War novel, La Belle Christiane. Not long ago I asked if my readers of this blog would like me to post this book here as I did La Belle Christiane. I  have over 2000 subscribers to this blog and I got 8 votes. So I decided that the vast majority weren’t interested in reading another book on this blog.

So I came up with a new idea, a new way!

Would you like to receive a chapter a week by email?

If you haven’t already done so, go to the top right of this page (see the lime green border?) and enter your email address. Then you’ll receive a new chapter once a week via email.

Tomorrow I will post the Prologue and next week the first chapter. After that, the installments will only come to my newsletter subscribers. I hope you’ll decide to subscribe to my enewsletter and receive every chapter!

BTW, can a Regency romance take place in America?–Lyn

 

 

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Lyn Interviews Book Blogger Nina’s at My House

You can’t miss Nina’s blog–It’s HOT PINK! Nina often leaves comments here so I decided to invite her for an interview. WATCH FOR THE GIVEAWAY AT THE END. Here’s Nina’s interview:

1-Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, my, so many to pick from. Like James Patterson, Janet Tronstad, many of the historical authors of the Love Inspired books from Harlequin, Terry Brooks, Lynn Kurland, Susan Sleeman, Sandra Orchard, Dean Koontz, Rachelle McCalla, Lyn Cote, Michael Connelly, lots of them, I like to read cookbooks, anything.  LOL.

2-What kind of book is the one you look for in bookstores and online?
I like mysteries, and the Love Inspired books, also new knitting and crochet stitch books. Also James Patterson and Lynn Kurland, can not seem to find hers too easy, its hard to even get hers at the local library. If I see one I want and its from Harlequin I can just call the reader service to get it mailed to me.

3-What prompted you to start a book blogging site?

I didn’t at first, it was a place for my free knitting, sewing and crochet patterns. Then I added recipes and the book reviews I did on Goodreads and some machine knitting books that I have reviewed. I’ve had the site for about four or five years. Here’s the link to the reviews: http://ninasatmyhouse.blogspot.com/search/label/Reading

4-Tell us a bit about yourself.
I love to read, and finally have a library of sorts, lots of bookcases in my entry way of my home. Used to like to write but life got in the way, but have never had any thing published, I like to see the characters come alive. I also like to designed things, including knit, crochet, machine knit and sewing patterns.  I’ve been crocheting over 47 years, teaching myself at age nineteen, first with thread, and then much later, yarn.  I learned to knit at age 4, so that’s over 60 years ago.

Back then I had not learned to read the crochet or knit patterns, so I took the stitches I had learned and crocheted or knitted around things to make them look pretty, like things for my bedroom.  In the past years, I’ve sold both knitted and crocheted designs, and have lots of free knitting and crochet patterns on my list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Atmyhouse,

and even more on the patterns on the blog that are not on the list at http://ninasatmyhouse.blogspot.com.

I love to knit ski hats, and some of my free patterns are on the blog. I gave most of the hats away to charity. I am retired now, and can play with my “toys” anytime I want. After all these years, I still like to read, knit, crochet, cook and sew.

Nina, on behalf of many authors–thanks for all the reviews. Thanks for being my guest today! You sound like my kind of lady! I love to knit, crochet, read and cook too!

QUESTION: Anybody else like to do those activities? Which is your favorite? How long ago did you start knitting, etc? Leave a comment and enter a drawing for a signed copy of my LARGER PRINT book DANGEROUS SEASON. –Lyn

 

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Author Pat Simmons & No Easy Catch

pat adj

My guest today is author Pat Simmons, a warm acquaintance. I love her books and if you haven’t tried one, you ought to! She’s offering two copies of NO EASY CATCH and her publisher is offering a VERY UNUSUAL prize. So be sure to read it all and leave a comment. Here’s Pat:

If a good man is hard to find,

then a great woman is NO EASY CATCH.

I’m back with my tenth Christian novel, NO EASY CATCH, and as in my past story lines, I like to tackle real issues that face women.

 An award-winning TV reporter,

my heroine, Shae Carmen had a humiliating experience after dating a “brother” at her church. Women expect men who are faithful to God to be faithful in all areas of their lives, right? Unfortunately, not in this case.  Shae was betrayed and made out to be the “bad one” by members of her congregation.

 What could be worse

than to find out that the man who courted Shae was actually estranged from his wife, and on the verge of reconciliation, thus, making Shae the “other woman.”

Does God Care?

There are no doubts that decoys are planted throughout God’s churches, but to fall prey to one of them was too much for Shae. After walking right and playing by God’s rules as far as Christian living, Shae throws her hands up in the air in defeat. She is convinced that God doesn’t have any godly men left in reserves for her.

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To purchase, click here. No Easy Catch (Carmen Sisters V1)

My hero, St. Louis baseball outfielder Rahn Maxwell, has his work cut out to convince Shae he is a good guy. He changed after an attempted carjacking incident literally scares him to the altar for repentance of his dirty deeds. Just when Shae lets her guards down, another scandal rocks her world.

Another scandal

This time, the stakes are higher, and she and Rahn aren’t immune to the aftershocks. For a second time, Shae’s heart is on the line, along with her professional credibility. Will she strike out at love again? Or will she hit a home run and give God the glory?

With the success of my previous Jamieson men series, I hope readers will enjoy my new three sisters’ stories: Shae, Shari and Sabrece Carmen.

To kick off the series, my publisher Whitaker House is giving away two Major League Baseball tickets of the winner’s choice. No purchase is necessary, just visit my website at www.patsimmons.net and click on WIN 2 TICKETS.

And Pat is offering to give away two copies of NO EASY CATCH.

QUESTION: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LET DOWN BY SOMEONE YOU TRUSTED? (No need to mention names–just situation.:-)

Please share or really vent. God can heal a broken heart.–Lyn

www.facebook.com/patsimmonsauthor

www.twitter.com/patsimmons

Twitter handle @patsimmons

PS: The winner of Vannetta Chapman’s THE CHRISTMAS QUILT is Cindy Altman. Congrats!

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Lyn Reviews Vanetta Chapman’s Amish Christmas Quilt

The Christmas QuiltThe Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Christmas Quilt by Vanetta Chapman charmed me with her believable and endearing characters, Leah and Belinda and their husbands. I am not a person who reads a lot of Amish novels, but the cover intrigued me and I’m glad I decided to read it. Vanetta’s voice as an author is so readable that I felt comfortable right away in her story. The Christian content also flowed with story and felt so natural.

The only element I wished Vanetta had spent more time on was the romance between the single mother storekeeper Rachel Zook and the older man she began to care for. That was prominent at the beginning but was mentioned almost in passing at the end. I wanted to know why the woman changed so. IN FACT, I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED A WHOLE BOOK ABOUT RACHEL!

Except for that, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys Amish romance or sweet romance in general.

View all my reviews

LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE ENTERED INTO THE DRAWING.

QUESTION: Do you enjoy Amish romances? Why? Leave a comment to win my copy of The Christmas Quilt!

To purchase, click here. The Christmas Quilt: Quilts of Love Series


 

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Fun! FREE! A Cozy Mystery Serial Online!

Eunice-funny

Today I’m interviewing my friend and critique partner, Cozy Mystery author Eunice Loecher (pronounced Low-sher). She has written a successful series, titled The Arbor Vale Mysteries. She and I meet at our local library most Friday’s after lunch to read aloud our latest chapters to each other for comments and suggestions.

If you take a good look at the picture above, you’ll find Eunice in the middle. And I think this photo captures her joie de vie! AFTER THE INTERVIEW, I’M GOING TO SHARE HOW TO FIND THE SHORT MYSTERY SHE IS POSTING ON LINE SO YOU CAN GET A TASTE OF HER WRITING! Here’s Eunice:

LYN- Tell us a little about your writing and your real life.

I love to escape each day and visit with my characters. Writing a series allows me to get to know my characters better with each book.  My real life continues to revolve around my family and my church family. Enjoy opportunities for outreach ministry in my community.
LYN-Was there a time in your life when you think God challenged you to become stronger? Please share. 

As a widow there are always ongoing challenges that I couldn’t handle without God’s strength, comfort and encouragement. After a very long and difficult winter, I’ve decided to sell my home and move into a condo. It’s so much easier to remain who and where we are. The challenge is to keep growing and moving forward.
LYN-What is special about your most recent book to you? 

My current work in progress is Deceitful Charm and Vain Beauty. The story takes place on a transatlantic cruise. Several years ago I took this trip with my younger daughter. Writing the story brings back many wonderful memories.  May of the funny little incidents are factual. I promise HOWEVER the murders did not occur.

NOW AS PROMISED–Here’s the beginning of the mystery Eunice is writing on her blog, “Get Cozy with a Mystery.” It features her amateur sleuth Zita Stillman and her zany friend Zinnia Blossom Winwood.

First installment

Wednesday Lunch with Zinnia

“Hi everyone, Zita here. Zinnia just called and we’re meeting for lunch at the Arbor Vale Cafe, our usual Wednesday lunch together. You may have read out first adventure together, A Widow’s Might. The church invited me to chaperon the youth group again on their annual outing to the corn maze. If you read the book you understand why I declined. Dark scary places are to be avoided, always.

Zinnia still hasn’t recovered from being a suspect in the murder investigation during, The Woman at the Well. Today she wants to discuss everything that happened in A Subtle Serpent. She wants to make sure I got all the details right about the part she played in the story before it comes out in paperback. All the frightening events are still too fresh in my mind to keep going over.

And Zinnia’s latest quote is from a fortune cookie, “Remind yourself that the lion while hunting doesn’t roar.” I still haven’t figured that one out but it sounds good. Any ideas?
All for now–Zita”

To read more, go to Get Cozy with a Mystery.

A Widow’s Might is the first of the (Arbor Vale Mystery) Series. Followed by Woman at the Well, (Book Two) The Subtle Serpent, (Book Three), written and coming soon, The Root of All Evil, (Book Four), and Sin Lieth at the Door, (Book Five).

Get Cozy with a Mystery
Follow @EuniceLoecher on twitter and Facebook

Eunice’s first two books are only 99 cents each on amazon. Click on the slideshow and it will take you to Amazon.com to purchase them.

It’s been very satisfying to help mentor Eunice and see her blossom as a writer and alo to receive her help and comments on my manuscripts. Friends are so important–DON’T YOU AGREE?–Lyn

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Best-Selling Author Donna Fasano–When Life Deals a Blow to the Heart

Donna Fas

I met secular romance author Donna Fasano in a new group of authors I am working with, Sweet Romance Reads authors (See icon to your left). So though Donna doesn’t write inspirational, her romances are sweet with light sensuality. She shares today When Life Deals a Blow to Your Heart. Here’s Donna:

“A “sister” friend of mine suffered a massive heart attack

just two short weeks ago. I spoke to her one day and she was her normal, vivacious self. The next day, she was near death. As the week wore on, her medical state worsened. She was so close to dying, in fact, that her husband and children made her funeral arrangements. I felt lost and afraid. In an effort to take some control, I did a little research and learned that 1 in 4 women die of heart disease, and that an estimated 38,000 women under age 50 have heart attacks each year in the U.S. But heart trouble can easily be confused with other ailments, like indigestion.

 

And that’s exactly what happened to my friend.

She thought she was suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But she was wrong, and we were devastated. But this amazing woman came back. She fought, continues to fight, and she’s still with us. She has a difficult road ahead of her, and her life has changed drastically. But she hasn’t lost her wry perspective or her sense of humor. This strong woman is a fighter. I can only hope I am able to meet life’s blows with the same fierceness, grace, and determination that she has shown. I am honored to know her.

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To purchase, click here. Mountain Laurel

Life also deals a blow to the protagonist of Mountain Laurel.

Laurel Morgan’s sister is traveling down a bad path. Standing by and doing nothing isn’t something Laurel can do, so she acts. Who knew one little kidnapping would lead to a chain of farcical events? Facing difficulty, head-on, is what strong women do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes find themselves tangled up in crazy messes.

A Heartfelt Request

Oh, and my friend who suffered the heart attack requests that every woman over 50 ask her doctor about taking a stress test. The life you save could be your own.”–Donna

Donna Fasano is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. Learn more about her on her blog at www.DonnaFasano.com, and you can also find her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DonnaFasanoAuthor.

Donna, thanks for sharing your friend’s experience. I hadn’t thought of having my heart checked but will. This year though in addition to my regular mammogram, I’m facing a colonoscopy. Let me get through that first!

QUESTION: What tests do you dread most? Or is it the dentist?–Lyn

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British Mystery Author Veronica Heley & What about Strength in Prayer?

Veronica Heley

My guest today is British Mystery author Veronica Heley. She’s been my guest before and I always benefit from her insights. She’s offering a PDF copy of her latest mystery, FALSE DIAMONDS to a commenter. Here’s Veronica.

“Strong Women . . .

Prayer Warriors

 There’s plenty of references in the Bible to people praying hard and long. Not just Jesus, but other people, too. There are barren women praying for a child, sick women praying for health, mothers praying for their son’s futures.  

I know someone

who’s been part of a prayer group at my church for thirty years or so. She remembers each past prayer warrior with respect and love. They were all strong Christians, bearing burdens with a smile and, when their time came to pass on, they faced death without fear.

One by one they died,

and then there was only one woman to carry on the job of praying for others. Requests for prayer still came in, but no one joined her as she went to church each week and sat there with the list in her hand, praying for each one by name. She persevered. It was a lonely business, and too often she wondered if her prayers had any effect. Was God listening? Did the people she prayed for receive God’s guidance and peace? She realised she could never answer that question. All that mattered was that she went on doing it.

 Alone no more

Eventually two more women joined her. And what prayer warriors they turned out to be! And another . . . and now and again other people come, usually with a specific request. They creep in to church on a Thursday morning, bowed down with the sorrows they’ve encountered as they go about their day. They grieve for the world, or for some problem facing this person and that.  They try to start the session with praise but sometimes it seems impossible to praise when there is so much amiss around them. But they pray. And when they stand to join hands and say the grace, they find themselves reinvigorated, and even, laughing with joy.  

 The first fruit of this prayer group is joy.

 False Diamon

My two heroines–Ellie Quick & Bea Abbot–sometimes try to argue with God

before realising you can’t do that. Sometimes it seems to them that God is not listening . .. . until a turn of events, or a phrase that He put in their heads shows that He most certainly is! They try to set aside times for bible reading in their busy lives, and sometimes they do manage it, but when they’re trying to help other people they’re more likely to send off an arrow prayer . . . ‘Help, Lord, please?’ than to get down on their knees.

And at their age – they’re both in their sixties – getting down on their knees is not really an option. Or getting up again, if they have managed to get down. They believe God understands”–Veronica

Find her at

www.veronicaheley.com

http://blog.veronicaheley.com

The Ellie Quicke Mysteries: MURDER IN TIME, Severn House, May 2014

 The Abbot Agency stories: FALSE DIAMOND, Severn House, March 2014

Thanks for that inspiring account of perseverance or strength in prayer. I’m afraid my “sweet hour of prayer” is more like 5 minutes. 

Question: Do you make time to pray? Why? Or what’s keeping you from praying consistently?–Lyn

Remember Veronica is offering a PDF copy of FALSE DIAMOND to a commenter in a book drawing.

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