It's Here!

Book Two in The Huntington Saga Series Novels~

Pirate Bride!

Miss Susannah Blakemore is kidnapped and sold into white slavery as payback to the Huntingtons. Will her pirate hero save her?

“The Huntingtons will pay. Oh, they will pay.” Plots and unholy alliances are put into action carrying out long-awaited retribution.

Only … one was not thought of. One was not even considered. How would anyone have guessed that a descendant of a pirate would take up his old family tradition in a mad quest to regain his bitterly lost love? The Marquess of Latham will not abide by this act of violence arranged for his precious love, but will surely save her -- will he not? And will he make her the next pirate bride?

Next? There must be a first to have a 'next'. But there was another ... centuries ago ... that still walks the halls of Stonecrest Castle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011 - BiWeekly Blog - Chapter 9 continued --

Excerpt from The Governess, Chapter 9 cont'd.:

As soon as she got to the privacy of her room, Carly threw herself on her bed, sobbing until she had no emotions left to spill. 
Since the closely-timed deaths of her parents, and now the separation from her dearest sister, Susannah, Carly found that she had been on the extreme side of all emotions.  Never in her life had she been so prone to tears!  But it seemed she could easily cry at the drop of a hat nowadays!  This eruption from Lord Huntington took away all her reserves of strength.  Trying to calm herself, she lay numb for awhile as doubts began assailing her ability—or desire—to help this family. 
Were these outbursts a regular habit of Lord Huntington’s?  If so, she was sure she could not endure.  But what of the children?  After getting to know them well, it would certainly become harder for her to leave them.  In this instance, her deep feelings of loyalty would be a detriment to her. 
Desperately thinking of what she should do, she contemplated leaving now before attachments had grown.  Immediately, she went into the dressing room and flung the doors wide open on the wardrobe.  Gathering her clothing and flinging all onto the bed, she went to see if at least one of the trunks was still in her room.  Walking hurriedly about the room, she was unexpectedly halted…
“Are…are you leaving?”  A tiny voice squeaked, stopping her dead in her tracks.  Looking over towards the nursery door, Carly spotted Elspeth in a pretty pink nightgown and nightcap, peeking through from her room. 
Again, Elspeth asked, “Are you leaving us?” 
            Carly stood quietly for a moment, awkwardly looking at the little girl, not knowing what to say.  Wishing Elspeth had not heard her preparations to depart, she thought to herself, who will be here to set things right for this little one?  Sitting down with a plop onto the bed, suddenly depressed and fatigued, she wiped at her dry, tear-stained face. 
Patting the bed beside herself, she kindly insisted, “Come here, darling.” 
            The little girl ran to her and climbed right into her lap.  Carly was stunned at Elspeth’s reaction.  As the darling girl looked up into Carly’s eyes, she timidly begged, “Please do not leave us.  I already like you.  You are not like the others.  Jonathon says to not get my hopes up, but I keep telling him I cannot help it.  You are different, I just know you are!”  Throwing her arms around Carly’s neck, she gave her the biggest hug. 
Carly began crying all over again, touched by the little girl’s honest, heartrending words spoken with the sweetest little voice. 
            “There, there.  You must not cry.  Nanny says that it makes one all red and puffy.  You are much too lovely to be red and puffy, I think.”  Elspeth smiled up at her shyly, tenderly wiping a tear from Carly’s cheek. 
“Oh, I cannot help crying because you are such a little dear, are you not?”  Trying a smile upon her face, she calmly said, “Come then.  Help me splash some cold water on my face so I do not get red and puffy, shall we?” 
They went over to the wash basin, and little Elspeth gently tried to splash cold water on Carly’s face.  They laughed a little, and then Elspeth quickly grabbed the linen so she could dry Carly’s face all by herself.  Little droplets of water splashed onto the turquoise fabric of her gown, and Elspeth gently pressed the towel to dry them as well. 
Squatting down eye level to this little angel, Carly gently said, “Thank you, Elspeth.  You have made all the difference showing me you care.  What a kind little girl you are.”  Holding out her arms to the little girl, she was nearly knocked backward when she jumped into her outstretched arms.  “We should get you back to bed.” 
Both stood and tip-toed over to the door.  Jonathon was in his bed pretending to sleep.  Aware of his disapproval of her, she did her best to ignore it knowing that he was curious as well. 
Carly pointed to the empty bed, and the little girl quickly obeyed climbing up into it.  Pulling the crisp, clean covers up snuggly tight, she tucked Elspeth into her bed.  A knot formed in her throat as she breathed in the mild fragrance that accompanies freshly-washed children.  Gently kissing the little girl’s head, she inhaled her clean, golden tresses, stealing the scent away into a secret pocket of her heart that would have been saved for her own child. 
Elspeth interrupted her thoughts by whispering, “My mother never tucked me in at night.” 
Carly stared at her, openly gaping, astonished that a mother could not tuck in her own sweet child.  She stood frozen with the shocked look on her face not knowing what to say.  “Father always did though, that is…until he became unhappy.”  So matter-of-factly spoken, Carly trembled with emotion at what she knew so far of this child’s life story.  “You will not leave, will you?” 
So, it was back to this unpleasant topic? 
            Carly shook herself out of her dazed stupor and put on a smile for this little girl who had already woven a spell around her heart.  Quietly, she said, “Not unless your father wishes me to, Elspeth.  Then, I could not do anything about it, I’m afraid.  Now, do not you worry your pretty little head about things we cannot control.  It makes terrible wrinkles between our brows.  And we must not have that!” 
A quick thought occurred to Carly, and she voiced it without thoroughly thinking it through, “However, you could say a prayer for me, if you wish to.  I would very much like to stay, especially after all you have done for me tonight.”  Softly touching the little girl’s cheek, the cutest dimple appeared as she smiled.  Not having noticed her dimple before, her heart skipped a beat at the beauty of her smile.  Strangely, it seemed almost familiar. 
            “Was my father angry with you tonight?” 
Color immediately crept up Carly’s face.  Sighing a little embarrassedly, she said, “Yes, he was.  Very!” 
“And you were going to leave because…because he frightened you?” 
Amazed at this young child’s wisdom, she responded, a bit shocked, “Yes, Elspeth, I was.” 
“All the other governesses left too, but you are the first to make him angry so quickly.” 
There was a slight giggle from the next bed. 
For the first time, Jonathon joined the conversation, forgetting that he was pretending to sleep.  To Elspeth, he said, “That was not kind, Elspeth.  You must apologize.”  As much as he tried to show his censure, he couldn’t help a small grin.  But it seemed he had good manners and wished his sister to as well. 
Worry etched Elspeth’s pretty little face.  “I am terribly sorry for saying something wrong.” 
Carly wished to alleviate her fears.  “Thank you, Jonathon.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but it was innocently spoken.  I am not quite as sensitive as that.”  She nodded at his sensibility, showing her approval.  “Now where were we?  Would you like to offer a prayer, Elspeth?” 
“Yes ma’am, I would be glad to…only…would you help me?  Nanny mostly forgets to say prayers with us because we make her so tired that she is just ready for bed when she finally can be rid of us,” and in a funny, made-up voice, she acted out Nanny’s words, “You children are going to be the death o’ me yet!”  Wagging her finger all the while she performed, Elspeth made Carly giggle at her funny presentation. 
            “You are a little tease, are you not?” 
            “Yes, ma’am,” smiling sweetly in response, she showed off her darling dimple again. 
            Helping Elspeth out of her bed to kneel beside it, Carly hesitated for a moment, turning around to see Jonathon’s curious eyes watching them.  Smiling at his innocent gaze, she asked him, “Would you like to join us, Jonathon?  We certainly could benefit from your faith as well.”  After a few seconds of careful deliberation, he nodded his head and scrambled out of bed on his own.  Kneeling beside Elspeth, he folded his hands together ready in prayer. 
Elspeth whispered, “Miss Blakemore, you promised me you would help.  How shall I start?  I very much want this to be a good sort of prayer.” 
            “Well, I do believe our Heavenly Father is already aware of our conversation, for we are His children, and He listens to us.  He truly is a special father who loves each of us individually.  I talk to Him just as I am talking with you, as if I were kneeling at His feet, conversing with Him about whatever I wish to talk about.  Do you think you can do that?” 
            “I am not sure.  What words would I use?” 
            “Imagine that He is sitting here on the bed next to us, and you wish to talk with Him.  What would you wish to say, Elspeth?” 
            “Well…I do love Him…,” Carly smiled at Elspeth’s effortless faith, “…and I do wish you to stay.” 
            “That is very kind, Elspeth.  Why not express yourself as simply as you have to me.” 
            “Yes, ma’am, I will try.”  Closing her eyes and bowing her head, she began, “Dear Father in Heaven, I want you to know that I love you…and miss you.  Thank you for listening to me.  I hope you remember who I am.  I wish to tell you something, please.  I do not want Miss Blakemore to leave us.  I wish her to stay.  Can…can you help my father not to be so angry, please?  I love him so very much.  Help him to be happy.  Thank you, and Amen.”  Both Carly and Jonathon said ‘Amen,’ simultaneously.  Looking shyly up, Elspeth waited for Carly to say something. 
            Smiling tenderly at Elspeth and Jonathon, Carly said, “That was a beautiful prayer, Elspeth.  And I am quite sure that our Heavenly Father heard your plea.  We should always be grateful for the opportunity to pray anytime, anywhere, for whatever reason.  He is always there, listening for us to reach out to Him.  Well done, darling.” 
Quietly, Elspeth smiled her pleased little smile, glad of the approval.  Jonathon, however, looked nervous and stood quickly.  Carly could only think maybe he would not like to pray, and, therefore, did not extend the invitation. 
Carly tucked both children in cozily.  Another thought occurred to her, and she spoke her conviction immediately.  “Children, I wish for you to understand that you may pray, day or night, with help or by yourself, whenever you wish it.  It is a wonderful gift given to us to use regularly.  So do so.”              Together, they whispered, “Yes ma’am.” 
            “If I return to my room now, will you both sleep well?” 
            “Yes ma’am.  Goodnight, Miss Blakemore.”
            “Goodnight, Elspeth.” 
            Almost inaudibly, Jonathon added, “Yes ma’am.  Goodnight…Miss Blakemore.” 
            “Goodnight, Jonathon.  Sleep well, both of you.” 
            “You have a very pretty name.”  Elspeth did not want Carly to leave, so she kept talking. 
            “Thank you, so do you.  Very unique, I think.” 
            “I was named after two of my grandmothers, did you know?” 
            “No, I did not.” 
            “My father’s mother’s name is Elisabeth, and his great-something grandmother’s was named Elspeth—which is Elisabeth in Scottish.  Did you know that?  She was from Scotland!” 
            Laughing softly, Carly said, “No, my dear, I did not know Elspeth was Elisabeth in Scottish or that you had an ancestor from Scotland.  That is very interesting.”  Smiling tenderly at the little girl, she touched her pretty, blonde ringlets.  Noticing the dimple on the right side of her cheek again, she wondered if the dimple came from her mother or from her father.  What a little beauty she was. 
“Goodnight, Elspeth darling.” 
Quietly, Carly reached over and swept Jonathon’s dark hair aside from his forehead, caressing softly.  Noticing again that his hair resembled his father’s thick, dark, slightly curly hair, she smiled and said, “Goodnight, Jonathon.  Sleep well, dear.”  And she quietly turned and exited the room. 

Sweet little children make all the difference in our lives!  Hope you like Elspeth and Jonathon!  Thanks for reading with me today!

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