Update: Thanks to everyone who left a comment during the Fall Into Romance Blog Hop, sponsored by Jane Wakely. Congratulations to Yolanda M. who won the Grand Prize, and to Samantha B. who won my book pendant giveaway.
Fall has always been my favorite season, probably because I grew up back East (Western Pennsylvania) where the autumn leaves were spectacular, red, gold and orange. Now I live in Southern California, where we are lucky to have some fall color by December. And instead of crisp, cool days, we’re more likely to get hot, dry weather and the dreaded Santa Ana winds. Fire season traditionally occurs in the fall, though the fire season is getting longer by the year, thanks to record drought.
But back to the leaves. My memories of autumn in Western Pennsylvania, the setting for my Historical Romance, Rogue’s Hostage, inspired this scene. It takes place at Fort Duquesne, where Mara has been taken by her captor Jacques. (Emile was her husband.)
Sighing, she moved to stand next to one of Jacques’s precious cannon. The view from the ramparts was magnificent. Under a leaden sky, the green of bushes and grasses seemed more intense than ever. The turbulent waters of the river tumbled past the fort, frothing over the rocks along the shore.
She glanced toward the hills on the other side of the Monongahela. The heavily forested slopes were dappled by drifts of gossamer mist, but not thickly enough to obscure the colors of autumn. Among the green shone clusters of gold and orange. Occasional patches of red were visible, as if stained by the blood of the men who had died trying to possess this cursed spot.
Lord, but she was morbid today. Her mood was due to a combination of weather and circumstance and surely would be temporary. She glanced at the view again, wishing Emile were here to see it. He would have been enchanted by the vista.
The fragrance of autumn, clear, crisp, and tangy, wafted on the air. Soon, very soon, winter’s frost would snuff out autumn’s fire, leaving the landscape bleak and brown until the first snowfall came to shield it with a pristine layer of white.
A flock of birds flew overhead, heading south for the winter. Mara watched them with envy, wishing she, too, could soar over the treetops. She would fly all the way back to Geneva, she thought, smiling at her fancy.
A shout from the sentry drew her attention to the plain in front of the fort. Her heart raced at the sight of the raiding party straggling back. In the lead group, she spotted a tall officer in a blue and red uniform. Jacques.
She hurried to the ladder and scurried swiftly but carefully down the slippery rungs, then ran to the main gate, straight for him. When she skidded to a stop about a foot from him, he grinned at her.
“What, so eager, madame? Can it be that you missed me?”
She felt her face flush, but refused to acknowledge the truth of his words. “Do not flatter yourself, monsieur. It is merely that I am bored. I have had no one to argue with for weeks now.”
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
Nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance, 2003
Amazon, All Romance eBooks,Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords.
Now, back to the hop business. Here’s the details:
GRAND PRIZE: a $75 Amazon Gift Card
To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, you only need to fill out the Rafflecopter box below and press enter! (One entry per person!)
My prize is this lovely book pendant from Pixie Whimsy via Etsy.
Leave a comment to enter. Subscribe to the blog and let me know in you comment for a second chance to win.
What’s your favorite season? Do you get fall color where you live?
Click below to keep hopping!
Wow, this looks like an awesome hop. So many authors…so little time.
Impressive indeed! Best of luck with the tour!
Looks great! I love to trail ride in the fall, when the leaves are down!
Thank you for the chance to win that awesome prize. I am subscribed to your newsletter.
I love the pendant. You always have such interesting prizes in your contests.
this is a cute pendant! thanks for the chance!
Thanks for being part of this fun blog hop. Subscribed to your blog.
skpetal at hotmail dot com
Thanks everyone for dropping by. Glad you approve of the pendant. I’m tempted to keep it for myself, but promise I won’t.
Awesome! Thanks for the opportunity!
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
Thank you so much for entering this blog hop. Your books look good and I may have found a new author to read.
Thanks, Kyra. It’s always nice to meet a new reader.
Your novel is very interesting, Linda! I love your photo work and your cover art. The blog is impressive too. How great to co-ordinate so many fellow authors.
I like autumn but the season makes me feel sad after summer. So I suppose my favorite season is spring with its rebirth of life.
Thanks you, Jacqueline. I’m trying to give back to other authors by showcasing them on my blog.
Autumn can be a bit sad, I suppose, but it has such fun holidays. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving!
What a beautifully written excerpt–I loved the description. M. S.
Thank you, M.S. Rogue’s Hostage really is the book of my heart.
I love fall, cool weather and halloween my favorite!
Halloween is a blast, isn’t it, Melissa? I love the costumes.
I like fall and the changing of the colors. I live at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in E. TN and it is one of the prettiest places on earth! I love driving in the mountains and going over to Cades Cove and hiking the trails. I like the cool weather and hate cold weather!
Love, love, love the excerpt from the book! I love historical romances and this one sounds just wonderful.
I bet it’s just lovely, Kathy. I always wanted to visit the southern Appalachians. I remember driving through the Shenandoah Valley with my parents when I was a kid, but always in summer or winter, never autumn. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!
My favorite season is Fall. It’s the perfect weather for football. I love the pretty fall leaves, but i’m not looking forward to raking them up. LOL
I really enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading more.
email subscriber mizztuts AT bellsouth DOT net
Tara, I hear you on raking the leaves. That’s the worst part of fall. Thanks for stopping by.
Fall is my favorite season. It is the perfect temperature, and I love all the fall foods. I am mostly a fan of the seasonal foods with apples and cinnamon. The leaves are beautiful, even if they are a pain in the butt to clean up. The pendant you are giving away is really cute!
I enjoy the fall foods, too, Samantha, esp. pumpkin-flavored anything. Apple cinnamon flavoring is good, too.
I love the necklace, the picture looks like my idea of heaven!
I love the red and orange leaves, too. Maple leaves are my favorites.
The pendant is super cute! I love it. Thanks for participating.
leighannecrisp at yahoo dot com
Glad everyone is liking the pendant.
Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com (subscribed)
Thanks for dropping by, Elizabeth.
My favorite season is Winter probably because we don’t get much of a Winter down here on the tip of Texas.
I hear you, Juana. We don’t get much winter here in So. California either, so it is often quite pleasant. Winter was my favorite season the year I lived in Austin, TX.