Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happily Ever After -- Excerpt

Time now for a peek at my newest historical...coming out soon from Secret Cravings Publishing.

Excerpt from Happily Ever After

Profuse blooms covered the brightly-colored butterfly bushes, and dragonflies flitted through the garden, lured by the sweet fragrances. Quiet reigned over the landscape as the afternoon shadows fell and the flowers folded themselves in, tucking their blossoms away for another day.
George enjoyed working in the garden. It brought a sense of purpose, a deep connection to something powerful, but almost indefinable.
Feeling a little more at peace with himself now, he squeezed a lump of black loam, pushing at it, molding it, shaping it. The earth had a richness about it which exhilarated him each time he touched the soil. He reveled in the damp, dank smell of it, the feel of the dirt between his fingers. The earth held promise.
He suddenly glanced down, shocked to see the two lumps of dirt he'd piled up and the way his hands squeezed and kneaded those mounds as though they were a woman's breasts, longing for his touch.
With the heel of his hands, he pressed hard against the lumps of dirt, flattening them almost to the ground. A darkness gathered around him—not a visible, tangible darkness, for the sun still shone above the horizon—but a darkness that came forth from his soul. A darkness borne of despair.
In the past, he'd seen the earth as a giver of life. But it took life too.
George remembered that awful, aching moment when Margaret's mortal remains had been placed deep within the earth. After two long years of grief, the final, irrevocable moment of truth had come upon him. It shook him.
Margaret was gone.
Never again would he see her. Never again would he hear her voice. Never again would he feel her love. His grief had become loneliness, and loneliness now turned to longing. Not a longing for the past and for what was gone, but a longing for the present and for what might yet be.
Looking down again, he saw his hands splayed across the small, barely-perceptible mounds. So much like Anne's breasts. He'd stared at them so often he'd memorized their delicate shape, their size.
Damn it all!
He wanted Anne Hopkins. Yearnings for her raged like wildfire through his tortured body. It didn't matter that she had feelings for someone else. The thought of her with another man only made his desires burn hotter.
Why, in the name of heaven, had he made that hasty vow to Margaret? Why had he willingly consigned himself to this hellish existence devoid not only of love but of even the slightest possibility of it?
George buried his face in his hands and cried out in agony. He'd made a mistake. A horrible, dreadful mistake.
And there wasn't a damned thing he could do about it now.

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