04 December 2014
Excerpt Thursday: EMILY'S VOW by Betty Bolte
This week, we're pleased to again welcome author BETTY BOLTE with her latest release, EMILY'S VOW. Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. One lucky visitor will get a free, signed paperback copy of Emily's Vow - offer available only to US residents. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's post or Sunday's author interview for a chance to win. Winner(s) are contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb.
In 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal...
Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser--a former beau--promises to recant if she will marry him.
Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.
Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer--the only man she's ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family's reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.
**An Excerpt from Emily's Vow**
"Frank is due to return any day." Emily Sullivan suppressed a shiver and quickened her pace. If asked, she would blame the early evening breeze blowing inland across the Charles Town harbor for her reaction. Frank had once claimed to be a patriot but now had switched his loyalties to serve as a loyalist broadside printer in the occupied town. How dare he even show his face? Did he truly believe in the British cause or did he have such loose morals as to pretend for his own profit? Either way, she'd have naught to do with the man. Her long skirts swirled about her hurried steps. "I'm glad you wanted to walk with me, Samantha. Your company calms me. And of course it's nicer than traversing the distance home from Aunt Lucille's house with my servants."
"Together we'll be safe enough for such a short walk," Samantha McAlester replied, "though I doubt your father will agree given his insistence that you remain at home."
"It is my fault we left the sewing circle later than I intended, but I miss St. Michael's bells chiming the hour. What shall we do without them? The British should pay dearly for stripping our treasured bells from the steeple."
"Come, let's get you home and off the streets." Samantha quickened her pace.
Emily hurried down the sandy road beside her friend, noting the waning sunshine draping shadows across the street. The slap of the waves at the distant convergence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers beat a syncopated rhythm against the array of ship hulls, large and small, in the protected harbor. Many of the masts bobbing against the darkening sky sported the hated British flag. The losing army had resorted to sanctioned looting of the beautiful homes—those still standing after two years of British occupation as well as fires and bombardments—as booty for the officers and soldiers before they withdrew. She hoped they would leave soon, but nobody knew exactly when the British ships planned to depart. They'd already sent the bells to London along with other pilfered items. In fact, the British officers sought retaliation for the threat posed by the patriots, who had hidden their true allegiance, against the loyalists living in the city. The officers encouraged harassment of the American citizens, which translated into her father, a leading merchant in town, fearing for her safety more than ever. Until the British actually evacuated, uncertainty and fear blanketed the town.
Dragging in a deep breath, unease settled over Emily's frayed nerves at the thought of Frank's return. "I cannot believe Father insists I marry him after all that man has done. Surely Americans have matured enough they wouldn't force a woman to marry. It's 1782, after all. I'm not a child. Why doesn't he understand?"
A seagull glided past, its laughing call bringing a smile to her face. Her enjoyment didn't last long, though. The occupation of the town created fear and disquiet throughout the citizenry. Add in the horror of her sister Elizabeth's fiancé Jedediah dying, leaving her pregnant and in need of a husband. Then Jedediah's brother Frank, the man Emily had secretly cared for, married her sister to keep the child from being a bastard. Emily survived the misery of watching Frank marry Elizabeth only to suffer much more when Elizabeth died in childbirth with Frank away at war. Emily had come to terms with the prospect of raising her nephew, but being forced into marriage with Frank, too? How could life turn and twist with such disregard for her future goals and plans?
Learn more about author Betty Bolté
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.
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