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Sunday, August 9, 2009

By Love or By Sea - Give Away!

I thought I'd give you a little treat and include a small section of my book. I'm so thrilled with the idea of this contest! And I hope you will all eagerly leave me a comment! I will announce the winner on Sunday, August 23rd. (So just leave me a comment about how much you want to read it and how much you adore me and you are automatically entered!) There will be prizes given away between now and then too from other authors, so make sure to stop by and see what they are! I wish you all the best of luck and happy kissing.

As Alice began on her journey home and passed through the town, she exchanged pleasantries with a few people but mostly kept to herself, enjoying the view of the vast ocean growing in front of her and the goings-on of the town...
Then, as though nothing more than a mirage, she saw a tired man crest over the hill coming from the beach and walking towards her. The distance between the man and herself allowed her time to stare at him without being obvious. The tall man wore a tattered pair of trousers and a fairly clean, cotton shirt fastened only by three lower buttons, allowing his vast muscles to protrude from beneath as he carried a knapsack on his shoulder. His skin was bronzed from what she assumed were probably years spent in the sun. His sandy whiskers weren’t long but had obviously been neglected for many days, and his blonde hair was nearly as white as old Mrs. Winters’, but unlike hers, his hair traveled halfway down his back.
He sported an odd appearance, yet he was almost intriguingly familiar...
“Excuse me, miss?”
Alice turned at the sound of a soft, masculine voice and there, looking expectantly at her, stood the man she had been visually devouring only moments before. “Yes?”
“I realize this is probably a strange thing to ask, but . . .” He paused and looked at the inquisitive eyes that were lingering on him from passing spectators. He seemed suddenly less sure of himself. “D-do you know if the . . . the Newman’s still live around here?” he asked in a lowered, hesitant voice.
“Well, sure. They’ve lived west of town about a mile for longer than I can remember.” Then as curiosity got the better of her, she could not restrain the question from escaping her lips. “Are you one of Augustus’s nephews? You bear a striking resemblance to Augustus himself.”
The man chuckled uncomfortably and pushed a hand through his tangled hair. “Well, thank you, miss, but I’m not his nephew.”
A look of pain seemed to cross his face before he tipped his head to her in parting and left her alone to ponder on the encounter. Alice knew she had never seen this man before. She would have remembered. His weathered face made him appear quite old, and she felt a stab of sorrow at the look of pain that had so recently crossed his face. The look in the man’s eyes caused him to look somehow even older than he did at first sight.
That evening as she sat in the parlor with her nana and pappy, her gaze lingered on the fire while her embroidery sat forgotten on her lap. “What has your mind in a tumble tonight, peach?” Gretchen asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she answered casually...
“Well, are you just going to sit there until she drags it out of you, or are you going to tell it to us straight out?” Henry asked, equally concerned about his granddaughter.
“I don’t really know what to think, Pappy. My mind’s all muddled up and I can’t seem to make heads or tails out of anything.”...
“Why don’t you start by telling me how things were while you still could make sense of them,” Gretchen encouraged.
“Well, I went to see Mama and everything went well. She was attentive to me, and we had a real nice time. I came home, just like I always do and then . . .”
“Yes?” Henry said when she paused.
“Oh, I don’t know what to think,” Alice whispered desperately. “I was walking home, and then there was this man who came over the edge of the hill. He’d obviously come from the beach.”
“Was it Clarence?” Gretchen interrupted. “He’s normally coming back to town about that time of day.”
“Of course not,” Henry put in. “She would have recognized him.”
Gretchen and Henry were both completely captivated by what Alice had to say, but in truth Alice could not figure out what she was thinking. So how on earth did they think she would be able to tell them a story they could understand? “No, it wasn’t Clarence. In fact, I don’t know who it was. My gut instinct tells me he was a ghost, except he spoke to me.”
“A ghost?” Gretchen laughed. “Really, peach! What would put your mind to thinking something as crazy as that?”
“I’m serious, Nana!” Alice whined loudly.
“All right then. What was it about the man that put it into your mind that he was a ghost?” Gretchen asked repentantly.
“Well, he looked real enough, but he reminded me of . . . He kind of looked like . . .”
“Who?” Henry coached.
“I don’t know if I can utter his name.” Gretchen’s rather disappointed look displayed itself blatantly upon her face. Alice knew her grandparents were dissatisfied with her answer, but she didn’t know if she could tell them who the man looked like. So she changed the direction of the conversation. “He spoke to me though. His voice was low and hushed, as though he was afraid to speak.”...
“Alice, who was it that the man reminded you of?” Henry asked.
“Pappy, I don’t know if I can utter his name,” Alice whimpered.
“And why not?”
Alice hesitated, attempting to give enough information without actually having to say the man’s name aloud. “He died about six years ago in a ship wreck while he was at sea as a merchant sailor.”
“Are you trying to tell us that you spoke to Caleb Newman on the street in town today?” Gretchen asked reverently.
“I don’t know that it was him, Nana. And besides, how could it be him? Remember? Grace said there were no survivors.”
“But . . .”
“No, Nana. I’m certain my mind was just playing tricks on me. It was probably some poor sailor, anchored in town for a few days.” With that, the topic died, and the conversation moved on to other things, but that night as Alice lay in bed waiting for sleep to engulf her, the image of the man on the street kept her weary mind company. He was, after all, intriguing and very striking in his appearance, no matter how tattered and tired he looked. The thought of him being an older version of the ever-so-handsome Caleb Newman made the mystery of the man all the more enticing. He had been such a good looking young man; tall and very handsome. Rolling over with a smile on her face, she eventually found respite as she fell asleep thinking of the young man she’d thought of so often before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9UC78cx-kE

26 comments:

pebble said...

Ooh, this story looks so good, can't wait to read the entire thing Rachel! Thanks for the little sample!
Smiles,
Melinda George

Jewel's Gems said...

Rachel, I already love your book, and so does my daughter! It's official, I'm a fan:-)

Safe Harbor Daycare said...

Eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk Rachel Rager! I love Rachel Rager, and her book, oh how I love and adore her book, I own one, read it, it's even signed by guess who????Rachel Rager!! Eeeeekkkkk! I think everyone should own one, read one, and give one as presents. The guessing of what to give for Christmas is over.... By Love or by Sea for everyone on your list. (ummm how was that? A little overboard?) hee hee :)~Barb Cook (think it'll come up as Safe Harbor)

Cathy said...

Me, Me, Pick Me!

Rachel Rager said...

Barb, you're hillarious! Thanks for the support! I'm so pleased to hear from Cathy, Melinda and Jewel's Gem, I can't wait to see who will win. Tell your friends too! Good luck!

Rebecca M. Hansen said...

That was great! I'm completely and utterly intrigued after reading that little nugget =) I will be reading it in the near future, for sure!!!

Vicki Firth said...

Your book sounds great. I'd love a copy!

S said...

Oooo, mystery, romance, muscles, and the sea! Take me awaaaaay!

S said...

Oh, yes, "S" is Shirley Bahlmann, by the way! (In keeping with your book, the "S" is to make me more mysterious, don't you know!) ;0)

Laurie LC Lewis said...

Rachel,

I'm hooked! I wish I had this to take on my trip this weekend!

Anonymous said...

OK, now I really want to know who this mysterious sailor is. I MUST have this book! Please.... Good job hooking me in with that excerpt!

Kami said...

Wow, that gave me the goosebumps! Now I really want to read it so I hope my name gets picked!

Rachel Rager said...

I'm so excited! I was nervous about the excerpt thing but I'm glad you've all liked it! This is fun!

Susan G. Haws said...

By Love or by Sea sounds intriguing, I look forward to reading it-- I hope I win a copy.
Susan

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

Love the excerpt (did I spell that right? It's one of the weirdest words ever.) Please enter me in the contest.

Wendy Jones

The Howe's said...

Well, I have to say I love a good book and I hate that I don't have the rest of it to read right now. That was an awesome piece, Plus I never win anything. I guess that means you are an awesome writer. If you don't pick me I will probably go buy it, but don't not let me win now because I said that. :) jk!
-Laura (Jensen) Howe

LaRene said...

I enjoyed your excerpt and would like to read the book. I was planning on getting it and have just not got around to it. If I read it and love it I know I can get my daughters to read it also. If you pick me to win the book you won't have to pay postage :) Really I would love to read your book. I think Laura wants to win it more than I do though :) I will buy it anyway :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

This book sounds really intriguing. I'd love to read it.

kersten campbell said...

Can't wait to read it!

Jolynn said...

I would really like this book.

Rachel Rager said...

Wow! I'm glad so many people are interested in it! I will post the winner on the 23rd, so if someone hasn't entered yet, they still have time! Good luck to you all!

Lynn Parsons said...

Loved it so far--can't wait to read the rest! What an amazing author!

Kendra said...

Rachel, I can't wait to read your new book! This is so exciting!

Chantele said...

Ooohhh! This sounds so good! Enter me! I would love to win a copy!:)

alwayssomething2read(at)gmail(dot)com

Marsha Ward said...

Please add me to your drawing, as I love and adore you and can't wait to read your book.

alyssachristine said...
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