Castle Romance #01
Published: September 14, 2012
ISBN (Paperback; Standard; 115 pages: 978-0-9880624-3-6
ISBN (eBook; approximately 36,560 words): 978-0-9880624-2-9
Heritage agriculturalist Olivia Luttlegrove still mourns the tragic loss of her parents. She has created a haven on the farm that’s been in her family for generations to aid in the healing.
John is a drifter who arrives in Scarinish with a secret and a mysterious past. When Olivia hires him as a farmhand, the passion ignites.
Love blossoms, but Olivia’s independent ways and John’s reluctance to share his secrets threaten their future together. Outside forces wreak havoc on their private sanctuary, and the past rushes in. Can they accept the truth? Or will their love be lost forever?
Excerpt from Pockets of Wildflowers
I watched the dust flick up from the driveway. We hadn’t had rain—a good rain—for several weeks. Although the forecast called for showers later this evening, with a risk of thunder showers, few clouds dotted the perfect blue sky. I walked to the pasture and looked for Lint. He was gone, which meant Lorcan was equally gone. Blondie grazed quietly with the goats and sheep. I scanned the edge of the fields for as far as my eyes could see, but I saw nothing moving out there. I thought about going to Look-out Hill to see if I could spot the missing man, but I had better things to do.
Around noon, I checked to see if Lorcan had returned, but I found no sign of him. I worked around the barn, repairing the sheep stall and cleaning out the chicken coop. Every few minutes, I glanced towards the hayfield, looking for any sign of a horse and rider, but nothing appeared.
By three o’clock, the worrying had eaten away at my security. Lorcan had never been gone this long. I climbed the stairs to the loft, thinking if I could see his belongings in his room, he’d come back; if they were gone, it meant he had left for good.
The hinges creaked as I pushed open the door. There was little sign of life inside. A clock radio on the bedside table ticked away the minutes, but little else had changed in the room. The small closet lay open and I saw Lorcan’s knapsack, empty and on the floor. The few items of clothing it once held hung on the hooks above it.
He planned to return then. His trip probably took longer than anticipated. I left the room quickly, worried if he found me there snooping he’d be angry. Stepping out into the sunshine through the back door of the barn, I searched the hayfield again. Still, there was no sign of him.
Several large, black birds circled an area over the crest of the field. Crows. They had found food. One by one, they swooped to the ground; several flew upwards to land in nearby trees. I glanced around at my chickens. I couldn’t see them all, but I was sure they rested safe in the barnyard. Circling, swooping black birds meant one thing: death.
A cold chill gripped my heart. No! It couldn’t be Lorcan. For a moment, I stared with my feet frozen to the ground. The remnants of a fox kill or another animal’s leftovers had caught the interest of the birds. Perhaps they ripped apart a dead bunny. My imagination raced, and I suddenly saw Lorcan sprawled in the grass, his neck broken from the Quarter horse flinging him in the air. I had warned him not to ride Lint.
The bike. I’d be there in no time flat if I took the four-wheeler. I ripped the keys from the hook and jumped onto the bike. The engine roared to life, and my foot jerked it in gear. I bent low to the handle bars to lower my centre of gravity and sped up the long hayfield. The wind flung my hat from my head, but I kept speeding faster and faster. I had to know what the crows were eating.
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