December 2015


Good morning! Today, 25th December, is the birthday of someone who is very much connected to the land in which I live. Yes, today we celebrate the birthday of

Letters from Elsewhere

D.r. Brauner (David Brauner) by welcoming a former prime minister of Scotland, who tells us his unusual story. Take it away, Angus, och ay.

My name is Angus Montrose, the Father of Scottish independence and ex-prime minister. I’m an altogether extra-large man. Tall. Wide. Fleshy. Thick-necked. Big-headed. Everything about me is big. My presence. Gestures. And a booming voice.

I was right-handed before I took office. I left the PM’s Bute House residence the day I curled the fingers of my left hand around the thick, short handle of a brewer’s copperhead hammer. I flattened the splayed fingers of my right hand in the reeking vomit and good whisky I’d heaved up all over my desk. Arm high overhead, the copperhead hammer orbited in a tight circle. Fixing on the huge paw that anchored me to my desk, I steadied myself. ‘Long … live … Scotland…’ And in a white, flashing arc, I brought the hammer down on my right hand.

I now write in great difficulty with my left hand, the sinister one, the one that brought me down and ended my career. I lived for Scotland, breathed for the Scottish people and shepherded our long-suffering nation out of repression and into independence.

It was Brew Moray, a Scotsman of the Jewish persuasion, the first Chief Rabbi of his people, who broke me. He wanted nothing more than to leave Scotland with his people. Like Moses wanting to leave Egypt-land with his band of Hebrew slaves.

At our first meeting on Monday 27 July 20—, he said to me, ‘There are two kinds of Jews: those who are home in the Land of Israel, and those who are on their way.’ And I countered, ‘There’s only one kind of Scot: the kind who stays in Scotland.’ To which he said that he ‘felt very proud to be a Scotsman.’

I didn’t believe that. ‘But, Rabbi,’ I asked, ‘where, sir, is your heart?’ And he put his right hand on his breast and said, ‘Right here.’ O, how he evaded me. Before he left, I took his hand in a vice-grip, and make no mistake I hurt him, for the Rabbi openly massaged his sore hand.

I asked, ‘Is it some sort of Jewish tradition, Rabbi, to rub your hand after you people shake?’ His reply: ‘Ay, a very old tradition, but one not usually practiced much these days.’

To say the least we Scots did not get off to a good start. Right from the beginning things soured beyond all imagination. We looked at the world beyond our new borders and saw a pernicious mess – but that strife and pestilence was always somewhere else, in the God-forsaken places, but never, never, Heaven forbid, in bonny Scotland. And certainly not when I, Angus Montrose, the Bellicose, was at helm. How I came a cropper was only because of him, them. And with that I rest my left hand from its scrawled lament.

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A cautionary tale of the near future …

another god

a novel of

Independent Scotland

by

D.r. Brauner

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What does the future hold for

Independent Scotland?

What if…? The speculative fiction depicted in another god has not come to life, not yet. But it could – after Scotland achieves independence. A rabbi’s dream could change the trajectory of one nation and save another nation from destruction. A prime minister’s Machiavellian patriotism could launch a new nation-state on an aimless course into oblivion. One woman’s miracle can produce a love-child. And another woman’s strength and daring might rescue a thousand lives. Scotland’s future history is yet to be written – or is it?

BIO

David and DaisyD.r. Brauner is a writer, editor and photographer. He was born in England, raised in America and holds an MLitt in English Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. He wrote and photographed for The Jerusalem Post for fifteen years. During the last twenty-five years, he has edited academic papers and books and was the language editor of Yad Vashem Studies Holocaust journal from 2007 to 2014. From the early 1990s to this day, he has mentored a Creative Writing Circle in Jerusalem that has produced hundreds of memoirs, essays, short stories and novels, not a few of which have been published. Wherever David is, he is living in another world of images and books, kites and bikes, hopes and dreams. In this world life is all the better for having met his wife Ruth and finding their sweet dog Daisy.

Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Ailsa Abraham is back on the blog to tell you about a special sale of two special books. I know they’re special – I’ve read them.

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Elf yourself!

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TWO DAYS ONLY!

 

YULE LOVE THIS IDEA!

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2CoffeesOrTwoBooksWe celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yule so as my gift to you readers I would like to present – for the two days of 22nd and 23rd December only…..Both books in the Alchemy series at 99p or cents each for an e-book. Come on, less than a cup of coffee? Lasts longer and keeps you awake better!

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Click on the link below to see them on Amazon in YOUR country.

Universal Amazon link – anywhere in the world

 

Plenty of five star reviews and the third one is on the way – grab them while they’re this price!

 

WHAT DO YOU GET?

AlchemyBook 1 ALCHEMY  A world without war? Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen. But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is skeptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again. How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare? Iamo, a priest of the Mother Goddess and Riga, a Black Shaman assassin captain, are thrown together – reluctantly at first – to face a threat that nobody could have imagined before “The Changes”.

ALCHEMY is the prequel to Shaman’s Drum which features the adventures of Iamo and Riga through their world in the near future, where the established religions of our own days had been banned.

ShamansDrumBook 2 SHAMAN’S DRUM  England in the near future. Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again. Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive. Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust? Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga’s Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths. It’s a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

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Facebook keeps reminding me of snow pictures, because, two years ago, we had more snow than I’ve ever seen – anywhere. This year, however, Jerusalem has been gifted with sun and warmth… so far. Not so for fellow Crooked Cat author, Claire Stibbe, who is visiting the blog today.

Hi Miriam

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog this chilly, snowy December morning. Well, it is here in New Mexico, USA, where cedar fires are burning in every hearth and people are already slugging down that eggnog by the jug.

Claire B&WI just want to say WOW, is it December already? That means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has ended. Congratulations to some of the Crooked Cat Publishing authors who took part in it and finished. Miriam, that’s you! Thank you, Claire 🙂

Crooked Cat Publishing released the first in my Detective Temeke series, The 9th Hour, in November of this year. One of the hardest obstacles of writing is the perfectionism we authors have with our books. Does it read well? Does it makes sense? Is it even interesting? We know every word counts and venturing onto that blank page with words that either stick or get deleted the following day is a daunting task. I’m always wandering between the park and my office in the search for scenes, words and great dialogue. I brainstorm, tell and re-tell. I watch the weather for signs, smells and sounds.

In my fictional world, the characters are the ones who lead the book. They take me to places my structure never knew existed and trample on any specific sequence of events I may have penned in advance. With fiction, it’s all smoke and mirrors and outlines… Eh? What’s an outline anyway?

I loved writing The 9th Hour because it became spontaneous, exciting and nothing like I imagined it would be. Detective Temeke strayed off those pages into a world of his own and I had to run to keep up. He can be downright stubborn and thoughtless, but his sniffer is the most accurate yet. The only problem is, Temeke is the one who, by hook or by crook, always raises the stakes. Any conflict with him is going to be high.

Malin Santiago becomes larger as the series grows. In the second book, Night Eyes, she is more settled in her role as Temeke’s partner. She watches and learns as one does in a new job. It’s not until the third book that she literally jumps off the page.  I have tremendous respect for her and Temeke as I do for real detectives in the real world. If it wasn’t for the detectives I’ve spent valuable time with, these characters would be as flat as a cow pat.

When I finished the second book, Night Eyes, there was a round of applause in my house and a time of great celebration. As I embark on the third in the series over the next nine weeks, I’m reminded of a small voice saying – finishing is the single thing that separates those who want to write from those who actually have. So I keep learning and I keep writing. There’s nothing I’d rather do.

9th smoke

If you enjoy psychological thrillers mixed with a little Scandinavian noir, The 9th Hour is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords. It is also on sale for 99c / 99p for a short time over the Christmas season.

Thank you, Claire. I have a special interest in this novel, because I was lucky enough to edit it, and I can tell you it’s well worth the read.

Links

The 9th Hour or for all Amazon regions

Other books by author Claire Stibbe:

Chasing Pharaohs

The Fowler’s Snare

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Letters from Elsewhere

Today we’re privileged to see a letter from Lauren to Christie, brought to us by Teresa Cutler-Broyles. (Details at the end.)

December 18, 2015

Hi Christie!

mtnsI hope you, Emily and Robyn are doing well. I’m so sad to be missing Christmas with you all but the ranch is amazing. I can’t believe I’ll be working here next summer, and being able to spend these two weeks here right now is… well, let me tell you everything.

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The name of the ranch is Bear Basin – they have real bears here in the summer! My dad and I arrived just yesterday. To get here we had to drive through the most gorgeous mountains with all these twisty roads, through the forests and along these long narrow meadows. There’s snow around but it’s mostly melted, and the skies are so blue it’s almost unreal. So much bluer than at home, and you can see forever. Just before the turnoff to the ranch itself you can see the most incredible mountain range way far away. Immense peaks covered in snow that go on forever and ever. It’s called the Sangre de Cristos – that means the blood of Christ – and it looks like it’s miles and miles away.

My dad’s friends are really nice! Zeke and Amanda, and they own this whole ranch. I was reading about it on our way here and it covers more than 10,000 acres.

All the buildings are really old – more than a hundred! We pulled up and everything looked deserted – there were some horses – all Appaloosas – in the corral but nothing else. I was scared, thinking that we were in the wrong place. It seemed so isolated. I almost told my dad I changed my mind, then all of a sudden all the ranch dogs ran to greet us and some people came out of the buildings and when we got out of the truck everyone gave us hugs, even the people that didn’t know us, and it suddenly felt like home. I met the people I’ll be living and working with next summer.

Zeke and Amanda are the owners of the whole ranch.
Karen and Bob are the ranch managers.
Francois is their French chef – yes, in the middle of nowhere, Colorado, a real French chef!
Eli is their horse trainer and head wrangler – and he is very handsome. He looks just like the guy in any Western movie that you can’t tell if he’s the good guy or the bad guy. Maybe don’t tell Jackson I said Eli was handsome. 🙂
Sally and Jessica are wranglers but that’s not all they do. They’re a little older than us, about 20. Sally is like an Amazon. She’s big and strong, and she is a farrier so they don’t have to call outside to shoe the horses. I’m going to ask her to show me how to do that. Jessica is African American, and she is getting her degree in Denver for being a veterinarian. She’s working on the ranch as part of her classes. Isn’t that cool?

There were some others, some friends of Zeke and Amanda visiting, but I don’t remember their names. They were musicians and that first night we all gathered around the fireplace in the main bunkhouse – yes, a real bunkhouse – and they played guitars and violins until long past midnight.

This morning Francois cooked normal bacon and eggs – I thought it would be French bacon and eggs 🙂 – and then my dad left for home. It was hard to say goodbye, but I know he’ll be back up to get me after the first of the year. And David’s at home to keep him company over the holiday.

To cheer me up, Eli and Jessica took me for a ride. I got to choose the horse I wanted to ride out of the ones in the corral so I chose the biggest Appaloosa. Her name is Blue, and Eli had to give me a boost to get on her. They wouldn’t let me ride bareback, which I understand but it was still a bummer. Next summer I’ll show them I know how when I get Jack here.

I just know Jack will be fine here on the ranch. Even with only one eye, he’ll be able to learn the trails and figure out the gates. It’s not much different than the trail classes he’s won. Well… at home we don’t have rocky, twisty mountain trails in the forests that dip down into the valleys along steep slopes… okay, so yeah it’s a lot different. 🙂 But still I think he’ll do well. He’s smart, and he trusts me, and once he finds his place in the herd the other horses will take care of him, too.

Zeke and Amanda told me that they raise and ride Appaloosas here because they’re the most sure-footed in the mountains, and from just the one ride so far I can say that’s true. Blue didn’t misstep once, didn’t trip, and even on the steepest hill she moved like she was on flat ground. I was terrified at first but she took care of me and I got over it fast. On hal_burrothe ride we saw a man running behind a burro. I thought he was trying to catch his loose animal but Eli said that was his friend Howard, and that he does something called burro racing where he runs behind the burro in full-length marathons. I’m definitely going to find out more about that next summer – can you imagine running behind an equine instead of ON one??

The best part of the ride happened when we got to the top of this curved trail that went through really dense trees. Suddenly we broke out onto this flat area. Snow covered most of the ground and we were higher than all the hills around us. We could see in every direction, forever, and everywhere we looked were more and more mountains far away, fading into the distance. They told me one of them was Pike’s Peak, and that’s more than 50 miles away. The skies had white, fluffy clouds that just hovered high, high above. There was no noise at all except for the horses’ breathing and the creak of leather as they shifted from foot to foot.

They say in the summer the ground is covered in wildflowers and the sky is just as blue.
I can’t wait to come back.

There’s so much more but I’d better go for now! Please give Jack a big hug from me and give him a carrot, and tell Frank and Steve I said hi. I’m writing a separate letter to Jackson so he’ll get that when you get this one.

I love you guys! Merry Christmas, and I can’t wait to see you when I get home!
Oh, I’ve included a couple of photos so you can see it all.

Bye!
Love,
Lauren

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From the forthcoming Mountain Jack, by Teresa Cutler-Broyles. Mountain Jack takes place on a real ranch in Central Colorado, and is book two in the YA series that began with One Eyed Jack, the story of Lauren and her one-eyed horse. One Eyed Jack is available on Amazon.com ( http://amzn.to/1magqF5 ).

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me_book_sign_page_oneTeresa Cutler-Broyles is an author, traveler, and adventure guide, and has been writing since she was eight years old; her first published piece was an article about her one-eyed horse in Western Horseman Magazine. Currently she lives in New Mexico with two goofy dogs and her husband, and divides her time between there and Italy where she teaches in the summer. When she’s not teaching or writing, she’s probably researching something historical and architectural, or off on another adventure. Story ideas happen to her when she travels; what better reason to get off the couch!

More upcoming books include an historical novel set in 1570 Italy, and more. She can be contacted at www.tlcwritingtours.com or www.herosjourney-italy.com.

Letters from Elsewhere

My guest today is Clara Lehrs, brought to you by Gill James. Clara lehrs appears in the YA/adult novel, The House on Schellberg Street, published by Crooked Cat Publishing.

Rexingen, 15 February 1942

Dear Ernst, Käthe, Rudi and Renate,

I’ve no idea if, when or how you will ever get this letter but I hope that one day one of you will read it, and pass it on to the others. I hope you are all still in touch.

I would like to assure you that I am well and content here in Rexingen. The people are very kind, even though we are poor and I have had to become Jewish again. There is a lot of warmth and everyone shares what little they have. There is a lot of love and spirits for the most part remain undaunted. It is so clear to me that in fact we believe in the same God, whatever he – or she – actually is. We’re not clever enough yet to understand these things fully.

I’ve taken on the role again of being Mutti Lehrs. I’ve befriended one young woman particularly who lost her husband just after she became pregnant with her second child. Her little daughter, Kyla, is delightful and comes to me when her Mutti needs a rest. And somehow that set everything in motion and suddenly all of the younger children in the village began to regard me as their second grandmother. So Renate, if you ever come here, you will have a lot of new cousins to get to know. It seems I have found a purpose again.

We all gather in the evenings to share a meal and sit round the log fire. We’re often hungry but at least here we are better off than those who live in ghettos in the towns. We grow a few vegetables and make use of what grows naturally. Occasionally we hunt.

You may wonder why I hesitated and hesitated about leaving and didn’t in the end join you all in England. Well, I just could not leave the Hilfsklasse to survive on its own. You may argue that I’ve had to anyway. This is true. But even here there is something of a miracle: by the time I was ordered to leave everything there was in good hands. Karl Shubert was comfortable in my house and Helga Gödde and Hani were really helping. Renate, you should be so proud of your friend. She will make an excellent teacher one day. Hopefully all of this nonsense will soon come to an end and people will be able to resume their normal lives.

Today is a pretty day. The countryside is covered in snow. I’m sure the sun will shine later. That’s the thing. All of this human silliness and nature takes not one bit of notice. The seasons come and go. The sun still feeds this planet. Oh boys and Käthe, what you and Professor Einstein could tell me all about that! And Hans too.

Ernst, I want to thank you for taking such good care of our family. I’m sorry your old stubborn mother would not comply, but Herr Hitler, of course, didn’t know what he was taking on when he challenged CLARA Lehrs. No doubt you are doing a deal of good furthering the work of the Waldorf schools in England.

Rudi, did you ever get to Canada? I hope you are still enjoying playing with your numbers and I hope you are taking good care of that chest of yours. Have either of you two met a nice young lady yet? I’d like a few more grandchildren, thank you, even though I have Renate and all the fine youngsters here.

Käthe I’m so sorry that you and Hans have to live apart. Given the nature of his work it’s understandable. But at least you are with your child in England. Some families I know have to be split up. To think that Hans is involved in designing some of the very weapons that are being used on you in England. Gruesome. I don’t condemn him for it. It is just the way things have worked out. Be courageous my dear.

Renate, I hope it’s not too confusing for you. Perhaps you now wonder whether you are German or English, Jewish or Christian but actually you are all of those things but more than anything else you are Renate, who is now stronger because of everything that has happened to her. Remember, home is where you are and what you make of it.

Well, now I’m feeling my age and I’m actually very sleepy. I hope that I can get this letter to you soon and that soon after that we can all meet again,

Your loving Mutti and Oma,
Clara Lehrs.

About The House on Schellberg Street

GillJamesTheHouseOnSchellbergStreetRenate Edler loves to visit her grandmother in the house on Schellberg Street. She often meets up with her friend Hani Gödde who lives nearby. This year, though, it is not to be. Renate finds out a terrible secret about her family. She has to leave behind her home and her friends and become somebody she never thought she could be. The house on Schellberg Street needs to stay strong.

Will it and those who work in it be strong enough? Will Renate ever feel at home again? And what of those left behind?

About Gill James

GillJamesGill James writes for children and young adults. She is also a prolific writer of short fiction and flash fiction. As well as being published by several companies, she is a publisher / editor working with Bridge House, Chapeltown and The Red Telephone. She works at the University of Salford as lecturer in English and Creative Writing.

Website Blog Facebook / Facebook Author Page Twitter

Back in October, I hosted Jacques Forêt, who introduced himself via three letters to his father.

Well today the novel he comes from – Messandrierre by Angela Wren – is published and you’re welcome to join the launch party that is going on right now.

If you like France or mystery novels or both, hop over there tout de suite.Jacques Forêt3.

Letters from ElsewhereI’m delighted to be joined today by Eva, who has come from the pages of Seven for a Secret by Rumer Haven.

RumerHaven7forASecret_FRONT_REVSeven for a Secret is a romantic tale told through two time periods, the year 2000 and the 1920s. Set in Chicago, each era follows its own love story, with the past and present interrelating through mystical means. Lon is the hero of the Jazz Age story, in which he meets a young socialite, Eva, who is betrothed to someone else. The two become fast friends and confidantes, however, sharing a connection they’ve never enjoyed before in their stifling upper-class milieu.

When Eva writes Lon a letter in Chapter XI (following the afternoon tea scene recently featured at author Claire Stibbe’s blog: https://clairestibbe.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/a-warm-welcome-to-rumer-haven/), he responds, Let’s not pretend we weren’t appeasing the censors on that one. At least I hope that’s all it was.” Eva, you see, feels very guarded in what she dares to share, for fear that her husband might screen her correspondence or – worse yet – that Lon won’t reciprocate what she really has to say.

And what would she like to say? Here’s a draft of what she probably wrote and burned…

November 5, 1925

My dearest Lonnie,

I hope this letter finds you well and hopefully not torturing my kid sister somewhere on the lakefront. Remember, old boy, the temperature has dropped since summer, and she could catch cold. [Author’s note: Were this 2015, Eva would surely add a winky emoticon here.]

But truly, thank you for still entertaining my little pet on weekends. It’s more than I ever would have expected, having hardly seen or heard from her myself. Why bother with
me when she has you? Would I bother with anyone else, given the choice? She fancies you, I suspect, and I can’t fault her there. But really, that doll? If it were anyone else buying it for her, I should think that toy is the last thing she’d want. But naturally she would turn nothing down from her dear Lonnie.

Neither would I. I can hardly pretend I don’t envy the time Ollie spends with you. It will break my heart if I, on the other hand, have lost your friendship when it’s all I yet cling to; as we long talked about and feared, I pray my marriage hasn’t caused just that. I still savor those summer evenings at the zoo, just the two of us. I yearn for them, really. Lying close to you on the grass in the twilight, our clothes dampening in the dew…your silhouette kissed by moonlight but your darkened face still so difficult to read when nose-to-nose with mine. I’m dying to know what has occupied your mind and heart since, if anyone else now lies by your side. I don’t hear much of what you’re up to but will assume no news is good news. And I’ll be very glad if you’re continuing to abstain from the usual temptations – though I do wish my particular presence hadn’t stifled those so thoroughly; when I had you to myself, I’d have liked if you gave in to your vices, just a little. Or a lot. With me, please know you can always give in to your passions so long as they’re true. I think I’d even welcome them if not.

I’m not expressing myself well. No, I’m not at all. What I’m trying to tell you so clumsily is that I couldn’t have more adoration – and love – for you, Lonnie. That dreadfully handsome face aside, your convictions are the most moving of anyone’s I know. You bring me to life, and your paintings – my God, your talent brings me to tears! You may feel you need to hide from everyone else’s judgment, but I, still and forever your Eva, am one person in this world who would never fault you for forsaking wealth and title for honest work and art. Although you realize as well I’m certainly not the only one who believes in you, and thank goodness for that. So drop the charades, old boy; you have nothing to prove to me but your undying affection, whatever the nature of it might be. As long as there is love in some form, you can trust that it’s requited.

I wish I could love my time in the countryside remotely as much – I keep waiting for the new landscape and fresh air to work its magic, for the little wood sprites to enchant and crown me their princess, but they do not speak to me like the Dream Lady does. Or once did. She’s grown quiet, even though my other memories scream straight into my heart. I can still see you that first night we met, how you circled her under the stars, standing so tall yet looking up with a child’s wonder. I loved you from that moment. So everyone can think I have everything a girl could ask for, but I don’t have you, for whom I’m homesick above all.

I returned to the city for my first time only the other day – afternoon tea with the ladies, old boy, so please don’t think I snubbed you. You’d have hated it anyway, though of course you can just imagine it, can’t you? The pageantry of it all, so vividly empty. You wouldn’t have believed the games of elocution my mother and mother-in-law competed in all the while; I’d have thought I was at the theatre, viewing a comedy of manners, were I not so painfully aware of the farce that’s become my “real” life. I envy Ollie that as well, how she can so easily detach from realities she doesn’t like. She was there but not there, and I tried so hard to not be there also. Sitting among the pomp and silly circumstance, all the peacocks sitting like stiff department store mannequins, I could think of nothing but you and those nights in the grass. So different than the lake breezes we’d breathe in and sigh out, the stale, sterile air in there nearly suffocated me. Oh, Lonnie, if you could have seen it – I actually swooned and spilled my tea everywhere! Even Ollie leapt to my behalf, dear thing, but it was all I could do to remove myself and cry in solitude.

But settling into a new life and duties has been a busy occupation, at least, which does help distract me from my thoughts. No, that isn’t true. I have abundance in everything, including time, more than enough to turn my thoughts to actions and contact you, or even try to see you if that’s what you wanted, too. But I know I haven’t tried, and I think we both know why; if you didn’t before, you surely do after reading this terribly inappropriate letter. I am so very sorry. For not communicating sooner and, now that I have, if I’ve offended you spectacularly with what I’ve said. Please forgive me on all counts, my darling – if I may call you that – and do write or telephone me without delay.

Ah, but you only need to contact me at this address this month because, whether you like it or not, I’m moving into the Wrightwood townhouse. Should all go to plan, I’ll be there well ahead of Christmas and staying in Chicago for the indefinite future – forever, if I have anything to say about it. What a fool I’ll feel if I arrive only to learn you’re no longer there. So please tell me now, can I pin my hopes on seeing you then?

If so, just imagine it, Lonnie! I suppose we’d be making snow angels at the zoo until spring, but in all other ways, it could be just like our old days of summer, made into something new.

With love and dreams,

Your Eva

To read Eva’s real letter to Lon and his response, you can find both in Seven for a Secret, where historical fiction meets contemporary rom-com – from the Roaring Twenties when the “New Woman” was born, to the modern Noughties when she really came of age.

About the Author

Rumer HavenRumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising – or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. She debuted in 2014 with Seven for a Secret, and her next novel, What the Clocks Know, is due for release by Crooked Cat Publishing in early 2016.

Find more at www.rumerhaven.com.

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