Patriot: At Any Cost
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by Nancy A. Lindley-Gauthier
Category: Historical Fiction/Romance
Description: A World War II 'Homefront' Adventure Lillian wants nothing more than to join the war effort, especially since her childhood sweetheart is headed to war -- and promising to write -- to her gorgeous adversary, Celia. Her accidental introduction to injured pilot Callahan sets her on an unexpected path. She joins the Civil Patrol, but suspects the war will hardly be coming to Maine's quiet shores. Or, will it? Excerpt: They were far from the sight or sound of people. She could hardly outpace him back. She bit back a cry or any sign of the desperation welling up in her. What was he doing out here on this empty stretch of beach in the wee hours of the morning? The 'Priscilla Rose' bobbed at her mooring, but were any fishermen aboard? Lill guessed not. 'Right as rain right as rain,' echoed in her mind. What did Mike really know about Callahan? This strong-looking man who didn't join up as any good American would, who wandered along beaches on the darkest of nights? He could easily guess her house sat empty. He would know she lived alone. Unprotected. Why else would he be here? She tried to tell herself that she was merely being silly. Of course there would be some innocent explanation. Of course any gentleman would see a lady home. The faint odor of lilacs greeted her. They were nearly to the granite stairway. His hand caught hers. She gulped back her exclamation. His fingers closed over hers as if he held delicate flowers. "The steps." They'd be at the house in a minute. At her silent, empty house, with no one there to see. Oh, what innocent explanation could there be? How foolish she had been! She had invited this, whatever happened. Her bare feet scraped on the rough-hewn rock. Her heart raced and she could hear her own loud breathing. The white of the picket fence gate stood out in the darkness. It marked the top edge of the bluff path. She thought of the cliff's edge. Time stood still as she paused there, one hand on the gate, her mind spinning desperately against the unimaginable fate before her. The cliff seemed the only way; the jagged rocks, far below, her only escape. She would simply run forward ?
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: April 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [355 KB]
Reading time: 195-273 min.
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Lillian peeked anxiously into the night from behind the safety of her heavy kitchen curtains. A glimmer from the crescent moon gave away the young couple pressed close together at the top of the granite stairway, scarcely inches from the house.
Lill ducked back, away from the window. A roar filled her ears. She could no more hear the strains of big band music wafting from the parlor radio than register the steady crash of waves out on the point. She shut her eyes but could not block the image of the two clasped so tightly together.
There was no denying the truth this time. She did not need to guess at the identity of the couple.
She leaned back and forced a slow, deliberate breath. "I cannot believe this."
Kitty bustled in and, mistaking her meaning entirely, chirped, "Everyone will be along. Stop being so anxious! It's barely seven."
Lillian rolled her eyes. She simply couldn't make herself say, two of them are nearly here. Too many of her own hopes and dreams involved Mike Rutherford. In fact, she couldn't recall a time when her life hadn't revolved around him. All these months, she'd refused to let herself believe that his heart had moved on to another.
"Since the rationing, the promise of dessert alone guarantees a crowd." Kitty whipped open the oven to let the rich cinnamon scent of apples baking fill the elderly Victorian house. "These pies look ready to come out and cool."
Lill eased away from the wall, skirted the window, and slowly started to help out. Without so much as glancing at it, she shoved a white casserole dish into the oven.
A moment ago, she'd felt lighthearted and cheery. This was not at all how she'd planned the big going away party. She heaved a sigh. "Who knows when we'll all get to see one another again?"
"Don't think that way, now. It's a party." Kitty patted her damp hands on the expanse of fabric skirt stretching over her rounded hips. "I am absolutely positive Mike intended to come, too."
"I wasn't thinking of him particularly," Lill lied. She didn't let her mind dwell on how she'd but a moment before, seen Mike. Mindlessly she pretended industry, jabbing a fork into the pies and setting up the biscuits. "I just hope there's a decent crowd--enough to make it a proper send off for all the boys--and that there's enough to eat for everyone. Mrs. Foss sent up that huge casserole of Finnan haddie." She tossed the potholders on the table. "I'm sure Bobby will be along, anyway."
The porch door slammed, announcing their first guest, or from the voices, their first guests.
"So, where's the party?" Mike Rutherford announced his entrance.
Girlish laughter followed him, as if he'd said something truly funny.