Today I'm showcasing a sample from Beyond A Doubt, book four in The Renaissance Hearts Series.
Lucy has just rescued Bryce from drowning and she has convinced him that she needs an escort to England. Bryce doesn't have any food or money and so the couple stops off at a farmer's house to request assistance.
Stomp, stomp, stomp, she went into the house. Moans of pain rent the air.
Doreen was a woman of ample girth. The small bed creaked with distress at her every movement.
“Why does it hurt so bad?” she wailed.
Lucy moved closer, watching as the lady opened one eyelid.
“Oh, it’s ye. Haven’t ye started supper yet? I’m right near to starvin’!”
Taken aback by the swift change in attitude, Lucy remained silent. The powerful, strong voice that emerged from the woman brought clarity. The woman was faking. The audacity caused Lucy to burn with anger.
Stalking to a nearby shelf, Lucy pulled down pots and slammed them on the table, sending out sounds of rattling metal. Lucy pilfered through jarred items. Finding a few ingredients that appeared edible, she placed them in the pot, covered them with water, stoked the fire, hung the pot over the flames, and let the ingredients come to a boil.
The air permeated with a pleasing aroma. Doreen pushed up on her elbow. “Smells good.”
The door flung open and Doreen fell back with another fake groan upon her lips.
“Smells good, lass,” repeated Emmett.
Lucy didn’t comment as she brought the pot to the table. All four of them scooted their chairs closer. Lucy filled a bowl of the steaming brew for each person.
Bryce eyed the concoction warily. “What’s in it?”
“This and that,” she said, shrugging her shoulder.
Bryce nodded, still not eating.
Emmett took the first bite. Hot liquid sprayed across the room in a perfect circle as he spit the stew from his mouth. Lucy jumped back.
“What is heaven’s name is this?”
“Well, I’m sorry if my cooking is not to your liking. All I could find to cook was the herbs on the wall and–“
Emmett sprung from the table, one of his hands to his mouth, the other to his behind.
“What have ye done? Those were me herbs,” wailed Doreen
. “That’s what I said,” said Lucy.
“But them herbs weren’t for eatin’!” Before Doreen said more, she held her stomach and followed her husband out the door.
Bryce’s spoon remained poised in front of his mouth, not yet touching his lips. With a sigh, he dropped the spoon. His large hand engulfed hers as he pulled her to a standing position and dragged her toward the open door and their waiting horse.
“Why are we leaving? They owe us shelter!” yelled Lucy, trying to move away.
“Nay, lass. Yer attempt to kill them negates everything they owed.”
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As the beauty of summer rolls around and my schedule relaxes, I hope to bring you more wonderful samples. It was nice meeting you and I hope you'll stop by again soon.