Today on the Friday Fiction, I am lucky enough to have not one but TWO authors to present to you, PS Bartlett and Ronovan Hester, who have co-authored their first book together, Amber Wake Gabriel Falling. Here are the excerpts they have chosen from their book… enjoy!
PS Bartlett’s Excerpt Selection
A walk home seemed appropriate for the day, free from all confinements of carriage or any other barriers between myself and the fresh air of freedom. The day was not so awful for autumn in London, and a walk along Whitehall Street was a welcome task of spontaneity that I rarely gave in to. For a change, there was no rain or fierce winds. One might have even mistaken the season for spring, had the trees been in bloom instead of barren. I gazed at the ruins of the palace and wondered if perhaps its burning had been a sign of things to come for the ruling powers of the land and sea of the empire.
As I passed people in the street, I received varied looks without my wig, but no matter. I cared not about the indignant gawking of pious men, nor what might be considered the inquisitive gazes of the women. No longer was I under the hypocritical rule of men such as Admiral Chambers.
Plans had been made. Throughout the trial, my time away from my ship had not been spent simply awaiting my fate. I had been trained to prepare for anything and no loss of title or station changed who I was. The month had provided ample time to discover a great many things about those who’d been plotting against me and my family for far too long. It was time to utilize the knowledge I possessed and set my plans in motion.
Once reaching home, I sat in my mother’s favorite chair beside the garden window to contemplate the only task I had left before me. I retrieved my pistol from the side table drawer and rested it in my lap. What little trust I had left in the world wasn’t enough to allow me to relax in comfort without it. I knew my days in London had come to an end, but I also knew the angry eyes that had burned with revenge had pistols too. I’d set my course and had no choice but to follow it, and there would not be much I would miss other than my family home. However, those few things that I would have to leave behind brought an ache to my chest that drained the strength from my body and filled me with an ill feeling. However, at times there were things one needed to put before those aches.
Not everyone performing duties to the crown need wear powdered fluff. A month ago…an age ago…I received those two messages: one notifying me of my planned court-martial, and the other one of most importance, from my father’s old friend.
The day spent at Hampton Court, learning of possible threats to the throne came rushing back to mind. A month of intrigue and questions followed, too many to think of now, with all pointing to one answer; I must do my duty to my country. The throne needed me in this most dire time, and I would not be found wanting; even if I must fight the Royal Navy itself to complete my mission.
The kindly housemaid, Mildred, brought my afternoon tea, and I watched the few remaining birds as they rested on the branches outside my window.
“Will there be anything else, Captain Wallace?” Mildred asked.
“No, thank you. Has Adam yet returned from his lessons?”
“Not as of yet, sir. I’m sure he’ll be along soon,” she answered.
“Thank you, Mildred. That will be all.”
“Captain Wallace, might I be excused this evening? A friend has inquired as to my joining her for a bit this evening. She is feeling under the weather, ye see. Dinner is prepared and…”
“Yes, yes, yes, please, Mildred. See to your friend. Adam and I are more than capable of warming a meal.”
She bowed to me and made her goodbyes.
At rest for the first time in as long as I could remember and spent of all mental abilities, I succumbed to fatigue and drifted to sleep.
The room was shrouded by nightfall when I abruptly awoke. I jerked and clasped the arms of the chair in confusion, wondering how long I’d slept and having no idea of the hour.
“No need to be alarmed as of yet, Captain.” I turned to the voice.
The young and dashing figure of Maddox Carbonale stood with his arms folded, leaning against the heavy oak desk once belonging to my father. I pulled my pistol and rubbed at my eyes to insure I was indeed awake, as he was the last person I’d expect to find in my home at any hour. “I’d have believed you were wiser, Maddox, and had taken your leave of London by now…or at least I’d hoped you had.”
Ronovan Hester’s Excerpt Selection
“Islands? I abhor the heat. However, I’m always up for an adventure. I just may do that—if I can find a swimming horse.” With one last handshake, the young man set his hat upon his dark curls and began his walk south along the shoreline, until he eventually disappeared into the darkness.
“Will he make it?” Miles asked as we climbed into the boat with our crewmen to begin our trek back to the ship.
I paused for a moment and stared into the night one last time. “Yes. He’s too stubborn not to.”
“You know, he told me you might’ve killed Jonathan.”
I looked across the water at the lantern lights of Majesty’s Venture without acknowledging Miles’s remark.
“Miles, I’ve been thinking she needs a new name. How about—”
The sound of cannon fire shook us with such force we nearly fell out of the boat. “Captain!” Miles bellowed, pointing down the beach.
“What the bloody hell!” I shouted when I realized it was the Venture who’d fired her guns. We shielded our heads as the sand exploded about twenty yards away when the rounds struck. When I raised my head, I turned my eyes back to the beach and saw Carbonale running for his life towards us out of the darkness. He was being pursued by what appeared to be a dozen men on horseback. However, when the round of shot struck the beach, the horses reared up and retreated in fear, bolting from the blasts of flying sand.
The five-man crew hopped to their stations in the longboat as we rowed her back to shore. “Hurry, man!” Miles shouted as he caught Carbonale’s duffle and tossed it into the boat. Maddox quickly followed it with a leap, head first, and rolled to a stop.
“Didn’t I tell you to stay away from the women?” I asked, pulling him by the sleeve to a seat.
“Now you decide to share your sense of humor? I might have been killed, you know.” I couldn’t help but smirk at his question, as well as his gasps for breath as his arms flailed in exasperation.
Again we ducked for cover as another round was fired from the ship, striking the land with a thump and woosh of wet sand. Miles rose and raised his musket, firing on the group of remaining men who’d boldly refused to end their pursuit and had ridden their horses into the surf.
Award winning author, P.S. Bartlett, was born on Valentine’s Day many moons ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill.
Her first novel, Fireflies, was published with GMTA Publishing in 2013 and the prequel to Fireflies, entitled, Hope From the Ocean, was published in March of 2014, followed by the flagship book in her new series The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge, in October of 2014.
She loves history and historical fiction. She gets her history fix via movies, television and of course, books although she enjoys reading almost every genre. Her motto is: “I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?”
Ronovan Hester is a writer living near Athens, GA, home of his alma mater, The University of Georgia, where he received a B.S.Ed. in History Education. Ronovan puts his love of history and his over 20 years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean co-authored with P.S. Bartlett.
Ronovan’s devotion to history and writing sometimes competes with his love of tacos and fresh fruit. At times, all his favorite things work hand in hand in mouth during long binge writing sessions that have been known to last nonstop for over 24 hours. Rather than see a sleep disorder as a hindrance, he uses the time for creative purposes or watching old TV shows on online.
Ronovan enjoys putting elements of history, if only as nods to the past, in all of his book projects. He currently instills that love of history and learning in his son daily as he helps him through his college prep courses, meaning hours of homework every night, even while not yet a teenager—his son, not Ronovan. Now if he could find a very good mute for that trumpet his son just began learning.
You may connect with Ronovan through:
Amazon Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Amazon UK Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Personal Blog: RonovanWrites.WordPress.com
Author Site: RonovanHester.com
Book Review Site: LitWorldInterviews.com
Goodreads: Ronovan Hester
Facebook: Ronovan Writes
Google+: Ronovan Writes
LinkedIn: Ronovan Hester