Today I’m celebrating the official release of A Return to Life, the first chapter of my upcoming release A Countess of Convenience.
It’s now available on Smashwords for FREE and on Amazon for .99 (Amazon is refusing to make it free and apparently they don’t price match any more. But Smashwords lets you download a lot of different formats–mobi works on Kindle–so perhaps that will work for you.)
Following a tragic accident, an unconscious Judith Harper is returned to her childhood home. Miraculously, she awakens but to a horribly changed world in which she finds her husband not only dead, but herself dishonored by him before his death. Can she find the strength to pick up the pieces and return to a life of her own?
“Please speak lower and slower, Mamma. I have a headache right here.” Judith touched her right temple to discover a bandage of some sort tied around her head. With her fingers she traced the edge of the linen and pressed inward. “Ouch.” That had hurt dreadfully. “Mamma, what has happened to me?”
Her mother glanced at Dora, then squeezed Judith’s hands. “I think Dora must tell you what has transpired, my dear. She knows much more about your time at Harper’s Grange than do I.” She ran her hand down Judith’s face, her eyes still wet. “I am only thankful that I have you back now.”
Completely confused and becoming more than a little frightened, Judith struggled to sit up, but when she tried to put pressure on her left arm and hand, they had no strength in them and she flopped onto her side. What had happened to her?
Dora darted forward. “Let me help you, dear.”
Judith nodded and her friend helped as she tried to push up with her right arm and hand. To her surprise, she was rewarded with the normal use of them. She scooted further up in the bed and fixed her sister-in-law with a frantic gaze. “Dora, tell me what has happened to me.”
Footsteps pounding up the steps made her pivot her attention to the door, half-expecting to see Simon round the corner, but the gentleman who appeared could not have been more different from her husband. Tall, well-built beneath his buff-colored suit, the man’s physical attributes startled Judith out of her thoughts about her circumstances. His brooding dark eyes fixed on her so intently that she gasped and ceased to breathe. The gentleman darted forward and took her hand.
“Mrs. Harper, can you hear me?”
She gazed into his rugged face, broad nose, tanned skin, firm mouth with lips pressed together sternly, and frowned. “Yes, of course I can hear you. Why do you ask?”
A broad smile broke over his face, his lips now tilting up at the ends giving him quite a jovial aspect where a moment ago had been despair. “Because had I asked you that last evening I would not have gotten an answer at all.” The gentleman smiled at the ladies in the room and they all broke into first laughter, then a deafening clapping of hands.
Judith clamped her hands over her ears. “Please for the love all that is holy, stop that infernal noise and fetch me some willow bark tea.”
Larkin scurried away and the tall gentleman proceeded to look into her eyes, press on her wrist, and finally unwound the curious bandage around her head. “Your head hurts, Mrs. Harper?” He ran his fingers lightly over her head just above her right temple.
“Like a fiend is sitting on my shoulder hammering a horseshoe.” The pain subsided when everyone stopped making noise.
“That’s what you always used to say when you had a headache, Judith.” Her father came forward from behind the gentleman, his usually taciturn demeanor replaced by an animated countenance. “You’ve worked a miracle plain as day, Lord Farringdon. A miracle, mark my words.”
Lord Farringdon. Judith’s gaze darted toward the stranger. Who was this lord and why was he attending her? Where was Mr. Tucker who had served her and all her family since she could remember? Frowning, she asked, “Mamma, Pappa, who is this?” She glanced to Lord Farringdon. “You are acting awfully familiar for a gentleman to whom I have not been introduced. Where is Mr. Tucker? And where is Simon?”
The room went silent, all smiles wiped away as with a rag.
A Return to Life is a digital chapter book, the first chapter of my upcoming release, A Countess of Convenience which will release on March 30, 2021. It is the first book in a new series, Captivating Countesses, set in Georgian England and all four books of the series are based on secondary/minor characters readers met in Only A Mistress Will Do, book 3 of the House of Pleasure series.
A Countess of Convenience is available on pre-order on Amazon if you’d like to run over and snag your copy at the pre-sale price of $2.99. After the release the price will change to the regular price of $4.99.
And if you’d like to get a jump on things and meet all four countesses beforehand (Judith, Dora, Kitty, and Susan), why not grab Only A Mistress Will Do for your reading pleasure before the upcoming release? 🙂
I also hope you’ll return tomorrow when I reveal the official cover for A Countess of Convenience!
If you want to get a sneak peek of the cover, join my newsletter that will release today. Just click here and sign up. Newsletters go out once a month with news of sales, new covers, ARC copies, upcoming events and recommendations for other historical romance books you might like as well.