VBT – A Struggle for Independence
Posted by authorcamilson
A Struggle for Independence
GENRE: Historical novel
Sometimes a woman comes to the realization that she has built the perfect life but with the wrong man.
It is 1916 Ireland, and Independence Mather has settled into a tedious routine in an arranged marriage when she meets an architect hired to add a wing onto her husband’s vast estate. She soon falls in love with the charming, attentive Nicky Bowers, but he has secrets to hide. When she discovers he is an Irish rebel, events propel her into the middle of the Easter Rising. Now she must decide whether to remain the wife of a British loyalist or risk everything to join the rebellion and be with the man she loves.
The flames danced and pirouetted like so many ballet members assembled on a stage, their movements mesmerizing, even hypnotic. The warmth, however, was wanting, with a single peat brick trying its hardest to do its job but failing like a tiny child not meant to go it alone. I felt sorry for it falling short of the success it strove so hard to achieve, and then I grew discouraged as the cold pervaded.
I lay on a bed of straw faintly scented with what must have been last year’s lavender blooms, as it was too early in the current season for them to make their appearance. The straw packed under my weight until I felt the pricks from shoulder to knee, and as I turned from one position to another, I eventually felt the hard dirt floor upon which the bed was laid. The blankets meant to cushion and warm me were worn so thin, I could see the outline of my clothes underneath them, and despite wearing several layers, I could not get warm.
Nicky’s breathing had been measured, but now I could no longer hear him, and I struggled to see him through the gloom. He lay facing me—that I was sure of—but the shadows prevented me from seeing the details my heart desired. We’d talked until he’d fallen asleep, seemingly unaffected by the cold, and now I longed to hear his voice again. Despite his height and his brawn, his voice was gentle and reassuring, so very different from Stratford’s brusque and impatient tenor.
Shivering, I stood and gathered the blankets about me as best I could and made my way to Nicky’s side. I dropped to my knees upon his straw, which was a great deal thinner than the bed I’d been given. I was surprised to find his eyes open and watching me.
“It will be warmer for both of us if…” my voice trailed off as I felt the heat rising in my cheeks.
He opened his blanket as if inviting me in. I crawled in beside him, my back to his front. Unlike myself, who was wearing every stitch of clothing I’d brought in an attempt to stave off the chill, he was wearing only a gray shirt and trousers. My cold stockinged feet found him, and he covered us with both our blankets and then wrapped his arm around me. I placed my hand upon his and snuggled more deeply against him.
“Are you warmer?” His breath tickled my hair as he whispered, his lips close to my ear.
“Yes,” I said. “Much warmer.” I knew he could feel the beating of my heart; it was thumping wildly in both my chest and my neck, and I felt as though I could not catch my breath.
He settled in behind me, and I tried to listen to the rhythmic breathing I’d heard when he first slipped into slumber, but it did not come. His arm grew heavy across me like a weighty coat determined to protect me from the chill. Then he shifted, his head moving down to my neck where his lips brushed against my skin.
I turned in his arms, and he came upon one elbow to peer into my face. The darkness enveloped us, and I found myself searching out his eyes with a longing to see into his soul. I placed a hand upon his face, running my fingers along his jawline, feeling the stubble that had formed there since his last shave. And then my fingers found his hair and intertwined around the thick locks.
“You don’t have to do this,” he said hoarsely. “I gave you my word.”
“I know. But I did not give you mine.” I pressed upward to find his lips, my own whispering across his, savoring the fullness and the sweetness before his lips parted, and he returned my kiss with a passionate one of his own. I became lost in his kisses, my body burning for his, the longing mounting within me. “You don’t have to do this,” I whispered when we pulled back for a brief moment. “Or do you want to?”
“Desperately,” he answered as his hands followed the lines of my body as if memorizing the bend in my back, the flare of my hips.
“I love your curves,” he whispered.
“I am a bit hefty,” I answered, suddenly self-conscious.
“Oh, I beg to differ,” he said, his voice becoming serious. “I love every curve. Your body might not be perfect, but it is certainly perfect for me.”
I felt as though a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders, and suddenly I felt like the most beautiful woman in the entire world. As if to drive home his point, he set about exploring each curve, and in the process, he set my body on fire. Mountains of clothing and blankets peeled away, and somehow, the peat grew warmer until the room was awash in our moans and our heat, our limbs intertwined, our skin glistening, and I knew with all the assuredness in my soul that I was precisely where I was meant to be.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 24 books in multiple genres, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer instructional, non-fiction and children’s books.
Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in the detection of white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.
A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries was her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22, released in 2008. Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee, and The Pendulum Files was a national finalist for the Best Cover of the Year in 2014. Her second series, Ryan O’Clery Suspense, is also award-winning. The Tempest Murders (Book 1) was one of four finalists in the 2013 International Book Awards, cross-genre category. Her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Songbirds are Free is her bestselling book to date; it is inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured in 1780 by Shawnee warriors near Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, TN).
She was the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She was the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime and served as its chairperson and organizer for its first four years. She also served on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County (NC) Public Library, the Robeson County (NC) Arts Council, Virginia Crime Stoppers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.
For more information, book trailers, excerpts and more, visit the author’s website at http://www.pmterrell.com.
p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Thanks for being here today. Please tell us about you as a person.
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was nine years old. Two things happened that year: my school principal encouraged me to write a story, and I won a school poetry contest. The combination of completing that first story on pieces of cardboard and walking across the stage to accept the poetry award hooked me. I was discouraged from my pursuit of writing as I neared high school age, and I ended up in the computer field. Years later when I was burned out from that work, I returned to my love of writing.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
At this point in history, I believe I’d like to hang out with Nostradamus. I would love to know if his visions of the future have become a reality, or if there are clues around us that we are missing. I would also enjoy hearing about his impressions of the future of humankind and this planet.
What is the story behind your latest book?
A Struggle for Independence is about Lady Independence Mather and her struggle between an arranged marriage with a cold and aloof man, and the Irish rebel she truly loves. I wanted to go back in time to show that all eras were filled with uncertainty. In 1916, The Great War was in full swing, and it often appeared as though the Central Powers could win against the Allied Powers. Though fighting had not yet come to Ireland’s shores due to its location as an island in the extreme western edge of Europe, all of that would change on Easter Monday, 1916. It was mainly led by a group of poets, writers, and actors that declared Ireland independent from England. When England intercepted information that the Germans were supplying the rebels with weapons and ammunition, they responded to Ireland’s declaration with a heavy hand.
What is your writing process?
I generally write in silence because I become concerned that words from a song could find their way into my writing. However, when I feel, I often turn to film. In two hours, I can get into the groove of a romantic scene by watching films such as The Lake House or a series such as BBC’s The Musketeers. I will watch documentaries regarding battle or historical information after I have thoroughly researched it, because the action on film provides that extra layer.
Tell us about your main character.
Lady Independence Mather is a quiet, unassuming woman that has been in an arranged marriage for more than a decade. She has fallen into a routine of walking from the main house past the horses she loves to a tiny cottage she has turned into her art studio. She lives her life through the paintings and sketches she creates, looking inward for the images and inspiration. All of that changes when her husband hires architect Nicky Bowers to build an addition onto their home. She falls in love with the attentive, charming man. He introduces her to a world she never knew existed, taking her to the Wicklow Mountains and further south, showing her how the average Irish citizen must live. As her heart begins to open, she discovers Nicky is an Irish rebel, and she is caught up in the rebellion known as the Easter Rising. Now she must decide whether to remain in a loveless marriage that will provide for her financially, or leave everything behind for an uncertain future.
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I would love to see Saoirse Ronan play Independence Mather. She is an Irish actor that grew up learning about the Easter Rising, the War for Independence, and the Irish Civil War, and I can easily see her transition from the insulated life of a British loyalist to the grit and determination required to join the Rebel forces. Plus, she has the accent down pat!
What are you working on next?
I am working on two books at present. One is a ghost story set in a dual timeline, which will be the sequel to April in the Back of Beyond. The second one takes the heroine in A Struggle for Independence into the Irish War for Independence.
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
It is a crowded field, and it is often challenging to break away from the rest of the pack to have your voice heard. Rather than market with a shotgun effect, it is best to identify which groups would be most interested in your work and then go after those groups.
What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
My favorite book tends to be the one I am currently reading. I find an author I enjoy and purchase whatever they write. Contemporary authors I particularly enjoy include Maggie Thom, Kathleen McGurl, and Susanna Kearsley.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I have been told I am a super organizer and planner. This was put to the test when I founded the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writer’s Conference and Book Fair. I have since handed it over to Robeson Community College, but I thoroughly enjoyed pulling everything together.
You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?
I would like to see the guardian angels that live among us. I often feel them and sometimes hear them, and I think it would be incredible if I could see them moving among us as well.
List 5 things on your bucket list:
- Live in Ireland.
- Live in a little white cottage.
- Live by the sea.
- Okay, so I’d like to live in a wee Irish cottage by the sea…
- And write there.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Check out https://pmterrell.com/a-struggle-for-independence/ for more information about my current book, including a book trailer and buy links. You can also view the book trailer on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gXjzd0Lmfz4.
Any final thoughts?
Thank you for hosting me here today!
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