Good morning. Monday is my birthday. And this year as they say, I’m feeling it. If you’ve seen the new Star Trek movie, Beyond, I can echo Captain Kirk’s sentiments in the opening log entry. In some ways, I wish this milestone hadn’t arrived, but the one thing I haven’t been able to do is stop the passage of time.
I’m sure the day will be great. The grandchildren always make me something special, and there’s usually a meal out as well as cards from friends and gifts from my parents, my children, and my husband, but for some reason, this year, I feel more mortal than ever before. Possibly it’s because of the horrors going on in the world–all the innocent people, especially children, and police officers being killed, or it could be because actors and musicians who were my idols have passed on. It could even be because this is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and I’m still older.
I sit and wonder why this year bothers me so much–the last time I felt this way was when I turned 30. I should be excited. These are interesting times. My fledgling career as an author is slowly getting off the ground, my sons are doing well, both in careers they love, and my daughter may have found her soul mate. What more can a parent want for her children? Maybe a world that’s a much safer place.
There’s no doubt American history is in the making. It was only in the last century that women were given the right to vote, and now one of them is running for President. Of course, the world at large has recognized the value of women in that position for a long time now. Indira Ghandi was Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1984. Golda Meir had the top job in Israel from 1969 to 1974. Margaret Thatcher led the UK from 1979 to 1990. Even Canada had a female Prime-Minister. Kim Campbell led the country for six months in 1993. Since then we’ve had several women as provincial premiers–right now there are three. If Clinton were elected President, she’d join another 22 women around the world currently holding their country’s top office. These include Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UK’s Theresa May. And of course, Queen Elizabeth I ruled England long before that! So, long story short, the idea of women in politics isn’t new. History should’ve taught that lesson by now. I wonder why it hasn’t.
Hoping to make myself feel a little better about growing older, I’m offering a piece of history to you. From now until August 5th, The Captain’s Promise, my historical romance set in the seventeenth century, is on sale for $.99 USD. Let’s go back to a time when women had to fight for any rights and then we can appreciate how far we’ve truly come.
The Captain’s Promise Blurb:
Etienne Blouin left Danielle de Cherbourg in tears, promising to return; he didn’t. Ten years later, Etienne learns she’s been widowed and left almost penniless. Now a wealthy ship’s captain, he offers to help her, but the only reply he gets is from her aunt telling him to leave Danielle alone. Convinced she’s in trouble, he determines to rescue her whether she likes it or not, even if it means losing her love. Danielle is shocked to learn that her companion is going to the colonies, while she is to marry a cruel and powerful man as repayment of her husband’s gambling debts. Despondent, she sees no way out of the horrendous situation. When her carriage is waylaid and she’s kidnapped, she fears the worse. Etienne has enemies who don’t want La Belle Rose to make port. Can he outfox them to save his ship and the woman he loves?
Excerpt from The Captain’s Promise
Marie hurried to the house, leaving Danielle to ponder her circumstances
How much more sorrow was she expected to endure? She’d lost Etienne ten years ago and her parents a few years later. She’d been forced into a loveless marriage to a man who had since died, leaving her in this precarious financial position. Marie spoke of a second marriage, but who would want a penniless widow? Her dowry, and now her inheritance as well, had all gone to pay for a sick man’s perversions. She shuddered, remembering Allain’s last visit. She didn’t mourn his loss.
When her father and mother had died, the wealth of Cherbourg had been split—half of Cherbourg’s value to her, but the title, the rest of the estate, her guardianship, and the management of her finances had passed to her Oncle Philippe. He’d owed the Viscount D’Estrie some sort of boon, and had paid it with her hand in marriage, an unhappy marriage doomed to fail before it had even begun.
With Uncle Philippe’s death last fall, control of the estate and its income had passed to her aunt, the Countess Paulette, who was guardian of the estate and its heir, her twelve year old son, Sébastien. The boy was a fop, overly concerned with his appearance, dressed in the court’s latest fashion, the only thing in the world that seemed to hold his attention. The new Count de Cherbourg deferred to his mother for everything. Danielle couldn’t expect any help from her young cousin.
Paulette meted out an allowance to Danielle, but the sum she’d receive this year wouldn’t even cover half of the debt owing. While her aunt couldn’t be considered a popular woman, she was a powerful one, with considerable influence. Danielle hoped she could use that influence to negotiate more reasonable terms.
She shivered, hoping those negotiated terms would be something she could handle with grace. Yesterday, she’d learned the Chevalier De Flambeau had purchased Allain’s surety from the usurer. The idea of being obligated to such a man didn’t sit well with her. He’d been Allain’s friend, but she’d never liked him. She’d caught him more than once, staring at her, lust evident on his face.
Danielle stood and closed her eyes. The roses weren’t in bloom yet, but in her mind, she could smell them as she had on the night of her sixteenth birthday. She leaned against the arbor wall, trying to hold back the tears of loneliness slipping from her eyes. She hadn’t felt whole since that night.
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