Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word KNIFE

New TT imageAs I get ready to go and attend a family wedding, I found the time to post this week’s Tuesday Tales, the on-going weekly blog where books are born. Each week, we post a short excerpt based on a word or image. This week the word is KNIFE.

I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage, Book Two in the Canadiana Series.\

Enjoy.

Guy rubbed his chin. “I’ve sent men beyond Quebec and down to the region controlled by the Abenaki and Micmac. According to official records, in the colony itself, there are more than a dozen seigneuries controlled directly from France. My friend Nicolas Denys, the governor of Canso, assures me all of his men and those in the area are loyal to the colony, as are those in Acadia. Rumor has it, the French will reclaim that land within a year or two. Loyal Frenchmen have no desire to support the English should a battle occur, and as long as rumors of an Iroquois Confederacy joining the Abenaki are false, there’s no danger there. My concern is with men nearby, like those you mentioned and those whose lands are near des Courts’ estates. My scouts will check on those when they return in the spring. My other worry is rooted in the tall tales of rich furs and gold far to the south and west of the colony. Men down on their luck will believe almost anything if they think it will lead to untold wealth.”

Remi pursed his lips and reached for the knife on the table to cut a chunk of cheese from the block his wife had brought in earlier.

“I was afraid to mention those, but now that you have, a greedy man with no ties to the colony—no wife, no children, no land—will indeed be tempted, and since those are the very men we need to farm the land and defend us, you have every right to be afraid.”

Knowing his friend wasn’t finished, Guy waited, his fingers tapping on his glass as Remi, popped the chunk of cheese into his mouth and chewed as if by doing so the morsel helped him organize his thoughts.

“Whoever is spreading those wild stories is doing so faster than a skunk can poison the air. Two of my engagés whose debt will be repaid come the spring have already mentioned they would like to join an expedition going west to search for this mysterious treasure trove. Has De Courcelle authorized such an expedition?” He narrowed his eyes. “My men are good, strong workers who believe the governor-general is behind this.”

Guy clenched his teeth. “The governor-general has ordered no such expedition. Participating in such a venture is a crime against the colony.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Worn

New TT image

Welcome to another week of Tuesday Tales, the blog that takes you inside a book as it’s written. Each week we add a scene based on a word or picture prompt. This week’s prompt is WORN.

I’m continuing with The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series picking up the conversation between Guy and Remi from last week.

“Why would a man choose to live in a tropical paradise?” Guy asked, leaning back in the chair. “Because, above all else, it’s an incredibly rich and fertile volcanic island. It may be home to the fer-de-lance, poisonous snakes, but with good sturdy boots and vigilance, they aren’t an issue. Saint Pierre is well fortified and capable of fending off any attack from the English, Dutch, or Spanish, all vying to establish colonies there. I’m considering taking Izzy and our child to winter there once this threat of war and rebellion is over, but I would miss the beauty of the other three seasons far too much to make it my permanent home. Guyenne is also an attractive place, one that’s even warmer I understand. The ship we sailed on has taken up a post there to protect it from the Dutch and Portuguese. It’s on the mainland of South America. You might consider that, too, but I would miss you. This colony needs good men like you.”

“You have a point. Perhaps wintering there would be sufficient—as long as it controls the pain and makes life bearable.” He stood. “Would you like another drink while we wait? The others should be here soon.” He reached for the carafe on the table.

Guy crossed his feet shod in worn leather boots. “Thank you. Perhaps we should bottle this and sell it in France.” He chuckled. “The cognac and wine are readily available. All they would need is our maple syrup. Who have you invited to join us?”

Remi refilled Guy’s glass and his own then resumed his seat by the fire.

“I’ve sent runners to the eight estates around me, and all of them have agreed to come for an evening of cards. My wife and the servants have been cooking and cleaning all week, getting beds ready although, some who live nearby may opt to return home if the weather holds.”

“And how many do you think are on our side?”

Remi rubbed his chin. “I’ve no doubt the six men who were part of the regiment support our cause. One of them has already renamed his estate Trois Érables. The two who concern me are Charles de Michel and Sylvain Archambault. They were granted their seigneuries by  the company itself. They’ve been here many years, but the estates are poorly developed, their wealth dependent on the fur trade alone.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

 

Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word NAKED

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the place where books are born and raised. Each week, we add a scene to our on-going works-in-progress based on a word or picture prompt. This week, our word is NAKED.

I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series. Today, we leave the ladies to their dinner preparations and see what Guy’s up to as he delivers his invitations.

Guy sat across the table from Remi Lalonde, the seigneur whose lands abutted his own, sipping a glass of warm caribou. Between the heat from the fireplace and the wine and cognac mixture, nothing—other  than his wife’s arms—could’ve warmed him so well. Was he getting soft in his old age?

“Old Man Winter is flexing his muscles today,” Remi said, shifting in his chair, his previously injured leg propped up on a stool. “The sisters did their best with my leg, but on days like this, it’s as if the cold attacks the very marrow of my bones. I’m considering selling my estate to Etienne Marois, my brother-in-law who’s been managing it for me ever since the injury limited my movements. A man who can barely sit a horse can’t do much when it comes to clearing land and building houses.”

“What would you do? Return to France?” Guy asked, his eyes narrowed. He’d assumed Remi was on his side, but perhaps he was wrong.

The man shook his head. “There’s nothing there for me and it’s almost as cold there in winter as here, not to mention the damp springs and autumns. No. I’m considering moving to Martinique where the winter never comes and the pain would be so much less.”

The naked longing on his face reminded Guy of his own aches and pains. He’d wintered on the island just last year while recovering. Then, he’d gone to France and fate had taken over. How quickly life can change, but he wouldn’t trade his new life for anything. He had the woman he’d always loved and a child on the way. What more could any man want?

“I’ve been there,” he said, sipping his drink once more. I recuperated from my own injuries in Saint Pierre. It’s a magnificent place, warmer than Marseilles, and its beauty far outweighs its dangers. There’s plenty of land to be had, and sugarcane grows well. You could maintain your status easily.”

“Dangers?” Remi asked frowning.

“You mean in addition to the hurricanes and tropical storms that can destroy everything in a matter of hours? I’ve never seen one, but the governor was telling me about waves so high, they completely overran a small island, leaving the soil barren because of the heavy salt content.”

“Mon Dieu! Why would anyone choose to live there?”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word SOAKED

New TT imageGood morning and welcome to another week of Tuesday Tales, the on-going blog where books are born.  Each week, the authors involved add a scene to their work in progress based on a word or picture. This week, our word is SOAKED.

I’m continuing with The Price of Courage, my historical romance which is Book Two in my Canadian Series.

Enjoy.

“I worry about Guy. I know he’s only delivering invitations to next week’s party, but I can’t stop thinking that these as yet unknown traitors could ambush him,” Izzy said, removing the pinned garment to put on her dressing gown.

“Don’t fret. My son can take care of himself. Go and dress. I’ll get tonight’s venison stew ready. Once it’s on the fire, we can work on the baby’s quilt. Those squares with the embroidered maple leaves have turned out well.”

Izzy smiled. Her mother-in-law was a woman of few words, but those she shared were full of wisdom.

“We’ll be six for supper tonight, Tante Aline,” Sophie said, her cheeks turning a delightful shade of pink.

“Roger?” Izzy asked.

Sophie nodded.

“That’s the second time he’s dined with us this month,” Aline commented. “Are your officially courting?”

Sophie sighed, shaking her head. “I enjoy his company, but the thought of being intimate, bearing his children, doesn’t fill me with the same joy I see reflected on your faces.”

Izzy put her arm around her cousin. “Then, there’s no reason to rush it. If the young soldier is the one, maybe the feelings will come, and if they don’t the perhaps it isn’t meant to be.”

beansAline lifted the cloth from the bowl where she’d soaked the beans overnight.

“Life is unpredictable, ma chérie,” she said. “When Guy’s father died, I thought my heart had died with him. There were men in France, good men, who sought my hand, some as well-placed as the viscount, and while my life might’ve been that of the mistress of the house rather than its housekeeper, I couldn’t join myself to a man I didn’t love. No one was more surprised than I was when Henri walked, or should I say sailed, into my life. Wait for the right man, Sophie. Don’t compromise.”

“Like Maman, I was fortunate to have loved two men. I agree. I’m sure Guy can persuade the intendant to give you more time. And as far as Roger goes, make sure his heart and not only his stomach is engaged before you agree to anything. You’re a woman of substance. That may make you attractive as well. What man wouldn’t like to marry a woman who will provide him not only with a family but with money and the means to enter the colony’s aristocracy?”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word SILLY

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the on-going blog where authors share their current works in progress. Each week, the scene contains a word or picture prompt. This week the word is SILLY

I’m continuing with my historic romance, The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series. Enjoy.

 

Izzy stood in front of her mother-in-law as she made adjustments to her dress. With the onset of the pregnancy, she needed to remake some of her better gowns to allow for the growth of the child. While Aline was certain the babe would arrive in June, Izzy wondered if it wouldn’t be sooner. Her breasts were larger than they’d been—not that Guy was complaining about that—and her waist had thickened, with a definite bulge in her lower abdomen. If this was only the end of her first trimester, should the changes be so obvious?

“That should do it,” Aline said, removing the last two pins from her mouth. “I can adjust the rest of your dresses from this one. Matilde can do the sewing and have them all ready for you before you return to your home, although I do wish you and Guy were staying all winter.”

“As do I,” Sophie said, stepping into the kitchen where the women were working by the heat of the cooking fire.

“We’ll be here until Christmas,” Izzy said and chuckled. “By then, you’ll be well and truly fed up with us underfoot.”

“Don’t be silly,” Sophie said. “Having you around is never an inconvenience.”

Izzy nodded. “I’m glad you feel that way because Guy insists I come here for the delivery. He maintains his mother is the best midwife in all of France and now New France.” She frowned. “I’ll be happy to be surrounded by friends and family when the time for my confinement comes.”

She wouldn’t mention that one of the Huron woman living on the seigneurie had died giving birth to her child—a tiny, mewling infant who’d followed his mother to Paradise, leaving Anue with four others to care for on his own. Marianne Rioux had taken the children in and was now mothering  six, but the experience had been a sobering one for Izzy. If a strong, healthy, experienced woman like Veronique, her Christian name, didn’t survive childbirth, would she?

She jumped when Aline touched her arm.

“What’s wrong, child?” her mother-in-law asked, her face creased with worry.

Izzy smiled though she felt like crying. Here she’d escaped from a fate worse than death at the hands of the chevalier, and she was worrying about something over which only God had control.

“Nothing, Maman. I’m just overemotional these days.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word LEAF

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog where ideas become novels. Each week, those of us in this group post an excerpt from a work in progress based on a word or picture prompt. Each scene is limited to 400 words for a word prompt and 300 words for a picture prompt.  I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series. Today’s word is LEAF.

Enjoy.

Guy smiled and offered Patoulet more brandy.

“Thank you.” He scratched the back of his wig. “How will you approach the others?”

“I’ll host two soirées,” Guy answered. “One here for the seigneurs nearby, and another in Quebec at the governor-general’s palace for those in that area. Once winter is over, I’ll consult those on the south shore. In the meantime, I’ll use a maple leaf as a symbol of my commitment to the colony and those with me will do the same. Look here.” He held up a small wooden block on which a maple leaf had been carved. “This is my new seal. I intend to produce maple syrup and sugar, a fitting cover for my clandestine dealings. Slightly different seals will be provided for those who join me in the production of the sweet and wish this colony well. Who knows? One day our maple products may be as valuable an export as our furs, hemp, and timber. I’m hopeful we’ll outnumber the traitors.”

“And if you don’t?” the secretary asked, his eyes narrowed.

“Then, I will place my trust in Jean Talon’s quest to cut the head off the snake in France. When the traitors have no direction, they will have to choose to support the colony or leave it. Make no mistake. New France is here to stay. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to check on my wife. She carries our first child and has been quite nauseated of late. I will see you in the morning, sir. Sleep well.”

“And you. Congratulations on the child.

Leaving the room, Guy climbed the stairs to the room he and Izzy shared when they stayed in the settlement. It wasn’t the large room they’d once occupied, that one having been divided into two smaller ones, but this room was clean and warm.

He opened the door and smiled. Izzy sat in a rope chair, suspended from the ceiling similar to the sailor’s cots aboard ship. Using her foot to propel herself, she swayed gently to and fro as she knitted by the light of the oil lamp. She looked up when the door opened and grinned.

“How was your meeting?” she asked, holding out her hand to him.

He reached for it and pulled her up into his arms.

“Productive. Patoulet seems to understand the situation. Let’s hope the king does, too.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Posted in Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Mirror

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. This blog is devoted to sharing snippets of work in progress based on a particular prompt. Many of the books begun this way have gone on to become published novels.

This week the word prompt is MIRROR. Excerpts are limited to 400 words, so enjoy mine and drop by to visit the others as well. I continue with my historical romance,The Price of Courage, Book Two in my Canadiana Series. I pick up the conversation where it ended last week.

“My God, is that what you think is at the root of this?” Patoulet sneared, and sipped his brandy.

“Frankly, I don’t know, but either way, if word gets out among the trappers of these animals and cities of gold, more than one of them will risk his life in search of them. If this rumor makes it to France and to the ears of those whose greed is propelling them to betray the colony, then Lord help us. When a man’s eyes are blinded by his lust for gold, commonsense vanishes.”

The dismay on Patoulet’s face mirrored his own.

“But Coronado’s ravings were dismissed almost a century ago, as the blatherings of a lunatic when expedition after expedition failed to turn up the mythical cities of gold,” he said seemingly unable to take the threat as a real one. “No educated man would believe such nonsense. He did it to get the crown to fund his expeditions, plain and simple, and thus claim more land for Spain.”

“But don’t you see? That could well be what’s at the route of the dissatisfaction. Sovereignty over more land ultimately means more undisputed hunting and trapping space, and if there is gold or other fine metals to be taken from the earth, so be it.”

“Enough of these old wives’ tales and the ravings of a madman for now. This insurrection isn’t coming from some mythical place far beyond the Great Lakes; it’s coming from south and east of us, at the end of English and Dutch weapons and the arrows of their allies aimed at our settlers. I heard your mother talking. With a wife newly pregnant and two adjacent seigneuries, I would think you would concern yourself more with the here and now than fairy tales of cities of gold.”

“Believe me, monsieur. I know exactly what’s at stake here, and because I do, I’ll take nothing lightly.”

Guy clenched his jaw. Patoulet was the intendant’s representative, even if he didn’t have enough imagination to guess at what might be lurking under the snow and in dark corners, he did have the ear of the governor-general. It wouldn’t do to have them thinking he was a deluded fool himself.  He didn’t for a minute believe this was about distant gold, but the lure, whether real or imaginary could change things. New France needed all its men here not off chasing after dreams.

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales