Please welcome author
Laura Frantz to Friday with Friends!
What a pleasure it is to have Laura Frantz with us today! She has a new book releasing this September called "Love's Awakening" and she's sharing a deleted scene from Love's Reckoning which will lead into the new book.
Deleted Scene/Love’s Reckoning
A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.
The hotel foyer was hushed, the clerk a bit wide-eyed as they came in. Silas paused at the desk, Eden alongside him. She glanced up the carpeted stairs, her breathing shallow. Had it only been hours ago she’d come down from her room, never daring to hope she’d return a bride? Her cheeks, stained from the heat of his kisses, had hardly cooled. Her tumbled thoughts stretched to their wedding day on the morrow. What, then?
“Have you ne’er kissed a lass these eight years past?” she’d teased when he’d taken her in his arms again in the carriage.
He’d laughed – a low rumble in his throat – not bothering to answer.
Now at the desk she marveled he was so composed when she was so…not.
“I’d like Miss Lee to be moved to the bridal suite, if you will,” he said quietly to the clerk as another couple came in.
“Of course,” came the obliging reply. “Anything else, sir?”
“Aye, fill the room with flowers as befitting Mistress Ballantyne.” The clerk turned away with a smile when Silas said, “Roses, I’m thinking. From the King’s Garden.”
Eden felt a delight clear to her toes. “Are you trying to bribe me, Mr. Ballantyne? Afraid I’ll change my mind?”
He could hardly check a grin. “Mayhap, Miss Lee…”
The clerk returned with a skeleton key which Silas grasped with alacrity, eyes on Eden. “Can I show you to your suite?”
“Our suite, you mean,” she whispered.
He took her by the elbow and propelled her up the carpeted stairs. “How early can this wedding be?”
She smiled, wishing he’d kiss her again, loving the unfamiliar, thrilling feel of him. “Best ask Reverend Herron, though I’m partial to mornings myself.”
“Aye, the earlier the better. That way I can be back at the boatyard by noon.”
She laughed, turning to him on the landing, thinking how good a little levity felt. “Tomorrow is mine, Silas Ballantyne. I’ll not let some old sloop woo you away from me. Not on our wedding day. Or night.”
He framed her face with his hands, his eyes dark with purpose. “I’ll wager I’ll not come out of the bridal suite a week.” His mouth brushed hers, sweetly-rough. She felt the beat of his heart, his banked desire. “Och, Eden. I don’t know if I’ll last through this night.”
She was dizzy with elation, nearly shaking. He left goosebumps at his every touch…
“Well, well. Things seem to have taken a turn for the better.”
They pulled apart, faces flushed yet hands still touching. Stephen Elliot was in back of them, coming up the steps, a look of undisguised pleasure overriding his surprise. “Miss Lee, when I last saw you, you were contemplating a ride out the Allegheny River road. I had no idea what would become of your foray.”
Silas smiled. “Mr. Elliot, allow me to introduce my bride-to-be, Miss Eden Lee, no longer of Philadelphia but Pittsburgh.”
Stephen swept off his hat and bowed. “So it’s to be Mr. and Mrs. Silas Ballantyne at long last?”
“On the morrow, else I can persuade her sooner.”
“Well, I’ll leave you to your persuading then.” With a wink, he turned and disappeared down the steps as quickly as he’d come up.
In the gentle flicker of the sconce affixed to one paneled wall, Silas took her in his arms again, trailing hungry kisses from her ear to the soft curve of her neck, her sigh of pleasure a promise of the joys to come.
Tomorrow would come none too soon…
Well, folks, did that whet your appetite? Be sure to look for "Love's Awakening" this September! I believe Laura plans to be around to answer comments and questions, so be sure to leave them.
Novelist Laura Frantz, was born into a family who followed the legendary frontiersman, Daniel Boone, to Kentucky during the turbulent 18th-century and still resides there today. Passionate about all things historical, she writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Celtic themes. Her family lineage is Scottish, English, and Irish.
According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." She is known for the depth of her characterization and research. The author is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.