Hello, my lovelies, and welcome to another First Kiss Friday! Today’s guest is my dear friend Elizabeth Ellen Carter who has an excerpt from her story The Ghost Bride in the anthology Upon A Midnight Dreary. Happy reading and enjoy!
“This is where I made the rubbing.” Jemima pointed to the stone.
Monty unshouldered his pack and went forward to inspect it. He pulled out a magnifying glass to examine the markings before taking a pencil and paper to make a rubbing of his own. He’d kissed her… yet that morning when they met at breakfast, it was as though last night had not happened at all. There was no awkwardness between them as they pored over the map, planning the day. And it was a day made for hiking, pleasantly warm with a hint of cool breeze off the sea. In short, picture perfect in every way, so much so that it would be tempting to imagine last night had been a dream.
Jemima frowned. If the apparition was a figment of her imagination, then Monty’s embrace and kiss might not be real either. Well, if he wasn’t going to raise the subject, then she wouldn’t either. She was a professional, after all. A writer, one who’d made a commitment to her editor for a series of riveting features.
“It dates to the sixteenth century without question,” Monty muttered, more to himself than her as he jotted down the stone’s measurements and location. “And you’ll be happy to know you’ve uncovered the crest of the Duke of Ashprington. I think we should try to follow the original path to the castle. It will take us along the edge of the gorge. There could be some outbuildings worth exploring along the way… Jemima?”
Oh – he’d caught her woolgathering. He regarded her expectantly. Clearly, he was wondering what she was thinking. “Why did you kiss me last night?”
Monty looked somewhat sheepish. “Shouldn’t I have?”
“Now you’re begging the question.”
“Ah, well, that will never do.” The mock gravity in his voice caused a spark of delight to run through her.
“Then I shall speak plainly, so there is no misunderstanding. I wanted to kiss you last night.”
“And now, in the broad light of day?”
He took a few steps toward her, close enough for her to touch but, maddeningly, just out of reach. “In the broad light of day, I’d like to kiss you even more.”
Jemima took the final step forward, touching a hand to his arm. “I’d like that, too.” Anticipation thrummed through her veins. His lips found hers. She breathed in his scent, a pleasing mix of pine and cedar. Her lips opened to his for a soft kiss. It was not quite chaste, but neither was she in fear of him ravishing her in the middle of the woods. It promised greater pleasures in the future.
England 1867 – A chance meeting on a train by travel writer Jemima Douglas and historian Dr Monty Rhodes is more than fortuitous – it is fated. Bound for the same small village in Devon, Jemima and Monty discover that an old church and an even more ancient castle are entwined in a mystery that spans centuries: whatever happened to Isabeau du Bois, the Tudor bride who disappeared on the eve of her wedding? Villagers say the mysterious figure which appears in the castle and the village is the Ghost Bride who beseeches lovers to try to uncover her final resting place. As Monty and Jemima are drawn deeper into the tale, hearts and lives are in danger.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Ellen Carter writes richly detailed historical romantic adventures that have been praised for their strong characters and ‘edge-of-seat intrigue’. She has published ten full length novels and numerous novellas and short stories. Her eleventh full length title, Deceiving The Duke, will be released early in 2022 by Dragonblade Publishing. A former journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. She lives in Australia with her husband and two cats.