After Stone is wounded and thrust into an earldom, and Adele is widowed by an abusive husband, these star-crossed childhood friends meet at an English country ball, escape a kidnapper searching for a mysterious treasure, and depart for Scotland ahead of those intent on killing anyone in their way.
I have officially released my long-awaited book The Earl’s Treasure. The pandemic made so many things grind to a halt, though hubby and I managed a week on the beach curtesy of a relative’s time share unit. I decided I had to release the book now to get my readers through the holiday season with laughter, suspense, and romance. Even though I do not consider it a Christmas novel, it takes place in the weeks before Christmas Eve.
This is my 30th romance and having it set partially in Scotland is due to my love of that country. I have volunteered at the New Hampshire Highlands Games for over 25 years with family, but only recently discovered I am partially of Scottish descent. Ever since I wrote a book called Dragon’s Curse many years ago, the urge to write other Scottish historical paranormal novels grew. This book is not a paranormal. Instead, it is a spicy romance based upon a mysterious treasure that takes my characters from England, to Gretna Green, and beyond.
Excerpt from The Earl’s Treasure
Rounding a curve in the hillside, he spotted a thicket of dried heather and not the gorse bushes with their claw-like branches. Working his way higher, he pulled himself onto the road. Or, what passed for a road. It looked more like a slickened spillway, with mud-filled ruts, and icy edges. Up ahead he spied Satan lying on his side. “Not good.”
He loved his stallion.
The beast had saved his life during more battles than Stone cared to count. He thought nothing could hurt him more than the death of that special friend, until he perceived the splintered coach.
“Adele!” No answer, so he ran closer.
“Adele! Answer me, lass!” Still no answer.
When he reached Satan, the stallion raised his head. Stone untied him from the damaged coach, and the beast got to his feet. He couldn’t see any obvious injuries, but the icy pellets distorted his vision. If the animal was fine, he and Adele had a way out of the situation.
The sound of pounding hooves in the distance from the direction of Gretna grew louder. He climbed atop the side of the coach, which now faced the sky, and wrenched open the door. The coach shuddered, practically destroyed and totally empty.
“What the hell?” Had she climbed out and hidden? A good idea. He unhitched the team, slapped their rumps, and hoped they would continue running until they reached the castle. Returning to Satan, he pulled his stallion’s head close. “Run, boy. Keep hidden. If I do not whistle for you find the others.”
He slapped his stallion’s rump and the black beast flew toward Castle Bradan. Gazing at the soggy snow-covered lane while hailstones continued to slam against the coach and his head, tiny footprints gave him hope. He grabbed a broken tree branch covered with pine cones and needles and brushed his tracks into nothingness, as he followed her trail.
The hoof beats grew louder and closer. As he hurried around a bend in the lane, slow enough to cover their tracks, he felt inside his boot. The softness of the velvet pouch soothed his fingers and his mind.
“Thank goodness I did not place you with my extra clothing.”
He came upon a high wall built of loose fieldstones rising like the battlements of his grandfather’s castle. Had she found her way to the barrier? The tracks said yes. She must have climbed over and he hoped she had not injured herself.
He threw the branch up and over, then shoved the toes of his boots into small open crevices between the stones. Heaving himself up, he toppled to the snowy ground, before the riders slid to a stop, shouting at the carnage that was once Adele’s coach.
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I hope to write several other books that feature secondary characters from this book. I have recently released a tie-in novella titled Love, Hamish and you can find out how to get a copy FREE HERE
More About the Author
Nancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island. After attending Plymouth State, in New Hampshire, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and met and married her college sweetheart. They raised two handsome sons in Rumney, New Hampshire while dreaming of being a writer. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling snow became a chore, she retired from her satisfying job as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved to North Carolina, where she writes full-time.
Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. She finds story ideas in the most unusual places. Connect with her here:
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Thanks, Donn, for allowing me to share my new book!
Any time – this is one of my very favorites of yours!