“Where am I?” His voice held accusation, laced with warning. “What happened to the men on board my ship?”
The ominous furrowing of his brow held her in place, fearful of coming closer. She knew nothing of this man, shared only one common bond, the blood that bound them together.
From across the room, she watched him struggle to sit up. “I feel strange,” he said, running a hand across his face. Long, tapered fingers traced his cheeks as if seeking some familiarity before his hand dropped to his lap. “As if I’m not really here.” His voice shook with uncertainty.
Emma knew the disjointed feeling, remembered the questionable surge as the body adjusted, the heady rush of adrenaline shortly after transformation.
“Please…” The stranger’s voice broke through her thoughts. “What’s happened to my ship? All of my men?”
The soft glowing candle illuminated the inky darkness that had fallen as the last light of sun disappeared beyond the horizon.
She met his questioning stare. “The ship you speak of went down. Only charred and splintered wood remains, along with a few barrels of oil carried in with the tide.”
You just read an excerpt from:
Buy Link: The Wild Rose Press (available 5/2/2012)
Linda Kage: Today, we have Travis Howland here with us. The commander of a whaling ship, Travis is the hero in Teresa Blue's debut novella, Night Bird, which releases in TWO days from The Wild Rose Press.
So, put your hands together for Travis! Hey there, captain! The burning question in all our minds this morning is...Who IS Travis?
Travis: Travis - a name that’s French in origin; the definition: To cross over- or act as gatekeeper.
After reading Night Bird, I think you’ll agree it’s a fitting name. Although my mother had no way of knowing that, but then again, maybe she did.
I serve as the captain and commander of the whaling ship, The Falcon, and consider myself to be fair in dealing with my crew. Of course I can be harsh when necessary. Our lives depend on each man being able to do his part whether he’s riding the crows nest searching for vast herds, or harpooning the whale till she’s blows red.
But I can be dangerous as well. Especially to those who dare cross me or mine, as a former business partner is about to discover.
Kage: Ooh, that sounds ominous. But I won't make you go into what's going on with this former business partner of yours. I figure we can read about that for ourselves soon enough! So why don't you give us a peek into your head. What is one happy memory you have?
Travis: My parents had an obvious affection for one another that I’ve yet to see in other couples. They truly represented the best in our family. It was my father who encouraged me to follow my dreams, even it if meant my leaving home to become a seaman. He believed in me and rigged out my first ship. Ultimately, we formed a partnership with several other investors. He stood behind each decision I made, regardless if it were the right one, or a wise one.
If I were to choose a joyful occasion, it would be the memory of my 21st birthday when my father graciously gifted me with the Howland heirloom- a gold timepiece that he’d received at the exact age some years before from my grandfather.
Kage: Wow, I like it how you're so dedicated and close to your family. I have a big, close-nit family myself. But anyway, back to you!! Let’s skip to the stuff I want to hear about…this is a romance writer’s blog, after all! Before going into this story, what was your romance life like
Travis: Upon reaching an age when marriage was expected to be the so-called next venue, I avoided that entire process and took to the sea, preferring the gusty wind upon my face rather than the stale breath of some domineering mama hoping to shackle me to her daughter. I appreciate the loveliness of women, but I had yet to find anyone more beautiful than a full blown gale stinging my eyes and pelting my skin. Nothing’s quite as alluring as the waltzing dip of a slippery deck while riding out the waves of an impetuous sea. To me, the chase of conquering an enormous creature such as a whale has always been more exciting than capturing a milky maiden’s hand. And I most assuredly had planned to continue on in the reckless and daring fashion were it not for my untimely death.
Kage: Wow, it definitely sounds like you're quite the man's man. But alas, the lovely lady known as the Night Bird has come into your life, disrupting everything. What’s going on there, and why isn't your relationship with her like it's been with every other woman you've dated before?
Travis: I’m not one to kiss and tell, mind you, but the delightful acquaintance of Emma Samson has had its affect on me. I see you’re drawn to the edge of you seat. Plying for more? Hum…well yes, of course there’s been other woman. And even a few of them who I grew, shall we say…quite fond of. But from the first moment we met, Emma’s touch provided warmth. I had been cold in more ways than one and her tender administrations became a soothing balm to this blistered heart. You must understand that there have been countless times I witnessed men returning home after many months at sea only to find his bed occupied with another. I have shared countless cups with the poor, besotted fool who tried to drown his sorrow in a bottomless tankard. Bah! What kind of man allows himself to tumble head over heels into such a vulnerable state?
*Travis waves a hand*
Yes, that’s right. Don’t look so surprised. From the moment Emma cradled me in her arms and bestowed upon me her gift, I felt…Tingly? Mere words can not express the surge of life, shocking, invigorating unlike anything I’ve ever known. Stranger still, even as her lips uttered the words that I had died… I remained. Because of Emma, I found myself willing to walk, no, I found myself able to fly, past the doubts of uncertainty that would ground me, and into the clouds that shall carry me through eternity. All of this because she whispered ‘believe.’
Kage: Ahh. I'm liking the sound of this already. Tell us more!! What do you like most about her? And what do you like least?
Travis: The most endearing quality in Emma is her unwavering trust in mankind, people from every walk of life benefit from having known her. Certainly some are worthy but then again, there have been numerous cutthroats, thieves and liars that fell under her grace and in doing so, earned the opportunity to, um, clean one’s slate so to speak. Her eyes, a dark mossy green rendered me speechless, a hypnotic gaze capable of luring one confirmed sailor – me- from the depths of unchartered territory- I’m referring to my trip to ‘Davy Jones locker’ and my rather untimely demise. Emma offered the key to my deliverance.
And if I were to make note of that which I care the least? Would be the swill she poured for me in my weakest hour. Water! What kind of seafaring man settles for such a tepid beverage when he should be convalescing with a fine brandy!
Kage: How do you intend to handle this situation with her?
Travis: There’s nothing I like better than a challenge and this journey with Emma will undoubtedly be the ride of …well, not my life, for that has ended. But stimulating enough just knowing the two of us are joined through all eternity will be enough. Together forever, and then some.
Kage: Sounds like quite the plan. Lookin' forward to reading more about it...in two days! Thanks for stopping by, Travis, and gracing us with some eye candy--I mean, with your presence. Was there anything else you'd like to add before getting along on your way?
Travis:Travis woke to an ample breast smelling wonderfully feminine as a young woman reached across him to tuck a cottony sheet beneath his chin.
Only my gratitude, Linda. You’ve covered my story quite nicely and I appreciate the welcoming hearth, engaging conversation and the opportunity to meet new readers.I’d like to share another excerpt from the novella, Night Bird.
“What a pleasant surprise,” he muttered, shaking off the lethargic haze of sleep. Sunlight filled the room, beaming through lace curtains. He breathed a deep sigh of relief. Morning had at last arrived. The ponderous bed was solid, blissfully unmoving beneath him and he pulled the downy pillow low beneath his back to rest his shoulders against the towering headboard.
He’d been caught up in the most frightening dream. But finding himself warm and snug beneath a pile of covers and a handsome woman tending him led him to believe he’d simply consumed too much ale the night before.
The sweet fragrance of rose water drifted between them. His mind tried desperately to recall what had transpired the night before. “I seem to have forgotten where I am.” He chuckled and struggled to sit up straighter in the bed. The sheet dropped to his waist, exposing a dark mat of chest hair. Her gaze darted upward, her cheeks flaming scarlet. Sensing her discomfort, he quickly pulled the sheet across his chest and tucked the edges beneath his arms. “I’d thought maybe you and I were… that is to say… we…. Oh, never mind. It’s obvious we did not.”
She continued to blush despite the fact he’d swathed himself tighter than an Egyptian mummy. He sat perfectly still and marveled at the delightful glow, a persimmon pink that covered her neck, all the way to the top of her forehead. The miss was an innocent, not a barmaid he’d mistaken her for. “My head….” He rubbed the sides of his temples in a circular fashion. “I vaguely remember your face, but not the facts surrounding it.”
Travis watched as she paced the small boundaries of the room, noticed the way her slender figure moved across the floor. The dress hugged her body, outlining the round derriere hidden beneath as the skirt swayed with each step.
“My name is Travis Howland, although I’m certain that we have met before, have we not?” He couldn’t suppress the satisfaction of finding himself in the company of one so lovely. Her timid movements and charming blushes enticed him. The long months at sea left him eager for female attention, especially one as lovely as the woman standing before him.
She stopped in front of the window and looked out across the glistening blanket of water, then gave an anxious cough.
“Aye, we’ve met,” she said, across her shoulder as she feigned interest in the rise and fall of the water. “I fished you from the sea.”