New Release – Blood Fever by Simone Beaudelaire

Today I have a New Release for you from my friend Simone BeaudelaireBlood Fever is a vampire romance adventure.  I have read this book and loved it.

Blood Fever

 

Description1

It is the spring of 1945 and the War in Europe is ending, but in New Orleans’s French Quarter, the sultry nights conceal a danger even greater to the future of humanity. Standing alone against this ancient, bloodthirsty evil, scientist Philippe Dumont races against time to cure a disease that resembles yellow fever… but is not.

Budding researcher Daphne Delaney joins Philippe in hopes of preventing an undead despot from launching his own quest for global dominance. Daunting though the task may seem, neither Daphne nor Philippe can grasp the scope of the danger they face, nor of the passion they will find in each other.

From urban New Orleans to the depths of the bayou, Philippe must chase the monster who terrorized his youth to save the woman he loves. But the Vampire King will not rest until both lovers belong to him… for all eternity.

This is a steamy romance and includes graphic sex scenes.

Trigger warning: This book contains scenes of non-consensual sexual contact.

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Halloween Promotion – Amor Maldito by Simone Beaudelaire

Today’s scary story is Amor Maldito by my friend Simone Beaudelaire.  We also have an excerpt to give us a taste.

simone-amor-maldito-spanish

 

Description1

Evening in South Texas. The citrus scented breeze fans the palm fronds. Lovers linger in the growing darkness, hoping to steal a moment alone.
But their solitude is about to be shattered as legends of the Border come to life to claim new victims. Tragedy, love, terror and myth merge in this trio of tantalizing tales… 

 

Excerpt2

Yesterday, in class, he’d noticed she’d drawn his name on her notebook and put a little heart around it. That was all the invitation Ethan Miller required. He’d been eyeing Yesenia Morales for weeks, wondering if he dared ask her out.

The pretty Mexican-American girl had been his tour guide when he’d arrived on the campus of The University of Texas- Pan American three months ago, freshly out of the Marine Corps and ready to use his G.I. Bill money to pursue his goal of becoming an engineer. From the first time he’d seen Yesenia, he’d been possessed by an attraction the likes of which he could not remember ever feeling, in all his twenty-two years of life.

As he sat in an uncomfortable seat in the recital hall, staring at the black velvet curtains covering the empty stage, he remembered the day. He’d driving around the campus for over an hour looking for parking, and had been reduced to using the Wal-Mart across the street. Muttering and grumbling in the heat, he’d jaywalked across the busy road, earning the ire of drivers, who honked, receiving a one-finger salute in response. At last he’d arrived, drenched with sweat and far from certain about his overall freshness, at the student services building, where his frustration had melted like a snow cone in the sun. A soft, girlish voice cut through the crowd, though the speaker was invisible.

“Okay, it’s time to go. I’m not waiting for anyone else. Hello, everyone. Welcome to The University of Texas- Pan American. My name is Yesenia, and I’ll be showing you around today. This is the student services building, as you might know. You can pay your bills, sign up for financial aid, and meet with advisors here. If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you the rest of campus.” The crowd parted to allow the young woman through, and at the sight of her, Ethan was instantly enthralled. Yesenia was not just pretty, she was gorgeous. She had shimmering black hair, pulled into two girlish braids. They hung over each shoulder, tied at the ends with little flowers.  She was tiny, not quite five feet. She was also slender, but had lovely curves, revealed just a little in a skimpy sundress that countered the blistering South Texas heat. He’d looked into her big brown eyes as she passed him, and was lost. Those eyes made him want to do something stupid, like write poetry.

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Halloween Promotion – Darkness Waits by Simone Beaudelaire & Edwin Stark

Today’s scary post is for Darkness Waits by my friends Simone Beaudelaire and Edwin Stark.

simone-darkness-waits

Description1

Hunting for a creepy read this Halloween? Open the gate and cross the threshold into our haunted house of mixed tales horror. Sample a variety of nightmarish visions. From ghosts to ghouls, mutants to monsters and every kind of bloodsucker in between, The Darkness Waits offers a creature for every taste.

Will you dare open the gate?

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Halloween Promotion – Amor Maldito by Simone Beaudelaire

Today’s Halloween Promotion is for Amor Maldito by my friend Simone Beaudelaire.  There is also an excerpt to give you a taste.  I have read this stories and love it.

Simone Amor Maldito Spanish

Description1

 

Evening in South Texas. The citrus scented breeze fans the palm fronds. Lovers linger in the growing darkness, hoping to steal a moment alone.
But their solitude is about to be shattered as legends of the Border come to life to claim new victims. Tragedy, love, terror and myth merge in this trio of tantalizing tales…

 

Excerpt2

Yesterday, in class, he’d noticed she’d drawn his name on her notebook and put a little heart around it. That was all the invitation Ethan Miller required. He’d been eyeing Yesenia Morales for weeks, wondering if he dared ask her out.

The pretty Mexican-American girl had been his tour guide when he’d arrived on the campus of The University of Texas- Pan American three months ago, freshly out of the Marine Corps and ready to use his G.I. Bill money to pursue his goal of becoming an engineer. From the first time he’d seen Yesenia, he’d been possessed by an attraction the likes of which he could not remember ever feeling, in all his twenty-two years of life.

As he sat in an uncomfortable seat in the recital hall, staring at the black velvet curtains covering the empty stage, he remembered the day. He’d driving around the campus for over an hour looking for parking, and had been reduced to using the Wal-Mart across the street. Muttering and grumbling in the heat, he’d jaywalked across the busy road, earning the ire of drivers, who honked, receiving a one-finger salute in response. At last he’d arrived, drenched with sweat and far from certain about his overall freshness, at the student services building, where his frustration had melted like a snow cone in the sun. A soft, girlish voice cut through the crowd, though the speaker was invisible.

“Okay, it’s time to go. I’m not waiting for anyone else. Hello, everyone. Welcome to The University of Texas- Pan American. My name is Yesenia, and I’ll be showing you around today. This is the student services building, as you might know. You can pay your bills, sign up for financial aid, and meet with advisors here. If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you the rest of campus.” The crowd parted to allow the young woman through, and at the sight of her, Ethan was instantly enthralled. Yesenia was not just pretty, she was gorgeous. She had shimmering black hair, pulled into two girlish braids. They hung over each shoulder, tied at the ends with little flowers. She was tiny, not quite five feet. She was also slender, but had lovely curves, revealed just a little in a skimpy sundress that countered the blistering South Texas heat. He’d looked into her big brown eyes as she passed him, and was lost. Those eyes made him want to do something stupid, like write poetry.

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New Release – Devin’s Dilemma by Simone Beaudelaire

Today I have a New Release and First Chapter for you for Devin’s Dilemma,  book two of The Victorians, by my friend Simone Beaudelaire.

SIMONE DEVINS DILEMMA COMPLETE

Description1

Brighton, England, 1856.

For young solicitor-at-law Devin Bennett, building his career is his foremost goal. Love and the future are far from his thoughts. So when he makes a business connection to Sir Malcolm Fletcher, his main concern is to disentangle the man’s complicated finances.

The last thing he expects is Harry. Lady’s maid and chaperon to Fletcher’s daughter, Harry is an intense, intelligent and interesting girl Devin can’t stop dreaming about. But Devin is aware Harry is hiding something dark from him, something that might just tear them apart and whisk Harry off to the far side of the world and into a dangerous situation.

From the sea-swept beauty of Brighton to exotic Bombay, the Bennett family saga continues in another tale of love beyond the limits of injustice.

chapter

 

“Harry! Harry, please come here. I need you.”

With a sigh, Harry put her book aside and rose to stand. Her feet ached in her cousin’s too-small boots and her second-hand petticoats drooped to the floor. I have to make time to alter this monstrosity. But she knew better. The petticoat had been tripping her for months, and yet, when she had a chance, it was a novel, not a needle, that drew her attention.

“Harry, please hurry!”

Harry hurried down the hall from her small bedroom under the eaves to her cousin’s larger room on the second floor, careful to keep her noisy boots confined to the soft black and rose runner lest they boom like thunder on the floorboards. A racket like that would certainly draw Uncle Malcom’s attention… again. That’s the last thing I want.

She wrestled the cranky crystal knob on her cousin’s bedroom door until the catch conceded to release, and slipped into the room.

“What is it, Fanny?” she asked. But even as she spoke, Harry knew the answer. Her cousin, Fanny, stood in the center of her room in her underwear, muttering under her breath as she laced her corset to the carved mahogany bedpost. Her pale forehead shone with sweat and her black hair clung to it.

“Fanny, stop,” Harry urged. “We tightened that thing already, remember? You don’t need to do that.”

“It’s not enough,” Fanny whined, her rosebud lip poking out into a pout.

“Why not?” Harry crossed the floor and smoothed Fanny’s hair back. “It’s not necessary to turn yourself inside out, you know. You have an enviable figure. Why tight-lace?”

Fanny looked down at her generous bosom, her tiny waist, artificially narrowed by years of tight-lacing, and her perfect, round hips. “Once William proposes to me, then I’ll loosen my laces, but until then… I can’t let my guard down. What if I have to make another match?”

Harry closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her own, much looser-fitting garment restricted her, but not to the point of dizziness. “You won’t,” she insisted. “William adores you. He has your father’s permission to court you. You’ll be his bride before you know it, but what happens if you pass out tonight? You’ll miss all the fun, and they’ll have to loosen your laces anyway.”

Fanny’s pout in no way diminished. “That’s easy enough for you to say. You don’t have to worry about finding a worthy husband.”

Harry bit her lip. “You’re right.” And how kind of you to remind me I’ve gone from a poor relation with few prospects to a domestic with none. Then she sighed. Fanny’s comment had not been made from cruelty and Harry knew it. “At any rate, I still think you’ll be fine with it the way we had it. And you won’t need to worry. Heaven forbid if something were to happen to William, you’d have a line of suitors waiting to claim you whether you tight-lace or not.”

“Do you really think so?” Fanny’s huge blue eyes widened until they seemed to swallow up all of her pale, heart-shaped face.

“I know so,” Harry replied, patting her cousin’s shoulder. “Now, why not bathe your face in some cool water and let’s get you dressed. You have a big night tonight.”

Fanny beamed, no doubt thinking of her beloved William, and Harry relaxed. Her cousin’s obsession with her looks bothered the bookish young woman, but she had to admit, they were more likely to win her a comfortable existence than any tome ever written. It’s not like you would have been popular anyway, Harry Fletcher. Not with your… she let the dangerous thought trail off. Taking slow, deliberate steps, carefully placing her shoes on the floorboards so as to avoid stomping, she approached a massive wardrobe in a dark, carved wood. Red-paneled doors gave way to rows of hanging dresses, each one worth at least as much as she earned in a year. Harry pulled out the midnight blue and lace ball gown her cousin had commissioned for tonight’s dinner.

“It’s dreadfully hot,” Fanny commented as she splashed cold water on her face.

“It is,” Harry agreed, carefully removing the dress from the wardrobe and laying it out on the gold brocade bedclothes. “Did your father say when we’re leaving?”

“To Brighton?” Fanny turned away from the ewer on her mirrored commode and approached the window, parting the curtains a crack to peer out onto the loud and dusty street. “He said it depends on me. If I can bring William up to scratch in the next week or so, we’ll have to wait until all the arrangements are made. Otherwise we’ll leave next week and he’ll have to catch up with us there… or wait until next season.”

Harry grimaced. Fanny was sure not to like either of those options. I suspect there’s to be a great deal of pouting in my future.

Fanny turned from the window and Harry carried the corset to her, settling it around Fanny’s perfect figure and beginning the laborious fastening process. Thank goodness she didn’t tighten it any more. That can’t be healthy. But Fanny didn’t worry about her health, only about her beauty, so Harry had no choice but to accommodate her.

***

Devin tossed the document onto his desk with a sigh, then threw his hands into the air, upsetting a cup of tea, which spilled over his paperwork.

“Damnation,” he growled, flinging himself to his feet and sweeping as much of the tepid beverage as he could away before it could stain the wood. The will he’d been drafting was ruined and he’d have to start over. “I love my job. I love my job. I LOVE my job!” he reminded himself. “Anything is better than that noisy, sweaty factory with Father and Chris telling me what to do.”

Taking a deep breath, Devin screwed up the paper and tossed it in the bin. At least you didn’t upset the inkwell, dolt. Too aggravated with himself to restart the document that had taken him several hours to prepare, Devin rose carefully, managing for once to avoid hitting his head on one of the low rafters, and ducked into the out-of-doors in search of a cup of tea that didn’t endanger his paperwork.

Exiting his place of business – little more than a box hung with brown brocade curtains – Devin blinked in the sparkling June sunlight and rambled down a street lined cheek by jowl on one side with a row of brightly colored but narrow homes. On the opposite side, adjacent to the building in which his office formed a small portion of the first floor, other shops and businesses competed with each other by decorating picture windows with gaudy displays of lace, hats, toys, cigarettes, and other goods and services, just waiting for the first influx of holidaymakers from London. Après moi, le déluge, Devin thought irreverently. Not that he was going anywhere. His business remained fairly steady regardless of the socialites who tended to flood Brighton after Midsummer’s Eve. Only a week to go now. A week and the lovely solitude of the coast, which refreshed him after long hours hunched over his too-small desk in the semi-darkness, would be crowded with pretty and expensive-looking young ladies, trying desperately to be noticed by a gentleman who was titled, wealthy, young, handsome and kind. In short, a phantasm.

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Halloween Promotion – Ode to Autumn

Today’s Halloween offering is Ode to Autumn ~ A Season of Change, wonderful dark stories and poems by a talented group of authors.   I will put up my story to give you a taste.

Ode to Autumn

Introducing~ An Ode to Autumn~ A Season of Change… An anthology of dark and deadly poems and short stories from over eighteen acclaimed, award-winning Indie authors, hosted by Linell Jeppsen!

Through The Porthole

Ch’kara SilverWolf © Copyright

 

Rhea had recovered from the passing of David; he had been her best friend as well as her lover. Although she had settled down into the daily routine of living, there was a part of her that was lost.

Her friend Kat had offered her some time out at her house in the mountains. She was looking forward to the solitude, time to think, to sort out what she wanted from life. To recharge and get herself ready to start life anew, instead of the mindless existence she had been drifting through.

She arrived at the cottage on a sunny November day, it was looked beautiful as she came up the drive, which was filled with gorgeous flowers, and the cottage looked warm and friendly.

She opened the door, and stood for a moment looking around; she had been here before with her friend and loved the peace and tranquility of the place. Walking into the kitchen with its oak furniture and pots hanging above the workbench, she discovered that the neighbor had been over and turned on the power and water, also she had left a basket of fruit and the essentials in the fridge such as milk, bread, butter, and eggs. They were such nice people, also in the fact that they would not come around uninvited.

The note with the food told Rhea if she needed anything, to call, otherwise she would not be bothered by anyone. They had been told she wanted quiet time and they understood. Over the next few days, Rhea slept late and took long walks, enjoying the fresh air and peace. She began to feel alive again, she could almost perceive of a new life.

One morning, she woke to the sound of rain on the roof, as she lay there listening, feeling in a sense, cleansed by the rain, she realized she could hear a window banging, so pulling on her slippers and bathrobe, she went upstairs to see where it was coming from.

At the top of the landing was Kat’s room, the sound was definitely coming from there and although she had not been in there before, she did not want anything to be damaged by the water. She went in and closed the window, checked there was no water damage, and as she scanned the room she thought how lovely it was. A big brass four-poster bed with a canopy draped in antique lace. Pillows of all sizes gave the bed a soft inviting look.

Rhea then turned back to the window; it seemed odd to be there. It was round like the window in a ship, a porthole, she stared at it for a while trying to decide why she was drawn to it, then noticed that the frame surrounding it was carved with intricate symbols. She had never seen anything like it, as she stood there; she reached out and traced her fingers over it. It was almost like a compulsion to do this, all of a sudden she pulled her hand away and stepped back, she thought she had seen somebody reflected in the glass. She spun around thinking there was someone in the house, but the room was empty.

Her heart was pounding; her mind was racing with all the possibilities of what it could have been. She was reluctant to focus on what she was really thinking could have happened. Could someone be looking through the glass at her? This seemed impossible as she was on the second floor, her analytical mind did not want to accept this. She knew her friend Kat was open to unusual phenomena, but not her. If you didn’t have a solid explanation for something, then it didn’t exist.

With her heart still pounding, she stepped in front of the window again; she was determined to discover the ‘logical’ explanation for it. So far, everything was normal, and then she put her hand up and once again traced the symbols.

There was a flickering, so steeling herself, she kept tracing them, suddenly the flickering stopped and she could see another room through the glass. There was a man standing there, he turned as though he sensed somebody, Rhea was stunned, standing there transfixed. Then he smiled, he had dark hair and deep brown eyes, which came alive when he smiled.

“Hello, don’t be frightened, my name is Jean-Claude, you must have traced the symbols, that could be the only way we are here like this.”

Where are you? How did you get here? I don’t understand this, it can’t be real, oh god, I must be having a breakdown.”

Jean-Claude saw how agitated Rhea was. He was afraid she would leave. “Please don’t go. Tell me your name, I won’t hurt you. I promise to answer any of your questions. I am as real as you are, you must know Kat, or I think you wouldn’t be here.”

“You can’t be real, this is not logical.” She lowered her head into her hands thinking that when she looked again it would all have been an illusion. However, when she looked up there he was looking out at her only this time she could see his hand on her side of the porthole.

“Please don’t be afraid, what is your name? I promise I am real, see you can touch me.”

Rhea stepped back in fear, no this cannot be true. She ran from the room and slammed the door. What should she do? If she phoned Kat, she would probably think she was going mad. All her friends were so worried about her and had wanted her to see a doctor, a shrink, but there was no need for that, she was perfectly sane. Or was she? She went to the kitchen to make coffee, maybe if she cleared her head it would all make sense to her. She sat with the steaming coffee in her hands thinking how much she wished that it was a glass of wine instead. She had been drinking far too much since David had passed and therefore one of her reasons for being here was to be away from that temptation.

She dressed and walked in the beautiful gardens. This was normal and how it should be. She spent most of the day outside and as the sun began to set she returned to the house. She turned on all the lights and prepared something to eat. She laughed nervously, this was so silly, and it had all been such a stressful time for her she must have been imagining it.

After her meal, she went upstairs and hesitated outside Kat’s room. Maybe she should just go look, and prove to herself it had been her imagination. She went up to the porthole and there were the symbols. They looked perfectly harmless, just a beautifully carved decoration. She couldn’t stop herself, she felt compelled as she stepped closer and once again trace her finger around the symbols. The same shimmering occurred and she could see the other side, although there seemed to be nobody there. She tentatively put her hand up to the glass, and her hand went straight through, as though it didn’t exist. Just as she was about to bring her hand back something grabbed her. She screamed and struggled to pull her hand out of the porthole, but something was pulling her in. Oh god, how was this happing to her? She fought harder, but the more she struggled the more she was pulled in, she thought her arm would be pulled from its socket. Then one last pull and she felt as though she was falling. She hit solid ground with a bang and quickly jumped up. Standing in front of her was Jean-Claude.

“How did I get here? I want to go back, you can’t keep me here.”

He laughed, and suddenly it sounded so sinister. “Oh but I can my dear. You are mine now; Kat promised she would send me a new toy to play with. We are going to have so much fun together you and I.”

Rhea threw back her head and screamed and screamed but no one came. Everyone was told to leave her in peace. A peace she would never know now.

Jean-Claude took her hand and she shivered in fear. “I think my dear, the moral of the story should be. Never put your hand where you think it should not go.” With that, he laughed loudly as she ran to the porthole and banged her hands on the glass; for once again it was solid. There was no escape.

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First Chapter – Keeping Katrina by Simone Beaudelaire

Today’s First Chapter is from Keeping Katrina by my friend Simone Beaudelaire.

Keeping Katrina

Description

The 1840s: A time of increasing social awareness, particularly for progressive cotton mill owner Adrian Bennett and his son and business partner Christopher. But one social issue Christopher has never considered much is violence against women. A Robert Browning poem and a chance encounter with Katerina Valentino change everything.

Katerina is in fear for her life from her father’s constant beatings. That is, until Christopher becomes entranced by the delicate dark-haired beauty, and decides that he must rescue her from her father–by marrying her. But Katerina’s years of abuse have left her physically and emotionally scarred. And those scars threaten the newlyweds’ hope for happiness. Is Christopher’s tender affection enough to help Katerina heal her broken spirit?

Chapter

“You want me to do what?” Christopher Bennett looked aghast at his mother.

She returned his gaze levelly. “It’s not so much to ask, son. She’s a lovely girl, and I just want to introduce you to her.”

Christopher rolled his eyes in disgust. His mother was such a romantic, sometimes it drove him mad. He counted slowly in his mind, trying not to snap at her, his eyes taking in their surroundings. They were standing outside the family’s factory, a massive brick structure with billows of eye-stinging smoke pouring from several chimneys. Even from the street, the sounds of the steam boilers and the clanking of machinery were quite loud. Inside it was deafening. The streets around the factory were filthy with ash and soot and the buildings surrounding them, tenement slums, sat forlornly under a blanket of garbage and dirt. The chill, humid air clung closely to the mother and son standing outside the massive edifice, moistening their skin with a slightly musty dew. A little breeze picked up, sending the cold straight through his coat, which he had flung hastily over his shoulders and left unfastened, and her wrap, and both shuddered. When the wind had passed the tenement, it had picked up a vile aroma of human waste and unwashed bodies. It was a terrible place to live, so close to a factory, but for thousands of the poor of London, there was no choice. None of those desperate souls worked for the Bennetts, though. Christopher and his father paid wages too high for that. Their workers lived quite comfortably in comparison.

A small and skinny child sat on the step of a tenement, dressed only in a thin nightgown despite the biting January cold, playing with some unidentifiable piece of trash. The scene did very little to soothe Christopher’s temper, and his voice, when he spoke, was harder than he intended.

“Mother, I’m much too young for you to play matchmaker with me. I’m nowhere near being ready to get married.”

“What a shame. You’re twenty-four, just the age your father was when we got married. Please, son. I’m not asking you to marry her, just to let me introduce you.”

“Why?”

This time she had to take a moment. She hated being here. While she approved of what her husband and son were doing in this factory, she despised the heat and noise and filth of the place, not to mention its squalid surroundings. Tenements like this one were a breeding ground for the cholera epidemic which was currently sweeping through the slums.

Besides, she didn’t want to explain everything yet. She had just had tea with her young friend, and listened to the sweet-natured musician play the harpsichord, beautifully as always, and then she had seen something so… she shook her head. It wasn’t the first time she had encountered such heartbreaking marks on the poor girl, and Julia longed to take her away and keep her. But alas, Kat was her friend, not her daughter, and she had no right to interfere. Today, however, an idea had struck her. There was a way to make Kat her daughter, to wrest her from the care of that monster. It was an impulsive plan, fraught with potential disaster, but here she was anyway. She had left the house for the factory the moment the visit had ended. The cab in which she had ridden was waiting at the edge of the street to take her home again.

Christopher was looking at her expectantly. But what to tell him? Something true… but not the whole truth. Not yet.

“Because she’s not very popular, and there’s no reason for it. I want everyone to see there’s nothing wrong with her.”

“Why do you care?”

“She’s my friend.”

“How old is this woman?” His eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Don’t look at me like that. She’s not a dowager. She’s nineteen, I believe, and quite pretty. Please son, can’t do you this one thing for me? Just meet her?”

Christopher knew it would be futile to refuse. His mother was a sweet woman, but could be very stubborn. Since she had decided he needed to meet her friend, she would not let him hear the end of it until he did. Better to get it over with quickly. “Oh, all right then. I suppose you can perform the introductions tonight. I’ll meet her. I won’t promise to dance with her though. If she’s some kind of pariah…”

“Oh no,” his mother said quickly, “just a bit shy, a bit of a wallflower. Nothing more.”

“What’s her name?”

“Katerina Valentino.”

“Italian?”

“Her father is. Katerina, as far as I know, has lived in England her whole life. She looks rather Italian, but her manners and speech are very English.”

“I see. Well, fine. Tonight, at the ball, I’ll allow you to introduce us, but that’s all. Any further actions I take will be decided by me.”

“I understand, son.”

Christopher stalked away.

Once he was out of sight, Julia sagged with relief. If he would meet Katerina, it would be a start. Something had to be done to help that poor girl about whom she had come to care so deeply, and Julia was willing to give all her resources, even her firstborn son, to accomplish it. She only prayed it would be enough.

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