Sunday, December 6, 2015

'Bear Moon' by Ayn Bootham

***NEW Historical romance*** 

Ireland 1869. Constance O’Shea escapes from a life of misery and poverty by agreeing to marry American farmer, William Bull, after her father sees the notice for a mail order bride in a local newspaper.

But the ship voyage across the Atlantic Ocean brings her closer to a trapper known only as Curl and to whom Constance feels a dangerous attraction.

The pull of the wilderness and the dark forces within Constance drive her to a difficult choice – between the love of a good man and the passion she feels for a mysterious stranger.

****** “A clean American historical romance…”

****** “A mail order bride romance at its best...”

Read an excerpt:


Ring of Kerry, Ireland, 1869

She dreamed of him for the first time when she was ten years old. When she woke up, she knew it had been no ordinary dream and did not mention it to anyone. In the years to come, she would have the same dream again and again, of a tall man dressed in a heavy coat and furs, looking straight at her and speaking slowly in a low voice. His accent was foreign. But the message was clear. He asked her to wait for him.
She did not know what it meant or who the man was, for she knew he was a real person, of this she was sure. But he certainly was not from anywhere in Kenmare, where she lived with her father in a stone cottage up against a cliff.
Her mother had died years ago and since then, Constance had also lost a brother and sister. Frank O’Shea grew silent and worked harder to support what was left of his family, but like many other Irish households, they struggled in the years following the potato blight and sank deeper into poverty.
Then Frank started coughing. Constance hoped it would pass. But it was an affliction of the lungs that only grew worse. Soon he was unable to work. They sold most of their possessions, one by one, to be able to afford soap and candles. It fell to Constance to find food for the two of them each day. She learned about edible roots, scrounged for potato peelings or scraped shellfish from the rocks on the beach, cooking whatever she found in a soup for their supper. When she fell asleep at the end of the day, she was too tired to dream.
One evening, Frank called out to her and pulled her down to sit next to him on his bed of rugs and blankets in the corner of the cottage.
“I’ve a plan,” he whispered to her. As the rain sifted down outside, both of them shivering in their rags, he told her of the notices he had seen in the newspaper: American farmers seeking women to become their wives, to help them build a life out on the frontier. The men were also offering to put up the money for the passage by sea to the United States.
“You will be warm and dry, far away from this accursed place!” Her father’s voice became urgent as he spoke.
“You should leave this place,” he insisted.
She knew he meant Ireland as well as their family home, afflicted by bad luck for generations. There was no one left to help them and her father was growing weaker by the day.
And yet.
The man in her dream was not an American farmer, she was sure of it. Wasn’t his message a warning not to give in to her father’s wishes? But Constance knew she had no choice. Her father showed her the advertisement that had caught his eye. A young farmer called William Bull was looking for a good, strong woman to help him build a home in Montana, in northwestern America.
“Good? Strong?” Constance asked, unable to keep bitterness out of her voice.
Her father took her hand and squeezed it between his roughened palms.
“No one knows you there, child. You will be able to start over.”
He insisted, “Y’er strong, Con, stronger than all of us. Look at how you have survived here, all these years, soon, ye’ll be the last one of us left.”
Constance closed her eyes to keep the tears from running down her face. Crazy Connie. Cursed Connie. This was what the village children called her whenever she walked past. Threw stones at her. But there was no point wishing she was like them. She had always known she was different, meant for something else. Most of the village children worked the land or went into service at the manor houses in the area. But work was scarce now, even the lords were feeling the pinch. And none would want her near their children, anyway.
“Yes, father,” she said, closing her eyes. The time for dreaming was over, she thought. The dream could not feed her, would not clothe her. It had been a comfort over the years but it wasn’t enough. So she agreed to marry this William Bull as soon as she arrived in the United States of America and her father started drafting the letter he would write to the young man.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Due to the tremendous amount of spam I receive on my blogs, all comments are moderated and will be added throughout the day.