Janelle’s Time is temporarily NOT AVAILABLE for sale.
I will be updating the book, designing a new cover, and will
release it as Janelle’s Time, Second Edition as soon as I can.
Would you like a sneak preview of Janelle’s Time?
Check out these Excerpts!
“What about the skeletons,” Anthony asked. The mood in the room turned somber.
Sinjin closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The grisly discovery had upset him greatly. “The remains were carefully taken from the room and buried in a large common grave in our burial park on the other side of the river. There is, of course, no way of knowing who they were, when they died, or why.”
Janelle sighed. “We know the answers to all of those questions.”
All eyes turned to Janelle who looked at Sinjin, waiting. No one spoke. Sinjin had thought the matter closed, and was glad of it, but now there was more information. Did he—or anyone—really want to know?
Finally, Sinjin knew it was up to him. “Continue, Miss Janelle.”
When she finished the story, Sinjin summarized, “You’re telling us the bones we buried were the original Grayson family—the ones descended from Henry Grayson—and others who lived in the keep in the thirteen thirties …,” his head slumped as he took a long, audible breath, stroking his chin in thought, after which he lifted his eyes to Janelle, “… and that a band of Gypsies just walked in, took over, and herded the entire population of the castle into that room to die.”
Janelle held his gaze, and dipped her chin in affirmation.
Sinjin continued. “You and Richard were there … and heard the Gypsy interloper say … that he and his people forced our ancestors and others into that room and sealed the doors. And you were there because you can … time travel.”
The door opened and Richard entered. Janelle stared at him, forgetting to breathe. He was dressed in royal blue, except for his black boots, and a white shirt with a cravat at his throat, and white lace cuffs at his wrists. The waistcoat fit snugly on his lean body. She blushed at her thoughts.
He smiled, reading her face. Innocently, he asked, “Is something amiss, my lady?”
Her breath exploded from her chest. “N-n-n-o!” She forced herself to look away.
“Then, pray tell, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Um, nothing … nothing at all. I’ve, uh, I-I’ve never seen you in blue before. I don’t recall ever seeing you in anything but black. Blue suits you.”
Richard bowed deeply. “I’m glad you approve, my dear.”
Janelle looked at the bed where Maura had laid out her garments for the day: a long, blue plaid skirt of lightweight wool that matched Richard’s outfit perfectly. The white blouse was long-sleeved and sported lace at the high collar and wrists. A blue bertha with long black ribbons completed the outfit. There was no doubt they would turn heads when they made their entrance.
Richard regarded his lovely bride. With his hands clenched, he lowered his voice and, looking around to make sure they were alone, he growled, “Oh, if I could have my way, my lady, I’d toss you on this table and take you here and now. Unfortunately, ’tis not possible for we still have guests.” Eyes blazing, he assumed an almost menacing demeanor as if to intimidate her. “Later, however ….” With his body, he forced her backwards against the table, where he reached out and cupped her breasts through her blouse, thumbing the nipples. “I have plans for you.”
Janelle, breathless, eyes dark with desire, looked as though she might swoon. “Oh, my lord,” she breathed. “Whatever will you do to me?” The back of her hand against her forehead, she closed her eyes, awaiting his response.
“First, my lady, I will plunder your sweet mouth, and then …”
“All right. Stop. That’s quite enough, you two.” Anthony, laughing, knew exactly what he’d interrupted. “I certainly can’t blame you for wanting each other the way you do. I’m glad you were able to work out your problems.”
While everyone was sipping the fine wine and offering their congratulations, Janelle looked around the room. Someone or something was setting off alarm bells in her head. Finally, her eyes met those of a well-dressed gentleman sitting alone off to one side. His eyes were impossibly blue, but icy. She shivered, feeling the cold.
Sinjin started introducing the guests. Everyone present was a Lord or Lady something. Their names and titles scrambled together in Janelle’s brain. She fervently hoped she wouldn’t have to call anyone by name.
When Sinjin introduced the well-attired gentleman as Lord Statler, her eyes met his again. She looked away and shivered. Sinjin added that Lord Statler was alone for the evening, as his wife was visiting her sister in London.
He has a wife? She shivered yet again, the intensity of her misgivings about this man intensifying.
Lord Statler made his way through the group to greet Richard. “Richard, you devil. Leave it to you to find such a beauty. You always did have luck with the ladies. If only my wife were so beautiful.”
It was Sinjin’s turn to shiver. He was worried. This knowledge was something Nick was not likely to let them take home with them. “I say, Lord Statler. We invited your lovely wife to our gathering last night, but it seems she’s in London visiting her sister … indefinitely.” Sinjin took a deep breath. “Is she really in London … or is she dead, too?”
“You are too clever, Lord Grayson.” Nick smiled, but there was no warmth there. Even Richard trembled at the visage. Where was his childhood friend, the one with whom he’d climbed trees and gotten into all sorts of mischief?
“But, alas,” Nick continued, “she is indeed in London, visiting her sister.” He sneered, contorting his face in obvious loathing. “She won’t come home, however, and that’s not good news. You see, I must have an heir, and quickly. Under the circumstances, I need another woman. I have no problem with the child being a bastard. If it is a male child, I’ll recognize him, and he’ll inherit my lands and title.”
“I see.” Richard’s blood froze—he suddenly knew where this was going, and he didn’t like it. Unquestionably, he now believed Janelle; Nick had already tried—twice—to take her. And now, he knew why.
Eleanor smiled and stepped aside. “Oh, Miss Janelle, I think you’ll see this visitor.” Sarah swept into the room. Eleanor put Sarah’s bag inside the door and withdrew.
“Janelle?” Looking at her sister, she was shocked at how thin and sickly she looked.
“Sarah?” Janelle started to cry. “Oh, my goodness!” She held her emaciated arms out to her sister, who rushed to her bedside for the hug.
“Maura sent me a letter saying you needed me, and begged me to come, but to please leave my children home, if I didn’t mind. Mind? A vacation from them is a welcome treat. Since it sounded like an emergency and Martin’s away on business, his mother is watching my brood. So, I’m here for the duration. What’s going on? Why do you look like death warmed over?”
Janelle turned and looked out the window, silent. Maura, not wanting to waste a moment, outlined the events in England. Sarah sat, transfixed, mouth agape. “All this happened since the wedding?”
Janelle nodded slowly, still looking out the window.
Maura added, “She’s pregnant.”
Sarah hugged her baby sister, noting again how sickly she appeared. “Oh, Janelle, that’s wonderful. A baby.”
He left here obsessed with getting to you. He even asked if Agnes MacKendall could time travel.”
So why hasn’t he come home yet?
“Likewise, there’s something you should know. I’m pregnant.”
Susannah’s heart sank. Thoughts crashed into each other in her mind.
Oh, how wonderful!
Oh no! What if they can’t settle their differences?
My baby’s having a baby!
Will I ever get to see this child?
My baby’s having a baby!
“How do you feel? You look like you’re taking to being pregnant quite well.”
“Not at first. The first two months I was horribly sick. Maura sent for Sarah to come to help me—and she has. It’s been wonderful having her around for several weeks. I’m feeling fine now.”
“Obviously. Sarah, we thank you for being a big help to Janelle when she needed it.”
“I had to come. Maura made it sound like an emergency—and it was. My mother-in-law is watching my children as my husband is away on business. I’m just happy I was able to help.”
“My dear, I can’t do time travel, but I can do this.” She pointed to the center of the room. Janelle inhaled sharply. Two life-sized ghostly figures danced there, gliding soundlessly across the floor, whirling slowly. When the shock passed, Janelle was able to focus on the dancers. The woman looked familiar. She was wearing a pale yellow empire waistline dress, popular in the early part of the century.
“That’s your mother, Janelle. That’s Adrienne. Can you see how her gown covers her pregnancy? It would’ve been scandalous for her to appear in public that far along.”
“I do look like her,” Janelle spoke softly, not wanting to disturb the dancers.
“The man is your father. He was about thirty-six at the time and so happy. His Adrienne was having a baby. The baby was you.”
“He was so handsome when he was younger. And she was …elegant,” Janelle breathed. “It must have been a match made in heaven.”
Maura chuckled. “Oh, no, my dear. They fought long, loud, and often. They also made love with the same lust for life. They loved each other like no couple I’ve ever known—even you and Richard.”
Anthony found where Jack had entered the canyon—the shoes on his hooves had left fresh marks on the rock. Silently, he prayed he wouldn’t find horse and rider at the bottom of the ravine. He walked his horse through the canyon, and saw in the dust where Jack had stopped and Janelle had dismounted and then walked him for quite a distance. Then he spotted where she’d watered him and, it appeared, remounted. While he didn’t know where they were, he was relieved to know they were fine.
Back at the farm, when Anthony reported he’d seen where she had gone up through the Old Mountain Pass, Richard sucked in a breath and paled visibly. “No, Richard. Don’t worry. They made it. I saw where she got off Jack and walked with him to a spring. Apparently, she mounted and they continued. They were well past the dangerous area by that time.”
Richard exhaled. “But where is she now?”
(More to come.)