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Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today is our continuation of our time with Dayna Leigh Cheser.
Dayna is the pen name of author Julie C Jordan.  Julie has provided a character interview with Janelle and Richard.

Character Interview
 ‘Janelle’s Time’

This is the full transcript of an interview, plus an extra off-site chat, I did with Richard and Janelle Grayson at their home on beautiful Lake Galloway in New Hampshire – in 1833. 

JCJ: Today, I'm here at the home of Richard and Janelle Grayson, the lead characters in my book, ‘Janelle’s Time.’ I'll be talking with them here in Galloway, New Hampshire. I'm so looking forward to this interview. From what I've heard from them already is amazing. They've been married just a short time, but have had enough adventures to last most people a lifetime. OK, without further ado, I'd like to introduce Richard and Janelle Grayson. Hello to you both.

JMG: Good morning, Dayna. Welcome to the LeDuc Farm. We're glad to have you here.

JCJ: Thank-you Janelle. It's so beautiful here. And those horses! I've never seen such gorgeous horses. Those foals are so cute! Richard, you're English, are you not?

ROG: Right, Miss Dayna. I grew up in the English Midlands, outside the town of Melton Mowbray, on my family's estate, Devonwood. My father, who now lives across the Lake Galloway at Englica, is the former Duke of Devonwood. The horses you see in the pasture here are the Devonwood breed. Father spent many years developing the breed, which we raise here, and at Englica, as well as at Devonwood in England. My mother, the Lady Susannah, Duchess of Devonwood, acts as hostess for my brother, St. John, who is the current Duke, and, I might add, the area's most eligible bachelor. *wink*

JCJ: You have two brothers who are also here, correct?

ROG: Right. Anthony will likely take over Englica when Father returns to England, and Edward is itching to go off on his own to explore the American west. I also have a sister who lives with her family near Devonwood.

JCJ: And you're the youngest.

ROG: Right. By English law, only the oldest son can inherit, so St. John was born to become the next Duke. Younger sons often have a military career, or, sometimes, a religious calling, or they can fend for themselves. Father bought what is now Englica to give his younger sons skills for life.

JCJ: Interesting. It's very different from how it works in America. Janelle, you were born here in Galloway, and have lived on the family farm all your life.

JMG: That's right, Dayna. I'm the youngest of the LeDuc children. My siblings all live in New England. My oldest brother and his family live in Boston where he owns a successful international trade business. My sister, Sarah, and I are close, although I don't get to see her as often as I'd like.

JCJ: So, how did you two meet?

JMG: Since Richard, his father and his brothers arrived in the area some years ago, we'd seen each other at various functions in town and around the lake, but had never been formally introduced. My father died suddenly about three years ago. After grieving privately for several months, I knew I had to move on, so I went, alone . . . big mistake, by the way . . . to my father's grave. I was so overcome with fresh grief that I collapsed right there in the cemetery. Richard happened to be passing by on his way to town and rescued me, delivering me home safely. We decided to go riding together the next day.

ROG: Right. We had a splendid ride that day. It was a perfect day in every way. However, on the way back, our horses spooked. When we investigated, we encountered a strange blue light in the woods. When we approached, it disappeared. However, something wasn't right. Long story short, we found ourselves in England, around 1300.

JCJ: WHOA! I'd be interested in hearing all about that.
Well, that's all we have time for today. Stay tuned for more of our interview with Richard and Janelle Grayson next time, when we'll learn more about their trip to Olde England!

JCJ: Hello again. We're back with Richard and Janelle Grayson, the lead characters in my book, ‘Janelle’s Time.’ By the way, I should tell you that we've done a little time travel to do this interview . . . the year is 1833.
So, where were we? Oh, yes. Richard, you were on your first date together when the horses spooked and you ended up time traveling to Olde England. Tell us about this little side trip of yours!

ROG: First, we stayed hidden in the woods until we could figure out what happened. It was confusing because things just didn't look right. That we were in England never entered my mind. Why would it? However, it was obvious that a different place had to be a possibility.

JMG: As the scope of what had happened dawned on us, we realized that we'd traveled a great distance in a matter of seconds. But still, the idea that we'd traveled in time, well, we couldn't even imagine that one.

ROG: After finally realizing that we were far from home, in more ways than one, we approached the small castle near the stream. The people there welcomed us warmly. It was shock when they told us the castle was Devonwood. These people there were my ancestors.

JCJ: Your ancestors? WOW! You met your own ancestors?

ROG: Yes, Miss Dayna. And everyone had blond hair and blue eyes. As a history buff, I found touring the castle very enlightening. Um, don't tell anyone but there were 'secret rooms.'

JCJ: I'll never tell! *chuckle* Blond hair? Blue eyes? Secret rooms? My head is spinning.

ROG: Each lord controlled the lands and the people surrounding his home. Raids on neighboring castles and homes were common with the winner of the skirmish taking anything of value as the prize, even the property. It's one way that lords added to their holdings. My ancestor thought to thwart the process by keeping things of value in secret rooms. The room we saw was empty, but we weren't shown the others.

JMG: Yes, those secret rooms. The old Lord Damian gave me a beautiful ring that had come from one of those secret rooms. When I put the ring on it produced a blue light, similar to the blue light that had sent us on this journey. When we left the castle, I had a theory on how to get back home. Fortunately, it worked.

ROG: Right away, Janelle asked her companion, Maura, about her mother and her mother's family. Janelle had heard that her mother's family was somehow special but, up until then, she'd had little interest in finding out what 'special' meant. Suddenly, it seemed very important!

JMG: My mother died giving birth to me. It seems she had a secret other life. Maura told me that the female members of Mama's family, going back into the mists of time, had certain powers.

JCJ: What kind of powers? Richard, why are you smiling?

ROG: Oh, I'm just remembering. It was a trying time indeed!

JMG: Most of the women were highly skilled in the medical arts, but a few, and I'm among those, have other powers as well. Most notably, I am able to travel in time. I find time travel fascinating and have become quite skilled at it.

JCJ: You time travel using the blue light from an orb, like that first time?

JMG: It's not as simple as all that, but, yes, I can go where - and when - I want to, at any time, sometimes to Richard's dismay. We agreed, however, to not use time travel simply because we can. There are considerations to take into account. Our presence in another time, particularly in the past, can easily affect the future.

JCJ: Interesting. I hadn't considered the problems that time travel could precipitate.

ROG: Exactly. So, we carefully consider what our presence in another time could do before we go, if time allows.

JCJ: Richard, you courted Janelle while she grieved for her father, Eventually, you proposed and she accepted.

ROG: Uh, well, not exactly. I never actually proposed, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Finally, Janelle simply accepted. We were walking out by the lake one beautiful afternoon. The words just wouldn't come.

JCJ: So, Janelle proposed. *chuckle* Then, there was your wedding. From what I've heard, it was a particularly unforgettable event. We'll save that for next time.
Well, friends, that's all we have time for today. Come back next time when we continue our chat with Richard and Janelle.

JCJ: And, we're back! It's such a beautiful day here in New Hampshire. Let's get started. So, Janelle, I'd like to hear about this unforgettable wedding.

JMG: What about our return trip to England?

JCJ: What? You went back? Why?

ROG: She cooked up some crazy idea about returning the ring after Maura said she'd seen either that ring, or one just like it years before. Janelle said she thought it needed to be in the secret room for the person who was supposed to have it; that she shouldn't have it. So, we went back.

JCJ: Let me guess. Things didn't exactly go according to plan?

ROG: To say the least. When we arrived, Gypsies were looting the castle. They were having a grand time of it, I might add. We jumped ahead in time a bit so as to not be in the thick of things. We discovered then that the Gypsies had attacked and taken over the castle, assuming my family name. The people we'd met on our first trip were all dead.

JCJ: Oh no! Janelle, trouble seems to follow you around.

ROG: Indeed!

JMG: Richard! You wouldn't have it any other way, and you know it!

ROG: She's right. Anyway, we decided to keep the ring.

JCJ: And then, you got married.

JMG: That was not without problems, either. At the last minute, Richard wanted his family at the wedding, so the day before, we went to England, collected them all and returned home.

JCJ: Nice touch. THEN you got married?

ROG: No. Not yet. Then, Janelle came down quite sick. We postponed the wedding until she recovered. We finally stood before the preacher only to have the service interrupted in the middle by an uninvited old friend of mine with a big problem.

JCJ: It just doesn't stop with you two. Richard, your friend had a problem?

ROG: Right! He blamed me for the death of Minuet, the French love-of-his-life from when we were in Paris after school. He was out for revenge. Logan, in a towering rage, is a truly frightening sight.

JMG: I'll say! He's big! He's tall! He's rumored to be a pirate! And, he was angry!

ROG: Maura rushed Janelle back upstairs where she'd be safe while my father, my brothers, Janelle’s brothers, and I tried to sort out this little difficulty with Logan.

JMG: A little difficulty? It was a standoff! Logan wasn’t backing down. Richard's father and the others tried to reason with him to no avail, and this with all the guests watching. But, a friend of mine, Rachel, caught Logan's attention.

ROG: Logan and Rachel are now at home in Scotland, with their daughter.

JCJ: Wait a minute! Stop! My head is spinning. What did I miss? Scotland?

JMG: Logan is the Scots Duke of Muileach, Rachel is now his Duchess. But, wait. There's more.

ROG: After the wedding came the wedding night. *sigh* Let's just say that the party-goers downstairs were having a better night that we were.

JCJ: You're kidding! What happened?
JMG: Ah, I don't think that's necessary here. But, Richard's brother, Anthony, came to our room and stopped Richard from leaving.

JCJ: Leaving? Richard? What on earth . . . ?

ROG: Like Janelle says, it's not necessary to elaborate on it except to say that, obviously, we managed to work it out.

JCJ: Obviously.

JMG: The next day, there was a quick trip to Scotland to show Logan his castle a three-hundred years ago - and we met the then-Duke.

ROG: We had to get even with Logan for disrupting the ceremony. It was almost funny except that we were in a bit of danger there. The Lord of Muileach was highly suspicious of us. We had to leave quickly. 

JMG: Then, there was the ill-fated wedding trip to England.

JCJ: Ill-fated? Let me guess, more problems?

ROG: You could say that. We returned the English relatives and stayed in England for our wedding trip. A childhood friend of mine tried to kidnap Janelle - twice. He’s in an insane asylum now. After that, we decided to take a trip down to London - without using Janelle's powers. Along the way, I was mugged and left for dead. That night was disastrous. I was unconscious for nearly a week and woke up with amnesia. I wasn’t up and about twenty-four hours when …

JMG: Um, the end result was that Maura and I returned to New Hampshire, without Richard. I didn't know it then, but I was pregnant.

JCJ: Richard, what did you do to precipitate this situation?

ROG: One evening, I went down to the common rooms and ordered an ale. There was a pretty serving girl there . . .

JMG: Richard! You're really not going into such detail, are you?

ROG: U-m, no, of course not. You're right, my dear.

JMG: Yes, and I'm afraid we're going to cut this interview short.

ROG: Right. U-m, I must get out to the barn. I need to look in on the new foals and do some of the never-ending chores.

JMG: And, I really need to get upstairs and tend to the children.

JCJ: Very well. Thank-you both for your time. Perhaps we can continue this interview another time.

JCJ: Hello again. We're so pleased that Richard and Janelle Grayson, the main characters in my book, ‘Janelle’s Time,’ have agreed to continue with the interview. And, I'm very happy to be back in beautiful New Hampshire to continue with their story.

ROG: We're glad you're here, too. We're sorry that we had to stop the last time. The discussion was getting a little tense, if you know what I mean.

JMG: Right. We just were not ready to answer certain questions, if you know what I mean.

JCJ: Of course. Let's see. Where were we? Oh, yes. The wedding trip gone awry. No, wait. First, Janelle, you mentioned a kidnapping almost in passing. You were almost kidnapped?

JMG: That occurred right on Devonwood, the nerve of the man! He actually tried twice! The night we arrived in England, Sinjin, which is a nickname for St. John, by the way, and Lady Susannah hosted a dinner in our honor. One of the guests was Nick, Lord Statler, a childhood friend of Richard's. When I walked into the room, I sensed a presence and shivered with trepidation, but didn't know why. I could feel Nick's eyes burning into me. It made me very uncomfortable. Later, Richard suggested we walk in the garden.

ROG: While we were in the garden, Sinjin came running out and called for me to go with him to the barn where a mare was having trouble birthing a foal. Of course, with Janelle's blessing, I left her alone in the garden and went with Sinjin.

JMG: Richard hadn't been gone but a moment when Nick appeared out of the shadows and grabbed me. Naturally, I screamed and fought him, but he was so strong. It was quickly clear that his goal was to get us into the boxwood maze at the center of the garden. I struggled to escape and was able to hinder his progress. I knew if he gained access to the large maze, I would be at a big disadvantage in finding my way out on my own. Just as we got to the entrance to the maze, I was in a position where I could do some damage, if you know what I mean.

JCJ: Oh my! Ouch!

JMG: Right. Nick dropped me and fell to the ground, howling in pain. I ran from him, screaming and crying. Suddenly, I ran into a man. Thinking it was Nick, I fought like a banshee at first, but it was Richard. He'd heard my screams. Inside the castle, Richard calmed me, then we talked about this attack by Nick. His memories of his childhood friend wouldn’t let him believe Nick was capable of attacking a woman so there was no resolution. I went to bed while Richard returned to the barn, then stayed up and talked with Sinjin for most of the night.

ROG: I had a hard time believing this of Nick. 

JMG: The next day, Richard and I were out riding with Sinjin. We'd stopped for a bit and the men were talking about horse breeding and training. I rode around in the field for a while, when out of the nearby woods came a rider bent on catching me. It was Nick. He chased me, but my horse was faster so I got back to where Richard and Sinjin were talking before Nick could catch me.

ROG: We were talking about the situation – how Nick’s parents had died and he’d inherited, and then got married. I wasn’t convinced that this would make anyone stalk and try to kidnap someone. Then, who should appear but Nick. Suddenly, I understood. He was quite mad. He confessed to us that he’d grown tired of waiting for his parent to die so he could inherit, so he killed them. He married soon after to get himself an heir. But, his wife had recently gone down to London ostensibly to visit her sister. Rumor had it that she wasn't coming back.

JMG: So, Nick decided I would be a suitable replacement, whether I liked the idea or not. He’d said he’d acknowledge any male babe from our union. It seems I had no choice in the matter.

ROG: Nick pulled a gun on us and announced his plans. He wanted Janelle and would kill Sinjin and me to get her. I've been in a few scrapes in my day, but looking down the barrel of a gun can quickly put things into perspective. Still, I wasn't about to let Nick simply ride off with my wife! He'd actually have to kill me first.

JMG: I fainted dead away. Richard and Sinjin fought Nick, who did shoot Richard, by the way, and eventually overpowered Nick who proceeded to fall into complete madness. It was really sad. Devonwood guards delivered Nick to the authorities. He's in an insane asylum now, while Sinjin is taking care of his estate and his tenants.

JCJ: *pause* Oh! Can I breathe now? This is just an incredible story. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were making it all up!

JMG: *laughing* Well, there's so more to tell, but we'll talk about that when we get together again.

JCJ: So, friends, be sure to be back here next time for the next installment. I don't know about you, but I'm eager to hear more. How about you?

JCJ: We’re back with Richard and Janelle. Let’s see now, we left off the last time with you about to tell us of your ill-fated trip to London. I seriously don't know if you can top the kidnapping story!

JMG: *chuckle* I'll try. Richard convinced me to take the trip in the conventional way – by coach – so I could see more of England. On our last night before reaching London, I was really tired so I went to bed early. Richard went down to the public rooms of the inn where he got himself quite drunk.

ROG: H-m-m. Bored, I guess. After a while, I knew I had to clear my head so I stepped outside and across the road where I watched the river traffic for a while. Then, the lights went out. I'd been hit over the head and robbed by some thugs.

JMG: Maura heard the commotion and went to investigate. She found Richard, out cold and presumed dead, laid out on a table in one of the public rooms. She cleaned him up and paid some sailors to bring him upstairs. He was unconscious for several days. When he finally woke up, he remembered nothing.

ROG: Indeed. Nothing is hardly the word for it. I couldn't remember a single thing before waking up. That was an experience I'd just as soon not go through again.

JCJ: You said in an earlier part of the interview that this ended with 'disastrous results.' What did you mean by that?

ROG: Well, let’s just say I hurt Janelle very badly and let it go at that.

JCJ: Really Richard, my readers want to know what happened!

ROG: Not here, not now. It’s very difficult to talk about.

JCJ: Ah, I see. OK, then, let’s move on. What happened after that? Obviously, you got your memory back and you’re none the worse for wear.

JMG: He didn't get his memory back right away. It was very disconcerting having this person who looked like Richard and sounded like Richard but was just a shell of a person who didn’t know me, his name, the date or where we were. For some reason, he thought my name was Angel. His little escapade downstairs really hurt me. I retreated into myself. Rather than continuing on to London, we reversed track and headed back to Devonwood in hopes the familiar surroundings would spark the return of his memory. I worried about doing more damage if I used my powers to shorten the trip. It was a long, miserable trip. When we arrived there, I took an unused bedroom and locked Richard out. I awoke early the next morning and had Maura pack our things. We came back here, just the two of us.

ROG: When I woke up that morning, Janelle and Maura were gone; already back in New Hampshire. At that moment, my memories returned, all in a huge rush. It was almost overwhelming. I knew then what I'd lost. I packed my things and headed for Liverpool where I hoped to find a fast ship to America. I simply had to get back to Janelle. Unfortunately, there was only one ship leaving that week. It was a derelict vessel but it didn't matter. It was several months before we eventually put into Portsmouth after a grand tour around the Caribbean and up America’s east coast. I hired a horse and rode to Englica. The next day, I rode to the LeDuc farm.

JMG: In the meantime, I had discovered I was pregnant. I was so sick. Maura was concerned about my survival so she sent for my sister, Sarah, who came and spent some time with me. She snapped me out of the depression and set me on the road to health. One day, on a whim, Sarah and I traveled to Devonwood but Richard wasn’t there. His mother told me he’d left the same day Maura and I had. By then, Sarah had started to miss her family so she returned home. Then, one day, Richard arrived. I went outside to see him. We talked a bit, and then he realized that I was pregnant and . . .

ROG: I blew it. Until the day I die, I will never know why but I very stupidly asked if the babe was mine.

JCJ: Oh, Richard, no! You didn’t! Based on experience, it's safe to say that didn't go over very well.

JMG: My brain couldn't process this. My feeling for Richard were very ambiguous as it was because of what he’d done at the inn outside London, but this was more than I could take. I flew back to the house. I was angry. I was hurt. I never wanted to see him again! It was a very bad time.

JCJ: I would think so. We’ll find out more the next time.

JCJ: We’re back with Richard and Janelle. Today, we'll talk about the long over-due reconciliation that, like so many other things, didn’t go very well. Richard, you were telling us that you made a big mistake in questioning the parentage of Janelle’s unborn baby.

ROG: Oh, indeed I did. I paid dearly for that slip of the tongue. Janelle ran back into the house, crying. Maura came out and banned me until after Janelle had the babe. She didn’t want Janelle unduly upset and I certainly seemed to be very good at that. Back at Englica, I told my father what happened. Another big mistake! He was so upset that he kicked me out, too. I didn’t know where to go until I remembered Janelle’s brother in Boston. I rode to Boston and stayed with Gerard and his family for the winter.

JCJ: So, you spent the rest of Janelle’s pregnancy in Boston.

ROG: Right. I learned a lot about Gerard’s trade business in the process, but I was miserable just the same. Nights were the worst. When my time in exile passed, I returned to Englica. A few days later, a message came from Maura that Janelle had safely delivered of a baby boy and that I could come for a visit. I was ecstatic. I knew I could make things right and we’d be husband and wife again, if you know what I mean.

JCJ: Richard! So, what happened next?

JMG: I had decided I didn’t want to see Richard again - ever. I’d named the babe after my father and my brother-in-law, and used my maiden name as I was entertaining the idea of ending the marriage. I don’t think I could have actually gone through with that, but I was hurt and angry.

JCJ: Richard, I’ll bet you weren’t happy about this turn of events.

ROG: Most certainly not! Janelle's father, Gerard, God rest his soul, had been between us from the start. I can’t - and I won't - compete with his ghost. I had chosen the name Damian Gerard Grayson, honoring both my father and hers in so doing. We fought long and hard on just that one point. She's incredibly stubborn sometimes!

JCJ: You must have come to some sort of agreement – I mean, you’re together now.

JMG: It wasn’t easy. I’d put distance between us, uncertain if I wanted to stay with him. There were a number of issues but one by one, we resolved them. I have to admit that I tried to have the best of both worlds – have a husband, but have freedom from being a wife at the same time. Maura pointed out to me that I was being so cruel keeping Richard at arm's length for so long. I realized I had to make up my mind. Did I want him to stay, or not?

JCJ: Obviously, he stayed.

JMG: Yes, he stayed, and in no time flat, I was pregnant again, this time, with twins, although we didn't know that until the birth.

JCJ: Twins? But you are so petite!

ROG: She very nearly died. As it was, she stayed in her bed for the last 3 months. The doctor in attendance was useless. “Let nature take its course,” he said. If we’d done that, Janelle surely would have died, and the babes with her. My father solved the problem. We had several mares dropping foals at that time, so my father implored our Irish horse manager to come to the house to save Janelle and the babes. Naturally, the Irishman balked. But, he realized that babes are babes, after all. It about drove me crazy with that man so intimate with my wife, but it really was the only way. In a very short time, the twin girls arrived, surprisingly healthy and the Irishman returned to the barn and his horses.

JMG: The girls are beautiful. Adelle is every inch the little lady. Little Moria looks exactly like my grandmother. There’s something about her . . .

ROG: They are both very beautiful, like their mother.

JMG: Our son, Damian, looks just like his father. He’ll be ‘tall, dark and handsome’ one day, a real lady-killer. *chuckles* And, his grandfather spoils him rotten!

JCJ: You’ve got an incredible family. So, what are your plans for the future?

ROG: We have horses here that are the beginning of a great business. The two farms will be the American distributors of Devonwood horses. We have all the other responsibilities of the farm, too. We’d like to show off our growing family to the English family sometime soon. The future is bright, especially now that my ladylove and I finally have it together.

JMG: Yes, there’s all that, and I want more children. We have a lot of living to do. Life will never be dull.

JCJ: M-m-m, for sure. Well, thank you so much Richard, Janelle, for spending the time with us to tell your story. We wish you luck in the future. So, this concludes the interview with Richard and Janelle. I hope you enjoyed it. This couple certainly has an interesting life.

JCJ: Here's an update from Richard and Janelle. They have news to share about Moria, one of their baby twin daughters. While not word-for-word, here's what I remember of our chat.

JMG: Dayna! Hello there! 

JCJ: Janelle!  Richard! How nice to see you! 

ROG:  We've just returned from a trip to see my family in England. We'd been thinking about a trip to show off our children to the English relatives.

JCJ: How nice you were able to get away.

ROG: Both Angus and Maura have now retired. We built them a cabin in the woods near the lake, so we still see them every day. The new farm steward, Joshua Morgan, is doing an excellent job, and Rohna Gill, Janelle's new companion, is doing splendidly. Replacing Maura was especially challenging as she's actually family.

JMG: One day in England, Richard, Rohna and I took the children to see Agnes MacKendall, the old healer in Eastwell. The last time Richard and I visited her, she'd had a vision about me, but the details were vague. When she saw Moria, the younger of the twins, her vision suddenly became clear. It wasn't about me, but about Moria as a young woman, years from now. She saw that Moria would travel far and be in great danger.

ROG: I wanted to know more details, but these visions are apparently not overly specific.

JMG: I'd also brought along the ring I'd received from the old Lord Devonwood when Richard and I went on our first time travel trip. Agnes not only knew about it, she has one. All pure MacKendall women have one. I showed her that this particular ring glowed when I put it on, and I'm not pure MacKendall. She was shocked. She put the on Moria's tiny hand. It glowed there, too. After a moment, Agnes told me, and this is word for word, “This ring isn’t yours, Janelle. It belongs to this child. I’m not sure how or why, but she is apparently going to need some powerful protection when she grows up. Keep this ring safe for her, and tell her about her heritage as soon as you think she can handle the responsibility, maybe a little at a time. Don’t wait until it might be too late.”

ROG: It seems our daughter has quite a future waiting for her. It worries me greatly. Agnes said Moria would be in grave danger, not just to her, but to everyone around her. We don’t know what the danger is, or why everyone will be in danger – or if she’ll survive that danger.

JCJ: Oh my, I have to tell you, I've got the chills hearing about this. It's amazing news, yet, scary too. It's been great talking with you again. Bye, now!

JMG: Take care, Dayna

What Readers Are Saying About Janelle’s Time

This is a book for those who love the magic of romance and the romance of 
magic. Filled with wonderful description, written with historical 
accuracy, and charged with sexual energy, ‘Janelle’s Time’ truly glows.
-Kenneth Weene, author of Tales From the Dew Drop Inne, 
Memoirs From the Asylum, & Widow’s Walk

I guarantee you will not be able to put this down until it’s 
finished, then you’ll go back and start reading all over again!
-Donna Lawrence, Book Lovers Paradise

A story to escape reality with. A chance at true love that 
will sweep you off your feet. You don’t want to miss this one.
-Miranda Lynn, My Eclectic Bookshelf

Author Dayna Leigh Cheser takes the reader on a magical journey back in 
time to the 1830’s with a story filled with intrigue, deceit, and vividly 
described characters in a well-crafted historical novel that will keep 
the reader riveted to the printed page from start to finish.
-Fran Lewis, author of Because We Care, & Faces Behind the Stones

Watch for book two: "Moira's Time"
Janelle’s daughter, Moria, is the focus of a startling vision as an infant. As a teen, she meets Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D., who later introduces her to Florence Nightingale. Moria fulfills the vision in service to others but finds herself in grave danger - and in love. Will she ever see her family in New Hampshire again? Will she and her lover survive the danger to themselves and others? Will their love survive her destiny of service to others?

Watch for book three: "Adelle's Time"Moria’s twin sister, Adelle, is an American country girl with her English father’s aristocratic blood coursing through her veins. She dreams of being English Lady, and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. In a loveless marriage with her wealthy and powerful Duke, will Adelle find happiness as his Duchess in Victorian England? Or, will she leave him to discover her true self and find her way home to her American roots - alone?

Watch for book four: ‘"Logan's Time"
Logan Conor, the Duke of Muileach, grows up in Scotland. His mother abandons 
her two sons. His father spends his life missing his wife. Logan meets Richard 
Grayson at school in England. After school, it’s on to Paris where their friendship suddenly ends with the death of Minuet. Will Logan make peace with his 
mother, Annella? Will Logan and Rachel live happily ever after? Will Seanna, 
his sometime-lover, destroy Logan’s marriage? 

Watch for book five: "Clarissa's Time"
Clarissa Conor, eldest daughter of the Duke of Muileach, grows up in Scotland. Born in New Hampshire, she and Damian Gerard, Richard and Janelle’s oldest son, discover they have much in common in spite of their very different backgrounds. As America inches closer to the Civil War, can Clarissa and Damian Gerard keep their love strong, or will politics and war destroy what they have? Or, will they flee to Scotland to avoid the war?

My thoughts about "Janelle's Time"
Wonderfully unique and exciting!

Janelle's Time is a story of love, tragedy, time travel and much more. It is the start of what promises to be a fascinating series.
The characters are rich and engaging. The storyline, unique and entertaining. You will not want to put this book down!

Oh, and the wedding scene between Richard and Janelle---I think I fell in love with Logan! Just amazing

You will experience every emotional twist on the rollercoaster between time with this book! Will Richard and Janelle ever get together?

Ultimately, it is a story of love, pure and simple. I'm looking forward with great anticipation for Moira's Time, book two in the series.

5 stars

Friday, September 21, 2012

Today we are welcoming author
Dayna Leigh Cheser

author of 

link at the end of the sample chapter will take you to Dayna's website and a contest!!!!

“If you love the magic of romance and the romance of magic, this is a book for you.”
Kenneth Weene, author of Tales From the Dew Drop Inne, Memoirs From the Asylum, & Widow's Walk

Janelle’s Time is the story of the great love between a New Hampshire farmer’s daughter and the younger son of an English Duke. 
From her father’s death to the birth of twin daughters, Janelle makes it difficult for Richard to keep her safe. 
Unaware of Janelle’s maternal-line powers, the couple time-travel to 14th century England, where they meet Richard’s ancestors - and discover some startling truths about his aristocratic family. 
Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, crashes Richard and Janelle’s wedding, bent on revenge, but finds his own true love instead.
On their wedding trip, a madman attempts to kidnap Janelle - twice.
Later, Richard unknowingly betrays Janelle who strands him in England. Richard finally arrives home, but fate separates them again – and he misses the birth of his son. Will they ever make a life together?+
Filled with unexpected twists and turns, their love story spans two continents, and hundreds of years. But, can their love survive their very different backgrounds and the endless obstacles life throws at them?

Dayna Leigh Cheser – Biography
Writing ‘runs in the family.’ My mother is a multi-published non-fiction author, and my two brothers make a living writing, one as a newspaperman, the other as a copywriter. My sister edits her church newsletter.
My father was a school teacher/reading specialist (later an elementary school principal) when I was little. During story-time one night when I was about four years old, I stopped him and asked how he said the same thing every time he read that story to me. That night, he started teaching me to read. It began a life-long love affair between books and me – for that, I am grateful.
In junior high, I wrote short stories to entertain classmates. In high school, one English assignment was to write my autobiography. In the teacher-specified chapter entitled ‘Future Plans,’ being a published writer topped the list.
After a college professor told me I ‘couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag,’ I stopped writing for many years. Then, in the late 1970s, I wrote an article for “World Radio News” (San Diego, CA) about our amateur radio club providing communications for a March of Dimes Walkathon. The ‘WRN’ editor used my article word-for-word.

In early 2002, between jobs and wanting to write, I sought a third-shift position and used the ‘free time’ to write what became ‘Janelle’s Time.’ When it was complete, I shelved it. In 2009, the WIP came off the shelf. By August 2011, it was ready – at last - for submission. 

In 2009, I started a Twitter account, @Writers_Cafe. I feel as if I’ve earned a degree in ‘book publishing’ since then! You can learn so much from over 14,000 followers.  
I penned an article about @RileyCarney, a Colorado teen, and very prolific YA fantasy author, who heads her own non-profit literacy project. Never officially published, countless people have seen it, thanks to Twitter retweets and some carefully chosen email inboxes.

On New Year’s Day, 2010, I went ‘live’ with my blog. It has evolved into a combination of chronicling my writing journey and hopefully helpful posts on publishing industry topics. 
In the fall of 2011, I added ‘DIY Interviews’ to my blog (see the left column of my blog for details on doing your own interview). Several authors have submitted ‘interviews’ to date.
Janelle’s Time is Book 1 of my TIME Series. Book 2, ‘Moria’s Time’ was my NaNoWriMo project for 2011. I reached 51,000 words on November 26! Now, I have to finish that book, and three more in the series: ‘Adelle’s Time,’ ‘Logan’s Time,’ and ‘Clarissa’s Time.’

Moving into 2012, I’m very excited about the release of ‘Janelle’s Time.’ It’s the culmination of a life-long dream – and is only the beginning of my retirement career. I’m working on “Moria’s Time,” book 2 of the Time Series.
My husband, Pete, and I have been married over forty-three years – no children. We lived in Massachusetts for thirteen years, and then moved to New Hampshire for eleven years. In 1992, we moved to Florida. 

Today we will include a sample chapter from the book, tomorrow, my review and a character interview.

Chapter Nine – The Wedding, June 25, 1831
At the top of the stairs, Richard’s brothers and father waited. Janelle had asked Damian to give her away, a duty he was delighted to assume. As Janelle approached, the men smiled their approval. Each in turn hugged her and kissed both her cheeks in the European fashion. Janelle blushed prettily. 
Next, her sisters, brothers, and in-laws stepped forward, each wanting to give her their love and best wishes. Sarah handed her the bouquet of wine-red and ivory roses. Finally, Maura smoothed the veil over her head.
In the festively decorated, candle-lit hall below, Janelle could see neighbors, friends, and relatives milling around, talking in subdued voices. The minister’s wife, Pearl Hopkins, started playing the piano, and the guests took their seats. Once everyone was seated, she started playing their chosen wedding song, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Damian took Janelle’s hand and placed it on his right arm. Maura, dressed in a wine-colored gown of fine linen adorned with ivory ribbons, took his left arm. With Richard’s brothers and Janelle’s siblings leading the way, they descended the wide staircase. The guests turned and collectively exclaimed their surprise—stunned at the exquisite bride. It was Janelle’s moment. Head high, she found Richard, right where he should be, waiting for her on the raised platform. Anthony, serving as best man, stood by his side. Sarah, dressed similarly to Maura, and carrying a bouquet of ivory roses, stood opposite him as matron of honor.
Richard was wearing black top hat, which, on someone so tall, looked a bit odd to her. His black velvet pants and low dress boots encased his legs and feet snugly. One of his two concessions to the wedding was an ivory shirt of the same material as her dress, rather than his usual white. The other concession was a black velvet tailcoat instead of his usual waistcoat. Janelle smiled as her heart swelled.
After a short pause to seat Maura in the front row next to Lady Susannah, Damian escorted Janelle up the two steps, then removed her hand from his arm. Leaning over, he kissed her hand gallantly, then placed it into Richard’s before turning to take his seat beside his wife. Though he would later deny it, there were tears of joy in his eyes as he watched his youngest son marry. 
“Dearly beloved,” Reverend Hopkins began, “we are gathered here ...”
The minister droned on. Richard looked into Janelle’s eyes and saw only love. She looked into his and saw the same. With a small sigh, Janelle gave herself over to Richard forever.
“... speak now or forever hold your peace.” The minister recited the familiar words. He paused, though certain there’d be no objection.
“Damn right, I object.” Everyone turned toward the deep voice that shouted from the back of the gathering. 

The body attached to the voice stood up, prompting a gasp from the audience. At six feet, eight inches tall, with broad shoulders and bulging muscles, he looked positively dangerous. He had fiery red hair, and deep blue eyes—that blazed with his obvious anger.
Richard stared in disbelief. Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, looked none too happy. Richard groaned. Why this? Why today? I haven’t given a thought to Logan in years. 
Janelle, hearing Richard’s groan, glared at him. “You know this man?” she hissed. “How dare he disrupt our wedding?” 
Mobilized, Janelle gathered her skirts and marched to the stranger with Richard at her side. As she approached the uninvited guest, she somehow knew he was the threat to Richard she’d dreamed about during her recent illness. While she hadn’t seen his likeness in her dream, she knew he was the one. She could feel the menace in the man.
Standing this close to the stranger, she nearly lost her nerve, but was determined to oust him. She also had to protect Richard. She turned to tell him but, before she could speak, he took her arm, pulling her back. He whispered, “Nay, sweeting. ’Tis not your fight. Logan and I are old friends.”
Logan heard the comment. “Friends, the man says,” he shouted in his strong Scots accent. “Some might say, mayhaps, but I dunno call Richard of Devonwood ‘friend’.”
“Richard, listen to me. This man is the man from my dreams, the one who was after you.”
“Logan? After me? Ha. Indeed, my love. I suspect he’s been after me for years—ever since Paris.” Laughing, he pushed Janelle behind him. “Let me deal with him. It’s a misunderstanding, that’s all.” 
Richard’s father and brothers, along with Janelle’s brothers and brothers-in-law, circled around Logan. Guests seated nearby scrambled to put distance between themselves and the enraged man. 
Janelle found herself squeezed out of the circle. Maura snatched her arm and dragged her from the hall, mounting the stairs at a pace that surprised Janelle. 
In her room, Janelle shook free and turned to the door, but Maura stood barring her way. 
“That man—Logan—he’s the man who was after Richard in my dreams. I didn’t actually see him in my dream, but I know he’s the one. I warned Richard, but he laughed and told me he’d deal with Logan. Then he pushed me out of the way. Richard’s in danger. I must go to him.”
“No, my dear. You’ll stay right here. The men will tend to the situation with that uninvited guest. Don’t worry.” Maura was not about to let Janelle go back to the hall until it was safe to do so.
“Nay, Janelle. You’ll not change my mind, no matter what you say. The family men are there, and there are dozens of other men in the hall. The stranger will harm no one, of that I am certain.” 
Finally, Janelle conceded she’d have to wait the situation out in safety. Richard obviously knew the man, so he should be the one to deal with him. Still, the stranger looked menacing. She sat on the edge of the bed, shredding her lace handkerchief.

In the hall below, Richard and Logan stood toe to toe. Richard knew with absolute certainty from their time in Paris he couldn’t take Logan in a fight, so, unless Logan made the first move, they were at an impasse. 
Damian demanded an answer. “All right, Logan, what’s this all about? Richard’s getting married. Whatever differences you two may have can be worked out tomorrow.”
“Nay. ’Tis here and now. ‘Tis been too long already,” Logan growled, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at Richard.
Realizing he’d get no answer from Logan, Damian turned to his son. “Richard? Why is Logan here? What’s his problem?”
Richard bemoaned his luck. He really didn’t want to talk about this. Without taking his eyes from Logan, he answered his father, “You know that Logan, his brother Daniel, and I were in Paris a few years ago. We spent the summer at the French court but, then in September, the King died. We concluded the new king was too treacherous so we sought our entertainment elsewhere.” He paused, not wanting to vocalize the next words, but knowing he had no choice. Taking a deep breath, he continued. “We made the rounds of the bars and brothels.” 
Damian heard Susannah catch her breath behind him. He hadn’t known much about Richard’s time in Paris but, hearing his son’s story so far, he wasn’t at all sure he wanted to know any more.
“One night, we met a French nobleman, Francois Pierre de Gauld, fresh from a broken betrothal to a woman he loved greatly. He took us to some high-class brothels, not the usual back-street places we’d been frequenting. At one of these places, Logan met Minuet, the daughter of an impoverished nobleman. She was intelligent, charming, witty, worldly, and very beautiful; he fell hard for her.” Richard shifted position; the tension was cramping his muscles.
“One day,” he continued, “Minuet left Paris, or so Logan was told. As soon as he found out where she’d gone, he followed her only to return weeks later, empty-handed. 
“Truth was, she hadn’t actually left Paris. When Logan arrived at my lodgings to tell me she’d left town and he was going after her, she was in my bedroom, hiding. She didn’t love Logan and couldn’t deal with the intensity of his feelings for her. She’d told him ‘no’ countless times and was trying to escape his attentions.”
Damian’s face turned red in anger. “Do you mean to tell me this is about a woman?”
Logan seemed to get even larger as his rage flared. He hadn’t known Minuet was hiding at Richard’s that day. His fists clenched as he glowered at him.
Ignoring Damian’s question, Richard went on with his recounting. “Minuet was a wonderful woman. With Logan gone, I agreed to look after her, even knowing he’d likely be very angry when he returned.
“Coincidentally, Minuet left Paris just days before Logan returned to visit a cousin. At first, Logan thought I’d held her for safekeeping. When I finally got through to him that Minuet didn’t want to see him anymore, he stormed out. I didn’t see him again until right after Minuet returned. He had to have been watching my lodgings because before she had a chance to say more than a few words, the door crashed down, and Logan, very drunk and very angry, muscled into the room. He had me in his sights. Several times, he charged me. The first time, I stepped aside and he crashed into the wall, leaving a big hole. The second time, he lost his balance and sprawled onto the floor. 
“The third time, he connected, pinning me against the wall. Using all my strength, I shoved him away. He careened across the room, bounced off a doorframe and, out of control, slammed into the terrified Minuet. Screaming, she crashed headlong through the window.
“I ran to look. In the moment before Logan tackled me, I saw her on the ground twenty feet below. Knowing I could never best Logan, I struggled to get away from him, something only possible because he was so drunk. Once free, I ran for the street.
“Outside, I ran around the building to where the trash was dumped until it was carted away. Fortunately, there was plenty of trash. Hearing Logan behind me, I dove into a big pile near the back of the alley, hoping I was well enough hidden from his view.
“Logan started rummaging through the trash but soon gave up. In his frustration, he bellowed something about finding me and destroying my life as I’d destroyed his, then he left. I wanted to go to Minuet, but I was afraid Logan would return, or worse, would be with her when I arrived. When darkness fell, I slipped up the stairs to my rooms. I didn’t know if Minuet was dead or alive, but I knew I had to leave Paris immediately.
 “Over time, I began to think Logan’s threats were hollow. What could he do to me? When we came here, I thought I was safe from him. How would he ever find me here? I put him and his threats out of my mind … until today.”
“We wondered why you came home from Paris early, without notice, and silent about it,” Sinjin observed.
“What about Minuet,” Anthony asked. 
“I,” Richard sighed, despondent, shook his head and shrugged, “I don’t know.”
Logan picked up the story. “She survived the fall, but she was nay the same Minuet.” Sadness replaced the anger. “She lived for three long years, a broken woman, sorely wounded in body and spirit. She was in constant pain and needing around-the-clock care. A friend of hers wrote to me, knowing how I’d loved her. Once I knew where she was, I went to Paris and stayed with her until she died. That day, I held her close and promised I’d make Richard pay.” Logan then turned so only Richard could hear, “Finding you was easy. I went to Devonwood looking for you. Your mother was more than happy to tell me.”
Richard sighed. He couldn’t blame his mother. She didn’t know. 
Logan’s anger returned. “So here I am and now you shall pay.” He lunged at Richard, a feint, but enough to alarm the men. Richard took an involuntary step backwards while the other men tightened the circle around Logan.
Sinjin spoke, giving voice to the obvious. “It seems to me, Logan, that in your grief, you’ve got it a bit wrong. You drank too much and you attacked Richard. As a result, Minuet died. It’s unfortunate, to be sure, but not Richard’s fault.” Sinjin took a breath. “And, from the sound of Richard’s story, she didn’t love you. She repeatedly tried to convey that message to you herself, to no avail.”

Logan responded loudly, “Minuet loved me. I loved her. If he hadn’t taken her in, she’d have come to me.”
Anthony, keeping an even tone, said, “Is that a fact, now?”
Logan turned on Anthony, Richard forgotten for the moment. “What can you know of this? I loved her greatly and she knew it.”
“I’m sure you did, but don’t you think it might be she cared for Richard more than she cared for you?” Anthony dodged Logan’s swing. The few guests still standing nearby scattered, retreating to the far wall. 
“Logan!” Richard sought to get his attention off Anthony. “Minuet didn’t love you the way you loved her. At the beginning she was intrigued, but you overwhelmed her, frightened her. She asked me to protect her from you. To be clear, we never had the kind of relationship you think we had. We were friends, nothing more.”
Logan, bunching his muscles for a swing at Richard, stopped mid-swing. “You say?”
“That’s right. We never shared a bed. Didn’t she tell you?” 
“Nay.” Logan paused for a long moment, thinking. “Trifles,” he growled. “Minuet was the woman of my dreams. Now she’s gone. Likewise, you’ll not have your dreams.” Logan’s muscles bunched again as he took a swing at Richard, who dodged it, but barely—Logan was not only large, he was quick.
“What will you do, Mister Logan?” A new voice piped in. Reverend Hopkins came from the corner of the room. “Will you kill Richard?” He paused. “I don’t know about Paris or Scotland, but killing people isn’t legal in America. Are you willing to spend the rest of your life in prison or, worse, face execution? Everyone here will swear you’re guilty. There’d be no escape.”
Logan feigned a move toward the group of men who backed the minister. Their tentative forward movement ceased immediately. Logan whooped with laughter at these American’s lack of courage.
Richard said above Logan’s laughter, “Nay, my friends! I appreciate your support, but we must resolve this here and now, else I’ll spend a lifetime looking over my shoulder.”
Reverend Hopkins nodded, grateful for his dismissal from the fray. 
Richard’s mind flashed to Janelle. His eyes darted about the room, searching for her. Damian whispered, “She’s upstairs with Maura.” 
No longer having to worry about his bride, Richard turned to Logan, “This has to stop right now. I didn’t steal Minuet from you. I didn’t hurt her, and I didn’t kill her. It was an unfortunate accident. I’m not the source of your grief. Therefore, you can leave voluntarily, or we can help you leave, but leave you will. I’m getting married, and you’ll not stop me.” 
Logan hesitated. Could it be that his grief had pushed him this close to the edge? He would always love Minuet, but maybe it was time to put the past behind him and get on with life. He wavered, undecided.
From across the room, Janelle’s friend, Rachel Turnbull, took a step forward, alone. Logan saw the movement and looked her way. Rachel was a score and five, well past marrying age. Her family had despaired she’d ever marry. Wearing a full skirt of brown brocade adorned with ivory ribbons and an ivory silk blouse that buttoned to the throat and wrists, she was pretty, though not a classic beauty. A short-sleeved jacket of the same brocade as the skirt covered her shoulders and fastened with one large button at the waist. Slowly, Rachel approached Logan, her serious hazel eyes in a heart-shaped face sizing up the stranger. At just two inches below six feet, Rachel was tall, but Logan towered over her by nearly a foot. 
The other guests made way for her approach. Soon, she stood before the intruder, gazing up, her unbound, golden blonde hair falling to well below her waist. Captivated, Logan reached out and touched it, fully expecting to feel heat, but finding it cool and silky to touch.
“Mister Logan,” Rachel began, her voice low and tremulous, “You’ve loved your Minuet long and well. But it’s time you loved again.” She reached out and touched his black linen waistcoat. He caught her hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed the palm, watching her intently as he did. Rachel shivered visibly, closing her eyes. Rachel’s mother, near fainting, hastened to find a chair. 
“Well, miss, just who might you be?” Logan said, his voice now calm. He smiled, amused. Such a warm-hearted smile from the intimidating man tugged at female heartstrings throughout the hall. 
“Rachel Hannah Turnbull, sir. My family owns a farm near here.” She tossed her head to indicate the general direction of her family’s farm. Her hair shimmered in the candlelight. 
Logan was lost. He’d loved his Minuet, but she was gone. This fearless vision standing before him was life. For the first time in a long time, he felt alive. Lifting Rachel off the floor, he held her at arm’s length over his head, and laughed. She didn’t struggle against him and apparently didn’t mind being over eight feet in the air, high above everyone else in the room. Slowly, he lowered her to where he could kiss her. She welcomed the long, impassioned kiss. Ladies around the hall fanned themselves as the temperature in the room soared. Logan set Rachel carefully on the floor, but refused to let go of her hand.
Turning to Richard, Logan growled, “Don’t ye have a wedding to get done?”
Damian was stunned and angered by what he had just witnessed. “What? That’s it? You follow Richard halfway around the world to avenge your whore, then a pretty girl appears and you forget all about your precious Minuet?”
Edward and Anthony lurched forward, seized their father by his arms and yanked him away, hoping to avoid a completely new confrontation. 
Noting their actions, Logan smiled indulgently.
To Richard, Sinjin insisted, “This wedding must go on right now, before anything else happens.” Not waiting for a response, Sinjin took the stairs two at a time. 
“Let’s go, my dear. We’ve a wedding taking place downstairs.”
Janelle jumped and ran. From the top of the stairs, she scanned the hall, but saw no sign of any injured guests or damaged property. She saw Logan … standing by the door with Rachel? They’re holding hands! What happened here? Janelle shook her head, almost violently, to rid herself of the image of Logan and Rachel, and to concentrate on getting married. Right now, that was more important.
As they had been before, the guests were seated and waiting. Then she saw Richard, standing with the minister, looking at her, waiting patiently. With a cry, she hurried down the stairs, straight into his arms. He held her close and assured her everything was fine.
The minister cleared his throat. Strangely, it was enough to get everyone’s attention. Richard and Janelle stood before the minister and, at the end of an only slightly rushed ceremony, were pronounced husband and wife. 
Seconds later, Logan said from the back and over the noise of the happy crowd, “Preacher! A wedding, right now!”
Heads turned to see Logan, with Rachel, approaching the platform. Richard and Janelle barely had time to get out of the way before Logan and Rachel stepped onto it.
“Married?” Janelle, said to Richard. “What happened here?” Before Richard could answer her, Logan proclaimed his intentions.
“Just do it. Now. Legalities later,” Logan growled at the minister.
Janelle removed her veil and placed it on Rachel’s head, then handed her the bouquet. Rachel stood with tears in her eyes, thankful for a friend like Janelle. Anyone else would’ve been angry at having to share the spotlight. “I know this is crazy, Janelle,” Rachel breathed as they hugged. “It doesn’t make any sense at all but, when I saw Logan in the back of the room, the formidable man with the towering rage, I somehow knew he was the one.” She glanced at Logan and shivered. “He’s wonderful, Janelle. He’s so big, so strong, and so ... primitive.” She shivered again. Tonight. Tonight, I will learn about lovemaking. Of that, I have no doubt. 
“Oh, Rachel, I’m so happy for you, really I am.”
Richard agreed. “You certainly brought him up short. It took a lot of courage, but you defused a tense situation. I don’t know what would have happened without your timely intervention.” He kissed her on the cheek. 
Janelle hugged her friend again and sent her to her groom, then turned to Maura and asked to have someone prepare a room for the other newlyweds. Maura smiled and nodded. She’d already spoken to Eleanor, but it was so typical of Janelle to be thinking of others, even on her own wedding day.
Afraid to do anything other than perform the ceremony, Reverend Hopkins marshaled his thoughts and, in a matter of minutes, introduced Lord Logan and Lady Rachel Conor, the Duke and Duchess of Muileach, to the guests. Logan handed several coins to the minister, who could only stare at the small fortune in his hand. He thanked Logan profusely, and then hurried to his wife. With this, and what Richard had given him earlier, they could finally retire. 
The Turnbull family was in shock. For years they’d worried about Rachel’s future, then here, in the space of a few minutes, she was married, and far better than they could ever have imagined. She was the Duchess of Muileach—a Scots peer! 
The day had been full of surprises, but the celebration wasn’t over. There was the feasting and dancing, which would go on well into the night, long after the couples departed for their rooms. The food was abundant, and in great variety: hot, thick chowders and hearty casseroles; meat courses with all the fixings, including whole turkeys and large hams; a cornucopia of fresh spring fruits and vegetables; and desserts of cakes, pies, and puddings, including Richard’s favorite, Yorkshire Pudding, a dish made from a pancake-like batter cooked with meat drippings. 
After the meal, Logan was feeling generous and allowed he’d idealized his relationship with Minuet. Richard breathed a sigh of relief.
Richard told Logan of how he’d come to know and love Janelle. Logan, seeing Janelle and watching her with her family and friends, could understand Richard’s feelings. 
As if on impulse, Logan reached out, and snatched his new wife from the clutches of her family, “Come, wife, we be leaving now.” 
“No, Logan,” Janelle planted herself between Logan and the door. “You’ll not be leaving tonight.” 
“You say?” Logan stood, hands on hips, glaring at her. She certainly was fearless.
“Yes, I say.” Janelle laughed. “We’ve a room ready for you and your bride upstairs. My home may not be the grand castle you live in, but it’s comfortable. Besides, Rachel will have to pack her things before departing for Scotland with you. She needs more than just the clothes on her back. She didn’t come here today intending to wed. You wouldn’t bring her to your people without a proper trousseau or dowry, would you? Also, her family needs time to adjust. Today was quite a shock to them. You may find yourself here for several days, at least. So relax and enjoy the party tonight.”
Logan chuckled. “So, Richard, we are no longer free men. We now have to think of ‘the wife and family.’ And, it seems, we’re to take orders from the women.”
“Aye, Logan. ‘Wife and family’ indeed.” He wiggled an eyebrow at Janelle, who blushed. In the back of her mind was a nagging worry about ‘family’ that had been there for months. She and Richard had come together numerous times since that first time in the winter and no child had started. Was she barren?
Richard saw her blush, then the fleeting look of distress. He wondered what thought could be marring their wedding day, a day that should be perfect. “What bothers you, my dear?”
“Nothing. Just a passing thought. Don’t worry.” Janelle wouldn’t look at him.
He wasn’t convinced, but he put the thought aside, rather than make a scene. There’d be time enough to talk later. 
Changing the subject, Janelle asked how the marriage between Logan and Rachel had happened. The two men looked at each other, and Richard related an abridged version of what had happened in the hall while she was safe in her room.
Janelle looked at her friend in awe. “You simply walked up to Logan and told him it was time he forgot about his woman and loved again. Rachel, what were you thinking?”
Maura appeared at Janelle’s elbow. “Come, my dear. It’s time. We’ll get you ready for bed now.” Eleanor discreetly approached Rachel in the same manner. 
Having heard Maura, Richard whispered to Janelle, “I’ll be along in a little while, probably accompanied by my brothers who’ll see to it I’m ‘properly attired’.” Dropping his voice further, he added, “Is the chicken blood in the bedroom? With Logan here, he’ll definitely fly the sheets come morning. We can do no less.”
“I asked Ricky to put it in Papa’s ….” Her breath caught as the memory of her father assailed her. He’d wanted so much to be here on this day. Shaking it off, she continued, “I’m sure it’s there by now.”
Richard caught her thoughts right away and reacted. “Janelle, my sweet, I know this must be difficult for you, moving into those rooms, but you have me now. We have each other. They’re not your father’s rooms anymore, they’re ours. We have a lifetime of living to do, starting now, starting tonight, in those rooms.” He hated to be this blunt, but he would not compete with his father-in-law’s ghost. He held Janelle close and stroked her hair. “Go, sweeting. I’ll be along soon. We’ll start our lives together tonight—officially.”
She looked up at him, tears gathering in her eyes. She planted a warm kiss on his cheek, then turned and followed Eleanor, Rachel, and Maura up the stairs, amid shouts and cheers from the guests. 
Logan watched as the ladies climbed the stairs but saw only Rachel. A longing in his eyes bespoke his aching loneliness. He was so looking forward to this night with his new wife. Wife! He was married now and, soon, he’d have children at his knee. 
When they returned to Muileach Castle, he’d rebuild the drafty old house, making it livable again. He could do no less for his new family. For a fleeting moment, he remembered Seanna, his long-time friend and sometimes-lover at Muileach Castle, but he pushed her out of mind. She promptly elbowed her way back in, and he wondered what she would think about Rachel or, more to the point, what she’d do about Rachel. He fervently hoped there’d be no trouble.
Shaking himself, he sighed and took another glass of wine. Richard had watched the play of emotions on Logan’s face but couldn’t know his thoughts. When Logan picked up the glass, Richard took one, too. Wordlessly, they clinked glasses and downed the rich, red liquid, again and again and again.

Upstairs, Maura opened the door and entered what had been Gerard’s rooms. Janelle hesitated in the hall. She hadn’t been here since the day her father died. Taking a deep breath, she stepped inside. Looking around, she couldn’t believe her eyes. 
Maura stood in the middle of the room. “I heard Richard. He’s right, you know. You have each other now and your life together. You shouldn’t live in your father’s rooms, so I changed them. These are your rooms; for you and your husband.”
Janelle’s first reaction was anger. How dare this woman, longtime family friend and companion notwithstanding, remove her father’s things from his rooms without permission! Then she realized they really were not her father’s rooms any more. Richard had said it, Maura had said it, and she knew it. Her father was gone. These rooms were where she and Richard would live, where their children would be born, if there were any, and, Lord willing, where they would die, leaving the rooms for the next generation.
Maura watched the play of emotions on Janelle’s face. She knew it was a shock to find all traces of Gerard gone, the walls newly wallpapered, bright, new curtains at the windows, even all new furniture and carpets, but it was a necessary shock. Without it, she would idolize her father at the expense of her relationship with Richard. 
“Maura,” Janelle whispered, her voice tight with emotion, her hands clenched at her sides, “Where are my father’s things?”
“They’re in the attic, my dear, carefully packed away. Nothing discarded, not a single thing, not even scraps of paper. Someday you can bring it all down and tell your children all about their grandfather.” Maura paused. “For now, however, you must put your father aside. If you don’t, your marriage will suffer. Richard deserves better than playing second fiddle to a dead man.” There. She had spoken her piece. Seldom in all her years with the LeDuc family did she ever knowingly inflict pain, but a little now would forestall a great deal more in the future.
Silent, Janelle stood in the center of the room, turning slowly as she took in the changes. When had Maura done all this? How had she missed the obvious activity here? Did Richard know? At last, Janelle began to accept what had happened here. Maura sighed in relief.
Dorothy knocked and came in to help Maura remove Janelle’s gown. That done, she left with the dress for packing away after washing. After Janelle had a quick sponge bath, Maura produced an alluring dressing gown. 
“Oh, Maura, it’s gorgeous, but so sheer. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination.”
Maura chuckled. “And, do tell, just what’s left to imagine between you two?”
Speechless, Janelle blushed furiously, feeling like a naughty child. She’d suspected all along that Maura knew what was happening. Now, confronted with the truth of it, she squared her shoulders. “Of course you knew.” After a minute, she said, “Um, while we’re on the subject, in all this time, there’s been no child. Am I right to suspect Gram’s magic may be involved here?”
“Of course, dear. Do you think I’d let you play your love games without it? The tea I’ve greeted you with each morning for months now has contained special herbs to prevent a child.”
“Ah. And, that’s why the tea was bitter?” Maura nodded. Janelle’s eyes popped as she realized there’d been no tea this morning. Janelle felt strange inside. “There was no tea today. Does that mean I could be pregnant tomorrow?” 
Maura chuckled. “It’s possible, of course, but probably not. Sometimes it takes a little time for the effect of the herbs to wear off. Also, the timing may not be right. Don’t worry, dear. Your mother had no trouble getting pregnant. You won’t, either. Look at your sisters. They have eight children between them, all live births, and not a single miscarriage. Why, that’s unheard of! Nay, my dear. You needn’t worry.” 
Years ago, Maura had sworn that Adrienne’s daughters would not die as their mother had, birthing four live children, and three miscarriages in just eight years. Adrienne had been pregnant at some time during nearly every year for the first eight years of her marriage. Insanity! There had then been five years, carefully and secretly herbs-enforced, before Adrienne had gotten pregnant again, but the long years of abuse to her body had taken its toll. She died giving birth to Janelle. 
“Come, dear. ’Tis time for you to be in the bed to receive your husband. I think I hear a commotion coming this way.” Maura hurried out through the other door just as the hall door flew open, and a much-disheveled, more-than-slightly-drunk Richard, minus all but his small clothes, stood in the doorway. Anthony shoved him into the room. He stumbled and turned to those at the door, swaying slightly. His brothers blocked the doorway so no one else could enter, much to the dismay of those behind them who had hoped to get a peek at Janelle in her nightclothes.
Only Logan was able to break the blockade. Inside the room, Logan stood legs apart and arms folded across his massive chest. Janelle felt a small clutch of fear in the pit of her stomach. Downstairs, he’d been large. Here, he was a giant. Logan started laughing. A fast, almost effortless swipe of his hand sent Richard flying to land in a heap on the bed, causing Janelle to scramble to the far corner, pulling the covers with her. Still laughing, Logan reached over and, with another effortless move, tore off the last of Richard’s clothes. Naked, Richard froze, out of fear or embarrassment, or both—Janelle couldn’t tell. Logan pointed in the general direction of Richard’s sex and laughed harder. He turned and left the room, still chortling. From the hall, Janelle heard him bellow, “I’ll go to my lady now. She’ll know a real man!” 
The men in the hallway were quiet, the levity gone. 
Anthony closed the door.

I Love, love, love this chapter.  The wedding chapter is just amazing.  In fact, the entire book is incredible.  Stay tuned...tomorrow is my review, a character interview and more, much more!!!!