I read a book back in 1970 called Bleak November. Marketed as a murder suspense, it was a Gothic Horror. Well, what it was actually Amityville Horror, though that wouldn't come along for another seven years. It rather surprised me that the author didn't raise an issue over lifting his story!
Still, the title stuck with me. . .Bleak November. Rather fitting name for the month. The leaves have lost their glorious colors. Still weeks until the Christmas rush hits. Not winter and neither autumn in a sense. Some days are warm, but most are cool, hinting at the dreary winter months ahead.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on this day fifty-four years ago. And to this very day we haven’t learnt the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The day the music died. Camelot ended. And the country awoke to a new reality, and in many ways not a better one. Jack Kennedy was the man for the hour. Like him or not, he had been there when the country desperately needed him. Had it not been for him standing toe-to-toe with the Russians and not blinking we would have had WWIII. The Russians backed down. They withdrew the missiles from Cuba, and went back to the cold war uneasy peace. . .but a peace nonetheless.
What a contrast to the president we have now, who meets with Russians on the sly. And how do we know? The Russians tell us, they provide pictures. The Russians were and will always be the enemy. This is not a Democrat view. Ronald Reagan didn’t like them. The first thing he did upon becoming president was prevent the Russians from trooping through US Washington garage. A small thing. They used it as a short cut to save them walking a couple blocks a day to the Russian embassy. Reagan laughed and said walking was good for the health, and shut the garage to them cutting through. His small thing made a big point. He wouldn’t make matters easy for them, because they would never make them easy for us.
I often wonder how different the world would be now if on that bleak November day had Jack Kennedy used the bullet proof bubble that has been created for the car. He would have been 100 now, most likely to die quietly in his sleep. Instead he was ripped from his family, ripped from the country, and sent us spiraling us down a log troubled road.
One might remember, the man credited with killing Kennedy, defected to Russia, was permitted to return to US with a Russian wife, and kept in contact with the Russians, even visiting the Russian embassy in Mexico. As I said, Russia is not our friend, and will never be our friend. . .something the current resident of the White House fails to begin to understand.
When her half-sister refuses to marry the powerful earl of Hellborne, Greyson
de Verre, Lesslyn de Sancerre sees the chance to have a life, a home and a
husband of her own, so she agrees to take her sister's place. Her sister,
in turn, is off to elope with the man she has fallen in love with.
Everything appears fated in this pact the two women seal. What seemed
like a logical solution at the time soon becomes a battle to keep ahead of the
lies. Lesslyn quickly learns plots and schemes are easily concocted, but
realities arising from the falsehoods are a different matter altogether.
Especially, when she is quickly falling in love with Greyson de Verre...her
husband to be.
to wed by royal decree...
When Edward Plantagenet demands you must marry, you have little options...or do
you? King Edward has commanded that the earl of Hellborne must marry the
heiress of Sancerre. After all a bargain is a bargain—even if the earl
views the coming marriage with disdain. Only, the enigmatic lord of
Hellborne needs must wed on Yuletide...so wed he shall...no matter what.
if it is a Marriage Made in Hell. . .
stared, her eyes traveling up the long, strong thighs, encased in soft leathern
hose, exposed since he wore no surcoat.
The short black habergeon only came to his narrow hips. Growing lightheaded, the whole incident was
taking on a bizarre dream quality. She
tried to swallow, as she stared up at his muscular legs. If it were a fantasy, then it must be one
born of her darkest desires. How ironic
to meet her bridegroom in such a fashion.
leaned down and locked his hands behind the small of her back. “Can you link your arms around my neck?”
was too weak to nod again, instead, she just did as he asked.
lifted her, until Lesslyn was on her feet––and pressed up against him! Her body was flush against his very masculine
frame; heat off him rolled over her in a wave.
So flooded with the sense of this man, her heart slammed against her
ribs. The unusual, luring scent of his
skin was surprisingly intoxicating.
Lesslyn leaned into him, reveling in the tantalizing fragrance.
breath will come. Trust me.” His head dipped closer so he could whisper in
her ear. “You might pass out. Never fear, I shall catch you and keep you
felt faint, her legs rubbery. She
started to sway. Suddenly, air returned
and she could draw breath again. Still
dizzy, her legs buckled, but as he promised he caught her and held her close.
I told two truths. Your breath came back
and I did not allow you to fall.” He
gave a grin that nearly stopped her heart.
wheezed, her throat still burning.
slowly. Keep your breaths shallow. Soon, all will be normal.”
tried to offer him a reassuring smile, but her body was focused on blessed
air. She had never understood the
necessary function, or how something so natural could be taken from you. Instead, she gave him a small nod, and
lowered her eyes, unable to meet his penetrating stare.
fear was subsiding, only to be replaced by other powerful emotions. She was aware of this man, on a level that
had never touched her before. Aware she
was offering him a life of lies. It made
kissed her cheek, ever so faintly, the touch so light she could almost believe
she imagined it. The moment was spoiled
as a chunk of snow fell high from the tree, hitting them both. Hellborne laughed. It was a deep, rumbling sound that suddenly
made her feel happy.
eyes narrowed and he tilted her head back, his brow flexing into a frown as he checked
her forehead. His thumb faintly brushed
over the sore spot. “You grow a
lump. Did he hit you?” He turned his head, watching as they led the
man past. If eyes had the power to kill,
the enemy warrior would drop to his death on the spot.
swallowed hard to push words out.
“Nay...horse...knocked me off.”
attacker looked worried. “I was no’
goin’ to harm her. Wanted the beast,
’tis all...to get away...she stabbed me, she did.” He raised his bleeding lower arm to show the
harm her? You forget I blocked your
swing as you stood over her. She was
knocked breathless, unable to move.
What? You lifted your sword
against a woman who was flat on her back?”
Fury rode on every word Hellborne spoke.
of the knights guarding the man held up the knife. “Your lady is a fighter, I’d say.”
stepped away from her, though he kept his left hand on her back. “Knave, want to save your life? Tell me under whose banner you fought? Why did you attack this party?”
man glanced from Hellborne, then to Lesslyn, and then back, buying time before
he answered. Resignation finally lit his
eyes. “No banner, my lord. We were paid coin—I know not who. I canno’ give you a name even if I wanted to.”
were your orders?
to attack the party and take the woman,” he replied. At the darkening of Hellborne’s face, he
quickly tacked on. “The command was no’
to harm a hair on her head. Just take
barked, “Take her where?”
I know not.”
held out his right hand for his sword, and his squire quickly passed it to