#1 THE GOODBYE LIE by Jane Marie Malcolm

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Men will die for Breelan Dunnigan, the lead female player in the heart-wrenching romance and unexpected drama called The Goodbye Lie,.  Jane Marie's first installment in her historical series is set in 1882 on Florida's Amelia Island. Breelan, an aspiring writer, is literally swept away, first by a tornado and then a handsome stranger, who steps into her home and into her soul. Escape to New York City brings new love, but when Breelan returns to Florida, her life has turned upside down. Strong family bonds and values are soon pitted against passion, jealousy and murder in this satisfying tale. Readers will rejoice in the clever twists of plot. Rich characters, late Victorian conventions and gentle humor flavor up the mix of romance, honor and treachery.

  • Originally Posted on Romance Junkies
By Jennifer Wardrip VINE VOICE
Paperback & Kindle

Known to her admirers as "Gracious" Jane Marie, the author has written a delightful story with THE GOODBYE LIE. Set in the late 1800's amid the backdrop of Fernandina, Florida, the story takes off to far away shores-and far away desires, lies, and deceit.
For Breelan Dunnigan, growing up with a loving but strict mother, a father incapable of saying no, and the requisite older sister and younger siblings has been far from a trial. But the time is nearing when soon she'll be married, with a family of her own, and her childhood will be behind her.

Then, while riding her horse upon the shore of the small island of Amelia, twisters arrive out of nowhere, and she's tossed unceremoniously into the ocean. Her rescuer comes in the form of a handsome and mysterious stranger-but is he really there to rescue her from the salty water, or take advantage of her precarious position?

When Breelan and her cousin Norah embark upon a trip aboard the Gentle Comfort and meet its captain, who is to oversee their voyage, she realizes that Captain Waite Taylor is the very man who rescued her from a watery grave. But soon Breelan is shining under the attention of a member of the crew, Trip Clelland, and a marriage is imminent.

What follows, however, is the way that love sometimes fails to follow its intended path. Treachery, deceit, lies, and jealousy all threaten Bree, her cousin, and even her entire family. Love, it seems, has a mind of its own, and will not be denied.

THE GOODBYE LIE, the first of a series, is an engaging story from Jane Marie. I look forward to the next, VELVET UNDERTOW, which will revolve around Breelan's sister, Carolena.

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely A Must Read Book !
By Blue Sparrow

WOW! I didn't see ANY of that coming! Finally a book I DIDN'T have figured out half way through!

I just knew this book was going to be different and worth the wait, and it didn't disappoint me.

The characters have depth. No one is ALL good or ALL bad. They are likeable, lovable, and detestable.

I thought only real life could have so many unexpected twists and turns.

Jane Marie is a master with words. She really brought me into the story and made me feel a part of the action.

Dog Sings Goodbye Lie Theme Song
    After hours and hours of practice aka suffering on my part, our very own Abby, Chihuahua Extroverted, has completed her rendition of The Goodbye Lie theme song. (Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie trilogy is set in north Florida in the 1880s.) Thinking the harmonica might be the perfect period instrument to accompany this little ditty about the high seas sailor, Captain Waite Taylor, and the women who love him, Abby went through three tubes of bacon and squirrel flavored lip balm, so as not to chafe her kisser as she played.
Sit back and enjoy. 
You'll never hear anything like this!


Large, wide-brimmed garden hats, later called picture hats because they framed the face, were very popular in the  late 1800s and into the new century. Decorated with silk flowers, ribbon, lace, tulle, etc, their detail was appreciated by both men and woman, and, I dare say, they were sometimes the subject of talk, kind and unkind.  
Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie

      ... "Breelan, answer me! I said open this door!"

     Trip shook her and mumbled callously, "Tell him you're fine. Tell him, or the next time you'll get more than a little slap from me. Tell him!"

     Coming around, Breelan knew Waite would break the door down if she couldn't convince him of Trip's lie. She didn't want to involve him any deeper in her misery. "Yes, yes," she said breathlessly. "I'm fine, Captain... Leave us. Please." 

     Unconvinced, he called again, "Bree?" 

    He has to believe me for both our sake. Trip is capable of much cruelty, and I fear for Waite even more than for myself. "We'll be with you in a moment. We're both very hungry. They are still serving breakfast, aren't they? It isn't too late, is it?" The more she spoke, the more composed she commanded her voice to become. "See you in the dining salon soon."

     "If you're not on deck in fifteen minutes, I'm coming back!  Understood?"

     "Yes, sir!" she said, forcing a jovial lilt to her tone.

     Trip smiled at her. "Very good. Very good," he whispered through gritted teeth. "I'll remember how readily you lie. I'll remember, too, just how trustworthy you are. And you remember, Breelan, I'll be watching you!" His malice filled the beautiful room and turned it ugly. 

     "Dress at once. We wouldn't want your friend, the captain, bothering us again when we're so in love."

     A heavy dusting of powder and a wide-brimmed hat tied with blue tulle hid the light lavender bruise rising on Breelan's right cheek. The white silk gardenias on her chapeau cascaded around the edge of the brim, so she cocked her headpiece to conceal and distract...

Make Your Own Picture Hat:

Although much less pain-painstakingly created than the original hats, it is easy and fun to make your own hat for a costume or play.  Find a large beach hat you have or go to the thrift store and, as I did in the photo, twist and tie ribbon and tulle around the base of the crown.  Stick in flowers and a bow, fluff, and you're done, no glue or stitching needed.  Quickly remove and you have your original hat back and ready for the beach, gardening or vacation.  If you want the decorations to stay permanently, use hot glue (keeping a glass of water close to dip in your fingers in the event you accidentally touch the glue) or baste with thread.
  • A Delightful Surprise 
By J. R. in Pennsylvania
This book was recommended to me by someone very familiar with the genre. Since I'm not a fan of romance novels, I started it prepared to be underwhelmed. Another "bodice ripper," I thought. Instead I found myself quickly drawn into the intriguing characters, the interesting plot, and the history of the times. This author has found a style and tempo that is both arresting and entertaining. I urge readers to take the time to read "The Goodbye Lie." . It is the first of a series and I anticipate reading them all.

Important and entertaining links to Jane Marie Malcolm STUFF:


Gracious Jane Marie: ttp://www.GraciousJaneMarie.blogspot.com 


Honor, Treachery, Epic Romance

 are just part of

 Amelia Island's GOODBYE LIE Trilogy where

 Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ...

  Men will die for Breelan Dunnigan


    Amelia Island's GOODBYE LIE Trilogy where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ...
Treat yourself and get your copy HERE - http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Marie-Malcolm/e/B002ZFSBKE

REVIEW: A rollercoaster of emotions … [which] include … loving the characters. … The unexpected ending makes a jaw dropping jolt to the senses. --ReaderViews.com


Find romance every day and every night between the covers of Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie.  Set in 1882 Florida, here is a snippet of the spirit of my kind of romance! -jmm

Another Excerpt:
    "Trip it shall be. Please, call me Breelan." And he held her secure, leading her in wild spins around and around. She threw her head back as she laughed softly, her hair covering his uniformed forearm.

     Waite was completely aware of Breelan's movements. He wanted to kiss the ivory of her flawless bare shoulders. But when he saw the lieutenant's arm tighten around Breelan's waist, Waite's desire turned violent as he imagined ripping the soldier's arm off at the elbow. He resented the man, any man, holding her, let alone holding her as close as this gent was. Trip's body pressed intimately against Breelan’s green dress, separating her skin from his by only a few thin layers of silk and cotton. His officer's white-gloved fingers entwined themselves in the ends of her satiny brown hair. At least, his actual flesh wasn't in contact with hers, Waite consoled himself. He was glad a gentleman always wore gloves when dancing so as not to soil a woman's gown with perspiration. He'd considered many customs foolish and a waste of time. Not this one. For this social edict, he thanked the stars. 

     "Waite, darling," Miss Visper spoke a second time. "You're not listening to me, are you?"

     Caught. He was having difficulty tearing his eyes from Breelan. He asked, his tone mocking, "Leona, do you think I'd dance with a woman and she not be the center of all my attention?"

     "I think one thing. You're most engaging and you know it. Any woman who allows herself to love you is demented. You'll only break her heart."

     "You flatter me. But I think the excursion to that point would be an escapade not to be missed," he suggested, stroking her mind, using her. He excused his selfishness because he knew she wanted him. He needed a woman tonight and she was an alluring, if somewhat obvious creature...


Another Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie:

     Leona was at the piano playing Auld Lang Syne. Aunt Noreen and Peeper passed steaming mugs of Smoking Bishop and the scent of the spiced wine filled the room. A toast was raised and cups clinked. 1883 had begun.

In Drinking with Dickens by Cedric Dickens, who was the great-grandson of Charles Dickens,  I discovered Smoking Bishop was Victorian hot spiced port wine.  Besides the Bishop, there were other clerical drinks in those times:  Archbishop-claret, Cardinal-champagne and Pope-burgundy.  
We served Smoking Bishop at a holiday party and got a chuckle out of seeing one of our guests tip the pot to get the last drop - and we’d made a double batch!  There are variations of Smoking Bishop, but this is the one we used. 
As with all alcoholic drinks, moderation is key. 

     Jane Marie

Smoking Bishop Recipe- a GBL Fave

You’ll need: 
  • 4 whole washed, unpeeled oranges
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 bottle port wine (red wine and port wine combined should equal 4 to 5 quarts)
  • 5 to 6 quart slow cooker or large pot for stovetop cooking
Stick the whole cloves into the oranges.  Poke the oranges several times with a fork so the juice will seep out while cooking.  Place the oranges in the pot. 
Add  the red wine, sugar and cinnamon sticks.
Cover and cook on low or simmer for 3 1/2 hours.  Add the bottle of port. 
DO NOT BOIL at any time.  
Heat the mixture for another half hour to warm the port. 
Serve warm straight from the pot.
Garnish with extra orange slices or wedges and individual cinnamon sticks, if desired. 
Serves 10.  This recipe is easily doubled.


The Goodbye Lie Diaries:
Fernandina, Florida

Peeper writes:
Yes, Miss Jane,  I did pass cups a Smokin' Bishop around Dunnigan Manor with Noreena. I never want ta do a thing with her.  I only dun it 'acause  Santee Claus hadn't yet come and I wanted me a pair a new shoelaces, so I had ta be nice.  Miss Ella got me the shoes ta go with 'um, but I didn't ask.

 Reprinted from our GraciousJaneMarie.com website

About the Author: 

Jane Marie Malcolm, aka Gracious Jane Marie, originally of Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, makes her home at the edge of the world in beautiful Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. She celebrates heart and home every day with roses, recipes, and romance at www.GraciousJaneMarie.com, her always tasteful blog includes articles on Gone With The Wind, Hollywood Hearts, Travel, Gardening, Recipes, Crafts, Safety- far too much to list here. This gracious BLOG BLOG BLOG is often hilarious - Jane Marie is the funniest person she knows - and her site is sometimes even informative.

A mother, grandmother, and former first lady of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida, by virtue of being married to the former mayor, Bruce Malcolm, Jane Marie makes her home there with her charming husband, Bruce, a singing Chihuahua, Abby, and a calico kitty named Button. She is an avid Prince of Peace handbell ringer, as well as, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Amelia Island Museum of History, and the General Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society of Amelia Island. Jane Marie is a practicing rosarian, quilter, and artisan, and has fashioned family christening gowns by way of French heirloom hand sewing techniques. Her cleverly created painted crafts, including Secret Pebbles™, tie into the GOODBYE LIE Series. She dabbles at playing the musical saw and has mastered the harmonica and canjo (not a typo), to the best of her ability.

Jane Marie invites you to enter her world of lace and laughter at GraciousJaneMarie.com. Discover the fascinating Dunnigan family recorded in Amelia Island's GOODBYE LIE series. Let her imagination embroider your realm with mysterious wanderings and delightful rainbows because Jane Marie Malcolm believes in happy endings.        


A Goodbye Lie Favorite*

by Jane Marie and Bonnie Shively


    Jane Marie:  When I'm at book signings, I often point out the meaning behind the cover of The Goodbye Lie.  I spent a long while deciding how I wanted the cover to look.  It had to be in good taste, of course.  I wanted it to be intriguing, to suggest what the story might be about, but didn't want to give too much away.  Where would the fun be in that?



I knew I wanted sand as a backdrop since the Dunnigan family lives on Amelia Island off the coast of Florida, and the beach and Atlantic Ocean play a significant part in the story.  It would have been ideal to lay out my design on the actual beach, but I didn't want things to blow away or get covered with a dusting of sand, so I asked my husband, Bruce, to tote a pail of sand from the beach to our house.  I found a 3'x4' rectangle of plywood in the garage, laid it in the courtyard inside our wall so no one would see what I was doing, covered the wood with the sand and went to work. 

Leaving room for a title in large enough letters to be read in an online bookstore cover photo, I thought about the elements of the book. I used flowers from my garden for color - roses, sweet alyssum, pansies and hibiscus.   But how would I represent a man and a woman?  What did they have in common?  Gloves, among other things!  I chose a long formal glove that was actually worn by my daughter, Barbra, at her wedding.  I asked a former Marine if he had a dress glove he could loan me to use as a soldier's glove.  He did. I put the man's glove over the woman's.  Was he protecting her?  Was she trying to get away from him?


I added the pewter jewel “coffin” as the Victorians called it.  It had been our mother's, and I've had it for years filled with religious medals and rosaries.  Since a medallion is mentioned in The Goodbye Lie, I put that in the pewter box.


I also wanted a ribbon to weave around and through the picture to represent the meandering story line.  I had the ends of the ribbon running off the edge of the picture to show there was no beginning or end to the story really, that a sequel or even a prequel might happen. 

After taking a dozen shots, I went to work on the covers for Velvet Undertow, Mark of a Man and A Thing Most Necessary (now entitled Sand and Sin), the rest of the books in The Goodbye Lie series, so far.  They all have the same sand, flowers and ribbon, but the main objects in the middle are different to represent a different story.  I was pleased with the results.  And apparently the cover for The Goodbye Lie passed muster because my toughest and best critic and editor, Nancy [Kamp] went with it.  Whew!      

Bonnie:  They taught me in art class in college that true art speaks to the beholder.  It may speak differently to each person, but if it speaks, it is art.

The ribbon - I was thinking along the lines of ... she let it fall from her dress in a carefree moment, lost in both thought and contentment.  I can picture her [Breelan] walking hand-in-hand with Waite in the moonlight.   Barefoot, of course.  She's dreamily walking with her eyes closed because she is so happy and serene, and doesn't want the moment or the magic of it to end.  As she slowly walks, she unties her ribbon, plays with it a bit, and it loosely falls from her fingers without notice or care that it has dropped.  Her dress has in that instant gone from formal to romantically casual and flowing. ... Oh man ... am I a hopeless romantic, or what?

The shorter glove]could easily be a man's formal dress glove.  That's what I thought.  The gloves are one of the first things they shed when they reached that beach, and without meaning to, they dropped them one on top of the other in a gesture of everlasting oneness.

I hadn't quite figured out the jewel coffin, but the flowers were from the wedding [in the story], and of course they were symbolic too.  Perhaps the jewel symbolized the treasure they had both finally uncovered together (their admitted love for each other).


***also enjoy Jane Marie's Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and Amelia Island's Mark of a Man at http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Marie-Malcolm/e/B002ZFSBKE


Potato Stamping- a craft

I love old fashioned crafts because they're easy and fun and because our ancestors created them.  Potato stamping is a wonderful family activity. It is featured it in my historical romance novel, Amelia Island's GOODBYE LIE TRILOGY set in 1882 in north Florida.  In the story, the Dunnigan children are kept occupied with this activity so as to protect them from the frantic goings-on by the adults around them. 

Caution:  Since a knife is needed for cutting the potato, an adult must be present to supervise.

Paint.  Read the label on the paint before applying it to make sure you're using the correct type for the object you will be stamping.  If stamping on wood, acrylic (washable) paint will work.  Poster or acrylic paint is good for paper.   Use fabric paint for fabric.  Be careful of water color paints because they may be too thin.  The outline of your stamp might look blurred.
     Always test the consistency of paint and the coverage of your stamp on a paper towel or rag or wood scrap, whatever is similar to your intended finished product.
     Once the paint on your design is completely dry, heat set paint on fabric designs with an iron set on high.  Stroke the iron over the picture while it is covered with a protective cloth (like an old pillow case) for three or four minutes.   Do not scorch and DO NOT USE STEAM.

You'll need:
  • Sharp knife (for adult hands only)
  • 1 large fresh potato, at least 3" in diameter to make two stamps
  • Pencil for outlining pattern on potato or cookie cutter
  • Paint - see notes above
  • Paint brush, sponge brush or cotton swabs
  • Aluminum foil or paper plate for paint palette
  • Paper towels for blotting and testing stamp
  • Multi-colored felt tip markers (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Beads (optional)
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Thin ribbon or lace for bows (optional)
  • Pencil with new eraser for dots (optional)

Wash the potato to remove any dirt and pat dry with paper towels.  Do not peel.
Cut the potato evenly in half using a large knife to make a clean cut.  It needs to be as flat a surface as possible without ridges - these will show when you stamp. 
Decide on what image you want to stamp.  A simple pattern will be easier to cut into the potato than an intricate one.  If making initials, make them block style, bold and backwards!  Save the complicated snowflake-type shapes for when you've mastered the easy stuff.
With the pencil, trace or draw your pattern free-hand on the cut side of the potato, or press a cookie cutter 1/4 inch into the flat white surface of the potato.
Cut away the area outside the stamp so that the stamp protrudes by at least ¼ inch.  I found it was best to cut away small sections at time, being careful not to let the knife slip under the actual stamp part, or it will fall off.
Squirt a small puddle of paint on the foil.  With a brush or cotton swab, paint the stamp portion of the potato, making sure the stamping surface only is evenly covered.  Wipe off any paint that slops over the edge.  You want a crisp outline. 
Test your stamp on a paper towel to see how much paint and pressure are required before you actually begin stamping your project.
To change colors using the same stamp design, wipe away any excess paint from the stamp and paint on a new color.
Let the paint of an already stamped design dry before partially stamping over it with another color if that's the look you desire.  If you want the colors of the paints to blend, then quickly stamp the new color over the color used just before it.
Get creative.  Personalize items or decorate wrapping paper, book covers, picture frames, stationary, brown bags as gift bags and lunch bags.  Stamp gift tags, envelopes, refrigerator pictures, T shirts, paper and cloth napkins, tablecloths, doll clothes, etc.  If you can think of it, you can decorate it. 

Embellishments for T-shirts or fabric purses:
  • Sprinkle glitter on the paint while it's still wet so it will stick.
  • Glue tiny beads, buttons (sewn on fabric) or ribbon bows (safety pinned for removal for washing if necessary)
  • Outline the stamp with a marking pen or paint a boarder around each stamp pattern or random stamps on the object you're making so it will stand out. 
  • Spatter paint - Dip an old toothbrush in gold paint or any other color and run your finger along the bristles from tip back toward you, while pointing the toothbrush at the object you're decorating.  The paint will speckle the surface.  Practice first on a newspaper to test the technique and discover the coverage you want.
"Necklace" look (as in photo above) - Repeatedly dip the flat new eraser of a pencil into paint and dab it onto a shirt in a draped pattern to resemble the beads of a necklace.  Make it a choker or a long necklace, whatever appeals to you.

If you cover your potato stamps in cold water in the refrigerator, they will keep for a day or two.


Coffee Roast Beef,  a recipe

The story goes that cowboys in the Wild West roasted beef seasoned with coffee over the campfire.  My husband came across this recipe in Roswell, New Mexico at a potluck supper.  Give it a try for something different and delicious.    Enjoy,
    Jane Marie

You'll need:
  • 3 pound beef roast (with the fat removed)
  • 6 cups of strong brewed coffee
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 325° F 
Make several slits in the raw roast and insert the garlic chips or sprinkle the roast generously with garlic powder. 
Place the meat in a roasting pan and pour the coffee beside it - not over it or it will wash off the garlic powder.  Cover with foil or lid. 
Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the meat falls apart, removing the cover during the last half an hour to brown the meat.
Cool 10 minutes before slicing. 
Make gravy from the drippings or serve the unthickened coffee/beef broth left in the bottom of the pan over noodles, rice or potatoes. 
Pass the salt and pepper.
I’ve also made this in the slow cooker set on low for 6 to 8 hours until it turns into stringy meat.


    Amelia Island's GOODBYE LIE Trilogy where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ...


No Kindle? Use Your Smart Phone to Read
I have often regaled you with my lack of technical skills. (I can type 576 words a minute, if you don't hold my mistakes against me. That's an old joke.) So, it is always a pleasure to discover and retain useful info with regard to electronic gadgets. If you already know this stuff, be kind and graciously hide your laughter behind your hand. If you don't know about it, then we will learn together.

What I just found was taken directly from the latest Kindle Newsletter: Did you know your readers don't need a Kindle to read your book? Simply download one of our free Kindle apps--available for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer.

Go to www.Amazon.com and in the search box type: Free Kindle Reading Apps

or click on the links below:

 Product Details        

Kindle for Android by Amazon.com         

  • Available instantly on your connected Android device
  • (4,891)
  • Product Features
  • ... best reading experience available on your Android phone--no Kindle ...
Then  get started on The Goodbye Lie , Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, my historical fiction novels, and become a Goodbye LieR like the rest of us.  Discover what drives intelligent women like the Dunnigans into doing ... Well, into doing less than intelligent things ... things that will change their lives for the rest of time.

(Once you have your ebook reader loaded on your device, go to http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Marie-Malcolm/e/B002ZFSBKE at Amazon.com and download the novels.)

Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie featuring The Florida House. The year is 1882. -

What awaits Breelan Dunnigan up those stairs?

Chapter 18

     The drive from Dunnigan Manor to the Florida House seemed especially slow despite the brisk tempo of the horse's trot. Not a word passed between the young couple. Breelan was silent in case her tears would anger him further, and he for fear she'd continue crying ...

      Despite the darkness, he was well aware of her secret attempts to wipe away the evidence of her unhappiness. He could feel her hushed sobs vibrate the carriage. What the hell was she blubbering for? He was the one who'd been tricked... He steered the buggy along side the hotel's granite stepping-stone. Helping Breelan out, he warned, "Enough of this. I won't have it. Do you hear?"

     She nodded. He was right. She straightened her skirts and inhaled a deep breath of cool river air, while he threw coins to the attendant, directing him to return the horse and carriage to the stable for the night. They climbed the steps of the long, two-story establishment and entered ...  

the trunk of an ancient live oak tree
     Breelan loved to come to the Florida House. She'd never actually stayed in any of the rooms before this, but her family oft-times ate in the dining room after Sunday morning mass at St. Michael's. Railroad folk as well as sailors, vacationers and locals all frequented it. How often had she climbed the old live oak in the back while the grownups pontificated over coffee and dessert? Now she was one of those grownups ... 

    After registering and exchanging niceties with the desk clerk,  they were shown to a second story room. It was quite lovely. The wallpaper spoke of romance with tiny bouquets of pastel flowers and a matching coverlet on the canopied double bed. The window trappings of lace would merely filter the moonlight. It could be an enchanted place if the circumstances were right.

     "I will leave you to your unpacking, Breelan. I'll be downstairs in the tavern." He caught the look of concern she cast his way. "Don't worry. I'll take heed of my drink. I won't let you go unattended in such a pretty room as this," he said caustically. 

     He quietly closed the door behind him and she breathed a sigh of self-comfort. He was gone. She was free if but for a moment. He had mistaken her look for concern. It was not. In truth, she hoped he would imbibe to excess tonight and every night, so he would never be able to ...

     The hour grew late and he didn't return to the room. Worn out, Breelan was still wide-awake. Her mind darted madly from her family, to where she would live, to her job, to the gossip, to... The cacophony in her head was generously peppered with the words and features of Waite. There was his handsome face, his hair, his eyes, his lips. In part or as a whole, the likeness was exact. It teased and tempted her until wriggling among the tangled covers of the bed a minute longer would surely bring her more tears, those of hopeless frustration. She had to get out of the room, to feel the stirring of the breeze against her hot, flushed cheeks. 

     Concealing her nightdress beneath her cloak, she descended the rear stairs, intending to refresh herself in the rain barrel out back. She splashed the cool water on her cheeks. It trickled down to her elbows, tickling her to irrational giggles. She languished in the luxury of laughter. She hadn't laughed since, since when? She couldn't remember. Resting the heels of her hands on the edge of the barrel, she hung her head. "I wish this were the ocean. I'd put my toes in the water and let the cool waves creep up my ankles. I'd ..."

     "You'd what, Breelan?"

     She heard the resonant voice seek answers softly in her ear. She responded longingly, "Oh, Waite. You'll never know how I wish you were real and with me and able to tell me all the things I want to hear. It will never happen for us. Never. I deserve to suffer... But to make you suffer, too. If what Nora says is true and you really love me, I can never forgive myself for causing you pain. I pray you find someone to fill your mind and bed. Don't waste your life pining for me, my love. If only that kiss I dreamed of on your ship had been real. If I could feel your lips touch mine, I could tolerate whatever comes. I ..."

     She dreamed he was behind her. He was grasping her shoulder, turning her quickly, pulling her against his unyielding body. She dreamed his arms were around her, holding her fast to him. Then his mouth was on hers, hard. His breath rasped from his lungs. She breathed him into her and tasted his soul. His essence was all male. Every thought she'd ever had of how superb his kiss would be was surpassed in this illusion. Thank God for her dreams. They belonged solely to her. The fear of hell would never take them from her. 

     "Bree, Bree," he said against her lips.     

    And she felt strong hands on her wrists. They pried her arms from around his neck, similarly opening her eyes to reality. It was no dream. Waite's glorious face was before her in the night and his eyes danced. Here in the dim moonlight, she could only stare at him. She placed her hands on his mildly whiskered cheeks, ran her slender finger the length of his scar and kissed it. He kissed her in return, taking her lips between his. He held her again and this time she rubbed against him, making him moan from somewhere deep within. 

     Glass shattered as a disagreement broke out in the bar. She didn't care. She didn't care about anything, but kissing him. Still, the insistent tinkling of the crystal continued to interrupt her pleasure. It was taking him from her. "Don't let me go. Please, don't ever let me go," she whimpered as he pushed her away and held her off.

     "Breelan. Breelan." He had again taken advantage of her. He knew it and for that too short moment, he didn't care. He was thinking only of himself. He would pay later. He tasted her on his lips, and she was finer than he'd remembered in all the nights he'd lain awake and all the times he'd walked the deck of the Comfort. He wanted her so badly. He wasn't sure his willpower would win a contest with his loosened desire ...  

     He shook her from her splendid stupor. "Bree, you've got to hear me. With all the craving a man can endure, I want you. Do you hear? Do you understand me? I want you. Finding that you feel the same brings me such joy, I can hardly ..." Waite was unable to finish his sentence. "Knowing the truth at last was worth all the hours of agony, all the uncertainty of guessing if you cared for me. I love you and realize you love me. You do love me, don't you? It isn't merely a physical attraction between us, is it? Tell me it's more." 

     "Waite Taylor, you've got to feel my love. It's so alive in me, I think I can reach in, grab hold of it, and show you. Believe me, believe I love you. And only you." She answered breathlessly, leaning into him, trying to make him hold her again.

     "Then, when I die, I'll be smiling."