( The working cover for The Perils of Autumn. Image courtesy of Google Images © )
I’m so happy to have my friend Author, Rusty Blackwood with us again and for her granting us a special “Sneak Peek Read” from her new writing project and book coming in Spring 2018! Here now is Rusty and what she is sharing with us today…
(Photo Courtesy of Amazon Author Page)
I am so pleased to bring you this update along with the latest thrilling chapter in the upcoming and most anticipated romantic fiction drama, The Perils of Autumn.
This new and exciting novel centers around a young nurse, the exhilarating world of thoroughbred racing in Kentucky, and a celebrated jockey who has a secret he will go to any length to protect.
Follow feistily, LPN Autumn Leeves, as she embarks on her first unique nursing assignment, that of caring for the terminally ill wife of English equestrian master and a Triple Crown winner, Cyril Landon, prideful owner of Landon Lawns Stables located just outside Lexington Kentucky in the posh area known as The Meadows.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario.
She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001.
From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.
Please visit her official website Rusty Blackwood – Bio/Contact for numerous reviews, author interview requests, and information on her work.
I am enjoying the creation of this novel immensely. The more the story grows the more in-depth it becomes. The characters are raw, bold, and pretentious, yet each carries a certain uniqueness that pulls you in and makes you want to know them more. I now offer you the latest chapter in its entirety. ~Rusty Blackwood
When Secret Want Becomes Frenzied Need
It was nearing mid-afternoon when Cyril arrived in the stable to tack up Dapper Dan and take him out for a ride. The air was crisp, but the wind of the morning had died down making the air less sharp. Autumn’s words still echoed in his ears; she was thinking of leaving, leaving him, leaving what they had together. She may have said their relationship would not change yet how could it not? She would no longer be present with him each morning to enjoy the English breakfast Agnes had become known for. She would no longer be present in the stables.
And she would no longer be at his side as they rode together, discussing world events, challenging each other about them, and simply being together. He felt tortured, alone, just like he had that terrible day when he walked into his bedroom to find his wife had expired before he could get there. He hadn’t the chance to say goodbye when she could have heard it, when it could have counted. How many times had he said it since? He prayed that she heard him, understood, and forgave him. Yet he would never know for sure, at least for now.
Cyril did not take his closeness with Autumn lightly. He found her consuming his every thought throughout the day. Had he fallen in love? What else could it be, and why had he simply not told her? He pondered on these thoughts as Without You played on the stable’s radio system that was used for entertaining not only the hands, but the horses. The lyrics of this song cut Cyril’s heart like a hot knife through butter, ripping him to his very core. Knowing he had to clear his head, he led his dappled stallion to the paddock gate. Taking a deep breath, relishing the freshness of it, he mounted his horse, took the reins, and set off toward the hills.
He planned on rounding his acreage to have a look at the fencing while he rode. There would be plenty to do once the ground was free of winter’s grip. It was the same every year. Cyril couldn’t say that he hated winter, after all it was beautiful in its own right, but the older he got the more the season’s weather bothered him. He was not overly old in years, yet he felt as if he had lived an entire lifetime, working hard, doing whatever was necessary to build a future, a life – a legacy. Yet he had no-one to leave it to, no wife, no children, and no heir of any kind.
He had coped with this fact when Alice was still at his side, they helped each other deal with it, but now he coped alone. He was certain that Autumn was aware of the emptiness he felt as well as the loss. He also knew she could understand, but if she left he would have no-one except Agnes, yet as close as she was to him, he could not confide in her in the same manner he could with someone who intimately held his heart. He must find a way to entice Autumn to stay, but how?
He rode on, letting Dan have his way, go where he wished, and kick up his heels if he chose. The snow in the fields had almost diminished completely, yet the odd shallow drift was still visible where the ground was sheltered. The absence of snow was good for it allowed Cyril an unhindered view of his land. It had been quite some time since he had ridden his property, and he was enjoying this ride immensely. He suddenly felt exhilarated, as did Dapper Dan, his nostrils emitting bursts of moisture into the air as he exhaled. Cyril was doing the same.
“Look at us, boy,” Cyril chided with excitement as the tall stallion opened his stride, “You feel the same as I, now go, Danny Boy, ride the wind, and do what you will!”
Rider and horse cantered swiftly. Before long the well-muscled hunter broke into a gallop, stretching long, and lean. The drumming of his hooves upon the ground echoed in the air, the sound carrying into the woods. The grey sped quickly along, his attention centered on the path before him when he noticed a sudden movement of something scurrying from beneath a nearby tree on his right. It was a jackrabbit, darting in front of him, totally taking him by surprise. He stopped immediately, rearing upward, unseating his startled rider who in turn lost his balance and fell. He landed heavily on his back upon the frozen ground. He cried out in pain, trying his best to remain conscious. The startled dapple bolted forward, answering the instinct to run, yet something was holding him back from disappearing into the woods.
A still conscious Cyril lay on his back, unable to move while pain shot through his entire body. Shock was beginning to set in but he realized he could not give in to it. If he did he was as good as dead. The temperature was beginning to drop, wind was picking up, and the frozen ground held no comfort for his injuries. He knew he had to have help. But he was alone, and at the far back of his property. Even if he yelled at the top of his lungs no one could hear him, the stables and mansion were too far away. He fought the fear now seizing his insides. Exposed to the elements, he realized he could not remain where he was for long, and he suddenly felt cold, the ground’s dampness doing its best to seep into his body as if it were a sponge. He knew it wouldn’t be long before hyperthermia would begin to set in. He lifts his head to see where Dan had gotten to and was instantly relieved to see that his solid friend was not far away, standing stalwart, waiting for instruction.
“Danny … oh Dan, my good, good boy, come here … hurry,” Cyril cried, doing his best to fight the tears filling his eyes. “Come, boy, you must help me. I need you now more than I ever have.”
The powerful steed moved toward his master, coming slowly, yet determined to obey the man he trusted. He stood before his fallen friend, towering well above him, but instantly lowered his head to nuzzle Cyril’s outstretched hand.
“You have to help me now, boy, you have to … to get us home – however you can. I-I don’t think I can get up — ah! I know that I … I can’t walk. You have to go, bring help. You can do it, boy; you have never let me down. Go, Dan, now … before it gets dark. Bring William, anybody to help me, now be off with you.”
The prideful horse continued to stand vigilant, refusing to leave his fallen master. He understood what was being asked of him, but he could not leave. Cyril again begged him to go, but he refused. Horses are one of the most intelligent animals God ever created. They possess enormous understanding, the need to love and be loved. The gentle grey dapple loved his master; he also knew he was in dire straits, so he stepped forward, positioning his body parallel to that of his fallen friend, knelt down on his front knees, and eased himself upon the ground with his back toward his friend.
Cyril was amazed to see what was happening, but thankful that it was. He wondered if he could move, or would he do himself further harm if he tried. But he could not stay where he was. Dan held fast, whinnying to his master to try. Cyril fought to pull himself upward, crying out in pain as he did. The pain emitting through his body was dreadful, and he fell back cursing aloud but determined he would win this battle. If his stalwart friend was willing to lay on this frigid ground for him, he would not disappoint him by not doing his part.
“Oh, Danny,” Cyril cried openly, “I do not know if I can do this. Oh, my fine boy, if … if only I had not brought us out here. I promise if we get home alive you will have the finest supper any magnificent beast has ever enjoyed. Ah! … Oh, dear Lord, help us, please help us. Good boy, Dan … now, I shall give it another go.”
Daylight was beginning to fade. Cyril realized that he must get on his horse; he would die on this spot if he did not. Again he pulled himself upward as he cried out in immense pain, but grasp hold of Dan’s generous mane while sliding his hands through it until his arms wrapped around the powerful neck, and his right leg over his friend’s body. Finally, he pulled himself upon Dan’s inert form, holding fast to the horse’s strong neck as he did.
Dan’s well-developed instincts told him it was time to get to his feet. With one strong lunge, while Cyril held fast to his body, he rose to his knees. One more upward lunge brought him to his feet. The horse now stood erect, his injured master draped on his back, arms and legs dangling freely, his face buried in the soft, warm mane. Dan took his time, stepping slowly but firmly as he walked toward home.
It was completely dark by the time horse and barely conscious rider arrived at the main stable. Dan whinnied loudly at the end door causing William Brown, who was busy with the evening chores, to take notice. He moved toward the door, not believing what he saw. He took but an instant to grab Dan’s dangling reins and bring him into the stable just as Cyril began sliding off his mount’s back. William moved like lightning, catching his now unconscious boss and easing him to the floor.
“Oh my God, Cyril, what in hell has happened!?” William exclaimed, instantly calling for Manfred’s help. “Hurry, man, Cyril is badly hurt! Call an ambulance and inform Nurse Leeves at the house! She needs to do what she can until the ambulance arrives.”
Autumn had just sat down in her kitchenette to a small bowl of vegetable soup. Her appetite was anywhere but with her as her mind kept repeating her earlier conversation with Cyril. She could not get his lost look out of her mind; it had infiltrated her very soul, as she thought, how can I even contemplate leaving him? Her heart pained at the very idea, but she missed practicing her profession; she had to make a choice.
Suddenly a loud knock pummeled her door, along with Agnes screaming, “Autumn! You have to go to the main stables this instant! Cyril is badly hurt!” …
Now I know I shouldn’t STOP the momentum of Rusty’s Sneak Peek Read for us, but her website is such an amazing place to visit, you’ll have to go there to finish reading her Chapter 23 Share and find out What Happens Next!
I thank Rusty for giving my friends, readers, and visitors such a treat and have an “inside look” of her long-awaited and ANTICIPATED ROMANTIC FICTION DRAMA: “THE PERILS OF AUTUMN” … More Books By Rusty.
For all of Rusty Blackwood Best-Selling Books, Visit & Follower her on Amazon Author Page!
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