Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just in Time for Halloween - Linda Andrews' UNMASK MY HEART

Please join me in Welcoming Linda Andrews to The Second Half. Linda is the author of a brand new historical romance entitled UNMASK MY HEART. She's here to tell us about her story, and she has a giveaway for a lucky commenter! Take it away, Linda.

1914. A mere hundred years ago. So many of our modern conveniences were around then, that I knew I would have problems giving this the proper historical feel. And what better place to base Hope's Point Island on than Mackinac Island in Michigan. Easy-peasy right? After all, Mackinac has banned cars and done much to preserve it's Victorian heritage.

You know the saying about the best laid plans...

It seems that to draw those wealthy tourist dollars in, Mackinac had indoor plumbing, electricity, and telephone service on the Island as early as 1904. Ack!

Fortunately, there were small details I could use to establish that 'olde tyme' feel, but before we get to the excerpt, tell me the one thing (excluding computers and cellphones) that makes it obvious the story takes place in another time. I'll let random.org chose one person who leaves a comment with their email address to win some Halloween bling.

Here's a blurb about the story: 
Her heart can't give him up. Her head can't trust him.

Everyone Phoebe Monpetit has ever loved eventually abandoned her. Even Gabriel Stephens, the man she thought she'd marry. For the last twelve years, she's muddled through alone, cobbling a life together.

Gabriel took the first opportunity to escape his family's constant fighting and rarely looked back. When war explodes across Europe, he learns what his cowardice has really cost him.

This Halloween, he'll use every trick he can to win back Phoebe's heart.

Will she keep her true feelings covered, or will she let Gabe unmask her heart?

And now for an excerpt to tempt you:

           Meowing, Thom hunkered down on the oilcloth floor by the sardine can she used to hold his food.
"Yes." Phoebe leaned against the door to shut it. The frigid breeze whistled through the openings around the jamb. After filling the cat's dish half-full, she joined her grandmother at the stove. "And I have six bottles this morning to sell."
Gigi grunted. Lifting the lid off the birch bark basket, she chipped off a piece of maple sugar from the lump inside the makak and added the clear solid to the saucepan of water.
Phoebe held her breath while pouring the rest of the milk into the kettle.
Grandmother usually returned from the lower peninsula in a happy mood, glad to be home and full of stories of the summer's events. She hadn't said a word since Gabe had left without a greeting last night, slamming the door behind him.
Setting the bucket in the tin sink, Phoebe filled it half full with cold water from the tap.
Gigi scraped the Johnnycake off the skillet and flipped it.
Phoebe sighed. She would have to question her grandmother. Her stomach cramped. But could it wait until after breakfast? Four heaping spoonfuls of cocoa turned the cream a light brown color.
Muttering, Gigi tossed a thumb-sized piece of maple sugar into the warming cocoa.
No point in putting it off. "Is something wrong, Gigi?"
Grandmother's black eyes narrowed. Hefting the skillet, she slid the corn cakes on a blue and white plate containing half a dozen others then returned the pan to the stove. "Yes, something is wrong."
Using a wooden spoon, Gigi scooped out a dollop of grease from the jar on the wooden counter and added it to the pan. A deft shake later, the oil coated the entire surface.
Knowing her grandmother would reveal everything on her own timetable, Phoebe took tea cups, saucers, and plates from the ledge near the sink. The bone china rattled in her hands. Generations of French brides would haunt her if she broke a single piece. She carefully set the place settings on the table and added two polished forks and knives.
Daisies embroidered the linen napkins sitting next to the blue plates. Her reflection frowned back at her from the copper pots hanging on the wall opposite the door. Both were the dowry of the last French bride to emigrate to America and used only on special occasions, like today.


  1. Well, now I want to see more...

    We went to Mackinac this fall. How lovely it is. I'd love to set a contemporary there!

  2. I've never been to Mackinac, Liz, but it's definitely on my bucket list!