Coffee Pot Blog Tour: The Promise by Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
Welcome to the Coffee Pot Book Tour featuring The Promise by Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
Here's the blurb:
Meet the Author: Kathleen Harryman
Kathleen was first published in 2015, a romantic suspense entitled The Other Side of the Looking Glass. Since then, Kathleen has developed a unique writing style which readers have enjoyed, and she became a multi-genre author of suspense, psychological thrillers, poetry and historical romance.
Having whetted your appetite, here is an excerpt from the book:
Summer 1939 - Whitby, England
Over the past few months, things had started to change. My feelings for Will developed past the boundary of friendship, into something so much more. There was a magical spark between us. Selfishly, I’d wanted to see where this new spark would take us. My only problem was Jimmy. I’d known for some time that Jimmy loved me and wanted us to be more than friends. How could I tell him that I was in love with Will, with- out hurting him? I’d become a bit of a coward. Choosing to ignore it. Hoping that Jimmy would come to under- stand this on his own. I cared for Jimmy and couldn’t bear to see him hurt. Knowing that I was the source of his pain made it even harder for me to endure. Mum had this saying, ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ I’d latched on to that saying for my own benefit, rather than Jimmy’s.
By the time I joined Will, he’d just about finished building the fire. I smiled as I walked past him, hips swaying, to sit on the blanket he’d placed, half on the rocks, and half on the sand. I watched him as he moved around the beach, collecting rocks to place around the small pile of wood. Will caught me watching him. I laughed as he playfully selected one of the larger rocks, raised his right eyebrow at me, smiled, wiggled his bum, and started to pick up the rock as though it weighed a ton.
I placed a hand on my chest. “Why, I do declare William Aarons. Aren’t you just the strongest man ever?”
“And don’t you go forgetting it, Rose Elliot. Other- wise, I’ll be turning into the big bad wolf and blowing your house down.”
I pretended to look shocked. “I’m not sure what mum would say if you did that, but she’d certainly be reminding you that you’re not too old to be placed over her knee.”
“Your mum’s one scary lady.”
Still smiling I turned my face into the wind, as Will continued to collect the rocks. I loved how the wind softly caressed my face and pulled at my hair. I began removing the rest of the pins from my hair, letting it hang loose down my back. The wind caught it, sending it flowing out behind me like a cape. I became conscious of Will’s eyes on me. He liked it when my hair was down. He said that there was an untamed wildness about me when I left it unattended. It was one of the reasons I kept it so unfashionably long. I’d come to recognize the heat of desire that shone within his deep blue eyes as he looked at me, just like he was doing now. It made my stomach flip, as though I was on a ship as it sailed the wild waves of the sea. I avoided looking at him directly and stretched out my legs, leaning back against the rock, allowing Will’s eyes further access to my body. I liked the way that he looked at me, eyes full of hunger and need. I also loved the fact that he found me attractive and that I could make him feel this way.
I lost myself to my musings for some time. However, once my mind returned, I began to feel impatience set in as I watched Will mess about with the bits of wood. The romance that I’d felt earlier was starting to die away to irritation, as time ticked on and the sun dropped lower in the sky. It seemed to be taking Will ages to light the fire. I was getting fidgety and cold. Silently, I cursed my eagerness to meet with him. Wishing that I’d been sensible and grabbed my cardigan off the kitchen stool when Will had come looking for me earlier in the afternoon. The sun had been high in the sky as we’d hidden from Jimmy within the tall wheat on the Armitage Farm. We’d cheerfully giggled into our hands, too wrapped up with hiding and the thought of being on our own, to think about how quickly the warm air would turn cold.
A small sigh escaped my lips as flames finally began to leap up, eating at the wood. Drawing closer to the fire, I spread out my hands towards the heat, and warmth instantly licked at my skin. Will came to sit next to me.
“Crikey Oh Will, I was beginning to think you were going to make me catch my death of cold, the length of time it’s taken you to get the fire going.”
Will pulled me into his arms. “I just wanted to be the one to warm you up.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “I’m not sure what type of girl you think I am, William Aarons.”
“I think you’re my type of girl.” I giggled at him.
Contentedly, I leant against his chest. Will rested his chin on the top of my head. Absently, his left-hand gently stroked the side of my face. The gesture made me smile.
Everything was so perfect. Will’s hard body against my back, his hand brushing my skin. I wanted the moment to last forever.
“Do you think we’ll always be like this?” I asked as I drew pleasure from the simple closeness of our bodies. “I don’t know, but I hope so.” The sound of the wood cracking under the flames drew my eyes to it. I watched the orange and yellow flames as they flickered in the wind.
Beyond the dancing fire was a feeling of dread. It sat deep within the pit of my stomach. My unease grew from recent news reports informing us of what was happening to the Poles, and all the stories of the Great War that the old folk seemed to be recalling with a lot more frequency, now more than ever before. It all made me feel very nervous. Something big was happening. The Government wasn’t saying much. The doors to Parliament were closed. Still, I could feel fear rise inside my chest, and my heart began to pound.
I turned to look at Will, my eyes searching his. “What happens if we go to war? What then, Will? I don’t think I could bear it, here on my own, wondering if you were coming back to me.”
His beautiful blue eyes met mine. While there was a gentle, reassuring smile on his lips, we both knew that should there be a war, things would change forever. I was scared that the happy, idealistic dreams I had of our future together would never come to pass. Not all dreams are meant to come true, and reality is often different from how imagination works. However, I wanted this dream of Will and me to be one dream that came true. War would end that. I just knew it would.
In that moment, I knew I had to make Will under- stand the pain I carried deep inside me, put there by Granny Elliot’s death.
“I’m scared, Will. I don’t want to be like Granny Elliot. I know mum calls Granny Elliot’s death a love story, but it wasn’t a love story at all, Will. It wasn’t. How could it be when Granny Elliot was in such pain as she waited for Grandad Elliot to return from fighting in the Great War. She spent day and night wondering, worrying, thinking, “Is this it? Is this the day they come and tell me that he’s dead?” When they did come, she broke, Will. There was no mending her. She died a year later. I don’t want to be like that. I won’t be like that. She became only half a person when Grandad Elliot died. And so terribly young. It was such a waste.”
Will cupped his hands around my face. “It won’t come to that, Rosie. Chamberlain’s doing everything he can to stop it from happening.”
I looked at Will for a long time, searching his eyes. “Nothing’s certain, Will. You know that.”
I looked down at my hands, then I raised my eyes to meet his. My breathing was shaky. My voice all but a whisper. Sadness, fear and frustration ate at my insides.
“I won’t forgive you, Will, if you go and fight. I simply couldn’t suffer the torment. Each day, wonder- ing if you were still alive. If you were coming home to me. I’d be only half alive like Granny Elliot. I couldn’t bear it.
“I don’t want to waste my life wishing for what was or what might have been. I’m not that strong. I want to be free to live and be happy, not moping around the place, always thinking and worrying about you.” Tears filled my eyes. “I sound quite selfish, don’t I? Everyone keeps saying ‘you’re only young once.’ If that’s the case, I want to make sure that I live my life to the fullest. Not spend it sitting at home with regret.”
I felt Will’s lips upon my own. I breathed in the scent of him. My tears kept falling as I kissed him harder, desperately wanting to remember the way he smelled, and the feel of his lips upon my own. I didn’t question how I was going to stop thinking and worry- ing about him if he went to war. If I started asking too many questions, my head would do somersaults.
I threw my arms round his neck. Drawing him closer
to me. “I love you, William Aarons. Don’t you dare leave me.”
“I’m not planning to, Rosie.”
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