Good Tuesday, everyone.
I thought I'd share a bit of what I'm working on for Harlequin's Manuscript Match contest. This has been my favorite contest with Harlequin thus far. I mean, we are all writing together, and have open communication with editors while we do it, via their community web pages. Talk about service! I'm excited and grow even more so as this story develops.
Here's a snippet *unedited*
"And so the raven flies here nor there, lavishing his freedom without regard, while the dove obediently listens to her heart and brings forth the olive branch of hope."
He carefully laid Miss Paloma on the deck of his ship whereas she immediately curled herself into a ball, tears falling down the side of her cheeks. The smell of scorched wood carried by the smoke of the Maria burned his nostrils and his eyes. It was not part of his plan.
"Put the fire out on that cutter! Today, is not Overmort’s day to die!" he shouted to two men who had ran up to assist.
"He never once looked my way. He only worried himself over his gold…" the girl sobbed. Stefan dropped to a knee to assure himself of her well-being. An incoherent, a strange mixture of words and grief poured from her lips even as her eyes remained closed. He nudged her shoulder then winced when swollen, terror filled eyes opened. The look she gave him, made him feel like Lucifer himself.
"Trully awful, loathsome, pirate…"
"Do you need assistance with the lass, captain?"
Stefan stood, unable to tear his gaze away from the girl, questioning the sanity of what he’d done. He nodded to Gully, "Take her to the Raven’s nest. She can recover inside the chamber. But lock it and guard the door. She is my prisoner."
Gully, well-built for such task, moved to lift Overmort’s daughter, but she awoke with a start, and immediately slapped his hand away.
"Don’t touch me, you mangy, disgusting dog." She spat, then scrambled herself backwards. Gully did nothing as the girl struggled to stand on her own. She managed to get her footing, taking several swipes at her face to remove
"If you have captured me for ransom, pirate, you’ve obviously made a humorous, although somewhat sad mistake. My father cares not for me, but for his gold and diamonds. You have nothing in which to barter. He will care little, that you’ve captured me. What a terrible disappointment that must be for you."
Stefan momentarily lost his train of thought. He was impressed the girl had such fire in her, but her statement confused him. How could that be true? How could Overmort not be concerned for the welfare of his daughter? She lifted her chin, her disgust for him clearly written upon her features. While her spunk was admirable, he’d not put up with nonsense.
"Is that so? Then the man is a fool. You should be glad to be rid of him."
He turned to look at Overmort’s cutter, the fire had already been put out, and the vessel was now a floating dot upon the dark waters. He’ll test Miss Paloma’s words. He’ll find out for himself which Overmort values more.
"Hampton! There are cakes on that boat filled with the old man’s treasures. Take what you can, give nothing back!" Hampton hurried to his side while a grin shaped his face.
"Ah, I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, as you wish, Captain Ice."
"Captain Ice?" her voice repeated in disbelief.
He stooped himself into a bow.
"The pleasure is mine. Welcome aboard the Raven, Miss Paloma."
Golden eyes rolled into the back of her head as her knees buckled beneath her. Stefan rushed himself forward, arms out stretched. Overmort’s daughter fell straight into his arms.