Aside from one-off special trips, like the river cruise through Germany to celebrate hubby’s retirement, or the long weekend in San Francisco without the kids, my favorite vacations have all be in one place. From before our marriage, to a few days of our honeymoon, and right up to last autumn, we have camped almost every summer in Kejimkujik National Park, one of the many national or provincial parks here in Nova Scotia.
A collection of lakes, rivers, and streams nestled in the ancient forest on traditional Mi’kmaq land, Keji is a wilderness of sights, sounds, and smells.
When the kids were little, we pitched our family-size tent in the main campground, handy to flushing toilets and hot showers. As the kids grew we ventured further away from civilization. When they were about 10 and 12 we went on our first multi-night trip into the backcountry via canoe. I always forget how many stars are in the firmament until I’m in the middle of nowhere, the call of loons and coyotes echoing across the lake. It truly is a magical place.
The kids learned how to start a fire without a match, pack a canoe, and erect a tent during a gale. They also learned the importance of bringing extra socks.
We instilled a love of camping, and especially a love of Keji, in both kids. Our eldest is heading into the backcountry in a few weeks. Summer wouldn’t be complete without a few nights spent under the stars, a soft breeze wafting the scent of balsam fir to mingle with that of morning coffee, and not another soul for miles.
I’m eager to plan this year’s visit in early autumn, now that we no longer need to schedule around school vacation. And I always bring extra socks.
Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart
Love & Mayhem by Luanna Stewart
Sybil is happily on the shelf, tending to her sheep. But she fears she’ll depart this life without experiencing physical love, which she suspects is rather enjoyable. When her long-lost fiancé returns from sea, she decides he’s the lucky man who’ll receive her virginity.
Max is eager to return to his sugar plantation and has no intention of remaining in London. However, he didn’t bargain on a wilful, pretty, exasperating spinster determined to take him to her bed.
He insists on marriage, but she wants only his body. Her heart is not part of the deal. Unfortunately, love doesn’t always follow the rules.
Page Count: 310
Word Count: 75670
Excerpt from Love & Mayhem
The two women who had stumbled upon their tryst got rather red in the face and pursed their lips. The taller of the two took a step closer. “Who are you, sir? And what do you mean by manhandling this poor child?” She fairly bristled with indignation and outrage.
He sketched a brief bow. “Maxwell Bretherton at your service. Allow me to present my affianced bride, Miss Sybil Woodbridge.”
“I’m not marrying you.” She finally broke free of his hold and attempted to straighten her hat. He’d surely become addled from all his years under the tropical sun. Not only had he not properly proposed marriage, but she’d not said yes. Nor would she. She didn’t want a husband. And certainly not one who would think nothing of ordering her about. Even if it was Max. With his kisses.
“We’ll discuss this later.” Max’s breath tickled her ear, his voice a low growl. “I don’t want these fine ladies to fall under a misapprehension.”
“I think they interpreted the situation quite accurately.” With her hat firmly in place she faced the women, determined to brazen this out. What a lot of fuss and bother over an unimportant embrace. She smoothed her gloves. Yes, unimportant. Well, to anyone else but her, certainly. But it didn’t mean anything. Mutual attraction. And if she wanted to explore that attraction further, it was no one’s concern but hers. And Max’s, of course. She glanced at him quickly, fearing she’d ventured beyond mutual attraction.
“Shall we summon a constable, miss?” The short, plump woman clearly wanted to leave the awkward scene, but didn’t want to abandon Sybil to potential ravishment.
“No, you needn’t summon help.” Max appeared to be talking through clenched teeth. He put his arm around her again, scandalously higher than her waist. In fact, his thumb touched her breast. The heat of his hand seeped through his glove and her gown, chemise and corset. Her nipples tightened. Her private parts tingled as she imagined his bare hand touching her bare skin, smoothing over all areas seldom exposed.
The tall, horsey looking woman grabbed Sybil by the elbow and pulled her from Max’s embrace, propelling her along the path. “We will escort you home, young lady. There has been more than enough of this foolishness.”
Max grasped Sybil’s other arm and pulled her to a stop. She stood suspended between the two like a marionette. “I told you, madam, we are to be wed. There is nothing improper about us spending time alone together.” Max attempted to pry the woman’s fingers from Sybil’s arm.
“Max, stop it.” Sybil swatted at his hand. “You are causing a scene. Ma’am, I am quite safe with this gentleman. He is a friend of my brother. He is returning me to my home right this minute.”
“The hell I am. We aren’t finished here yet.”