Where Rainbows End by AnneMarie Brear

Where Rainbows End





Blurb
“I’m not a man, but that won’t stop me. Just you wait and see.”
It’s 1850 and the Noble family have arrived in Australia to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Headstrong Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plans for a successful stud farm a reality.
Pippa is immediately spellbound by the untamed outback landscape, although she learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush – sometimes with devastating consequences. When circumstance leads to Pippa tending the new farm alone, it is the steadfast friendship of neighbouring country estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land and make her mark, even if it means losing everything else …

Excerpt:
‘Miss Noble!’
She whipped around at the urgency in Robson’s voice and blanched at the strain on his face. He skidded to a stop in front of her and pointed to the ridge. ‘Bushfire. From the west. I’ve sent Colin to saddle a horse and ride up to the road to see how far away it is. But we must prepare.’
Pippa’s mouth went dry. ‘Bush … Bushfire?’
Esther hurried back to them, her hand clasped against her chest. ‘Oh, my dear lord. What will we do?’
Robson took off his hat and scratched his head, his expression revealing his concern. ‘We must fill every bucket and wet down the buildings, starting with the grain store. I’ve already got Peter and Barney digging a hole to bury feed and harnesses. The water in the creek is too low to last for long. We’ll need to put valuables in the sawpit and cover it with wet sacking.’
Pippa’s mind went blank. He talked too fast for her to absorb his meaning. ‘Robson, please, what are you saying?’
He took a deep breath and then glanced away sharply as Colin galloped across the valley floor, the hoof beats thundering. ‘Miss, try to understand. If the fire gets into the valley, it’ll wipe out everything in its path. We must bury what we can. Once the fire reaches, if it reaches the valley ridge, we’ll all have to escape from the other side, and there’s no track there, so we can’t take the wagon. I’ll get the horses saddled. The ladies must pack only lightly.’
‘Escape?’ Esther swayed just as Hilary and Davy joined them.
Running his hands through his hair, Robson’s eyes implored Pippa to take action.
But she couldn’t move or think clearly. Bushfire. Escape. ‘It it may not even come this way, Robson.’
‘I hope to God it doesn’t, miss.’
She swallowed, but her throat was suddenly dry. ‘But you think it will?’
He looked up at the large gum trees, their top branches swaying in the warm breeze. ‘If the wind doesn’t change, the fire will sweep over that ridge and head straight for us.’
‘But it’s not summer yet. You said bushfires came in January or February.’
‘Miss, we’ve had very little rain, and dead grass will burn whether it be the middle of winter or summer. We were spared fires last year, but all it takes is one spark to set the bush alight, and this wind will not help us.’ He shifted from foot to foot. ‘Please, miss, we cannot waste time talking. We must prepare—’
‘What of the horses? The mares are due to foal within weeks, they mustn’t be scared into bolting.’
‘I’ll get Peter to take them to the far side of the valley. If the fire breaks the ridge, he’ll take them out and head towards Mittagong.’ He gave another nervous glance at the widening plume of smoke on the horizon. ‘Please, Miss Noble, we need to act now.’
‘Yes, go. Do what must be done.’ Pippa waved him away and turned to her family. On seeing their scared and worried expressions, she hid her fear and straightened her shoulders. ‘Come, we must do as Robson says. Pack lightly or bury what you cannot carry. Quickly, now!’
As the others turned and ran back to the house, her mother stepped forward and gripped Pippa’s arm. ‘This valley, the stud, is all we have, Pippa.’
‘Yes, Mother.’ Distracted, Pippa nodded, looking beyond her towards the scurrying men.
Esther’s hand clenched Pippa’s arm like a vice. ‘No, listen to me!’
Pippa stared at her, shocked.
‘You must not let all that we have slip from our grasp. Not now we are finally finding our way out of the depths of despair. I’d not survive another disappointment.’
‘I promise I won’t let that happen.’
Her mother’s gaze remained fixed on hers. ‘If we lose the stud, that will be the end of us. The Nobles will be finished forever.’
‘I know. I’ll do everything I can to prevent it. Trust me.’ She kissed her mother’s cheek and gently pushed her in towards the house. ‘Go help pack. Take only the most important things and hurry!’
Robson, bless him, sprang into action. He ran about issuing orders that everyone instantly obeyed; even her mother showed extreme courage and did as she was told without complaint.
Pippa knew all kinds of fear. The fear of being turned out of their house when her father squandered their money, the fear of being unloved and rejected by Grant, the fear of being in the middle of a vast ocean on an insignificant ship. Yet nothing eclipsed the fear she was experiencing now.
The terror seemed tangible, as though she could taste it, reach out and touch it. She wasn’t one to panic and hated being vulnerable, but as the wind carried the smell of smoke and the sound of crackling wood, her throat closed up through pure dread.
Astounded by the enormity of losing everything she’d worked for and dreamed of, Pippa stood trance-like, unable to move or think. The noise and confusion around her dimmed.
‘Pip.’ Davy tugged at her skirts, his face pale.
For a long moment she stared at him. She didn’t realise she was frightening him until his bottom lip quivered.
‘Will we die, Pip?’
Wrenched out of her daze, she blinked as his words sank in. ‘No … No, darling.’ His hand inched into hers and she squeezed it tight. ‘We’ll be fine. I’ll take care of you.’
A shout made her jump. Colin rode like the devil towards them, waving his hat in the air. Everyone stilled and then quickly joined Pippa and Davy near the creek as Colin pulled up his horse to a skittering halt before them.
‘Well?’ Robson demanded, his body tense as he ran towards them.
Colin winced as he swallowed, his lips dry and face coated with dust. ‘It’s heading this way about four or five miles from here, maybe a mile more, but that’s all.’ He sagged in the saddle. ‘It’s coming from the direction of the Merediths’ property.’
Time froze for a second and then everyone started talking at once.
Millie stared in horror at Pippa. ‘Oh, no. Amelia and the baby, and Douglas.’
‘They might be safe. Don’t worry.’ Pippa patted her arm and then looked to Robson for direction.
‘It’s closer than I thought.’ He frowned, rubbing his fingertips across his forehead. ‘Right, we’ve got to leave the valley now. Colin, bring the work horses here for the ladies to ride.’
‘Can we not fight the fire, Robson?’ Pippa felt her heart would explode from the pain of losing it all. ‘I mean, we’ve got water at our feet. Can we not—’
‘Miss, a few buckets of water will not stand up to a bushfire. You’ve never seen one before. It’s a wild beast feasting and growing in front of your very eyes. There’s no stopping it.’
Her frustration burst into anger. ‘I will not lose this place! I will stay and fight.’
‘Don’t be silly, Pippa,’ Millie scoffed, returning to her side with a large canvas bag bulging with clothes. She took Davy’s hand. ‘We’ll do as Robson says. We must get out of harm’s way. Nothing is worth putting yourself in danger.’
A rifle shot echoed across the valley, sending birds screeching from the trees.
Pippa wheeled around to stare at their entrance into the valley, but no vehicle or horseman came dashing out of the trees at the base.
Robson scanned the slopes, shading his eyes with his hand as the sun burnt down relentlessly. ‘Someone needs help. It’s a signal.’
A shiver of trepidation ran down Pippa’s back. ‘Father,’ she whispered.
‘No!’ Esther jerked. ‘He’s in Berrima.’
Hilary, eyes wide, stepped closer to her mother. ‘But what if he had started to journey home?’

Buy links:
All Amazon Kindle sites; myBook.to/WhereRainbowsEnd

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Promo: Revisiting THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD (PG excerpt)


A Regency Romance Family Favorite!

THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Regency

Available electronically at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, and Wings ePress

Price: $3.99

Buy link:
Available electronically at:

Blurb:
A BATTLE OF WILLS
Impoverished Katrina Jones is determined to earn a living by pursuing a career. Her landlord, The Earl of Udall, has other ideas for her. Can she set aside her fears about marriage and learn that trust goes hand in hand with love?

A THORN IN HIS SIDE...
Quentin Thornhill, the Earl of Udall, is used to having his own way. When the delightful Katrina inadvertently thwarts his plans to install his latest mistress at his newly-won lodging, he begins to realize that not all females are as devious as the women he has known. Can he overcome his cynicism and give his heart to this young and innocent silhouettist?

Scene Set-Up:
The Earl of Udall is inconvenienced when he finds Katrina and her great aunt living in the rental house that he just won. He arrogantly believes Katrina will take his money and go elsewhere.

Excerpt:
Reaching into his waistcoat, Lord Udall pulled out a small blue pouch. So intent was he with the pouch, that he did not notice he also pulled out a black velvet box. It dropped to the uncarpeted floor without making a sound.

Katrina pointed to the box. "You drop--"

"These guineas will reimburse you for any hardships you believe you have suffered." The Earl jiggled the blue sack.

With a shrug, he threw the pouch next to her feet.

He obviously thought his business was concluded, for he strode to a looking-glass on the wall, then adjusted his cravat.

Katrina narrowed her gaze. So Lord Udall thought he had disposed of her, hmmn? Neatly bribing her so that he could install his latest mistress at this address. Taking a look at her mother's portrait, Katrina straightened her shoulders. I think not.

Picking up the coin sack, she sauntered over to the Earl. After rearranging his cravat, he realigned the stripes on the painted buttons of his tail-coat.

She raised her gaze. Faith, what a dandy!

Preoccupied with his image, he did not see her. She hurled the bag at his chest.

He flinched from the blow, then caught the coins. "What the devil!"

"Lord Udall." She gave him a smile of her own, albeit a little shaky. "I am not accepting your money for a simple reason--my great aunt and I are not leaving this house."

Balling his fists, he tightened his square jaw, giving her a stare that would quell the dead. "Indeed?"

Behind her back, Katrina crossed her fingers. She would not let him intimidate her! "My great aunt and I signed a lease with the Dowager Countess of Udall in good faith. As far as I am concerned, it is a legal document. I am afraid you will have to evict us."

"By God! You cannot be serious!"

His disbelief amused her. Obviously this man rarely faced opposition. It would do him good to experience a setdown or two.

She tried to keep her lips from curving upward. "Oh, but I am, My Lord. Quite serious."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist! 

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Revisiting the Regency Time-Travel Romance HAVE CHRISTMAS CARD... WILL TRAVEL (excerpt PG)


It’s Christmas in June! :))

HAVE CHRISTMAS CARD... WILL TRAVEL

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Time-Travel Regency

Available electronically at Amazon.com

Price: $3.99

Buy link:


Blurb:
A magic Christmas card sends lonely Meredith back in time... then returns her to her own century each morning. A handsome lord proposes, and she accepts, but then finds herself attracted to her fiancĂ©’s honorable brother. How can she find happiness when she has one foot in the past with the other in the present?

Scene Set-Up:
After waking up in a wintry, wooded area, Meredith meets the two brothers who rescued her and took her back to their house. She thinks she’s dreaming.

Excerpt:
"Meredith." William leaned into her ear, and whispered, "I do like your name. Merry Meredith--a diamond of the first water. You feel like heaven in my arms!"

Wow, this guy could lay it on thick. But maybe that was what she needed, to be wined and dined and flattered as if she were the queen of the prom.

Enjoying the moves of the waltz as they swayed, she sighed. She could get used to being the center of the universe.

Someone tapped William on the shoulder. "May I cut in?"

Meredith glanced up at the newcomer and gulped down hard. What a dreamboat! Tall, broad shoulders, deep brown eyes to die for, and dark, disheveled hair. This man had to have been Jeffrey, the one who carried her.

"Rot," William complained. "Do you have to?"

"Yes, I do." Jeffrey turned his stern gaze on her as if asking her permission.

She nodded, and willed her heart to slow its beating. Goodness, she hadn't turned into liquid goo at the sight of a man since her fiancé. But then again, look how that had turned out.

"Well then, if you must." William released her to his brother, then gave her another wink. "After this dance, Merry is mine, old man."

Jeffrey took her in his arms. To her surprise, she almost melted against him. His masculine scent tormented her in a thousand different ways. Everything peaked, in a manner of speaking. Not daring to look up into his face, she studied the jeweled pin in his white cravat.

"Merry? Is that your name?" He expertly maneuvered her about the parquet floor.

She unstuck her tongue from the roof of her mouth. "No, I'm Meredith. Meredith Wyatt. And you are Jeffrey...?"

"Lord Burnett," was his ungracious reply. "So how did you arrive on our lands, dressed in your night clothes, Miss Wyatt? If my brother had not found you, you surely would have expired due to exposure."

He was being very nosy for a hallucination, not to mention haughty. Peering over his shoulder, she stared out at the other occupants of the room. "It's a mystery, Lord Burnett. I have no idea. But I'm very grateful to you and...your brother."

"How grateful are you, Miss Wyatt?" He executed a turn that caused her to bump into him.

Hot fire poured into her veins, and her breasts tingled even more. But dream or not, she had to ignore her feelings. This man was insinuating that she wasn't a lady. After all, he had wanted to deposit her in the servants' quarters.

She stiffened and gave him a tight little smile. "Very grateful, Lord Burnett. You and your brother are such gentlemen."

Hopefully that remark would remind him to behave accordingly.

When the waltz ended, she took a step away from him. Then she noticed another new arrival, a woman a little older than the other young ladies. The woman had more poise, more polish. And she glared daggers of hate at Meredith.

Meredith shivered.

"Are you cold, Miss Wyatt?"

"No, Lord Burnett. Why do you ask?"

The smile on his handsome face could only be described as a smirk. He dropped his gaze to her chest. "Because it looks as if you might be cold."

She glanced down... and died. Her nipples had hardened and the soft satin material of her gown showed every revealing curve.

Thank goodness she'd decided to wear a shawl. She quickly arranged the wrap over her traitorous breasts. "I'm fine. Thank you for your concern."

The music started up again, giving her a perfect out. "If you'll excuse me, Lord Burnett. I'm sure you want to dance with your wife."

She tried to leave, but he grabbed her by the upper arm, effectively stopping her. "You are in error, Miss Wyatt. I do not have a wife."

"No? Then I wonder why that woman with the purple gown is glowering at me." She tried to escape his grip, but he was far too strong.

"Lady Goodstone?" He looked over at the woman, who then reddened and returned her attention to her dance partner. "Lady Goodstone is a recent widow. Her somber appearance must be due to her unhappy circumstances, Miss Wyatt. Nothing more."

Right. And if Jeffrey believed that, he was a deluded fool.

With two goblets in hand, William approached, wearing an admiring smile. "There you are, my Merry Wood Nymph. Where have you been all my life? Let us leave this dull old dog to languish with these other beauties. Come, enjoy a glass of champagne with me."

"Certainly." Meredith returned William's bright smile and followed him over to an arrangement of chairs near one of the draped windows.

She took the goblet, sat in the chair, and listened to William's amusing gibberish. Either the champagne was more potent than what she was used to, or she was more tired than she realized, for after a while, her eyelids drooped. Despite her urging, there was no way she could keep them open.

Conversations droned around her. One in particular seemed really close by. She struggled to catch the words.

"Dashed good trade for the partridge, don't you think?" one voice asked.

"A chubby bird for a ladybird? This is a disgrace. It will not do," said the other in disapproving tones.

She couldn't fight sleep any longer. She lost consciousness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy Reading!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist! 


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Promo: Revisiting the Minx Tobin Mystery Romance Series: THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE




The second case in the Minx Tobin Mystery Romance Series is now at Amazon.com and Desert Breeze Publishing, www.desertbreezepublishing.com.

 

Who is Minx Tobin, you ask? Minx is a fitness instructor newly relocated to Los Angeles, California, who has a knack for solving puzzles--puzzles concerning dead bodies. For fun, romance, and... unexpected corpses, follow her adventures in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series!

 

Minx’s dead friend turns up alive... but not for long. Will the life insurance have to be paid twice?

 

DEAD AGAIN

An odd string of coincidences leads Minx Tobin to an old friend, Bill Gutierrez. Only Bill died five years ago. Before Minx has a chance to question the man, he turns up dead... again, with a slip of paper in his pocket with her name on it. Whether she likes it or not, Minx is involved in another murder. Will the Case of the Ill-gotten Insurance turn out to be deadly for her as well?

 

Los Angeles homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris regrets that the fitness trainer who piqued his interest is a murder suspect once again. But at least he has a legitimate reason to see Minx. Maybe he can even convince her to go out with him. And maybe he can prevent L.A.’s newest murderer from adding Minx to his... or her fatality list.

 

Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6axHmA8xwc to see a trailer of THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE.

 

Reviews:

 

4 Hearts! Susanne Marie Knight pens another thriller in this series. The lives of the rich and famous overlap with those who work for a living. Character building and dialogue are great. The suspense as Minx confronts a killer is edge of your seat. For a woman whose intuition and people skills in a case are superb, Minx doesn't seem to do well communicating with Gabe. He's a macho man with a heart of gold but doesn't let Minx see much of his better side. Gabe's friend, Sgt. Antonio Atwell and his family are a priceless addition that really give the tale a boost. The author does a great job blending everyday people, some of whom are a bit creepy, with the suspects. Associates we meet at the fitness Emporium, especially the guys, will pique the memories of those forgettable dates we had before finding Mr. Right for many women. This is a fun series--The Romance Studio

 

The Ill-gotten Insurance, the second installment in the Minx Tobin Case books, will not only keep you turning the pages until you reach the end of the story, it will have you seeking out the first of Ms. Knight’s Minx Tobin Case books if you have not already read it. The author’s fluent writing style which brings her characters alive, warts and all. Her ability to capture the outrage of the rich implicated in the murder along side her depiction of the hero and heroine and their supporting cast creates plenty of friction as some of those characters are simply ‘way-out’ weird... Ms. Knight offers characters you will want to get to know even better, characters you are still rooting for at the conclusion of The Ill-gotten Insurance. The story is packed with a gallery full of suspects and enough twists and turns to satisfy any reader.--Long and Short Reviews.

 

I don't normally read mystery, but I'm enjoying your book, Susanne Marie Knight. I just started it a while ago and already I'm hooked.--J. L.

 

Minx and Gabe need to get together!!--C. K.

 

I can't wait to read these books!--T. D.

 

Awesome book!--R.C. WordPress

 

Specializing in “Romance Writing With A Twist!”, Susanne is multi-published with 34 books and numerous short stories. She’s originally from New York City, and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest, by way of Okinawa, Montana, Alabama, and Florida. Along with her husband and the spirit of her feisty Siamese cat, she enjoys the area’s beautiful ponderosa pine trees and wide, open spaces--a perfect environment for writing.

 

THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE is available for purchase electronically at Amazon.com Desert Breeze Publishing, www.desertbreezepublishing.com. THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE is also available in print at Amazon.com.

 

Mystery Romance Novels by Susanne Marie Knight include:

 

THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO--Case 1 (Mystery)

THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE--Case 2 (Mystery)

THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE--Case 3 (Mystery)

THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE--Case 4 (Mystery)

THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE--Case 5 (Mystery)

THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE--Case 6 (Mystery)

GRAVE FUTURE (Paranormal Mystery)

COMPETITORS! (Paranormal Mystery)

THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE (Paranormal Mystery)

 

Minx’s next case is The DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE--Case 3.

 

Hope you enjoy! Thanks!

 

Susanne Marie Knight


Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

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