Title: Eternal Seas
Author: N. Christine Samuelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction with romantic elements
“A journey of love and life through time and tragedy that few have the courage to take, fewer live to remember & readers will never forget.”
Eternal bonds of love and tragedy surrounding the sea have been fulfilled and broken through generations of life. They haunt Ella and Daniel with secrets, lies, spirits, and memories of living in other times with similar fates. Ella’s fear makes her run from love—until the sea brings a man perfect for her—Navy fighter pilot Daniel Ellsworth.
Facing life and death issues from Key West to Europe to Maine, the plot twists keep readers fascinated from the first chapter to the end.
“I promise, when I leave on a ship to fly jets, I will always come back to you. In one way or another, I will come back. In time, all ships must return to port. Ella, you are my home port.”
In that moment, his words were truer than any she’d ever heard. But with eyes closed, her spirit lifted into another realm and through the potent energy passing between them, she detected a whisper. As had happened before, it did not emanate from her brain like a thought; it came from outside herself and drifted in. Just as she knew the light from a star took a thousand years to reach her eyes, she sensed this message was spoken long ago in some ancient time and had just reached her ear on this day. It was the familiar voice of a man who had loved her, and when he’d held her, he smelled of the salt air and the sea, and he had said, I promise I will come back to you.
She heard the words now, but her lover in that ancient time had never returned. And now the loss of him drifted back through time as well—it still had a home in her heart, a grief so deep and pervasive it would never leave. The pain was not just felt; it’d been imprinted on her, like a brand on the soul, marking her for life and obviously beyond it. There was no getting over that kind of pain.
Soaring through a world of infinite blue, of sky and sea with no horizons, no beginning or end, was like flying off the earth into the arms of God. It was as close to heaven as Daniel Ellsworth imagined it to be. There was no greater thrill than catapulting off a carrier flight deck in a Navy fighter jet with engines roaring, cutting through the air at insane speeds. He entered the zone, as he called it—defying nature, commanding the space above the Atlantic Ocean and loving every minute with his senses tuned in razor-sharp to every sight and sound in the cockpit. But today there was something wrong. An odd sensation tugged in his gut. Approaching cruising altitude, he did another flight check: no problems; the sea was calm, the sky was clear and welcoming in this routine flight. His rational mind knew there was no basis for concern, but Daniel’s trusted inner voice said, Something is coming, and this is fair warning. He knew he’d have no control over whatever it was, like going in for a landing into destiny.
* * *
With a death grip on the steering wheel after an hour’s drive from the tip of south Florida heading toward Key West, Ella Rowe saw a bridge in the distance. It was seven miles long and suspended over open water with not a speck of land in sight. It was Ella’s idea of hell—driving over ocean and sky through an endless blue nightmare, trapped in a car with no way to get off but over the side. Even worse was an hour and a half more of driving through the Florida Keys mostly over water, over forty-two islands connected by forty-two bridges. As much as she had tried to suppress it, the war inside her between the fear, love, and hate of the sea raged. The longer she drove, the stronger it got, and the fear was taking over. But there was no place to escape as she approached the Seven Mile Bridge with no exits, just road and sea. An accident here would send you to a watery death, she thought. I’ve heard Key West is a paradise, like heaven on earth, but driving through hell to get there doesn’t seem worth the trip.
She’d never been to Key West before, let alone driven there. On a map, the Keys appeared as tiny dots of land slung over the water like a strand of pearls. Just the sight of them on paper gave her chills as she imagined how quickly the ocean could swallow them up. Janie, her best friend and a photographer at the newspaper in Tampa where Ella worked as a reporter, had assured her the actual drive couldn’t be as unnerving as the aerial view on a map. But the reality was worse for Ella. Even driving over what little land there was, the water was so close on both sides of the road that there was no doubt she really was driving out in the middle of the ocean.
With over an hour of driving and about twenty more bridges to go, her fear grew exponentially, wrapping her in a suffocating grip. In the distance, she saw the road climbing gradually up the arch of the bridge, higher and higher until it disappeared beyond the apex. From her perspective, it seemed the car would drive straight off into the sky. Every nerve in her body trembled with a fear she couldn’t contain. Even as she gripped the steering wheel, knowing her body was solidly in the car, something inside her rose and took over. She felt as if her spirit lifted, up and away from the crushing fear, almost as if she could fly.
Unwittingly, she’d swerved and an oncoming car blasted its horn, snapping Ella back to reality, bringing the familiar gnawing in her gut—not just the fear of being surrounded by the sea, but something else—a haunting feeling of the past catching up to her, colliding with destiny. Running away to a new place had always been her escape from the past. Even though she dreaded the upheaval, if this feeling continued to resurface she’d have to uproot her life again. But a small, silent voice played in the background of her thoughts, saying, Running away won’t work anymore. There truly was nowhere to run, figuratively or literally, expanding her fear into terror.
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If money were no object, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
Scotland, Wales, the Yorkshire moors in northern UK—Never been, and want to see the heather moors of Wuthering Heights, the rocky cliffs and coastlines, medieval towns, the kilts and bagpipes and castles galore. (I live in the coastal south, so I have sun and beach year-round!)
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
I love the renewal of life after the dead of winter. Spring means hope, time to begin again with the promise of the fulfillment of dreams. The earth blooms with birth and vibrant color. The air is warm and soft, the heart sheds its dreary wintry gray for golden happiness and hope.
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N. Christine Samuelson writes about the eternal bonds of love that transform lives and transcend death. Her novels reflect the challenges, fears and conflicts, tragedies and victories that manifest through time and powerful connections of love. Her storylines are realistic but laced with a touch of mysticism, mystery and suspense.
From living in 14 cities in 10 states with years of formal and self-taught education, she's acquired a wealth of personal, professional, and life experiences which inspire the diverse settings, characters, and authentic storylines of her novels written in a unique voice.
Currently living in coastal South Carolina, the sea is a constant source of inspiration and she hopes readers of her books will be inspired to look at life and love through a different lens, expand their horizons, and enrich their lives.
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