Title: ETERNAL SEAS
Author: N. Christine Samuelson
Genre: Contemporary Romance with supernatural elements
Ella’s lifelong fear of the sea and its tragedies surrounding loved ones cause her to fear love and relationships—until the sea brings her the perfect man—Navy fighter pilot Daniel Ellsworth. Feeling cursed, she’s haunted by secrets, lies, spirits, and memories of living in other times with similar fates.
A powerful attraction draws Ella and Daniel together in Key West. But believing that loving him will make him the next victim, Ella wants to run away. Daniel questions pursuing her, knowing death could be a consequence.
They begin an odyssey over generations of time filled with mystery and peril leading back to Ella’s ancestral home in Maine. Will their destiny be fulfilled, or will tragedy be repeated as Ella and Daniel endure heartbreak to find love, and face death to find life?
“I promise, Ella, 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, Daniel’s 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.
* * *
Arriving in the small, tropical island of Key West, the southernmost point in the United States, they made their way to a beach-front rental cottage. Pulling into the sandy driveway, the cottage looked even better than the website photos. Tall coconut palm trees framed the front door, and Bahama shutters tilted away from the bottom of the windows to let in light and air. Ella felt she’d stepped back in time to a more rustic era where simplicity, vibrant colors, and ocean breezes welcomed them. Large flowering bushes and palm trees grew between the cottages, giving privacy and filling the air with fragrance.
The cottage was decorated with casual furniture and plenty of Key West beach charm. … The place had a light and airy feel, an extension of the beach outside. Ella loved that the beach was just out the back door. She could walk onto it without having to drive. With opening the patio doors wide, warm ocean breezes and salt air floated in, and every night the sound of the waves would lull her to sleep.
Janie . . . was determined to get Ella out to meet men on this trip, to change her attitude so she’d be more positive about relationships, about her life. Ella decided to pretend to go along with Janie’s plan and keep the vacation status quo. But with opening the door to this cottage, she opened the door to a new start in life.
…Ella never shared her belief of not staying attached to any one place, job, and especially a man and a relationship for long, meant she couldn’t be hurt. She wouldn’t be abandoned and would never feel that pain and loss again. The truth she never shared with Janie was that the men she’d loved most didn’t leave her; they were taken by the sea in one way or another. And here she was surrounded by the sea in Key West and by a friend determined to find her a man.
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Apple Books (itunes): https://books.apple.com/us/book/eternal-seas/id1352849048
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It’s a brand-new year, full of possibilities. Did you make any resolutions/goals for 2021? If so, please share one.
My resolutions are for great health which affects all other aspects of life; to connect more meaningfully with family and friends when circumstances are safe to do so; and lots of great writing to get my fourth book published in 2021.
Why is your featured book a must-read in 2021?
I write about the unusual ways women and men are drawn together, how bonds are formed that seem to come with birth and stay throughout life, and even after this life showing the power and endurance of love, knowing no limits of time or death.
In this very tumultuous time in the world of divisiveness, covid illness, separation from and death of loved ones, this book explores ways in which people’s lives are broken and how fear can limit life and relationships. It explores how loss and betrayal destroy but the love can heal.
The compelling story has many plot twists and surprises, complex characters, mysteries, secrets and spirits in a journey through many loves, lives, and deaths, and spans hundreds of years’ time.
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Runs January 1 – 31, 2021.
Drawing will be held on February 1, 2021.
Christine Samuelson has been a lifelong writer in many professional and personal capacities, but now writes the kinds of stories she loves—about life and love’s challenges, tragedies and victories. Her overall themes deal with the bonds of love that transform lives and transcend time. Her characters and plotlines are grounded in reality but have a touch of mysticism and mystery. Writing is the way she shares the tragic, the magic, the joys and triumphs of everyday life.
Christine lives in coastal South Carolina where the people, land and sea are constant sources of inspiration. She hopes readers of her books will be inspired to look at life and love through a different lens and realize that no matter your circumstances, we all share similar stories in our lives and our hearts.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/nchristinesamuelsonauthor/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/N.-Christine-Samuelson/e/B07B8VT9BB