- N. N. Light
Sea Glass and Fireflies is a Stress Busting Festival pick #historicalromance #romance #giveaway
Title: Sea Glass and Fireflies
Author: Kate Ellington
Genre: Historical Romance
Elsie Hayward moves into her uncle's seaside estate on what should have been her wedding day. All she wants is peace and quiet, and to escape the guilt that's haunted her since her betrothed was lost at sea.
Any hope of tranquility is dashed, however, when Charles Rockingham arrives in town. A lifetime ago they'd been best friends and almost more. If there's one person she can't hide her feelings from, it's him.
Charles hasn't received a letter from Elsie in over a year. He returns home hoping to recapture the deep bond they once shared, but shadows of the past stand between them.
One last secret must be revealed before they can find their way back to each other.
Elsie Hayward cried through most of her wedding day. Or what should have been her wedding day. Her betrothed, Gabriel, had been lost at sea five months before. So instead of a white gown, she wore a traveling cloak, and in place of the wedding march, she was listening to her mother trying to talk her out of her impending journey.
Elsie had assumed that no more need be said about it, but her mother had other ideas. She waylaid Elsie in the drawing room while she waited for her father to take her to the train station.
“I don’t understand why you are so determined to leave.” Mrs. Hayward stopped pacing and sat beside Elsie on the sofa.
“Uncle Max says I can stay with him for as long as I want to. I’ll be better off away from all this.” Elsie waved her hand to indicate the sofa, the drawing room, and the entire town of Holderness.
“But how can you be better off in Sherwood Bay?” Her mother was not able to suppress a shudder.
“I like Sherwood Bay. I haven’t been there in two years.”
The solitude of Uncle Max’s home on the New Hampshire seacoast was exactly what she needed right now.
“You won’t forget Gabriel there,” Mrs. Hayward said. She crossed her ankles and smoothed the imagined wrinkles in her skirt.
“I am not trying to forget Gabriel, though I know you wish I would. And furthermore, I know you’re pleased he did not become your son-in-law today.”
“Elsie!” Mrs. Hayward’s hand flew to her chest as she gave a little gasp. “It’s not as if I am glad that he died.” She picked up her teacup from the mahogany side table and took a fortifying sip.
Elsie slumped down into the sofa cushions. “I know you aren’t. But you didn’t want me to marry him, either.”
Her mother took her time gathering her answer. “I won’t speak ill of the dead. I will only say—” She brought a hand to her lips and stopped speaking. It looked like holding her words in was costing her dearly. Her teacup rattled in its saucer as she placed it back on the table.
“I know,” Elsie recited, for she’d heard it over and over during her engagement. “He was only a seaman. We would not have had an easy life.” Her hand felt bare without Gabriel’s engagement ring. There was still a pale mark where he’d slipped it onto her finger less than a year ago. She’d returned it to his mother yesterday.
“He could not have supported you. It would have been more difficult than you can imagine.”
“Be that as it may, Mother, I was supposed to marry him today. If his ship had not been lost, we would be leaving together on the train this afternoon. He would be sitting beside me right now.” She wiped her eyes with a handkerchief. “I can’t stay here; it’s too difficult. I’m going to Uncle Max’s.”
Her mother folded her hands in her lap and shook her head. “You’ll be bored silly there.”
“I’d like to be bored silly for a change.”
After Gabriel’s death, Elsie’s life had become a series of heartbreaking days—the funeral, condolence callers, somber meetings with her parents and Gabriel’s mother, solitary walks on the beach, countless hours weeping in her bedroom. In a matter of days, Elsie had unraveled all the plans she’d made over the last few months. Since then, she had fallen into a listless haze.
When Uncle Max wrote and suggested she come stay with him, she accepted his invitation at once. Her father and sister had agreed that it was a splendid idea.
Her mother had not.
“You are much better off here”—she took Elsie’s hand—“where I can look after you.”
Several loud thumps came from the direction of the staircase. That would be Elsie’s trunks being taken out to the carriage.
“I need this time, Mother. I think of him whenever I pass by the docks and when I look out my window to the sea.” Her eyes brimmed with tears. “He’s around every corner here.”
“I thought you were feeling better. You seem happier of late.”
“The last month or so I’ve had days where I felt almost content. But the wedding day has brought it all back. The pain is just as fresh now as when I first heard he was gone.”
“The problem is that you have not let go of your grief, Elsie. You hold on to it too tightly. It’s time to think of your future. But I see that you are set on going to Max’s.” She frowned and said under her breath, “I only wish it wasn’t quite so far.”
This was the closest she would get to her mother’s blessing, so she did not point out that staying home would drive her to distraction. Elsie stood and crossed the room to the window that overlooked the back garden, where purple anemones were just beginning to bloom.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Glass-Fireflies-Kate-Ellington-ebook/dp/B0BYFH68N8
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3BmbRk6
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sea-Glass-Fireflies-Kate-Ellington-ebook/dp/B0BYFH68N8
What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
Reading and taking long walks.
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
Sea Glass And Fireflies draws the reader into Elsie Hayward’s summer in the quiet, seaside town of Sherwood Bay. The smooth pace, engaging characters and vivid descriptions make it a perfect read for bedtime, long weekends, lounging at the beach or a relaxing day off. Sea Glass And Fireflies will appeal to romance readers and to anyone who would enjoy following Elsie’s quest for love and answers following a momentous change in her life.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs May 1 – 31, 2023.
Drawing will be held on June 1, 2023.
Kate Ellington grew up in a woodsy New England town not far from the coast. She read her first historical romance at age eleven when a teacher challenged her to find a book in the library written by an author she’d never heard of. Thus began a life-long love of love stories.
After graduating from college with an art degree she settled in the Pacific Northwest, where she currently resides with her family.
Kate wrote her first romance when she was sixteen, then set her pen down for years until another story floated into her head out of the clear blue sky. She jotted it down, just for fun, but soon it took on a life of its own.
Social Media Links: