By Love or By Sea
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Published: April 2009
Retail price: $14.99
Available: Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel, Cedar Fort, Inc.
Format: Paperback and ebook
ALICE LIND FRANK never forgot the boy she loved when she was just six years old, even after he was lost at sea. Now a young woman, Alice has found happiness in living and working with her grandparents, and in the affections of Clarence Hielott, the wealthy shipyard owner who intends to make
his bride. Alice
WHEN A RAGGED SAILOR appears in town,
is reminded of the young boy who once held her heart. Upon learning that the sailor is in fact her childhood love, Caleb, she finds herself falling for him again. Alice
BUT CLANRENCE REFUSES to let this ghost from the past destroy his plans for the future. He exposes the secrets of Caleb’s past, and
realizes that the boy she once knew is now a man with a dark history. Soon Caleb and Clarence are locked in a fierce competition for Alice ’s heart. Alice
CAN ALICE OVERCOME HER FEARS and surrender her heart to Caleb once more? And what will she do about Clarence?
ACTION, ADVENTURE, and most of all, ROMANCE, make By love or By Sea a thrilling and emotional love story you won’t soon forget.
As Alice began on her journey home and passed through the town, she exchanged pleasantries with a few people but mostly kept to herself, enjoying the view of the vast ocean growing in front of her and the goings-on of the town...
Then, as though nothing more than a mirage, she saw a tired man crest over the hill coming from the beach and walking towards her. The distance between the man and herself allowed her time to stare at him without being obvious. The tall man wore a tattered pair of trousers and a fairly clean, cotton shirt fastened only by three lower buttons, allowing his vast muscles to protrude from beneath as he carried a knapsack on his shoulder. His skin was bronzed from what she assumed were probably years spent in the sun. His sandy whiskers weren’t long but had obviously been neglected for many days, and his blonde hair was nearly as white as old Mrs. Winters’, but unlike hers, his hair traveled halfway down his back.
He sported an odd appearance, yet he was almost intriguingly familiar...
“Excuse me, miss?”
Alice turned at the sound of a soft, masculine voice and there, looking expectantly at her, stood the man she had been visually devouring only moments before. “Yes?”
“I realize this is probably a strange thing to ask, but . . .” He paused and looked at the inquisitive eyes that were lingering on him from passing spectators. He seemed suddenly less sure of himself. “D-do you know if the . . . the Newman’s still live around here?” he asked in a lowered, hesitant voice.
“Well, sure. They’ve lived west of town about a mile for longer than I can remember.” Then as curiosity got the better of her, she could not restrain the question from escaping her lips. “Are you one of Augustus’s nephews? You bear a striking resemblance to Augustus himself.”
The man chuckled uncomfortably and pushed a hand through his tangled hair. “Well, thank you, miss, but I’m not his nephew.”
A look of pain seemed to cross his face before he tipped his head to her in parting and left her alone to ponder on the encounter. Alice knew she had never seen this man before. She would have remembered. His weathered face made him appear quite old, and she felt a stab of sorrow at the look of pain that had so recently crossed his face. The look in the man’s eyes caused him to look somehow even older than he did at first sight.
That evening as she sat in the parlor with her nana and pappy, her gaze lingered on the fire while her embroidery sat forgotten on her lap. “What has your mind in a tumble tonight, peach?” Gretchen asked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she answered casually...
“Well, are you just going to sit there until she drags it out of you, or are you going to tell it to us straight out?” Henry asked, equally concerned about his granddaughter.
“I don’t really know what to think, Pappy. My mind’s all muddled up and I can’t seem to make heads or tails out of anything.”...
“Why don’t you start by telling me how things were while you still could make sense of them,” Gretchen encouraged.
“Well, I went to see Mama and everything went well. She was attentive to me, and we had a real nice time. I came home, just like I always do and then . . .”
“Yes?” Henry said when she paused.
“Oh, I don’t know what to think,” Alice whispered desperately. “I was walking home, and then there was this man who came over the edge of the hill. He’d obviously come from the beach.”
“Was it Clarence?” Gretchen interrupted. “He’s normally coming back to town about that time of day.”
“Of course not,” Henry put in. “She would have recognized him.”
Gretchen and Henry were both completely captivated by what Alice had to say, but in truth Alice could not figure out what she was thinking. So how on earth did they think she would be able to tell them a story they could understand? “No, it wasn’t Clarence. In fact, I don’t know who it was. My gut instinct tells me he was a ghost, except he spoke to me.”
“A ghost?” Gretchen laughed. “Really, peach! What would put your mind to thinking something as crazy as that?”
“I’m serious, Nana!” Alice whined loudly.
“All right then. What was it about the man that put it into your mind that he was a ghost?” Gretchen asked repentantly.
“Well, he looked real enough, but he reminded me of . . . He kind of looked like . . .”
“Who?” Henry coached.
“I don’t know if I can utter his name.” Gretchen’s rather disappointed look displayed itself blatantly upon her face. Alice knew her grandparents were dissatisfied with her answer, but she didn’t know if she could tell them who the man looked like. So she changed the direction of the conversation. “He spoke to me though. His voice was low and hushed, as though he was afraid to speak.”...
“Alice, who was it that the man reminded you of?” Henry asked.
“Pappy, I don’t know if I can utter his name,” Alice whimpered.
“And why not?”
Alice hesitated, attempting to give enough information without actually having to say the man’s name aloud. “He died about six years ago in a ship wreck while he was at sea as a merchant sailor.”
“Are you trying to tell us that you spoke to Caleb Newman on the street in town today?” Gretchen asked reverently.
“I don’t know that it was him, Nana. And besides, how could it be him? Remember? Grace said there were no survivors.”
“But . . .”
“No, Nana. I’m certain my mind was just playing tricks on me. It was probably some poor sailor, anchored in town for a few days.” With that, the topic died, and the conversation moved on to other things, but that night as Alice lay in bed waiting for sleep to engulf her, the image of the man on the street kept her weary mind company. He was, after all, intriguing and very striking in his appearance, no matter how tattered and tired he looked. The thought of him being an older version of the ever-so-handsome Caleb Newman made the mystery of the man all the more enticing. He had been such a good looking young man; tall and very handsome. Rolling over with a smile on her face, she eventually found respite as she fell asleep thinking of the young man she’d thought of so often before.