today I have Pure Innocence by Liza O’Connor, the first book in The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston.
Here’s a few words Liza has for us:
John Winston is devastated when he fails to save Amy before the cliff gave way.
He will always feel he could have done something different that would have resulted in saving Amy and her baby.
Had he only gotten the girl to leave the cliff edge at once instead of trying to calm her down first.
Had he not called out for her to be still once she was walking towards him…
He would be forever haunted by what ifs.
If Amy Goodheart had lived, he would have married the girl without hesitation to provide her safety and respect. Given her sweet disposition, he had no doubt he would have been a happy man.
But that option died with Amy. The best he could do now was name the baby girl Amy, so no one in the town would ever forget her mother.
Unfortunately, they do not forget nor forgive the innocent child. They hold her responsible for everything that goes wrong over the years.
For some, Amy is an angel incarnate; for others, she is the child of Satan. In her early years, Amy learns the skills of a soldier and discovers she can heal with the touch of her hand. Upon the death of her beloved Uncle John, he stays as a protective ghost to assist the soldiers in their vigilant efforts to keep her safe. Never has a girl arrived at Madam Cousec’s School for Young Ladies with more charm, more friends, or greater protection. She’ll need them all to survive the head girl and set her future in motion.
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Seeing that Gunter held the child in his large powerful hands, John frowned. As a Colonel, he had always appreciated the skill in which Gunter could kill the enemy. However, Gunter’s enjoyment in killing had always left John a bit unnerved.
“Bring her to me Gunter,” he said. “And be careful, she is very young.”
“Aye, that she is. But a wee thing. Won’t live much longer if ye don’t get her the milk of a woman and the warmth of a bath.”
Had he not seen the concern in Gunter’s eyes, he might have thought the old Irishman was looking forward to the child’s death from the casual lilt in his voice.
When Gunter placed the child in his arms, the tiny baby opened her eyes and appeared to smile at him before falling back to sleep. John sensed this wasn’t a sleep of peace but one of starvation. While he had seen Amy try to feed her baby, it was possible her own lack of sustenance had dried up her milk.
He barked off orders for Dom to find Able’s wife. She had a baby of nine months. She could provide milk for the child, and he could provide the warmth. Opening his shirt, he pressed the child to his breast, so his heat could warm her frail body.
Even as he mounted his horse with Dom’s help, he could feel her little mouth search his chest for food. “Soon my angel, soon you will have a nice warm meal.”
He headed directly to Abel’s house. However, afraid to jar the child too much, and worried about his own injuries that hurt like bloody hell, he kept Samson at a walk.
“Maybe you should let me go ahead and determine if Nelle will even feed the child,” Dom said.
“Why would she possibly refuse?”
“Nelle’s a god-fearing woman. I don’t think she’s going to feed the child of Satan.”
“This child is not the child of Satan, and the next person who says that will be flogged.”
“That will either be Nell or Able,” Dom muttered.
John couldn’t believe Dom’s assessment could possibly be right, but when he carried the baby in and asked Nelle to save its life, she looked at him in horror and sent her eldest boy to find his father. She then offered John tea.
“Nelle, the child is starving. This is no time to offer tea.”
Nelle suggested perhaps Nancy Thorten, somewhere two or three villages over could help him.
“The child will die before I find her. Feed this child, Nelle, or her death will be on your hands.”
Just then Able arrived and John was greatly relieved, since Able had always been a reasonable man. He explained the situation to Able and then looked to him to make his wife come to her senses.
“It’s Amy Goodheart’s child,” his wife whispered.
Able looked shocked by her words and turned back to John. “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot help you.”
“I don’t want your bloody help. I want your wife’s!” John bellowed.
“You’ll not be getting it,” Able assured him.
“By damn if I won’t. Either your wife feeds this child until I can find a nursemaid, or I will toss you off these lands today.”
More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ five book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.
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