Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!
This week, I finished a Christmas novella that is a second generation Jewel Series titled Christmas Star Sapphire. It follows the story of Madeline Viscolli and Joe Westcott. Here is a snippet from Chapter 5:
Madeline stared at the sleek white sailboat docked at slip 67. Near the bow and at the stern, the words “Star Sapphire” surrounded a blue oval with a brilliant white starburst in the middle of it. The bright white of the deck of the ship nearly blinded her in the radiant November sunlight. A dark blue canopy stretched over the bridge of the boat, and the line of sleek portholes rising up out of the center of the deck gave evidence to the living area below deck. She could see the sails stored and ready among perfectly coiled ropes.
She knew she’d found the right boat. His bike sat next to a small grill on the dock. Both were chained to the dock railing. What confused her – and had caused her to walk the length of the dock and back once already – was that this was not a Westcott boat. It was an Elohim. Why would a Wescott Marine Wescott live on an Elohim vessel? It did not compute. She frowned, trying to mull that through when she saw the craft shifting in the still water, as if someone moved around inside, and she heard footfalls on stairs.
Her heart gave a little flutter. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. She had a pretty strong backbone, and typically the opinions of others didn’t overtly affect her opinion of herself. However, an outright rejection from one Joe Westcott after the efforts she put into this little surprise might just be her undoing.
When she saw his head through the porthole, she shifted the sunglasses off of her face and onto the top of her head.
“Ahoy!” She called, loud enough for him to hear her through the gunwale. “Permission to come aboard, Captain?”
Joe emerged onto the main deck with graceful, surefooted motions born of years of practice. He spotted her and, as recognition dawned, his face lit in a blend of surprised smile and pale shock. “Madeline?”
“Maddie.” She corrected and hefted the picnic basket. “I come bearing a holiday feast.”
Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:
1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).
2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.
1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.
2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.
3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.
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Hallee, I enjoyed your excerpt. My son Jim and I are writing a seafaring story together, but it’s a historical. Here’s a short excerpt from The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. This scene takes place in Australia at the start of its gold rush:
Alice left the tearoom and walked down to the docks, glad to see Gypsy sitting with his back against a barrel. When he saw Alice approaching, he scrambled to his feet.
“I got the dinghy back, ma’am.”
“That’s the best news I’ve had all day.” Alice let out a big sigh. “I told Lady Dunbar we couldn’t take her, though she offered me double the usual fare.”
Gypsy nodded. “Don’t ask me where we’ll get a crew, ma’am. I heard the same thing everywhere I went. A dozen ships are in the same predicament we are. Hands are hard to come by.” He stooped and picked up a string of fish.
“What’s this?” Alice asked.
“I met that fisher girl Mrs. McKay told about. Norwegian she is. Apparently the story’s true—she lives on her own and fishes for her living. And you’ll never guess what she asked me.”
Alice eyed him for a moment. “Of course. She wants passage with us.”
Gypsy barked a laugh. “You’ve hit it, ma’am. Even said she could work the sails and rigging with the best of our men if we needed an extra tar.”
Alice shook her head. “Why is it that so many women want to leave Australia, and so few men? Lady Dunbar even put in her bit again about sailing her father’s yacht. She said much the same thing—she could give a hand in a pinch.”
Gypsy’s eyes rolled heavenward. “Imagine ladies climbing the shrouds and reefing the sails.”
Alice put out a hand. “Wait. Maybe hiring the Norwegian girl isn’t such a bad idea.”
Gypsy’s eyes all but popped out of his head. “Where would you keep her? And you can’t put girls to work with men! Why, she’s no more than fifteen or sixteen.”
“But you said she’s a good sailor.”
“No, I didn’t say it, ma’am. She did. To hear her tell it, her father drowned a couple of years back, and she’s been on her own ever since. Has a dinghy with a sail, and she takes it out every day to fish in the Rip, if you can believe it.”
“Is she strong and healthy?” Alice asked.
“I suppose so, but you can’t—”
“Think about it, Gypsy. All our men are gone. It’s time we faced reality.”
“No.” Gypsy backed away. “Mrs. Packard, if you even think about hiring that girl as a jack tar, you’ll have to say good-bye to me. It’s not natural, ma’am.”
Alice sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I know you’re right, but what can I do? We’ve got half a dozen women practically begging us for passage. If they were willing to work—”
“Women? Sailing the brig?” Gypsy’s face was a thundercloud.
“Can you think of a better solution?”
I love the way you describe her nervousness here!
Alana Terry recently posted…Christian Fiction Friday: “Another Episode”
The title above, Christmas Star Sapphire, is similar to my finished novel, Sapphire Secrets. Here’s a segment from chapter 1. The protagonist, Livy, is leaving the cemetery where her mom is buried, accompanied by her dad and twin sister.
They continued in silence to the wrought-iron gate. The groundskeeper removed a set of keys from his jacket pocket, clanging them as he unlocked the gate. After he gestured them through, he relocked the gate.
A streetlight illuminated the wet pavement, the dense woods lining the opposite side, and their limo beneath an evergreen canopy. The rain had subsided, for now.
Dad pumped the groundskeeper’s hand. “Thank you for meeting us here. Hope to see you next year, same time, same place.”
The man shook his head. “No, I’m afraid you won’t. I’m only filling in for today.”
Too bad he couldn’t climb into the limo and comfort them with his soothing presence. As she turned to follow Dad and DeeDee, he touched her shoulder. She jumped, then spun around.
“Before you go, I’d like to tell you something that may help.”
He fixed his compassionate gaze on her. “A famous person once said, ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’”
Warmth filled her heart. “I like that. Who said it?”
The warmth fled, leaving behind a wasteland as desolate as the graveyard. What did an ancient dead man have to do with truth?
He released her arm. “When you find out the truth about your mother’s death, it will set you free.”
She nodded, humoring him. “Okay. Thank you.”
“Something happened to you the day your mother died.” Urgency rasped through his voice. “Something that didn’t happen to your sister.”
Frozen, she stared at the woods across the street, his words ringing in her head. Her heart thumped out a hollow rhythm. Had she truly thought his presence comforting? She needed to get away from this nut job.
She forced her stiff legs forward and fled to the limo. “Seek the truth,” he called out behind her.