Southeastern Alaska. 1898
Ellie stood on the foredeck and watched the lush green coast pass by as the steamship chugged along. The fresh, cool breeze filled her lungs. A pod of killer whales broke the surface of the water in the distance, black and white bodies rolling, tall fins arcing toward the sky, then back into the ocean. The whales exhaled in puffs of spray. A seal rested on a small iceberg nearby, and Ellie couldn’t help but smile as she surveyed its dark, liquid eyes, gray fur and white whiskers. A killer whale knocked the seal off the berg and seized it in its mouth. Ellie gasped as the seal struggled for life. When the killer whale rolled under the waves, seal still in its jaws, Ellie, pulse beating at her temples, leaned forward over the rail, staring at the spot where the whale descended.
“Careful, there.” Ellie’s breath halted as a pair of strong hands grasped her waist and lifted her up and away from the rail. She felt her bottom brush against someone as she was set down on the deck.
“What do you think you’re doing?” She turned to face a wall of wool-clad chest, then looked up to see a young face with a thick brown goatee and an arrogant smile.
“Pardon me, miss.” A twinkle pierced the man's blue eyes. “If the ship had made a sudden move, you'd have been thrown into the water.”
“Well, I never.” Ellie dismissed him with a sniff. “I wasn't that far over the edge.” She was not used to being manhandled and wasn't going to put up with male condescension. (Lynn Lovegree, Fools Gold)
Alaska's gold rush is no place for a lady, but that doesn't scare Ellie Webster. Ellie travels with her younger brother to the wilds of the Klondike gold rush to save the family farm. She's prepared for hardship on the trail, but not for the sparkling blue eyes of Duke Masterson, a charming saloonkeeper. And Duke is surprised to find that Ellie and her apple pies are more valuable to him than all the gold nuggets in Skagway, Alaska. Now if he could only overcome Ellie’s fear of losing her newly-found independence and win her heart. Together they must defeat the conman corrupting the town and make their fortunes before the last steamship of the season heads South.
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives in the Anchorage area. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. She is an active member of many local history and writing groups, including 49 Writers, where she is the coordinator for the Anchorage Remembers project. See her website below, or find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Fools Gold will be published by Prism Book Group tomorrow, , available in ebook or print format at their site below, through most online retailers, or at the UAA Bookstore and Anchorage Museum. Save the date for the Fools Gold book party at the UAA Bookstore on !