Harcourt’s Mountain Book blurb
Spring, 1867 – The western frontier of British Columbia hardly seems a likely place for romance. Filthy, terrified and confused, HOPE BOOKER is waiting to be sold off the ‘bride’ ship. LUKE HARCOURT happens upon the sale. It’s not love at first sight, but he feels compelled to save her from a life of slavery and prostitution. To allay her fears of being raped, Luke promises never to touch her. Being a man of his word, this is a pledge he quickly finds almost impossible to keep.
Battling their growing attraction to each other, they must learn to live together in the forests of the wild and almost unexplored mountains. They face white water, Indians, wolves, and dangerous men.
No longer able to deny their feelings, their ‘happy-ever-after’ is shattered when a corrupt land baron forces Luke’s hand. Enraged at the man’s actions, Luke rides into town—and disappears.
Alone and pregnant, Hope faces the prospect of the worst winter in ten years. The trauma of fighting off a hungry grizzly brings on labor, but the baby is stuck. Will Luke survive and make it back to Hope in time?
Harcourt’s Mountain Buy links:
Extract from Harcourt’s Mountain by Elaine Dodge
Most of the women had been sold. Only a dozen or so were left. Harcourt stretched. He was just about to jump from his perch when a tall woman in a predictably dirty, once light grey dress, was brought forward. Perhaps it was the dress that caught his eye. It was silk, well cut and modest. It looked expensive.
Harcourt’s eyes narrowed. This woman was no prostitute. She’d made some attempt to clean herself up and although her hair needed a wash and good brush, she had at least tried to bring some order to it. She looked intelligent and, despite the scared look in her eyes, calm.
Her hands were folded in front of her. She was clearly a lady. She made no attempt to catch the eye of any man in the crowd. Instead, she looked over their heads towards the mountains. Perhaps she liked what she saw for she took a deep breath, lifted her chin and squared her shoulders.
Instinctively, Harcourt knew she would be no man’s whore. And, like the doctor had said, with the wrong man that would probably mean a killing. There were a few coarse jokes and laughter from the men. Harcourt glanced over at Butler. He was talking emphatically to the constable. He called over the big man from the whorehouse, indicated the woman and nodded at something the brute said. Harcourt realised no one had bid for her.
He stood up on his crate. “I’ll take her.”
Everyone turned to look at him, including the woman.
Butler stroked his thin moustache with his finger and thumb. He smiled. “Mr. Harcourt, you know the rules. You must bid for her. How much do you offer?”
“One hundred dollars, in gold.”
There was a gasp from the men on the wharf. Even Harcourt was shocked. He’d spoken without thinking. It was the highest bid of the day, made more spectacular by the fact that it was totally uncontested.
Elaine Dodge Author Bio
I was born in Zambia, grew up in Zimbabwe and am currently living in South Africa. I did my first round-the-world trip when I was four years old, and have travelled a lot since then. When I can I’m going to visit countries for myself to do research for my books rather than rely on Google.
Writing was an aspect of each part of my career – I trained as a designer, worked in Advertising and Design and then moved into local and international broadcast television when I emigrated to South Africa. Now, I’m a solopreneur content creator and am just about to launch a new business as a ‘restart-your-life coach’.
Wanting to expand my writing skills, I did a romance writing course where I tried out scenes from a story I had been thinking about for years, At the end of the course, the facilitator took me aside and told me I must write the book. So, nights, weekends and the Christmas break later I had written ‘Harcourt’s Mountain. I realised that apart from white-water rafting down the Zambezi, I feel most alive when I’m writing. That’s what I want to do more than anything else!
My first book, Harcourt’s Mountain, signed by Tirgearr Publishing, was launched 15 August 2013. The reviews have been marvellous! Mostly five stars. And, Harcourt’s Mountain was nominated for the 2014 RONE Awards. It has also won the NY Literary Magazine Best Story Award and is one of the four highest rated books at Tirgearr Publishing winning me the best-selling author award for September 2018. Because so many readers have asked for it, I’ve been deep into the plotting and research needed for the sequel.
My second novel, The Device Hunter, which is an altogether different animal, both in genre and temperament is in its third draft – that’s my own fault as I attempted to write this novel ‘by the seat of my pants’, rather than via the in-depth plotting I usually do. I’ve had two stories, ‘The Man with a House on His Back’ and ‘Widows Walk’ featured in two different SA Horrorfest Bloody Parchment Anthologies. ‘The Man with a House on His Back’ was featured in the anthology, Bloody Parchment: Blue Honey and The Valley of Shadow and reached the semi-finals of the Screencraft Cinematic Short Story Competition.
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