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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Season to Remember - Christmas Anthology blog tour - #4

A micro-story exclusively for you:

This blog tour brings very special people together. People who would never normally meet. Continuing on our theme of delving deep into the psyche of our characters from the forthcoming Christmas anthology - A Season to Remember - today we will visit the cold, windswept south coast of England in the early 1800s where Peter from 'Three Ships' meets Nick from 'A Touch of Christmas'.

Peter Winter wished he was anywhere but here. What a horrid way to spend Christmas Day, he thought. He hated leaving the lighthouse at any time, but should a ship founder on this special day because he was hob-knobbing it with these out-of-towners, well…  He shook his head.

The visitors certainly looked strange. They wore odd clothes, and their pallor made them look ill. Except the big male.

“Mr. Winter? I’m Nick Madigan. So glad you could come.”

Peter looked up to see a friendly, tanned face before him, smiling warmly. This man looked human. He took the proffered hand and squeezed it.

“Yes, well. Thank you for inviting me. Although I can’t stay long, you know. My daughter is on her own at the lighthouse and I mustn’t miss the tide.” He felt in his waist coat pocket for his fob watch. “Once the tide turns, we’re cut off over there on St Joseph’s Rock, you know.”

“I know, Mr. Winter. We won’t keep you long. We just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for the ships in these parts. And to wish you a Happy Christmas, of course.” Nick took hold of the older man’s elbow. “Come now, let’s have a rum. I’ll make sure you get home safely.” Nick led him over near the bar.

The rum trickled down his gullet, warming him from the inside out. Laura, his daughter, wouldn’t let him drink too much. But Nick Madigan kept refilling his glass without even asking.

“These ships of yours,” he squinted at Nick, looking for any sign that he was being made fun of. “You say they are ships of the sky? That they can fly?”

Nick’s smile was charming. “Yes, sir. They’re called space ships. But they, too, rely on similar life-saving beams as your lighthouse. Without such reliable navigation beacons, many of the spaceships would founder.”

Peter felt as though he must have drunk too much rum and was dreaming. “Really? Ships that fly?” He cleared his throat. “Well, son. You better tell me about yourself and how you came to be…flying in the oceans in the sky.”

Nick topped up his glass again. “You have deduced I—we are not from your time but I am an Earthman from—some time in the future. Mankind has made huge advances in science, including machines that allow us to fly to the stars. It seems we managed to slip through time on this trip and landed here. Your lighthouse beacon drew us to safety through that terrible storm.”

Nick raised his glass to Peter and offered a toast. “Thank you for your dedication in keeping even space mariners safe.”

They drank and Nick refilled their glasses for a fourth, or was it fifth time?

“So, do you have much of a problem with smugglers on this stretch of coast?”

Peter gave a sly grin. “I don’t have a problem with them. But they do have a problem with me.”

A conspiratorial smile spread across Nick’s face also, in anticipation of a tale to come. He wasn’t disappointed.

Another glass of rum each was consumed by the men over the course of the tale.

“Not that I can take all the credit, mind. I had the help of my very brave daughter and a Royal Navy Lieutenant, oh beg your pardon, he's a Commander now.”

“I can see that you’re very proud of your daughter,” Nick observed.

“Aye, that I am.”

Perhaps it was the amount of rum he’d consumed but there was something in Nick’s face which told him he could be trusted with a confidence.

“I have to confess being a bit concerned for Laura,” he said, leaning in a little. “She’s a fine girl but it hasn’t been easy since her mother died. I’m glad  she’ll be marrying a good man.

“Are you married, Nick?”

The spaceman seemed to stand taller and Peter recognised the look of pride in his face. He wore it too whenever he was asked about his wife.

“I am—and to the captain of the very ship that brought us here.”

“A woman captain! She is someone I definitely want to meet. Is she from Earth’s future too?”

“Yes. Earth will suffer dark times but with the help of Andra’s race, our planet will survive and prosper. Never underestimate a woman’s capabilities. Your daughter is a strong, intelligent woman like my wife.”

“Aye, that she is.”

Nick pushed his glass away and looked at the device he wore on his wrist. “Thank goodness they are on our side. I should return to our ship. If you like, I’ll bring Andra over to your lighthouse to meet Laura later this evening.”

“Tide’s up then. You won’t be able to make the crossing.”

“Ah, high tide won’t be a problem for us so long as you’ve a small, clear area for a vehicle about the size of that coach.”

Peter looked through the window and grinned. “Never tell me ye have a smaller flying ship inside that big one? Well, I never...”

Nick held out his hand and shook Peter’s. “Shall we say around eight o’clock?”

Thank you to Elizabeth Ellen Carter - author of Three Ships, and Susanne Bellamy, author of A Touch of Christmas, for contributing to this very special and exclusive micro-story of the meeting of two mariners.

On November 28th, you'll be able to download your free gift copy of A Season to Remember, and enjoy four stories full of romance, adventure, love, and Christmas. Stay tuned for the download link..

A Season to Remember

four Australian authors  -  four unique stories about Christmas


  1. Thank you Noelle, Susanne and Eva. I've had so much fun on this project!

    1. I think we've all had more fun than we could have ever imagined. :-)