Sneak Peek Sunday … Will she or won’t she?

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

It’s hard to believe it’s been weeks since my last peek, but it’s been a busy summer. Much going on with the day job and family (all good, thank you) and I’m happily at work on edits on the first book in my 1920s romantic mystery series. (There will be more news on that to come.)

What have you been up to during these dog days of summer?

Light Historical Romance, Search for Camelot by Delynn Royer

In a race to find Excalibur . . .
Who knew they’d find love?

Today, I’m taking a break from edits to offer one last peek from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Philadelphia, London, Glastonbury. June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her home town of London.

In previous peeks, Chelsea and Arthur posed as bickering newlyweds aboard a steamship to London, where they confirmed that, not only is the parchment authentic, but King Arthur too is more than legend. He was a mysterious fifth century military leader who once walked the earth in a place called Glastonbury.

In today’s peek, Arthur is leaving for Glastonbury, but Chelsea’s role is done. London is her home, and now that she’s finished college, her loving but conservative family has perfectly reasonable expectations for her to meet. Those expectations don’t include running off with a handsome, totally unsuitable American on a madcap treasure hunt.

Chelsea can’t risk ruining her reputation and scandalizing her dear parents just for the sake of one last fling at adventure, love and passion… Can she?

*

Arthur didn’t answer her. Instead, he studied her face, and Chelsea suddenly felt as transparent as window glass. “Chelsea,” he began, taking a deep breath.

“You should go. You’ll miss your train.”

After a moment of awkward silence, he nodded, then turned and started to walk away. Chelsea squeezed her hands into fists as he took a few more steps, then slowed, then stopped, then swung back around to face her. “Oh hell, why don’t you come with me?”

“What?”

“Come with me.”

Chelsea’s heart thumped. All it would take was one word from her. Yes. Her feet almost moved. Almost. Her heels rose off the ground for one indecisive second. Yes! a voice urged in her mind. But she couldn’t. “I can’t,” she said numbly.

“Why not?” He dropped his suitcase to the ground and then suddenly had her by the shoulders, his fingers burning through the material of her blouse, his mesmerizing blue eyes threatening to make mincemeat of her newfound resolve. “Why not?”

*

What do you think? Has this crazy magical quest come to an end for Chelsea? Is it time for her to grow up and forget childish dreams of adventure and romance?

SEARCH FOR CAMELOT is available at ITUNES, AMAZON, and SMASH WORDS.

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday … The Race is On

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

Today’s peek is from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Light Historical Romance Philadelphia, London, Glastonbury. June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her home town of London.

In last week’s peek, Chelsea and Arthur confirmed that, not only is the parchment authentic, but King Arthur too is more than the stuff of legend. He was a mysterious fifth century military leader who once walked the earth in a place called Glastonbury.

In today’s peek, as Arthur and Chelsea set their sights on Glastonbury, trouble is brewing elsewhere. They are not alone in their quest.

They have a rival, a resourceful competitor who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the clue contained in Arthur’s parchment . . .

*

“Mr. Dark to see you, sir.”

Emory Blake looked up from his desk to see that his valet, Thackery, awaited a reply. Nondescript in appearance and disdainful in expression, Thackery’s butlering skills were exemplary. In any other household, he would have advanced to the station of head manservant long ago. In Blake’s household, however, it took a bit more than traditional butlering to rise to the esteemed rank of Man Friday. “Show him in, Thackery.”

“Yes, sir.” Thackery’s immaculate shoes made no sound as he strode across the floral carpet and vanished through the open double doors. Moments later, Geoffrey Dark was sweeping those doors closed to gain privacy.

“You have it?” Blake closed an account book and pushed it aside. He rubbed his hands together, then began cracking his knuckles, an exercise designed to distract him from the burgeoning swell of anticipation that might overwhelm him at any moment. That swell was both exquisite and painful, almost sexual in its intensity, an approaching climax that, in this case, was almost ten years in building. That was how long Blake had been searching for the sword.

“Not precisely, sir.”

Not precisely? Blake stopped cracking his knuckles. Geoffrey remained still as a lizard. One blink. Two. That was all. Geoffrey’s reptilian stare seemed even deader than usual. Blake suspected Geoffrey was experiencing a certain level of job frustration.

 “I’m afraid there is a problem, sir.”

*

And so the race is on. Will Arthur and Chelsea make it to Glastonbury before their fellow sword-hunters?

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday… The Quest

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday! This week’s peek is from Search for Camelot, a  romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Light Historical Romance

In a race to find Excalibur . . .
Who knew they’d find love?

Philadelphia, June, 1892.

Meet our hero, a charming but penniless college student, Arthur Pierce. Arthur was raised on his late mother’s bedtime stories of Camelot, but growing up in a family of sharpers taught him that only suckers believe in dreams.

Arthur learns of the unconventional terms of his wealthy Uncle Sidney’s will when he’s visited before his college graduation by an eccentric British solicitor, Maxwell Hamilton.

Max has traveled from London to deliver a portion of a 16th century parchment that contains twenty lines of elegantly scrolled Latin—lines that, once transcribed, appear to contain an ancient clue to the location of King Arthur’s fabled sword, Excalibur …

*

Arthur stared at the fantastical words he’d just scrawled on the back of an old calculus test: Gladius Caliburn. It was not simply a name but an image. An image all the more powerful because it was a child’s image, his own, interlaced with the sweet whispered tones of a spellbinding storyteller he had once called Mother. “It was magic, Arthur.”

Sleek, argent steel rising to break the pristine blue surface of a lake. A gift. A woman’s hand, white and delicate and perfect. A gift offered to him by . . . Dripping wet and shimmering, sun’s rays dancing off steel forged on the magical Isle of Avalon. “It was magic, Arthur. That sword was magic unto itself, a gift offered to him by Merlin the Enchanter and the Lady of the Lake.”

Arthur closed his eyes to dispel the tenacious remnants of old dreams. When he opened them again, the words were still there, but the images were gone, wisps of smoke stolen back to the deep recesses of childhood memory.

Hamilton broke into his thoughts. “The clue to Excalibur’s whereabouts is in the last line. Our monk apparently subscribed to the legend that King Arthur never really died but that he would rise again to reclaim his throne. This played an important role in his decision regarding where to hide the sword.”

Arthur was familiar with those legends. They contended that King Arthur and his attendants were passing the centuries asleep in an enchanted cave, awaiting the day when they would be summoned to rise again . . .

Arthur frowned at the direction of his thoughts and tossed his pencil aside. He barely remembered his Uncle Sidney, but what little he did remember, he recalled with a mix of affection and reverence. Sidney Pierce had been a master of the Big Con. In the end, though, it appeared that he had been reduced to the unseemly role of a gullible mark. This idea not only saddened Arthur, it made him angry. “It’s a hoax,” he said.

*

Is Arthur right? Is the parchment a fake? Or could this final clue from his uncle’s unfinished quest to find Excalibur be the real thing?

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!