I opened the missive with fear and more than a little trepidation. After all, it isn’t often you get a letter with bold, beautiful script and sealing wax on the back. From an admiral in the Royal Navy! EEEP!
Have you ever broken the seal on a letter like that? Talk about ominous. And a bit incongruous, if you ask me. I mean, there I was sitting on my bed, holding my laptop, with the desert winds blasting my windows when it arrived.
But, break it I did. I mean, it’s not like a letter from Hogwarts. It won’t just keep arriving until I open it. So, without fictional owls to pester me to do it, I just had to open it.
Know what I found?
It was from Admiral Patrick McGillvary. Double Eeeep! Okay, so McGillvary is one of my top Regency heroes.
Don’t believe me?
Um, he made me care what happened to Elizabeth Elliot—daughter of Jane Austen’s obnoxious Sir Walter Elliot. Any man who can make me care what happens to a twit like that deserves accolades. And he got them from me (albeit in a more roundabout way). HERE.
So why is this fellow writing me after all these years? Why surface now? Well, it is almost Valentine’s Day, and lovely things do happen around this time, don’t they?
What did he say? Here. Read it for yourself.
A note from Admiral McGillvary:
My Dear Reader,
A lonely sailor, far from home, suffers agonies on Valentine’s Day. He is away from his lady love, and is surrounded by rough fellows and a restless sea. In such a despairing state he might compose a love letter – which he is too bashful to post — or else he sings mournful songs or immerses himself in his work, all while cursing his solitary state.
In other words, he makes a confounded nuisance of himself.
My solution is to hand the suffering sailor a book. Yes, a sentimental and romantic book. There are times when fictional escape is the best balm for a lonely heart.
Have you a man of your own, my dear? True-hearted, valiant, and brave? Romantic fiction will do you no harm. A hero such as I cannot be a threat. What you love and admire in your own man you will enjoy seeing in me, although perhaps I look rather better in the uniform.
If you have no man, within the pages of my book I can be yours! Dangerous? Not at all, my heart. You see, romantic fiction offers not only entertainment for the lonely, but also protection—provided the lead is not a scoundrel. Good men do exist, and reading about one nourishes hope.
Now scoundrels, these you will find aplenty in Men Seeking Women advertisements in your newspaper.
Craigslist, I am told, is a treasure-trove of liars. And because it costs a man nothing to advertise himself there, you know at once that he is also a tightwad! And what does he say he enjoys? Long walks on the beach, intimate suppers, and trips to the theatre? Not on your life! This is fiction of the most dangerous sort, because you know what precisely what the man is after.
You do far better to entrust yourself to a fictional hero like me, rather than a real-life loser. I might break your heart, but only because my book comes to an end – and then you can read it again! And I shan’t trouble your virtue or pollute your ears with bad language. Or leave you with an empty bank account.
So what do you say? Will you join me in a fictional adventure? You need only to download my book.
Most sincerely yours for Valentine’s Day,
Admiral Patrick McGillvary, RN
Interesting, right? I kind of couldn’t believe it. I mean, if what he didn’t say is what he was trying to say, then the book is FREE! So off I went to see. And lookie here:
IT IS FREE! The first book in this awesome series is FREE! McGillvary wasn’t just taunting me to spend more money. Nooo… he sent a GIFT! A free book! Squee!!!
Note: Links may be affiliate links–they give me a small commission, but at no extra expense to you!
Then I looked closer. It’s what I do.
Check it OUT! The entire series. The WHOLE THING. All three books. For less than four bucks! Yep, for less than an overpriced cup of designer coffee… BOOM! Something you can enjoy over and over! 3.98 on Amazon.
Yeah. I was speechless.
And like the Miramax version of Miss Bates, I still can’t stop talking about it. I mean, forget the love letter! Gimme the books, people!
So I emailed Ms. Hile. I thanked her. Told her how grateful I was for it. And then she dropped the best bomb of all on me. Oh yes, there ARE good bombs. I just got one.
She wrote back:
For your blog followers, I’d like to offer both 2 and 3 as a prize to a winner of your choice. Everybody will be able to download the first book for free.
And she did!!!
In fact, I was so inspired, I decided to give away a set, too!
Congratulations to Bethany and Pam for winning books 2 & 3 of the series. Be sure to download book one while it’s free!
And to learn more about Laura Hile, check her out on:
All these things happened… but in a different order. Just had to let you know in the interest of honesty and full disclosure.
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