Glimpses of Wilderness
The Glimpses Series Book 1
by Lee Ann Ward
Genre: YA Romance
No nightmares about my dad’s car crashing or my sister’s tiny face vanishing in a window of red. No, not anymore. Now when I sleep I fall into an expanse of frozen wilderness, the other life I’ve lived…
The one I’ve lived with him.
Anna experiences vivid dreams from a past-life she lived in the 1800s with her husband Robert and their children in the wilderness of the Michigan Territory. Much like her own mother grieving the man and child she lost, Anna can’t simply let go of the memories that haunt her.
But when she runs into Robert in this lifetime, a whirlwind of their past lives—and deaths—rocks her modern world to the core. What will she be willing to risk to spend every lifetime with Robert?
In the twists and turns of “repeating” their lives over and over through time, Anna must sacrifice everything for a glimpse of immortal love.
Lee Ann Ward is an award-winning fiction author with a background in journalism and mass communications. She is also the former Senior Editor of Champagne Books. Her love of books started at the age of three, and she's been addicted ever since. She's published six novels with her seventh and eighth on the way (SEE a YA paranormal by Evernight Teen in June 2017 and GLIMPSES OF WILDERNESS a YA romance by Inkspell Publishing in December 2017) and has written several more. When she's not writing, she's reading, singing, baking designer cakes, bowling and dreaming. She's married to Joe (who also happens to be her publicist) and they have 4 sons whom they adore, and a granddaughter who is the love of their life. They make their home in the small fishing community of Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
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Short Excerpts for GLIMPSES OF WILDERNESS by Lee Ann Ward
“Now you’re all mine,” he whispers near my skin, causing my arms to prickle with gooseflesh when his breath tickles my ear. “All mine.”
The strength of his arms around me coaxes my body to full awareness. I inhale his scent as he pulls me into his chest—a mixture of sweat, leather, and smoke. I am forever stunned by the way our bodies mold together, like nothing in this icy wilderness could ever feel this warm, this perfect, this well-matched. I belong to him, and he to me.
His kisses trail across my cheek and down my neck. I lift my chin when the stubble of his days-old beard scratches the tender flesh he’s now consuming. He reaches for the first button of my dress and I close my eyes, anticipating the feel of his fingers on my willing skin when he whispers, “First, come with me, my love. I have something to show you.”
I can still feel his touch on my skin and his lips on my mouth. I sink deeper into the covers and close my eyes so tightly I see stars. I want to be with Robert a little longer. I’m not ready to leave, never want to let him go. But now my face is too wet with tears to sleep. Robert’s gone, trapped in our wilderness memories until I’m lucky enough to dream again. And I’m here without him. Always here…
I swipe the tears until the remnants of eyeliner I failed to remove last night are simply black smudges on my face. She stares back at me from the mirror—the Anna of the wild, the Anna who misses her husband and babies, the Anna who’s as broken as her mother, no matter how hard she tries to pretend she’s okay. Me…
How can I accuse Mom of living in the past and never letting go when I’m holding on to a past from a couple hundred years ago? I know what I have to do. I pick up my phone again and open Facebook. No one will ever need to ask about my relationship status again. I type his name and read my new status update: Anna Berkeley is in a relationship with William Hull.
He lifts me and wraps my legs around his waist. He carries me to the bed and lays me back. He’s over me, supporting his weight with one hand and tugging his shirt off with the other. I run a hand along his chest and stomach, his skin tightening beneath my touch. His lips feather mine, his kisses soft but full of heat. His kisses trail from my cheeks, down my neck and to my chest, and in one swift motion, he lifts me to a seated position. I watch him shrug off his jeans and boxers, and I’m mesmerized by the fact that everything about him is exactly the same, right down to the lone freckle gracing his right hip.
“Hold your arms up,” he says.
I do, and he pulls my shirt off and tosses it to the floor. He rubs his hands over the straps of my bra and then the tops of my breasts. I draw in a breath when his fingers slip underneath the fabric. I lie back again, his lips now running from my breasts to my stomach, then my thighs and my legs. It’s like he’s thirsty and my skin is his only source of water. He tugs off my skirt and panties in one motion, and I’m dizzy. Every sensation in my body heightens when his hand spreads across my hipbone and the tops of my thighs.
I was crazy tired before Mom almost collided with the coffee table. I’m always afraid she’ll roll out of bed or choke on her own vomit when she has nights like this. She never has, but I worry about it anyway. I look at my phone again. 3:00 a.m. Thank God it’s Saturday, but I’m on schedule to volunteer at the nursing home at nine, and I can’t be late. I’m too close to winning the Sunshine Merit Scholarship to let something like no sleep land me a demerit. I purposely hold my eyes open for as long as I can, trying to make them sting enough that I’ll fall asleep.
“Get a grip, Anna,” I whisper when all the forced staring earns me is burning eyes. I bury the side of my face deeper into the feather pillow. Maybe William’s awake… Nope. No way I’m texting him now. God, he’d love that. I touch Maggie’s name instead.
I’m gonna be sooo dead tomorrow.
Text delivered, not read. She’s asleep. Lucky her. I find the sweet spot on my pillow when I flip it, and take a few deep breaths, attempting to shut off my racing brain. It does feel good to close my eyes…
I don’t spot him straight away. Robert’s body is tiny compared to the incredible height and mass of trees in the distance. I wipe my hands on a stained apron. I wish I had a clean one, but the wash is days old and the baby’s sick, so it will wait. At least I have a decent supper over the flame, and my husband isn’t particular about food. It’s one of the things I love about him.
I check my reflection in a tin plate when I hear his boots on the porch, and tuck a few loose strands of hair behind one ear. I pinch my cheeks for pinkness then collect some bowls for the rabbit stew.
“Anna,” Robert says when the door unlatches. “How’s the little one?”
“She’s sleeping but less feverish.”
“And Robert Jr.?”
“Still no signs of sickness with him. I think the worst is over.”
“That’s good,” Robert replies. “Come here. I have something to show you.”
He drops the leather sack in his hands when I reach him and scoops me into his arms. When his mouth covers mine, it’s like the first breath I’ve taken since he left the cabin that morning. I breathe in the flannel and earth still clinging to his dusting of beard, his hands grasping my hips, gathering the fabric covering them like he’s clinging for life. A hand slides to my cheek and he cups it, nudging my lips open as his kiss softens.
“I’ve missed you,” he whispers into my hair.
“But it’s only been since the morn—”
“And that’s too long.” He pulls my face forward and kisses my forehead. “Now sit. I really do have something to show you.”
I’m barely in the chair when Robert sets a coin pouch in front of me. “Open it.”
I dump the coins out and lose my breath. “These aren’t shillings…they’re crowns! But how?” I do a mental count. Nine crowns total. “Robert, where did you get these?”
“Mr. Besson liked the table I made for him so much that he agreed to sell my furniture in his general store. He gave me the crowns for material costs.” Robert’s eyes light up so much they barely resemble the deep mahogany hue I know them to be. “Do you know what this means, Anna? A whole new life for us, that’s what. And look.” He pulls a paper from his shirt pocket. “I signed a document of accord with him too, for a whole year.”
I scan the paper, one word and a string of numbers striking me harder than a blow to the face:
September 23, 1805.
My bedroom’s still dark when a car horn jars me awake. I don’t bother with the time. The sun isn’t up yet. Tears sting my eyes. September 23, 1805. I was right—it has been over two hundred years.
I’ve had normal dreams before, ones about falling or flying, and some about being in a house I don’t recognize or having strange people chase me. I even dreamed about starting the first day of sixth grade totally naked, but that was then. I don’t dream anymore…not in five years. No floating, no flying, no nightmares about my dad’s car crashing or my sister’s tiny face vanishing in a window of red. No, not anymore.
Now when I sleep I fall into an expanse of frozen wilderness, the other life I’ve lived…the one I lived with him.