Please welcome historical author Pamela Nowak to the blog. Pam is here to tell us about her latest book Escaping Yesterday!! And she’ll be giving away a copy to on of you who tells her you want it!
Let’s start with the beautiful cover!
Now the blurb.
1905 Elitch Gardens… an amusement park on the verge of expansion… two troubled people escaping traumatic pasts… one very present danger… and a love neither expected. Lottie will risk everything to save her daughter. Caleb believes she is a manipulative huckster intent on conning his friends and ruining the park’s tranquility. But when Lottie’s past catches up to her, they unite, standing together against a treacherous villain and facing the complicated memories haunting them both.
And an excerpt.
A fierce wave of protectiveness swept Lottie Chase as she watched her daughter traipse toward the ornate sandstone train depot. Once again, Lottie had done what she had to do. She glanced at Rupert Gennick, her one-time close friend, and wondered what had caused him to change so much since they’d been trusted pals. She prayed he’d wait until Elsa was out of earshot before he launched into his tirade. He’d been steaming all morning, ever since they’d missed the San Francisco–bound train and had to wait three hours at Denver’s Union Station.
As soon as Elsa slipped inside the building, Rupert glared at Lottie. “I tell ya, baby doll, the kid is slowing us down. I don’t see why you’re so set against sending her home.” He jammed his hands into his pockets.
Lottie glanced up from her bench and reined in the urge to rise and shake him. She knew that look. She’d seen it often enough on the trip. “I’ve already told you. Elsa is not going back to New York. Not now, not ever.” Rupert’s invitation to join his trip had offered her an unforeseen chance to save Elsa. Now that Elsa had grown old enough to catch Uncle Edward’s eye, Lottie wasn’t about to stay there and watch the old lecher prey on Elsa as he’d preyed on her. She peered at Rupert from the corner of her eye, resigned to humoring him until he calmed down. “It wasn’t Elsa’s fault we were late, you know.”
“So you say.” He kicked at a stone and watched it roll toward the big iron “Welcome” arch. “You wanted the kid to see the country. She’s seen it. It’s time to send her home. I didn’t sign on to babysit your cousin for the rest of my life. She’s in the way. B’sides, you don’t send her home soon, her ma’s gonna have our skins.”
“Nobody’s going to have our skins,” Lottie said with a certainty she didn’t feel. She had no doubt Aunt Aggie was glad to see them gone but she imagined Uncle Edward was livid that she’d disappeared with Elsa. He’d threatened before to pursue her if she ever took the girl away.
Lottie stilled her pounding heart. They hadn’t wanted her when they’d taken her in all those years ago. Aunt Aggie had claimed Elsa as her own, intrigued by having a baby to raise, until she’d discovered she wasn’t maternal after all. Uncle Edward had been indifferent at first but had grown more and more possessive of Elsa in recent years. A tiny finger of apprehension snaked its way up Lottie’s spine. Uncle Edward wouldn’t have searched beyond New York for Elsa, would he? Lottie looked toward the depot, wishing now she had followed Elsa to the restroom.
“How’re we gonna break into the big leagues with a brat in tow?” Rupert said. “I got things to do, Lottie. Soon as we get to San Francisco, I got people to see, rides to sell. I’m gonna make it big and I don’t want the kid slowing things down. I have too much staked on this.”
Lottie sighed, tired of this new trait of Rupert’s—his constant predictions of his future success. Despite being the son of a renowned amusement ride manufacturer, he’d failed to break into the business thus far. He had big ideas but a serious lack of follow-through. She doubted a change of locale would make any difference.
She glanced at Rupert and pasted a smile onto her face. “Having a ten-year-old isn’t going to affect whether or not you make sales.”
Rupert plopped onto the bench and stretched his arms along its wooden back. A slow mountain breeze drifted through the morning air, lifting his blond hair. “I don’t see you paying for her tickets or her room and board,” he said.
Lottie stared at him. It was the first time he’d complained about the added expense, and guilt stabbed at her. Once she realized the danger Elsa was in, Lottie had seized the chance. Granted, she’d misled Rupert about her own intentions and conned him into bringing Elsa along, but she hadn’t had any other choice. Still, he’d put out his own money in good faith, and it wasn’t right. “I’ll get a job,” she offered, “repay you for our tickets.”
“We’re a pair, Lottie. A team.” He rubbed her shoulder with his hand and offered a lazy smile, the same one that had first drawn her to him back when they worked together at Coney Island. His voice was a mellow drawl—the bewitching tool of a master salesman. “That’s how it was supposed to be when we planned this. You and me, together, schmoozing the park owners. A doll like you in on the deals and I can’t go wrong.”
If it were any other situation, Lottie knew she’d be tempted to be his partner, maybe even his girl. When he wanted to, Rupert could charm his way through a person’s resistance faster than anything. But she had Elsa to think of. She had to keep her daughter safe, no matter what. “Elsa stays,” she said. Her gaze again shifted to the depot.
Rupert’s fingers drifted to her neck, the massage now a caress. “And night after night, you share her room instead of mine.”
Lottie started, goose bumps rising on her skin. She’d been afraid it would come to this. She’d flirted with him a little, let him kiss her a couple times and allowed him to believe they might become more than friends, but it had been an act. However promiscuous Aunt Aggie accused her of being, she’d never been with anyone . . . except Edward. She shied away, turning her body to the side. “Is that what this is all about? You think that it’s only Elsa keeping me out of your bed?”
“You’re the one who agreed to board the train without a chaperone and come West with me.” His teeth flashed, brilliant in the June sun, and an all-too-familiar glint sparkled in his malachite eyes. “Add in the kisses and the message was pretty clear.”
Damn those ill-conceived kisses. They had convinced Rupert to bring Elsa but she’d never offered intimacy and she didn’t plan to. The goose bumps turned into a cold, clammy sweat. Uncle Edward used to look at her the same way. Panic rushed through her. Not again. Not ever. She lurched to her feet and glared at him. “Yeah, well, it worked, didn’t it?” she blurted.
She shrugged her shoulders, only now digesting the implications of her hasty words. She affected nonchalance as her mind scrambled to put together some sort of plan. “You brought us along.”
“You suckered me?” Still sitting, Rupert leaned forward and shook his head.
Elsa emerged from the far door of the depot, and Lottie let out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “I had no choice,” she said, her gaze on Elsa.
“Well, I do,” Rupert said, rising. He spun Lottie around until she faced him. Fear sliced through her at the angry set of his mouth. “I got several choices. Being suckered isn’t one of them. It’s time we got on with what you’ve been promising, Lottie, whether you meant it when we left New York or not.” His grip softened, but the glint in his eyes remained. “I’m crazy about you. But I’m tired of your games and the stories you can’t keep straight. No more babysitting your cousin. Send her home and let’s quit pussyfooting around.”
Lottie drew a breath and met Rupert’s stare. “She’s my daughter, damn it, and I’m not sending her anywhere.”
Shock replaced the lust in his eyes and his hand dropped away. “Fine, baby doll. Have it your way. From here on out, you’re on your own.”
Buy link. Amazon
Pamela Nowak’s most recent novel, Changes, received the 2014 Colorado Book Award for genre fiction and a HOLT Medallion Finalist Award. Previous honors include the HOLT Medallion and HOLT Medallion Finalist Award, a WILLA Finalist Award, a listing among the “Top Ten Romance Novels of 2008” by Booklist, and being named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2010 Writer of the Year. Pam has been in love with history and rich characters for most of her life. She has a B.A. in history, has taught history to prison inmates, served as project manager for the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and ran a homeless shelter. Pam and her partner Ken live in Denver. Please visit her at http://www.pamelanowak.com or friend her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pamela.nowak.142).