Anna’s Legacy is Book ll of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy. If you have followed me for a while, you may be confused. Initially, I intended to write a sequel to The Blue Pendant. Well, it soon became apparent that I could not finish the story, so the sequel became a trilogy a new name Anna’s Legacy for Book ll, which bodes well for the story and Book lll is a work in progress. What about Ruins in Silk you ask? It is the prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy. And today readers I have a treat for you a sneak peak…
Excerpt from Anna’s Legacy – Book ll of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – April 1948
Chapter One — As the Southampton skyline drew closer, Anna’s throat tightened and her knuckles turned white on the ship’s railing. She smiled at Bill as she felt his warm arm encircle her shoulders. He knows me so well, she thought, and immediately relaxed. He lightly kissed her cheek, smiled and gently brushed a greying curl from her forehead.
“A little. We have a big challenge in front of us.”
Bill sighed. “Did you ever imagine the day would come when we would sail into Southampton together?”
“No, did you?” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “The last three years have been a roller-coaster ride and there were times when I thought we would never get together, let alone sail into Southampton after a trip to India.”
“Starting a new life in our fifties is a little bizarre.” Bill shook his head, “But I feel younger and more together than I did twenty years ago. I’m not sure how to describe it; ecstatic, elated or just plain happy. Working with you to put The Sackville Hotel back on the map. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
“Wisdom and life experiences finally pay off.” She laughed. “I think I could have managed with a few less life experiences…” The public address system blared, drowning out Anna’s words, telling passengers to gather their belongings and wait for debarkation instructions.
Shivering slightly, Anna pulled her wool jacket tightly around her shoulders. The cool April air was a contrast to the hot Indian climate. Despite the long sea journey, it seemed that her body wanted to hold on to the heat. She had enjoyed the sea voyage, thankful for only a couple of bouts of seasickness. As wonderful as it was to be with Bill, it had been a disappointing trip for them both. India was not the country she had imagined through Uncle Bertie’s stories and Rudyard Kipling’s books. Independence had caused hatred, riots and rivalry. The violence was sad, frightening and deeply disturbing. Even more disturbing, Anna thought she recognized one of her fellow passengers as an orator who had fired up the already volatile crowd in Calcutta. His eyes had momentarily caught Anna’s from his soapbox as the police rescued them and whisked them to safety, and now on the ship, he stared at her whenever their paths crossed, but he never spoke. It was an intrusive stare that made Anna feel uncomfortable. Bill thought she was being paranoid. To appease him, she reluctantly agreed, but could not shake an inner instinct of potential danger.
Anna switched her thoughts to the hotel and their new home, and the familiar butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She wondered how the renovations were progressing. More to the point, she wondered how many problems had arisen.
She looped her finger into the black velvet ribbon at her neck and twisted the blue crystal pendant, thinking of Uncle Bertie all those years ago when she had first arrived at Bexhill train station. Another chapter of her life was beginning, at the same hotel. Thirty-five years ago she had been alone with Uncle Bertie’s globe-trotting inspiration, his gift of a blue pendant and words of wisdom. “Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone take them away,” had comforted and inspired her many times. She had followed her dreams: three months ago she and Bill were married and together they owned The Sackville Hotel.