Enter the realm of Seaborne...and the achingly romantic world of Katherine Irons, a new talent who will break your heart and heal it all at the same time...
Take Me Away
Shrouded in mist, the hidden shoreline near her family's Maine estate is a place of refuge for Claire Bishop. There, she can forget the physical limitations imposed by a tragic accident and escape judgmental eyes. Yet someone is watching from the depths of the sea, a being who senses her inner despair and is drawn to help her. Prince Morgan, risen from the waves and as perfect a man Claire has ever laid eyes on. She is sure she has dreamed him into existence--Morgan's masculine beauty and sensual tenderness cannot be real. Then the dream overtakes reality...
With Morgan at her side, Claire is suddenly freed, swimming with him to a lost paradise, a fantastic underwater world with a sunken stone city at its heart. Soon the lovers find that their union has aroused the wrath of his warring clan--but Claire would rather die than return to her crippling life on earth, and Morgan will not live without the woman he adores...
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Kensington Publishing Corporation
January 04, 2011
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Excerpt from Seaborne by Katherine Irons
The Maine Coast--July
The summer storm swept in without warning. Black clouds rolled across a lightning-streaked sky sending fishermen and tourists racing for snug harbors. Sheets of rain fell, and thunder boomed as waves and wind churned the scenic coastal waters into a deadly maelstrom.
One aging forty-footer with a crew of three--father, son, and grandson, didn't join the other boats in fight. Instead, the vessel foundered in the rock-studded waters as waves crashed over the pitching deck and gusts ripped at the open cabin and dislodged stacks of lobster traps in the stern. Aboard the old boat, one man struggled with a sput?tering engine while the gray-haired captain fought the wheel, attempting to steer the foundering craft away from a looming island.
Hidden from sight by a rocky outcrop, Morgan watched the human drama unfold with mixed feelings. These fishermen were his mortal enemies. Their kind was responsible for the thousands of wire cages littering the ocean floor, ghost traps that caused the senseless death of too many living creatures to count.
Lost nets, tangles of rope, rusting hooks, and wires snagged fish, whales, dolphins, sea birds, and turtles, speeding the destruction of an abundance of sea life that had thrived for eons. Humans polluted the oceans with their trash and chemicals and spilled oil, and they decimated whole species of fish and shellfish.
Morgan knew he should hate these men, and he would have despised them if he didn't pity them for their igno?rance. They didn't seem to understand that instead of de?stroying food sources, they should be protecting them, an act that might keep millions of humans from starvation someday. Once, these men who breathed air and walked the earth had been brothers and sisters of his race, but no more. In their quest to leave the sea and conquer the land, humans had lost wisdom and a compassion for all living things. If these men were dashed on the rocks in their puny lobster boat, if they drowned, what was it to him? He wasn't one of them.
With a shrug, Morgan started to turn away and leave the fishermen to their fate, but before he could slip back under the blue-green water, the engine roared to life, and a third member of the crew appeared on the deck.
"Dad's got it running!" This wasn't a man, but a boy. Morgan caught a glimpse of wide blue eyes and a pale freckled face, just before a giant wave swept over the deck, knocking the child overboard.
The gray-haired captain saw him and shouted, "Joe!"
The mechanic who'd been working on the engine charged up the stairs onto the deck. Ripping off his rain gear, he leaped into the water after the boy. The old man steering the boat secured the wheel long enough to snatch a life ring off the gunnel and toss it over the side.
"Evan! Evan!" Joe swam strongly despite the force of the waves, but there was no sign of the boy's head above water. Morgan knew the hungry tide had claimed him, and his death was certain.
Unless . . .
Cursing his gentle heart, Morgan plunged into the mael?strom and dove deep under the water. The tide was strong, but he'd learned to swim in storm surges. He blinked to clear his vision and swam under the boat to the spot where the child had gone down. Above, Morgan could just make out the thrashing shadow of the man, but below there was only sand-tossed bottom. A few powerful strokes carried him in the direction the tide was .owing. On land, he was as clumsy and weak as a human, but in the water he could swim as swiftly as a shark.
Even for him, the churning waves made it almost im?possible to see more than a few yards, but he calculated the direction and speed of the tide and drove on. There! Something was there, just ahead of him, not swimming, but tumbling helplessly in the current. Morgan kicked hard and let the water's force carry him. In seconds, he reached the drowning boy and seized him. For an instant, the human child opened his eyes and stared directly into his own, but then he went limp. Quickly, Morgan swam to the surface with him in his arms.
Casting a net of hypnotic illusion around himself for protection, he pushed the half-conscious child into the fa?ther's grasp. He already held the life ring, and the older man on the boat was able to pull them both in.
Morgan lingered in the water, just out of sight beneath the boat, using his superior hearing to eavesdrop on their conversation. "Did you see that?" Joe sputtered as he shoved the choking child up onto the boat. "Did you see what that dolphin did, Pop? He saved Evan. The dolphin saved him."
Morgan heard the boy cough and spew up a bellyful of water, before beginning to cry.
"That's it, get it out of you," the grandfather urged. "Did you see it, Evan? Did you see the dolphin? Big one, it was."
"No," the boy protested weakly. "It was a man."
"A man?" his father scoffed. "It was a dolphin, son. I wasn't three feet away from it."
"A man," the boy repeated groggily. "A blue man. He came up out of the dark."
"Hush, now, save your strength for breathing," his fa?ther said. "Don't know what he's saying," the captain said. "We nearly lost him. No wonder he's talking foolish like."
Smiling, Morgan spread his arms wide and sank into icy depths. Human adults were easy to deceive, but human children were different. They saw and heard things that adults had forgotten. He'd been lucky. No one would be?lieve the boy's story. He'd never attempted to use mind control on more than two at a time and never on a child. Had his spell cracked, one of the men might have seen him for what he actually was, and that would be dangerous. The security of his kingdom, of his race, depended on keeping the land dwellers ignorant of the world beneath the sea.
As he swam into deeper water, out beyond the island, Morgan almost convinced himself that he'd skirted the law and gotten away with it. . . . Until he noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. "Going somewhere, Brother?"
Morgan turned to face him, wishing he was armed with something more than a short sword. He and Caddoc were never on the best of terms, and his half-brother had tried to kill him on more than one occasion over the years.
"I saw you."
Morgan didn't answer. Had Caddoc witnessed the inci?dent with the lobster boat or had he seen him watching the woman?
"You're a fool. You of all people should know the penalty for breaking the law."
Morgan shrugged. "You're free to make a report to the council."
"Oh, I will. You can count on it."
Caddoc favored their father in appearance. Dark haired like his mother instead of blond, but the proud features, the high cheek bones, the broad forehead, and the square chin were identical to that of the king.
Caddoc rarely traveled alone, and Morgan wasn't sur?prised when two of Caddoc's cronies appeared out of the murky darkness. If an accident occurred here, no one would ever know what had happened to him, and his half-brother would be one step closer to the throne he coveted so badly. "You'll stand trial," Caddoc warned. "Crown prince or not, you're not above the law."
Morgan waited, unwilling to provoke a confrontation, but prepared to fight if pushed into it. Three to one was not the best of odds. Caddoc was better armed, and he was known for his skill with a trident. Perhaps his half-brother was right. Maybe he was a fool to risk being seen to save a human child from drowning, but he'd make the same decision again, given the circumstances. If there were consequences, he was prepared to face them, beginning with Caddoc.
Even as the three closed in on him, he couldn't stop thinking about the woman and wondering why he'd been so drawn to her. Small hairs on the back of his neck tingled as he placed a hand lightly on his sword hilt.
"Well, big brother," he said. "What can I do for you?"
"Put down your weapon, Morgan. I'm placing you under arrest." Caddoc raised his trident to shoulder height. The three razor-sharp prongs gleamed in the half-light that filtered down from the surface. Morgan smiled and drew his sword.
Claire Bishop sat at the bay window and stared out at the rain. Wind lashed at the house and bent the tree branches, knocking limbs against the house and sending them tumbling across the wide expanse of lawn. Pitch?forks of jagged lightning illuminated the sky, and the rumble of thunder echoed through the house.
"Come away from that window," Mrs. Godwin urged. "My sister knew of a woman who was struck dead as a doornail by lightning while standing at her own bedroom window."
"Dead as a doornail," Claire murmured. "I've always wondered how a doornail could be dead when they aren't alive to begin with."
"You know what I mean," the housekeeper fussed. "It isn't safe." Her Maine accent was as thick as the carpet underfoot, but Claire had been coming to Seaborne since she was a child, and neither Mrs. Godwin nor her peculiar dialect intimidated her.
"It's time for your medication."
"Leave it on the table," Claire said.
"You need to take it regularly. Once the pain gets hold of you--"
"It's not bad today." The pain in her neck was always there, waiting to grab her in its sharp teeth and shake her like a terrier would a rat, but today she felt a more dull,