Here is a sneak peek to book three of the Neverland Series. You don't have to read Peter Pan or Return to Neverland first, but they complement each other nicely. Don't you just LURVE this cover? He is coming VERY SOON! (crossing my fingers for the end of the week!)
by Jenni James
THE HONORABLE MISS YVETTE Novalie walked into her third-story room at the boarding house for young ladies who lived in London. It was a quaint little place, perfect for her when she was not working as a nurse at the hospital. She had completed her studies top of her class at her school for girls in Salisbury, and so impressed her teacher that she was hired as soon as she graduated.
Miss Novalie was one of the privileged few young ladies who had the opportunity to work as something beyond a mere seamstress, lady’s maid, or dreadful factory worker. Indeed, she was quite proud of all she had accomplished, and was grateful for every opportunity granted these past twelve years.
Yvette had no family except an aunt who still lived in Salisbury. An aunt who greatly disapproved of her lifestyle choices—all young ladies should be married.
But it did not matter, for Yvette was often so busy, she did not have time to dilly-dally in small talk with men. In fact, there were few who could keep her interest longer than a quarter of an hour, but never mind any of that. Today, Miss Novalie was particularly excited as she walked into her little yellow rented room and flung her pelisse and gloves upon the bed.
Promoted! As assistant head nurse! Why, she was only twenty-eight, and already seen as a professional in her vocation. Everything she had been planning, all those hard years were finally coming together. Her heart beat in glee at the thought.
Though she had no one to share the news with, it did not matter overly much. This was 1910, the dawning of a new age for women in England, and she was living proof of it. Oh, goodness, how grateful she was to be part of this time and world! How—
Suddenly, Miss Novalie felt a sharp tug upon her shoulders as if someone pulled her backward. Startled, she looked around, but no one was there. Then her hips began to twitch toward the left and then right. What was happening? Lunging forward, she clutched the small dresser in her room and then pulled the thing all the way to her bed as she was dragged by some invisible force.
Horrifying black smoke began to pool at her feet and slowly rise to engulf her. Panic forced air from her throat, and she found she could not scream louder than a small gasp. The smoke started to swirl and then tug at her skirts until she began to twirl as well. It felt as though she were in her own mini whirlwind of some sort. Round and round she fearfully went, bumping here and there against her bed and wall and dresser, until finally her petrified throat opened and she screamed.
Just then, a flash of blinding light erupted from above her and she went hurling into a vortex of brightness—an array of several colors. Never had she experienced such dizzying pain. It felt as if her insides were being torn out of her and her outsides being shoved in. For what seemed like several minutes, she was forced through this agony, and wham! She slammed down upon a hard dirt floor in a darkened room that stank of smoke.
“Ohhh…” she groaned as she attempted to roll over. Where was she?
“Are you all right?” asked a distinctly deep male voice, one she could not place for the life of her.
Yvette glanced around, and finally her eyes adjusted to the dark enough to make out a pair of black knee-high boots. They were folded at the top like an old-fashioned uniform, as if someone were in costume.
“Indeed, you do not look well. I am so sorry you were brought here this way, but I had no choice.”
Brought here? Someone purposely brought her here? Had she been kidnapped? Yvette turned more fully and took the hand the man offered. Slowly, she came to a sitting position, her rump still upon the hard dirt ground. Every bone in her body ached, and yet the man would not stop talking long enough for her to get her bearings.
“I am definitely excited to meet you. Indeed, I have wondered for several days what you would look like—never in my life did I expect to see such a beautiful woman before me.”
Ugh. He was one of those men. Yvette pushed her hair off her face and gazed into the most dangerously beautiful eyes she had ever beheld. They were dark blue and mysterious, with flecks of greeny-blue seafoam in them as they flickered in the light. She caught her breath. This was certainly no gentleman. With his rugged looks and odd clothing, he was not a man to be trusted. He must be a theatrical player of some sort—perhaps the opera. And now he believed he could do whatever he wanted.
“Would you like to sit down on a log?” He patted a spot next to him. “Indeed, you do not need to be upon the ground.” His hand went to help her up farther, and Yvette pushed him away.
“Do not touch me!” She glared, and then all of her years of working with pompous men who thought women beneath them came back in full force. “I am not someone who can be taken at will by boorish men. Who are you? Where am I? And what demented, tormented soul led you to believe that bringing me to this place was a good idea?”
His eyes searched hers for a moment. He was a man who engaged easily in fighting, she could tell by his stance and the way he reacted to her speech. The rugged mouth formed a wary grin as he attempted to appease her. “I am Captain James T. Hook. At your service, miss.”
“Captain?” He no sooner looked like a respectable captain then she did a mermaid. She moved away from him. “And just where am I?”
“You are in a tent. A native’s tent. The chief has walked out to give us some privacy.”
“I refuse to have privacy with the likes of you!” Pain or not, she shot up to her feet and raised a fist. Years as a nurse gave her strength many women would never know. It was not an easy task to restrain patients and force them to accept their treatments. One had to be sharp and strong, and a blow to the head a time or two did not go amiss.
The man rose too, his hands out, attempting to placate her. “I promise I will not touch you. I am not here to harm you, or any such thing.”
“What chief do you speak of? Where in London are there chiefs? The chief of police?”
“You are in Neverland, my dear. And I brought you here to remove a curse you placed on me years ago. Do you remember? Am I somewhat familiar to you at all?”
“Mr. Hook, I do not know what asylum you have escaped from, but perhaps it is best you return. I have never placed a curse on anyone before, and I certainly have never met you. Now, kindly take me back to London where I belong.”
“’Twas you! It was. Or you would not have been summoned here. It must be you.” The captain lurched forward to grab her shoulder, but met a strong fist to the mouth instead.
“Do not touch me!” She hit him in his cheek once more with the same fist and then again with the other.
He stumbled backward and held his face.
It was then that she noticed the large hook protruding from his wrist where his hand should be. It was terrifying! “Sir, I demand you return me back home at once.”
“I cannot, you blasted girl.” He sat down and rubbed his mouth. “You are here for the next three days, and then you will go back.”
“What? You must be jesting. I cannot be here three days. I will be certainly missed.”
“It is part of your curse—it has nothing to do with me. I did not make the rules. You are the witch who caused all of this anyway.”
“Witch?” How mad had this man become? “For the last time, I am not the woman who placed an enchantment on you, and I have no notion of what you speak. However, I completely understand why such a curse was used on you. I have not been in your vicinity two minutes, and already I am willing to plant you another facer.”
“Oh, no.” Mr. Hook shook his head from side to side. “Of course it wasn’t you. I had not thought of the time I have been here.” He glanced up at her. “What year is it in London?”
She blinked, yet another reason to believe he should be locked away. “Nineteen ten. Why?”
He sat up and began to mumble and count to himself, and then all at once, he smiled a devastatingly handsome smile. “You must be her great-great-granddaughter! She’s dead, and so the curse brought the next best thing. You!”
Suddenly, Yvette became rigid as a legend as ancient as it was preposterous came to perk itself into remembrance again. Something her mother had told her, and her mother before her. The tale of an evil blackguard. Very cautiously, she began to walk toward a small fire blazing in the large tent. Her heart plummeted to her feet as her hands instinctively began to form fists once more. And then, as a roaring of anger flashed through her, she hissed, “So you are the infamous Captain James Hook! The stories are true?”
“I am proud to hear that my fame is still being discussed.”
He smugly bowed before her, and she glanced around the room for any type of weapon she could find. The closest thing at hand was a burning log that had an untarnished end pointed directly toward her. Yvette picked it up and brandished the thing between them like a sword. “Choose your weapon, because I am here to guarantee you perish!”
|Return to Neverland Buy Here|
|Peter Pan Buy Here|