She looked around the foyer, awestruck. The large ceremonial
foyer was big enough for use as a reception hall—perhaps it had been used as
such in the glory days of the Island. It was at least two stories high, built
of stone with exposed beams of timber and log, and large hand-hewn cross
trusses at the ceiling. It was rustic but grand at the same time. There were
three matching chandeliers of iron and crystal suspended from the massive trussed
ceiling. The floors were all of six-inch antique lumber, polished to a
brilliant shine in the setting sunlight. For its size, the massive foyer was
warm, surprisingly warm and cozy.
Emily felt quite welcome.
On the walls were wrought-iron fluted sconces matching the
chandeliers at equidistance throughout the hallway, lovely hand-woven
tapestries and paintings of some family members Emily recognized. But there
were also paintings of others she did not recognize. Hung in the parlor, over
the considerable stone fireplace where a fire blazed pleasantly and in full
view from the foyer, was the most prominent of paintings. Clearly, it had been
her uncle’s favorite.
The painting was of a voluptuous young beauty with long
auburn locks, tied loosely with a pale pink ribbon. Wisps of her hair escaped
the tether and fell rather seductively about her soft shapely shoulders and
around the tempting ivory flesh of her exposed bosom. She appeared to be
sitting quite privately by her vanity, tending to her feminine indulgences
perhaps applying oils and lotions to her pale, velvety skin. Draped in a pink
satin cloth or robe of sorts, she was not completely nude. She was an
extraordinary creature and, immediately, Emily thought of the Mariner’s Maiden.
There was such a likeness, but Emily thought that was quite an impossible
coincidence. She wondered whom this young woman was that held such a position
of importance in her uncle’s home. She also wondered if she had ever lived or
if she was still alive. Were they lovers? She was sure there would be much
about her uncle she would discover in the coming days and never grow to
understand. She was ashamed to admit to herself she was now more fascinated by
him in death. Emily was excited to discover more about him—and his life—now she
was here, than she had been while he was alive.
She looked closely at the painting and in faint letters it
read, “Amalya” at the bottom. She wondered if that was the beautiful woman or
the artist. Although quite taken with the portrait, she had satisfied some
measure of her curiosity for the day and, thinking of her father, snapped
around, squared her shoulders and settled into her uncle’s desk to begin work.
Opening her uncle’s file drawer in his desk, Emily felt intrusive. However, it
had to be done. The first file which caught her eye was one on Mariner’s
Maiden. She pulled it out, opened the cover and began to read. There were plat
maps, surveys, contracts of sale and purchase, title documents, recordings and
the usual. There was the technical history, but nothing of the emotional
history, which interested her most. Emily read on, as the file was very thick,
and perhaps there was more to come. She moved to the leather sofa in the
library in between the bookcases and across from the stone fireplace.
The original owner had built the house on five hundred acres
of land in the early 1800’s. The technical file was so thick because over the
years, as he aged and his family moved away, he had donated much of the land to
the town. The hours passed. She read until she fell asleep to the melodious
crackling sounds of the fire. Emily was nestled under the throw quite warm and
secure. And then, she dreamed…she was floating, soaring, drifting on silken
currents and airfoils of magic.
She felt as though she was flying, so light and airy, wispy,
so delicate. She could see the land from on high. She could see a young woman
with very long auburn hair being chased towards the house by a large male. He
was dressed in odd attire, with his pant legs tucked inside his high-topped
black polished boots. He was tall, but with his back to her, Emily could not
make out his face. His shoulders were broad and his waist narrowed, but flared
to thick muscular thighs that moved deliberately under tight leggings. He wore
a white billowy shirt, so very bright white, Emily had to squint to block the
glare and the scene was out of focus at all the edges. The woman was dressed in
a long blue skirt, to the ankles. A wide belt cinched her tiny waist, holding
her full white blouse tucked neatly in the band. Off both of her shoulders was
the top of the blouse and the sleeves were nipped tight at the wrist. She ran
quickly to the front door of the house, looking over her shoulder frequently.
The man, who had long masterful strides, easily caught her at the front
entrance to the house. Even though it was a dream, Emily felt her heart
pounding for the young girl in fear for her safety.
When the stranger grabbed her from behind at the grand oak
door, Emily held an involuntary breath anticipating the worst as the man
whipped the young woman around to face him. She laughed, loud and hearty, and
threw her arms around the laughing, breathless man. They faced one another, and
Emily could not make out their features, the glare from the white shirts was
still so blinding. The man ran his hand through her hair from her neck up to
the back of her head, grabbed a fistful of tousled auburn locks and pulled her
face gently towards his. He kissed her with such deep, passionate abandon,
Emily gasped. She awoke, abruptly but briefly, to realize she had been holding
her breath with a racing heart. Calming herself, breathing evenly, she closed
her eyes to return to the dream.
Emily slept again almost immediately.
The couple was inside the house. The man collected the young
woman in his arms in the foyer and carried her to the library. In one another’s
embrace, he took her to the couch, exactly where Emily now slept, and gently
placed her down onto the sofa. He lowered the top of her blouse further down
her bodice, exposing her breasts from an uplifting corset which barely covered
her nipples. As he bent to draw her breasts out of the confines and kiss each
one, Emily saw the young woman had put her arm over her eyes, so Emily still
could not see the fullness of her face. The man lovingly took each nipple, one
at a time, into his mouth while he twisted and pinched the other. Her areolas
responded by swelling and darkening around the hardened nipples. She moaned and
moved suggestively, openly welcoming further indulgences. He reveled in her
breasts, burying his face between them and licking the private spot of cleavage
reserved just for his attentions. The room smelled of lavender, Emily noted in
her dream. The young woman surely fancied the lavender fragrance in her evening
It was very stimulating and seemed so real to Emily. But was it?
Book: The Para-Portage of Emily
you so much for inviting me here today. You know, the longer and more that I do
interviews, it never gets easier to talk about myself. I think writers are
inherently private, why? I don’t know, because everything we write is revealing
in some way. But, I love talking about my books and characters, so I guess,
someday, I’ll get used to talking about myself too!
How long have you been a writer
and how did you come to writing?
many respects, I have written most of my life. I was in sales and marketing
before I retired and I had to write proposals, proformas,
presentations, contracts, and employee reviews so I had to have some
command of the English language. It was only after I started writing
provocative romance that I realized how little command I actually have!! But, I
started in earnest, writing stories and books, in 2010. My first story, The
Storm, was published in 2010 by Oysters & Chocolate, an online magazine now
defunct. The $10 I earned made me a pro, but just a writer, not an author! I
hope that isn’t a sign of things to come!
How did you come up with this
wrote a very short workshop teaser, The Bath, for a group I am in in which the
woman bathing dozes and feels hands on her, soothing her tired muscles and
becoming more insistent, erotically. She gives herself over to the sensations
and then as she drains the tub thinks she sees a face in the water. It was the
beginning or a romance that spans a century about a seafaring man that keeps
returning to his home to try to find his beloved, Amalya who died in
childbirth. He mistakenly thinks that Emily, now in his home, is she. That is
how this all started and these two characters literally swept me away.
What are the best and the worst
aspects of writing?
always, the agony of a blank page and the ecstasy of two little words, “The
End”. In all fairness, writing is a solitary endeavor, so the loneliness gets
to me occasionally, but I have taken to the couch and write beside my husband
as he does his crossword puzzles and watches sports. And I have my characters
to keep me company.
What inspires you to write?
know writers always say ‘everything’ but for me, that really isn’t true. A
melody might, something that happened to me in my life, someone, or something I
saw. Once, on the day that JFK was assassinated, my Mother and I were shopping
in Paris. My Dad was an Air Force colonel and we were stationed there for three
years, but that is another story in and of itself! Anyway, I saw a man strike a
woman across the Champs Elysees in front of the Arc de Triomphe. The ‘City of
Love’ changed for me forever in that one moment. Things like that inspire me.
Politics, for example, do not — so everything is not inspiring to me. I
suspect, to sum it up, the human condition is fascinating to me; how people
treat and react to one another at their best and worst, is inspiring.
How did you conduct your research
for The Para-Portage of Emily?
I really didn’t. This is another time when much of what I wrote, I lived. The
same is true of Moonbeams of Unintended Consequences, although not all,
for sure. But, the setting in The Para-Postage of Emily, is on an
island between Lake Michigan and Green Bay. For many years, my husband and I
lived on an Island in the middle between both of those bodies of water and the
ferry had to cross “Death’s Door, so named by the Indians because of the
treacherous currents. It is a small 36 square mile island settled by Nordic
settlers many generations ago so many of the current residents are related.
Small Island, big gossip! Anyway, we lived there for nearly 20 years. That is
where this story takes place, in a small part of my heart.
What are 3 of your favorite quotes
from The Para-Portage of Emily?
Will they face eternity together or love in secret as dark things are to be
loved between the shadows and the soul?
Death lures her into the arms of the shadows seduction created by the
flickering light and dark shadows.
the last is in the Epilogue spoken by Colin:
You’ll wake when the sun slices
through your window to kiss your cheek so fair,
I’ll be there beside you, as I
have year after year after year.
Our love is locked in passion
grown old along with us.
Our hearts are woven as
one—unbreakable—shored by love and trust.
We have faced each day together,
even triumphed before we’ve begun.
The battles we have faced and
fought are battles we have done and won.
If we should leave tomorrow, and
that tomorrow will surely come,
I’ll take with me your sorrow and
embrace you warmed by our morning sun.
And though we were so far apart,
by years and tears so cruel
You were always in my
heart. I was never meant to miss you.
Come with me, Amalya.
More Favorites from The Para-Portage
What flames the timeless passions spanning the decades? Love, desire or
Haunted by love and loss, how long will Colin return each night, gripped by
desire, hoping to find the woman he has loved for a century?
Beneath the pristine Island beauty, passions hungered, lingered in the ardent
Will they face eternity together or love in secret as dark things are to be
loved between the shadows and the soul?
What would your friends say is
your best quality?
a good friend; I think they would say. I hope they would anyway. I try to be
helpful and supportive. It is so hard to be a writer today. There are 55,000
new books published monthly. Anyone can write and publish a book. I can be very
discouraging for an author to be read and, as you know, promotion is time
consuming and exhausting leaving little time to do what you love. I try to do
whatever I can to help my friends. I try to be generous with my time and
whatever talent I possess that might be useful to them.
Are reader reviews important to
reviews are very important to me. Positive reinforcement is essential to my
life-force. It is like getting all dressed up for a party looking your best,
and no one notices if I don’t get reviews. And it is crushing. You know,
shameless self-promotion only goes so far, and that’s usually with your family!
As in anything, word of mouth is the best form of advertising—and so it goes
with books. Oddly enough, while I don’t particularly care for average reviews,
they do not bother me. You cannot please everyone and one really never knows a
reader’s points of reference. Anyway, I am harder on my work than anyone else
could ever be.
What do you do when you don’t
husband and I used to boat, but we lost interest when gas prices went so high.
We had a 28’ Grady White. Beautiful boat. But we could eat lobster every day
for what it cost us to go fishing in the Gulf a few times a month! That takes
all the fun out of a hobby. I walk a lot as, like Emily, I have a wee Havanese
dog of 12 fluffy pounds and I sew. I am also a licensed realtor, although I
have been ‘inactive’ for the last year making a heartfelt effort with my
writing. Come to think of it, I have done little else but write in the last
Tell us about your other books?
you for asking. I have several new books one released on Valentine’s Day
titled Consenting Heart: A Very Special Valentines. Order
here. It includes elements of the day I met my husband but the rest is pure
sizzling fiction. Then I am contributing to a real scorcher, Alpha Fever:
22 Sizzling Contemporary and Paranormal Romance Stories. My story is about
a good neighbor order
here. The Butterfly Collector, below, is a gift for your kind readers.
It has an interesting backdrop of BDSM. I am not proficient in that genre
so it is mild, but still an interesting story I think about releasing ourselves
to the care and trust of another and how we blossom as a result of what we
learn about ourselves. The protagonist has a club foot, and yes, I once dated a
man with a club foot. As with most disabilities, visible or not, it is our own
feelings about it that are the most crippling. Another release was a fund
raiser I helped with for a friend that suffers from Ataxia, a neurological
disorder affecting voluntary coordination of muscle movements. I wrote an
inspirational piece about when I was raped and how we can overcome anything,
with the right help and desire. It is titled This Beautiful Escape. Order
Here. All proceeds go to charity and you’ll learn a little more about
me and have loads of inspiring stories, poems, quotes and daily reads to perk
you up. I have thirteen or so books/anthologies published now so I can’t
talk about each of them, however, I love Moonbeams
of Unintended Consequences as one of my favs and also, along
with Emily, I am writing a sequel for it. This is an interracial love
story about a famous opera star and a young beautiful designer. And yes, I did
‘know’ a celebrated opera star and the famous San Francisco Whitcomb Hotel does
exist. A fun release, written with my friend Chrissy Laurence, is titled Cheerleaders
in Heat and that is a real 5 flame eroco-throbber. Fun and funny, but
serious, it exposes the underbelly of life in South Miami’s nightlife; there is
some violence that alters the course of my heroine’s life. Your
readers can check out all my books and add them to their Wish List on
If you could share one thing
about yourself that you would like readers
to know what would it be?
never graduated from college. Most people do not know that about me and just
assume I did. While I would never want alter the course of my life, that is my
second greatest regret. But, I am happy with how my life has gone; I am wealthy
beyond money, I had a great career as a Regional Director with IBM when women
were just breaking the glass ceiling, and my life has been enriched by all
those that have touched me and continue to love me. I have a wonderful husband
who thinks it is funny I write ‘porn’ and a step-son who thinks I am awesome.
Could it get any better than that?
I suppose I should say “Good Bye” as I would hate to bore your readers into
thinking my books are equally tiresome! They are lovely. They are all a special
lot and I love each and every one of them. Read some of the reviews, speaking
of reviews. You are wonderful! It has been an honor to be here with you today.
I so appreciate your time and interest in sharing my work with your friends,
family and fans. Thank you for having me.
Reading The Para-Portage of Emily made me feel like I was reading Jane Austen or one of the Bronte sisters, if they had written erotic romances.
Wilson’s descriptive prose paints a scene like an artist paints a landscape.
The story itself is hauntingly beautiful, interspersed with passionate erotic scenes
that are done in a very romantic style with lots of description and emotion imbuing each one. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad while reading the story, because there is quite a bit of sadness as Emily learns about the tragically romantic past of the house she’s currently residing in,
but at the same time there’s a thread of hope as well. There’s also a mystery to be solved and little hints scatter the story, like breadcrumbs, until it all comes together in the end.
If you want a completely different kind of ghostly romance, and especially if you love histories and love that crosses all barriers of time, space and death, this is definitely a book you won’t want to miss. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, in a very good way.
~ By Lovemuffins
Should John Grisham and EL James have a secret love child, she would no doubt pen legal thrillers with a luscious layer of the erotic. They would name their child Muffy Wilson and send her to Stephen King for some pointers in the paranormal.
Wilson, in the obliquely titled “The Para-Portage of Emily”, interweaves these three diverse genres into a compelling, magic carpet of a novel that takes Emily Macque from Chicago to a bitter island estate two hundred miles north in the frozen sea. Emily is the striking junior partner in her father’s law firm, her mission, to settle the probate on an estate, her destiny to fall into the arms of Colin Jorgenson, a seaman haunted by a past love that torments his life.
Intelligent, well-written, with fully fleshed out characters and a story with more twists than a spiral staircase, “The Para-Portage of Emily” had me gripped until the very last page.
This is a story to savor. Ms. Wilson’s descriptions are poetic and enthralling,
placing the reader in the midst of the story, and the relaxed pace of the story does not lessen the power of suspense. Shrouded in mystery, romance, and eroticism, “The Para-Portage of Emily” is a treat for the senses,
a haunting indulgence. Despite hints throughout, the ending still surprised me, and though satisfied,
I regretted the literary journey’s end. Highly recommended. I look forward to more from this promising series.
~ By Jordan Stringfellow