Fires of War and Winter [Cranky Otter Series Book 2] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by C. J. Winters
eBook Category: Historical Fiction Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner
eBook Description: In the early months of World War II, ambitious, clear-headed Melany McKinley meets Air Force lieutenant Logan Barre in Denver, Colorado. To their astonishment, the pragmatic couple instantly fall in love and become engaged. Logan is soon shipped overseas, and Melany meets Free Czech Army sergeant Daniel Wenceslaus. Daniel presents himself as a pesky young charmer, but he is much more, and soon reveals his grim determination to avenge the murder of his family by the Nazis. Brash, magnetic and dedicated, Daniel is also gifted with gypsy sight, and he "sees" Melany as his future wife and the mother of his children. To win her, he ignores her engagement to Logan and focuses on casting his magic. Then as Melany discovers her own psychic gift in the gemstones of her jeweler� employer, the darkness of war descends, altering not only her future, but the lives of many others. The Autumn in Cranky Otter series is a 20th Century American family tapestry, woven of the love stories and luminous psychic threads binding four generations.
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory, Published: 2004
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2004
This eBook is part of the following series:
"Fire of War and Winter is the second book of the Autumn in Cranky Otter Series. I have not read the first book of this series but am now intrigued to find out what the first book was about. This second book of the series was completely self-contained and I had no trouble understanding or enjoying the storyline without having read the first book of this series."--Tami Brady, TCM Reviews
"Fires of War and Winter is a novel of true, enduring love and the tragedies of war. I loved it. C. J. Winters, in each book of the Autumn In Cranky Otte Trilogy takes her reader to a different time in American history to show us that love and family are forever. This is Americana at its best. 4 1/2 flames-rare find"--Sandee McCann, Word Museum
"Well done and I am looking forward to Spring and Fall in the Autumn in Cranky Otter Series! Overall rating: 4.5"--Lori Graham, Once Upon a Romance
Denver, Colorado, June, 1942
"EVERY ENGAGEMENT RING we see is a diamond," complained the Air Corps lieutenant. "Melany isn't like other girls. Can you show us something more unique?"
The lieutenant's fiancée, a striking brunette, touched his arm fondly. "What Logan means," she said, "is that he hasn't known me long enough to recognize me without some identification."
Franklin Meyer, the elderly owner of Kismet Jewels, bent his head to hide a smile. Once he too had been a young soldier leaving a pretty girl to go to war. He was fortunate; having fought for his adopted country against Spain, he had returned to marry the girl. Last year would have been their ruby anniversary. "Then I have a tray of rings in back that you must see. Please, be seated."
As he hastened to the big safe in the work room, Sonja Atwell, his friend and part-time assistant, looked up from the parcel she was readying for mail. "What is your hurry?"
"I have customers I am especially eager to please."
He understood the lieutenant's desire for a unique ring to mark his claim on his arresting fiancée. The young woman, too self-possessed to be termed a girl, had a certain cachet that drew and held one's attention. Franklin suspected that only a man secure in himself was likely to approach her without some hint of invitation.
When he returned to the salesroom, he found Logan and Melany perched on stools at the counter, laughing, their heads inclined and all but touching. He looked forward to selling a beautiful ring to this handsome couple. For a little time, the three of them might pretend that all was right in the world, a world in which so much had gone wrong—viciously, heartbreakingly wrong.
He placed the tray of rings with colored stones on the glass counter before them. "You are correct, Lieutenant. Such a lovely hand deserves a very special ring."
Melany's slim hands were lovely. The shade of a high country suntan, their tapered red nails matched her full red lips, nature's magnet to a virile male. Her lustrous dark gray eyes framed by thick straight lashes reminded Franklin, the jeweler, of hematite, an opaque gemstone blessed with mystery impossible to divine. He approved of the way she wore her glossy jet hair too, winging from a side part, the tips bending inward rather than drawn into tight curls and tortured pompadours favored by most women these days.
"Ohhh, Logan." The sparkling array seemed to draw her breath, to the jeweler a sure sign of appreciation.
The lieutenant's hazel eyes shone his approval too. "Try the big sapphire, Melany. It looks like a piece of the sky."
"Pure glory," she murmured, picking up the vivid blue marquise sapphire flanked by two small diamonds and slipping it onto her third finger.
The white gold ring wouldn't pass over her knuckle. "I can have it sized for you by tomorrow," Franklin said smoothly. "You will not mistake your bride-to-be in a crowd, Lieutenant. I have no other stone of this exact color."
Logan peered at the ring, then took a pair of aviator glasses from his uniform pocket and cuffed them over his ears. The style gave him a studious appearance. Despite his uniform, and a crewcut so short the spiky brown hairs reflected the gold sun shining through the window, he might be a graduate student returning to college instead of going to war.
"You're only pretending to know what you're seeing," teased his fiancée.
"I don't need glasses to know this is the one."
Melany's smooth brow crinkled, emphasizing her strong cheekbones, and she glanced at Franklin. "Only if the price isn't forbidding."
"No, no," he assured her. "Even a fine sapphire like this costs less than most diamonds of its size." Discreetly, as one did in such instances, he removed the tag from the ring slot and displayed the price.
Melany's dark eyes slipped sideways to her fiancé. "It is expensive though…"
"So what else do I have to spend my pay on?" Logan took a single check from his shirt pocket and said firmly, "We'll pick it up tomorrow afternoon, Mr. Meyer."
Copyright © 2004 by C. J. Winters