Monday, February 27, 2023

War over oysters? An excerpt from my 1950s novel Ghost Point, by Diane Scott Lewis


Purchase e-book or paperback HERE

In 1956, Luke, a young oysterman is caught up in the illegal dredging of oyster beds, dodging bullets from the Maryland Oyster Police. His wife, Yelena, is feeling restless. She wants more from her life. Will a handsome stranger entice her or is he after her husband?


Their rubber-gloved hands culled through the oysters. Each rattle of shells cut into Luke’s brain as he hurried. The stink of the sea and slime filled his nose.

Suddenly a spotlight illuminated Sally and the crew stared into the light, shading their eyes. Captain Jim gunned the stern’s Johnson motor and the boat rumbled and jerked. The winder engine kicked in again. The men hoisted up the dredgers as the police boat nosed its way through the mist to block their escape.

“Damn it all.” Luke jerked his dredger across the deck. His body tightened at the dangerous possibility of arrest. How would he protect his family from jail?

“Stop!” the Maryland officials shouted. A whip sounded as they tried to lash a line across their vessel’s bow. Monroe Sally bumped alongside the police boat. A shot exploded from beside him. The police captain staggered and grabbed his shoulder. The officers aimed their rifles and shots whistled across Luke’s head and right shoulder. He cringed and ducked down among broken oyster shells and mud. Would this be his last night on the earth?

Their boat retreated into the fog at full speed, hugged the shore, then slipped into a cove. Captain Jim cut her engine. Lights off. The crew stayed crouched and held their breath, listening for the growl of a pursuing motor. Silence enveloped them. Frogs grunted in the rushes. Luke cursed to himself at whatever idiot on Sally had fired first.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A time-travel excerpt, Beyond the Fall, by Diane Scott Lewis


Tired of the gloomy winter? Enjoy a trip to the past as soon to be divorced, San Franciscan Tamara falls back
200 years to a gritty England caught up in grain riots.

Purchase HERE

Excerpt: Cornwall 1789

Tamara ran down the porch steps and across the yard to better see. Colum marched near the rear of the mob as if he were a herding collie. In a rumble of fury and feet, men were chanting, fists raised. Birds flew from the trees and scattered into the sky like confetti.

She hiked up her skirt and hurried to the end of their lane. A group of women swept up behind her. “Come along, an’ fight for our rights to have our bread.” One woman grabbed her arm and dragged Tamara with them. “An’ for our men to earn good wages.”

“I’m all for your rights.” Tamara skidded beside the scruffy woman who smelled of beer and bad breath, her teeth yellow, two missing. She tried to tug herself loose, then decided she needed to follow Colum and see what hazard he might encounter, or cause.

She finally pulled free of her escort and wended forward through the people, her long skirt slapping against her legs.

The marchers trudged on, up the main road that headed north, shouting, “Cheaper bread, fair wages!”

Dust clotted in Tamara’s nose as she squeezed through the crowd. She was used to long walks but not in awkward clothing. She tripped and rushed on, trying to catch up with Colum who had melted into the horde of men.

More people joined them. The mob closed in around her, poking and prodding, stinking of sweat. They followed the rocky coast gouged with inlets along Falmouth Bay. The salty breeze blew over her, teasing at tendrils of her hair.

She took an elbow to the ribs, a shoulder to her chin, but kept pushing through. Now she was glad for her sturdy hiking boots.

Her knees and ankles began to ache, a blister forming on one foot, as more time passed. She swiped perspiration from her face.

Louder shouts and curses erupted as they approached the outskirts of the larger town of Falmouth four miles to the north. In the distance, houses clustered on an incline, and a castle squatted on a peninsula that jutted out into the Carrick Roads she recalled from her map.

Elegant buildings sat among smaller cottages with thatched roofs. How beautiful it all looked, unmarred by modern intrusions. Yet here she was in the middle of an agitated throng. Her breath heaved. Where was Colum?

Gunshots pierced the air. The soldiers bore down on them. Terror coursed through her. She could be killed, forever stranded in the past.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Her Vanquished Land, a sexy Welshman and a torn loyalist during the American Revolution, by Diane Scott Lewis


Purchase HERE

Read an excerpt:

Philadelphia, PA 1780

Darkness increased as the sun lowered when Rowena and Sam approached the tavern. The close-in buildings further shaded Fourth Street and Chestnut Street, the corner on which the Indian Queen stood. Each nook and cranny, every shadow, had her flitting her gaze about, hand on her muff pistol in the frock coat’s pocket.

She checked behind her again, to see if anyone followed. They’d snuck out the rear door, through her aunt’s garden, praying no guard would catch them.

“My aunt said many rebel delegates lodged at this tavern when they discussed their plans to form their own government,” she whispered. “And cut their allegiance to Great Britain.”

Expansive and three stories high, the Indian Queen boasted an almost Dutch-shaped roof. An alley ran beside it, black as pitch. Raucous laughter drifted from the building.

“I’ll go in and check for Mr. Atherton, say I has a verbal message,” Sam said. “To be safe.”

“I could do that. Don’t I look manly enough?” She tried to tease, but disliked being marked as the weaker of the team.

“Aye. Good enough, but I’ll pass easier.” He grinned. “Then we’ll know the layout of the place. Your aunt warned that a porter greets everyone who enters.”

“I’ll wait at the alley entrance, but don’t tarry long. Bring him out to me, that’s what I need.” She slipped into the cooler shadows. Was James spying for the loyalists, or colluding with the rebels? If he was with the revolutionaries, she must stop him—in some way. What was the atmosphere in this, as her aunt informed them, largest tavern in Philadelphia? She risked much just being here.

Rowena tugged her hat low and pressed her back against the brick wall near a shuttered window. A cat ran past her. Rats scratched in debris. She wrinkled her nose at the stench of urine. More noise and moving about came from the building. Music also sounded: a lively fiddle. A drunk sang off-key.

Heavier noises from behind her. Footfalls? Nape prickled, she snatched out her muff pistol and whipped around about to release the trigger.

The scent of pine rose up; a harsh breath, almost a wolf-like snarl. Her fingers clenched around the small stock, Rowena pointed her weapon at the murky presence looming over her.

“Have a care, bachgen.” The Welsh accent pierced through Rowena. The dark stranger! He bent closer in the Indian Queen’s alley. “Ye might be the same boy as before. ’Tis dim, and I’d like for once to see ye in the light. Now, I warn ye, put down that gun.”

Diane lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

Can their love overcome dangerous obstacles? by Diane Scott Lewis

  To purchase, please click HERE Formally "Outcast Artist in Bretagne," my WWII novel is now "Bretagne: a forbidden affair.&q...