In 1792, Paris is in flames and the hungry guillotine waits . . . . In The Last Gift, the reader is woven into the fabric of the French Revolution, one of the most chaotic and violent social upheavals of all time. Strong and resourceful heroines, an intrepid hero and a complex and terrifying nemesis are ingredients in a tale of passionate love, bright courage and dark revenge that carries the reader from the royal palace to the shadow of the guillotine.
Susan gives an overview of the book:
Jubilee lay awake in the warm dark of her room. After her lamp was blown out she had opened the doors to her little balcony. A very faint breeze drifted languidly in. There was no moon, but her room was dimly illuminated by the soft light from the corner street lamp.
Jubilee wished she could float like this forever and not have to face the fact that Jake had done something so horrible her father would never let her see him again. She had heard a great deal, but not enough to make sense of it all. A young girl being spared from the guillotine was surely not an unspeakable crime. There had
to be more to it.
She thought for a while about Jake as he had been this afternoon, with the fullness of high summer all about him. She loved for him to bow over her hand and touch his lips to her fingers. It made her feel quivery all over. She wondered what his embrace was like. She wished she could have found out, this afternoon under the pergola. If he had sworn that he loved her and kissed her on the lips, she would have run away with him no matter what his crimes.
An odd noise outside interrupted her warm reverie. It sounded like a footstep on the walk up to the house, but there were no other steps. Jubilee decided it was only a random night noise. She gazed at the little patch of stars that could be seen through the balcony doors. Perhaps her father could reach some kind of agreement with Jake. Maybe Jake could apologize and swear never to do it again. She knew, even as she thought it that grown men didn’t behave that way. No, she would just have to—
A dark shape emerged from below her balcony and hoisted itself over the railing. Jubilee screamed. Her cotton nightgown was twisted around her, and instead of leaping to her feet, she fell out of bed and the shadow was on top of her. He stank of rum and sweat. Jubilee screamed again and pummeled him with her fists until he grabbed her forearms and dragged her to her feet. He wrestled her over to the door and wrenched it open, holding both her wrists in one hand. Once out in the hall, Jubilee called for her papa at the top of her lungs, while she kicked at her captor with her bare feet. The intruder dragged her toward the stairs.
I am a full time novelist and occasionally do some graphic design to entertain myself.
I left home at the age of sixteen and hitchhiked to New York where I worked for a while as a welder in the ship yard. When they discovered my papers were phony I decided to try...