On Saturday, Feb. 25-Sunday, Feb. 26, and Monday, Feb 27, you can download a FREE E-BOOK of The Last Waltz: A Novel of Love and War on Amazon. Download HERE.
Excerpt from Last Waltz:
The activity towards which Amalia’s entire day built was her late afternoon ride. She hurried into her riding habit after her chores were completed and hastened to the stables where her mare, Elisabeth, was saddled and awaiting her. As soon as they were out of view of the Schloss, she spurred her mare into an unrestrained gallop, as satisfying to Elisabeth as to herself, and she would allow her thoughts to tumble out. She allowed herself to mourn for Andrzej and what they had lost. She knew this was important. She couldn’t just cut off her emotions and pretend they weren’t there, she had to go through the process of grieving and then letting go.
She often rode with tears streaming down her face. It had been years since she had indulged herself this way. She was nearly forty. Shouldn’t she be putting all this type of behavior behind her? She was deeply fond of Rudolf, and became more so the longer she spent at the Schloss. But those old treacherously sweet memories remained and it seemed there was nothing she could do to censor them. It had been so long since she had felt any passion in a life that had become so prosaic. The intimacy she had shared in Vienna with Andrzej had never been part of her life with Rudolf. They kept to their own rooms for the most part, and he had always kept his ardor restrained, as though vaguely embarrassed of it. She knew he hid in the “cobwebby rooms” in his mind for days at a time, sometimes a whole week. Though she had grown deeply fond of him, she had never dared to let him know it for fear she would frighten him off. And now, just as he had always feared, Andrzej had returned for her.
And so she prayed as she rode. She prayed that she would learn to live without passion, or at least passion for Andrzej. She prayed that her feelings for Rudolf would deepen and that she would be able to fill this aching sorrow with kind and gentle love. She prayed she could be more understanding of the problems facing him in the government and that he could still be a force for good. As the days passed, she could feel herself grow in spiritual substance. Wild emotions quieted, a peaceful feeling grew in her breast as she thought of her little family and all they meant to her. But still, the grief remained.