A Troubled Heart



Tricia McGill

GENRE:  Historical Romance

Unsure of his real past or name, Finn O’Connor thinks he was born in Ireland and taken from his mother as a baby by a gypsy woman. As a toddler, an English woman then took him to London. About ten he fled to join a gang of boys who survived by their wits on the streets. Five years later, he was arrested for a minor crime and transported to The Colony of New South Wales for a 10-year term. In 1846 as transporting of criminals neared an end in NSW, he was moved to the infamous penitentiary at Port Arthur in Van Diemen’s Land.

On the day Finn received his papers of freedom an accidental meeting brought him into contact with 20-year-old Esther Blythe. Born in Surrey, England, genteel Esther is kind and caring. As a 4-year-old her parents brought her to Van Diemen’s Land where her Papa, a doctor, took on the task of providing medical aid to the prisoners at the Port Arthur penitentiary and its surrounding area. Sadly, both parents were killed in an accident, leaving Esther with no option but to work as a governess/nursemaid.

For reasons that even she did not comprehend, Esther took ex-convict Finn under her wing when they met outside the penitentiary hospital. Could be she saw a fellow lonely soul who simply wanted someone to have faith in him. Life seems to take a turn for perhaps the better from then on, but will these two lonely people overcome many obstacles to find the happiness they seek together as they face an uncertain future.  

Enjoy an Excerpt:

By the time all of them had washed some of the soot and dust from their hands and faces using a very small piece of soap that one of the troopers found during his rummaging through the remains of the kitchen, the wagon returned. Esther was drying her hands on her skirt edge, when she saw that the farmer’s wife had come too, producing plates for the roast mutton, fresh baked bread, and also mugs.

“Where will you go?” she asked of Esther and Finn as they ate. “We are always in need of helpers at the farm, so you would be more than welcome to join us.”

“I haven’t thought that far ahead yet,” Esther said. “I think I would like to go back to Hobart. We lived there for a while before my Papa took the position down here, and I enjoyed my time there.” In truth, Esther had no idea what she wished to do, but her plans certainly had not included toiling long hours for a farmer and his wife.

“And where has Nelly gone?” The woman looked about as if expecting the cook to pop up from somewhere.

“Oh, she went back with the Magistrate.” Esther waved her hand. She was not about to go into more details with this woman who she felt sure was in a hurry to find out all the facts so she could then spread the word to the locals.

“And Mister and Missus Franklin? Lovely lady, not that I knew her well—only met her once or twice.” A glint lit her eyes as she asked this.

Esther knew not what to answer to that, so said nothing but carried on eating. Obviously sensing that she must find out all the facts at a later day the woman jumped up saying, “Well, lots to do so I’d best get back. I’ll send old Briggs back for the plates and mugs.”

“Thank you again for your wonderful gifts. The food was most welcome.” Esther stood and waved as the wagon trundled off.

The troopers took the used dishes to wash them at the well, and then went back to searching amongst the debris of the house for a while before lying down beneath the nearby tree that remained unscathed, where they both dozed off. Finn offered his comb to Esther so that she could tidy her hair. He then gave all the horses a share of grain and ensured they had water enough for all four and then came to sit beside Esther. “Perhaps you should also try to rest for a while, it has been a trying time for certain.”

“I fear I cannot. I keep reliving the sight in my head of the master lying there covered in his blood, Finn. What possessed her to kill him, I wonder?”

“That we will never know, Esther. Tell me, do you really intend to go to Hobart once this is all sorted out?”

Esther shrugged as she looked across the surrounding paddocks. “I will wait and see. I feel as if I am in a bad dream. One of those where you wander about in search of something but are not sure what. A certainty is that I do not wish to stay anywhere around here. I keep thinking of Becky and wondering how the child is faring.”

“We will learn once the Magistrate makes his decision.” Finn lay back, hands beneath his head. After a short time, Esther realised by his steady breathing that he had gone to sleep. Nibbling on her lower lip she watched his chest as it rose and fell steadily. What if he decided that now he could make his own way and had no desire to stay with her—that thought made her feel quite sad. In a short time, he had come to mean a lot to her and she was unsure just why. Perhaps it had something to do with her being lonely, and him coming along to fill a vast gap that had appeared in her life after losing her parents.

The sun was high in the sky when she awoke suddenly, realising that she had snuggled into Finn’s side like a lost puppy. With a start she sat up and rubbed at her eyes. The troopers were sitting a short distance away, smoking on their clay pipes and chatting quietly. The jangle of harness warned of an approaching vehicle so she shook Finn’s shoulder, saying, “I think they have returned.”

About the Author:

Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near

Melbourne. Horses and dogs feature largely in her books. She’s had a succession of dogs in her lifetime and a few horses along the way.

The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Tricia is a dreamerwho still dreams every night; snippets from those dreams have translated into ideas for her books.

Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart. Tricia finds the research entailed in writing historicals and her other great passion, time-travels, fascinating.


Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Troubled-Heart-Tricia-McGill-ebook/dp/B0CQ5WJRQK


Tricia McGill will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Please visit the other tour participants for more opportunities to win.

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  1. We appreciate you featuring A TROUBLED HEART today. Thank you.

  2. This has a lovely cover. I enjoyed reading the excerpt

  3. This sounds like such a great read

  4. Finn O’Connor's life sounds exciting.

  5. I enjoy historical romance. This sounds like a good book.

  6. I love historical fiction! This one sounds interesting!

  7. I'm looking forward to checking this book out. Thanks for sharing.

  8. "A Troubled Heart" by Tricia McGill is a captivating historical romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You won't want to put it down!


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