Chapter One

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And that wraps up this week's adventure. As we leave the shores of sunny Florida, join us next week for the start of a new journey in a new land. Happy Travels - The Wandering Maven.

Reading the words for what seemed to be the fiftieth time she sighed. Satisfied with what she wrote, she saved the document. Sitting back in her grey ergonomic office chair she re-read the piece on last time before posting it to her blog. A weekly ritual, she double-checked the page, making sure it looked as she intended for her readers before heading to the refrigerator to grab a chilling bottle of Chardonnay.

She found the cork screw in a drawer, and opened the bottle. As she poured the pale wine into the crystal glass, her mind wandered to her ever present to-do list. Honestly she should know it by heart now as many times as she'd gone through the motions. Afraid she'd leave something out or forget something, the list remained.

Standing in the sleekly furnished kitchen, she turned and headed back to her office. Staring out the windows overlooking the Atlantic ocean she picked up her ipad and phone heading outside to the deck that ran the length of her modest Fernandina Beach home. At least in her eyes. The house was her safe haven, the last remaining item she had linking her back to her marriage to Armand. It was also the one place her children, Melissa and Arnie would remember as home. At least that's what she kept telling herself, hoping that one day she would find the two and bring them back. Home.

Shaking the memory, Stella sat down at a teak table and once again went over her ever present lists. The standard one and the one she'd made specifically for this adventure. The two were separate and one in the same. Everything had to be planned and executed down to the last minute detail. She couldn't overlook a thing for fear it would uncover her real mission.

Her phone vibrated on the wood table. Picking it up, she saw the name Burns Travel glare across the screen. Tanya Young, her manager and best friend. Tanya had come to work for her five years ago, just before the incident that forever changed her life. She had become her indispensible right hand, whom she promoted to the agency manager when she began her quest. Her quest to find her kids.

On her own, Tanya had become her confident and closest advisor. The only one who knew what she was actually up to and how she went about it. How it all interweaved with her travel blog.

"I see the new post is live, looks good." Tanya proclaimed. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yes, everything's on schedule as planned."

"I know what you're thinking."

"Do you now? And what would that be?" She asked, grabbing a wayward lock of dark blonde hair and pushing it behind her ear.

"You wish this was a trip to confirm a sighting."

"Well, you're partially right. I do, but I also know the bastard well enough to know he's not going to parade himself or the kids out in public."


"But this is going to be a fascinating trip, Tanya. I can't wait to get to see the remains."

"Ugh, only you would get excited at the thought of seeing some old bones."

"They're not just any bones, Tanya. They're the bones of a king of England. If I don't accept the University of Leicester's invitation to view them now, I'll never have the opportunity again. It's a once in a life time experience."

"Please spare me the history lesson. I'll catch it on the History channel. After that you're headed where? Scotland?"

Stella laughed at her friend. As much as Tanya loved the adventure of traveling, she preferred to stay in a hotel and see her sights from a pre-arranged tour. Old digs, remains and relics from the past held no interest to her.

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