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Sample Saturday- Julianne March 30, 2013

edgar allen penguin buttonThe rippling water flickered like hundreds of camera flashes at a rock concert, causing Julianne to squint as she walked past the marina. She came to a stop in front of a bright yellow door and checked the address on the business card, hesitating. She was nervous about what waited on the other side.

Get a grip, she thought, you are going to have to be brave and confident if you want to impress Cameron. Tucking her hair behind her ears, she raised a hand and knocked.

The door flew open and Peter Raphael’s face lit up as he recognized Julianne. “You came. I am so happy! Come in.”

Julianne stepped into a spacious studio lit by floor to ceiling windows along the north wall. Four easels were evenly spaced in a straight line in front of the windows, all but one covered by old, spattered sheets.

The concrete floor was a work of art itself with splashes of paint around each easel. To her right, Julianne saw paintings leaning against the wall; six columns containing eight to ten canvases each. To her left there was an old refrigerator, a microwave, a small wooden table, and a deep sink.

“You were the only person who took notice of Sunburst last night,” Peter said, a look of sadness flickering in his eyes.

“Maybe they were just overwhelmed by the number of pieces being shown.” Julianne tried to sound reassuring but knew her words were hollow. “You do seem to be quite prolific.” She waved her hand toward the stacks along the wall.

Peter gave a dismissive shrug. “Those are okay, but nothing special. I can paint those in my sleep and yet that seems to be what everyone wants to buy. Can you believe Sabastian sold eight of my paintings last night?”

“That’s amazing. Congratulations.”

Peter shrugged again. “I only sell those so I can work on the ones I truly love.” He took Julianne’s hand and led her to the easels. Before placing her in front of the first, he stopped. “Close your eyes.”

She hesitated, but after studying Peter for several seconds, she consented. She felt him take her by the shoulders and guide her steps, then she heard a swoosh of fabric as the sheet was removed and dropped to the ground.

“Now open,” Peter said and Julianne could hear his excited smile.

She opened her eyes to find a canvas similar to the one at the gallery, but in purples, whites, and blues. At the heart of the swirling colors was a shape of a house like the one she had discerned in Sunburst.

“It’s beautiful,” Julianne whispered. Where Sunburst had made her feel energized, this piece relaxed her, reminding her of the peace she’d felt in the park only a week ago.

“It’s the view through the moon, right?” Julianne turned to find Peter practically shaking with joy.

“I knew you would understand. I call it Moonglow.” He slipped an arm around her shoulder and guided her to the next canvas. This time he didn’t make her close her eyes, but whipped the sheet off with a dramatic flourish.

This canvas was darker, predominantly black and grey with pricks of gold. Julianne studied it, looking for the now familiar house, but not seeing it. Peter stood slightly behind, waiting for her to speak. Julianne could sense him bouncing in anticipation new book cover

and feared disappointing him. She allowed her eyes to lose focus and then she saw it. Two of the pricks of gold were perfect squares, like lights shining through windows. With that realization, she was able to make out the faint outlines of the house in pale grey swirls.

“It’s almost like looking into a black hole and finding its core,” Julianne finally said, turning to face Peter. His expression assured her she hadn’t disappointed.

“Actually, looking from the black hole down on Earth, but you had the general idea. This one is Darkness.” Peter moved her on to the final covered canvas. When he removed the sheet, Julianne gasped.

The scene was completely different, but she understood right away that the house she could barely see in the other paintings was now before her, although obscured by a haze, as if she were flying over it and a thin layer of cloud spread between her and the scene below. But what truly took her breath away was the building itself. It was Garner House.

 Want to read more? Julianne is currently on sale for .99cents for Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Diesel, iBooks, & Sony readers

 

Love is in the Air February 14, 2013

An excerpt from Winter’s End

When they reached a small alley with white lights crisscrossing overhead, Lizzie followed as Ian turned and they walked toward a small courtyard. Snow crunched under their feet, not having been cleared after yesterday’s shower. The narrow walls of the alley made it impossible to see anything in the courtyard other than a fountain, now silent, with icicles hanging from the three levels. When they emerged into the courtyard, Lizzie was surprised to find an elegant bistro at the far end. Topiaries stood on either side of the large plate glass window in the shape of hearts, with red silk roses woven into the greenery. Bistro Amore was written in black letters across the front door.

“I hope you’re hungry,” Ian said, stopping in front of the bistro.

“Famished actually,” Lizzie replied, stepping through the door he held open for her. Inside, the restaurant was dimly lit with hundreds of white, votive candles in small glass vases scattered on the tables and tall pillar candles perched in sconces along the walls, but only one table, in the center of the room, was set, ready for service.

“It doesn’t look like they are open yet,” Lizzie whispered, turning back to Ian.

“I don’t know, maybe you should ask the hostess.” Ian pointed.

Lizzie turned back around to find a young woman with long black hair, wearing a red velvet skirt that flowed to her ankles coupled with a white blouse standing before her, holding two menus.

“Good evening, Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Cavanaugh. Your table is ready for you.” The hostess led them to the center table and pulled the chair out for Lizzie, waiting until Ian was seated to hand out the menus. When she did, Lizzie gasped.

The front of the menu had Lizzie and Ian’s names on it, with the date, and a photo from their first date at the Samba Room.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Lizzie,” Ian said.

“But Valentine’s Day isn’t until Monday.” Lizzie gave him a confused look.

Ian reached across the table and took her hand. “I know you aren’t the biggest fan of this Hallmark holiday, but I wanted to do something special for you. I thought maybe if it wasn’t on the actual day, you wouldn’t think it was just part of the commercialism.”

Lizzie felt walls built up over years of disappointment crumble in her heart. She wrapped his hand in both of hers and gazed into his eyes, hoping he understood how much his words meant to her.

“Do you want to look at the menu?” Ian asked

“I don’t know if I can take my eyes off you,” Lizzie whispered.

“Maybe I should read it to you then. There aren’t many choices, though. To start, a butternut squash soup, followed by a Caesar salad, then maple glazed salmon, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, and for dessert, well, I’ll let that be a surprise.”

“My favorites,” Lizzie said, her heart racing.

“I’m happy to hear that,” Ian replied with a laugh.

“How did you do this?” Lizzie asked.

“I just made a reservation,” Ian replied innocently. ”Isn’t that something you do all day at work?”

Lizzie looked around the restaurant and laughed. “Hardly. I don’t think I have enough pull to get an entire restaurant for one guest.”

“I guess you just don’t know all the right people then.”

“Come on, you have to tell me.”

“I went to school with the owner, and I have to be honest, they will open to everyone else at eight. He agreed to open early for me as a favor.”

“Very impressive favor.”

“A high compliment coming from the queen of making the impossible happen,” Ian replied.

A waiter approached with a tray containing their soup and a bottle of wine. Lizzie leaned over the bowl of soup and breathed in the warm aroma, feeling any lingering chill in her bones fade away. The server poured a taste of wine into Ian’s glass. He swirled it around, gave it a good smell, swished a bit in his mouth, and gave his approval. When their glasses were filled, the waiter retreated. Ian raised his glass.

“A toast. To the first of many Valentine’s Days together.” They clinked their glasses and took a sip of the chilled Riesling.

Lizzie slurped at the hot soup, her taste buds going wild as the liquid slid over them. She closed her eyes, allowing her sense of taste to take over as she picked out the flavors of saffron, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

“You can never repeat this, but this soup is so good, I may have to suggest Chef Gustave visit your friend for some pointers.” Lizzie opened her eyes to find Ian watching her with pleasure.

“I’m glad you like it,” Ian said, dipping his own spoon into the creamy yellow soup.

The salad and then the main course were served, each bite seemingly better than the last. Lizzie cleaned each of her plates and sat back with a sigh of contentment as the waiter removed the empty dishes.

“I know you said there was dessert, but I don’t think I could eat another bite,” Lizzie said and dabbed at the corners of her mouth with her napkin.

A look of disappointment clouded Ian’s face and Lizzie regretted her words.

“But, I could probably share with you,” she quickly added.

“I understand if you are too full. We can always have something later. The night is still young.” Ian pushed his chair back. “Wait here a minute.” He turned toward the kitchen and slipped through the door.

Lizzie rubbed her stomach as if that would speed along her digestion, and glanced around the restaurant. She could see twenty other tables, each covered in a black cloth. She could hear more voices from the kitchen as they prepared to open to the rest of their patrons. Without warning, the hostess appeared at Lizzie’s side.

“How was everything?” the hostess asked.

“It was perfect. Please send my compliments to the chef. I can’t remember a better meal.” Lizzie smiled and extended her hand. “Thank you all for making this such a memorable evening.”

“It has been our pleasure. Ian has been such a good friend to my husband. When he called us, we were happy to help him.”

“You and your husband are the owners?” Lizzie jumped up from her chair and pulled the woman into a hug that nearly knocked them both over. “This truly has been the best night of my life.”

The woman’s eyes sparkled. “Ian is always full of surprises.” With that, she faded into the darkness.

Lizzie sat down again and pulled her phone from her purse. As she was typing a text message to Emma, Ian returned and pulled her to her feet, wrapping her in his arms and holding her close to his chest. She rested her ear over his heart and listened to the steady thump.

“Where to next?” she murmured.

“That would ruin the surprise wouldn’t it? Let’s just see where our feet take us.” Ian led her out of the restaurant back to Main Street.

To read more buy your copy for only .99 cents through February 16 Kindle  Nook Kobo Diesel Sony iBooks

 

The Next Big Thing January 31, 2013

Welcome to the next big thing blog hop! Join the fun blog hopping our way through some new reads, including works in progress and new and upcoming releases. For those who haven’t been part of a blog hop before, you read my blog and hop on over to the next blog link for more entertainment. Bloggers hand picked by yours truly!

Thank you to Charles Dougherty for tagging me in this blog hop. Charles is a successful writer and has provided me with immense support as I have struggled to start my writing career. His books are quick entertaining reads. Learn more about Charles on his site here.

 

Part of the Blog Hop is to introduce you to my latest release by answering ten interview questions.

I hope you’ll take some time to follow the links to my author friends’ blogs as well. See the end of the post to see who I’ve tagged.

 

What is the title of your book?

Winter’s End

The cover for Winter's End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Winter’s End is the second book in the Seasons of Faith series. I fell in love with the characters while I was writing book one, Summer Storms. The inciting incident in Winter’s End came from a “what if” thought I had one morning at work. I get into the office long before anyone else and one morning when I went into the restroom I wondered what I would do if I ever stumbled upon a dead body in there. That thought niggled at my mind for months while I was writing Summer Storms and then I figured out how I could use it to kick off the next book.

 

What genre does your book fall under?

Inspirational fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I worked with reference photos when I was writing these books and meshed the characteristics of some celebrities and some people I know. Lizzie I envisioned as Drew Barrymore, specifically her character in Never Been Kissed (post Jossie-Grossie make-over), for Jeffrey I saw Bradley Cooper, Ian, maybe James Marsden, and Michelle, while I didn’t know it then, I think she would be played by Kat Dennings.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Winter’s End packs a powerful message of love, passion, and forgiveness.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I like to have control over the cover and release date.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I decided to participate in National Novel Writing month in 2011 and this was my project. First draft was completed in about 60 days, mostly over Thanksgiving break.

 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Terri Blackstock has been a bit of a role model to me. She writes Christian books with suspense and romance, but they aren’t as predictable as some other books in the genre. I especially like the grittiness of her recent Intervention series dealing with drug addiction and the effects that has on an entire family.

 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since Winter’s End is a continuation of the Summer Storms story, I would have to say my love for those characters inspired me to continue writing about them.

My next book, Jessie, was inspired by much of my childhood, growing up on the Space Coast and being so immersed in the Shuttle program. With the end of the program, I felt compelled to look at how it all began. I’m only seven chapters in, but my research has taught me things about the town I grew up in I had no idea about before. I have a whole new appreciation for the area and those who pioneered space exploration. I am excited to share this story about determination, sacrifice, and overcoming bitterness.

 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and while I’m personally not a fan of the holiday, there is a very determined man in this book who will make you swoon.

 

Next week, stay tuned for more posts in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Watch for posts on February 7 from these authors:

DiVoran Lites, a dear friend I have known since childhood, who has recently published her first book, Sacred Spring. It is a tender story of a young woman struggling to hold her family together and protect the Florida wilderness she loves more than anything. You can learn more about DiVoran here.

Jenny Gentry, a new friend who has a Christian fiction series called “The Gifts.” She has a book signing coming up in March. Learn more about her here.

V.K. Ramsey writes fantasy and currently has two books out in the Guarding Light series. Find out more about V.K. and his books here.

Richard L. Sanchez is another dear friend. Although he has been writing for years, he only recently started publishing his work. He has several short stories and a novel currently available. Learn more about him here.

Mary-Anne Crooks I met on Facebook. When I visited her website I was completely drawn in. While her first book isn’t published yet, she has already started on her second and could use some support from the community. Please stop in to visit her here. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Winter’s End. Stop back by for more on my writing process and of course, the wonderful recipes I find along the way.

 

Preview of Winter’s End November 2, 2012

Filed under: Books,Cooking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

On Wednesday I shared with the recipe for a wonderful butternut Squash soup I discovered while doing research for my new book, Winter’s End, which will be available in just a few weeks.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek of the scene that grew from this recipe.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

 

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

 

 

When they reached a small alley with white lights crisscrossing overhead, Lizzie followed as Ian turned and they walked toward a small courtyard. Snow crunched under their feet, not having been cleared after yesterday’s shower. The narrow walls of the alley made it impossible to see anything in the courtyard other than a fountain, now silent, with icicles hanging from the three levels. When they emerged into the courtyard, Lizzie was surprised to find an elegant bistro at the far end, topiaries stood on either side of the large plate glass window in the shape of hearts, with red silk roses woven into the greenery. Bistro Amore was written in black letters across the front door.

 

“I hope you’re hungry,” Ian said, stopping in front of the bistro.

 

“Famished actually,” Lizzie replied, stepping through the door he held open for her. Inside the restaurant was dimly lit with hundreds of candles scattered on the tables and perched in sconces along the walls, but only one table, in the center of the room, was set, ready for service.

 

“It doesn’t look like they are open yet,” Lizzie whispered, turning back to Ian.

 

“I don’t know, maybe you should ask the hostess.” Ian pointed.

 

Lizzie turned back around to find a young woman with long black hair, wearing a red velvet skirt that flowed to her ankles coupled with a white blouse standing before her, holding two menus.

 

“Good evening Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Cavanaugh. Your table is ready for you.” The hostess led them to the center table and pulled the chair out for Lizzie, waiting until Ian was seated to hand out the menus. When she did, Lizzie gasped.

 

The front of the menu had Lizzie and Ian’s names on it, with the date, and a photo from their first date at the Samba Room.

 

“Happy Valentine’s Day Lizzie,” Ian said.

 

“But Valentine’s Day isn’t until Monday,” Lizzie gave him a confused look.

 

Ian reached across the table and took her hand. “I know you aren’t the biggest fan of this Hallmark holiday, but I wanted to do something special for you. I thought maybe if it wasn’t on the actual day, you wouldn’t think it was just part of the commercialism.”

 

Lizzie felt walls built up over years of disappointment, crumble in her heart. She wrapped his hand in both of hers and gazed into his eyes, hoping he understood how much his words meant to her.

 

“Do you want to look at the menu?” Ian asked

 

“I don’t know if I can take my eyes off you,” Lizzie whispered.

 

“Maybe I should read it to you then. There aren’t many choices, though. To start a butternut squash soup, followed by a Caesar salad, then maple glazed salmon, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, and for dessert, well, I’ll let that be a surprise.”

 

“My favorites,” Lizzie said, her heart racing.

 

“I’m happy to hear that,” Ian replied with a laugh.

 

“How did you do this?” Lizzie asked.

 

“I just made a reservation,” Ian replied innocently. ”Isn’t that something you do all day at work?”

 

Lizzie looked around the restaurant and laughed. “Hardly. I don’t think I have enough pull to get an entire restaurant for one guest.”

 

“I guess you just don’t know all the right people then.”

 

“Come on, you have to tell me.”

 

“I went to school with the owner, and I have to be honest, they will open to everyone else at eight. He agreed to open early for me as a favor.”

 

“Very impressive favor.”

 

“A high compliment coming from the queen of making the impossible happen,” Ian replied.

 

A waiter approached with a tray containing their soup and a bottle of wine. Lizzie leaned over the bowl of soup and breathed in the warm aroma, feeling any lingering chill in her bones fade away. The server poured a taste of wine into Ian’s glass. He swirled it around, gave it a good smell, swished a bit in his mouth, and gave his approval. When their glasses were filled, the waiter retreated. Ian raised his glass.

 

“A toast. To the first of many Valentine’s Days together.” They clinked their glasses and took a sip of the chilled Riesling.

 

Lizzie slurped at the hot soup, her taste buds going wild as the liquid slid over them. She closed her eyes, allowing her sense of taste to take over as she picked out the flavors of saffron, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

 

 

“You can never repeat this, but this soup is so good, I may have to suggest Chef Gustave visit your friend for some pointers.” Lizzie opened her eyes to find Ian watching her with pleasure.

 

“I’m glad you like it,” Ian said dipping his own spoon into the creamy yellow soup.

 

The salad and then the main course were served, each bite seemingly better than the last. Lizzie cleaned each of her plates and sat back with a sigh of contentment as the waiter removed the empty dishes.

 

“I know you said there was dessert, but I don’t think I could eat another bite,” Lizzie said and dabbed at the corners of her mouth with her napkin.

 

A look of disappointment clouded Ian’s face and Lizzie regretted her words.

 

“But, I could probably share with you,” she quickly added.

 

“I understand if you are too full. We can always have something later. The night is still young.” Ian pushed his chair back. “Wait here a minute.” He turned toward the kitchen and slipped through the door.

 

Lizzie rubbed her stomach as if that would speed along her digestion, and glanced around the restaurant. She could see twenty other tables, each covered in a black cloth. She could hear more voices from the kitchen as they prepared to open to the rest of their patrons. Without warning, the hostess appeared at Lizzie’s side.

 

“How was everything?” the hostess asked.

 

“It was perfect. Please send my compliments to the chef. I can’t remember a better meal,” Lizzie smiled and extended her hand. “Thank you all for making this such a memorable evening.”

 

 

 

 
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