Friday, April 20, 2007

Random Page - By A Silken Thread

To herald the new release I have coming in July from Triskelion Publishing, I chose to excerpt from By A Silken Thread, rather than a work in progress or my current releases. I just really lucked out in that I sat down to do this at 5:34 EST, and used page 53. It's the page where the heroine meets the hero for the first time.

Since this book is now in the editors hands, it may vary some from the finished product.

Blurb:

On an ice-encrusted road in New Jersey, Tara Johanan loses control of her car and drives off an embankment. At the same moment in Palmetto Springs, Florida, in an unwittnessed attack, Charlotte Durand is shot in the head and left for dead.

Both women die. Both return. But near-death experiences are not always straightforward, for now Tara has the voice and memories of a comatose woman in her head, and can remember a shooting she never witnessed.

Marcus Danforth is a detective with the Palmetto Springs Police Department, and Charlotte’s stepbrother. When he walked into Charlotte’s hospital room and finds a beautiful stranger with his stepsister, he feels as if he’s been poleaxed. He doesn’t understand why touching her hand makes him feel better than he has since Charlotte’s shooting. And yet, his training tells him that she is hiding something from him, and he’s determined to discover Tara’s secrets, even in the face of overwhelming desire.

Set up:

After receiving information of a shooting that matches the description of the crime Tara has seen in her visions, she travels to Florida to try and piece together the fragmented scenes from Charlotte's life and the crime that put her in a coma.

This scene is the first meeting between Tara and Charlotte's step-brother, Marcus. WARNING: Teaser!!!


Tara held her head high and proceeded to the elevators. The only way someone would question whether she was supposed to be here or not would be if she looked as if she didn’t belong. It was a mantra she repeated even as she walked into the private room.

A sigh moved through her as she took in the room and the fact the only person inside was the one in the bed. At least she would have time with Charlotte while the family was not around.

She moved slowly across the room. Charlotte lay immobile on a bed that came to Tara’s waist. The gentle roar of air circulated beneath the prostrate figure. A long blue corrugated tube attached to the plastic collar around Charlotte’s neck, blowing oxygen into the tracheotomy tube. Tara leaned over and smoothed Charlotte’s hair from her face. Her resemblance to the comatose woman was startling. If Tara had given into the urge to dye her hair blonde they could pass for twins or at least sisters. It was a face she recognized clearly from the other side.

“Charlotte? It’s Tara. I’m here.”

There was no movement, but Charlotte took a deeper breath and let it out slowly.

“Oh, sweetheart, I know you can hear me. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to you, but I spent so much time in the hospital after the accident…” Tears started down her cheeks. She brushed at them, irritated at her emotions. Charlotte didn’t need her tears, she needed resolution. “I promise I’ll find the person responsible for this, if I have to stay here for the rest of my life to do so.”

Tara waited for a sign—even a small one—that Charlotte understood. But none came. How frustrating it must be for her loved ones? As if pulled by an unseen force, Tara’s attention settled on the tributes posted on the far wall.

Pictures gave testimony to Charlotte’s full and productive life. Tara couldn’t resist the need to see if she recognized anyone from her visions. There were photos of Charlotte with children, the tiny patients she cared for during her residency. There were friends and family members, all smiling, glad, it seemed, to be alive.

Tara scanned them all, drinking in the vague feelings of recollection she had for some of the images. In one of the photos, Charlotte held her cheek to that of a dark haired man. Her hand was held up to the camera to display a large diamond ring. A vague memory of the same man on bended knee skittered through her mind. He’d been in tears when he proposed to her.
The picture must have been taken right after the engagement. They both looked so happy, so full of hope and promise.

Another photo caught Tara’s eye. A tall, tawny haired man posed with Charlotte. Both wore Mardi Gras beads and held beers up to the camera in salute. Something about the man made Tara’s breath hitch. He looked familiar, but not in the same way the fiancĂ© did, or the pictures of Charlotte’s parents. He was the same boy, now grown, from her vision of the Thanksgiving dinner. Charlotte’s brother?

“Can I help you?” A deep voice came from behind her.

Tara turned and nearly dropped to her knees. The picture did not do him justice.

***

Marcus knew how it felt to get a fastball to the gut. Back when he and Gil were kids they played for the local little league. There was this guy delusional enough to believe he would get picked for the majors at twelve. Marcus was up to bat when the kid let go of a crazy pitch. The ball hit Marcus before he could move away, and he dropped to the ground and curled up into a ball. The feeling was much like the force he felt looking into this stranger’s eyes.

The woman seemed stunned for a moment before she began to move. “I just dropped by to see how Charlotte’s doing.” She twisted her wrist to look at a very expensive watch. “I have to run.”

Marcus watched her bend over the bed and kiss Charlotte on the forehead. Her simple sundress was cut along elegant lines and fit her slender form beautifully. She moved with a dancer’s grace to the door. It took Marcus a half beat before he realized she was going to leave.

“Wait!”

She turned around with her incredible eyes showing a flicker of panic. “Yes?”

“You didn’t give me your name.”

“Did I need to?” She asked, then closed her eyes. When she opened them again she held her hand out to him. “I’m sorry. It’s been a long day of traveling. I’m Tara Johanan.”

“Marcus Danforth, Charlotte’s brother.” Marcus took her hand and pumped it up and down gently. His large, calloused hand swallowed her soft, delicate one. Her skin felt warm and silky against his.

Tara took her hand back and made a tight fist at her side. “I need to go. I haven’t even checked into my hotel yet.”

“Where are you staying?”

“The El Dorado.”

“Nice place.”

She smiled and looked down her at feet, shod in a pair of well-made sandals. “I’m not too fussy when it comes to hotels. As long as it’s clean, quiet, and has good water pressure, I’m set.”

Marcus raised a brow. Her appearance said otherwise, though anyone with a smile like Tara Johanan’s could probably get away with saying anything. Her mouth was something out of a porno movie.

“How long are you going to be staying in town?”

“I haven’t decided yet. I’m on leave from work.” Her gaze moved to Charlotte and a frown knit her brow. “Well, it was nice meeting you, Mr. Danforth.”

He took her hand again, not knowing why just holding it made him feel better than he had in months. And besides, when she smiled she had the most beautiful dimple at the bottom right corner of her mouth, and he was a sucker for a woman with a dimple.

****

Coming Soon: Book Trailer for By A Silken Tread

Click here to watch the book trailer for Immorati:

http://Katwriter.blogspot.com

Have a great day, and hope to see some of you in Houston this coming week. If you see me...stop and say 'HI".

-Kat

1 comment:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Kat! I didn't know you'd sold this story! I loved it in the crit group so I'm gonna make sure I buy it when it comes available :D