It ‘s finally here – release day for my second novel, Taking A Chance On Love.
My love for music began when I joined the East Atlanta Elementary Band in fourth grade. My parents were instructed to rent a clarinet from the local music shop. My journey began in C band that year, moving to B band in fifth grade. I was promoted to A band in the sixth grade and progressed to second chair clarinet in the seventh grade. I excelled in music and was appreciative of the many experiences my talent afforded me all the way through college.
When you check out my new release, it will be no surprise to you that I dedicated this novel to my first band director, Charles I. Bradley.
From childhood, Virginia Manning has planned for a career as a concert clarinetist. Blindsided by family circumstances, her plans are interrupted, taking her down a path she would never have chosen. As a music teacher, Virginia’s relationship with the football coach goes from problematic to romantic. After Blake’s brush with death, a scared Virginia runs away looking for the contentment music has always brought to her life.
Because Blake Oliver has experienced disappointment and pain, he opts for a fresh start in a small New England town. Accepting the position of football coach, he isn’t looking for love when it finds him. But when Virginia leaves to pursue a performance career, Blake realizes it’s not where you live but having someone to love that matters. His only problem is making her understand that as well.
It’s my pleasure to share an excerpt from the book with you:
She pulled her arms across her chest in an attempt to calm her shivering. Bright lights reflected from her rearview mirror, the only headlights she had seen since she had stopped on the side of the ride. Releasing a sigh of relief, she waited for flashing blue lights to interrupt the blackness surrounding the car. No blue lights. Her heart began racing at hearing a car door slam. She was alone, on a deserted highway. Checking the locks on her doors, she thought about driving away, but how far could she go with a flat tire?
A tap on the passenger window made her jump. “Hey.”
The dark night made it impossible to see the face outside the passenger window. Fear made it impossible to move.
“Come on, Gin. It’s wet out here.”
No one else called her Gin. She hit the automatic button releasing the lock and Blake pulled the door open. Relief flooded her body and was replaced by anger.
“Blake — you nearly scared me to death.”
“Not the best time for a flat tire. You’re soaked.”
“You’re not so very dry yourself.”
“Where are you headed?”
“I was on my way home. I had an early dinner with my family before they left for the weekend. Staying to play my piano wasn’t a bad idea — I just got caught up in my music.” She loved how her music could take her away from everything, but the downside was eventually she had to come back to reality. “Anyway, I was going through my options when you drove up.”
“Your spare is lying in the mud.”
“I was going to try changing it, but when the lightning started, I chickened out.”
“Well, you can’t drive all the way to Boston soaked to the skin. And I really don’t want to change a tire in this downpour.”
“So what do you suggest I do?”
“Let me take you back to your sister’s house. You can stay the night and deal with the tire in the morning.”
Virginia didn’t respond, didn’t want this moment to end. He was here, beside her and the intensity of how much she had missed him came crashing down upon her like tumultuous waves hitting a jagged rock wall along the seashore.
She looked up. “That sounds good.”
As he leaned over and pulled the keys from the ignition, it took all Virginia’s willpower to keep from pulling him close.
“Make a dash for my car and I’ll lock up and put the spare back in the trunk.”
The rain continued as they drove to the house on Adams Street. When they arrived, Virginia insisted he come in to dry off.
They ran inside and stopped in the foyer, causing a rivulet of water to fall from their drenched clothes to the floor.
Virginia slipped out of her shoes. “I’ll grab some towels.” She skirted away, her heart pounding in her chest. She returned and tossed them at Blake and announced, “I’ll be back.”
When she returned, Blake was squatting by the fireplace, lighting the gas logs. He had removed his shirt and towel dried his upper body. She moved to the side of the room, relishing the opportunity to study his features in the glow of the fire. It appeared he hadn’t shaved for a couple of days and the pronounced facial hair gave him a rugged look that was appealing. His light brown hair was longer since she had last seen him and it had a crumpled, damp look, adding a dimension of sexiness to the male specimen in front of her.
Knowing this was the perfect opportunity to let him know how she felt about him, she was determined not to let him leave. He looked up and smiled at her.
“I brought you some of Michael’s clothes. You can’t stay in those wet things.”
She placed them on the chair next to the fireplace and moved toward Blake.
“Thanks. I love the convenience of gas logs. A twist of the key, a lighted match, and voila — instant flames.”
Virginia pulled herself against Blake, her head pressed against his chest. “I’ve missed you. I love you and I made the biggest mistake of my life when I left you.”
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