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There was a time, a few winters ago, when the fourteen hours of travel to fly down under was but a moment in time. Full summer Melbourne, warm breezy sun and a bouquet of wildflowers; the young man that greeted me at the airport radiated ebullient enthusiasm. Nervous? Were we not. The year and a half of emails and messages exchanged online had allowed us to know nearly everything about each other, yet nothing of true import.
So often I am asked if an author's fiction reflects true life. Whether it's a name, a scent remembered or a story lived, those who write can not help but include their experiences in their tales. From what else do we have to draw? What else would ring so true?
In the end it really does not matter where reality ends and fiction begins because a great story IS true whether or not it happened just that way,
You are cordially invited to come along on a journey of discovery. Can a young man barely out of university be convinced that there is worth in paying societies dues? Can a life-worn woman years his senior have what is truly important to offer or will the secrets she’s' so carefully guarded destroy his faith in her as a wonderful human being? I could tell you what real life dealt. You might suppose that most young men could not handle the complexities of an adult life filled with truths and tragedies lived in all its messy realism. You might be right? Or would you…
I invite you to experience one young man who has that ineffable something that separates him from the crowd—extraordinary tenacity, the willingness to grow and change even when he thinks his heart might shatter and the stuff that makes a true hero— a leap of faith toward love.
“Walk me home, Bryan.”
The smile slid from his face. Re-fastening the stud of his jeans, he turned to her. “What’s wrong, Carrie?”
“Look at me.” He hooked her chin with two fingers. “Why are you treating me like I’m suddenly a stranger?” Tilting her face up to his, he lowered his head to engage her eyes. She still had hers cast to the ground. “Come on. Did I say something wrong? I felt…it was…you were amazing.”
Her eyes scrolled in reluctance to his. “I don’t think I can do this.”
“What do you mean? You just did…and in the most incredible way.” He smiled, testing the waters of her reaction.
“It’s not you…You were perfect.” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it.”
Clamping onto her shoulder he looked into her with intensity. “God damn it Carrie. Don’t start clamming up. We never did online. Why start now?”
“We never had sex online.”
He raised a dubious brow.
“Okay…so we wrote about sex. That doesn’t get you pregnant.”
“So you are worried.”
“I should have waited to go to the chemist.” He shook his head in self-recrimination. “Should have had a condom.”
“No…I can’t.” She stiffened again in his arms.
“You can’t what?”
“I can’t get pregnant,” she spewed.
He felt his jaw drop. “You can’t…”
“Yeah. Can’t,” she reiterated in cold indifference, like a news reporter delivering a story.
He instinctively drew her to his chest, holding her body as though it might break. “I never dreamed…I think it’s…okay…”
She pulled away from him, engaging his eyes once more. “Yeah…I can tell it’s just what you had in mind.” Turning, she began to jog away from him in the direction of the high-rise hotels.
“Damn it, Carrie.” He took off after her. She quickened her pace. Shit she was fast. He broke into an all out sprint to catch her.
Hooking her arm, he twirled her about like a top. She spun into him, air knocked from her at the impact. “Let me go, Bryan,” she spouted in gasp.
“I don’t even know where you’re staying.”
“Why do you need to know? It was obviously a mistake coming here.”
He took her by the shoulders. “Listen to me Carrie. It’s you who’ve decided what’s important to me. I don’t give a rat’s arse if you can have kids.”
“Yeah…that’s why you’ve been talking about what a great dad you’re gonna be…how much you want to watch them grow up.”
She’d caught him. He had said those things when they’d exchanged hopes and dreams online. He tried to keep his expression even, but the look on his face sent her over the edge. The pain in her eyes was something he never wanted to see, never meant to cause. He knew he’d sent a knife to her heart.
She turned from him again and ran. He stood, arms hanging in impotence at his side and watched her disappear into the night, her figure reappearing in the lighting of the awning of the hotel closest.
It seemed an hour before he was able to move. His feet felt glued to the pavement; his mind reeled in self-loathing and regret. Why hadn’t he stopped her? What was wrong with him?
The chill of the night invaded him. He felt it press into his bones through the thin t-shirt he’d dragged over his head. He’d left his jacket behind under the trees where they’d...
“Damn.” The word shot from him sounding like it came from someone else. His chest ached with it. He turned toward the beach car park and walked numbly to his Rover.
She fell into the center of the billowing white comforter. Clothes sweaty, she shivered. The envelope of the duvet surrounded her like a comforting nest.
She lowered her head to her chest. His aftershave clung to her skin, rose around her as though he were with her again. “Damn it.” She struck the mattress with clenched fists. Why had she even brought it up? It shouldn’t matter. They were, after all, fast friends first. He was a young man. Of course he had dreams of home and family. But when he’d made love to her so tenderly, with such ardor, she’d melted. She could still feel the touch of his mouth on hers.
“God, you’re an idiot, Carrie.” Her words sounded hollow, disembodied. She grabbed the edge of the comforter and rolled herself in it like a cocoon. Sweat beaded at her forehead and a wave of nausea swept through her. She had to escape.
He drove through the night along the road toward Mornington, every curve and bank negotiated by rote. Taking the long way through the hills, he made a sharp turn into the overlook and skidded to a stop, tires sliding on the gravel. Pulling the emergency break, it felt as though it would fracture in his hand. The percussion of his shoulder into the door sent it flying open, recoiling back into him as he exited.
He tore into the forest, stumbling along the narrow overgrown pathway leading to the ridge. The trees thinned, and then opened onto the broad ledge of an overlook. The heels of his shoes scrapped the rock face as he came to a standstill. The only thing he could hear was the sound of his breathing straining under the demands of his descent. The town of Mornington lay below, asleep. Only the occasional porch light dotted the shadow of homes sprinkled along its perimeter. Above the sky glowed indigo into purple with impending day. It was still an hour away, but the turn of the earth allowed first light to seep into the blackness.
Eyes scrolling to the sky, he looked at the winking stars spread across the path of the Milky Way in artist’s stroke of genius. God, but he lived in a beautiful place. Why did it seem suddenly flat, cardboard? He drew the resinous air in through his nose expanding his lungs until they ached. Holding his breath for a moment, it burst out of him in a mirthless laugh. His shoulders shook with the violence of the emotion erupting from him. Abdomen contracting, he wiped at the corner of his mouth.
“God forgive me, Carrie.” The words tore from his chest. “I can’t.”
When We Were Amazing
A Novel by: Christine London
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release: November 11, 2011
Editor: Fiona Young-Brown
Line editor: Antonia Tiranth
Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Buy Now through MuseItUp Publishing
Coming soon to Amazon.com
Friday Night November 4th, an international representation of Muse authors gathered for a welcome aboard to celebrate the first year in business of this exciting new company.
Publisher, Lea Schizas and Promotions Goddess, Litsa Kamateros set a splendid scene in a Montreal Greek restaurant. Every author had the opportunity to speak in personal introduction. Thank you gifts were given to Lea and Litsa as well as received from these two wonderful 'boss ladies' to each author.
Nancy Bell awards gifts to Lea and Litsa
Karen Cote dresses Heather Haven
Sandra Clark dressed by Madeleine McLaughlin
Our colleague, Karen McGrath was remembered.
And authors from around Canada and the United states got to network with each other—up until now, faces only known from the internet.
(Oh yeah...and there were (real) cheesecakes...lol)
Saturday Afternoon a Mega book signing was held at Zellers Super Store in Pointe Claire. Each and every author was thrilled to be able to meet and greet the public. There shining faces and pride in their work showed…
Charles Mossop Christine London
Barbara Ehrenthreu If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor Carolyn Samuels’ freshman year becomes a series of lies to cover Jennifer Taylor’s terrible secret in return for popularity.
Charles Mossop The Devil At My Heels A modern murder mystery with a historical twist.
Kevin Craig Summer On Fire Summer…fire, bodies, murder, enemies and lies. Is it too much for three friends to handle? The race is on…
Grace De Luca Betwixt and Between Suspended between two worlds, teenager Michael must set out on a Quest in order to return to Earth. The only way home is through a fantasy land of adventure, suspense, and incredible experiences-- the world of Betwixt and Between.
Heather Haven A Wedding To Die For PI Lee Alvarez knows better than anyone when Cupid’s wings start flapping, love and murder can’t be far behind.
Arlene Webb Ashes Lyle holds his murdered brother and wants his life to end too. When the unbelievable happens, he’ll sacrifice anything to avoid the final stage of grief, and comes to learn life is just beginning.
Madeleine McLaughlin The Mountain City Bronzes How far will a community go to protect the safety of their children when they start to disappear?
Karen Cote Erotic Deception Told she’d never have children…abracadabra, she’s pregnant. Would the man she loved disappear when he found out? (Adult Content)
H.M. Prevost Desert Fire After Nick Chevalier stumbles across a plane crash in the middle of the desert, the dying pilot slips him military secrets that a ruthless terrorist is determined to possess.
Richard Burns Sweet Chocolate’s First Taste A young white soldier’s first encounter with a woman, a black woman in the racially turbulent southern US in 1979...a hooker? (Adult Content)
Sarah Durham (left), and daughter (right) The Powers A woman with a wounded past is awakened by an ancient warrior angel to fulfill a destiny meted ages before man...
and Lycan Moon A cursed seventeenth century man’s life is turned upside down when a Seattle columnist comes to town in search of a legendary werewolf
Nancy Marie Bell Laurel’s Miracle YA FANTASY Laurel isn’t out to save the world, just her mom from cancer.
Editor Natisha La Pierre
Lea Schizas Autism Epidemic Shaking the System A helpful guide to sensitize people on autism.
The Halloween Dino Trip Jillian Waylan planned the perfect Halloween party until things go a bit...wacky?
Litsa Kamateros Autism Epidemic Shaking the System A helpful guide to sensitize people on autism.
Joanne Elder Spectra
What happens when the fragile line between genius and insanity is drawn with the blood of an entire species?
Christina Schizas Ahtabat: Man’s Extinction What if you were told you had to abandon your home, your friends, your loved ones, your career, your money, your dreams, and most importantly, your life? And not only temporarily but indefinitely?
Lisa Forget (left)
Deathly Quiet Moira Murphy encounters a terrifying stranger who forces a new existence upon her - one that is deathly and quiet.
Christine London (right) Shadows Steal The Light It’s love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there’s someone who wants him dead. (Adult Content)
Sandra “S. J.” Clarke Mind Over Matter A mother faces her worst nightmare when she discovers her missing daughter is scheduled to die in mere days.