Ahhh, Picture Perfect. The year started out with a novella which was re-released from Ellora’s Cave on January 29th. This book is one two paranormals I’ve written, though for all of you who’ve asked, yes, I do have a story in mind for Deirdre.
Conn Hennessey suffered nine hundred years trapped in a godforsaken painting. Halloween magic gives him one chance at freedom. With just twenty four hours to break the spell, by convincing the woman he loves they belong together, a day never seemed so short.
Dana Kavanagh wishes she were gullible enough to believe her sexy stranger’s story. He looks and acts like the man of her dreams but magic, time travel and a pissed off witch seem farfetched. Afraid of looking like a fool if it’s a hoax, can she live with the consequences if she’s wrong?
The clock is ticking…
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An Excerpt From: PICTURE PERFECT
Copyright © JAYNE RYLON, 2010
Ireland, Twelfth century
“Do you love me?”
Conn peered down into the adoring eyes of the alluring young witch lying beside him on the forest floor, the light dappling her fair skin. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as she recovered from their frolicking dash through the trees. Enchantment surrounded her, lounging on a bed of leaves, raven hair strewn about her delicate frame. A word away from her surrender, he refused to lie to her.
“Deirdre, I care for you.”
“But you don’t love me.” Though her eyes flashed with hurt, her tone reflected resignation. He honored their pact to settle for nothing less, despite the consequences.
“I’m sorry.” The words were soft but final. Conn let the regret and longing that ached inside him flow through his kiss.
It was goodbye.
Deirdre relaxed beneath him as though absorbing each scrap of emotion from the final contact. He retrieved his sword from the mossy ground, buckled it over his tunic and then swung a leg over the stallion waiting at the side of the clearing. “I never meant to hurt you.”
Rising in front of him, she blocked his path. The flowing silver gown draped around her. Its embroidered belt, which proclaimed her high rank, cinched her waist, emphasizing her figure as she spread her arms wide. Power crackled through the air as tears dripped from her midnight eyes and dropped silently to the forest floor.
“Conn.” The plea in her voice could not be mistaken. “I’m sorry also. Someday you’ll understand that true love means doing what’s right even at great personal cost.”
A sudden, unnatural heat enveloped Conn, starting with his legs and spreading up his torso. Panic accompanied it, causing him to struggle with a desperation reserved for survival. “Deirdre! What are you doing? Stop this!”
“Remember that I loved you.”
October 30th, Present day
A shrill ring burst from Dana Kavanagh’s pocket as she wrestled the bags of groceries onto the kitchen counter. After consulting the display of her cell, she rolled her eyes then flipped it open.
“Yes, Jenny, I still plan on going out with you tonight.”
“Dana, I’m so sorry but it looks like I’m going to have to work late.”
“Awesome!” Dana did a dorky happy dance as she eyed the carton of melting ice cream and the new book she’d just set down.
Jenny’s chuckle carried over the phone line. “Not so fast, you don’t get off the hook that easily.”
“It’s my birthday. Can’t I spend it however I want?” Dana groaned.
“No!” Jenny’s exasperation transferred over the phone. “A girl only turns thirty once, you have to do it with style.”
“Does ‘with style’ really mean ‘in a club, consuming a lot of alcohol’?” Somewhere loud and trendy would be par for the course with Jenny. Not that Dana disliked a night out on the town every now and then, but she didn’t feel the need to visit each bar in the city the way her best friend seemed to.
“And hot guys. Don’t forget the hot guys.”
“I hate to break it to you, Jenny, but I don’t know very many unattached hot guys.”
“Exactly why you need to get out more!”
Dana sighed. “Listen, I really do appreciate the thought. But lately I feel like hanging out at home. It’s not a national emergency, I’m just tired of meeting the same kind of man. I need a break. A change.” The metrosexual guys who worried about the caloric content of their fancy-named drinks and loved drama more than a housewife addicted to soap operas got old quick for Dana.
“Then I think you’re going to like my idea even more. I want you to come with me tomorrow night instead. There’s a private costume party for All Hallow’s Eve at my brother’s estate. It will be exclusive, sophisticated and more reserved than any club.”
“I don’t know, Jenny. I always feel out of place there.” Wealth and prestige seeped from the sprawling mansion and sculpted grounds. Even the sincere welcome of Jenny’s family couldn’t eclipse Dana’s unease. She might knock over a priceless vase or use the wrong fork at dinner. “Besides, I don’t have a costume.”
“I knew you were going to say that.” Jenny sounded smug. “And I know just what you should wear. The dress.”
“My grandmother’s dress?”
“Yes! You’ll look stunning. You can be a princess.”
Dana had to admit the idea held some appeal. The dress called to her. It looked like something straight out of a fairy tale. And when else could she wear it? What the hell, why not?
“Okay. I’ll do it, but you have to help me with my hair.”
“Deal! I’ve got to get back to work. I’ll be over around five tomorrow. Happy birthday!”
Question: If you could live in any time period, which would it be and why?
Check back at midnight for the announcement of all of today’s winners. Good luck!