Monday, August 31, 2009

Excerpt - Hitting the High Notes by Nan Arnold

Hello, everyone. I’d like to share a blurb and excerpt from my February 2010 release HITTING THE HIGH NOTES available from Champagne Books. Check out my website for sequel and other works in progress. (Also: Contest underway at website for heart-shaped pin that closes August 20th).

Blurb: Widow Maggie Duncan relearns life is a song when she meets by chance an AWOL opera star and a certain color-blind cop. Who will teach her to hit the high notes?


Maggie Duncan’s fourth decade on earth sped along at warp speed as she clung to its coattails, widowed, childless, and unattached.
Currently seated in the eat-in kitchen of an attractive townhouse, she considered the wine glass her host, a man called Stavros, set before her. The balloon shaped bowl on a long fragile stem looked half as wide and approximately as deep as that big zero in Florida’s abdomen known as Lake Okeechobee.
“So, your name is Stavros.” Maggie’s blunt tipped finger rimmed the glass. She’d met him by chance at a convenience store only an hour before. “Just Stavros?”
He nodded.
“Mysterious.” She took a tentative sip. The wine coated her tongue and slid down her throat. The merlot’s warmth wrapped second thoughts about why she’d accepted his invitation into a snug blanket and Maggie gazed into mesmerizing eyes as dark and shiny as moonlit water. What color were they? Dark … brown. No, actually, they were green and as dark as malachite.
He chuckled. “Call me Stav, if you prefer.” The man of Mediterranean heritage filled his own glass but offered no last name or details. Maggie wondered if the name he’d given her was real, or created just for her. She didn’t normally engage in pick ups, in fact never before, but wandering the dateless desert for some time prompted Maggie to know if she could attract a man as comely as the man sitting across from her.
“Excellent wine, no?” Stav’s voice settled on her eardrums like a zephyr. The resonant timbre, such that any pied piper would envy, seduced her into tagging along with Stav after she’d purchased bottled water following a long bike ride.
“Very good.” Maggie replied. Even she tasted the difference of this wine compared to the swill in her pantry, boxed in four-packs, used primarily for cooking. She pulled away a strand of graying ash brown hair that strayed to her blue dress and clandestinely studied Stavros. Maggie noticed gray in his hair, too, and age creases on his forehead.
Wait. Wasn’t wine supposed to dull reality? She took another sip, then another, and finally one bold gulp for good measure.
Stav reached for her hand and held it. Maggie didn’t object. He’d already charmed her out of her commons sense. So, she wondered, what could he charm her into? Taking into account the lap-pool capacity of the glass, the amount of wine she’d imbibed, and how warm her hand felt in his, and her current emotional vulnerability, probably a lot.

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