Well, it's that time you've all been waiting for. Well, it's what I've been waiting for, at least!
All Romance eBooks now has my novel Unity on pre-order. http://allromanceebooks.com/product-temperanceunity-9894-140.html Come Tuesday this week, you could have a copy all of your very own for the reading!
Now that I've wet your appetite for that much, let me share with you an excerpt from the novel.
Night art classes were held at the local dojo twice a week. Celeste's teacher was a slight blonde woman who had missed her calling as a teenage cheerleader and, through affiliation with the younger--and therefore cooler--students of the class, was trying to recapture her youth. Currently, Susanna was strolling up and down between the crooked rows of canvases in her class, murmuring, “Yes, very good, very good”.
When Susanna arrived by Celeste's canvas, the dark haired girl looked at her expectantly. As Susanna stared at the half finished painting, Celeste expected her to make some original comment. When Susanna only smiled accommodatingly and told her to “Carry on”, Celeste deduced her teacher was quite blind or very deluded. She had been trying for something abstract against the central figure, but the perspective was all wrong, the colors didn't quite mesh, and there was a weird thing going on with the eyes that she couldn't quite seem to fix.
Jasper said to her, taking some time apart from his current work of art as Susanna moved on to another round of appreciative, “Ooh, very good” to other students.
Celeste shot him a sideways look at his sudden appearance there. Jasper shrugged.
'So, who's he supposed to be?'
Celeste looked back at the canvas. There was no salvaging it now. The best she could hope for was that Susanna's blind streak would continue into the marking phase, but at the same time, she didn't really want to depend on an ignorant eye for the benefit of her marks.
'I think I saw it in a dream.'
Celeste answered him shortly, pulling the canvas down from the board and turning to the paints on the table behind her to start putting them away. From the floor, the man stared out in all his magnificence, garbed in a medieval style tunic bearing some sort of intricately designed crest on the front of it.
As Celeste moved away and started sorting through the brushes she was going to have to wash, Jasper stepped closer to the discarded canvas, still staring, bringing his hand to cup his jaw as he studied Celeste's work.
'His gaze is striking… and the colors…'
'You're my friend; you have to say that,'
Her words were dismissive. Celeste walked to the sinks and started soaking her brushes before washing them there.
'Anyway, are we on for tonight?'
'Photography at the beach? Wouldn't miss that for the world. What time were we meeting up again?'
Jasper didn't pause at her change of subject as he answered. He straightened, easily coming back to remembering there was a whole other world outside of Celeste's painting.
All paints were packed, and Celeste stuffed the ones that were hers in her bag. The others she returned to the cupboard in the back of the room.
'After dark. Say about ten?'
Jasper nodded. When she returned to the stand she had borrowed, Jasper had her canvas in his hands and was holding it up to her attention with curiosity.
'So, what are you going to do with this?'
'Nothing. I'm heading off now. It's not like I'm going to get anything more from today. If you want to come around to my place early, Natalia's making chicken curry, mild.'
Celeste was busy picking the canvas and the stand up as she spoke. She laid the stand next to the others on the rack and then the canvas, she put with the rest of the used canvases, ready to be painted over and used anew. Jasper had his eyebrows raised; she was not usually so dismissive of any artwork she made. However, he returned his expression to normal well before she turned to look at him again.
'Ooh, just the way I like it. Tell her to make lots. I'll definitely be there.'
Unity, published by Tease Publishing. Available from July 15th.