Tuesday, September 9, 2008

THE VIOLIN


THE VIOLIN
by Sarah J. McNeal
Available in print or ebook at www.amirapress.com , fictionwise , amazon.com and through my website at www.sarahmcneal.com
Blurb:
THE VIOLIN by Sarah J. McNeal (Blurb)


Genevieve has dreamed about him all her life, but it isn’t until she buys his violin and finds the remnants of his life and the mystery of his death within its case, that she makes a decision that will change her life forever. Is there a way to change the past and save the man who haunts her heart?

Excerpt:
THE VIOLIN at Amira Press by Sarah McNeal

John bent forward and kissed her on the cheek. He spoke to her in a low voice as his deep, green eyes looked into hers. “I thought you were a goddess. You fairly took my breath away.”
He laughed as he stood up taking her with him as he took both her hands in his. “Forgive me for seeming rude but your beauty rendered me completely speechless for a few moments.”
“Why don’t the two of you stay here for supper tonight instead of going out?” Matilda suggested. Her voice still had an edge to it.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Will added.
Jimmy laughed as he danced around the couple standing in the living room holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. “He was just funning, Pop, that’s all,” Jimmy said.
“John, I think ...,” Will started to speak.
“Pop, please, you’re scaring Genevieve,” John said and gave his father a warning look.
Will scrutinized John for a moment as emotions scattered in a riot across his face. After a moment of contemplation, he nodded his head to give consent. “You're a grown man, John. You will do what you want regardless of what I think. As your father, I only ask that you use discretion when entrusted with another's well being and care for yourself for those who value you.” He looked down at Jimmy and smiled. “Come with me outside and I’ll let you look at my pipe while we test out your cannon.”
“Will,” Matilda cried following the man and the boy out through the kitchen, “Don’t you dare show that boy that pipe.”
The couple was left alone in the living room. John’s hands seemed to burn into Genevieve’s. She wanted him to stay with her like this forever. Her heart ached a little and she wasn’t sure why. “Are you really okay? She asked.
“Hell no, I’m not okay. I’m never okay around you.” He smiled charmingly. “Now that you’ve turned into a goddess with the help of my mother, I’m not sure I will ever be okay again,” he said and grinned.
Genevieve jerked her hands out of his grasp. “I don’t think your jokes are all that funny. You scared the life out of me,” she said angrily.
He reached around her and pulled his jacket from the back of the couch. “Come on, Genevieve, let’s get going.” He took her hand back in his firm grip and pulled her along behind him out the front door, off the little porch and across the yard to his motorcycle.
Genevieve skidded to a halt. “I’m not going to ride on that thing.” She felt the knot in her stomach form just looking at the motorcycle. What a dangerous piece of machinery it was.
“Yes you are,” John said determinedly.
“No I’m not.” Genevieve was obstinately determined that she was most certainly not going to get on that death machine. “I could get killed on that thing.” She looked at the Indian motorcycle as if it were a dragon seeking its next meal.
From the back yard came a miniature explosion. Matilda’s little shriek cut the air followed by the laughter of Will and Jimmy. John glanced at Genevieve and laughed lightly. “Well, looks like that cannon you bought Jimmy has gone over big.”
She scrunched her face into a frown not listening to a word he said. “I’m not going to ride on that thing, John.”
John turned to her and spoke in a low voice as if explaining something to a child. “Listen, honey, Sunbury is ten miles or more down the road. You couldn’t even walk the first two miles before those blisters would start to hurt again.”
He guided her slowly over to the motorcycle. “Now see, I have this wonderful wheeled horse just to take milady conveniently and, without walking on sore feet I might add, to a wonderful restaurant I know in Sunbury.”
He turned her around to face him. “Now we can stand here and argue all our time away on how we’re going to get there but, in the end little miss goddess of mine, you are going to get on this motorcycle if I have to drag you on it and tie you to me.” There was absolute resolution in his voice.
Genevieve knew she couldn’t win. John had to be the most stubborn person on the face of the earth. “Okay,” she relented barely audible, “I’ll do it but I want you to know I’m really scared. You better not get us killed.”
John threw a leg over the saddle of the bike and drew her on to the back where she sat with her legs tucked behind his. He laughed a little. “Don’t worry, honey, I’m not going to kill us, not on purpose any way.”
“Oh, that’s reassuring,” Genevieve snapped back sarcastically. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She wasn’t sure which bothered her more, riding on the motorcycle or John’s back pressed against her chest and her legs snugly folded next to his.
John reached back, took her hands, and wrapped her arms around his waist. “All you have to do is hang on tight and lean the way I lean. Got that?”
Genevieve was shaking too much to answer so she nodded her head even though she was sure he wasn’t really waiting for her permission. Her stomach clenched with anxiety and fear made her hands tremble.
John kicked the starter with his left heel and the engine sputtered into life. It sounded like a chain saw.
Genevieve hugged John’s waist in a death grip and laid her face against his back as he drew on his goggles over his eyes. “Genevieve,” he yelled over the roar of the engine, “I have to be able to breathe, honey, not that I don’t love you holding me that tight.” He laughed and the motorcycle lunged forward onto the dirt road.
Genevieve watched as John squeezed the clutch with his left hand and reached down to change the gear with his right hand on the stick gear in front of him.
“Aren’t we supposed to have on helmets? There’s a law about that,” Genevieve yelled into his back. She felt the rumble of his laughter on her cheek.
“I don’t think they have a law about that. We’re not going into battle; we’re just taking a ride.” He laughed out loud. “You might want to keep your mouth shut before a bug flies in it,” he shouted and laughed again.
The engine whined a few seconds as John changed gears again. The machine hummed as they scattered rocks and dirt in their wake down the country road. The wind blew through his hair and Genevieve’s braid flopped heavily in the wind the bike created.
“I never saw a motorcycle with a stick shift on the body before,” Genevieve called out over the roar of the engine. “Isn’t there some kind of shift thingy on the handlebar?”
“That’s a mighty interesting question seeing how there is no other motorcycle anywhere. Indian is all there is and this is where the gears are.” John was silent a moment than added, “But now that I think about it, it would sure be more convenient if the ‘thingy’ was on the handlebar.”
Genevieve was beginning to loosen her grip a little as she began to grow calm. A little burn of fear still scorched her stomach though. “Does this thing have brakes?” she called out the question.
“You’ll be glad to know there’s two. I got one in my right hand and the other is located here under my right foot. You couldn’t be any safer.” He spoke loudly making his voice rise above the engine noise. “Isn’t this the greatest?” He was obviously enjoying himself.
Genevieve wasn’t so sure it was the greatest thing riding wildly down a dirt road on a motorcycle. In her real life, she would never take such a crazy chance. But there was one thing she thought that made this dangerous and impulsive antic worthwhile. She got to hold John close to her until she could hear his heartbeat and the vibration of his voice through his jacket on her cheek. The time she spent with John was worth all the heartache that would come later.
Sarah McNeal www.sarahmcneal.com

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