Sunday, September 8, 2013



Hello, all! It's a beautiful late-summer Sunday in Charleston, which explains why I'm posting an excerpt about autumn in 1980's New York!

STEALING FIRE is about unlikely soul mates - a Broadway song lyricist who's now writing advertising jingles, and whose life hasn't turned out the way he wanted it to, and an idealistic young singer who dreams of singing on Broadway, who's out of sync with her contemporaries.

Please check out the excerpt (I'll post more today, and those who comment can win a very special notebook I had made to celebrate STEALING FIRE's publication - it's got the book cover on the front and is perfect for journaling about YOUR soul mate (whether you've found them yet or not!)

Here's Excerpt #1:

Autumn 1963

Her mother liked to sing show tunes to her, putting old records on her battered record player and singing along with the tinny recorded sounds of Broadway orchestras. She’d wanted to be a singer on the musical stage, her mother, but settled for marriage and children the first time it was offered and spent the rest of her life droning unhappily to her daughters about the opportunities she’d missed.
“I haven’t heard this in awhile. I used to love it,” her mother murmured, almost to herself, one rainy fall afternoon, as she took a long-playing black vinyl record from its cover and put it on the turntable.
Six-year-old Amanda wandered over to the table and picked up the album cover. The name of the show, The Life and Times, was printed in bold letters across the top, with a pencil sketch of a black top hat and neatly folded white gloves in the middle. A splashy yellow sun, its rays streaming diagonally, filled the rest of the cover. At the bottom were other names. Her mother had explained carefully that those names were the people who made up the tunes and the words to the tunes and the stories of the shows. Amanda glanced at these now, but could not quite sound them out; she was just spelling her way through the Dick & Jane books, and while she could read the title, these names were longer and harder. She forgot about them altogether, though, as the record began to play.
She loved it instantly.
“Again, Mommy, again!” she said excitedly when the first song ended.
Her mother shook her head. “Listen to the rest first.”
Amanda sat down on her favorite soft footstool near the big brown rocker and listened. She loved it all.
There was one song especially that she liked. It was about blowing bubbles. She didn’t understand the verse, but she sang along with the chorus:
“… Bubbles bursting, bursting bubbles …
Breaking dreams with every blow.
I’ll remember each dream burst
Till the final bubbles go.”
She didn’t really understand the song, but it seemed sad to her. She had bubble set, like most little girls, and sometimes, something hurt deep inside her when she watched a brightly-colored bubble pop, just out of the reach of her eager fingers. She thought she knew what the words meant.
A few months later her older sister Josie, tossing a ball carelessly around the room, smashed the record as it was coming out of its cover, on its way to the turntable.
Amanda cried and asked her mother to please buy it again, please. Her mother explained regretfully that she had gotten it as a gift. The show had been a ‘flop’ years before, and no record store nearby had any copies to sell. No one was interested in buying it anymore.
Amanda cried harder and said she wanted to buy it; please couldn’t they take the money in her piggy bank and find a store that would sell it? Her mother said no, decisively now. There were no copies around, and Josie hadn’t meant to smash it; it was an accident. “Stop crying now, Amanda,” she said sharply.
She listened to her mother and stopped crying. But she never forgot the song about bursting bubbles.

Hope you enjoyed it! And feel free to check out my other books (I have 2 more coming out this fall!) at my website. Would love to have you visit!

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