Friday, September 30, 2011

Summer may be coming to an end, but that does not mean that fun reading has to end too… by Marie Astor

Let's face it - the fall is here. The days are getting longer, the leaves are turning yellow, and the sun, although still glowing just as brightly, is not as warm as it was just a few weeks ago.

I don't know about you, but to me, the end of the summer has always brought a sobering feeling, almost that of sadness. While the fall has its own beauty, it is a season of seriousness. Summer, on the other hand, is bright and carefree – it is a time for romance, a time for having fun.

Scientists keep dreaming about inventing a time machine, but I think I might have beaten them to the punch. I wrote my contemporary romance, Lucky Charm, during the warm days of June, and now, every time I reread a line from the book, I am transported to the time when I wrote it – I can remember what I was thinking, and how I felt, right down to the smell of the air and my surroundings.

Well, summer may be coming to an end, but that does not mean that fun reading has to end too. Here is a quick excerpt from Lucky Charm, a contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship, to add some sunshine to a rainy fall day:

"Check this out!" Lilly motioned at the sign in the dim window on the right, which read, 'Madam Aurora – Tarot Card Readings.' "Let's go inside!"

"Oh, I don't know," Annabel replied – she had an inborn distrust of psychics and palm readers.

"Come on, it'll be fun," Lilly urged her. "Don't you want to get your fortune read?"

"I'm not sure – if it's anything like what it's been recently, I think I'd rather stay in the dark."

"Well, I want to get mine read – I want to see what's in store for me and Simon," Lilly insisted. "You don't have to get yours read if you don't want to."

"All right, have it your way," Annabel surrendered, knowing full well that once Lilly got something into her head, it would be impossible to talk her out of it.

Lilly tugged on the front door, but it was locked.

"It says here that you have to ring." Annabel pointed to the small sign next to the intercom.

Lilly pressed the intercom button, but no one answered.

"See? There's no one there – you probably have to make an appointment in advance or something like that." Annabel was glad of an excuse to leave. "Let's go. Maybe next time." She tugged at Lilly's sleeve.
Just then there was a rustling noise from the intercom receiver. "Who is it?" asked a distant voice.

"Madam Aurora? We're interested in a tarot reading," Lilly spoke into the intercom.

"Come on up – it's the top floor." The front door buzzed open.

"In we go!" Lilly swung open the front door and Annabel had no choice but to follow her friend inside.

The lobby of the building was completely deserted. Lilly pressed the elevator button and several moments later an elevator rolled down the see-through metallic shaft.

"I'm not going up in that." Annabel looked suspiciously at the archaic contraption. "This thing looks like it's from the nineteen twenties."

"Come on! I'm not walking up five flights of stairs in heels!" Lilly pried open the elevator door.

"Only because you are my friend, but if we get stuck, it'll be all your fault." Annabel went inside the clammy-smelling elevator and felt the floor sink underneath her feet.

"OK, up we go!" Lilly pressed the top floor, and Annabel shut her eyes as the elevator rattled into motion, hoping that this would not be the moment when the elevator would finally succumb to its wear and plummet down the shaft.

"See? We made it just fine!" Lilly exclaimed after the shaky elevator ride ended with one last final thump. She pushed open the elevator door and headed down the hallway that looked like it had recently survived an explosion: paint was peeling off the walls and the floor was sinking underneath one's feet.

"Are you sure about this?" Annabel asked, thinking that if Madam Aurora were indeed a reputable card reader, she would not be maintaining her establishment in such dingy quarters.

"Right this way," came a voice from the opened door down the hall.

Great, thought Annabel, abandoning all hopes of escape.

A sly grin twinkled on Madam Aurora's face as she held the door open for Annabel and Lilly to enter. "Please, come inside."

I hope that you will prolong your summer season by picking up a copy of Lucky Charm:



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