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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

As soon as we entered, he morphed into the perfect host and made himself busy taking my bags out of the way. He said please sit down, get comfortable, take off your shoes. That sort of thing. He offered a drink. I sipped slowly, grateful for the distraction and looked at the view. He turned on music and joined me on the sofa. Was this his normal routine? He sat beside me close. He pulled me to him, closer. He swallowed my eyes with his. He took the drink out of my grip. We kissed passionately for several minutes. Then he led me hurriedly to the bedroom still kissing me, me kissing him, he kissing me in a furious manifestation of lust. Misgivings? What misgivings? Doubts? What doubts? I was on fire but still noticed the 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, silk duvet, hand-carved teakwood bed. Custom drapes, recessed lighting, brass lamps. I thought of my dumpy apartment. I thought of my mother’s dumpy apartment. I thought of all the cautionary tales of dallying or marrying above your class like Forever Amber, Vanity Fair, and Edith Wharton’s Undine Sprague in Custom of the Country. And then I thought of My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, An Officer and a Gentleman. And then he expertly brought my arousal to new heights…and I finally stopped thinking.
We made love with an intensity and earnestness that ripped away the outer world as we created a tempest of sensual pleasure. Later, in an exhausted heap, we lay close and he became gentle rubbing my arm and kissing the top of my head. He spoke softly, assuring me, “Aurora, I love you so. Don’t worry about anything, darlin’. You’ll come to love it here. You’ll see. You belong here with me. Look at me.” And he looked deep into my eyes and said, “Your eyes are so beautiful. They remind me of a deep clear lake and you should live near lakes,” he whispered. “I could get lost in your eyes,” and he kissed my eyelids and I began to accept the truth of his love. Kissing my mouth gently, he breathed these words, “Your mouth is like a wildflower in bloom and you should live among wildflowers. I could kiss your mouth forever.” And then he ran his fingers up and down my arm while saying, “Your skin is as soft as the yellow rose of Texas and I will cherish the gift of touching it for the rest of my life. You were meant to be here, Aurora, here with me.”
I believed him. I did belong here… with him…with Jake Stein…Mrs. Jacob Stein. Here in the blistering heat and bats’ haven. Here where cedar trees pollinate all year and make allergy doctors wealthy. Here where mild salsa is an oxymoron. Because Jake was here. And we kissed and kissed and got lost in each other’s souls.
And then suddenly, he jumped up. “It’s time to get dressed for dinner, darlin’,” he said. “Now listen, Aurora honey, don’t pay any attention to anything my mother or sisters might say. Sometimes they can be a little narrow-minded and they get carried away. For them, the sun rises and sets on Texas. So don’t take it personally whatever they do or say or if you get the impression they think all New Yorkers are crass heathens.”

I took a shower, blew my hair dry and could almost feel horse’s hoofs smashing my face as a mighty river bore down with a sudden force carrying me away forever.

Sunspots follows the healing journey of a young woman thrown into the horror of losing a spouse. It is a love story of loss and redemption and the ghosts that haunt our lives and our houses. Skirting the genres of magical realism and romance, Sunspots, explores the existence of the afterlife and the paranormal. The story takes the reader on a path of high emotion as the narrator, Aurora, uncovers her husband Jake’s secret life and her own internal conflicts as she matures to self-awareness. The novel’s tone vacillates from irreverent humor to solemnity as Aurora relates her previous life with Jake and her present challenges. The title refers to the solar maximum which became the backdrop for Aurora’s conception when her hippy parents went to Canada to observe the Aurora Borealis. In name and in spirit, Aurora is connected to the observable and unobservable energy around us. With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home’s original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake’s true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.
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Genre – Contemporary romance, Magical Realism
Rating – PG-13
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


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