Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Blast from the Past

The Superior Jewel has a new video!

About the book:

I love Lake Superior.  Dark blue and cold year around, its shores consisting of rock instead of sand, it is not a very inviting lake. But its beauty is in its power, in its strength.  A ton of legends surround it.  As a kid one of the school trips we could choose at the end of the year was Duluth.  We would all pile on the bus and would be dumped at Camden Park which was really a park back then.  Today it is lined with hotels and shops and a board walk that runs along the shore which turns into a beautiful walking/biking trail and extends for about two miles.  Very touristy and if you are fortunate enough to be able to live in Duluth, you probably hate it. But back then it was simply a city park where you brought along a loaf of bread to feed the crazy sea gulls and if you were really lucky, you would get to see a freighter come in.  Camden Park is right next to the Duluth pier, where freighters sound out their horns, telling the lift bridge if they are “lakers” or “saltys”.  Then of course the lift bridge answers them back.  Very loud.  The kids love it.   But the huge ships pass so close that if you are standing on the pier it takes up your whole field of vision.  It’s almost as if you can reach out and touch them. 

When I started writing The Superior Jewel I actually couldn’t put it in Duluth although I do intimate it.  If you know anything about Duluth you would know it is nowhere near the Apostle Islands.  To actually tour the islands by boat you would have to travel to Bayfield, Wisconsin, which is only an hour and a half from Duluth by road but a whole lot farther by water.  Plus, there is no four hour dinner cruise that takes you in and around the islands, I made that up.  I wish there were though. We once, as a family, spent a weekend on Madeline Island, the biggest and only “inhabited” island in the group and that was only on the south side.  Although there were tons of hiking trails, the rest of the island was wild.  It was also very strange knowing that at a particular time in the night you would no longer have access to the mainland.  All ferries stopped running thereby cutting us off from the rest of civilization.  I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

It was fun creating my characters and giving them the same love for the lake and the Apostle Islands as I have.  Even though I do not spend a lot of time explaining them I think you can still feel that passion in the story.  I hope you give it a try. 

To entice you a little more, here is an excerpt:

“Come on, Cheyenne. Please? This table is fine.” Ryan tried to whisper the words, incredibly embarrassed the waiter stood right behind him with a frown, basically tapping his foot. He hadn’t had the time or the courage to look and find Jansen Branwyth. All he knew was Jansen did not grace any of the tables closest to this one and so this was the best table in the house as far as he was concerned.

“No! I want one closer to the windows.” She huffed, stomping her small foot and pointing farther into the large space.

“But, Cheyenne, you’ve made it clear you don’t even like Lake Superior. Why do you suddenly have to sit near a window?” Although Ryan would not have minded in the least. But as he looked in the direction she’d been pointing, his heart began to race. Shit. There he fucking sat—at a table totally alone and watching them. Well, watching Cheyenne, which had to be the reason she wanted to sit over there. Could this night get any worse?

“I am sorry, ma’am”—the waiter fidgeted nervously—“but this is the table assigned to you and your guest. Please accept my sincere apologies if this table is not to your expectations.”

“No,” Ryan pleaded. “This table is fine. Thank you.” He turned again to Cheyenne. “Please, Cheyenne. Let’s just get through this night, okay?” He took the chair the waiter held for her and told her with his eyes to sit down.

She stood for a moment glaring at him, then walked to a chair on the other side of the table, most likely so she would face Jansen. She waited for Ryan to come around to seat her. Ryan let out a breath, simply grateful she gave in. Besides, better she face Jansen, because he sure as hell didn’t want to. His stomach was still doing little flips every time he thought about the man. He had a very real longing to talk with Jansen some more. But he also had that same desire welling up inside him he’d had the first time they’d met. And those strong feelings were extremely confusing and frightening. However, right now he was more embarrassed of those feelings than anything else.
He walked over to the chair and pulled it out for Cheyenne. She slowly and artfully sat, pulling on her too-tight dress and making a show of placing the napkin in her lap.

She looked up at Ryan with murder in her eyes. “Fine,” she said under her breath, “but you owe me.”

Ryan gave her a smile, knowing it came out more like a grimace. He made his way to the chair he’d originally held for her, sat, and looked up at the waiter. “Scotch and soda—easy on the soda—please?”

The waiter smiled a warm grateful smile at Ryan. “Of course, sir.” Then he turned toward Cheyenne, the smile disappearing, returning to nervousness again. “And for the ma’am?”

Cheyenne shot the waiter a glare. “Quit hovering! Bring me a cosmo.”

Ryan touched the waiter’s arm when he turned back to Ryan. “Thank you.”

The waiter beamed. “Please, sir, call me Alfred.” He bowed slightly and left.

“What now, Ryan? You flirting with the wait staff?” She laughed.

Ryan blushed hard yet again. Crap. Flirting? Maybe, but not with the wait staff. However, he definitely had been flirting with a man. One Mr. Jansen Branwyth to be specific. He knew she had no clue how close to the truth she had come but it still made him dizzy…and pissed. His drink could not get here soon enough.

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