I'm honored to be invited to your blog, Lindsay. And the timing is perfect. My second book with The Wild Rose Press is being released Friday, the 13th. Superstitious, anyone?
I define CIRCLE OF LOVE by an in-between rating which I call "sweetly sensual."
It is a story about ordinary people in a rural area in Missouri and the city of Memphis, Tennessee, and a budding love that finally reaches full bloom.
Joanna returns to a small Missouri town for her high school reunion and comes face to face with Pete, the love of her life. A college professor in Memphis, she has never married and Pete, a cotton farmer, is now a widower with five children. Their attraction is as strong as it was on graduation night when Pete was leaving for boot camp. He never knew that Joanna had his child and gave her up for adoption. And Joanna doesn't know that her baby girl, Beth, is now married and has begun a search for her birth parents. Many obstacles block their path to happiness--Pete's resentful daughters, Joanna's invalid mother, small-town gossip--but nothing as great as the secret Joanna knows she can never share.
Joanna is spending the weekend at Pete's farm. His elder daughter has stopped by the evening she arrives and caught them making love in the pool. The following morning his younger daughter and her mentally challenged little girl stop on their way to Mass. Joanna is still in bed but she overhears the conversation the girl has with her dad.
The voices got louder as Pete led the way down the hall to the kitchen. "I was just making waffles. Would you--"
"Yes, Robin, I--"
She heard LaWanda's strident tone as she interrupted Pete's words. "Dad, can we talk?"
This was no social call, Joanna quickly surmised. But what to do? Make her presence known as soon as possible, she decided. She grabbed her clothes from the chair and made a hasty retreat to the bathroom to dress and repair her makeup.
In seconds, Joanna was back in the bedroom, where she could hear the conversation which had grown more heated.
"…but I just couldn't believe you would do this to our mother." LaWanda's voice sounded near tears.
"This has nothing to do with your mother. Joanna and I--" Pete began but his daughter cut off his protest.
"Really, Dad, what I find hardest of all to take is your bringing that…woman here to sleep in our mother's bed. How could you?"
She cringed as Pete thundered, "For your information, Joanna has never slept in your mother's bed. Though it is no longer her bed anyway. And let me remind you that both you and your sister have barged in here uninvited and unannounced!"
"Since when do we have to be invited to come to our mother's house?" LaWanda choked out the words and Joanna felt her pain.
"LaWanda, let me repeat." Pete spoke in a measured tone. "This is no longer your mother's house. Your mother is dead. Has been for over three years now."
LaWanda's voice caught on a sob and Joanna put her hand over her mouth, torn between rushing to reassure her and sobbing herself. Finally the girl said in a subdued voice, "I never thought you'd act like this, Daddy. I thought you loved our mother."
Now she wanted to rush to Pete's side and reassure his daughter that he did but Pete's next words proved that he was able to defend himself against the unjust accusation.
"My God, LaWanda," Pete exploded. "I did love your mother, do love her. At least, I love her memory. But I'm not married to a memory. I'm human. And I have needs--physical and emotional needs--that a dead woman can't satisfy."
"Oh, Daddy, how can you even think about sleeping with anyone else…especially a woman like Joanna Flemming?"
Joanna clenched her fists. Now she'd like to shake the girl and she just might do that if Pete didn't do it for her.
CIRCLE OF LOVE is available March 13 at www.thewildrosepress.com
In print and E-book.
Linda Swift has had over one hundred poems, articles, and short stories appear in a variety of publications and a play produced on WPSD-TV, an NBC affiliate and has won numerous awards for her work. She has also had a novel and novella published by Kensington which are still available on Amazon. Her first E-book was released by The Wild Rose Press in December, 2008 and has received five top rated reviews. She has two books, a contemporary an historical, to be released by Awe-Struck, an imprint of Mundania Publishing later this year. Linda and her husband live in Florida and Kentucky, and are the parents of a son and daughter who live in Nashville, Tennessee.
In her other life, Linda went to school forever and was a psychometrist, counselor, and teacher of educationally challenged children. She began writing at ten, first poems, then short stories but her dream has always to write novels.