a sneak peek of my book
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
If you know me at all, you've been hearing about this book that I'm writing for quite some time now. A lot of my friends, as well as my neighbors - who have seen me out in the courtyard with my computer countless times, always "working on my book" - have expressed curiosity about this book that I'm writing and shown interest in reading it. A very select few have actually read it (or excerpts of it). It's going to be a while longer yet before the book is available in print, so I thought I would at least give you a little sneak peek in the meantime, so that you have an idea of what this book is about that I keep speaking of. Here's what the story is about: two parallel story lines with two women each, chapters alternating between 2014 California (Alex and Sage) and 1862 rural Ohio (Lizzy and Claudia). In the 2014 timeframe, Sage works as a massage therapist and Reiki Master. Alex has been seeing Sage's colleague Chris and ends up on Sage's table one day when she's tweaked her neck and Chris is out of town. The excerpt is of their first encounter. In 1862, Claudia, Lizzy's cousin several times removed, is brought to live on Lizzy's family's farm after undergoing severe personal trauma. Lizzy does her best to welcome her in and help her feel at ease. Still living at home at the age of 20 and showing no interest whatsoever in marrying, Lizzy basically runs the family household, as her mother struggles with a litany of chronic ailments that keep her confined to her bedroom the majority of the time. Claudia, two years Lizzy's junior, shares Lizzy's bedroom and becomes a great help to her on the farm. Excerpts below: 2014 California (Alex & Sage)
Sage checked her schedule when she arrived at the office. She had several of her regulars that day, as well as a couple of names she didn’t recognize. Her colleague, Chris, was out of town for two weeks, and some of his clients were seeing Sage in his absence. That was one of the benefits of working in a group practice: when any one of the four massage therapists was out of the office, someone else was still always available to see their clients if they wanted or needed to come in.
Alex Fischer’s name stood out on Sage’s schedule. She wasn’t sure why the name caught her attention in particular, but, for whatever reason, she felt a curiosity about who this person might be. Was Alex a man or a woman? What did it matter? Sage took great care of all of her clients, male or female, young or old, from all walks of life, and she would take excellent care of Chris’ client Alex, just the same as she did with everyone else who walked through her door.
After finishing up with Patty, one of her regulars who had been coming in every other week for the past six years, Sage straightened out the treatment room, sprayed the air with essential oils to clear the energy, as she always did between clients, and lit a new tea light in the small glass votive she kept by her wooden Buddha statue. She walked out to the waiting room to greet Alex Fischer, who was next on her schedule. A woman sat on the sofa, absorbed in a magazine, her face partially concealed by the bill of the cadet hat she was wearing. Sage spoke her name as a question: Alex? The woman lifted her head to reveal a pair of the most stunning blue eyes that Sage had ever come face to face with. She was taken aback for a brief moment as an unexpected sensation of tingling energy surged trough her, but she quickly regained her composure and maintained her professionalism. She led Alex back to the treatment room and asked about her main areas of concern and any major health issues she should know about, before instructing her to get settled on the treatment table while she left the room.
Sage had worked on some very attractive people over the years, but she kept her boundaries always very firmly in place and looked at the bodies on her table strictly through the eyes of a healing practitioner. She could objectively note that a person was good-looking, absolutely, but it did not rattle or stir her. All the more did it surprise her when she realized that she felt a little nervous about going back into the treatment room, where she knew Alex would be lying naked beneath the sheets. Sage stepped into the bathroom, washed her hands, dabbed a few drops of lavender oil on her wrists and behind her ears to calm her nerves, looked herself squarely in the eyes in the mirror above the sink, and said out loud to herself in a quiet but commanding voice: You can do this, Sage. You’re a professional. With that, she took a deep breath, gave herself a last quick admonishing glance in the mirror, and made her way back to her treatment room, where she knew Alex would be ready and waiting. She took one more deep breath before she knocked on the door and entered.
1862 Ohio, on the farm (Lizzy & Claudia)
Returning to the kitchen with Mrs. Harrington’s dinner tray, Claudia’s eyes rested on Lizzy’s figure at the kitchen sink. A feeling of warmth welled up inside her, as she paused in the doorway for a moment, quietly observing Lizzy work. Lizzy’s silky, smooth dark hair was wrapped in a low bun at the nape of her neck, small wispy strands of it defiantly escaping the confines of the bun. Claudia smiled, thinking of how well this visual represented Lizzy’s character. Lizzy’s wild spirit could never be fully tamed, let alone restrained. The rebellious part of her would always seek to escape the limitations of convention. Oh, Lizzy was not a conventional girl, that was for certain. Claudia admired Lizzy for her courage and her aspirations, and, simultaneously, she was intimidated by these qualities. Lizzy was not afraid to speak her mind, even if it drew attention to her and stirred things up. Claudia was much more comfortable keeping quiet and blending in, following the rules and doing what was expected of her, so as not to stand out any more than necessary.
Claudia caught her mind having drifted far away. She shook off the thoughts and crossed the room to set the tray down next to Lizzy. Obviously absorbed in her own thoughts, Lizzy thanked Claudia, but did not lift her head from her work. Claudia’s gaze returned to Lizzy’s neck, and she was struck by the delicateness of her features in such close proximity. She felt an inexplicable desire to reach out and tenderly caress Lizzy’s skin; maybe tuck one of those errant hair strands behind her ear. The thought caught Claudia off guard. What surprised her even more was her body’s response to it: her heart was beating fast, her cheeks felt flushed, and she felt a tingling, warm sensation spread through her torso, right down to her core. There was an intimacy to this moment she was sure she ought not be feeling. Deeply ashamed and thoroughly confused as to what was happening, Claudia mumbled something about going to check on the little ones and excused herself from the kitchen. Thoughts?
I'd love to hear any thoughts this reading stirs for you. Does it peek your curiosity to read more? It's been rewarding and beautiful to see Sage & Alex and Lizzy & Claudia come to life on the pages, as well as the secondary characters, many of whom I've fallen in love with. They've become a significant part of my life, as dear friends would. The story certainly has much personal inspiration woven into it, but the characters are fictional and have a life of their very own. I can't tell you how many times I've written a passage and marveled at how it unfolded. I loved those surprises. There is a passage further along in the book with Lizzy's brother, James, for instance, that touched me deeply as I wrote it. I did not anticipate it turning out as it did. There have been surprises at every turn, and it's been a wondrous experience that's still ongoing, as I polish up the characters and the scenes during more edits and re-writes. I look forward to sharing more once the time comes! Thank you humbly for reading. 🙏🏼 So much love. Angie K. 💗