Friday, April 26, 2013

Want - #AtoZChallenge

“The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.”

—Eudora Welty


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YA / Contemporary Romance

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?



The following exchange happens between 17-year-old Juli and her new 27-year-old piano teacher, Isaac. The two have been squaring off as she tries to figure him out, but so far, he’s done nothing but shut her down. Here, we begin to see him crack.


Morning brings more rain. Isaac and I discuss my strengths—dexterity and technique—as well as my shortcomings—interpretation and emotion.
“It’s probably because you’re used to Uncle Robert, but, Julianne, you need to loosen up. Mechanics will only take you so far. The Conservatory panel wants to see youyour interpretation of the piece. These composers are all dead. They’re not gonna come after you for tweaking their stuff.”
The only composer whose work I can come close to making my own is Rachmaninoff. I tell Isaac this. I watch as he transforms from a full-grown adult into a kid on Christmas morning.
All in one breath, he says, “Okay, see? We can work with this. We can incorporate some of his pieces into your audition. What are your favorite ones? Could do the second or third symphonies. Probably not the Prelude in C Sharp Minor, it’s overplayed. Along with the Paganini. But the Etudes-Tableau or the Moments Musicaux.”
“Jeez, who plugged you in?”
He paces back and forth like a maniac, then stops abruptly and swivels to face me.
“‘Without color it is dead.’”
“‘So you make music live. Without color it is dead.’ Why didn’t I think of this before? Rachmaninoff was talking about interpreting and performing other composers’ works. Said he could approach their stuff better because he was a composer too and knew the composer’s mind. ‘You can make contact with their imaginations, knowing something of their problems and ideals. You can give their works color. That is the most important thing for me in my interpretations, color.’”
“And you’re going to compose. Your interpretations lack color, so invent some. If I can’t make you feel other composers’ works, we’ll see if you can feel your own.”
“Um, okay.”
“By tomorrow.”
“Are you kidding me?”
That’s so unfair.
“Nope. Look, I know you spend all hours of the day and night out here. Put that time to good use—”
“Whoa, wait. How do you know how much I’m in here?”
“Have to drive by your house to get just about anywhere. Nine times out of ten, your light is on.”
“Creeper much?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I’m usually late getting in from the symphony rehearsals, and I do have a life.”
Yes, a life you won’t tell me anything about.
“Don’t change the subject. There any Rachmaninoff you can play right now?”
“I’m a little rusty, but I can give it a shot.” I take a deep breath.
This is my moment to impress him. If I do, maybe he’ll let me in.
I begin the Etude-Tableau no. 2 in C. It’s a relatively quiet piece, but technically difficult. For the next few minutes I’m lost. I will my left hand to do what it’s supposed to. When I finish, I hear the clock tick like a metronome. I sing a little ditty in my head, “Tick tock, goes the clock. Tick tock, tick tock …” and I wait for his judgment like a gladiator in the ring, wondering if my performance gets me a thumbs up or down; live or die; mercy or none.
A wicked blush burns my ears when I look up just the tiniest bit. He hasn’t moved. At all. I have no idea what this means. “Well?”
Arms crossed, eyes narrowed, he looks like he wants to kill someone. Slow as molasses, he draws up his mouth on one side into a sexy smile.
“Well,” he drawls, “you’ve been holding out on me.”


Purchase Links:

Inkspell Publishing (paperback and digital)
Page & Palette (independent bookstore – paperback)
Powell’s (independent bookstore - paperback)
Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook)
Amazon (paperback and Kindle)
Book Depository (paperback)
Kobo (digital)
All Romance eBooks (digital)
Bookworld – Australia (digital and paperback)
Angus & Robertson – Australia (digital and paperback)

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