Title: Echoes of Love
Author: N. Christine Samuelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction with romantic elements
What if the mysteries of your life began before you were born, and reach into your future? Like echoes reverberating from lifetimes ago controlling their present lives and futures, a man and woman are haunted by their pasts. What makes their lives worth living? How do they move forward after losses so devastating, they believe they'll never love again?
They try to unravel their life's mysteries using mystical, spiritual and past life clues of murder, abandonment, love, family, emotional pain and guilt. Their seemingly unresolvable conflicts span geography and time, from the tangible beauty of the American West through an elusive journey echoing over hundreds of years and two continents. Even with best intentions, nothing is guaranteed except one thing, and only they can discover it.
In the dead of winter, the earth and sky blended into one white, desolate scene, yet Carson saw a purity in it, a raw beauty. She thought the place wore death well even though she’d gone there in search of life; the life she was meant to live.
Each footstep she took onto the rickety wooden dock made it creak like old bones. Beyond the frozen lake, a towering mountain range clawed at the sky as if trying to escape. Neither had any chance of fleeing—the mountains stuck to the land, and Carson to the consequences of her choices.
Time seemed suspended there, the space so quiet Carson almost heard echoes, muted and far-off, like grieving voices of the past seeking a future. Breathing deep, she hoped to absorb the air’s ancient wisdom of the cycles of life, death and rebirth to start her life anew, just as this land would be reborn in spring. She shouted questions into the crackling silence but heard only the echoes of her own voice as it might’ve sounded lifetimes ago. They hinted of past mistakes, errors in judgment, weaknesses and misunderstandings, loss and regrets. They held her spirit in a death-grip so unrelenting that she knew in this place she could slip from the world as if she’d never existed at all.
The sensation of fading from life jolted Carson out of waking. Shocked and wondering what the lucid dream or fear or break in her psyche meant, she had an alarming thought: The experience could’ve been a warning. Or worse, it might be a foretelling of my future. The eerie thing was she had an appointment later that day—a meeting not of her choosing—with someone who might literally see into her future.
* * *
Love relationships had always been the biggest thorn in Cody’s side, a barb in his life. Every time he rubbed against love, the thorn festered, riling him and upsetting his world. His first inclination had always been to remove the thorn, but that was too painful because he’d have to recall the reasons it got there to begin with, then resolve them. Easier to leave it in, even though it was a constant reminder of how love had ravaged his life. The solution was simple—he’d never rub up on love again.
But in his sleep one night, Cody’s heart moved in a way he didn’t recognize. He dreamed of a woman he’d never met. Inside a mist, he stood across from her but couldn’t see her face, yet he loved her like he’d known her forever. He reached out for her, but she vanished. Moving closer and reaching again, she disappeared. He wanted desperately to bring her into his arms, yet with every attempt she’d slip right through his hands, evaporating at his touch.
Frustration led to anger, and he wondered what kind of cruel Fate or God would give him a woman to love, would remove that thorn in his side to make him capable of love again, only to take her from his grasp. In the silence before waking, he heard: ‘No one took her, and she’s not beyond your grasp. You let her go.’ Waking now, he challenged the message and spoke into the stormy morning. “How can I let go of something I don’t have? I loved her but when I reached for her, she slipped from the world as if she never existed at all.”
Cody asked whatever the source of this dream, “Why torture me with a retelling of the same old story?” He got out from under the warm covers, walked to the door and opened it to watch the sunrise. A blast of cold, biting air hit him and cleansed his mind of all thoughts except one: What if the dream wasn’t a retelling? What if it was a foretelling? Nothing much in his work scared him, but nothing scared him more than that thought.
* * *
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The August day in Santa Fe was scorching, but the air was so dry and clear that when Carson looked into the sky, she could see through time. The blue was beyond earthly hues as she gazed into space, vast and unfathomable, imagining what secrets of life the universe held, wondering what it knew of her’s. She envisioned a new life in a new place, but there was always the possibility of a bad choice made for the wrong reasons.
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If money were no object, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
Scotland, Wales, the Yorkshire moors in northern UK—Never been, and want to see the heather moors of Wuthering Heights, the rocky cliffs and coastlines, medieval towns, the kilts and bagpipes and castles galore. (I live in the coastal south, so I have sun and beach year-round!)
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
I love the renewal of life after the dead of winter. Spring means hope, time to begin again with the promise of the fulfillment of dreams. The earth blooms with birth and vibrant color. The air is warm and soft, the heart sheds its dreary wintry gray for golden happiness and hope.
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Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
N. Christine Samuelson writes about the eternal bonds of love that transform lives and transcend death. Her novels reflect the challenges, fears and conflicts, tragedies and victories that manifest through time and powerful connections of love. Her storylines are realistic but laced with a touch of mysticism, mystery and suspense.
From living in 14 cities in 10 states with years of formal and self-taught education, she's acquired a wealth of personal, professional, and life experiences which inspire the diverse settings, characters, and authentic storylines of her novels written in a unique voice.
Currently living in coastal South Carolina, the sea is a constant source of inspiration and she hopes readers of her books will be inspired to look at life and love through a different lens, expand their horizons, and enrich their lives.
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