Title: ECHOES OF LOVE
Author: N. Christine Samuelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Supernatural 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 directing their futures, Carson and Cody 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?
Carson, an artist from Santa Fe moves to Montana to begin a new life. But an unexpected encounter brings her into conflict with Cody, an architect and ranch manager from Wyoming. The immediate power and beauty of their connection is as spectacular as the landscapes they walk through, but just as fated, unpredictable and complex.
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.
Apple Books (itunes): https://books.apple.com/us/book/echoes-of-love/id1443546855
Barnes/Noble (Nook): www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1129748289
Share a holiday family tradition:
With this book set in the western US, I’ll describe a tradition from New Mexico that we’ve brought to our new location in SC. On Christmas Eve we light ‘luminarias’ – also called “farolitos” in Santa Fe. They are small paper bags with sand or dirt in the bottom, enough to hold steady a small lighted candle. We line them up our driveway and sidewalks. They cast a beautiful, warm glow into the night. The tradition dates back to 1590 in New Mexico when they lit small bonfires to guide scouts back to camp. Since then and into the 1800’s, the bonfires were used on dark dirt roads and routes on Christmas Eve to guide neighbors to each other’s houses and to the local church to celebrate the sacred night.
But with the inventions of paper bags and candles, today we use these instead of bonfires (for safety’s sake), and where I live in coastal SC we use sand instead of desert dirt. But the tradition provides the same warm feeling—saying you are welcome to our home on this glorious night.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
Love a wintry holiday? Echoes of Love, while having short scenes through the holidays in Montana & Wyoming, is filled with a winter landscape that will give a heartwarming story to those who want a chilly, winter feel for their holiday reading. There’s plenty of snow, white-capped forests and mountains, and frozen lakes. The setting sometimes parallels, and other times contrasts the relationship of the would-be lovers as they make their way through deep, warm emotion during the cold, stark reality of their life paths. As the landscape changes from summer to fall to winter, so does their journey within themselves and with each other. The story reflects the spirit of the seasons to bring hope and light in the way spring comes after winter, bringing life after death. It uplifts the spirit as only the holiday season can.
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Runs December 1 – 31.
Drawing will be held on January 3, 2020.
Christine Samuelson has been a lifelong writer in many professional and personal capacities, but now writes the kinds of stories she loves—about life and love’s challenges, tragedies and victories. Her overall themes deal with the eternal bonds of love that transform lives and transcend time. Her characters and plotlines are grounded in reality but have a touch of mysticism and mystery. Writing is the way she shares the tragic, the magic, the joys and triumphs of everyday life. She hopes readers of her books will be inspired to look at life and love through a different lens and realize that no matter your circumstances, we all share similar stories in our lives and our hearts.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/nchristinesamuelsonauthor/
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/N.-Christine-Samuelson/e/B07B8VT9BB