Light Upon the Darkness by @stacey_wilk is a Love and Romance Festival pick #womensfiction #giveaway
Title: Light Upon the Darkness
Author: Stacey Wilk
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Liv Scirocco has screwed up again. Her mistakes hurl her back home in the middle of the night and to the protection of her sisters. She must focus on creating a better life this time, but the only man she’s ever loved, the father of her deceased child, has returned and she can’t avoid him. She wants to, though, because being near Hudson could mean her final unraveling.
Hudson Lozado’s recent health scare made him question his life choices. He returns to his childhood beach town where the ocean can help him heal and find new direction. Instead, he found the woman who blames him for their son’s death. The only woman he’s ever loved.
But soul mates won’t be denied, and Liv and Hudson realize that only a lie can destroy their connection. The baby they thought died at birth fifteen years ago might not be dead after all. Now two damaged souls will need to trust they have the strength to bring their worst nightmare to light and discover the truth or drown in the dark undercurrent of tragedy.
The darkness was a girl’s best friend. Liv Scirocco stumbled off the train at the Water Course station. The small stone building that sold tickets was deserted this time of night. Even the commuter lot was void of cars except for the solitary one parked under the light.
Winter made a shore town more of a ghost town. She huddled deeper into her coat, adjusted her duffel bag on her shoulder, and began the walk to her sister’s house. Liv’s relationship with winter wasn’t much better than her relationship with men. The shore was meant for the long vibrant days of summer and not the fierce, cold winter wind that whipped off the ocean and snapped at her exposed skin as if it were an angry German shepherd.
No one knew she was coming. She hadn’t bothered to call first. She hadn’t even bothered to change out of her tulle skirt before throwing her belongings into her bag and running for the train. Every time she swayed, the sickening sweet smell of raspberry sorbet and gin drifted under her nose. She tried to tug her coat over the spill stains, but the wool bounced back in defiance.
“Tonight was not one of your finer moments,” she mumbled to herself as she made her way through town.
She didn’t have the money for a driving service, and hadn’t wanted to ask anyone to pick her up. But she had to get out of her crappy apartment. In the morning, her landlord would pack up her things and change the locks. Joke was on him. Everything she owned was in the duffel. The most important item being her camera.
The streets were narrow. Dirt-covered snow, plowed to make room for parked cars, spilled onto the sidewalks in spots like frozen cotton balls. She had to walk in the street a few times to avoid the snow.
She also avoided Cedar Street on her way to Mack’s. She could go entire visits home without ever stepping near that road. Too many bad memories lay in wait like a stalker hoping to catch her off guard. But that didn’t mean she didn’t think about him. Hudson was woven into every thought. She only wished she could stop her mind’s torturous wandering but had never figured out how.
Mack’s adorable bungalow came into view. The white clapboards would glisten against the sunrise in a few hours. The light-blue shutters and flower boxes, empty now, gave the house a sweet, homey vibe. The waves crashed on the shore in a peaceful lullaby. If her life had been different, she could’ve seen herself in a house much like this one, filled with family and love. That had been the dream once.
A beat-up pickup truck sat in front of the house. She let out a long breath. Phoenix was at home. Phoenix loved her sister and her nephews, who would also be asleep now. He held a good position with the town fire department and owned a construction business with his brother Hawk, but she didn’t understand why Mack liked that rough side of him that reminded her of sandpaper on skin.
She should’ve called first. What was she thinking showing up at her sister’s house so late and disturbing them? They were a happy family and didn’t need her problems. Phoenix was still mad at her, anyway. She had caused a scene at their summer party, another one of her less than finer moments. She had been jealous of her sister, not because she didn’t want Mack to be happy. All she wanted was for her sisters to have a good life. But watching Phoenix with her nephews, loving them and taking care of them even though they weren’t his, had only made her heart cry out for the baby she and Hud had lost. No matter how much time went by, the pain didn’t go away.
She turned on her heel and marched away. At the corner, she stopped. Tears threatened to spill. She swatted at her face. She had nowhere else to go. She had no job, no place to live, and was just about out of money.
With her broken pride, she forced herself up the front walk and rang the bell. The front rooms remained dark. Maybe no one heard. She dug her phone out of her pocket to send a text to Mack.
The porch light came on, and the door swung open. Phoenix glared at her in his white t-shirt and sweat pants. His hair stuck up in varying directions, and his jaw was dusted with beard growth. “What are you doing here?”
“Hey. I’m…I…” Her lip trembled. She tried to gulp down air to stop herself from breaking down.
“Are you drunk?” He narrowed his eyes.
She could only manage to shake her head. She had been drinking tonight at her friend’s party, but any effects of the alcohol were long gone. She had sobered up pretty quickly when she went and dumped a full punch bowl on her ex.
“Phoenix, who is it?” Mack’s voice whispered from somewhere inside the house.
She let out a long breath. She needed her sister. Phoenix held the door open wider.
“Mack.” That one word was all it took. The tears spilled uncontrollably. She covered her face with her hands and broke.
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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
Life can often be challenging. I love writing romance because I can give women a chance to fall in love and find an escape from whatever they need a break from.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
If you want romance, don’t be afraid to ask for it. And if you want to be the one who does the romancing, my tip is do whatever brings you and your partner joy. Romance is different for everyone. Someone might view being romantic as covering your sleeping partner with a blanket. Someone else might view romance as candlelight, a bubble bath, soft music, and lots of touching all in one night. Whatever you like to do, make time for it. Make it a priority. Maybe even read a romance novel together. Wink!
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Runs February 1 – 28, 2021.
Drawing will be held on March 1, 2021.
From an early age, Stacey Wilk told tales as a way to escape. At six she wrote short stories in composition notebooks, at twelve she wrote a novel on a typewriter, in high school biology she wrote rock star romances in her binder instead of paying attention.
But it wasn’t until many years later, inspired by her children and a looming birthday, that she finally took her story-telling seriously. And published her first novel in 2013. Since then, she’s gone on to publish fourteen more so women everywhere could fall in love and find an escape of their own.
She isn’t done telling stories. Not by a long shot. If you want to read her emotional and honest books about family, romance, and second chances, visit her at www.staceywilk.com
To see what she writes next, follow her Facebook group for her amazing readers – Stacey’s Novel Family https://bit.ly/2FK8Lae
Or join her newsletter - https://bit.ly/2A0jEFk
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Facebook Reader Group. - Stacey’s Novel Family https://bit.ly/2FK8Lae
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