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September’s Song by Ryan Jo Summers is a Wintertime Reading Event pick #womensfiction #romance #militaryromance #giveaway



Title: September’s Song

 

Author: Ryan Jo Summers

 

Genre: Woman’s Fiction    subgenres: romance, military romance

 

Book Blurb:

 

Ivey London was told her military husband died on a mission overseas. She buried him as a war hero and tried to move on with her life by raising their young son, dealing with her vengeful brother, while coping with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease and a handsome doctor’s slow burn interest in her. Five years go by and one day she learns of a secret underground chamber where special soldiers are imprisoned to recover. Further, one amnesiac soldier managed to escape. When her son begins to display unusual behaviors, she goes to investigate. All evidence points to finding her late husband. If it is him, back from the dead, Ivey refuses to give him up again.

 

Keegan London awoke in an underground hospital cell with no memories. Fleeing, he finds himself in a strange, unknown world, with no one to turn to. Until he finds a friendly Priest who runs a homeless shelter, and he stumbles across the woman who claims to be his wife. While she can fill some gaps in his lost memories, she cannot explain his curious abilities. Pursued by someone determined to get him back, Keegan has few options but to trust the woman who makes his heart fire like a cannon. Ivey has dibs on him, but first they must uncover who—and what--Keegan really is before they can recover what they had.

 

Excerpt:

 

Prologue

 

He jerked awake, as though someone had called his name. Except he didn't hear anyone. Dragging in a ragged breath, he blinked against the bright light. His pulse races.  What was happening. Silence greeted him. He was alone. Squinting a couple more times, he realized the blinding light was just a dim glow from the corner.

 

He sucked in a few deep, calming breaths, slowly taking stock. He was weak. Even without attempting to rise, the room was unsteady and tilting. Beyond that, he seemed to have all the required appendages. He wore a gray T-shirt and solid green boxers.

 

Step two; who was he? What woke him up? Where was he?

 

Searching through the darkness in his mind, he found nothing. No words, no names, no clues, and no faces. It was as dark and empty inside his mind as it was inside the room. A couple of scattered gray images floated through like eerie ghosts, unidentifiable and elusive.

 

He tried shaking his head, to force the answers to release, but gave up as the action hurt. Was he in a hospital? He didn't feel right, whatever right might feel like. Instinctively, he knew this wasn't right. Further searching revealed an IV tube secured to his arm. He tugged it free. Clear liquid steadily dropped to the floor.

 

Pushing past the pain and weakness, he brought himself to the edge of the bed. He thoughtfully fingered the light blanket. His room was four solid, dark grey walls, and one brown steel door with a tiny security window in the center. No pictures lined the walls. No chairs. A single sink sat lonely in the corner. Wherever he was, it didn't look like he received many visitors. And it seemed like he had been here for a while. Apparently the IV had been used to keep him alive and nourished.

 

Stealing himself, determined to find answers, he wobbled unsteadily to the shelf beside the stainless-steel sink, bracing himself along the wall for support. A dark green canvas duffel bag sat on top, and he brought it down. He pulled the zipper open, wincing at the loud noise in the stillness of the room.

 

Two black T-shirts, black sweatpants, socks, and a wallet. Opening the wallet, he felt a cold splash of disappointment. Inside was $2, a folded-over photo of a young smiling couple and an identification card expiring in 2014 belonging to Keegan Zachary London. It was the same guy as in the photo with a pretty brunette woman. It described him as 6 foot two, with dark brown hair, and brown eyes. There was an address listed for the state of Illinois.

 

Was he this London guy? Looking around, he found no mirror in the room. Was he even in Illinois? He touched his face, exploring the shape and contours. Was it him in the picture? He felt the moderate growth of a stubbly beard and a couple inches of hair growth. He traced his jawbone, nose, cheeks, and eyebrows. Nothing felt familiar. He needed to find out what was going on and he was positive that wasn't going to happen here. A pair of mud-stained boots sat under the sink and once he was dressed, he slipped them on. They fit well. At least they were these were his clothes everything fit. Was he Keegan Zachary London?

 

He tried the door. He wasn't surprised to find it locked, nor was he worried. He was a prisoner. He supposed he should be feeling a sense of panic, instead he was more curious to know who held him. Looking around he sought another means of escape. Looking up he studied the ceiling. In the corner was an air duct. With no chair to reach, it would be tricky, but he didn't hesitate. Feeling strength surging through him, he mentally measured the steps and moves required. He'd found his escape route.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 


 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

“September’s Song” was a problem child from the very start. The inspiration for this book came from a photo (aren’t many stories rooted in a picture? Mine tend to be.) A friend had emailed me a series of loosely connected pictures many years ago. There was one photo, showing the back view of a young boy offering a Styrofoam box to a man huddled against the cold. It appeared the man might be a homeless vet, and he seemed genuinely puzzled why the boy was offering him the box. For reasons unknown, that photo resonated with me, and I buried it in the back of my mind.

 

My hobby is word find puzzles. Years later I was working a word-find puzzle themed Sinatra song. There was one called “September Song”.  I remembered the photo of the boy and man and inspiration struck. The very rough bones of the story came to be, and I modified the name of the story to be “September’s Song”.

 

My research led me down so many rabbit holes, and much of what I learned I never used. I had about three original ideas of where I wanted the story to go, what it should be. The characters would have not none of it. I would sit down to write, and it was like opening a gift each time; and never knowing what to expect. I just knew I wanted the two main protagonists, Ivey and Keegan London, to be on such emotional roller-coasters. Even before they meet again, they are emotionally challenged. Ivey is a single mom, dealing with so much it’s impossible not to feel sorry for her. Keegan was more of a challenge because he started with an amnesiac blank slate and had to build from there, discovery by discovery.

 

My plotter personality of writing went out the window. I followed no outline. I wrote, usually without having a clue where I was going. I ended up in so many corners. I was almost through writing the story before I even knew what genre to call it! Characters came and went, without much input from me. The one character I fell in love with—besides the hero! —was Father Patrick. Everyone needs a Father Patrick in their life! This guy is incredible. It’s questionable whether Ivey and Keegan would not have achieved what they did without this wily priest.

 

It took about three years to finish the story that defied me at every stage. US Review of Books gave it a Silver Seal of Recommendation, InD’tale Magazine gave it a 4 ½ out of 5-star review and it was a finalist for the 2021 RONE award.

 

Like the problem child who frustrated their parents and end up graduating Valedictorian, I could not be prouder of how “September’s Song” turned out. I decided to self-publish it on my 48th birthday as a present to myself.

 

Giveaway – 

 

Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs January 23 – January 29, 2024.

 

Winner will be drawn on January 30, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Ryan Jo Summers writes from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, usually with a couple of dogs at her feet and at least one cat spread out over her desk. She is a sucker for homeless and traumatized fur-babies. She also operates a pet sitting service.

 

 Her writing has appeared in trade journals and regional and national magazines. She has numerous novels, novellas, and anthology contributions all published in the romance genre and assorted subgenres. Some have placed well in national writing contests.

 

Aside from writing and pet sitting, Ryan Jo likes to work in her garden, gather with family and friends, and cook. paint, and read. She enjoys a good game of chess, or a challenging word find puzzle and watching fish swim in an aquarium or the chickens scratch in the yard.

 

Social Media Links:

 

2 Comments


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
Jan 29

I like reading holiday romances during winter.

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jan 24

Thank you, Ryan Jo, for sharing your book in our Wintertime Reading Bookish Event!

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