Guys, just a heads up that my Painted Love was finally out from the foggy pre-order status and into the sun!
To celebrate, here’s the first chapter. I hope you’ll like it enough to read the entire story. It’s only 99 cents, and FREE if you are KU.
London, October 31st
The end was coming.
Florence Harper closed her mobile phone and put it back into her purse.
In the dark late afternoon, a group of underdressed young witches strolled by the bench she sat on. Drunk already, judging by the disarticulate chuckles and screams. She’d never cared for any such thing. Never had time for it.
The muddy water of the Thames kept flowing. Always had, always will. Her life? That was about to change. For the better, she hoped. Jacob had found Painted Love: the last piece of her broken heart was hiding in a small town on the other side of the ocean called Crescent Creek. A fanciful name, even romantic, but for Florence, was only the place where she’d sin one last time.
Thou shalt not steal.
Oh, but she had, and she will once more.
All her life had been touched by love one way or another, love of one shade or another.
The day she was born, her grandfather had made Painted Love. Then, each year on her birthday, he would give her what he called a piece of his own heart. Only to her. The collection stopped after her tenth birthday, when Grandfather Paul had passed away.
Soon after, her long-widowed mother remarried. Flo will never know if the decision came out of pure love, loneliness, or naiveté, but she did remarry. A bastard, of course. Within a few years he’d bet and lost all. Money, properties, art. A divorce didn’t change a thing as it turned out, banks didn’t care much about it, or death.
The bastard didn’t live long. Official cause of death: blunt trauma from a fall. Word on the street: someone had made that happen. For as much welcomed his demise was, herself, her mom and Jacob, the bastard’s only son, had to work themselves to the bone to get on their feet again.
They did, though. Tired, depressed for all the mistakes she’d made, and unable to overcome guilt, her mom managed to have a couple of quiet years before she could stop fighting and united with her father and her beloved first husband, Flo’s dad.
Free and successful, Florence and Jacob were never free.
She’d become a successful photographer; Jacob a brilliant art curator. Both haunted by the past. Florence couldn’t forget what was taken away from her; Jacob couldn’t shake off the shame of his own father’s actions.
And on a sweet British summer night, they decided to act.
She would take back those ten pieces her grandfather had made for her because he loved her, and her mother lost because she’d loved the wrong man. That man’s son would help her achieve justice.
Finally, Jacob had tracked down the first painting she’d been given through his private channels. Flo knew better than asking the hows and besides, she trusted him completely. Problem was, the actual owner of the Painted Love didn’t want to sell, no matter the money offered, and that meant one thing: for one last time, she’d have to steal.
Well, it appeared she was going to take a holiday. A vacation, as they would say in America.
She grabbed the mobile phone and started to plan.