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Friday, November 22, 2013

Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

6:30 AM Posted by James Noel , No comments

On the evening of my third and last day, I began my closing ceremonies—punching on voicemail, putting away the sign-in book, and clearing off crumbs from the daily muffin I picked up from the fabulous shop at street level. Unusual for these assignments, it had been a very pleasant three days. People were polite and there was a constant flow of stylish men and women who had appointments, so juggling the sign-in book and answering the phone kept my brain from going numb. I was actually a little sorry to leave. With my attention focused on my chore, I didn’t notice that someone was standing at my desk. Suddenly, my nervous system sensed a nearby presence and I jumped and gasped out loud. As our eyes met, I was Jane Seymour as Elise McKenna in Somewhere in Time realizing that here was the man for whom she had been waiting all of her life.

“It’s you,” I said just like in the movie. And then my fantasy quickly evaporated and I was left staring at this stranger, scrambling to hide my naked emotion. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said coughing to camouflage my strange outburst. And then with a small embarrassed laugh, I said, “You startled me. I didn’t notice that anyone was there.”

Although I had started to speak, I immediately fell speechless creating another awkward moment as his dark flame-throwing eyes studied my face. He was smiling and I could see dimples forming on either side of his mouth. We just stood there, apart, in silence, yet there was an unmistakable sexual tension gluing us together like Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford in Witness or Omar Shariff’s Dr. Yuri Zhivago and Julie Christie’s Lara Antipova. When he finally spoke, he asked me if I could recommend a good restaurant nearby elongating his vowels in a cute Southern accent that I would later learn was peculiar to Texans.

“If you like French cuisine, there is a wonderful place right around the corner, La Grenouille. I believe it’s quite popular with some of the executives here,” I said no longer mute, and handed him a business card that was kept in a stack on the desk.

“Would it be too much trouble, ma’am, for you to call and make a reservation?” he asked in a faux subservient manner. “I can’t understand French accents, especially over the phone.”

“Of course… sir,” I said returning his request with sugary sarcasm. I was, after all, nobody’s secretary and certainly not of the vintage that brought forth ma’am from the lips of a virile stranger. When I got the restaurant on the phone, I looked up and asked casually, “For what time, sir?”

And then he paused, looked at me with a gleam in his eye and said quite softly, “Well, let’s see. What time is good for you?”

Shocked but not rattled, I responded without any hesitation, “Now,” I said steadfastly meeting his gaze, “Now is perfect.”

And that’s how I met Jake Stein and sealed a future that fate ordained. Life-changing events seem to come when you’re ready even if you’re not aware of their import. Intuition can nudge feelings into your conscious space making a seemingly ordinary encounter, like a dropped book, one of great significance. Somehow, I understood that then and I understand that now. Meeting Jake Stein was my dance with destiny.

We instantly harmonized, interacting on two levels. The overt reality of the commonplace chitchat, sexually charged banter, and frothy intellect contrasted with a covert reality, a place where everything had deeper meaning, connection, and familiarity. In some cosmic way, our unspoken language was far more important than the spoken. Scientists might describe our attraction as the interaction of airborne pheromones—chemical messages emitted through our skin conveying our primal sexuality. Indeed, we seemed to be enchanted at the deepest levels of our instincts. Two realities happening at once—the outer and the inner—one a slick manifestation of the intelligentsia, the other a calming and gentle journey afloat a timeless river.

Sunspots

Sunspots follows the healing journey of a young woman thrown into the horror of losing a spouse. It is a love story of loss and redemption and the ghosts that haunt our lives and our houses. Skirting the genres of magical realism and romance, Sunspots, explores the existence of the afterlife and the paranormal. The story takes the reader on a path of high emotion as the narrator, Aurora, uncovers her husband Jake’s secret life and her own internal conflicts as she matures to self-awareness. The novel’s tone vacillates from irreverent humor to solemnity as Aurora relates her previous life with Jake and her present challenges. The title refers to the solar maximum which became the backdrop for Aurora’s conception when her hippy parents went to Canada to observe the Aurora Borealis. In name and in spirit, Aurora is connected to the observable and unobservable energy around us. With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home’s original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake’s true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.

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Genre – Contemporary romance, Magical Realism

Rating – PG-13

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