Butterfly by Clare Austin

14 08 2009

Butterfly_final largeTomorrow I have a special guest–Clare Austin. Thought I’d take today to post her book cover and excerpt to whet your appetite. Then stop back tomorrow for her special post. Isn’t this cover absolutely gorgeous??

And here’s the blurb:

Flannery Sloane is a free spirited bohemian with a soul blessed by Irish musical tradition. She doesn’t give a care for where she’s going or how she’ll get there. Joy and passion are her only map. And, though she’s not interested in falling in love, she wouldn’t mind a little fun with a fine looking man. Hunter Kincade looks like he could fill that bill and have a bit of change left over.

Flannery never wears a watch. She’s late for everything but the downbeat of a fiddle tune. She’s happy serving pints in the pub and playing for tips and smiles. Hunter thrives on punctuality. He is in the music business with his focus on the bottom line. The pretty fiddle player with the bright green eyes would make his next production worth the price of a CD.

Their only common ground is the belief that falling in love is a danger to health and sanity.

Will it take more than Irish magic to pull a man like Hunter into the spell of a woman like Flannery? They are all wrong for each other…and they are so right.

And, even better, an excerpt that should get you hooked:

He lost sight of the fiddler in the mobs of tourists enjoying the April sunshine.

No sooner had he decided to give up on his quest than he heard hands clapping in rhythm with the beat of the now familiar Irish drum.

Then he saw her.

She lifted her instrument and, with the surety of a bird’s wing slipping through the air, bow was laid to strings and life was breathed into melody.

He moved to the edge of the gathering where he could have an unobstructed view of the musicians. She looked up, and he thought she recognized him for an instant. Then her eyes turned and followed another. She smiled and nodded.

Cade had never thought of himself as the jealous type, but he did feel cheated out of that smile.

As soon as the last vibration of strings quieted, a man Cade recognized from O’Fallon’s came up behind the fiddler and, with disturbing familiarity, spoke in her ear. She responded with a hug and an adoring look in her eyes.

Cade had been raised to be competitive, in sports as well as in business, and the appearance of a rival on the field made him want to draw blood. He wanted the fiddler in his studio, and if she ended up in his bed, that might be as nice.

He stood and listened until the sun set and the air held a chill that thinned the throng. The musicians were packing it in.

He hadn’t realized he was staring, until she walked up to him and stood so

close he could smell the scent of her warm skin in the cool evening air. Her approach to introduction took Cade completely by surprise.

“Are you lookin’ at me or waitin’ for a bus?” she said, one hand on her hip and a sassy smile on her lips.

Intriguing, right? Stop back tomorrow to meet Clare and hear more about her latest release, Butterfly.

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DMZ

8 08 2009
DMZ

DMZ

My trip to the DMZ was sobering and scary. Imagine signing a waiver that says you you can be killed or tortured. No guarantees. And knowing that two journalists are locked up in a North Korean jail (I went the day before Clinton arrived to free them) doesn’t ease your mind. But I wanted to see North Korea, so I signed the waiver and hopped on the military bus after listening to all the warnings: Don’t wave or point or make any sudden movements in the direction of the North Korean guards. No taking photos in certain places. Stay together in a group.

So I stepped into North Korea inside the building where it was allowed. Then we were herded outside to stand on the steps of a building where we could stare at the North Korean soldiers who were staring at us. One had binoculars trained on us, another a gun. And I had the uncontrollable urge to wave. But I didn’t. I also had a strong desire to step across the concrete barrier no higher than a speed bump and set foot in forbidden territory. I resisted that urge too, but I truly wanted to do it. If I’d known Clinton was coming the following day, I might have. So I was herded back into the bus and driven to other points where I could “see” North Korea, but that’s not the same as experiencing it.

I guess that’s why the writer in me is disappointed. Seeing is not doing. Tasting, feeling, touching–that’s where the real joy in writing comes from. I didn’t fill the deep well within that longs for sensory detail. But I suppose I can imagine what the inside of a North Korean jail is like. Or maybe I can’t. And perhaps that’s just as well.