Title: THROUGH AMBER SMOKE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 75,000
Upon her mother’s mysterious death, Hadley finds herself the unwilling owner with an inherited wooden cruiser, the one her family owned when she was a child, long before she and her mother relocated from Oklahoma to France. In her quest to find a buyer for the dilapidated boat, she accepts the assistance of a Native American man. She only wants to return to Paris as soon as possible, while he resents her foreignness and plans to settle down with an All-American girl on Grand Lake, playground of wealthy oil men, and a unique wooden boat culture. In the end he reveals secrets about her mother that rock her views of life and love—and him.
My book, a story of returning home, culture shock, and finding true love, is called Through Amber Smoke. Readers of my book would also read Elizabeth Lowell’s Amber Beach, Tracy Ann Lord’s Good Catch and Karen White’s On Folly Beach.
I have always worked with words, in both my education and my career. I have a B.A. in English, a Master’s Degree in Communication and am ABD for a Ph.D. in. I taught business and technical writing in the university for eight years, and now work as a corporate trainer/instructional designer. My short play, Every Boat’s for Sale, was recently performed in a local theatre, and I placed in contemporary fiction in the Cleveland Rocks 2012 writing contest (the first I ever entered). This story was inspired by my fascination with boats and my involvement in the wooden boat culture of Grand Lake, Oklahoma. In fact, a significant portion of the book was written on a boat.
Hadley frowned at the partially open door and rubbed her sweaty palms on the seat of her shorts. She listened carefully for any noises from inside the boat, but all she could hear was the creaking of the wooden dock and her own heart pounding. Had someone been on board?
She forced herself to smile. No worries. Nothing else could go wrong after the hell she’d lived through for the last couple of days. She’d used up her share of bad luck. She was sure of it. A quick nudge of her toe to the door of the neglected old yacht slid it the rest of the way open. She took a deep breath, then, wary of spiders and other creatures that thrived in abandoned places, edged forward and squinted into the dim interior.
“Are you Hadley?” A deep voice erupted from the dark, sending her scrambling backwards up the stairs. As she stumbled out onto the deck, her gaze darted up and down the deserted dock. Could anyone hear her scream, if that’s what she decided to do?
Forget screaming. She couldn’t see anyone. So she’d handle this man herself. She was here to get this ridiculous situation under control and get herself out of this country. Sucking in her breath and keeping a safe distance, Hadley faced the stranger whose head appeared from the shadows. She stood as tall as she could, crossed her arms, lifted her chin and tried her best to appear intimidating.