Thursday, June 23, 2016
What do YOU THINK of the beginning of Flora Reigada's soon to be released novel "Love and Obsession"
The Amazon link to the first novel in the series "Love's Sweetest Revenge",available in ebook and paperback, is:https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Sweetest-Revenge-Flora-Reigada-ebook/dp/B01BLKMLRC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466599090&sr=8-1&keywords=flora+reigada
Escaping its clutches, Liz discovered an old locket and mysterious love letter hidden in the wall.
Solving their mystery, put her and Rosa on the trail of star-crossed lovers that led to Florida, a castle and the strong arms of the lovers' sons, Carlos and Jack.
Several months had since passed and though it was only six-o'clock, winter's curtain of night had drawn over the glittering hills.
Rosa and Jack were in the kitchen with Rosa's daughter, Laura, preparing a Latin-American holiday feast of pernil (roasted pork) with yellow rice and beans. Their distant voices and clatter of pots and pans carried the tantalizing aromas of meat and spices.
Liz and Carlos kissed, then resumed gazing at each other—she drinking-in his Latin good looks and he, her golden-brown eyes, and hair that flowed to her shoulders like a chocolate fountain.
It never failed to amaze Carlos that although in her thirties like himself, Liz had grown sons and a granddaughter.
She'd tell him, Rosa and I were kids with kids. But we supported each other and we grew up fast.
Carlos kissed her locks. "Sweet."
The couple's reverie was interrupted by Laura's two tots bursting from the kitchen with Rosa's pair of dachshunds playfully yipping close behind.
They would simmer down, only to start up again, louder than before.
After awhile, Jack emerged to playfully scoop up the children and hoist one atop each of his broad shoulders. The children laughed with delight as he trotted them around the house, leaving their mother to cook in peace.
Liz smiled as they passed her way—barely able to tear her gaze from Carlos and her ring, sparkling in the Christmas lights. Love glowed in Carlos' dreamy green eyes. They wandered over Liz's form-fitting red sweater.
"Not only are you beautiful, you're a gifted artist," he whispered, referring to her latest creation—a landscape painting she'd shown him earlier that day.
Illustrating their journey to one another, it depicted the old stone wall where Carlos had proposed. The wall faded away to a castle (the Castillo de San Marcos) in Carlos' hometown of St. Augustine, Florida, where clues in the locket had taken Liz and Rosa. Their lives would never be the same.
Carlos motioned to the exercise watch on his wrist. "Thank you for the Christmas gifts. I really did need those shirts and the watch is just what I wanted."
"Thank you," Liz said, admiring her ring.
She stroked his thick black whiskers. "I like the beard and moustache you're growing. They're rugged and masculine—like you."
He smiled, brushing his whiskers against her face. Liz laughed, kissing his eager lips.
She had already sent her twin sons, Tony and Stevie, photos of the engagement ring. She included pictures and videos of herself with Carlos and of the others as well. One video captured Rosa and Jack, chasing each other in a playful snowball fight, then wrestling, laughing and rolling in the snow.
Celebrating Christmas in Daytona Beach, Florida with their father, Liz's sons and their wives watched in amusement. They gathered to extend Christmas greetings and congratulate Liz and Carlos on their engagement.
"Best wishes! That's some big rock! We love you and hope to see you soon."
Tony added a postscript. "Steph and I are looking forward to closing the deal on Carlos and Jack's family home and making it a bed and breakfast, here in sunny Florida."
But Steve and his wife, Gloria, had made their way into some of the frames and Steve's expression gave Liz a chill. Although he was smiling, it more resembled a scowl. An icy glare came through in his eyes.
Why would he be scowling on Christmas? Could there be trouble in paradise between him and Gloria?
Liz recognized the suppressed anger. She'd seen it before and it was usually directed her way. The last time was a couple of months prior, when she showed up at their son Stevie's wedding on Carlos' arm. She had picked up on the subliminal vibrations that Steve did not like seeing her happy, especially with someone as accomplished as Carlos. He had worked as a translator and cultural liaison with the executive branch of the United States government.
Now Steve seemed to be sending another message. She could almost read his thoughts.
Your wetback thinks he's so important. You'd better not be sleeping with him.
The hatred Liz felt for Gloria when Steve left, had long since dissolved into pity.
That poor woman. Steve's an idiot. I'm glad to be rid of him.
Yet, Liz could not shake a sense of trepidation. It hung over her like a cloud when Rosa called everyone into the dining room for the meal, which began with salad, followed by the main course and warm bread. Carlos offered Liz a crispy piece of meat.
"This is the cuerito (skin) my favorite part. You can taste the spices in which the meat was marinated in overnight. My father used garlic, oregano, cilantro, salt, pepper and lemon."
Liz took a bite, chewing it slowly, letting the perfect blend of crunch and spice, caress her taste buds.
Drinks flowed. They included apple cider and coquito, an eggnog-like drink made from rum, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. For dessert, apple pie was topped with vanilla ice cream and served with café con leche. (Coffee with milk—a popular Spanish drink with equal amounts of hot milk and strong coffee.)
Even in the festive glow of the holiday, Liz could not get Steve's cold, hateful stare out of her head. It seemed to bore into her.
"What's the matter?" Carlos asked.
She told him how much Steve's demeanor disturbed her and why.
"Maybe he had gas," Carlos joked, trying to soothe her on this otherwise joyous day.
Liz shook her head. "I know Steve and he's up to no good."