by Gloria J. Goldsmith
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
I was DONE! I ditched graduation, dumped my repressed college boyfriend, and dropped my sexual insecurities for a wild ride with Destiny. Unpredictable Fate beckoned with a European adventure!
In a chance encounter, I met Jean Louis. From the instant we met, the dashing young Frenchman soothed my bruised heart, rejuvenated my spirit, and convinced me that leaving my old life was no mistake. Together, we set out to explore southern France.
Jean Louis was torn from my life almost as quickly as he had entered it, yet leaving the haunting memory of his caress permeating my every thought. Driven by love and passion, I journeyed to find my lover, even if it meant scouring all the hidden corners of France.
Would I ever reunite with the man I believe to be my one true soulmate? Would I ever hear him say he feels the same for me as I do him? What twist of Fate will it take for me to find him?
There was only one window in the room, which had no screen. To keep out the bugs, we closed the shutter, which still allowed some air inside. That evening, I slept on the couch, right below the window, and the guys lay on the cement floor. The males had no blankets or sleeping bags, but at least they were out of the rain.
Some hours into the night, I was dreaming of Luke. Luke, who loved to tease me by fondling me when I was asleep, by touching my cheek or blowing a strand of hair or slowly stroking my hand. I smiled and wiggled my fingers, and he responded. It was so lovely to feel his antics. I missed his night tricks. His hand was trailing up my arm, and soft lips kissed my palm. Luke. So romantic. Always waking me with kisses.
I let out a sigh, slowly drifting my eyes open. It seemed it had been forever since Luke had brushed my cheek or held me close. I longed for his warmth.
The room was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing. I wasn’t on the waterbed. My heart pounded with alarm. Where am I? My arm was hanging over the side of a couch. Where the hell am I? It was pitch-black.
The fingers tickled a bit more with a kiss on my arm, then came a whisper. Was I dreaming? Or awake? The whisper came again.
I whispered back, “What?” I felt the side of the bed depress. The murmuring voice was now by my face.
“Oui. J’ai froid.”
This wasn’t Luke. Not my Luke. A bolt of recognition struck me hard as I comprehended. I didn’t recall his name, it did sound something like Luke, and it was the French guy Marc had brought in from the rain.
My high school French was twisting my brain cells to recall…J’ai means I am, right is droite, left is gauche…and a left faucet is chaud, which means hot, and right is froid—COLD. He is cold!
I patted the couch, and he squeezed onto the settee with me. He cuddled his arms around me, kissed my cheek, and we returned to slumber.
All three of us woke as the morning sunlight pierced the slits of the shutter. They bounced off the wall and into the room. We had some tea before the two men left. Around dinner time, Jean Louis returned alone, with sandwiches and chocolates. I had unknowingly passed another sex attraction test.
Constrained by the lack of English language skills, Jean Louis spoke very few words. I am an excellent mimic, but my French language skills were limited.
After dinner, sipping our tea, Jean Louis turned to me.
“I wants stay wis you.” I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. For the evening? Sleep on the floor? Sleep with me?
“En bas?” I tapped the floor with my foot.
“Si je dois. Je préfère avec toi.”
I wasn’t sure about all the words, but the last two, avec toi, meant “with you.”
A Word With the Author
1. Did you always want to be an author?
Yes, it was always a secret desire. I wrote in journals and diaries as a child. But with little privacy, I stopped until I was considerably older. I had written several of the stories down that first year after returning from Europe. They seemed to be minor individual incidents. When I decided to write a love story that takes place in Europe, I checked to see if those stories would work. Many of them did fit and were incorporated into the book. I will let the readers determine for themselves what is fact and what they believe is imagination.
2. Tell us about the publication of your first book.
French Kiss is my first contemporary romance. This story is close to my heart, so I decided to use a professional editor. Plus, a cover and interior designer. I am impressed with their skills and how much it compliments my work.
3. Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
I actually write in two genres, contemporary and historical romance. My favorites authors in contemporary romance are Nora Roberts and Patricia McLinn. In the historical romance genre, I enjoy Sarah MacLean, Brenda Hiatt, and Bree Wolf.
Sarah MacLean is a particularly clever and exciting writer. I try to emulate her, especially by using all the senses in scenes. She is a master at it.
4. What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
The best part of being an author is using my rather large imagination and creating many different scenarios. And you are never without something to do.
Unless you have gobs of money to spend on people doing marketing services, many of us have to figure out how to create our own websites. Beyond that is managing the marketing of our books regularly. We would prefer instead to be writing the idea that is burning our brain cells to get out. I know waaaay too much about Word Press, Elementor, and Astra, and yet never enough to make changes without asking Support Services for help.
5. What are you working on now?
I love incorporating historical facts into a story. It makes the characters even more believable when dealing with the societal and political reality and how it affects them.
I soon begin the first round of editing my historical romance. This is a series, and the first is That Wylde Woman! Here is a short description:
Marleigh Barret, the American daughter of the Earle of Wylde, rides her stallion astride, is deadly accurate with a shepherd’s sling, fences with stamina and strategy, and has become an astute businesswoman.
Independent and headstrong, Marleigh uses a commerce perspective with marital suitors in England. That is until the loathsome attention from an unwanted Lothario is quickly dispatched by a disarming Duke.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a Special Education teacher, I became fascinated by the English language. I still marvel at how it changes and expands over time. My most pleasurable teaching moments were showing children how a wondrous story can take their imaginations to other times, places, even other worlds. When the pandemic began, I started my first foray into publishing⸺ a nonfiction book, The Sensible Parent’s Little Homeschooler Handbook.
My secret pleasure-writing has always been focused on romance. French Kiss is a Contemporary Romance based on a fictionalized version of experiences during eighteen months of living and working abroad before the formation of the European Union.
Next year, my first Historical Regency Romance That Wylde Woman will be published. It has allowed me to indulge my curiosity and enthusiasm for history by incorporating in the storyline a historical geologic event which affected weather and farming and even how England’s war with Napoleon impacted clothing styles.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/gloriajgoldsmith
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY a $50 Amazon/BN gift certificate.
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