Sunday, August 2, 2015

Want to read an excerpt from Gathering Mist?

Celebrating writing "The End" to the third in the Mist trilogy by sharing an excerpt from the second book, Gathering Mist. Have you read it yet? (Buy links are on the right {wink wink})

(c) Karla Brandenburg
At the end of a dirt road, nestled into the backwoods of Wisconsin, Scott Michaels sat on his deck, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. He went into town as little as possible, and the locals who recognized him didn’t treat him like “the big rock star.” To them, he was Scott Michaels, who lived on Hidden Spring Road. He wasn’t Patch, lead guitarist for DragonPurr.

He needed the solitude after two weeks with his mother and sister—and the accompanying sense of helplessness. After ten years of continuous concert tours, he and his bandmates had agreed to six cities a year, most of which were booked during the summer months at outdoor festivals. He could finally give his sister, Natalie, a break from caring for their mother, but he’d still be gone for weeks at a time with concerts, songwriting commitments and producing records.

Natalie had insisted their mother was better off with the consistent attention Natalie and her daughter could provide, a point which was emphasized repeatedly during his visit with them. And so, with three days before he had to leave for Chicago to regroup with the band, Scott had retreated to Door County to decompress.

Eyes closed, he let the music soothe his fired-up emotions and the ever-present sense of guilt from not being able to protect his family from the hardships they’d faced. His fingers absently picked out a tune on his acoustic guitar. The lush, mature trees swayed in time with the music while crickets sang along. Scott hummed, not the usual driving, rock and roll beat. When he realized what song he played, he stopped.

In spite of the heat and humidity, gooseflesh popped up on his arms. His heart raced and he glanced around the woods, at the lake beyond the trees, expecting to see her magically appear. Wavy red hair, mossy green eyes, Giselle still haunted him. She was part of the music.

They’d been inseparable since the night they first met at the student union. Giselle was his first girlfriend, his first date, his first lover. She’d become so important to him in such a short period of time that she’d spooked him. Like she owned his soul. There was no other way to describe the intensity of the bond they shared. And yet he’d chosen his music over her, another of his famously bad decisions.

Scott set his guitar down. He’d written the song for her. Played it for her. She’d sung it with him, lying together in bed in the afterglow, before he’d shown her the lyrics. The way she seemed to know things before they happened, or knew his thoughts as well as he did, those were the things that made her scary.

After all the years apart and countless groupies, he should have gotten Giselle out of his system, and yet here he sat, on his porch in Door County, playing a song he’d written for her before the rest of the world had any idea he existed. A song she’d inspired. A song he wasn’t sure she hadn’t given him in that unusual, soul-binding way she had.

The fact of the matter was he’d never stopped loving her. Even after he’d left her behind.
He’d heard she’d gotten married. He hoped she had a good life somewhere, even as he scanned the woods for her face, wondering if somehow she could see him, if she could reach him through that unexplainable connection they had.

None of the groupies, none of the relationships he’d attempted after, had come close to what he’d shared with Giselle. And he’d walked away from her. He had no one to blame but himself.

Scott turned to go into the house, but hesitated when a cool breeze blew the hair off his neck. The way Giselle used to. He closed his eyes, imagining she stood behind him. Playful. Sexy as hell.

Maybe she’d gotten fat over the past years.

Play the song for me. No more than a whisper on the breeze, he heard her voice in his ear.
He shook his body like a wet dog. He’d done what he set out to do, made a career for himself, and paid the price. The road was a lonely place.

Scott was ready for a little magic, and he knew the next show would bring some. Giselle would be in Chicago. He felt it in his bones. 

Copyright 2015 by Karla Brandenburg. All rights reserved.

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