So you can read my books

Friday, May 20, 2011


Come join the romantic fun :

Denise Covey and Francine Howarth challenge us to write a romantic post of 400 words on whatever occurs to us when we think LOST.

My entry is a 381 word excerpt from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. Samuel McCord is sitting in the shadows of his Katrina-ruined jazz club. His arch-enemy is coming for the last battle between them -- a battle McCord has no chance of winning.

Samuel is unafraid. He died 7 years earlier when his beloved wife left him :

As I sat in the shadows, I listened to the music coming from the speakers on the ceiling. It was a recording of Meilori playing my favorite piano sonata, Quasi Una Fantasia. Most knew it as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

Meilori's lovely playing both hurt and helped. The Moonlight Sonata was never more haunting than when she played it. Beethoven had dedicated the sonata to his seventeen year old pupil, Countess Giulietta Guiccciardi. He loved her. He lost her. Not a new story.

I stared into the dark of my night club, Meilori's. It was all I had left of my wife. She had left me. But not before she slapped my face. Meilori had slapped me. Me. I had taken her love for granted and paid a terrible price. That had been seven years ago to the day.

In the dark quiet that shivered like a dying breath, I almost saw her. Meilori Shinseen. I thought about her. She was one of those haunted-eyed women you attached your own hidden fears and silent sorrows to. And her face.

Lord, her face. Aside from being beautiful, which it was ... so much so that the whole world seemed to center around it when I looked at her. But there was more. Besides being hauntingly beautiful, it was a good face. And I'd not seen many beautiful faces that were.

There were whispers in her jade eyes of tragedy and of pain, but no self-pity. Instead her past seemed to have given birth to a wry understanding, laced with echoes of bitter humor.

There were disturbing depths of sadness in her eyes. Depths which whispered of age more ancient than the Aztecs, more haunted than even my past. They both called and warned at the same time.

I had lost myself in their green depths where the monsters swam, the monsters which drive us or haunt us or both. We had both done terrible things in our past, but in each other's arms we found some small measure of peace.

Until ....

I shivered at the memory of that day seven years ago.

I had lived a life of fire, had died a death of ice. But it was only until I met Meilori that I realized before her I had not lived at all.


  1. "it was only until I met Meilori that I realized before her I had not lived at all."

    Hauntingly beautiful. You did not disappoint me; I listened to the Sonata as I read the excerpt. Too bad I didn't listen on the desk-top, where the sound quality is so much better. One of my favorite pieces though, so my imagination filled in when technology failed me.

    This is an emotive scene, and I completely feel Samuel's loss.

    I'm sorry, I'm playing catch-up on a lot of blogs this weekend. 10 hour days put a crimp in my motivation, and I'm spending more time on agent blogs than with friends.

    I liked your Wendy Tyler interview - she's so fabulour - and wow, are you special for promoting Jo's husband.

    No, he's no Aragorn; and a far cry from Ghandolf. But the comparison does tell me something about his movie :)

    I'll check him out sometime. Thanks for the shoutouts.


  2. So evocative as always - I really felt I was there too. There is such a haunting quality in your writing and so much depth.

    That last paragraph is perfect.

  3. I so agree with Donna's opening quote above and with the evocative emotion. Great job!

    I'll post in a few hours.

  4. Oh God, I'm going to go away and have a good sniffle!

  5. Very nice. Nice set up to make us want to know more about this Meilori.

  6. Wow, that was absolutely haunting Roland. I love the dark feel of the French Quarter, the impending doom, the sorrow and pain, all of it! And what a closing!

  7. Thanks, Donna :
    Your words made my morning. I'm doing those 10 hour work days, and they drain you! Pace yourself.

    I wrote this selection as the Moonlight Sonata was playing, so you reading it along with the music is certainly appropriate. I've been told by Sandra that she can hear certain melodies as she reads FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. The spirits of the great musicians who roam the dark streets of the French Quarter probably helped there.

    Wendy and Clark are both great talents and fellow dreamers. How could I not sign-post them? Thanks again for dropping by and commenting. I miss you when you don't. My own 10 and 18 hour days keep me from visiting as much as I would want. Roland

    Thanks for the kind words, Margo :
    Beethovan's music helped me get into the evocative mood. I have come to think of Sam as a real person since I have put so much into him. Perhaps he is, and my mind is just viewing his life in a parallel universe? LOL.

    Kittie :
    Yes, I checked your blog last night, hoping to find your post before I turned in. Now, work beckons. Rats. Thanks for your kind comments.

    Francine :
    Sam certainly has his griefs and that's for sure. But he has also had some laughter and love -- with a bit more in his future. You can't keep a good Texican down. And love will find a way.

    Holly :
    You get to know more about her earlier in a ghostly last dance and as an enemy replays Meilori's last fight with Sam. You get to see their stormy love affair in RITES OF PASSAGE and ADRIFT ON THE TIME STREAM (the story of how they met and fell in love.) Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    Heather :
    Thanks. You made my morning with your comments. I tried to make it haunting. I seemed to feel it with Sam. Have a great weekend, Roland

  8. Well written and your descriptions are magnificent. One thing I noticed, and I hope you don't mind if I point it out. In the line about the Aztecs, that should be than.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  9. Hidden fears and silent sorrows. I love your voice. Dark and lyrical almost like poetry. Wonderful post, Roland.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  10. The Desert Rocks :
    I'm glad you liked my entry.

    Nancy :
    That will teach me to write at the end of a 12 hour work day!! Thanks for liking my prose.

    Raquel :
    Your comment made my afternoon. Thanks for appreciating the effort and craft I put into my words. Have a great weekend, Roland

  11. Lots of rich prose. You've done it again, Roland!

  12. Thanks, Lydia. Have a great weekend, Roland

  13. This is SO haunting, Roland. As always, I love the prose that's rich with images. So poetic, which is your strong point. Actually, everything's your strong point!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  14. Powerful stuff. I love how you effortlessly create an atmosphere which draws the reader into the landscape.

  15. Every woman wants a man as devoted as Sam. He's a dream. She's nuts for leaving. (=

  16. Hi Roland. Finally out of bed. I listened to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as I read your evocative excerpt. The Lost theme was well suited to this piece.

    The red cross under your pic is only visible to yourself. Each one of us has it on our blog, but no one else sees it. I have it on mine but I bet you can't see it!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful prose with us again Roland. You are a very special writer and person and I hope you get the recognition you deserve big time.


  17. Loved the ambiance, and then a fascinating character pops it. I'm in!

  18. I too, loved the last line.

    SO much emotion in such a well written excerpt.

    Love at its purest and most debilitating,

  19. Thanks, Michael :
    Sometimes love is a wind that fills our sails, and other times an anchor that weighs down our hearts and minds. We humans are a strange breed. Thanks for liking my entry. Have a great weekend, Roland

  20. Jo :
    The true irony is that Meilori only tricked Sam into believing she was leaving him in order to save his life. She in turn was then tricked by her sister, becoming entrapped in a bubble of time -- hence Sam not being able to sense her. But karma comes to claim Maija, Meilori's sister, in NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE.

    Denise :
    Thanks for the very kind words. I like your new avatar. I pray that we both have our publication dreams come true this year.

    Leslie :
    I loved your blog as well. Thanks for liking my excerpt from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. Sam tips his Stetson to you, too. LOL.

  21. Loved this. Thank you for sharing.

  22. WoW! This is amazing! You held my attention all the way through from the opening lines to the power-packed ending.
    That Meilori is something, isn't she?
    The music you chose only added to the mystery & suspense.

    Very well done!

    Here's my poetic entry for "LOST" -

  23. Oh my, this is my kind of romance. haunting and beautiful.

  24. Haunting and poignant are words that came to mind as I read this. I'm very late to the party, but making the rounds anyway.

    Beautiful piece that captures the loss this man feels. Congrats on being featured!