Glimpses of Wilderness
The Glimpses Series Book 1
by Lee Ann Ward Genre: YA Romance
No nightmares about my dad’s car crashing or my sister’s tiny face vanishing in a window of red. No, not anymore. Now when I sleep I fall into an expanse of frozen wilderness, the other life I’ve lived…
The one I’ve lived with him.
Anna experiences vivid dreams from a past-life she lived in the 1800s with her husband Robert and their children in the wilderness of the Michigan Territory. Much like her own mother grieving the man and child she lost, Anna can’t simply let go of the memories that haunt her.
But when she runs into Robert in this lifetime, a whirlwind of their past lives—and deaths—rocks her modern world to the core. What will she be willing to risk to spend every lifetime with Robert?
In the twists and turns of “repeating” their lives over and over through time, Anna must sacrifice everything for a glimpse of immortal love.
I was crazy tired before Mom almost collided with the coffee table. I’m always afraid she’ll roll out of bed or choke on her own vomit when she has nights like this. She never has, but I worry about it anyway. I look at my phone again. 3:00 a.m. Thank God it’s Saturday, but I’m on schedule to volunteer at the nursing home at nine, and I can’t be late. I’m too close to winning the Sunshine Merit Scholarship to let something like no sleep land me a demerit. I purposely hold my eyes open for as long as I can, trying to make them sting enough that I’ll fall asleep.
“Get a grip, Anna,” I whisper when all the forced staring earns me is burning eyes. I bury the side of my face deeper into the feather pillow. Maybe William’s awake… Nope. No way I’m texting him now. God, he’d love that. I touch Maggie’s name instead. I’m gonna be sooo dead tomorrow.
Text delivered, not read. She’s asleep. Lucky her. I find the sweet spot on my pillow when I flip it, and take a few deep breaths, attempting to shut off my racing brain. It does feel good to close my eyes…
I don’t spot him straight away. Robert’s body is tiny compared to the incredible height and mass of trees in the distance. I wipe my hands on a stained apron. I wish I had a clean one, but the wash is days old and the baby’s sick, so it will wait. At least I have a decent supper over the flame, and my husband isn’t particular about food. It’s one of the things I love about him.
I check my reflection in a tin plate when I hear his boots on the porch, and tuck a few loose strands of hair behind one ear. I pinch my cheeks for pinkness then collect some bowls for the rabbit stew.
“Anna,” Robert says when the door unlatches. “How’s the little one?”
“She’s sleeping but less feverish.”
“And Robert Jr.?”
“Still no signs of sickness with him. I think the worst is over.”
“That’s good,” Robert replies. “Come here. I have something to show you.”
He drops the leather sack in his hands when I reach him and scoops me into his arms. When his mouth covers mine, it’s like the first breath I’ve taken since he left the cabin that morning. I breathe in the flannel and earth still clinging to his dusting of beard, his hands grasping my hips, gathering the fabric covering them like he’s clinging for life. A hand slides to my cheek and he cups it, nudging my lips open as his kiss softens.
“I’ve missed you,” he whispers into my hair.
“But it’s only been since the morn—”
“And that’s too long.” He pulls my face forward and kisses my forehead. “Now sit. I really do have something to show you.”
I’m barely in the chair when Robert sets a coin pouch in front of me. “Open it.”
I dump the coins out and lose my breath. “These aren’t shillings…they’re crowns! But how?” I do a mental count. Nine crowns total. “Robert, where did you get these?”
“Mr. Besson liked the table I made for him so much that he agreed to sell my furniture in his general store. He gave me the crowns for material costs.” Robert’s eyes light up so much they barely resemble the deep mahogany hue I know them to be. “Do you know what this means, Anna? A whole new life for us, that’s what. And look.” He pulls a paper from his shirt pocket. “I signed a document of accord with him too, for a whole year.”
I scan the paper, one word and a string of numbers striking me harder than a blow to the face:
September 23, 1805.
My bedroom’s still dark when a car horn jars me awake. I don’t bother with the time. The sun isn’t up yet. Tears sting my eyes. September 23, 1805. I was right—it has been over two hundred years.
I’ve had normal dreams before, ones about falling or flying, and some about being in a house I don’t recognize or having strange people chase me. I even dreamed about starting the first day of sixth grade totally naked, but that was then. I don’t dream anymore…not in five years. No floating, no flying, no nightmares about my dad’s car crashing or my sister’s tiny face vanishing in a window of red. No, not anymore.
Now when I sleep I fall into an expanse of frozen wilderness, the other life I’ve lived…the one I lived with him.
Lee Ann Ward is an award-winning fiction author with a background in journalism and mass communications. She is also the former Senior Editor of Champagne Books. Her love of books started at the age of three, and she's been addicted ever since. She's published six novels with her seventh and eighth on the way (SEE a YA paranormal by Evernight Teen in June 2017 and GLIMPSES OF WILDERNESS a YA romance by Inkspell Publishing in December 2017) and has written several more. When she's not writing, she's reading, singing, baking designer cakes, bowling and dreaming. She's married to Joe (who also happens to be her publicist) and they have 4 sons whom they adore, and a granddaughter who is the love of their life. They make their home in the small fishing community of Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
One of my favorite things about writing YA romance is the kissing! I mean, who doesn't love a good kissing scene, am I right? It's the moment we anticipate most after meeting the heroine and hero in the new story we're reading. My Anna and Robert in GLIMPSES OF WILDERNESS share some delicious kissing scenes...quite steamy, and well worth the wait! But the actual sweetness of kissing sometimes gets lost in the translation, and that's a shame. I always promise myself as a writer to remember the innocence of that first kiss. This is one of my favorite blog posts from about a year ago, and I want to share it with you. Long live the newness of kissing...
Just finished writing a "kissing" scene this morning, and thought I would share something with you. I am a huge fan of Peter Pan (the book, not only the Disney movie that everyone associates Peter Pan with), because there is such beauty in innocence. One of my favorite lines from the book is spoken by Peter, and it is this, "You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you. That's where I'll be waiting."
I also adore the "kissing" scene between Peter and Wendy...
“I think it’s perfectly sweet of you,” she declared, “and I’ll get up again,” and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.
“Surely you know what a kiss is?” she asked, aghast.
“I shall know when you give it to me,” he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feelings she gave him a thimble.
“Now,” said he, “shall I give you a kiss?” and she replied with a slight primness, “If you please.” She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life.
The sweetest kissing scene ever written, in my opinion! So, remember people, sometimes kisses are thimbles, and sometimes they're acorn buttons. And they might just save your life...
Is the Color of a Character's Eyes Really THAT Important?
Characterization. It can make or break a novel. Truly. If a reader can't see into a character's soul from practically page one, then what is their motivation to keep those pages turning? Well, nothing. So, here's my two cents on characterization that should resonate with fellow authors, and let readers know what to expect from my novels. **Hint: I fully flesh-out my characters, and it has nothing at all to do with their physical characteristics.
"He was a handsome man, blond hair and deep blue eyes that melted my insid--" Blah blah blah... Honestly, who cares? Even though it is nice knowing that our leading man has blue eyes, I am more concerned with what I feel when I look into those eyes. And, so are my readers. In every novel, the readers must see the souls of the characters. No one is going to fall in love with looks alone. Okay, I know, I know... Yes, I have seen Jamie Fraser (shout-out to my fellow OUTLANDER fans), and he is a gorgeous piece of man-flesh, no doubt. But, if he were not also devoted to Claire, and his family, and his beloved Scotland--if he were not the man who never compromised his principles of love and country, well, we wouldn't love him nearly as much. Show me a gorgeous character and I will say, "Okay, he/she is gorgeous," and leave it at that. But show me the beauty of his/her soul--make me fall in love with the true person--and I will follow them into the devil's hell and back until the last page is read (or red, depending on the amount of carnage).
With all the Feels...
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