Monday, May 11, 2009

Shadows on the Roses, The Mystery Continues

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I spent a good portion of it reading the comments on my blog and catching up on my daughter's blogs. So to all of you readers out there, “You encourage me!”

Writing can sometimes be lonely, especially when your story takes fire and moves off in directions you're not quite sure how to handle. Actually this is the first time it's happened to me to this extent. But it does lend a certain excitement.
How is this story going to end anyway? I can't even turn the pages and take a sneak look at the last chapter because Shadows on the Roses isn't finished yet. So I have to write don't I? Otherwise I'll never know how it all turns out!
When I started this blog I was on Chapter 13, today I'm starting Chapter 28. I'm putting up a short excerpt for you from chapter 27. I wrote it yesterday. It's first draft, but I'd love to hear what you think anyway! Thank you again--you dear friends do so encourage my heart!

From Chapter 27:
Clarissa and Blake savored their dessert, hot chocolate fudge over a delicious concoction of warm brownie, topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Afterwards they lingered over hot coffee, a large computer print out of a family tree spread between them.

“I had to show you this,” Blake explained. “If you'll look closely you'll see my great, great, great grandfather's name, John Walters, a well known jeweler who lived in the middle of the eighteenth century.” He grimaced, “known to the other branch of the family but previously unknown to me or, as far as I can determine, to my mother.”

Clarissa leaned forward. “Why, this is fabulous,” she explained. “But how did you find it?”
“I guess you'd say it was through the marvels of the Internet, with the help of a private investigator and Anna Marie, one of our lost cousins so to speak. She's the one who sent this family tree.”

“But—but why?”

Blake leaned forward and touched her hand. “After I found out that you'd found Dirk's ring at the cabin where he died, I sensed a connection. But I had nothing to go on, not really, not until I got a call from a lady I didn't even know. She'd been working on putting together her family tree, and listen to this.”

His hand tightened over hers, and her stomach dipped. Almost without realizing it her fingers curled around his. “This lady had been tracing her family and it appeared that my mother and I were the only living relatives she'd been able to find that were descendants of my great grandfather, Arthur Nickerson. That's when I found out that he was an identical twin that had left home when he married my grandmother.”
His dark eyes met hers and she sensed in their depths the as yet untold story of an old love lingering there. “Keep talking,” she whispered. “I want to hear more.”

Blake continued. “It seems as though his jeweler grandfather who had graciously given the twins identical rings on their twenty first birthday, didn't approve of his favored grandson marrying a German girl. Apparently they had a big argument and Arthur departed for the west with his sweetheart. The sad part was that the family never heard from him again.”
“A love story, lost forever,” Clarissa murmured.

“Not completely. After he disappeared, and years later, the family discovered that the ring belonging to the identical twin who stayed in Boston was a clever imitation of the ring his grandfather had made for the first twin. The family came to the conclusion long after his death that he must have fashioned the second ring he made for the Boston twin from clever substitutes that so closely resembled the real thing that no one ever knew. At least not until much later.”

He sighed deeply. “It grew into a root of bitterness and I understand that. Over the years they tried to find the other brother but he had vanished. We know now that he lost his life in Skagway, gateway to the Klondike gold fields, over 600 miles to the north.”

His fingers tightened over hers. “Clarissa, you have in your possession a most valuable ring, a collectors item that has been sought after by relatives we never even knew about, men and women that were unknown to our family.

“My great grandfather's twin was named Arnold and apparently my forebears never divulged that to the next generation. Nor did anyone ever, beyond sentimental value, recognize the real value of the ring passed down to my brother.”

A dark thought entered her mind. She released her hand and clasped both hands together under her chin. “Oh, Blake,” she whispered, ”are you thinking what I am?”

“Yes. And you might be right. If someone did murder my brother that night like we suspect it may have been because of the ring; maybe even someone who felt that the ring belonged to him and his family, not to ours. I just don't know for sure.”

“Did you mention your suspicions to Anna Marie?” she asked.

“No. But I did do some sleuthing on my own. Or I should say my investigator did.”

“What did he find out? Oh, Blake, this is awful isn't it?”

“Yes, it is. He's Anna Marie's kid brother and I know his name, too; Jim Westerling alias Hugh Westmont and, are you ready for this—alias Sam Weston. He's already served time for drug dealing but he's out now on probation. Has been for over six months.”

Clarissa gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. A cold chill swept through her body. “That's who we met Thanksgiving Day,” she whispered, “and he's running loose right now, right across the road where my kids are going this evening to pick up the wire they pulled this afternoon.”

She slid out of the booth. “Blake, I have to go home. I have to go home now.”


Grannie Annie said...

Oh Eva, I love this story but it drives me crazy to keep stopping. I'm a book in two days person, a reading dervish, I just have to know what comes next. I tremble to think what would happen if I ever wrote a book, I would have to type until my eyeballs fell out until I knew how it was going to end. I don't watch TV I read, and I can hardly wait for this to be a book so I can sit down and read it again enjoying the whole story at one time.
You are a wonderful writer because this story chapter after chapter just draws me right in and carries me along with it. Happy writing ~ Deann

Looking to the Stars said...

I love it! I can hardly wait till it comes out. Wonderful work!

~Cheryl said...

Shoot! I forgot this was just a "teaser" and was shocked when it ended. I was totally drawn in and caught up with the story. I think you wanted feedback? Well, don't wait for feedback....I want to know the rest! Great stuff!

Margo said...

I am so pleased to meet you and your blog! I am here via you daughter's place. Happy Birthday! sorry i didn't find you earlier, but I'm glad to find you now. I agree, it's hard to wait for what comes next (and I also want to read what comes before). There is definitely a great sense of danger here, and I'm not sure who to trust. I'll be back, Eva. Happy birthday again! (I love your daughter and her blog :)



Marie Reed said...

I'm here to give you huge Birthday hugs! I hope that you have a cake with extra frosting induced hangover from yesterday!

Grannie Annie said...

Always a day late and a dollar short...Hope you had a Happy, Happy Birthday Eva!!! Have a wonderful year Amazing Story Lady.

Ellie Great said...

All the best!

Catherine said...

Eva, your stories are so intriguing! I can hardly wait for your next teaser... which should be coming up pretty soon, right? You have us all on pins and needles, waiting to see how this story continues to unfold! And, last but not least, Happy Birthday - a month late!!