Welcome to Hound Day, Amanda
By Jeff Salter
It’s only because of my failing memory that I cannot tell y’all exactly when I first met Amanda Fulwell – writing as A.R. Conti Fulwell – but I’m certain it was somewhere in the author group at Clean Reads Publishing, where we both share titles.
And just a few weeks ago, Amanda was looking for a blog (to guest on) right at the point that I was trying to fill a slot in my Hound Day schedule… so I hurriedly signed her up before she could say no.
For today’s Guest Fox, I decided to feature an excerpt from her first novel instead of my usual interview questions. Take a look:
Lina d’Orsini wants nothing more than to paint until her heart is content. Enthralled by the world of art, she does not complain when treated as a servant in her own house by her would-be stepmother. When her friend, Sofia, whisks her away to a ball at the Florentine palace for Lina’s eighteenth birthday, Lina ends up with a lot more than just a dance.
Lorenzo de Medici is tormented by his uncertain future as his family dynasty is constantly threatened by outside forces. When he meets Lina, she gives him the courage to move be-yond his haunting past. Will the two be able to fight the forces working against them and have a future together? With Lina’s life at stake, they must find a way to forgive, but never forget.
A.R. Conti Fulwell holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Malone University and a master’s degree in Education from Walsh University. Her storytelling journey began many years ago when her mother showed her the magic of rewriting fairytales. She claims it is the cure for insomnia, or at least it was for her. Influenced by the greats – Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, T. S. Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald – Amanda resides near Canton, Ohio, and can usually be found curled up with a book, a pen and paper, or behind a camera shooting a short film.
Excerpt from “An Angel in the Distance”
Pierro spotted me, and he knows I am here. Fear bubbled through her veins like hot oil. She felt her face flush but hoped that no one else had noticed. She glanced up at Lore.
“Are you all right?” he whispered.
Lina gazed into his eyes. “Why do you ask?” She glanced down, trying to hide her gaze for fear he could read it.
“My Lady, you’re letting me lead you. You don’t seem like someone who is easily led.”
Now is not the time for nonsense! Lina thought to herself. “I’m afraid, Lore, that the problems that you sense are too grave and incessant in nature for me to explain in the course of one dance.”
He beamed. “This is the longest dance of the evening, and who says we must part at the end?”
Lina could not help but smile. Lore was charming. That was something she could openly admit, but his ability to read her emotions better than she could was almost alarming.
“I suppose it would be best if we did not part. I will have no one to disagree with otherwise,” Lina said, smiling.
“Well then,” he said, “let us continue.”
As the song played, Lina noticed the mass of people surrounding them. Blending in became rather easy in a room full of people. Lina sighed with relief, knowing she was practically invisible.
“May I ask,” Lore began, “if your troubles have anything to do with that gentleman?”
Lina stiffened. “Which gentleman?”
“The one in the balcony who has been glaring at you for the last three dances,” Lore explained. “He seems almost jealous.”
Lina glanced up at the balcony and quickly averted her eyes to the ground. Fear washed over her like a waterfall. “Yes, you may be correct.”
“Why does he glare at you so?”
“He wishes for something that he can never have,” Lina said, staring at the floor. “I fear I may pay the price upon my return.”
“Has he made any offers?” Lore asked cautiously.
“Not exactly offers.”
“You make it sound like he has some sort of leverage over you,” Lore said, looking at her.
“You might be surprised. I see him as a brother, and he sees me as much, much more than a sister.”
“Lore, while a handful of Florentines have adopted the new way of thinking, most of the population is still living in the past.” Lina sighed and tried not to look at him.
“Well, I would love to hear more of this theory,” Lore said, smiling.
“Well, unless you insist upon a private conference on some other occasion, I’m afraid that is all you will get out of me tonight,” Lina said, knowing how angry Pierro would be to see her with another man. “Is there another way out of here?”
“You mean an escape route?” Lore laughed.
“Follow me.” Lore took her hand and led her away.
SEQUEL COMING SOON!
Short Blurb for the Sequel: Angels in Darkness
Relentless and refusing to be beaten, Piero Catone is looking for a rematch. Convinced that Lina’s love is the only thing that will save him from himself, he sets off to win her at any cost. Lina, now the Princess Clarice Angelina d’Orsini wife of Lorenzo de Medici, will not be strong armed so easily. When Piero’s plan goes terribly wrong, he finds himself faced with a straight-forward decision: will he follow the light or surrender to the darkness?
Got a question or comment for Amanda?
[JLS # 440]