I hope you have had the chance to take a look at my morning and afternoon guests. If not, check out what Lisette Kristensen and Felicity Brandon have to offer you.
My final guest for the day is Bree M. Lewandowski, a new writer who released her debut novel, Under Winter Lights: Part 1, last month. I haven’t read it yet but judging by the beautiful excerpt she chose to share with Bree is a promising author with a great literary voice who knows how to bring out the beauty of ballet dancing in her writing. I’d strongly recommend that you give her a chance and get her novel, it is only .99cents and it offers a lot.
Bree M. Lewandowski
The world of Ballet had always been Martina’s world, made of music and magic. But the seasons are changing and like the snow tumbling over Chicago, Martina’s music-box world is swirling.
Director of The Bellus Ballet Company, Alan Jung, can offer her luxury and fame. But Russian rebel Maraav, “a wolf with gray eyes,” has everything Martina needs.
Three hearts made of hope, flesh and stone…
With the curtain set to rise…
“It’s none of my business about all this, even if you agreed to it.”
He didn’t answer. Instead, Maraav took her coat from the back of the chair and held it up for Martina to slide her arms through. Confused, she slipped in, still looking at him for some sort of answer. But Maraav hooked his arm through Martina’s and led her out of Nuevo Leon.
The white SUV hummed to a start as they approached, like some kind of mechanical sled dog to whisk them home in the artic night air. Inside the seats were already losing their chill and the heaters warmed the space around them. A quiet melody played from the stereo. The Russian words were sung thoughtfully, along with the reflective nature of the piece.
Maraav stated he would never return to his country. But he clearly still felt ties to it. And the idea struck Martina heavily. The directors, or whoever who denied him the right to go to his dying mother-they were at fault. Grievous fault. But they weren’t Russia. He came to this country, leaving one that he both hated and cared for. The white nights he told her about, the mild sweet summers, going to Kofe Haus in the mornings before rehearsal to get a coffee-under the mild melody that played now, Martina felt she could almost see the faraway gaze in Maraav’s eyes. A land that reared him and the people that betrayed him.
Next to him, the street lamps alternately lighting the interior of the car, Martina felt petty. Sore toes, wild worries-did she have a right to complain? Her home was only two hours away and right now her mother was probably in bed. She had not come to an entirely new life under a burden like the loss of a parent. And Maraav did not let on that he carried any such pain with him. Without the hint of Mayerling, Martina would never have guessed.
Next to him, glancing up as the light from headlights and street lights flickered in the deep grey eyes, Martina wanted to bubble out how sorry she was for being such a child.
“Eighteenth, you said? Eighteenth and what again?”
“Halstead,” Martina replied quietly.
Shortly the white vehicle pulled up in front of the Uribe store. The stick shift was slid into park and the headlights clicked off. The street lamp overhead lit the dashboard, leaving Martina and Maraav in partial darkness. Carefully, Martina undid her seatbelt, but lingered.
She didn’t want to get out. Not yet. Part of her wanted to say how awful she felt and how sorry she was. Another part of Martina wanted to explain that she did not really expect him to take her to dinner every night. But he had been sweet to make her feel special. And part of Martina just did not want to go. The apartment was so small. And maybe there was a note on the door. Tonight had been so wonderful. Even this. Just sitting with him was wonderful.
Maraav waited, noticing her hesitation.
At length, Martina managed, “Thank you so much. For everything today.”
“That sounds like a sad goodbye, Mooshka.”
She flapped her hands somewhat. “Well, I mean it. Thank you, Maraav. Tonight was…wonderful.”
The blue eyes found his in the dim light. Maraav met her gaze without waver.
“We won’t be able to go to dinner tomorrow night,” he said gently.
“I understand. I didn’t really expect you to do this every night.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We have the benefit dinner at the Hotel Baker tomorrow night, Mooshka. Did you forget? Tomorrow is Friday.”
“Oh!” Laughing to break up the catch in her voice from the lump that appeared while Maraav spoke, Martina replied, “I forgot completely about that!”
He smiled. “Let me take you.”
“Okay,” Martina answered, without a beat missed.
“And then we’ll start our dinners again on Monday,” he added, offering her his hand.
“Okay,” Martina replied again, conscious of the grin she wore as she placed her hand in his.
The grey eyes sparkled in mischief as Maraav brought Martina’s hand to his lips. “Spokoynoy nochi Mooshka,” he said, turning her hand over and softly pressing his mouth into her palm.
Every inch of Martina flushed hot then cold. And then hot again, sending a tremble throughout her entire frame. The giggle that followed was made of confusion and delight. With a hope to high Heaven that the giggle would not be followed by a snort, Martina squirmed and pulled her hand away.
“Goodnight,” she squealed, her hand alive with tingles and her face beaming.
“Goodnight again, Mooshka.”
Hopping from the SUV, hardly aware her feet touched the ground, or the stairs as she climbed up to her apartment, Martina held the hand he kissed close, not sure of anything, but so, so happy.
Maraav was a tease and he did it well.
But Martina had never been teased like that before and she loved it.
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BREE M. LEWANDOWSKI
Writing has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. In my twenties, I fell into the world of fanfiction and developed a love for writing for an audience. But it wasn’t until National Novel Writing Month three years ago that I earnestly wanted my work published. And NaNoWriMo provided me with that opportunity. I’m a dance teacher of sixteen years in my day job. My husband and I have three furry babies. What else do I say? I love coffee and pasta. And I can’t swim.
I hope you have had a good time with the Tuesday Guest Spotlight and I hope to meet you next week. If you liked that format and my guests, leave them a comment.