Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.
I thought I’d share just a bit of the charm between Starli Cameron and Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, the co-protagonists in my upcoming release, the second book in the Appleton, West Virginia Mystery series: Knight in Shining Apron.
Joel, being the perceptive person he is, realizes that Starli is affected by beautiful things. Gifts, his efforts to make her smile and laugh, and flowers give her a much-needed sense of being needed and appreciated.
This comes from Chapter Ten after the Appleton mayor asked Starli to do an iceskating exhibition for the town winter fest:
Where was Joel? She hadn’t seen his car when she’d pulled in. Would he stand her up or get busy and forget like Ryan had done more times than she cared to remember? Nervousness clutched at her stomach again. Dear God, what had she gotten herself into? Could she perform without Joel? Impossible with the moves they’d planned together.
But when she stepped out on the edge of the ice, there he was, resplendent in a blue and
silver figure-hugging outfit, his gaze on the shoreline crowd, as if searching for someone.
Her breath caught in her throat. He looked fantastic—a Greek god with his chiseled facial
bones and blond hair. His lean body, firm and muscled, stood out against the colorful crowd.
He turned and a light brightened his blue eyes. His gaze dropped to the violets on her
shoulder, then returned to her face. “This is it, My Love. Let’s go out there and show them
what skating is all about.”
“I’m ready.” Shaky, but said with a willingness that bolstered her courage.
They stood arm in arm, and when at last the announcer began his spiel, Starli felt the
muscles under Joel’s sleeve tense. Her own body responded to the excitement. This was it.
“…Ladies and gentlemen, our own lovely and tal-ent-ed…Starli Cameron, a-n-d her partner—all the way from Great Britain—Sir Jo-el Peter-man Blair!”
Starli stepped out, with Joel beside her, and they spread out, their fingers touching, the spotlight focused on them. The crowd cheered, but the cheers faded as she wrapped herself in the small world of performance she’d always loved.
Then as the music began their introduction, she slid into position, facing Joel, his gaze riveted on her. They paused then broke into their beginning moves.
As she waltzed into her routine, Starli forgot the crowd, forgot the past, and forgot everything but the moment with Joel. He never faltered and never sought the limelight for himself. Every movement served to complement and enhance her own. His strong hands lifted her, and Starli’s brain counted one, two, three, before he settled her back on her feet, and they moved on to execute their flying spins in unison. Her spirit exalted with the breathtaking, exhilarating world she and Joel were creating. If her heart hadn’t already been pounding from the excitement, she could have soared into the icy heavens.
When at last the music exploded into its grand finale—as one, they finished with a
spiral, moved back into their ice skating waltz, and Starli floated into a hydro-blade.
The crowd erupted into a roar. Joel lifted her to her feet and raised her hand to the people in
the stands and at the lakeshore. Then he dropped her hand and flung out an arm in
preference to her. Starli gave them a bow, a curtsy, waved, and clasped hands with Joel
once again as he pulled her close. She heard his words—his mouth near her ear—over the
drowning sound of the ecstatic clapping and cheering.
“Thanks for wearing my violets.”
Do watch for Knight in Shining Apron‘s release this month! There will be giveaways, a contest and lots of fun in store!