The following leapt unbidden into my mind while I was waiting for my winter tires to be put on my Subaru. I had to go to the clerk at the counter and ask for pen and paper. My subconscious must have been working for quite a while on the problem of how to introduce an element into Elsa’s story that is barely hinted at in Harvest of the Heart. Why my mind picked that moment to spit it out, I do not know. There isn’t much in the way of spoilers in what follows, nothing more that what is in the description of HotH. But it will alert you to a very vague hint that is present in my first book. Neither give you much to go on. (I can be stingy that way, I guess.)
I envision using this as a prelude to Avenging Angel, the “under-construction” sequel to HotH (Coming in August-September, 2012) or in the third, untitled book in the series. If you don’t like to be teased, you can stop reading now.
One day it happened while Elsa was sleeping, unaware. She woke from the recurring dream about her long-dead mother. As usual, every element of the dream was the same except for the sundress that her mother was helping her get into. The bright, spring colors and flowery patterns were different in every dream. This time the fabric was a pale yellow and covered with Purple Passion roses.
A melancholy mood held her as she opened her eyes; there was little passion of any color in her life now.
The disorientation she felt coming out of the dream helped erase some of the dismal feeling. She rolled out of bed and stumbled through the dimly lit hall into the bathroom, picking up dirty clothes along the way and dropping them into the hamper. When she switched on the vanity light and turned to the reflection of her narrow face and blond hair, she knew right away that something was wrong. It took her a moment to spot it.
The mole, the one just in front of her left ear lobe; the mole she planned to get removed when she either had better insurance or could afford it on her own; that mole was gone.
Elsa wasn’t frightened, and only a little surprised. But the other times she’d found herself in a reality not her own, she’d been aware of the journey and confident in her ability to find her way home.
Not this time.
Other differences began to clamor for attention when she returned to the bedroom.
One dramatic anomaly brought her hand to her mouth to catch a shocked gasp. Among the clutter of brushes, hair bands, and books on her dresser, was a picture of her parents. Both of her parents; a mother who had been murdered when Elsa was four; a father dead in a car accident ten years ago, when she was seventeen.
The picture showed a smiling, twenty-seven-year-old Elsa standing between the two of them. The first touch of old age was beginning to show on their faces. A sob – anguished, but with a hint of hope – slipped between her fingers.
Elsa rushed to the window and threw open the curtains. The sight that greeted her was even more unbelievable than the picture on her dresser.
I’m would truly appreciate your comments, especially from those few of you who got an advance look at Harvest of the Heart.