Tangled Memories Release date: January 15, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Gothic Romance
Blurb for Tangled Memories
After losing his wife, Dr. Alexander Dominican is determined his infant daughter will not grow up motherless as he did. Offering sensible, kind kindergarten teacher Mary Adams a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution. The widow’s husband left her with a mountain of debt. For Alex, paying it off is a small price to pay for his daughter’s happiness. Until his sensible new wife begins to lose her mind.
On the day of their marriage, Mary starts having frightening hallucinations of medieval England—visions that feel more like the memories of woman who lived centuries before. More terrifying, someone—or some thing—is stalking the new mistress of Marchbrook Manor. Could it be one of the sinister servants? Or Alex himself? Alex is reawakening hidden desires and longings in Mary, but until she can untangle the web of nightmares and secrets, she can trust no one. Not even Alex.
Alex has no idea he’s unleashing a destiny that’s taken him seven hundred years to fulfill.
If Alex and Mary are to salvage their future, they must first unravel centuries of…Tangled Memories.
Tangled Memories buy links
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/TM_AmazonUK
Excerpt – Chapter One
His eyes were gray. I had never noticed before. They weren’t the color of slate but smoky and mysterious.
Swallowing a hard knot of dread that surfaced in my throat, I walked down the silent aisle toward him. Chin held high, very lady-like in posture and demeanor, a trace of smile upon my lips—I was the picture of confidence.
Inside, I trembled.
I stopped in front of the altar. A cloying scent of gardenias assaulted my senses. How curious the delicate white flowers in my bouquet should be so overpowering. Just like the man beside me. Just like the deep, heady gray of his eyes.
I extended my hand. He took it, and I drew a breath and held it. The firmness of his fingers surprised me.
“Friends.” The minister glanced up at us and smiled. “We are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Mary and Alexander in Christian marriage.”
Alex was tall, so tall I had to look up to connect with those mesmerizing eyes. I was aware of my breathing, erratic and shallow. I’d married for the second time in my life and, once again, my reasons were more practical than romantic.
How even more ironic was the Methodist minister’s white stole, a symbol of purity and love. I felt neither pure nor in love. His black robes better matched my somber mood.
“I ask you now,” Reverend Watts continued, “in the presence of God and these people, to declare your intention to enter into a union with one another.”
To enter into a union.
Heaven help me. Would it be a union? How could it be? Our union was a business arrangement, plain and simple. I understood that. For some reason though, sadness settled around my heart.
Reverend Watts looked at me. “Mary, will you have Alexander to be your husband to live together in holy marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?”
Alex’s penetrating gaze burned upon my upturned face. “I will,” I said at last.
“Alexander, will you have Mary to be your wife?”
From underneath my lashes, I watched him. He wore his black hair swept back and long, curling at his neck. A stray lock touched his forehead and set off his eyes. His high cheekbones and jawline gave him a classic look. His lips were full and inviting. Enigmatic in his formal black tuxedo, crisp white shirt, and bow tie, he seemed a brooding Byronic hero. Handsome, though austere, his masculine good looks belonged to another century or, at least, on the cover of a romantic novel.
How different would my life have been if I hadn’t become pregnant my freshman year in college…if I hadn’t married Bill…if I hadn’t miscarried? What if I had met Alexander Dominican under different circumstances, before life touched me so cruelly?
“I will.” His deep voice resonated throughout the empty chapel.
Turning from the minister to me, Alex’s eyes brightened as his gaze captured mine. Out of habit, I licked my lips, but nothing eased my tension. The strain I felt surely communicated to the self-assured man who held my hand. Did he feel the hypocrisy of our oath? Or was he simply satisfied with a marriage of convenience?
Daring him with my stare, I narrowed my own eyes in challenge to his casual acceptance of our deceit before God. His black brow lifted to meet my taunt. He cocked his head as if to tell me I could yet back out. I could walk away a single woman. Poor, but single.
I shifted my gaze, unable to continue our silent joust. He knew full well I couldn’t back out. Bill’s death had made my current situation untenable.
“Let us pray. Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life.”
I bowed my head but couldn’t shut my eyes. My dilemma didn’t seem right. Nothing seemed right these last few weeks. Not since the dark-clad police officer had come to my door telling me my husband of eight years had been killed in a car accident.
Bill and I hadn’t been lovers in the end. Or even in love. Oddly, ours had been a pragmatic marriage because of the baby…the baby who died. Yet, we had made a compact and married before God. I had honored our agreement, much as I planned to honor my new one with this man by my side.
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.
Interview with Jan Scarbrough
How did your life as a writer begin?
I am dating myself. My 9th grade English teacher inspired my love of writing. My first book was written with friends about the Beatles. I went on to college and majored in English. However, I never tried writing a novel until I had a life threatening illness when I was 38. After almost dying, I decided it was time to make my dream of becoming a novelist come true.
How did you come with the idea for your current story?
Tangled Memories was one of my first two novels. It was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist. To self-publish it, I’ve revised it and had a complete re-edit done on the manuscript. My writing style has improved since the book was initially written. I came up with the idea for Tangled Memories after my life-threatening illness. I wondered “what if” the heroine was given a second chance to find her true love.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Keep practicing. Finish that first book and write the next. Find a competent editor and listen to him or her. Don’t believe every word you write is perfect. Accept constructive criticism. And keep learning.
How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Not having enough money to own a horse, I’m still able to get my weekly “horse fix” by taking a riding lesson. I ride at a nice American Saddlebred barn near my home in Louisville, Kentucky. There’s something cathartic about riding for thirty minutes after a long day at work. I always leave the barn feeling as if I can conquer the world.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Years ago, I made a list to answer this question: If I had unlimited time, talent, money, knowledge, self-confidence and support from my family — what are the things I would like to do with my life?
Then, over time, I checked items off my list. I have more to go. Before I get to old to ride a horse, I’d like to go pony trekking in Wales and visit a dude ranch in Montana.
What do you have in store next for your readers?
I wrote a contemporary Western series with author Maddie James called The Montana Ranchers. I’m going to write a sixth story in the series about the family matriarch Liz. I want to see what happens to her, and sometimes I simply have to write the book to find out.
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