Welcome to the tasty titbit that is Teaser Tuesday! (I nearly typed Friday Feast there, a series that long-term followers will recognise, but which finished up a few years ago and was VERY COOL). Anyway, TT is where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally sucker writing buddies into doing the same.
Today I delighted to host Alli Sinclair on the blog. Alli and I share the same publisher, which is why she has amaaaaazeballs covers (and excellent books). As a very well-travelled lady, it makes sense that her stories are filled with adventure, excitement and, of course, romance. She loves sexy guys with sexy accents (don’t we all… sigh), exploring the world’s amazing cultures, and dancing.
Alli’s latest release is Beneath the Parisian Skies, a sweeping saga about love, truth, grief and passion–and what it takes to fulfil a dream, and it looks and sounds beautiful. And today you have the great fortune of reading a special scene from the book.
Make sure you read to the bottom because you could discover a way to get your hands on a FREE prequel to Beneath the Parisian Skies!
This excerpt takes place in the present-day story, between Yves and Lily. They’ve already met twice and even though she doesn’t believe in muses, Yves is convinced her presence inspires him and will help him finish the ballet score he’s writing. She’s been trying to distance herself from ballet since quitting two years prior. Yves opens up the scene:
‘I understand. Not everyone is like me and will talk about their life to strangers. Although, we have met more than twice so that makes us acquaintances now.’ He grinned and dabbed his mouth with a serviette. ‘Do you mind if I have one more thing to say about Natalie? Then we change the subject.’
‘Sure,’ she said, figuring Yves wouldn’t let up. And even though Lily hardly knew him, she enjoyed his warmth and friendliness.
‘I overheard Natalie say you are wasting your life and she does not want you in hers.’
Her fingers turned ice cold. ‘You heard that?’
‘I am sorry but it is impossible to switch off ears, yes? Plus, you two were yelling.’
‘Was it really loud?’
That chunk of hair fell over his eye again and she resisted the urge to lean over and gently brush it away. ‘You were not too loud but using my ears is part of my job and I can hear even the softest sound.’
His laugh spurred her to join in. ‘Luckily, they travel a lot. Back to you and your sister, though; why does she think you are wasting your time?’
‘Long story.’ Such a long, long story.
‘You are hard to get to know, Lily Johansson.’
‘Sorry. It’s just I’ve spent a lot of time alone recently and I’m not used to deep conversations.’ She placed her elbows on the table and placed her forehead on her hands. ‘God, that sounds pathetic. I’m not a social leper, I promise.’
‘You are having some troubles, that is all.’
‘Wish it was only some,’ she mumbled.
‘Do you want to be out of Natalie’s life?’
‘She’s always been melodramatic.’ Once more, Lily didn’t properly answer.
‘I understand your sister well enough to know that what is normal for most people is a big drama for Natalie.’ He drummed his fingers on the tablecloth. ‘I believe I can help you.’
‘How?’ She leaned forward, trying to suppress the rising hope.
‘I am one of the few people Natalie will listen to. I don’t know why but it is so.’
Lily knew exactly why her sister would pay attention to what Yves said—his charm, openness, and ridiculously good looks for starters.
‘She is dancing as understudy in the current ballet for Bohème but will be auditioning for Turning Pointe. This means my score must be completely finished very, very soon.’ She nodded for him to continue, not sure where he was headed. ‘So I have a proposal for you.’
‘Dare I ask?’ Heat flushed across her face.
‘I will smooth the way for Natalie to listen to you.’
‘Good luck on that.’
‘I do not make a promise unless I can keep it. I will get your sister to listen but I cannot guarantee her reaction.’ He leaned back against the chair. ‘In return, I will have the pleasure of your company while I put the finishing touches on Turning Pointe.’
Lily’s mouth dropped open then she quickly closed it. Of course Yves Rousseau was too good to be true. For a moment he’d convinced her he wasn’t the peculiar composer she’d met in the park yet here he was, spouting ridiculous proposals once again.
‘I’m not your muse.’
‘Maybe we should not use that word.’
‘You were happy to call me that when you grabbed me the other day.’ She scraped her chair against the stone, ready to make a hasty exit.
‘And I apologise.’ He held his hand over his heart. ‘I get carried away at times, just like your sister.’
‘I’ll be honest and tell you I am desperate. The ballet company hired me in good faith to deliver this ballet but I am stuck. It is written but it is not to the point where I am fully happy. It does not have …’ He waved his hand in the air as if trying to grasp the right word. ‘Zest. Passion. Je ne sais quoi. But the two times I have seen you in the park the spark returned. And now that I have seen you today …’ he pushed out a long, low whistle, ‘I am inspired again.’
‘Muses don’t exist. They’re just used by artists as an excuse not to work.’
‘Are you always this cynical?’
‘No.’ At least, she hadn’t always been like this. She used to be a glass is half full kinda gal but since Aiden’s death her demeanour and view on life had changed. She’d struggled with it every day but just couldn’t be the person she once was.
Yves said, ‘I shall call you my inspirationist.’
‘Inspirationist.’ His lips twitched then broke into a wide smile. ‘Deal?’
‘I don’t know.’ Although, she couldn’t see another way to achieve her goal. She had to get to the bottom of Natalie’s behaviour and if she had to sacrifice a few hours with an odd composer then so be it.
‘Fine.’ She crossed her arms.
‘Are you saying yes?’ His wide eyes sparkled.
‘Excellent! And so we begin Project Inspiration.’
Beneath the Parisian Skies is available now from your favourite bookstore, in print and ebook. Try Booktopia, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, amazon.com, amazon.com.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your preferred retailer.
Now, as mentioned at the start, there’s a freebie. And don’t we adore those! Grab your ebook copy of Parisian Dreams, the prequel to Beneath the Parisian Skies, for free from amazon.com, amazon.com.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play. The perfect way to try one of Alli’s books and ease you into Beneath the Parisian Skies.
Go get ‘em!