Welcome to the 2017 A to Z Blog Challenge. During the month of April, Chrys N. Jay shares snippets from friend’s books, and takes a peek at love.
Today, for ‘I’, Susanne Matthews stops by to share an excerpt from her book, In Plain Sight.
I is for In Plain Sight
In life, you pay a price for everything you do. Widowed, her dream of starring on Broadway in ashes at her feet, Misty Starr yearns for a happy, healthy, normal life for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Debbie. Settled in Pine Falls, New York, a sleepy little town filled with friendly people, she believes she’s found it and feels safe enough to sing in an amateur theater revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. She’ll do anything to keep this life even if it is built on lies, because revealing her secret is impossible. When Nick Anthony joins the cast as music director, Misty is attracted to the man who stirs up feelings she thought long dead, but can love grow on a bed of deceit?
A former concert pianist and secret CIA courier, Nick lives in darkness ever since the accident that killed his wife. The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with his vision, so why can’t he see? Hiding from his former life, he reluctantly agrees to help with the musical and is drawn to the young singer with the voice of an angel. When a mysterious fire destroys her home, Nick vows to keep her and her daughter safe. After one suspicious event leads to another, Nick is determined to protect them from an unknown assassin, but in order to do that, he needs to know her secrets. With his money and connections, he’ll do whatever it takes to save the woman he loves, but does she love him enough to reveal the truth?
Nick sat with his back to the keyboard listening to Misty’s footsteps as she hurried out of the theater. What had just happened? His hand pulsed with heat and energy. He hadn’t imagined that jolt of electricity through his body, the flash of lightning that had illuminated his darkness. He’d been struck mute, unable to utter a sound. He’d shaken more than his fair share of hands, and no one had ever affected him that way. Had she felt it, too? She’d sounded flustered before she’d left so abruptly.
Without sight, it was harder to judge someone’s initial reaction, but she’d let him hold her hand a second longer than necessary, and he’d felt her pulse race almost as fast as his. Hell, he was still breathing heavy, and all he’d done was shake her hand. He stared into the black void in front of him as he had every waking moment of his life since the accident. He’d come to hate the blackness that surrounded him, but just for a moment tonight, when he’d touched her, there’d been light.
Her voice! She had a wonderful voice, an angel’s voice, the kind of voice that belonged on Broadway, not in some small-town theater production. She must have had vocal training. He hadn’t been kidding; she could out-sing more than half the so-called divas out there today. He pulled the small hand-held recorder he’d brought with him and rewound it to the track he wanted.
He pressed play, and her powerful, soulful voice filled the room. Nick had recorded all the soloists, but this was the only one that mattered. Micah had raved about her voice, and Nick had recorded her number simply to prove to them both that, while her voice might be good, it wasn’t memorable. Listening to someone on tape often brought his or her vocal flaws to the surface. As the song continued, he had to admit there were no flaws here. He’d been hoisted on his own petard. For the first time in his life, he was glad he’d been in error.
Micah was a car salesman, not a Broadway producer, nor was he a musical director, and though his little group had done well in the past, they’d never attempted anything quite so grand. This time, knowing the intricacies of such a production and the need for it to succeed, Nick had thought Micah had bitten off more than he could chew.
How could he have been so wrong? Not only was the Pine Falls Theater Company more than up to the task, their version of the musical, toned down as it needed to be to meet their production limitations, was original, and they had some real talent in their midst. He replayed the tract, mesmerized by the hypnotic quality of Misty’s voice. He continued to listen to her sing because she touched his soul, that part of him he’d thought as dead and lost as his vision.