Dee Davis treats us to a special peek into her time travel romance Cottage in the Mist #FlashFiction #CMCon17 #FeaturedAuthor #giveaway
Please help me welcome author Dee Davis!
For Dee’s Coastal Magic 2017 Featured Author spotlight post, I wanted to give her something fun and different to do. So we decided to indulge in a little flash fiction! If you’re not familiar with flash fiction, it’s very simple: write a short story driven by specific prompts. Here are the prompts I gave Dee for this exercise:
- Length: 400-700 words
- Setting: A deserted beach
- Item to include: an old Sony Walkman tape player with just one song on it (choose anything from the 1980s)
- Goal: The character is running to or from something
- Tone: Whimsical and/or inspirational
Dee NAILED this short story! I’ve read it several times now and each time gives me chills. Read on for a charmingly memorable little story by author Dee Davis, then enter for a chance to win her book Cottage in the Mist!
Were this scene part of the published story in Cottage in the Mist, it would have taken place between Chapters 1 and 2…
Lily Chastain stepped through the french doors onto the terrace overlooking the Long Island Sound. This stretch of beach was private, and, at this time of night, deserted. Above her head stars flickered and a pale sliver of moon cast its light across the water.
She could hear the waves as they crashed to shore, the sound at once melancholy and comforting. There was rain in the air and the cool tang of the salty breeze. Despite her parents’ penchant for moving around, Lily had spent most of her summers here, playing by the water. Alone and yet in the company of so many creatures. Crabs and seagulls, pipers and cranes, turtles and dolphins, and even the occasional whale.
Still, despite her solitude, she’d always known her parents were out there somewhere. In the city or across the ocean, they’d been part of this world. Her world. And now…now they were gone. Forever. She touched the cool silver of her father’s wedding ring as it hung from its chain between her breasts.
In moonlit kissed shadows a wave broke, a flash of green breaking across the crest. Fairy lights, her mother had always caused it. Lily knew that it was nothing more than biolumination. Plankton or algae or some such. But she’d always loved the wonder of her mother’s words. As if anything were possible. As if there truly were magic in the world.
A bitter laugh bubbled up from deep inside her. Magic was for other people. Not for her. Not here. Not now. Maybe Valerie had it right. Her mother’s friend had insisted earlier that Lily needed to go away. To escape the pain of not only her parents’ untimely deaths, but the news that their money was gone, and with it her supposedly devoted fiancé.
Suddenly the plane ticket to Scotland seemed a Godsend.
Lily moved toward the beach and the little statue of Peter Pan that sat at the opening to the terrace. A copy of the statue in Carl Schurz park in Manhattan, her father had given it to her mother on their eighth wedding anniversary. The bronze one. Her mother had grown up near the park. On 86th street. And she loved the statue and the memories it invoked. So her father, in his usual grandiose way, had commissioned a copy to be made.
She stroked Pan’s pointed hat, the metal cool against her palm. Carefully she reached beneath the brim and pulled the lever that sent the hat upward, revealing a hidden compartment. A special feature her father had added for no reason other than the fact that it had amused him.
Over the years it had become the resting place of all kinds of family trivia. Their memory box, her mother had called it.
Tears welled, and Lily reached inside, her hand closing over the hard plastic body of her mother’s Walkman. Bright yellow, it had been a crucial part of her mother’s morning walk along the shore. Until her father had produced the newer, cooler iPod, and then the Walkman had become a discarded relic, left behind—forgotten.
She lifted it out of the statue and slipped on the earphones. Not much chance of it working, but still it was a connection to her mother, and just at the moment that mattered. More than she could say. For a moment the machine wheezed, and then suddenly the sound of George Michael’s voice filled her ears.
Lily smiled. Her mother had been insane about this particular song. So much so that her father had made a mix tape with nothing but Father Figure on it. It played over and over in an endless loop.
“If you are the desert, I am the sea…”
She closed her eyes, seeing her mother and father laughing and dancing, here on the sand, their love so powerful it almost seemed to glow. She’d stood there watching them. Loving them. Yet knowing also, even at that young age, that their world wasn’t quite big enough for her. That the two of them belonged together. Forever.
And now they had their wish.
She glanced up at the sky, her heart twisting with pain. Across the sand, the waves broke again, another ripple of green.
Tears fell as George sang on, the words almost taunting.
“I will be the one who loves you—‘til the end of time…”
The music died, and she ripped the earphones away before the song could begin again. There was no going back. Nothing to do that would recreate her life again. Everything had gone. And yet, she was still here. Still standing. Still breathing.
And tomorrow she’d go to Scotland. To the inn at Duncreag. And maybe, just maybe, she’d find that the magic was out there waiting for her.
Ancient words, a powerful legend, a timeless love…
Lily Chastain has lost everything—her family, her inheritance, and her fiancé. Desperate to escape her pain, she heads for a remote castle in Scotland, but is trapped by a violent storm along the way. Injured and alone, she is drawn by a lighted cottage in the mist. What she finds there will change her life forever.
Attacked by a vicious rival and betrayed by someone from his own clan, Bram Macgillivray finds himself alone and on the run. His father is dead, his holding all but destroyed. Wanting vengeance, he seeks out the help of his cousins, but finds instead a beautiful woman who calls to his heart.
After losing herself in an unexpected and wonderful night of sensuality, Lily wakes to find Bram gone. But even more disturbing, when she leaves the sanctuary of the cottage, she finds that it has disappeared as well.
Separated by over five hundred years, yet tied together through a magic stronger than the bonds of time and place, Lily and Bram fight to find each other again. And as Lily uncovers the secrets of the past, she must race to find a way back to save the only man she’s ever truly loved.
About the author
Dee’s highly acclaimed first novel, Everything In Its Time, was published in July 2000. Since then, among others, she’s won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards.
Recently she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Romance Writers and has also been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award for romantic suspense from Romantic Times. In addition, she is Hall of Fame member of the New Jersey Romance Writers and was awarded an Odyssey Medal from Hendrix College.
To date, she has written 31 novels and novellas including romantic suspense, time travel, and women’s fiction. Among her latest books you’ll find her Random Heroes Collection and her newest novel Cottage in the Mist.
She’s lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now resides in an 1802 farmhouse in Connecticut she still calls Texas home.
I’m excited to give away a copy of Dee Davis’s Cottage in the Mist to one reader of today’s post! To enter to win, fill out the prize widget below.
- Don’t forget to leave a comment letting us know what you thought of the flash fiction story!
- Feel free to leave some questions or comments for Dee as well!
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