Please welcome my dear friend, Sarah Grimm to my blog today! Take it away, Sarah....
“Where words fail…music speaks.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen
Music. It’s always been an important part of my life. Probably more important than most who know me even realize. Take away my books, and I could go on. After all, I’d still have the voices in my head to keep me company. Take away my music…I cringe just thinking about it. I can’t imagine life without music.
Growing up our house was constantly filled with music. Whether it was The King and I or Anne Murray, Styx or Simon & Garfunkel, there was always music playing. We are a music loving family. And on those rare occasions when the stereo wasn’t going, one of us was usually practicing for an upcoming band or orchestra performance.
Me, I played the bass (string and electric). I was good at it, first chair. But what I always wanted to be good at—hell, great at—was playing the piano. I adore the piano. Honestly, adore isn’t a strong enough word. Sure, as a child I played the piano. Sure, I was an adequate player. But I wasn’t fantastic at it. It wasn’t a natural talent of mine the way the bass was. Oh how I wish it was.
My favorite piece to listen to is the Theme from Somewhere in Time. What an amazing composition. It’s loaded onto my MP3 player amid Nickelback, Shinedown, Theory of a Deadman, and Breaking Benjamin, and on my way to work, when the song switches from ‘Bad Girlfriend’ to ‘Theme from Somewhere in Time’ I crank the stereo and enjoy. And wonder…
What would it be like to play like that? To have a natural, incredible ability to sit down at the piano keyboard and have music flow from your fingertips? To have it play through your mind, a soundtrack to your life, the way words play through my mind? I can only imagine.
And so I did.
AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarah Grimm
Thirteen years—that's how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother's life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar...
Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal--one that doesn't include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won't be easy, but he can't get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.
Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?
Isabeau Montgomery sat in the dimly lit bar and shook like an amateur before her first recital. Her gaze, blurred by the sudden threat of tears, settled on the keys before her. Her stomach cramped painfully, yet the need was too great to ignore.
With ability as natural to her as the color of her skin, she began to play. The waterfall of music filled the air, washed over her, completed her in a way nothing or no one else ever had. Against the razor sharp sting of memories, she fought…
She was young, vibrant, and born with a raw talent rarely seen. Classical, jazz, or rock and roll, she played it all. Loved all the genres—loved to create. All that mattered was her joy, her love for the instrument beneath her fingers and the music she was so skilled at creating.
For a good ninety seconds, joy returned, the rush of adrenaline and, conversely, the sense of belonging. In those seconds, time slowed, the lines between the past and the present blurred, and she was a child again. There was no longer pressure to be something she couldn’t be, no fear of what her future would hold.
And with the innocence of youth, no idea that everything she held dear could be lost in the blink of an eye.
The song built to a crescendo then quickly faded as pain, her old friend, returned with enough force to quash her joy. Her stomach roiled. Her breath caught.
Tears gathered in her eyes, and she dashed them away. Isabeau ran her hands up and over her face, pushing her long mass of ebony hair away from her forehead. She struggled to pull herself back together. Her fingers were chilled, cooler than
normal, yet perspiration pooled at the small of her back. She closed her eyes, took a deep, slow breath.
“I didn’t expect that old thing to be in tune.”
She jumped at the deep baritone voice, slamming her knees into the piano. The key cover abruptly closed, and she startled again. Heart racing, she rose and faced the double doors she’d obviously forgotten to lock.
She swept her gaze around the bar’s dim interior until she spotted a dark, male frame. “The bar is closed.”
Her tone was sharp, curt, and left no room for argument. Under different circumstances, she wouldn’t inflict such rudeness on a customer, but he
intruded on her privacy, her pain. Her emotions were too close to the surface for niceties.
His voice rang with a clipped British accent and the tone of someone unaccustomed to being questioned. “I was here earlier.”
She remembered the voice and didn’t need him to step out of the shadows to recognize him, which he did anyway. She’d served him a few hours ago—
dark lager, no glass—and shared with him a smile as powerful as it was sexy. “We were open earlier. Now, we’re closed.”
His eyebrow shot up. His mouth shaped itself into an ironic curve. “So you have said.”
“Then perhaps you should leave.” Hands unsteady, she bussed the table closest to her and carried the glasses to the bar. His words stopped her cold.
“You’re very talented. How long have you played the piano?”
No, no, no. This wasn’t happening. She closed her eyes on a wave of emotion, doing her best to will him away. But even then she knew. The man at her
back was not going away.
She focused her gaze on his reflection in the mirror that ran the length of the bar. He was tall and lean, with eyes that shone with intelligence, even in the dim light. His hair was a mix of medium and dark blonde, worn long enough it fell across his forehead, nearly into his eyes, and brushed the collar of his shirt. Dark stubble shadowed his jaw.
The fine hairs on her arm stood on end as he crossed to her. She edged to the side and turned to face him. “I don’t play.”
“Of course you do. You were playing when I entered.”
“You’re mistaken.” She countered his step forward with one in retreat, ensuring that she remained out of arm’s reach.
With a frown, he stopped. “You have nothing to fear from me.”
It never occurred to her to fear for her safety, even though the bar was empty but for the two of them, the lights dimmed in deference to the late hour.
“Let me start again by introducing myself.”
“I know who you are.”
Of course she did. He was the person who brought back her desire to create, whose presence in the room made something inside her sing out. He
was the reason she’d been driven to play tonight, after years of resistance. The reason the siren song continued to play in her head, louder than ever before.
Sarah Grimm is an award winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two sons and three miniature schnauzers. Between mom's taxi service, parts runs, and answering the phone for the family marine repair business, Sarah can be found curled in her favorite chair, crafting her next novel.
Find Sarah here:
I personally have this book. It is well written, suspensful and the sexual tension is outstanding!! If you don't have it already...go out and buy it!! It is worth the read!
Happy Wednesday Everyone!