The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than two weeks away! To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.
The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One. Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.
Spotlight on Young Adult: “Boneseeker,” by Brynn Chapman (Month9)
“Arabella!” Henry roars. “Stop this instant.”
I whirl. My fist cocks and I punch, punch, punch his chest, feeling the tears threaten.
Several people stop and stare.
“Move along,” Henry threatens. “Bella,” he croons.
“Do not touch me!” I shriek. I hold up my hands in defense. Protecting my heart. My mind.
“I trusted you. You are the villain. You make me sick. All the while, playing dress-up with that doll of a girl.”
Henry’s face twists with rage. “All it takes is one accusation and you’ve convicted me? All that I’ve said, all that I’ve done? I asked you to marry me two hours ago.”
“Bigamy is illegal in the United States.”
Henry’s hands clench and unclench and he looks around for something to strike. “I never touched her. I never kissed her. Just believe me. I…will never touch another woman again.”
“Such a sacrifice. Do you think your roving hands will honor your pledge?”
All at once the pleading’s gone from his face. A sharp, black rage rumbles across his brow.
“Bella.” The ice in his voice halts me mid-step. I turn and give a little shudder.
Henry’s lips retract, exposing his teeth. It’s a halting contradiction, the beauty of his face contracted with such utter hatred.
“Your heart.” He swallows. “Your heart is algor mortis.”
His voice rumbles like black thunderclouds.
“My heart is like cold death?”
“Yes. I thought I’d put it in terms you could understand.”
“You are right Bella. You aren’t like other girls.”
My stomach contracts, like I’ve been punched, as he throws my own words back at me.
Henry retreats, backwards up the steps.
“Other girls recognize love when they see it.”
(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)
Good luck to Brynn and all our Golden Leaf finalists!