03 August 2008

Guest Blogger: Marguerite Arotin

Hello readers! This week we welcome Marguerite Arotin as she discusses her novella from The Wild Rose Press: ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER, a time travel set in 1962 and the early years of rock'n'roll.


ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER by Marguerite Arotin
Deana Curtis, a young law-school student vacationing in Manchester, England is shocked to find herself transported back to 1962 after she makes a wish on a golden amulet. There she meets her childhood crush--Tristan Wallace. Armed with the knowledge of Tristan's bleak future, can she stop the sexy spy/rock star from mysteriously disappearing?

Tristan wants to believe that the golden-haired pixie is telling the truth, but her story sounds insane. Could she truly be a time traveler who made a wish to help him? As he grows closer to Deana, he not only believes her, but worries that he will be unable protect her from his evil enemy--communist spy, Sascha Pope.

When did the writing bug hit you?

I've been writing steadily since the third grade, when my mom gushed on and on about how much she loved a Halloween story I wrote for a class assignment. However, I didn't complete a full manuscript until after the birth of my son.

What sparks your inner muse?

Sometimes, I'll read something or watch a movie that plants a story idea firmly in my head. Other times, I'll find my inspiration while surfing the net. I'm really a research junkie and sometimes when I'm researching a tale, I'll read something that catches my eye and I'll save it in the back of my head. Other times, it's dreams that provide the inspiration. I keep a notebook by my bed at night and if I have an interesting dream, I'll jot it down.

Does setting play a major role in your "romances from the heartland & beyond"?

Definitely. When I decide to set a story in a particular area, I really dive into it because I want the reader to be transported there as well.

What can you tell us about your current release, ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER?

ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER was originally written for The Wild Rose Press's Through the Garden Gate contest. When I read about the contest and learned that where they wanted the stories set was close to Liverpool, England, I thought it would be so cool to write a story set in the summer of 1964, just before the Beatles made it big, and let my heroine go back in time to meet them.

My Vintage Rose entry didn't win the contest, but the editor who e-mailed me was kind enough to allow me to resubmit, provided that I change a few things. I loved the idea because I could expand the story slightly, and up the suspense by introducing my villain's POV, I could change the setting to my hero's manor home in Manchester, and introduce my hero's mom and grandmother. I wanted to do all this, but was limited by the word count for the contest. I made my changes, send it back in, and received a contract for ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER a week later.



Exactly twenty-three hours and forty minutes, after her conversation with Tristan in his kitchen, Deana sat in the passenger seat of his Ferrari, at the parking lot of The Rose and Crown. She smoothed her light blue skirt and adjusted the straps of her navy blue bodice.

She turned to Tristan and asked, "How do I look?"

"Beautiful, of course. Really, Deana, you didn't need to go overboard. The gold heart earrings are nice, but a bit much for a pub."

"I know." She adjusted her shoulder straps again. "I...I don't know. I guess..."

He placed his hand on her shoulder and she loved the warmth of his touch. "Remember, Paul and John are just two ordinary blokes who play music. No different from me. Treat them as such, and you'll be fine. They'll see you as you are—a witty, pretty, free-spirited girl."

She smiled. "You sure have a way with words." She exhaled. "All right, I'm ready."

He opened the car door, rose from his seat, and then opened the trunk.

She gasped when he propped his guitar case beside the car. "You brought along the fender strat? When did you sneak that in the trunk?"

"When you were in the bath this morning. I have a bit of a surprise for you."

"Ooh, I love surprises."

He opened the car door and took her hand. Even though she was just going to a common Brit pub, she felt like Cinderella, on the arm of her handsome prince. Tristan certainly knew how to play the part of a prince because he held the door to the Rose and Crown open and allowed her to enter first.

When they walked in, she noticed all of the Beatles, John, Paul, George, and the original drummer, Pete Best, setting up their gear on a small stage. "What?" She gave Tristan a playful nudge in the arm. "You didn't tell me they'd be playing here tonight."

"I wanted to save it for a surprise. And guess who they invited to play with them?"

Her legs wobbled beneath her, while she somehow managed to stumbled onto a barstool. This was too much—her favorite musicians on one stage. Deana only wished her brother, who also loved Acid Moon and the Beatles, could be here to see this. Damn it, if I told Mark, he'd never believe me.

Tristan gave her a wink as he walked to the stage with his beautiful guitar in his hands and did a sound check with the rest of the group. Her heart positively melted when they strummed the first notes of "Please, Please Me".

Tristan kept perfect time with the rest of the group and looked utterly delicious on the small stage. The lights made his wavy hair shine like black satin. All the other boys in the band wore the standard three button suits. Tristan looked so much cooler in his white sport coat, black button down shirt, and tight blue jeans.

Listening to Pete Best, she could understand why Brian Epstein eventually fired him. He didn't keep time as well as the rest of the boys. Pete was attractive, but he just didn't have the same level of talent.

She clapped along with the rest of the half-empty tavern when the song ended. Then Tristan gave her an even bigger surprise.

"I'd like to dedicate this song to a pretty girl I met yesterday named Deana. It is one of my biggest hits with my band, Acid Moon, and I taught it to my friends here tonight."

The spotlight shone down upon him as he played the first chords of Acid Moon's hit, "Starry Eyed Princess." She closed her eyes and listened to Tristan sing the lyrics in a sweet tenor voice, wondering if he wrote the love song for Katrina, but thrilled that he'd dedicated the song to her.

After they finished playing their set, Deana rushed into Tristan's arms and covered his face with kisses.

Paul chuckled. "So this must be the pretty girl you met yesterday."

"She certainly is. Deana, I'd like you to meet Mr. James Paul McCartney."

"You can simply call me Paul, love," Paul replied and kissed her hand.

She didn't know how to reply. Paul was absolutely adorable and so young. All the boys were. Even the newlywed, John.

Tristan invited all of them over to a corner table and ordered a round of drinks for everyone. After the first few beers, Deana was finally able to relax and joined in on the conversation.

She doubled over in laughter when Paul talked about their exploits in Germany. "I can't believe you nailed a condom to the wall and burned it at that club."

Paul winked. "It was Pete's idea. Our revenge for the owner snubbing us."

John and George seemed to be the two more serious boys of the band, while Paul and Pete were the jokesters.

Too soon, the night ended and she kept her promise not to spill the beans about any of their futures, although she almost slipped and said something about little Julian to John after the second shot of whiskey. All the same, she did want to give some sort of advice to the boys, who would all soon be musical legends.

She took a deep breath and said. "You guys are all very talented and I hope you'll book as many gigs as you can to share your talent with the rest of the world. Also, trust in your music and have faith in what you believe in."

John kissed her cheek. "Sage advice, Deana."

I'm never washing this cheek again. She waved farewell to the boys and then took Tristan's arm. "So what do I do now that you've made all my dreams come true?"

He leaned down and whispered into her ear, "All of them?" He caressed her breast. "Are you certain I've made all your dreams come true?"

"A...um...m-maybe there's one more." The heat raced through her body and her knees had the consistency of Jell-o.

"Perfect. Then let's get back to my cottage so I can take care of that last dream."

This is for real. Tristan Wallace is really going to make love to me. She had to keep reminding herself of that because she felt as if she'd wake up in her bed any minute in the year 2007, miles away from this handsome, romantic, dashing man.


To purchase ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER, click here, and watch the book trailer here. Marguerite can be found at her website and on MySpace.


Thanks for joining us, Marguerite!

You can win a copy of ONE ENCHANTED SUMMER. Simply leave a comment or question for Marguerite. We'll draw a random commenter next Sunday, so be sure to check back and see who's won. Good luck!