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Excerpt Thursday: THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME by Rachel L. Demeter
This week, we're pleased to welcome author RACHEL L. DEMETERwith her latest novel, THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME. Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. The giveaway for this title - one $25 Amazon gift card - see the Rafflecopter details at the end of this post. Here's the blurb:
her was to rescue his own soul.
On a cold
Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a
broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and
misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in
sheltering little Sofia Rose.
Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in
that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an
understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.
his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is
gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of
reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a
world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might
bring an end to the winter in his heart.
by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of
revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.
**An Excerpt from The Frost of Springtime**
Sofia saw the memories buried within his eyes.
Gunshots. Screams. Rolling cannons and the faded cries of despair. They lodged
inside Aleksender, battling for his soul.
Sofia rose from the ground and tentatively
crouched behind him. Remaining silent, her hands sunk below the material of his
dress shirt and encouraged him with gentle caresses.
“Disease and death were everywhere. Men with
boils and rashes the size of saucers. Anyway, we almost managed to escape. It
was a good mile away that we were spotted. They were corrupt soldiers, nothing
but hungry dogs with a taste for blood-lust. We were tied at the wrists and
ankles, crammed inside a tent. Whether it was days or weeks, I cannot say.”
Scoffing under his breath, he spat, “The fools demanded answers. They demanded
our plans. Strategies. We refused each time. Even so none of us knew anything.”
“Oh, Alek. Why didn’t you tell them? To think
you could have avoided so much pain.”
His shoulders lifted into a dry shrug. “I
suppose we took a morbid delight in their frustration.” His voice was icy,
harsh and void of all emotion. “And besides—it was the prospect of whipping
information from our skin that kept us alive. But we were eventually returned
to the camp. Bloodied, battered and burned—but alive.” Aleksender passed
fingertips through his hairline. “Till this day, I have no idea what changed
their minds …” Aleksender sighed and gave an afterthought, “Word had spread of
their rather unorthodox methods, so to speak. According to rumor, they’d paid
“I pray they burn in hell,” Sofia gasped. “Every
last one of them!”
Aleksender laughed, amused by her goodhearted
blasphemy. “Ah, Sofia, ma chérie. You do wonders for me.” And then a sudden
thought came to his mind. “Christophe was there with me.”
“In the tents?” Sofia murmured, her heart
reaching out to both heroes.
Aleksender merely nodded.
Although she’d never had the pleasure of meeting
Monsieur Cleef, his name inspired a strange twinge of nostalgia inside her gut.
Aleksender had often spoken of his dear friend—a rather admirable man of big
ideas and too little restraint. From what she knew of the roguish skirt-chaser,
she’d always admired him very much.
“Such wonderfully brave men,” she crooned,
caressing one of many scars. “You have a soldier’s heart.”
Cloaked beneath the darkness, Sofia’s fingertips
moved over his back in hypnotic motions, not leaving an inch of him unloved.
“Do they pain you much?”
“No,” he hoarsely answered, “they are no
bother.” His body trembled within her arms. “Not any longer.”
Between tentative kisses and muffled sniffles,
she whispered, “To think of the pain you endured. The cruelty—your suffering.”
Aligning their two bodies, Aleksender cradled
Sofia’s face between his palms and sweetly stroked her skin. Sofia’s toes
curled against the barrier of her slippers. It was intoxicating. By far the
sweetest moment in her nineteen years of life. With a last kiss, he whispered
into her mouth, “Pain is in the mind. And, in my mind, ma chérie … I was with
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful
hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and
high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances
that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.
Imagining stories and characters has been
Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read
or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her.
She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances.
Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every
character is given a soul.
Rachel strives to intricately blend elements
of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray
too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend
all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and
leave an emotional impact through her words.