by Hunter S. Jones
Genre: Folklore, Historical Fantasy Fiction
Where do dreams end and reality begin?
Sexy rock star James van Lee and Dr. Maggie Pickett meet in Atlanta, at an encounter unknowingly arranged by Rhett Turnquest and Natasha. This complex story continues, taking it’s intriguing cast of characters from the Reconstruction South of 1873 into contemporary 2016. Past, Darkly blends historical fantasy, fairytales, and a dash of Victoriana into an enchanting read. This version includes Story 1 & 2 in The Dreams Series.
Please note: The story from 1873 is written in a southern US dialect used in the late 1800s. For historical accuracy, this book includes exclusive photographs and maps shared by permission of the Library of Congress.
Rhett whispered into the phone, “She wants us both to be there. We are all lifelong friends, Maggie. This is huge for her.”
“For her? Why should I care about what happens to her?” Maggie screamed before she realized what she was saying, a lone tear escaping down her cheek as he broke her heart yet again.
After a pause in which Maggie heard Rhett tap a pen against a tabletop, he said, “Look, Maggie. I meant everything I told you. I love you and I always will. But Natasha and I have a history and she needs me. Please do this. We’ve all three been friends since we were kids.” She heard him breathe deeply and he continued, “Besides, if we aren’t there, she’ll make our lives a living hell. You know how vindictive she is. Just go to the after party. You don’t have to go with us, or even see the show. Simply be there, even if it’s for a few minutes, and let her have her moment of glory.”
Maggie couldn’t breathe. She believed she would pass out. Seeing a bench nearby, she made her way to it and sat on the cold concrete before she said anything. This was all Natasha’s revenge. She knew we were happy and now she wants to gloat. This is her way of proving to me that Rhett is her boyfriend, once and for all. The tears fell down her face, landing on her lap.
“Maggie, Maggie? Are you okay? Please say something,” Rhett whispered in his velvet bass voice.
She wiped the tears away with her left hand. “I’m fine and I’ll be there. When is it?”
She heard the sigh of relief from the other end of the phone. “Mark your calendar for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The after party starts at 11:00 p.m. in the Grand Salon, which is upstairs, next to the Egyptian Ballroom. I’ll get the pass to you.”
She paused, not really wanting to let him go, yet knowing she had to do it. “That’s great, Rhett. Send it to my email or text it to me. I’ve got to get to my next class.”
The pause on the line let her know that Rhett felt the same as she did. “Thank you, Maggie. This means a lot to me.” She heard his voice tremble as he continued, “I can’t wait to see you.”
“I’ve got to go, Rhett. This call is over.” With that, she clicked the phone, feeling as if her heart would never recover, and knowing her body would never forget the way he felt when they were lying in bed together. No one should ever feel that good. It was more like an addiction and she would never be cured of him. She simply had to endure the absence of him and accept it.
By the next morning, Maggie knew what she had to do. First, she called Salon Vis a Vis and booked a cut and color. By the end of the day, she had a platinum-blonde bob. She knew Natasha would dress in black—it was her trademark, at least when she did wear clothes. Maggie knew from pictures that she now had long black extensions, and Maggie was determined to be the diametrical opposite of her.
She called Neiman Marcus and booked an appointment on Sunday with Paul, her favorite stylist. Explaining the event to him and giving him the date she needed everything, he asked, “Do you want me to get some of our latest looks together for you? Something edgy, maybe?”
“No. I want to be a princess.”
James van Lee is a lonely gypsy boy. His isolation leads him to become the greatest rock star in the world, yet he dreams of a girl he knew long ago.
Dr. Maggie Pickett of Emory University has never loved anyone but Rhett Turnquest, but he is under the spell of Natasha, who has secrets no one will ever know.
Lovers & Sinners introduces a world of stardom and those who seek it, as well those who wish only to be loved. The story intrigues with its open sexuality, international locales, and a mysterious link to Russia’s cursed royal family with secret ties to the love affair of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.
Based loosely on fairy tales and legends, the journey begins in The Dreams, Story 1.
Hunter S. Jones publishes historical works and fiction independently as well as through traditional platforms. She is a member of the American Historical Association, Royal Historical Society, Organization of American Historians, Society of Authors, Historian: American Historical Association, Dangerous Women Project, Society of Civil War Historians, Atlanta Historical Society, War Historians (US), Historical Writers Association, Historical Novel Society, English Historical Fiction Authors, Atlanta Writers Club, and Rivendell Writers Colony. Originally from Tennessee, she now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband.