Today Ryan Jo Summers is back with Wednesday Writers sharing an excerpt from her newest release, Chasing the Painted Skies. She describes the book as part mystery, part treasure hunt, part alternative paranormal, a dash of ghost story and all romance. I have to say, Ryan, that I love the title!
So, without further delay, here’s the blurb and an excerpt from Chasing the Painted Skies.
Chasing The Painted Skies
Raven Koynes is a woman in hiding. Years ago she escaped to remote Gull Island Light Station, nestled far away in Lake Superior. She has carved out a life of peace and solitude for herself. Until famed nature photographer Sebastian Knight arrives–in the height of a nor’easter storm–to document the beauty of Gull Island. Unsavory treasure hunters also blow in with the storm, determined to find missing cargo from a sunken ship. And they are positive Raven knows where it’s stashed. A power outage from the storm traps everyone at her keeper’s cottage, fellow prisoners of the storm.
Between her attraction to handsome Sebastian and the unwelcome advances and threats of the hunters, Raven is pushed to her limit. Help arrives in the form of a stray German Shepherd Dog, who takes an immediate protective interest in Raven. He becomes her constant shadow and listening ear as she sorts out her growing–and conflicting–feelings for Sebastian.
Meanwhile, Sebastian came to the island looking for treasure as well, in the form of photographs. While he isn’t so sure about missing cargo, he only needs to look at Raven Koynes to know he’s found his own valuable treasure. One he hopes he can hang on to if she learns about his mysterious secret.
Now that Madeline the resident ghost has found out, it’s probably just a matter of time until Raven does too. And with the storm and power outage, no one is going anywhere any time soon.
Staring at the colorful, splintered pieces, Raven felt her shoulders sag. She’d already cleaned up so much, straightened a boatload of tossed about items and rehung the curtains they’d pulled off the wall for some reason. And she still had so much to do. The closing of the front door brought her up, swiveling, breath sharply sucked in. Who was returning?
“Hi, did you leave me any work to do?” Sebastian asked cheerfully.
She held out the dustpan, not quite sure what to do with it. “They made such a mess,” she finished lamely. What made him come back to help? She expected him to be out taking his pictures and leaving her to her own troubles. This was not his problem. “Why are you doing this?” she asked simply.
He blinked, hand pausing as he was reaching for the dustpan. “Why? Because it needs to be dumped out.”
“No,” she shook her head. “Why are you in here helping me?”
He shifted the contents of the pan, rattling them. “Oh, you mean instead of outside taking care of my business? Right? Maybe I decided my business can have more than just one point of interest.” Walking away, he carried the dustpan to the kitchen trash can. She let out a breath and started lining books up on the shelves in the living room. Behind her, he started sweeping the floor and shaking out rugs.
“I wonder where he is?” she said about ten minutes later.
“Where who is?”
“Salzburg. He hasn’t come back yet.”
“Salzburg? Oh, is that what you’re calling your dog?” He paused as he wrestled the sofa back to where it was before. “Oops, sorry, too many questions. I’ll stop.”
Somehow his endless questions were not quite as bothersome as before. She replaced the rug that stretched along the front of the sofa, then moved to the window, looking out.
“I hope he’s okay. What if Arthur found him while they were out digging up the island?” She had seen them heading out with shovels and picks they found in the barn. A shudder ran over her. “I hate to think about what those tools in the wrong hands could do to a dog.”
“I’m sure he’s just fine and will be back soon. He sounds too smart to run off and not come back.”
She turned as his hands came to rest on her shoulders. “He got separated from his original owners and never went back,” she reminded him. “Do they mourn for their lost pet? Are they looking for him? Or had they given him up for lost?”
Sebastian reached out and gingerly stroked her cheek, setting off a series of heated explosions inside her. She trembled again, this time because of his touch.
“Your face reminds me of a rose,” he whispered low. “Heart-shaped, petal-soft skin, rosebud, kissable lips, and deep expressive eyes. You may have the temper of your namesake bird, Raven, but you are lovely as a blooming rose. You have such a good heart.”
She chaffed under his lavish praise, moving away until he captured her and brought her back. Holding both her hands in his, he rested his forehead against hers. Immediately, she liked the intimate touch. Her pulse quickened.
“I’m sorry if I embarrass you, Raven, but sometimes I can’t help but say what I am thinking or feeling.”
Heat, and something stronger, poured over Raven. It was a good thing she could not see his eyes right then as she might yield to the fire threatening to consume her. Overriding her hot passions, she struggled for composure.
Want to read more or buy the book? Click here.
About the Author:
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants, poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.