Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Excerpt -Solo by Kevin V. Symmons

by Kevin V. Symmons
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 353
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
About the Book: 

Jessica Long has the voice of an angel. But Jesse's cold beauty masks a brutal past filled with privation and cruelty. As the talented soprano approaches her final year at New England Conservatory, she is faced with a choice: stay with her striking young lover or accept the offer of a successful Broadway producer. She chooses the latter only to discover that fame can exact a cruel price. After years of yearning, the lovers meet again - at Jesse's ragged homestead on the Maine Coast.

Matt will reveal the benefactor who's followed and protected Jesse as the lovers face a confrontation with the jealous pursuer who's tried to destroy her. One final choice awaits that may cost Jesse both Matt and her life. The Broadway impresario, a mysterious crime lord, and Matt's stunning literary agent head a cast of absorbing secondary characters. Filled with unexpected plot twists, Solo is a classic, leading the reader over a bittersweet tapestry spanning fifteen years.

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Book Excerpt:

It was sweltering.  Sunday afternoon. But Sundays had no special meaning for Jesse. Just another crowded space on her calendar. Moving deliberately through the moist air that hovered over Boylston Street, the heat rising from the sidewalk penetrated the worn souls of her loafers. Perspiration grew thick on her skin, darkening her thin cotton blouse.  

A massive steel skeleton stood nearby. Having grown to a height of thirty stories, it guarded Copley Square’s busy expanse. Half-way up the I-beams that comprised its brick-red frame an electronic sign flashed ‘93 degrees.’  

Many residents hid, sheltered inside, letting their fans or air conditioners battle the early heat-wave while they lolled away this June afternoon watching the Red Sox or movie reruns. The more adventurous, young or athletic populated the banks of the Charles River or sought the cool breezes of South Boston’s Carson Beach.   

Jesse found the summer heat in Boston unwelcome and unexpected. She could never remember any semblance of a spring, just a cool damp season that one day surrendered as the unrelenting damp heat emerged like a chrysalis. Thanks to the onshore breeze from Casco Bay, it was never this hot in Portland. But Portland held more demons than she could exorcise in one lifetime. Jesse was glad to be rid of it.  

She swallowed deeply, clenching her fists. This job could mean the difference between continuing her career or returning to the bleak life she’d left in Maine. Now that her mother and daughter Alexis had appeared, she had to find more work to support them while she finished her training at the Conservatory.  

She studied the brightly decorated windows of the cafes and boutiques, ignoring the glances of the men she passed. Young couples, stylishly dressed in their lightweight summer clothes moved aside as she moved on her mission toward the address on the slip of paper Mario had given her.  

Arriving at her destination, Jesse peered through the murky glass. She scanned the adjacent shops, hesitating. Whatever it was, Martel’s Coffee Shop and Bakery played counterpoint to Boylston Street’s more fashionable establishments. 

Her dim reflection showed a tall, slender young woman who favored her father. Or so they’d told her. She’d worn her best cotton slacks and a dark blouse. Jeans or shorts would send the wrong message, and Jesse couldn’t afford a bad first impression. Her thick black hair hung loose, framing her face. She took a deep breath to help her relax. Checking her image in the dirty glass, she wiped the perspiration from her forehead and neck, drying her palms on her pants.  

Taking another deep breath, she opened the door. Prayer was not on Jesse’s agenda, but it crossed her mind. She knew the city was flooded with pretty co-eds and single mothers willing to work for almost nothing. Mario’s influence might be worth something, but she was taking no chances. She wasn’t given to fits of superstition, but she closed her eyes tightly and crossed her fingers. Anything that might give her an edge was worth a try. 

“Please, Mr. Martel,” she whispered, looking around self-consciously. “I need this job.” 

The door’s glass was so grimy she couldn’t see inside. Could Mario have been wrong? Was this place really open for business?  

Inside the air was cooler, but not much. If Martel’s was air conditioned, someone should apply for a refund. The inside was dark—too dark. She froze as she searched the shadows, trying to understand why anyone would use such a gloomy color. Her throat tightened. She squeezed the doorknob as she thought about leaving. A few fluorescents lit the front, but the rear was hidden in shadow. 

“It was my mother,” said a man’s voice from the shadows. Despite the quiet, almost soothing quality of the voice, Jesse jumped.


About the Author: 

Kevin Symmons has a BS and an MBA. He has attended the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and studied in France. After a successful career in business management and consulting, he returned to his first love: writing. His first novel, a spell-binding paranormal romance titled "Rite of Passage" is set in the chaotic period after World War II. It's received dozens of great reviews and was a RomCon Reader's Crown Finalist for 2013. His second effort is a contemporary romantic thriller set near his Cape Cod home, titled "Out of the Storm." Like his first novel, it is an Amazon Best-Seller and received many 5-star reviews. "Solo", an intense and ambitious women's fiction work, has been released from The Wild Rose Press, his award-winning publisher. It explores the devastating effects of privation and domestic violence on the beautiful and extraordinarily talented young heroine.

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