Monday, July 26, 2021

A Swan’s Sweet Song by J. Arlene Culiner

 A Swan’s Sweet Song 

by J. Arlene Culiner 

(Published by The Wild Rose Press) 



Sherry Valentine is a country music singer, and she’s tired of being on the road, of screaming fans and temporary relationships that never work out. She thinks that changing careers, becoming an actress, will be more satisfying. When, during a culture festival in a backwoods town, she meets New York playwright Carston Hewlett, Sherry’s agent, Charlie Bacon, thinks this is the perfect opportunity for her. Of course, Sherry doesn’t agree: she soon learns about Carston’s anathema to being used for his influence. 


As soon as Carston Hewlett catches sight of Sherry Valentine, he’s fascinated. Of course, she’s not someone he’ll take seriously. He’s a reclusive author living in an isolated farmhouse and he hates country music and the noisy world of screaming fans. However, a short affair might be interesting. 


  Short affairs are out of the question for Sherry, but that proves to be no problem. Soon enough, Sherry and Carston discover they share many interests: a love of the country, long walks, and a passion for research. But their very intense attraction does confuse the issue 


  No thanks to the paparazzi and local gossipsSherry and Carston separate on bad terms. He heads back to his home in the country; she heads for Hollywood, a minor role in a soap opera, and the unpleasant company of bottom-feeding producers and directors who see actresses as casting couch material.  


  Yes, the star-crossed lovers do meet again (or else this wouldn’t be a romance) but if you want to know more, you’ll just have to read — or listen to — A Swan’s Sweet Song. 



The air sizzles when a country music star and renowned playwright meet, but can opposites fall in love? 


Smart-talking Sherry Valentine has fought her way up from poverty to stardom as a country music singer. Ever surrounded by clamoring fans and paparazzi, her spangled cowboy boots carry her from one brightly lit stage to the next. But Sherry's been on the star circuit for too long, and she wants a change: is it too late for an acting career?  


A renowned but reclusive playwright, Carston Hewlett cherishes his freedom, the silence of the deep woods surrounding his home, and his solitary country walks. So why is he fascinated by a flashy country music singer? Perhaps a short passionate, fling will resolve the problem.
When their names are linked in the scandal press, and Sherry's plans to become an actress are revealed, Carston feels betrayed. Is their budding relationship doomed? 




Perhaps she could avoid meeting Carston Hewlett again and circumvent disaster. Yes, she had enough on her agenda. A fling at a conference like this? That was positively banal. 

“There he is,” said Charlie, ripping into her thoughts. “On the left. You see?” 

Of course, she saw. How could she miss him? Mighty easy on the eye, he leaned against a plaster pillar, listening to the people surrounding him. 

“Don’t make plans,” she warned Charlie. Yet she couldn’t avoid looking in Carston’s direction again. Didn’t he look delicious in that brown silk shirt and elegant tweed jacket; how those jeans hugged his long legs. He was just the way she’d always imagined a successful playwright should be: cool, intelligent, strong, and sexy. 

As if aware she’d been watching him, Carston turned, caught her eye. She tried forcing herself to look away. Failed. For an eternity, their gaze held. Then detaching himself from the group, he headed in her direction. 

She commanded herself to pretend indifference, but her heart thumped a sensual jungle beat. She swallowed, tried to summon up some zen-like calm… realized she didn’t have any available. 

Why come over anyway? They had nothing in common. Here he was, tiny inches away, his jaw a definite line, his body that tight, sinewy stretch she’d thought about too often during the night. But it was the expression in his eyes, warm humorous, that confirmed her instinct: the immediate, deep reaction was mutual. Try as hard as they could to avoid it, something would happen. It was inevitable. 

Also available as an Audiobook



Author Bio 


Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest where, much to local dismay, she protects all creatures, particularly spiders and snakes. She enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with very strange characters. 



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