What It’s About:
New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.
But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.
As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.
Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.
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That spring afternoon, as I made my way back to my easel at the edge of the pond in Central Park, Minx ran up beside me and watched as the little boy’s mother retrieved his jacket and wrung it out.“Jenny, what’s wrong?” Minx’s forehead furrowed, worry clouding her green eyes.
“I’m fine,” I said.
She put her arm around my shoulders. “No, you aren’t. You are as white as a sheet. Maybe you should sit down.”
“No, I’m all right. I just thought…” I started to explain.
“I know, you blurted it out. You thought a child was drowning. And you were going to jump into the pond and save him, weren’t you?”
“Well, someone had to do something.”
“You really are something else, aren’t you?”
I was, but not the way she meant it. I shrugged and was about to answer when Edward Wren came over.
“Are you OK?” he asked.
“Of course,” I lied.
“The way you ran out there, it looked like you believed someone was drowning.” He frowned, clearly worried.
I shivered again. “Well, for a second, I did.”
“Drowning.” He shook his head. “That must be a terrible way to die. Your lungs filling with water…not being able to breathe…”
“Edward, don’t be so morbid! Jenny’s just had a scare. Don’t make it worse.”
“Of course. I’m sorry,” he said to me. His voice wasn’t a deep rich color but a watered-down ash, and something about its tenor gave me pause. He was about to say something else when Professor Pannell came over and told us to return to our paintings.
Edward walked back to his easel, and Minx and I headed to ours.
“One day,” Minx said, “you’re going to tell me what happened in your past that caused you to be so nervous all the time.”
“I’m not nervous, Minx.”
“You are not seeing yourself accurately. I am. What just happened spooked you.”
I tried to make my voice light. My mother once told me I had a silver voice that tarnished when I wasn’t giving her the whole truth.
“I grew up near waterfalls. I know how dangerous they can be.” But despite my efforts to sound nonchalant, Minx’s face told me that I had inadvertently responded more mysteriously than I had intended.
About the author: M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
Her most recent novel TIFFANY BLUES (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and takes place during the Jazz age at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island mansion/ art colony.
The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.
Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR