March 18, 2013

Scent of a Soul Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway



The Scent of a Soul
Author: Jennifer Thompson
Release Date: December 8, 2012
Self-Published

Buy Link: Amazon

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1elhYzvZiqA

Description:

Fleeing her recent past, Lilliah Woods finds refuge in the anonymity of the present day inner-city slums. As she settles into the seedy apartment she must now call home, she meets mysterious Marek Jamison when he materializes in her doorway demanding to know who she is. From that moment, he becomes a guardian and guide as she gradually discovers his hidden world.

As their relationship develops, Lilliah learns of Marek's dark past and of a brothers' quarrel he has been embroiled in for years. The quarrel turns into a larger battle of good and evil, liberty versus tyranny, and the separation of love and lust.

With Lilliah as the ultimate prize, the deadly conflict reaches out to threaten her family, and the outcome of the final battle will determine her fate. Lilliah must embark on an unexpected path that teaches her to trust in the man she has come to love, and give of herself as she never thought she could....
 
 


From Chapter One

Lilliah looked down the dirty street. How…did I get here? Bad choices? Bad decisions? She couldn’t believe she was going to live here. Cars and people lined the street, but Lilliah felt her loneliness acutely. She didn’t want to live here, and thinking about it made her uneasy. Turning, she paid the taxi driver, and looking to the sky, closed her eyes. She was twenty-six years old but felt na├»ve and unsure of herself. With no job and very little money, she needed to be optimistic. And, as depressing as the truth was, this apartment was her best option. The rent here was low enough that she’d be able to save quickly and move on. Opening her eyes, her gaze turned to her new apartment building, 318 Black Avenue, although new would not describe its condition. Berating herself for getting into this situation, she made a promise to find a job soon.
Movement from a trio of young men staring at her compelled Lilliah to move towards her belongings stacked haphazardly in a handful of boxes and one large suitcase on the threshold. Entering the bleak, unfamiliar building, she swallowed her shock at its dismal state and looked around. Finding the landlord’s apartment immediately to the right, she stepped forward and knocked. From inside, Lilliah heard coughing and a dog barking. The door opened, and stale cigarette smoke escaped with the user standing in front of her. For a moment she just stared, feeling like she was going to be sick. She couldn’t do this; she, a small town girl from Winnemucca, Nevada, in the big city slums.
“Are you new ten-nant?”
Hearing his thick Ukrainian accent forced her to speak. “Yes, I’m Lilliah Woods…the new tenant. Are you Mr. Mikhail She...Shevschenko—the landlord?” she asked, stumbling over his name.
“Da, but you can call me Meester Misha. Too many find it hard to say my name. Do you have rent?”
Lilliah held out the money, and the landlord moved so quickly to retrieve it his hand was a blur. The movement slightly stunned her. She offered him the apartment application.
After a few moments of staring at it, Lilliah assumed he was struggling with her name. “It’s Lil-li-ah.” She sounded out each syllable. His gaze didn’t waver as his faded blue, bug-like eyes stared at her. “Lilliah—like ‘lily’ the flower and then,” she searched for the right word, “uh. Lily-uh.”
“I know how to say! No aneemals and no loud noises–ever! You understand—Lily-uh?” he questioned, wagging a finger at her. Lilliah glanced at the dog before turning her gaze back on “Mr. Misha.” Comprehending her look, he grumbled, “I own apartments! Rent is due first of every month, punyatnah? You understand?”
“I understand,” she said.
He handed her two keys, one for the apartment and one for the mailbox, with a gruff, “Apartment 3B–on third floor.” Then she was staring at his door again.
Grabbing a box and her suitcase, Lilliah glanced around expecting…expecting what? Did she honestly think there would be an elevator in this hole? She headed up the stairs. At 3B, she dropped the box and suitcase and almost turned to get the rest. Stopping, she slid the key into the lock and, after some jiggling, heard a click and turned the knob. Stepping into the apartment, her gaze moved around the room. As she looked towards the large windows off to the left, she could no longer hold back her despair, and tears began to form.
The windows were covered with dingy, tan curtains and let in a little of the late morning light. The dull, gray wallpaper looked like it could have been green at one time. A threadbare, 70s style, golden-green couch faced the windows with an old coffee table sitting in front of it, and a tall, brass lamp stood crookedly next to the windows.
Still standing in the doorway, Lilliah examined the kitchen off to the right. A sink, a tiny stove and oven, and a small counter were set against the wall. An avocado green fridge finished off the space. Behind the couch, adjacent to the kitchen, was a metal table with two chairs. She could visualize them belonging in a 1950s middle class home at some point, but because of their age and condition they now seemed at home in the gloomy apartment.
Directly opposite from where she stood were two doorways, one for the bedroom, and one for the bathroom; a rickety bookshelf sat between them. Crossing the worn, unpolished floor boards to the windows, Lilliah slid back the curtains to see empty, pale gray clouds cover the sun, adding to her depression. The tears fell, and she let them. She almost considered pushing aside her pride and calling her parents. They had pleaded with and warned her. She had not listened and now she had to face the consequences.
Startled by the sense that she was not alone, Lilliah turned towards the open door. A man stood near it, watching her. His imposing figure boldly filled the doorway, and he stared at her with such intensity that it made the hair on the nape of her neck stand up.
He had hair the perfect color of brown—like dark chocolate—and a well-groomed ruggedness about him that made him seem out of place in their surroundings. He looked at her with troubled eyes. She couldn’t distinguish their color because of the shadowing of the room, but they made her feel very aware of herself, from her puffy eyes to her runny nose.
He walked towards her with careful, measured steps. There was no look of malicious intent on his face, but Lilliah wondered if she should be afraid. He looked at her like he had seen her before and was seeing her again after a long absence. He stopped so close to her that she took an unconscious step back and bumped into the lamp, causing it to tip. He reached out to steady it and her. She quickly moved out of his reach. Some of the intensity left his eyes and was replaced with comprehension that he had frightened her. He stepped back.
They were blue. An unbelievable blue. Deep and dark like a newborn baby’s. Lilliah had never seen eyes like his before and they were the last thing she needed to add to her complicated day. They stared at each other, and Lilliah wondered again if she should be frightened. She calmed her breathing to ask, “Can I help you?”
His voice was deep as he demanded, “Who are you?”
His tone sent her back another step as she answered, “The new tenant.” He had an accent. She tried to place it, thinking it sounded Irish or maybe Scottish. His eyes roamed over her face and moved down her body making her extremely self-conscious again. His intense gaze came back up to her eyes once more with a look of incredulity on his face.
“Yes, but what’s your name?” he insisted.
As much as she wanted to, Lilliah didn’t feel like she could refuse his question. “I’m Lilliah…Woods,” she felt her eyebrows knit together. “And…who’re you?” she asked, watching him swallow.
His brogue was thick when he answered, “Marek. Marek Jamison.” He unnervingly stared at her as if he expected her to tell him something that would make him understand or feel more at ease. After a few moments, he shook his head slightly, and looking away, asked, “Are you all right? Can I help you in some way? You’re clearly distressed.”
Needing relief from his overpowering presence, Lilliah replied, “I have four more boxes downstairs by the entrance.”
He was gone before she could say please.
Lilliah stood in the wake of her visitor’s absence and thought of the coincidence of such an encounter on such a day. He would be back in a moment. She wanted to find a mirror before she could embarrass herself further. Entering the bathroom, she was surprised to find it in semi-decent condition. Looking in the mirror, her heart sank. She was not a delicate crier; everything turned red and puffy. Her dark hazel green eyes always looked greenest when she cried. Red face. Green eyes. In a sad, yet comical way, Christmas came to mind. She splashed cool water on her face and took some of the toilet paper left by the previous tenants to blow her nose. Her light, golden-brown hair was escaping from its ponytail in an unflattering way, so she freed it, watching as it fell down past her shoulders to rest against her chest. As small as the improvement was, it was an improvement.
Her unexpected visitor hadn’t returned, so Lilliah went to examine the bedroom. Unfortunately, it was not as pleasant a surprise as the bathroom. Shabby furniture filled the small space. Shifting her gaze, Lilliah wondered what magic she could work to cover the massive ceiling-to-floor rip in the wallpaper near the head of the bed. Refocusing her attention to the bed, she stared at its stained spread that showed years of use. It was so unwelcoming she didn’t want to sit on it, much less think about sleeping under it.
Heading out of the bedroom, Lilliah realized that Marek Jamison should have been back by now. He didn’t seem the type to want to loot a bunch of cardboard boxes filled with nothing of importance.
She had just decided to head downstairs when he appeared. He had two boxes in each arm. She was mildly surprised at his ability.
“Sorry, I know that took longer than you probably expected,” he said. “Your boxes were headed down Coburn Street with three men.”
A memory flashed in her mind of the trio of young men outside.
“I had to convince them to give them back,” he admitted with a smirk. Turning his direct gaze on her, he said, “This really isn’t the type of neighborhood where you want to leave your belongings unattended. They will wander off.”
Distracted by his demeanor, Lilliah wasn’t sure what to say, so she haltingly offered, “Thank you…Mr. Jamison…for keeping things from going from bad…to worse.” She held out her hand, and he took it. His grasp was firm, but she let go as soon as she could without giving offense. She was grateful for his help, but she didn’t need him around to muddle her thoughts about life and men.
“Is there any other way I can help?” he asked, studying her features.
“No,” she quickly replied, shaking her head, “I don’t think so.”
“I’m up on the fifth floor if you need me, and I’m sorry if I scared you earlier.”
He looked so sincere, Lilliah knew he meant it. She answered him with a quick nod.
Without taking his eyes off her, he took a couple of steps back. Then realizing what he was doing, he turned and walked to the door. Before leaving, he looked back at her and said, “Please, call me Marek.” Then he was out the door, shutting it behind him.

Jennifer has been happily married to for fifteen years. She loves to read, cook, spend time with her family, and now she can add writing to that list---it is her creative outlet; we all need one.


 
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8 comments:

  1. hooray for the giveaway hope to have this book and read it all over the week

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  2. Awesome tease! Thanks for participating :)

    *For the video, if you go to 'insert a video' you can just search for the youtube link in that option and the video will come up for you to add it in your post.

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  3. Love the cover and the book sounds amazing! Thank you for the international giveaway :)

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  4. The cover is gorgeous! And that teaser is very . . . Hmmm teasing! Lol awesome giveaway!

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  5. Thanks for the giveaway, sounds like an interesting book.

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  6. Thank you for the giveaway. Loved the review.

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  7. Thanks for this giveaway! The book sounds like a good read!

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  8. Ooohhhh I want to read this book!!! It sounds SO GOOD!! Its on my wish list for sure!! Fingers are crossed!! Thank you so much for a chance at winning in your awesome giveaway!!

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