Our late afternoon walk took us to the water edge of the Lake.
I tested out my new camera and I have been delighted with the results.
Lakes and waterways have always been a favourite location, not just for my walks, but for my on location paintings as well. Here are a few art favourites I've created that you will also find in my online art gallery and art print gift store.
Australian Rural-lit and historical fiction author and artist Ryn Shell
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Excerpt from the novel Star Struck by Ryn Shell.
A Scene beside a lake.
Beginning at Chapter Seven of Star Struck by Ryn Shell
At the sight of Brian and Jean Fife’s hopeless expressions, a feeling of dread hit Rose so strongly she almost collapsed to the ground. Linton’s arms encircled and lifted her back on to her feet.
Brian stepped forward, indicating with one hand for Linton to step back. He took over and supported Rose against him. His head bowed over Rose’s. “We found Carl’s footprints.”
Her eyes lifted, connecting to his, pleading.
“At the dam water’s edge,” Brian whispered hoarsely. “There’s a team of young people there. They will find him.”
Rose moaned softly. “He wouldn’t go in the water without me.”
Linton urgently asked, “Can he swim?”
“He learned to swim last summer. He will be all right.” Rose wrapped her arms about her head and rocked. “He’s got to be. He knows basic water safety rules. He knows to float on his back if he gets tired swimming.”
Linton had seen and heard enough. Not one for hanging around holding a pity party, and incompetent where it came to knowing how to fix screwed up human relationships, Linton chose action for his emotional release.
After a brief touch of this hand to Rose’s arm, he quickly blurted, “I’ll get him,” and he was off, racing downhill across paddocks.
Trevor and Rose followed, they long jumped over market garden beds and hurtled two fences rather than take the longer route via the gates to reach the dam.
By the time they arrived, the water’s edge was surrounded by volunteers. All the neighbours and many of the hill’s community had come to help.
The dam was a relatively large one for a small farm property due to a regularly topped-up supply of water from a local creek that flowed all of the time, aside from an occasional extremely dry season. Due to Rose and Trevor having preserved most of the natural surrounding rainforest, there was minimal evaporation; as such, their private dam provided a constant cool oasis in all seasons.
A green, damp natural-grass raised bank extended beyond the dammed area to an adjacent natural swamp, a sanctuary for bird life. The morning air filled with the high-pitched honking and squeals of birdlife. Small dry islands surrounded by swampy waterways provided safety from foxes and feral cats for the many water birds that made the area their home.
Now, in late autumn, the water course that flowed past the dam, on the other side of Rose and Trevor’s property boundary, had changed from a stream to a river.
“He’s here.” A bronze skinned, weather-worn man straightened up from a crouching position at the dam edge. The tracker had followed the trail of tiny fresh footprints from a bare-footed boy from the house to the dam.
“Without footwear…” He shook his head. “There’s no way he could clamber through the dense scrub…” He pointed up the hill. “The outer boundary, he couldn’t get through there so he wouldn’t have made it through to the river. Don’t waste time searching there, he’s here.” His eyes scanned the water. “He is here. Find him quick.”
“What if we don’t find him quick,” Trevor whispered. “Will he be lost to us in this mud?”
“If he’s in the water, a little boy like that will float to the surface in a day or so, when his body bloats up. We got to look for a survivor. Little boy’s playing Batman.” The tracker’s voice brightened. His eyes expressed tears and laughter lines. “He’s playing—having fun. He knows the water. His mum’s shown him.”
The tracker moved forward, doubled over. His eyes scanned places of soft moss and wild orchids without disturbing them. “He’s played here.” He pointed to a large treefern trunk lying horizontally on the ground. “He hid here.”
Linton, Rose and Trevor combed the bush near the dam edge.
“He’s a bright boy,” Trevor said striving to show confidence for Rose.
“I saw that.” Linton agreed as he emerged from beneath a bent treefern trunk. “He respects you.” He nodded his head to Rose. “He might be scared to show himself with this crowd around.”
Rose held back a branch to allow the brothers clear access to the entrance of a thicket of shrubs. “He wouldn’t have done more than paddle in bare feet. On a cold May morning he’d have been walking higher up the bank, not down in the cold mud and wet.”
Trevor called, “Carl! Where are you?”
A swan honked in reply. Black swans’ nests abounded; large mounds made of reeds, grass and sticks, many a metre-and-a-half wide and almost as high, dotted the edges of many mud islands.
Several of the nests were islands in themselves, set aside from the banks and totally surrounded by water.
Black swans colonised in groups on Rose and Trevor’s dam. Few of the searchers were showing any respect for the habitat. Men and women waded through the shadows, dragging sticks, stirring up mud. They waded to the bird sanctuary islands, dragging sticks through the reeds, disturbing and disintegrating nests. Carl’s tiny footprints were trampled over. Soon there was confusion amongst the searchers as to where the boy’s footprints had been before they had disappeared into the water.
Searchers called out and crawled into hollows, with total disregard for their personal comfort. Most were obsessed with the urgency of finding Carl. They poked into recesses and tore away shrubs.
The exploration of each mud island within proximity of the bank continued until barely a blade of grass remained attached to the soil. All that remained was flattened grasses covered in black mud as Brian and Jean, desolation evident on their face, led a group of volunteers back to the farm house for a cup of hot sweet tea and scone for refreshment.
The search for Carl had been underway for five hours by the early afternoon, and the once noisy swampland was silent. Not a bird could be seen. Several nests had escaped destruction and floated unanchored on the waterway. Boats arrived and were being part carried and partially dragged through the undergrowth and placed in the water for a search of the furthest islands. Everyone knew that such a search would be pointless. There was no way that a three-year-old child on foot could reach the bird islands in the centre of the dam.
Those with boats went back over every part of the waterway, dragging hooked sticks, lifting out snags, branches, any solid matter they could find under water.
In the late afternoon, Trevor’s partner Alvin approached with a basket. “Scones and tea?”
“Any water?” Linton asked.
“The tea’s sweet. It will give you energy,” Alvin said.
The two men eyed each other warily.
“Thanks, that’s just what we need.” Rose took the offered basket, set it on the ground, extracted three enamel mugs and filled them with black tea. She handed a mug to Trevor and Linton. “What are you hearing up at the house?”
“We’re as puzzled as you are about where he is.”
Rose’s voice raised in an urgent demand for information. “What are the police saying they think happened?”
Rose looked grim, her hands clasped in front of her. “What?”
“They don’t know…” Alvin’s voice trailed away. “They—they’re sort of hoping he might have been abducted—think that’s the best chance—”
“Chance of what?” Rose shrieked. “No one’s got my boy.” Trevor took Rose by the shoulders; Linton wanted to.
She shoved him away. “He wouldn’t go with a stranger and he didn’t drown.” She turned and yelled, “Carl! Carl! Carl!”
Linton looked uncertainly at the milky grey sky and then to Alvin. “Have you heard the weather for tonight?”
“Snowfall’s expected overnight below six thousand feet.”
The three of them—Linton, Rose, and Trevor—chucked their part filled mugs on the ground. They split off into different directions calling, “Carl! Carl! Carl!”
It was Linton’s idea to involve young children. The search organisers were horrified when he revealed the plan he’d formulated. But how to get the searchers to listen? Rose heard his voice raised over the sound of the worrywarts. She pushed her way through them to where Linton stood red raced and argumentative.
“Arguing isn’t going to help,” Rose addressed the cynics. “We’re all exhausted. I’ve walked every fence line, calling for my boy and looking for his footprints.” She shook her head, her chin thrust upward as if to defy gravity from allowing the moisture above her lower eyelid from flowing. “Trevor…” she reached for him, gripped his arm, “…he has walked every inch of this farm.” She turned to Linton. “You’ve done the hardest part, checking out the swamp, the dam and the rainforest water catchment.”
Rose startled everyone by flinging her arms around Linton’s neck and kissing his muddy cheek. Her arms remained around his neck, although she stepped back, drawing her body away from him. Tears unashamedly flowed as she said, “I don’t think I could cope if you were not here searching for our boy.” She released him suddenly and turned, blushing in embarrassment, burying her head in Trevor’s shoulder.
Hugging Rose, Trevor said, “Our efforts to find Carl are not working. What more can we—what else can we try?”
Rose drew away from Trevor and squared her shoulders. “Let’s do what Linton suggests.”
“The primary school is about to finish. Some of the searchers just left to pick up their children.” Linton’s expression pleaded. “We’ve got what?” He searched the faces of the search team leaders. “Two hours of daylight left at most?”
“The mountain shadow means it gets dark fast in the hills,” a searcher said.
A senior police officer pressed forward and stood beside Rose. “Official quitting time is in an hour and a half, although I for one will not leave until we find the boy.”
The room buzzed with agreeing voices.
“Quiet,” Rose clutched at Linton’s arm. “What do you want to do?”
“You, Trevor and me. Let’s get to the school gate fast and get as many parents with little children as possible to come and have picnic tea beside the dam.”
Mainly quizzical faces greeted Linton’s suggestion.
Rose’s face lit up with joy. “Yes!”
Trevor’s voice drowned out the protests and complaints. “Right, I want all adults aside from young women like Rose…” he grasped her hand, “off of my property—or at least out of sight, here in the house. I want my boy found and I don’t—” Trevor’s voice broke.
“He’s scared of all the commotion going on, and I think he’s hiding because he thinks he’s going to get into trouble.” Rose yelled, “That has to be it.” She tugged at both Linton and Trevor’s hands. “Doesn’t it?”
“I don’t know, honey.” Trevor put his arm around her chest and squeezed. “I hope that’s the case, and he’ll come out if he sees us having a picnic by the dam.” He turned with moist eyes to thank Linton for giving them renewed hope.
Linton was already leaping fences, racing across the country to his truck. He geared it for the downhill grade and drove towards the small schoolhouse in the valley.
The news report on the radio stated, “A group of volunteer bushwalkers from across the country are converging at a camp near the entrances to Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges tonight. They will begin a coordinated search at first light tomorrow.” Pause. “The police warn that given the expected overnight temperatures and the boy’s youth, this might be a recovery mission rather than a rescue.”
With his jaw locked firm, his brows pulled close, Linton turned the radio off.
Forced to stop at an intersection, Linton turned the radio back on. His heart leaped in hope at a familiar voice—one of the searchers being interviewed. “Hopes are slim that the lightly clad child could survive the night in the cold.”
Another voice: “He’s had no water or food with him. They are scaling back the search. Calling it off until daylight.”
Linton almost broke the knob on the radio with the force of his knob turn. “Time for the mums and their kids team to go in. We are not quitters.”
The mums and kids team gathered. The local mixed goods store owner, a friend of Rose and Linton, had supplied dress-up costumes and bags of sweet lollies for all the children.
Soon colourful rugs and picnic baskets dotted the bank around the dam. Children raced about, thrilled to be involved in trying to find a lost boy. They played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, Batman and Robin, and there were quite a few super girls whooping and calling out.
“Carl, come and play.”
“Have some of my sweets.”
“Be careful they don’t fall into wombat holes,” Linton said to a group of mothers.
“Trust us, our children know the bush, probably better than you do.” A woman in slacks and pale blue angora twinset tapped on a rug on the ground. “Sit down and relax. Isn’t that what you want to convey to Carl—a relaxed family picnic that is safe for him to come out and join?”
Linton scanned his eyes around. Rose and Trevor sat quietly together, about a hundred metres from him, eating sandwiches. They looked--close. He felt as if he were a stranger out of place.
“I trust you,” Linton mumbled. “Sorry.” He took a long steadying breath and closed his eyes. How could Rose and Trevor eat? His stomach felt hard as a rock with dread that he’d organised a stupid tea party that was costing them the last precious moments of daylight that might be Carl’s only chance to survive.
You stupid fool, Linton’s inner voice said. Stupid!Stupid man gambling with the ones you love! Must you keep destroying those who trust you enough to believe in you and follow your wild impulses? Why did Rose listen to me again?
End of chapter seven excerpt from Star Struck by Ryn Shell.
Star Struck may be read as a stand alone novel as the story is complete within the one book.
Excerpt from the novel Star Struck by Ryn Shell.
A Scene beside a lake.
Chapter Eight of Star Struck by Ryn Shell
Why, Linton, why? Struggling with his guilt, Linton lowered his head, stood and shuffled away from the group of mothers and children. How could this happen after everything Rose and I have been through? Does she have to be punished more for what was never her fault?
The only men remaining near the dam were Linton and his brother Trevor. Linton believed, once this search was over, he should get into the truck and drive far away. Carl, when they found him--they must find him—never need know that Trevor wasn’t his father.
Linton’s body hurt from the effects of jarred muscles, reminders of climbing trees, squeezing between treeferns, and going where cautious searchers had avoided.
Rose would never know how having her say, “Yes!” to his suggestion and seeing her face light up when he’d given her renewed hope had affected him. Linton’s mind flew back to that last time when they’d been together without a chaperone—that time when he’d taken her as his own. Her love for him had made him feel as if he shone—he’d felt like he owned the heavens and earth for a brief moment when her eyes had told him she believed in him.
Rose blinked tears away as the fading light spread a silver gleam across the dam.
Mothers wandered solemnly past, clutching their own children’s hands and bidding farewell to Rose and Trevor. They sat, swigged down the last of a Thermos of cold coffee, nodding their thanks.
“You tried,” Rose said.
Trevor followed with, “We are so very grateful.”
Linton had sat, recovering from exhaustion, in the cabin of his truck for ten minutes. His troubled mind would not allow him to close his eyes and rest. He wanted, on the one hand, to gun the trucks engine and roar out of there and leave the fractured memories behind—but he could not turn the engine key. Destiny held him fast. There was too much left unresolved. It seemed like folly to stay, but he had to.
Carl will think like a child—what am I missing? Linton slid his legs over the side of the truck seat and leaped down. There was an urgency to his step. He sweated from exertion but was cooled by a chill breeze as he stepped into the open near the water, an unwelcome reminder that the hills were in the grip of a bitterly cold May. Rose and Trevor looked up and greeted Linton as if they’d expected him to join them.
“If he is alive…” Rose’s voice trembled, “…why haven’t we found him?”
“Maybe he is hurt, and they haven’t searched where he is,” Linton said.
“Maybe he was afraid, with so many searchers about. He isn’t used to crowds,” Trevor said. “Then, we might have been too quiet with our picnic. Suppose he’d taken a nap and didn’t hear us.”
“That could happen.” Linton nodded. He looked out to the mud islands. “How far out would he need to be for him not to hear the children playing?”
Linton walked into the water, his eyes fixed on a drifting swan’s nest. “Come and play with me,” he called. “Want to share my jelly beans and water?” Linton’s call brought no response, aside from the croak of frogs.
Rose waded into the water beside Linton. They clasped hands to steady themselves, then stood still watching and listening.
“We should go home,” Trevor called.
“Shush!” Rose replied.
Linton gazed with admiration at Rose. A film of sweat covered her brow, despite the descending cold night air. The hem of her shirt was untucked, muddy and torn. There were dried blood stains on her hands—she’d not been a passive observer of the search. Linton longed to hug her—say he still loved her. “You did well,” he said. “You tried.”
Trevor waded into the water beside Rose and patted her shoulder. “I’ll take you home.”
“Shh,” Rose whispered. “Listen and look.”
Linton fumbled in his pocket for a pen torch and shone it out over the water. “Please come out and play with me.”
“I’ll give you a piggyback home,” Trevor called out in a faked cheerful tone with a strange choked-back chuckle at the end of it.
“Yuck!” Rose mouthed the word and swiped several leeches off Linton’s arm.
He gripped Rose’s hand and strode out to waist deep in the water. They were at eye level with an anchored-in-place by reeds, swan’s nest.
“We will have to get home soon,” Trevor said. “This is crazy.”
“We can’t go much further.” Rose released Linton’s hand and waded further into the dam. Linton illuminated her with the torch light, moving ahead so he could shine the light on her face.
He was there as she slipped, grabbing and steadying her—somehow managing to clasp on to the penlight. She reached out and grasped his outstretched hand.
Linton held her hand firm. “You can’t go any further.”
They stood still, shivering, until their feet, hands and lower legs had gone numb. Disheartened, they turned to retreat.
A black swan honked.
Rose and Linton swung around; the sound was close. The black swan moved, drifting in the water. The black mound in the nest was silhouetted against the moonlight.
Linton gasped. Rose’s sudden leap forward almost caused him to drop the torch. He caught it before it hit the water.
The mound in the swan’s reed-island nest moved.
A weak voice carried across the water to Carl’s three overwhelmed parents. “I want to go home.”
What had appeared to be an extended swan’s neck became a frantic flailing arm.
Rose grabbed the torch and Linton rushed forward wading through the water with his arms out ready to scoop little, lost Batman into them. Rose caught up to him. The lake surrounds rang with their joyous laughter, whispered soothing reassurances, the deep-throated protest and flapping wings of disturbed waterfowl.
The boy, Carl, rose unsteadily, his teeth chattering. Trevor was on an adrenalin high of excitement. He whooped and hollered, the sounds piercing the night, bringing many from the day’s search party racing back to find the boy embraced within the arms of his family—Linton, Rose and Trevor.
“Great job,” Linton said into his rear-view mirror. He gunned the engine for real. He’d not overstay his welcome this time. Having last seen the boy wrapped in his brother’s arms and convinced that Rose did not know she and Carl were always on his mind and in his heart made his pulse thump.
Envy or rage? Why now? He’d not felt those emotions in years. Discovering he was still attracted to Rose, experiencing that surge of love for Carl, that was no reason to hate Trevor. He should be done with such childish stuff. He needed a shower.
Parking close to residences, Linton slipped into a side garden. He stripped and hosed the muck from the dam off his body. Holding the bundled filthy clothes, he streaked back to the truck, imagining neighbours peering through the slats of their Venetian blinds. He chuckled at the thought of them trying to focus on his face and identify the looney man in the dim light. Better get out of the town before the police come for me.
The cold shower had cleaned up his foul mood and he, both shivering and grinning, relived the elation as his outstretched arms had grasped and lifted his son from the birds nest mound.
As he changed into clean clothes in the truck cabin, the radio news report announced that astronauts had successfully repaired the heat shield on Skylab and that a missing lad had been found safe and well on his parents’ property. There would be snowfall as low as six thousand feet. Linton drove forward cautiously. He needed to get out of the mountains before there was black ice on the roads.
Rose, I’m so proud of you and our kid. I’m so glad that you have my brother Trevor looking after you both. I’ll always love you, but I’ll not return and risk interfering in your life again. Carl doesn’t need the confusion of finding out Trevor isn’t his daddy.
Rose lay on top of the double bed, where she had carried Carl in her arms. She held him tight, stirring only when Alvin covered mother and child, from the neck down, with a blanket.
“How could he leave me again, after all that we’ve been through? How could he leave me…” Her voice trailed away to a broken sob.
Alvin darted to the front door and grabbed the car keys off the hook. Trevor already had the door open.
When the snow started to fall, Linton pulled the truck over into a wide road verge and stopped for the night. Then he crawled into the bed, straightened out the mess that had been made there during the search for Carl, and went to sleep.
Linton imagined that he lay with her once more and they had their son Carl between them. Though partly in a dream state, he was acutely aware of the sensation of touch, and he could have sworn it was real. In his fantasy, they were together on a sultry summer’s evening, and Rose’s arms reached across Carl to stroke his body. That was what he wanted—needed, to lie with them both and celebrate just being together, complete as a family. The native wattle trees flowered out of season. They swayed their golden blooms overhead. Golden yellow, the colour to celebrate homecoming—his and Carl’s return. He was home to stay.
He fell deep into a dream of their future, their lives together, the farm, and more children. He saw a daughter in their future, and it was all confused with Skylab. Some spaceship wanted to take him away from those he loved. It was bashing on the sides of his truck, flashing light, trying to break in and get him on board, take him away.
The noise wasn’t Skylab or Rose and Carl. Linton flicked his eyelids open—wide awake. The thumping on the door was real, as was his sweat. Peering through his window was Trevor and the man Linton recognised as his friend, the one who’d helped provide the search teams with refreshments.
“The district doesn’t have to know what goes on at our place,” Trevor said as Linton wound down the window.
Linton braced against the cold rush of air.
A young man thrust his manicured hand towards Linton. “Alvin’s the name.”
“I know who you are.” Linton scowled.
“Get your arse back to the house where it’s needed,” Alvin said. “It’s too cold to stand and argue with you here.”
“Rose and Carl both need you.” Trevor crouched to line his eyes up to Linton’s.
“We can all talk about it in the morning. Just get home where you belong.”
Linton studied the small freckle-faced boy, with the angelic blond hair, asleep in Rose’s arms. Tiny tapered fingers, ethereally beautiful, as his mother was of nature and earth.
He gathered up a quilt and cushion from the lounge room, returned to her room, quietly slid an armchair beside the bed and settled in, with no intentions of sleeping, his insides curled with the desire to hold them both.
He’d loved her at fifteen. In all fairness, she was almost sixteen and at the age of consent when they first loved. It was evident that she was a loving mother. Now he hoped that he too would have a chance to laugh with his boy at play, soothe his tears and get to know him well before he grew too old for cuddles. Between them, Rose and he has created something perfect from the mess of their teenage years.
He would make the separation of the last few years up to them and do everything in his power to give Rose and Carl the love and security he owed them. His shoulders slumped in peace. At twenty-one, Linton had come home and had begun the process of making peace with himself by assuming responsibility for others.
Rose, Linton and Carl spent the day doing farm chores together, not forcing things, just developing friendship and the adults hiding their growing love. Carl was more demonstrative and begged for hugs and piggyback rides.
As Rose lifted Carl on to Linton’s back, she experienced tingling excitement, attraction and confusion. She had no plans to allow him just to walk into her life and think that nothing had changed. Just the same, with Carl so happy in Linton’s company she refrained from telling him not to assume he could snap his fingers, and she’d come to him again. As the day wore on, and they sat beneath an early flowering almond tree to allow Carl to rest across both their laps, Rose found herself longing to lie against Linton. She willed that he’d slip his arm around her waist and she’d be able to excuse not brushing him away so as not wishing to awaken Carl.
Linton decided to wait until the following evening before hitting them with what he suspected. Alvin served the evening meal, a beef stew, right on cue for Trevor to arrive home and have time to wash and change into clean clothes for dinner. Rose put Carl to bed early and opened a bottle of red wine, leaving it to breathe.
“You’ve been very quiet over dinner,” Trevor said. “What have you been mulling over?”
“I need to talk to you.” Linton took a half slice of bread and mopped his plate with it. “Alvin, this…” he popped the bread in his mouth. “Hmm.” He looked at the remains of the meal with appreciative eyes. “Too good to leave a drop.”
“Well, what is it you want to say?” Trevor asked.
“I haven’t seen the account books yet, so I’m just going on what I’ve seen on the farm and the garden journals…”
Alvin scraped plates together.
Trevor took a long swig of wine. “And?”
Linton said tremulously, “You haven’t told me that you were in financial trouble. I need to know the extent of it so I can tell if my recovery plan will work.”
Rose and Trevor exchanged glances. Alvin busied himself, his head bowed over the sink.
“What have you told him?” Trevor’s face clouded over as he looked accusingly at Rose. “You might have filled me in about this first. I’ve just about busted my gut making this dream of yours stay afloat.”
“Your dream, remember!” Rose’s voice rose. “Peonies. They don’t flower well enough in a mild year, they get fungal disease when it’s humid, and you used so many chemicals to prevent the fungus that I lost my organic grower’s certificate, and that quartered the value of my berry crop.”
Linton gripped Rose’s hand, engaging her storm-coloured grey eyes and gently willed her to stay calm. She swung around to him, her chin thrust up. “You can’t just walk in and undermine us. You don’t know what we’ve been through.”
“I’ve been providing you with the funds to build your business for years.” Linton rose from the table. “Where has the money gone?” His glare directed itself to Trevor.
“I didn’t want Rose worried when I didn’t always make a profit selling flowers at the Queen Vic Market,” Linton yelled. “And you weren’t here. I was the one putting up with Rose’s moods.”
“My what?” Rose yelled.
Carl’s footsteps patted down the hall towards the kitchen. He stood looking confused in the doorway.
Linton lifted Carl. “Piggyback ride to bed.” He left Rose and Trevor arguing at the kitchen table. Emerging, after he’d read Carl a story and his boy was asleep, he asked Rose, “Did you know I was writing several times a month and sending you money?”
The question was unanswered in words as Rose turned on Trevor, calling him every gutter word she could think of.
Over the following week, Linton slept on the sofa at night and spent most of his daylight digging out fifty per cent of the ornamental flowerbeds—Trevor’s side of the farm. Trevor had to rush to keep up with him, collecting the plants before they wilted, replanting some, bulk selling others at discounted prices to move them fast.
“I’ve completed the weeding,” Linton announced once a quarter of the property had been cleared of perennials. He sat at the table with Carl watching him remap out the border between what was considered Trevor’s Perennial Nursery and what was the existing Rose’s Berry Farm.
“I’ve left you with the smaller parcel of land with the house on it.” Linton presented Trevor with a land title transfer document granting three quarters of the land that Rose’s parents had gifted to Trevor to be legally placed into Rose’s name.
Trevor took one look at the dark, unyielding expression on Linton’s face and signed the document.
Alvin’s face was pale. “If we own the house…” The only outward sign of the fury within. He came and stood close to Trevor.
“Not now,” Trevor said quietly.
Linton glanced over to where Rose was sitting, silently studying him. It was the first he’d seen of her dimples since she’d been fifteen. If he wasn’t already smitten by her, he believed he could have fallen in love all over again. “Rose, do you agree that the funding priority and all our efforts should be to get both the perennials and the berry businesses on their feet?”
She crossed her legs in an easy, relaxed manner, and her eyes seemed to speak to him as she gazed across the top of the wine glass she held at her lips. Then she nodded her head and her eyes told Linton she wasn’t thinking of business.
“And then we’ll move out?” Linton stood, came to Rose and touched her hair.
Rose stood beside him, her dimples twitching. “We will separate the businesses, then build our own home and family.” She walked to the doorway of the master bedroom. She turned and held out her hand for Linton to come to her.
End of chapter eight excerpt from Star Struck by Ryn Shell.
Star Struck may be read as a stand alone novel as the story is complete within the one book.