The Necklace – The Dusky Club, June 1962 by Linda S Rice
This is book #1 of a steamy, time-travel romance series, “The Necklace.” The remaining 7 books in the series are only 99 cents each. ($6.93) for the entire 8-book series. The story of James and Susan, two unforgettable characters, will reel you in and take you on a roller coaster ride of passion, love, drama, humor, conflict, and betrayal.
What if you could travel back in time to meet the man of your dreams at a time when it would be possible for him to fall in love with you? Susan does just that when she meets two women from Haiti while on a cruise with her childhood friend, Lynn. Mika, the elderly of the two ladies, claims she can see into Susan’s soul, and that if she sends her back in time to meet James, the man she has loved for over fifty years, Susan will learn something important about him and about herself.
Susan travels back to the year 1962 in her 17-year-old body where she meets James, age 20, who is part of a band that will one day become the greatest band of all time. Susan is stunned and delighted when James is instantly drawn to her, inviting her out for tea and offering to walk her back to her hotel after the band quits playing for the night.
But much to her consternation, Susan’s 17-year-old hormones begin to play havoc with her 62-year-old brain, tempting her towards a relationship with James that she’s not really certain she wants.
Will James end up to be the paragon Susan always thought him to be? Or, will she learn that sometimes when a dream comes true, that it’s not quite what you expected?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult audiences only
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After losing my 3rd job in 5 years due to moves overseas, I decided to retire and do what I've wanted to do my whole life: Write.
The inspiration for this book series came from friends after I jokingly mentioned how I'd love to travel back in time to meet a teenage crush I had back in the 1960s. As many of my friends all had the same teenage crush experience, they egged me on to write a time-travel romance that would make all our fantasies come true. The first book was actually intended to be the last, the moral of the story being that what you wish for often doesn't turn out to be better than what you already have. But, my readers fell in love with my two main characters, James and Susan, and asked for more. And, as James and Susan invaded my brain, I continued their love story with Susan desperately trying to stay in the past with James. As I typed, it almost seemed as if James and Susan had taken over and were writing their story for me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My main male character, James, is based on a real-life person who I will not name, but who developed into a fictional character and young man of his time (the early 1960s). As a talented musician, he is arrogant and self-centered. Being from a poor, working-class family, he has very specific ideas on how females should behave. He is bossy and controlling and his youth (at the beginning of the series) makes it difficult for him to control his emotions and temper. But he is also a man who is caring, honest, loves deeply and passionately and has an over-the-top sex drive…much to the surprise and delight of Susan.
Because I love feisty female characters, Susan developed into a challenge to James's chauvinistic personality causing them to constantly buck up against each other. Sparks constantly fly between them in their relationship as well as in the bedroom. Susan, being a liberated and fiercely independent woman from the future, is also stubborn, jumps to conclusions, and has an uncontrollable jealous streak making their relationship full of fire along with the passion.
“Ciggy?” said a voice over her shoulder.
Susan froze, the color draining from her face. Hairs stood up on the back of her neck. She knew that voice as well as she knew her own. She’d heard it thousands of times over the past fifty years, talking and singing. She held her breath as she slowly swiveled around on the barstool.
And there he was, just a couple of feet away, leaning towards her over the tall table, one hand extended with a cigarette in it. He also had one dangling from the side of his mouth that was lit.
His dark hair looked greasy, but it might have just been sweat. His face was certainly shiny with it. He had on a black leather jacket over a ratty-looking black t-shirt. He put the hand without the cigarette in it up to his forehead and brushed his hair away, a gesture that drew her eyes to his. They were brown with amber flecks in them, and they were smiling; his mouth also quirked in a grin.
“Cat got your tongue, Luv?” he asked.
Thanks to the smoky room and dim lighting away from the stage area, James didn’t see Susan’s face turn crimson as she stuttered, “No, of course not. You just startled me is all.”
“Oh my God!” she thought. “Those are the same words we said to each other in the Sleeping Beauty Castle, but…but that’s in the future still!” She shook her head to clear it.
“Your accent…are you American?” he asked.
“Yes, California…the southern part…”
“Here on holiday then?”
“You could say that.”
She was thinking, “What can I say? What story can I make up? Think quick, Susan, think quick!”
“I’m here to meet some friends. We’re…um…students…my Uncle back in the states is a history professor…we’re um…on a history tour. I’m staying at a hotel just down the street. I was out walking around and heard music coming from here. I thought I’d check it out.”
She was mumbling like an idiot, words tumbling out of her mouth at random. And, she was also starting to feel faint. Looking into his gorgeous eyes made her feel weak in the knees. She was glad she was sitting down.
“And where are the other students?”
“Well, they’re not here yet…they were, um, delayed…they should be here in a week…by next Friday…then we’re off to Bath and…and Devon before heading to London.”
Bath and Devon were the only other English cities she could think of on the spur of the moment, recalling the names from the English Regency romances she frequently read. How lame was that?!
“Ah, here for a week on your own then?”
“Yes, but I’m sure I’ll find plenty to do. I plan on buying a guidebook tomorrow.” Oh geez! What made her say something so stupid?
“A guidebook of Brighton?”
“And the surrounding area…yes.”
He started to laugh. “Not much to see around here,” he said. “Other than the Prince Regent’s palace, I wouldn’t say there’s enough to take up a whole week or even a whole guidebook.”
“But, I’m very resourceful!” she quipped, again wanting to kick herself for all the stupid words spouting out of her mouth.
“Are you?” he asked, his eyes filled with amusement.
“So, you want the ciggy? I can light it for you.”
“No thanks; don’t you know that stuff can kill you?”
“Is that so? No, I haven’t heard that. The commercials on telly say smoking is good for you. They make it glamorous like.”
“Well, they’re wrong, you know. They’ll find out someday that it causes cancer. And it’s also habit-forming, and it makes your clothes and breath stink and…”
“Stop…stop…I’m thinking you don’t approve of my smoking.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“You did in so many words. You said it makes me smell bad.”
She could see his lips quiver as if he was about to laugh out loud. It was hard for her to keep a straight face and she gave a sudden burst of laughter.
“Okay, okay…so I insinuated that it might make you smell bad…and well, have you ever kissed a person that’s been smoking? Gross! Ick! And, quite frankly this whole place smells bad because of all the smoke…it’s hard to breathe in here, and my eyes are burning.”
He dropped the unlit cigarette into the ashtray on the table and stubbed his own out.
“There, how’s that?” he asked. “Wouldn’t want to be kissing anybody with smoke breath.”
She blanched, regretting the comment about kissing. What was wrong with her? There was nothing but nonsense coming out of her mouth! She was so nervous that she started playing with the silver chain of her necklace, fingering the silver ballet shoes that hung on the end of it.
She swallowed. “Much better, thank you,” she replied, ignoring his comment about smoke breath.
He stared at her intently. From a distance, she’d stood out from the crowd because of her pink dress up against the dark wall of the club. Up close, however, she stood out even more, despite the dim lighting. The dress was totally out of place, of course, but he looked beyond that. She was slender and looked to have some very nice curves outlined by the form-fitting dress. Her skin was clear and flawless and tanned by the sun. Her long blonde hair fell down her back almost to her waist; some of it spilled over her shoulders and arms. Her eyes were green in color, under thick lashes and nicely arched eyebrows. Her comment about kissing had drawn his eyes to her lips. Hmmm…they looked very kissable.
“Hey, James! Time to get back up here and quit flirting with the new bird!” Derek yelled from the stage area.
“See you after the next set?” he asked, arching his eyebrows.
“I suppose so,” she replied, her heart pounding so loud in her chest she could almost hear it.
“And may I know your name?”
“Oh, um, sure…it’s Susan.”
“Would you like to know mine?”
She almost choked. “Of course I would.”
“It’s James.” He winked at her as he walked away, wondering if he’d be able to win a wager regarding her. Too soon to tell. He’d need to stop by and talk to her some more after the next set.
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