It's only a few more days until HIGH FLYGHT publishes, so today, in lieu of a usual Teaser Tuesday, I have a longer excerpt from the book to share with you!
When we first start out the series, we learn that Vivian turned down a marriage proposal three years earlier from a man she was totally in love with. Her parents insisted that he was a bad match, and that if she wanted to keep the farm, she needed to follow their wishes.
In HIGH FLYGHT, we finally get to hear why Vivian had to turn Ken down… and you might guess that it had something to do with his family.
I steer past the shops and down into an alley, over a tiny footbridge spanning a bubbling stream, and onto the block where Ken’s father lives. I smile and slow my steps as I approach their home and spot Ken’s dad, Alvar, hard at work hanging daikon radishes out to dry.
“You got a great harvest this year,” I call out.
He turns from the short ladder he’s on, and a smile splits his face.
Warmth flows through me as he jumps from the ladder and comes straight to me. If there were any hard feelings, he wouldn’t be happy to see me.
We laugh as we embrace, and I remember again why I love Ken and his family. His father is, and always has been, a good man.
“Alvar, it’s good to see you. Sorry for just dropping in like this.”
“Aw, please, Vivian. It’s not like I didn’t expect you.”
I huff a laugh and jam my hands into my pockets as he returns to tying up the daikon radishes and draping them over the outside drying rack. This year’s frame is almost two stories tall and about twenty meters long. Alvar is here alone, but I bet others show up to help. This is not a one-man job.
“So, where is he?” I look left at the quiet house, and the windows are dark. To the right, the barn is open, but I don’t see anyone inside.
“He’s in the house, in the back. Handling business.” His breath fogs as he hefts a wheelbarrow over with more daikon. “The usual.”
I nod, unsure of what to do. Do I approach Ken first? Or do I wait for him to come out and find me here?
Alvar works for another minute while I hem and haw over my decision.
“You know, Vivian. It’s not his fault.”
“The reason your parents didn’t want the two of you to marry.”
I tear my eyes from the house and slowly turn to face him. He’s not watching me, not making eye contact. He continues his work, tying and hanging like he’s a machine with no other task.
“What do you mean?” I ask, walking closer. I get underneath him, so I can look up and see his face.
“It was a long time ago.” He sighs, halting his task and smacking the dust out of his working gloves. “And I really didn’t think anyone cared about what I had done or hadn’t done. It was a surprise to learn that I had any impact on my son and his life.”
I wait for him to spit it out, but when he stares off into the distance for almost a full minute, my annoyance gets the better of me.
“Alvar, please. It’s cold out here. Either tell me or spare me some warmth?”
He descends from the ladder and folds it up.
“Let’s get out of the wind.” He jerks his head at the barn, so I follow along. “The sins of the father, you know? It’s a long story, but…” He shrugs. “When I was young, not even twenty, I joined the network of a real up-and-comer. A popular woman everyone was nuts about.”
“Yeah, Juliana.” I nod, remembering how successful Ken’s mother is.
“No. Not Juliana. Her name was Nendra, a bright and beautiful thing, with the kind of temper that could rip you in two if you weren’t careful.”
A flash of premonition hits me like a cold winter wind. I suddenly don’t like where this story is going.
Do you know where this story is going? Lol. You'll find out soon enough!
Want to pre-order HIGH FLYGHT?
Read the blurb, an excerpt, and find all the buy links on my website…
HIGH FLYGHT publishes this Friday, November 8, 2019!