Please help me welcome author Danielle E. Gauwain as she recounts the inspiration behind her new romance, Silken Tide!
I’m often pretty transparent in how I came up with the idea for a novel. For instance, as some of you may know, The Bound Tetralogy was the product of journals from ten years ago, ready to go the attic before my husband rescued them from their exile. The story of Silken Tide is really quite different. In some ways….
There were no journals this time. There was no diamond in the attic waiting to be discovered. But there was this song….the song set into motion hours of research at the library, a questionable google search history, and a whimsical journey once again into the human condition. The song? Well, as usual I was listening to Pandora streaming through my car and I stumbled on a song that I hadn’t heard in a long time. Mandolin Rain, by Bruce Hornsby. I remember the exact lyric that struck a chord as I sat there in traffic: I’ll do my time keeping you off my mind, but there’s moments that I find I’m not feeling so strong.
You could hear the pain in his voice as he sang of a love lost at his own hands, yet he still revisits the memory every day.
The boat’s steaming in
Oh, I watch the sidewheel spin
And I think about her when I hear that whistle blow
I can’t change my mind
Oh, I knew all the time that she’d go
But that’s a choice I made long ago
So, I listened to this song for almost a month straight. I would close my eyes and when I heard the piano and the banjo it reminded me of the ocean. And those lyrics! Love and the ocean. The gentle rocking of a boat, the waves, the waiting for a loved one. There was just a song, the library, and a ton of imagination. I’ll do my time keeping you off my mind, but there’s moments that I find I’m not feeling so strong….
Then, the perfect storm settled in and a story was born.
An aspiring artist with dreams of opening her own gallery, it only took Jessica six months in a big city to realize that Silk Cove was where she belonged. Even though she earns a meager wage as a waitress at a local diner, her simple life in Silk Cove suits her well. She has everything she needs…everything but love.
When Jessica and Mark’s worlds collide, sparks fly. But their romance is challenged by a string of unexplained events and Mark’s creed, born of abandonment and mistrust. Mark’s set of principles is put to the test when he must face who, and what, he is. Jessica must decide if love is worth a second, or even third chance.
Jessica tried to continue on her way, but Mark grabbed her hand, stopping her in her tracks. She turned to look at him. His deep brown eyes seemed to search her face for answers. She felt exposed, almost a little self-conscious for some reason. She felt like she should look away, but it was as if she were frozen.
“What is it?” She smiled.
“Do you always do that?”
“Leave in the morning without saying goodbye?”
Jessica’s cheeks burned. “I just didn’t want to wake you, that’s all.”
Mark squinted his eyes and smirked.
“I didn’t mean anything by it. I promise.”
“Did you think about me today?” Mark’s voice was low and enticing.
When she opened her mouth to speak, her voice came out as a whisper. “Yes.”
“What did you think about?”
She smiled and diverted her gaze to the floor.
“Tell me.” Mark lowered his head to meet her eyes once more.
“I thought about last night and…” Jessica’s voice trailed off as images of passion danced across her mind.
She bit her lip and squeezed her eyes shut. “And there were times when I swore you were here with me. I imagined you were so close that I could feel your breath on my neck.”
“Like this?” He closed the space between them, brought his face to the side of her neck and exhaled.
Mark’s lips grazed the side of Jessica’s neck before traveling the length of her jawline. She watched him as he nibbled on her chin; his eyes were closed and his mouth curled into the sexiest smile she had ever seen. It was at that moment that any restraint that she had shown earlier at the door disappeared. Jessica held Mark’s face in her hands and kissed him. She kissed him hard. She kissed him deep. As if they had a mind of their own, she suddenly realized that her hands were running through his hair. What was she doing? She was in the kitchen! At Bonnie’s! Concerned that she had been too brazen, she let go of him and released his lips from hers. But when she looked up at him, she quickly became aware that her worry was pointless. As if she had flipped a switch, the flirtatious glint that had once sparkled in Mark’s eyes was now a burning sensuous flame.
Mark moved in quickly, pressing Jessica’s back against the cool tile of the kitchen wall. He brought his lips to hers again. His kiss was anything but gentle; it was feverish and left her gasping for air. He ran his hands over her top, grasping her breasts through her T-shirt. He yanked on the button of her shorts so hard that her hips left the wall. Jessica tried to reach for his belt, but with one hand Mark was able to pin Jessica’s wrists above her head. He was in charge. And it seemed that he wanted her to know it.