I am so pleased to bring you today's guest, Lena Roach a long-time member of Bayou Writers Group. Lena has been working on her book and with her agent for a long time so it is with great pleasure we welcome her and Whispers of the Past to our spotlight!
On her last night at as owner and manager of her family’s antique business, a stranger arrives at Tessa’s doorstep with an impossible dream: find and replace a one-of-a-kind chair. Having lost more in his life than just a chair, Brian convinces Tessa to procure and restore the furnishing for his stately family home. With conflicting feelings of attraction for Brian and an embarrassment for her uncle’s dishonesty, Tessa tries to begin her life anew. But the main women in Brian’s life, his beautiful business partner Simone and his sister Darrie don’t want the complication that Tessa brings. They want the family home sold, not restored and will stop at nothing to get their way. Can Tessa do the impossible? Find and replace these antique pieces as well as show Brian that Christians really are good people and find a little love along the way?
Tonight was the night.
Tomorrow it would all be gone.
Heartbeat racing under the lace collar of her emerald gown, Tessa Chandelle glanced at her guests around the refreshment tables that dotted the area she’d cleared in the elegant main showroom of Chandelle’s House of Antiques. So far, none of the irate creditors who had threatened to crash her farewell party disrupted the quiet buzz of conversation or the low music from the stereo.
A “Thank God” on her lips, she flipped back her shoulder-length light auburn hair and turned to accept more good-bye hugs at what should have been a traditional springtime gala.
“Jasmine Hills won’t be the same without you!” the bittersweet goodbyes flowed around her.
Lifelong friends didn’t have to use words to express how they felt. She read their minds in the looks on their faces. Right under her nose, Uncle Lester, her trusted sales manager, had gambled away the family home and business in the two-story mansion that had served Chandelles for more than a century. How could she have let it happen?
“You won’t forget to write, to call?” She saw furrowed brows and heard the remark, “Too bad your parents couldn’t be here tonight. If ever you needed them, it’s now.”
“Thank you, I’ll be fine.” She smiled at the well-meaning comments. “And some day with God’s help, Chandelle’s will be ours again.”
She hadn’t seen her folks since her twenty-seventh birthday celebration a few months back. The happy wishes were tainted with grief. That week, Uncle Lester suffered a heart attack and died.
“Leaving Jasmine Hills to conquer the Big Easy, huh, Tess?” Tall and matronly Mrs. Andrews, choir director at Little Grace Chapel, lifted her cup of lemonade in salute. “Soon you’ll be the most popular interior designer in New Orleans.”
“We’ll drink to that!” other guests cheered.
Tessa smiled and made a playful bow. Trust them to put a happy face on the occasion.
Her side glance caught best friend Adrienne in palazzo pants, sun-bright color like her spiked hairdo. She pointed to her watch. The gesture said she’d get the patio crowd inside as planned for those who wanted to say early goodbyes.
Tessa nodded, but then she picked up the faint chimes of the doorbell. A latecomer, or a creditor?
Determined to keep smiling, she changed courses and headed for the entry hall. As she approached the office set aside for Chandelle’s soon-to-be-owner, Magnolia House of Antiques, she overheard the low-key voices of employees who’d begun setting up for business but had promised to stay away tonight:
“Can you believe it? The daughter of missionaries, she gambled away the business right along with her uncle.”
“Yeah, blamed it all on him. Even passed off fakes as antiques.”
“Now she’s applied for a job in New Orleans. Who would want a Chandelle employee on board?”
“No wonder her fiancé broke off their engagement.”
Tessa’s feet froze, her smile gone. Inside her own store, the words stabbed, sharper than other false rumors she’d heard circulating around town, throughout surrounding parishes, and beyond. Once more, she must ignore them. But tonight, in earshot of anyone passing by?
Sounds like a wonderful read! I have a copy of this book but have yet to carve out time to read it. Hopefully soon....
Purchase Whispers of the Past at Amazon.
Lena Vidrine Roach was born and raised in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. At an early age, inspired by her schoolteachers, she developed a love for reading and writing. After earning a Master’s degree in English/Education, she became a high school English teacher.
Her first poem, “Success,” appeared in Young People’s Magazine published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Other poems appeared in Kansas City Poetry Magazine, OASIS JOURNAL, and professional periodicals. She wrote a “Dear Teacher” column for several newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. Diverse articles appeared in New Orleans Times Picayune, Lake Charles American Press, Lagniappe Magazine, The Voice, and the national publication, OMG:THAT WOMAN. One of her short stories was published in GLAMOUR Magazine, England. At present, she continues to live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and is devoted to a writing career in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Well Friends, I hope you enjoyed today's spotlight as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you!
Until next time, take care and God Bless.