Looking for the Silver Lining

Hey, romance addicts. Let’s welcome author Anne Krist (Dee S. Knight) to the Layla Writes Love blog. Anne writes about the need that more attention be paid to the brighter side of life, so the darkness doesn’t overwhelm us. She is also giving readers a special treat, an excerpt from her book Burning Bridges.


By Anne Krist

While watching The History Channel a while ago, I saw a program on Leonardo da Vinci. I really only started watching because the location featured Florence, one of my favorite places, but I soon was caught up in Leonardo’s early life and his handicaps.

The man we consider one of the greatest of his time—maybe one of the greatest men of all time—was illegitimate. Today that doesn’t seem all that horrible, but in the 15th century, illegitimacy limited what one could do in life. Joining a professional guild was the way to change your position in society, and many guilds were closed to bastards. He had no formal education; everything he did came from his own observation and self -education. 

Da Vinci’s father did send him to an art instructor in Florence, and there he learned to hone his innate artistic talent. But he lived every other aspect of his life by the tenet that one should never be limited by what others do or think. Believing that, produced the man of genius we know today, not only the artist, but the inventor, the engineer, and the great thinker. In other words, he found ways around his problems and surpassed all expectations.

What can I say? We all have situations to overcome. I had polio as an infant. It’s affected me my whole life. But I had the love and support of family and friends—and great doctors at the Shriners’ Hospitals—to get to where I am today. My sweetheart hubby has dyslexia and was basically put through hell when he was younger and going through school, but with help he found workarounds that helped him excel in areas like technical writing and consulting. 

These days especially, I hate watching the news. Some situations are horribly tragic and deserve our attention and disgust. But so much else is just tantrums—harmful, childish tantrum-like behavior. People blaming others for their troubles or using something (or someone) as an excuse to commit bad acts. Everyone has something to overcome in life. Giving in to the bad times is one way to live, but how much better is it to search out a way through the negative and surpass what is expected of us?

People who overcome handicaps or reach out a helping hand to assist others to excel should be recognized more often. Those people are heroes and examples.

We should all be people who build—build up our own accomplishments or someone else’s opportunities—not tear things down.

We can’t all change the world, but we can all make our own little corner a better place to be. Then one corner meets another corner, meets another corner, meets another… Maybe then we could turn on the evening news without a sense of dread.

My heroine in Burning Bridges overcomes her obstacles and prevails over trouble in order to gain a second chance at love! But she didn’t do it alone. She asked for help and accepted it, along with the love that sustained her.

In this excerpt, Sara Richards has received three letters from a man she thought dead. The letters themselves have been lost and are now sent decades late. Now she wonders how they might change her life, so long after she and Paul had their brief interlude.

Sara stared at the letters arranged before her in numerical order. The moment in time she and Paul shared was long ago, yet her dream had conjured his presence as though she’d just seen him. In her mind, his blue eyes darkened with passion before his lips captured hers, and he moaned his appreciation when their tongues met. She tasted his sweetness and knew the steel of his arms as he held her. How many nights had she put herself through hell reliving those memories? Too damn many.

After the concert, they’d met clandestinely on weekends, mostly at Sandbridge, where they could walk and talk undisturbed. With each meeting, stirrings built deep in Sara that pushed her to want more, but Paul insisted they restrain themselves because of her age.

Then the weekend before he shipped out, she’d planned a surprise and her life changed forever.

The kettle screeched, bringing her back to the present. Sara prepared a cup of tea and then picked up the envelope marked twenty-eight. At one time, she would have given her right arm to hold this letter. Now, curiosity and the desire for a brief escape drove her more than the passion of youth. Blind love had faded when she’d had no word to bolster her during the long weeks after the ship left.

First had come the waiting. No letters arrived, even though she wrote him daily. There were no phone calls, no notes, no anything, for days that dragged into weeks then crept into months.

Anticipation morphed into anxiety. She worried he was sick or hurt and unable to write.

One day she admitted that Paul must be afraid to write for some reason, and she feared what he would say if she did receive a letter. That their time together had been a mistake, that she was too young to be in love. That he really loved someone else and Sara had been only a stand-in while he was in Virginia. Perversely, she began to sigh with relief when she arrived home and found no word.

Now, knowing why she hadn’t received mail, what would she feel if she opened this letter and her old fears proved to be true?

“Nothing,” she murmured. “Paul’s dead. He can’t hurt me anymore.” At the very least, his letters might allow her to put his ghost to rest. For that reason alone, she had to read them.

She slid her thumb under the flap and ripped the envelope open. A single sheet held his hurried scrawl.

Thank you, Anne! Great post and excerpt. All right, romance addicts. Anne has done some serious clicking. Now, it’s your turn! Tap the link below to grab a copy of her military romance, Burning Bridges!

Click here to buy.

The Faces of Dee/Anne/Jenna

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.

After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website. And all three offer some of the best romance you can find! Also, once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.

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