Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Spotlight: Touchstone of Love by Beth Barany

Touchstone of Love, A Time Travel Romance Novella 
by Beth Barany

Print Length: 93 pages
Publisher: Firewolf Books (January 5, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Genre: Romance
Format: Digital

About the book:

A time-travel romance by award-winning novelist, Beth Barany. 

When a thunderstorm transports software expert Rose Waldman to thirteenth century France, she meets hunky stonemason Julien, who is secretly creating a gargoyle in defiance of his master mason. Can independent gadget loving Rose trust her life and heart to Julien, and can she really never go home again? 

"...a unique take on gargoyles which I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend!" -- Karysa Faire 

"...The story was really romantic and the two of them together are just pure magic. It is rare that I find a couple rather than a single character really making a story worth while, but this one does just that." -- Kathy Horseman 

"... recommend this novella to anyone who is looking for an entertaining read for the night or weekend." -- Lisa 

About the author:

Based in Oakland, California, Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.

In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, travelling, and watching movies with her husband, bestselling author Ezra Barany, and playing with their two cats, Kitty and Leo. 

Where to Find Touchstone of Love

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Where to Find Beth Barany

Beth Barany’s website:
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Excerpt of “Touchstone of Love” 

Rose smiled in her window seat as she felt the 747 jumbo jet bank over the Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris and land smoothly in the September dawn. She felt something unwind at the pit of her stomach as the tires rolled on the long runway. She always felt like she was coming home when she landed in France, even though she was born and raised in Oakland, California.

Soon she would transfer to the smaller airport north of Paris to fly direct to Edinburgh, Scotland for her presentation at the annual international conference on human-computer communications. Instead of flying direct from Charles de Gaulle, she’d booked the transfer at the smaller airport to stay within her company’s travel budget.

Rose felt shimmies of excitement shoot up and down her spine. She also looked forward to some one-on-one time with Brian. She licked her lips. Her annual date with the suave, handsome, and successful man was always full of wining and dining in the privacy of her plush, comped hotel room.

Life was good. But she wished she’d made enough time this year for traipsing through the French countryside to visit cathedrals before going to the conference. With a twinge of longing, she thought of the high ceilings of Chartres and the hidden labyrinth in the Amiens cathedral. Instead, she had let the pressures of work take precedence. Her boss was gunning for her to finish her analysis for their client. Right after the conference, she had to rush back to her consulting job in San Francisco at one of the top software companies in the country.

She groaned at the thought of the report she had to complete. It was sitting in her tiny travel laptop. She wished she weren’t planning to look at it at all during this trip—no matter what the deadlines were—she just wanted a fun, sexy romp and to forget about her normally busy life. She wanted an adventure. She wanted…something more. Rose shouldered her travel bag, sailed through customs, and settled in for the hour-long bus trip to the small Beauvais airport. She didn’t mind the transfer; it fit the company budget and allowed her to doze and daydream about Brian’s suave smile, generous credit limit and wonderful taste in plying her well with Swiss chocolate and delicious wine. She’d deal with the report once she arrived at the conference hotel.


“What do you mean, I missed my flight?” Rose asked in her most polite Parisian-accented French. She wanted to use a few choice swear words, but knew the French attendant would shut down like a trapdoor if she did. Rose wasn’t trying to pick a fight, yet.

“Sorry, miss,” the attendant said in French. She was dressed in a prim uniform, bright red lipstick, not a hair out of place. She waved Rose to step out of line.

Rose huffed and did as she was asked. She examined her travel itinerary for the hundredth time. All the times were there correctly. How could she have messed up? She dragged her tired body to a hard plastic seat, scrubbed her cheeks and palmed her eyes. That was supposed to calm her, she learned in one of the stress relief and relaxation seminars her boss always had her attending.

She blew out a breath and watched the next flight’s passengers queue up in this small but busy airport. Something sparkled out of the corner of her eye, but when she turned to look, it was gone.

Rose re-examined her itinerary. What was going on? There. She spotted it, a transposition of a four for a five. She did that sometimes. Rose was an hour late for her flight. She swore under her breath. Anger faded just as quickly as it came, and she bounced up, satisfied that she’d found her mistake. She was ready for a solution. There had to be a solution to get to Edinburgh on time. Had to be. Brian was waiting. The talk she had to give on the interplay between human social behavior and computer response was waiting. She was missing her talk if she couldn’t get to the conference today.

“So sorry to bother you but—” Rose rushed to the Help desk and addressed the attendant, a man in a pressed uniform, in her most polite French. “I need to catch the next flight to Edinburgh—today.”

“Sorry, ma’am, but there are no more flights today.

Only one flight a day to Edinburgh.”

“Quoi?” What? Rose stamped her foot and frowned.

She wanted to kick herself for being so stupid. She sighed. She felt idiotic.

“What are my options?” she asked in French, while the attendant watched her, a bored expression plastered on his pretty face. He probably saw passenger meltdowns twenty times a day. Even so, he rebooked her for the next day. See, there was a solution. She’d just get there a day late.

Rose hopped another bus, her fourth transportation vehicle of the day. She grumbled to herself, a mixture of French and English. Brian would be waiting for her.

She’d have to re-schedule her talk, if that were possible. The organizers would just have to deal, and maybe she wouldn’t be invited back. Damn. She hated that, but she was helpless to do anything about it right now. She sighed and settled in for the ride to the nearby town of Beauvais. In the afternoon’s fading light, she noticed an arbor in the round reminiscent of the pre-Christian era’s rites of harvest. For a moment she thought she saw young women dancing in a circle, dressed in medieval period garb. She blinked. The vision was gone.

As the bus rumbled through the town, neat stone nineteenth-century buildings adorned the wide boulevard. Between two buildings she caught the glimpse of a tall spire that caught the light and sparkled like a beacon. Her heart quickened. She hadn’t realized there was a cathedral in Beauvais. Maybe her overnight stay would be enjoyable. A pressure eased in her chest.

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