by Donna MacMeans
I believe the liquor cabinet has been replenished. The cabana boys have rested up. So you know what that means….PARTY IN THE LAIR!!
Today we’re celebrating the release of The Trouble with Moonlight. Romantic Times Book Reviews called it “ingenious, humorous and intoxicating. Cleverly blending the paranormal with the sensual and suspense with a passionate love story…” Affaire de Coeur said it “grabs the reader from the onset and takes her on an unforgettable ride.”
But I’ll let you decide for yourself. I’d originally invited Lucinda Havershaw and James Locke to come chat with us, but they refused, saying something about the new moon and protecting identities. So I flew to the island in mid-May and found Locke sitting alone on the beach. The sun had set, the full moon reflected in the gentle ebbing waves.
“I presume you’re Locke? James Locke?”
He smiled, but it was more for acknowledgment, not for pleasure. I had the sense that he was assessing me, judging my background by my attire, formulating my history by my stance. Although we stood an arm’s length away, I felt at a greater distance, as if he was hidden behind a barrier of his making. This would be a very short interview I feared, but then, what else could I expect from a notorious spy.
“I had hoped Lusinda would be here as well,” I said, gazing about.
“Do you think she’s not?” One corner of his lips twitched in a slight smile. He took a deep breath. “Can you smell that?”
“The ocean?” I asked, perplexed. That’s when I saw the footsteps forming in the sand in a straight path heading directly toward us. “Dear heavens, she’s…she’s invisible.”
“She’s Nevidimi.” Locke’s whole demeanor had changed. He relaxed and a genuine smile bloomed on his face. He raised his voice. “And a bit of a thief.”
“I am not!” An indignant woman’s voice proclaimed. I squinted my eyes as if to bring into focus what wasn’t there.
“I recover items and return them to their proper owner. I do not steal. I’m not a thief.”
Locke unsuccessfully tried to hide his laughter. His shoulder jerked as if the recipient of a playful pat.
“What’s Nevidimi?” I asked. “Are there more people like you?”
Locke scowled. “It’s Russian, you know. Lusinda’s mother is the only decent thing that has come from that foul country. Nevidimi is an abbreviation of the word for invisible.”
“We’re extremely rare,” Lusinda offered. “I honestly don’t know if others exist. We learned it’s in our best interest to conceal our talents. Otherwise there are those who would hunt us down, chase us with pitch folks as devils and demons.”
“Can you control this? Turn invisible whenever you wish to disappear?”
“I wish it were so.” I heard a longing in her voice, as if this marvelous talent was more curse than blessing. “It only happens when I’m touched by moonlight – like tonight.”
“But your clothes--" I tried not to stare, but it was difficult avoiding nothing --"how is it that they’re invisible?”
“They’re not.” Locke answered. His wide appreciative grin was not directed toward me but to the direction of the voice.
“I had a great uncle who achieved a certain notoriety by riding fully dressed about the countryside when the moon was full. Of course his head wasn’t visible so the townspeople assumed he didn’t have one.”
“The Headless Horseman,” I said in sudden comprehension.
“He enjoyed it, but it set the villagers in a bit of a panic.”
“So if your clothes aren’t invisible,” I said, following the logic. “That means you’re --”
“Naked,” Locke said, his arm raised and lowered as if he were stroking something to his side.
My face heated with the thought that I was intruding on an intimate moment, even though I couldn’t see anything. I averted my gaze to the sky and noticed a large cloud approaching the moon, inspiring another question.
“Must the moon be full?” I asked. “What about clouds? What if you go inside?”
“All of those things affect my ability to be unseen,” Lusinda replied. “I can achieve invisibility with a partial moon, but then a cloud might interfere with my ability to maintain that condition.”
“I phase-in, become visible. First, I resemble a ghost, a vapor, if you will. Then, I begin to glow, it’s –”
“Intoxicating,” Locke said in awe.
I suppose it made sense. It certainly explained why they insisted doing the interview during a full moon and the need to protect Lusinda’s identity. “So you only go out on nights with a full moon?”
“Espionage does not wait on the phases of the moon,” Locke groused. I felt I had stumbled on a sore point. “There are inherent risks.”
”But you’ve never encountered those risks in a crowded Victorian ballroom,” Lusinda countered, her irritation evident. “I have.”
“There are rewards,” he said in a low, seductive voice. “I understand there’s something called a hot tub in the cave that sounds most intriguing. The candles are lit. A private feast awaits…”
His arm crooked at the elbow as he headed for the cave entrance. He disappeared inside but I remained on the beach, nurturing a margarita and wondering what it would be like to be visible one moment and invisible the next. The moon climbed higher in its zenith. The waves broke on a protective reef and thus met the shore in a gentle lulling wash of foam. Suddenly, a bright luminous light from deep inside the cave interrupted my quiet contemplation. It lasted a moment and than slowly dimmed. I almost dashed to the mouth of the cave to inquire that all was well, but the muffled sounds emanating from the cave suggested my presence would not be appreciated. Her words brought a smile to my lips . . . then I begin to glow…
Invisibility can be most revealing…
Which brings me back here. I have a copy of The Education of Mrs. Brimley for a commenter. Would you like to have Lusinda’s talent? If so, what would you do with it?
What other power would you like to have? Do you like paranormal mixed in with historical? Talk to me, and let’s refill those glasses.