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Authors: Raine Miller

The Muse

BOOK: The Muse
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A
ROTHVALE LEGACY HISTORICAL PREQUEL

 

I

 

THIS
book is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

NO
part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of author’s rights.  Purchase only authorized editions.

 

THE
author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of any wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction.

Copyright © 2014
Raine Miller Romance

All rights reserved
.

Cover Design: 
Jena Brignola
&
Michelle Preast

Editing: 
Making Manuscripts

DEDICATION

 

 

To Dreams, and for making them real.

 

 

Are you sure

That we are awake?  It seems to me

That yet we sleep, we dream

 

—William Shakespeare
~
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

 

THIS
is the first story I ever wrote.  It has been tucked away in a box under my bed for more than six years.  A few people have read it and probably forgotten the story by now because they last saw it so long ago.  I wrote every word from the heart and crafted the whole basis of the world in which all of my later books were born into.  Blackstone Affair was born out of
The Muse
.  Rothvale Legacy was as well.  Every book, every story, every main character, connects in some way to what was begun right here on the pages following this message.  I hope you enjoy where it all began.  To beginnings.  May they lead to something very wonderful for you.

xxoo
R

PROLOGUE

 

sim·u·la·crum
[sim-
yuh
-
ley
-kr
uh
m]

--noun

1.  a slight, unreal or superficial likeness or semblance

2.  an effigy, image or representation

 

 

 

 

London
,
1895

 

“IT
is completed.”  Removing the cloth covering, Frederic stepped back to show his work.

His companion studied the painting for a long time before he spoke.  “Beautiful.  Simmering and seductive through the use of such vibrant orange.  Sure to garner attention, don’t you think, Frederic?”

“Perhaps.  I hope it will.”  Sighing, he felt weary and tired, unwilling to waste the energy of thought on how his newest painting might be received.

“What will you call it?”

“I am calling it ‘Flaming June.’”

“Who is she, asleep in the chair, in that flowing gown?  Was she June?”

Frederic shook his head.  “There was a different painting, before this one, another version—the original.  I saw it one time and could never forget, so seared was the image into my memory.”

He touched a finger to the canvas, remembering details of what she looked like, even though it had been a very long time since his own eyes had been granted the view in all her magnificent glory.

“When was this?”

“Oh, many years ago when I was first starting out.  I met the great man himself at a house party in Warwickshire.  He had to have done that painting more than eighty years ago by now.”

“Who?”

“Mallerton.  He painted her first.  Conceived in the warmth of summer, he said.  He told me he painted her during the month of June.  Sometime in June.”

Frederic felt wistful now, lost in the remembrance of that other painting. “She wore a yellow dress, jonquil yellow, and had a splendid shawl draped over her.”

“Who was she?”

“Mallerton said she was…Imogene.”

 

Flaming June
   ~Sir Frederic Leighton, 1895

Ponce Museum of Art, Ponce, Puerto Rico

BOOK: The Muse
13.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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