Authors: Cynthia Lucas
When Lightning Strikes
Published by CreateSpace.com as a Print-on-Demand book.
First Edition (original), Imprint Books.com, 2003.
Second Edition (updated/edited),
Updated and edited: 2013
Copyright © 2003, 2010, 2013. Cynthia Lucas.
All rights reserved. The material contained in this text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidences and historical data (which is interpreted loosely in this story), are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any persons living or dead or exact locations and events is entirely coincidental and not intended to be historically accurate. This work of fiction is the sole property of the author. No part may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, electronic scanning, or information storage and retrieval systems without the written permission of the author, as the sole copyright holder.
This is an authorized updated Second Edition or authorized electronic form of this work.
When Lightning Strikes
PROUDLY PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
On the Cover: JAY TAVARE
Cover Art and Design: Cynthia Lucas
This book is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother
Julia Happe aka “Big Granny”, whose talented writings brought many a colorful tale to life from the farthest reaches of her vivid imagination…
And to my late mother, Marjorie E. Komons, who bestowed the gift of reading to me before I ever attended a day of kindergarten, and whose unconditional love has buoyed me through the rough waters and calm seas as I sail along on this incredible voyage we call life. I love you, Mother Toad.
To my family… my husband and children, and the wonderful friends that I have come to know and love along the way, thank you for believing in me and for your support for all the long hours I have put in writing, editing and creating…I love you all. This is for you!
Since its first edition, this book has become a #1 Best Seller in Time Travel Romance and there’s a few people I must thank for helping me get there. First and foremost: my ‘little twin’, Jeannette Medina, who has believed in me from the moment she took a chance on one of my books that wasn’t in a genre she normally reads, and her co-horts, Brianne Whitmire & Kris Pittman at I Heart Books, I don’t even know where to begin with thanks for your support and friendship. You’re the best! And to author and publisher Victoria aka ‘January’ Valentine for her reviews and radio show fun, TJ MacKay and her staff at InD’Tale Magazine, Tonya Smalley for her reviews, her friendship and support…and to my wonderful READERS: you all have my deepest love and appreciation, because as they say, “It takes a village…..” and your village has raised this author up!
Now….on to the adventure!
A Very Special Acknowledgement:
I would like to offer my deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks to award-winning actor, writer, activist, and humanitarian, JAY TAVARE for appearing on my book cover.
Jay has a film career spanning more than 20 years and is best known for his work in several Oscar winning and A-list movies, including Cold Mountain, Adaptation and The Missing, among others. He captured hearts as Chief Prairie Fire in the Dreamworks mini-series, Into the West and in his
guest starring role as Manny Ortega in the 2009 season finale of CSI: Miami, he performed all his own stunts including an astonishing 23 story free fall which earned an Emmy nomination. His impressive repertoire of physical skills including martial arts, dancing, acrobatics, bareback riding, archery and swordsmanship gives him the rare ability to create seamlessly believable characters and he has worked in a variety of roles with an all-star array of Oscar winning actors and directors, including Steven Speilberg, Ron Howard, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett to name just a few. Aside from his busy acting career, he still makes time to regularly blog for The Huffington Post, one of the most prestigious and well-known publications, with articles that bring awareness and insight.
Jay is the Celebrity Spokesperson for Warming Hearts and the Adopt-a-Native Elder Program which brings food, medicine, blankets, firewood, clean water and other supplies to Native American elders in need and his good works in donating his time and efforts to those programs and other charities which support teen suicide prevention (Honor Your Life), children who are handicapped or ill, families and animal causes is a reflection of a spirit of true generosity which can inspire us all. His dedication to using his many talents as a platform to help and encourage others is something I find to be truly inspirational, and I have wanted to have him on this cover from the moment I began to conceive of an image of the leading man in this story. He made that dream and that vision come to life.
Jay.....thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do, and to my readers, I encourage and ask ALL of you to visit Jay's websites and not only check out his full biography and body of work, but to support the charities to which he so graciously lends his time and efforts. Together we can make a difference.
Jay…much love and many thanks!
Visit Jay Tavare: www.jaytavare.com
book: Actor, Writer, Jay Tavare
Adopt a Native Elder Program:
Northern countryside of France, 2010.
Sarah Douglas hugged her friend Candace as she headed out the door of her home. They had just finished up some last minute details for tomorrow’s ceremony. It was the night before her wedding to her fiancé David and it was just nice to have a little quiet time with her best friend.
Her other two bridesmaids, Lisa and Julie had already left for the hotel, but Candace had stayed a little longer so they could do some add-on’s to the beadwork roses on her dress. But it was getting late. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
“Well,” yawned Candace, “I know you want me to stay over, but Mike
flying in really
early. It’s just so much closer to the airport from the hotel than here. You don’t mind do you? Cuz if you do I’ll stay.”
It’s okay…just desert me on the most important night of my life. Biatch.”
“Ouch,” said Candace. “Cranky are we? God you DO need to get laid so I can put up with you.” She looked at her watch.
“Hmmm. How many hours ‘til the wedding?”
“What? Are you planning to stand by and give us instructions? I think we can figure it out by ourselves
ce wrinkled her nose. “Um. I think I’ll pass on the Kama Sutra instructional. But, then again, maybe I could get rich off a leaked video!” she laughed. “You could be the next Pam and Tommy.”
“Unfortunately I’m too tired to think of a snappy answer to your stupid statements right now, so a simple ‘shut the hell up’ will have to do.” She smirked and then broke out laughing. “You are twisted.”
Candace grabbed her purse from the small table sitting in the entry hall and pushed the screen open. “I know. That’s why you love me! Call me or text, just in case my alarm doesn’t go off?”
“I will. Now, get out! I’m tired,” she laughed, nodding
her head in agreement.
She watched as Candace started the car and drove down the long driveway to the road before she flipped off the light and headed back up the stairs to her room, where she plunked down on the edge of her bed and began looking through the newest issue of a magazine. A make-up ad, a celebrity gossip page....she quickly flipped through, unable to find anything that caught her attention for more than a second or two and then tossed it over into the small trash can next to the desk.
The light from the full moon glinted off the spiraling waves of her tawny colored hair as it shone through the window. Although her hair was light and she had golden eyes to match, she was dark skinned like her mother, who was of Romany – otherwise known as Gypsy – heritage. She stared down at the lacy bedspread against her dusky skin and it reminded her of how she would look tomorrow in her white wedding gown.
It felt like only yesterday that she was still in high school, talking for hours on the phone to her closest friends and revealing her secret crushes. Now here she was, all grown up and about to embark on one of life’s most important journeys, as teenage dreams of fame, fortune and world travel faded off into the distance and the real world that had already made itself known in the past few years, suddenly seemed more solid than ever before. Well…at least she’d made it to France. And who knew what the future held when she finished up getting a degree and helped run her father’s business? Time would tell.
All of the guests and family members from back home had flown in and were safely tucked away at a hotel in town, and of course, it was certainly good to see Candace and her two other best friends from school. But she and Candace had always been the closest. They had done their share of catching up in the last few days. In a way she wished Candace would have stayed over, but her boyfriend Mike would be there first thing in the morning and it would indeed be less of a hassle than trying to repack and move back to the hotel when he got here.
Sarah lay back on the pillows and looked around the room that had been hers since they moved into this house. Unable
to get comfortable in any position she tried, she finally got up and went over to a small table at the corner of the room where pictures of her family were carefully framed; a collection of their memories back in the States.
For as long as she could remember, her father was sporadically away from their home in Chicago tending to his business affairs abroad. Finally last year, he bought this home here in France. She
could easily have decided to stay in the US, and she probably should have gotten her own apartment long ago. Maybe gotten a roommate…but she just kind of never flew out of the nest and her parents didn’t seem to mind. They charged her a meager rent, which her office job had easily covered. Now for the past year she had been living here in France with them and learning the ropes of her dad’s import/export business and taking college business classes in her spare time.
And moving here was how she met David, who was the son of her father’s business partner. They had met last summer and liked each other right away.
David’s mother was American and he had spent a lot of time in the States. During the summer and fall they had gotten to know one another and he had totally surprised her when he popped the question at Christmas, presenting her with a beautiful pear shaped diamond.
She had readily accepted his proposal. How could she not? He was twenty-five, intelligent, enthusiastic about the family business and nice looking too with his light brown hair, blue eyes, and a trim, athletic body. She couldn’t have asked for more in a husband. His parents and hers had even pitched in together to buy them the beautiful house they’d be moving into after tomorrow’s ceremony. She’d spent months working on decorating it and making it just perfect. There was an old-fashioned charm about the whole concept of not living together until after they were married and then sharing their new home, and she was really looking forward to all that they were about to experience…together.
A knock at the door roused her from her thoughts. She knew it was her mother. Her brothers and David were out with their fathers for one last wild night out on the town before the wedding. They would be gone well into the wee hours and Sarah was thankful they had just decided to go out to the local tavern for a simple night of too much beer than to throw a hardcore bachelor party.
“Hey, are you awake? Can I come in?”
“Yeah mom, it’s open.”
Ariana Douglas walked into the room. She was tall like Sarah and still beautiful with her exotic looks and trim figure. Her dark hair was long and curly and she carried herself with an air of grace and something else. Sarah had never quite been able to put her finger on it, but if she had to choose she would call it mystery. At any rate, to Sarah, she was just “mom”
“You know…it seems like just yesterday you were a little girl in my arms and I was reading you bedtime stories. I know it’s probably silly…but I feel all sentimental.” Ariana brushed a few errant strands of hair back from Sarah’s face.
“Baby, I know this might sound strange to ask this now, but are you really sure about you and David?”
! What kind of question is that?”
Ariana spoke again. “I don’t mean that there’s anything wrong with David. He’s such a nice boy.”
“He’s a grown man!” Sarah shot back at her.
“Yeah, I know,” she laughed. “But to me he’s you know…young. Anyway it’s just that I know there’s just a little more passion in you than you like to let on to everyone including yourself. Remember how much you talked about wanting to be a photographer or an artist or something like that and travel the world when you grew up? Whatever happened to the girl who wanted those things? Not that it’s bad that you want to get married and settle into your dad’s business. You’re good at most anything you do. But I can’t shake this feeling that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit waiting for you.”
” Sarah’s brows wrinkled and she wasn’t smiling. She couldn’t believe what was coming out of her mother’s mouth right now. This was just unreal.
“I know how much you want to make David happy. You
try so hard to be like him.” Ariana continued despite the look on Sarah’s face.
“How do you know that? And besides, it doesn’t matter even if I was trying to be more like him, which I am NOT, by the way! He’s a great guy. We love each other. We think alike and he’s trustworthy. I
some full-of-himself, swaggering jerk that will give me his heart for a little while, and then decide to dump me for some bimbo when he gets tired of me! That’s how guys are. You know it. I know it…we all know it.”
“Yes, some are, but men like your dad aren’t like that. That wouldn’t happen if it’s the right one.”
“It won’t happen because I have David and he
the right one! Why are you bringing this up now on the night before my wedding? For Christ’s sake, mom! Don’t you like him?” She felt the frustration burning in her throat as she tried to control her anger and not explode.
Just breathe, she thought.
like him very much. I’m just asking you to make absolutely sure before you go through with it. I know you, Sarah. Better than you know yourself sometimes. And there is more to you than you allow yourself to feel. You should think on it. You still have tonight to change your mind. There could be something more out there.”
“Not in this lifetime!” She was trying not to yell. “How can you do this the night before I’m getting married? Are you trying to ruin this for me?” She rubbed her temples before pushing her hair back away from her face in exasperation.
Ariana reached out and hugged Sarah tight and sighed. “No…I shouldn’t have said what I said, You’re right. Maybe not in this lifetime and I’m sorry for butting in. You know in your own heart what’s best and I would never want to change that or ruin the most special day of your life.”
Sarah’s brows knit together as she struggled to understand why her mother had said these things just hours before she was supposed to marry David. Why hadn’t she said
this months ago if she didn’t like him?
“Do you forgive me? I really didn’t mean to hurt you Sarah…I mean it.” Ariana pleaded.
Sarah nodded and sighed. “It’s okay. I just want you to like David and be happy for me.”
happy for you. Believe me…I am. I promise. You are a lucky girl and well…here. I have something for you. It’s a little good luck charm for your wedding.”
Ariana took Sarah’s hand in her own and placed a gold object in her palm. Sarah looked down and saw that it was some kind of coin. It had a small hole drilled in the top like it had once been worn on a necklace.
“This has been in my family for many, many years. It is a
– a coin – made into a medallion to be worn around the neck. It’s Romany, of course. I’m giving this to you as a good luck charm, just as it was given to me by my mother.
Sarah’s expression softened. “I don’t know what to say. This means so much. It must have great sentimental value, not to mention the fact that this must be worth a lot of money. Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. I know this sounds silly, but if you want it to bring you good luck, you have to keep it with you all night on the night before your wedding.”
“Come on ma, I don’t believe in that kind of thing and neither do you, I hope,” she said, raising a skeptical eyebrow. “I know grandma was a firm believer in that Gypsy hocus-pocus crap, but it’s just…not me.”
“Your grandmother was a believer of the old ways. She was raised in a different decade, yeah. And her upbringing was very firmly planted in our culture.”
Sarah just looked at her mother with an expression of doubt,
then decided she would humor her, since it was her last night home.
“Okay. So I keep this thing with me all night tonight and tomorrow David and I will be Rhett and Scarlett. Do I sleep with it under my pillow or what?”
“Sarah, I am serious! It will help you know your heart’s desire.
“I already know my heart’s desire!”
“And I didn’t necessarily say that would change, did I?” Ariana raised an eyebrow. “I simply said, you would know your heart’s desire.”
She stared hard at Ariana for a moment and then feeling guilty, her expression softened. She knew how much her mother loved her and after all this was a priceless family heirloom she was offering her as a gift.
She smiled. “Oh, all right, if you say so. I will awaken to find the yearning within my soul.” Then she added wryly, “At 7 am before I drink my coffee and rush out the door to the hairdresser.”
Ariana raised an eyebrow and smirked before her expression turned serious again.
“Passion. Desire. True love. These things no no time, be it one night or across lifetimes. Never forget this.” She reached out to her daughter. “I just want you to be happy.”
“I know you do. I love you too. And yes…don’t worry. I’ll keep the coin under my pillow just for you even though I think you’re nuts.” She laughed lightly and kissed her mother on the cheek.
Ariana stood up. “Good! Now, I’m going to bed. I’ll get you up early so we’ll have time to get all the last minute things done.”