Welcome to the tour for Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper! This is a sci-fantasy novel that is adult but clean and appropriate for young adult readers.
Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper
A year after Kate, Jenny, and Mandy Lockwood inherit The Rocking L, the sisters try to concentrate on their collective and individual futures. In the previous book in The Lockwood Legacy series, Baxter’s Draw, the women made startling discoveries about their father’s secrets, but are mistaken in their belief that everything has now come to light. In Alice’s Portrait, the ghosts of Langston Lockwood’s past once again confront his daughters, forcing them to re-evaluate their understanding of their father and of what it means to be a Lockwood.
The next day Jenny waited until everyone was either busy or off the Rocking L to drive to town. The Hotel Los Rios was exactly the way she remembered it. A rambling building in the Spanish colonial style set one block off Main Street.
The hotel must have been a gracious and swank accommodation in its day. Now it sat in a well-tended but largely anonymous state. What Kate has optimistically referred to as “assisted living,” was actually a few converted rooms for rent and someone on call to run errands. The main selling point on the hotel’s mostly horrible website seemed to be “central location,” which meant a block from the local ambulance service and across the street from the post office.
When Jenny stepped in the lobby, she was greeted with an expanse of vintage blue and gold Spanish tile, dusty 1930s furniture, and a fake ficus tree in an enormous terra cotta planter. Otherwise, the place was completely empty. She spotted a framed resident directory on the wall to her left by the staircase. Running her finger down the mostly alphabetical list, she found Clara Wyler’s name, apartment 114. The first floor was no doubt a bid to both the woman’s bad back and her breathing problems.
Jenny looked around, frowning. She had no idea where to go. When she was growing up, the hotel’s lower floor was occupied by a Mexican restaurant. She knew there was a dining room on the far side of the lobby from where she was standing. The only other option seemed to be a dim hallway that took a right-angle turn past the staircase.
Jenny followed the numbers to the rear of the building and found herself standing in front of 114. There was no buzzer, so she knocked. Inside, a series of rattles and bangs interspersed with curses approached the door, which was thrown open by a tall old woman with jet black hair elaborately combed atop her head in a classic Texas beehive. Reading glasses hung on a rhinestone chain around her neck and she was leaning on a bright red walker, the kind with baskets on the side and a fold-down seat on the rear.
Before Jenny could say a word, Clara Wyler said, “I wondered when one of you girls was gonna show up. Come on in. Close the door behind you.”
Jenny did as she was told and entered a tiny, but well-ordered apartment. Paperback romance novels covered every available surface, along with stacks of crossword puzzle books.
Clara made her way to a throne-like recliner with a lift mechanism. She sat down, wheezing a little, and looked at her guest. “Don’t just stand there, have a seat,” Clara said, pointing at the end of the couch nearest to her chair.
Jenny obediently complied. When she was seated, she said, “So, Mrs. Wyler, I guess you remember me?”
“Call me Clara,” the woman said. “Mrs. Wyler was my mother-in-law, and a meaner old bitch never walked the face of the earth.”
Trying not to laugh, Jenny said, “Okay, Clara. I’m Jenny Lockwood.”
“I know who you are,” Clara said curtly, but not unkindly. “You were Irene’s favorite. God, I miss your Mama,” she added sadly.
“So do I,” Jenny said softly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies. Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”
“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”
The author will be giving away $100 Amazon Gift Card (INT) to the winner of the below Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends May 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.