Title: Touch Screen
Series: Sensations Collection #4
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2015
The prodigal son. A second chance. The long kept secret.
I had returned. I hadn’t been here for seven years. That last summer, I was angry. Once I got away, I didn’t want to come back. The irony was the career I sought to escape this small town was the very reason I was here. My first movie was a featured film of the Traverse City Film Festival. As an independent film director, my premiere brought me back home. Home. A place I didn’t recognize.
Or maybe home didn’t recognize me?
I had it all in California: a girlfriend who was the daughter of a movie financier, a job that led to connections in the film industry, and a condo overlooking the ocean in Malibu. What I didn’t have was family. I had left them all behind. I was the prodigal son.
Now, the last person I expected to see was her. Britton McKay. She had been my summer love as a teenager. Not just once, but several summers. Until the last one. That was seven years ago. Now, she looked more beautiful than I remembered. Seeing her again, flooded me with memories long suppressed. She reminded me of everything I once had, and left behind.
Now, she had returned too.
Can lost romance be rekindled? Can unanswered questions be revealed?
Can I make this place my home again?
L.B. Dunbar reunites you with the Carter and Scott families as all are gathered for the annual film festival, a much anticipated wedding, and another summer weekend of Harbor Days.
I felt drawn to this woman and child, and I exited one of the French doors to walk along the pathway under another canopy. The beauty and her boy did not seem to notice me, and I tried to stay behind the columns that supported the overhang providing shade to this portion of the sidewalk as I peered nonchalantly at the beach. I glanced in their direction enough to notice wisps of her blonde hair around her tan face blowing out of her ponytail. She kept her eyes downward, focused on the boy, but I realized they had the same nose. Again, it seemed safe to assume this was her child.
She dipped the boy again and I heard his strong childish laughter. It was infectious and I smiled to myself. The woman kissed the boy again with several small pecks on his little red cheeks and neck, only now I could hear the sounds the mother made, loud and exaggerated, with each brush of her lips. The boy laughed harder, saying, “No, no, no,” but he squealed his enjoyment of each kiss and clearly wanted more. She stood him upright again and the child wrapped his arm around his mother, beginning to dance.
“Again,” the child pleaded, but the mother directed him elsewhere. They held hands as they stepped off the dance floor and into the white sand surrounding the pavilion. I hadn’t noticed they were both barefoot, and the woman bent down to pick up two pairs of shoes. She handed the child his and carried hers through her fingers. There was something strangely familiar about her as she walked across the sand away from me and toward the water line of the lake.
I stood straighter now, no longer leaning behind the barrier. I took no more notice of how much warmer I was outside in the blazing morning sun in my gray summer suit as I took a step into the sand, forgetting my leather dress shoes. The woman turned toward the child, walking backwards. Her tan legs were graceful beneath her white shorts. This blonde beauty shielded her eyes as if looking at something behind me, then she suddenly stopped walking. The child broke free of her hand and started running across the freshly combed beach toward the lake’s small white caps.
I made my way to the dance floor, the sand slipping under the hard soles of my dress shoes. I balanced on the edge of the cement structure with my heel and kept my gaze focused on her as she continued to stare back at the resort. Slowly, she lowered her hand from her eyes and tucked a piece of wayward hair behind her ears. I realized she was no longer looking behind me, but at me. The way she tucked her hair behind her ear made her instantly recognizable. Britton. Britton McKay had returned to northern Michigan, just as I had.
I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?
As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.
I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.
So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created.
I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.