Saturday, November 12, 2011

#SampleSunday: A Love Scene from "Each Angel Burns"

Update: Kathleen Valentine's prose is like warm chocolate drizzled slowly over a still warm cake... it first warms the brain and then pours itself gently over the heart where it can then saturate into the soul. Suddenly without realizing it you are addicted, begging for more sensual sweetness. - posted to Facebook by author Maureen McDermott Gill, January Moon

This tender love scene comes late in the story when two of the main characters, both mature, fall in love. The setting is an old convent on the coast in Maine that is being converted to a sculpture studio. From Each Angel Burns:

 Silver light from a full Snow Moon rising out of the Atlantic just beyond Owl’s Head sweeps across the frigid black waters like a trail of angel’s wings and shimmers through the frozen night. On a Maine night in February when the snow glistens like shattered diamonds, red foxes in their plush winter coats gather under the brittle raspberry bushes tumbling over granite outcrops and watch the sky. Snowy owls soar between towering spikes of Douglas fir and swoop down through the moonlight to snatch a wayward mouse. Clumps of dusty blue juniper berries chatter against each other in the harsh night breeze. Timber wolves, lean and hard, in the deepest part of winter, trail up hillsides through stands of blue spruce in search of big-eyed white-tailed deer stripping away the bark of birch and silver maple trees. The deer scent the wolves and stand silent and watchful then turn and leap off like ballerinas, their plume-like tails raised in alarm.
And if the solar winds have stirred far off in the velvety night then showers of light—gold and violet, rose and green—paint the sky. But on an icy February night in Maine few brave the cold to see them as they dance and flicker over the waves below, over the scattered stones of a crumbling garden wall, over the bent frozen stems of lilies called Persian Priests in an old garden. The quiet thunder of the aurora lends music to the pristine night as moonlight sweeps through a window of antique glass diamond panes set in lead. In that room those priests charged with the care of the souls of virgin nuns pledged to silence and constant prayer took their rest away from the burdensome responsibility of so much virtue.
But this Snow Moon bears witness to a sacrament of a different kind. For on this night the room is graced with two lovers entwined. No longer young, these lovers drift in grateful awe that life has not forgotten them but brought them together at this time when they had thought such possibility long gone—a gift for the young, not for two who have traveled this far down life’s road.
They rarely speak when melted into one another. Words have lost meaning. He covers her and warms her and shelters her from everything that is not his love for her. She takes him in and creates safe harbor from all he braves in the world. Her desire for him takes his breath away. His cherishing of her comforts her heart. She places her hands on his face and lifts it just enough so he can see hers and see how they glitter with the gratitude she feels for him. He kisses her and sinks into her like warm silvery rain on pungent earth. They are long past the age of creating a new life. Instead they have created renewed life, each for the other.
The night deepens and grows ever more silent as they flow together in that most ancient form of worship. Oh God, they breathe, over and over. Oh God.
And God smiles and answers, yes.
Available in paperback and also for Kindle...


  1. Love it Kathleen! Now, if only my own life could be as intense.

  2. Thank you for carrying us off to a place we know exists but no longer visit.


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