Beginning of the story… I never believed in love at first sight until I stood on the stage in the Moonlight Serenade. The uncomfortable churning of my stomach, that plagued me from the moment I boarded the plane from California, finally settled. The nerves that mocked me for taking this internship moved to the background as I stood looking out over the empty restaurant tables surrounding the stage and bandstand. I closed my eyes, envisioning the warm spotlights causing my skin to glow, the soft timbre of the band playing the melody, all eyes on me as I opened my mouth to sing. My heart swelled as my body swayed to the music in my head. It was love; I was meant to be here, to sing on this stage. “Ah! Collette, my singing song bird,” Jim Riche called, his arms out to embrace me as he walked into the empty restaurant. Minutes before, a Fascination Island staff member dropped me off at my worksite and left me promising to find the resort’s owner. Swallowing the fear that threatened to choke me in this moment, I offered the middle-aged millionaire a meek smile. “Mr. Riche. Thank you again for inviting me to sing here this semester.” “I should be thanking you. I had the privilege of hearing your mother on the stage three different times in New York. It was close to divine. I heard your demos and had to have you here.” I blushed and looked at my feet, embarrassed both by the compliment and the mention of my deceased mother. She’d been dead three years and still even the mere mention of her name or her renowned talent, caused my heart to break again. “It’s an honor,” I mumbled feeling the familiar shyness overtake me under his close scrutiny. I had hoped the decision to pack up and move to Fascination Island for five months would alleviate some of the utter fear I felt in a stranger’s presence. But it hadn’t worked any miracles yet. “Well, Paul Stein won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon. He took a little, needed vacation after the intense summer months. I’m sure you’re eager to start working with him on your repertoire and routines.” I simply nodded. Paul Stein happened to be one of the main reasons I took the job in the first place. Known over the world, Mr. Stein was considered by many to be the pre-eminent vocal coach and mentor for anyone considering a career on the stage. My mother had worked with him for several months at the height of her career and couldn’t say enough about how he had helped her. But now, he had relegated himself to this small five-star resort in the middle of the Fiji Islands and only worked with the select few lucky enough to claim jobs on Mr. Riche’s payroll. I was one such lucky girl.
In a nutshell: Writer. Blogger. Journalist. Marathon runner. Social media enthusiast. Beer drinker. Avid YA reader. Traveler. Chicago native. Milwaukee resident. Music fanatic. Fashion lover. Oldest of nine. Writing has been in my soul from the very beginning. In grade school I started my own local paper for the street I lived on. In middle school I wrote for the school paper and loved any English writing assignment. I started writing novels in high school. At the time my friends were the characters, the setting was almost always Regency England, and I scratched the story into lined notebooks. Now, I have a journalism degree and a dozen various business writing gigs under my belt. I’ve lived in a handful of US cities including Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and New York. I pen a personal fashion and lifestyle blog, ModlyChic.com, and continue to write about commercial real estate. My first book, Aurora Undefined, was published in 2011. The Emerald Isle, the first Fascination Island book, came out during the summer of 2012, at which time I immediately began writing the second book in the series. Next up . . . stay tuned! I’m working on a new contemporary novel as well as the third book in the Fascination Island series.