By Barbara Brooke
A simple touch and suddenly, Paige is in the past - living someone else's life, seeing the world through their eyes, and feeling their deepest emotions.
Paige used to think memories only existed in one's mind. But now, she knows better. She can't explain how or why, but she has glimmers: special moments that have remained behind - clinging to a letter, a ring, even a worn-out pair of boots.
When Paige returns from each glimmer, a small part of her has changed. Who is this gourmet cook, fashion designer, feisty lover? And how is she supposed to explain this to her family without them thinking she has completely lost her mind?
Paige thought her new talent was a gift, until…she was suddenly transported into her sister’s memory, and caught a glimmer of her secret life.
Take this humorous and romantic journey, as Paige learns about true love through the lives of three extraordinary women.
Runner-Up in the 2012 New York Book Festival (Romance)
I watch as the objects in my room fade. Something cracks—the sound reverberates around my head. The room stretches and reforms. I’m dizzy; this is too much. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing: breathe in and breathe out.
When it feels like the room has completed its transformation, I reopen my eyes. Although I’m getting used to the effect of flashing around, I don’t exactly know what to expect. I discover I am at the same dressing table, gazing into the mirror. However, the person staring back is from another time. Immediately, I recognize my great ancestor, Emma. She is sitting in front of the oval mirror, idly toying with her hair. At once, I am absorbed into her life.
Emma’s Story, May 1818
Through my open bedroom windows, I can hear the river rushing just along the outskirts of town. The evening church bells echo throughout the vale. A cobblestone street cuts through the heart of town, and horses with carriages travel along the road. The people of Heatherwood busy themselves by running errands and working their trade. Most mornings, I enjoy the scent of fresh bread as it wafts from the baker’s open window. Heatherwood is a quaint village, not too far from London.
I realize I am humming softly; it is a melody I once heard played on a harp. I have forgotten myself as I dreamily run a comb through my hair. My cameo earrings are already in place, and I observe their splendor.
My hair is hanging down, falling over my shoulders and down my back. I pull it up and attempt to tie it in place. I almost have it fastened when my hair on the entire left side of my head comes loose and looks a mess. Honestly, how women manage pinning up their hair with ease every day is beyond me. Fruitlessly, I try fashioning tiny ringlets.
Through the reflection in my mirror, I notice the smiling face of my younger sister, Victoria. She is at the frivolous age of sixteen and delighted with the prospect of attending her first formal gala, to be held at our home tonight.
“Why are you hiding, you silly girl?” I address her with a smile.
“May I ask, about what are you so curious?” I question, after turning my attention toward her.
“I wonder if you are at all nervous.” She stares at my bewildered expression and moves closer still toward where I am sitting. “You do realize a certain Mr. Percy Grant is downstairs speaking with Father?”
“Is he? Hmm …” I stare at my comb. “You don’t suppose he is …”
It is unnecessary for me to continue, because my sister completes my sentence for me.
“Asking Father for your hand? What else would he be doing?” She peers at me anxiously before inquiring, “What will you say?”
How will I answer? I am not yet certain. I knew inevitably this day would come. After all, Mr. Grant and I have practically been betrothed since childhood. Besides, I am nineteen; our friends are beginning to think of me as a regular spinster. I do not wish to disappoint Mama, nor become a burden on Papa. "Of course I will say yes. My marriage to him has been assumed since I was a baby. I am somewhat fond of him, he is a gentleman of sound reputation, and extraordinarily sensible. I will never have to worry about him leaving me to go off on some wild adventure.”
"Oh, Emma, this will be so very exciting! Think of the parties and celebrations!” Victoria giggles, as she wraps her arms around me in an embrace. “Here, I shall help you finish your hair. Honestly, can you not manage a simple ringlet on your own?”
Victoria swiftly situates herself behind me and hastily fastens my hair in place. With the motion of her hand, I glance at her reflection. Suddenly, she freezes; a strand of brown wavy hair is still wrapped around her finger. “I suppose you will design my bridesmaid dress. I should like it in a golden material that sparkles when I walk,” she announces brightly.
“Do you have any other requests, dearest sister? Would you like for me to spin the golden threads by hand, as well?” I tease.
“I cannot keep myself from imagining what a joyous event your wedding shall be!”
“I am certain that in your vision of the event, all eyes will be on you instead of the bride,” I say with a smile.
“I would not imagine it any other way,” she says while laughing.
The weak streams of the last rays of the sun flicker past the heavy draperies. After noticing the sky has transformed into twilight, we rush in our efforts to become presentable for the party. Eagerly we check our image in the mirror and anxiously exit the bedroom, ready to greet our friends waiting below.
Although earlier in the week Paige discovered her newfound ability to “glimmer” — or experience other people’s memories — she was surprised to find herself reliving a moment from her great ancestor Emma’s life. This portion of Glimmers was quite different from the rest of the book in its setting, dialogue and tone. Before entering Emma’s life, I was concerned about how I would manage to write in her “voice.” I reread Pride and Prejudice and watched a ton of movies set in the same era. I spent time researching what sort of games Emma would have played, what sort of desserts she would have eaten, what sort of jewelry she would have worn, and how she would have addressed the people around her.
Many people have told me that Emma was their favorite character and how much they enjoyed traveling to that time period. I enjoyed developing Emma’s story and bringing another era back to life. I can’t wait to dive into Emma’s sister’s life, as well … coming in the third book of the series, Sister Glimmer.
Where would you go if you could travel to another place and period in time?
One paperback copy of Glimmers and a treasure box
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