Monday, October 25, 2010

Excerpt: Gemini Rising by Louann Carroll

Today, I am very excited to be featuring an excerpt from Louann Carroll's Gemini Rising.  Rather than bore you with my own introduction I will let Louann tell us in her own words about her novel and how she was inspired. . . .

Gemini Rising rose like a phoenix from a dream I had one night. A storm hit our area with more than fifty lightening strikes. Cuddled up on the couch, I was mesmerized by the science channel as they discussed the possibility of new planets and comets. Lost in my thoughts, I overindulged in chocolate chip cookies and chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream. With a full belly, my imagination on fire, I hit the sheets and fell promptly asleep.

I haven’t any idea how long it took, but soon I was immersed in a young woman’s life that had absolutely nothing to do with my own. Almost immediately, I fell in love with her. She was a lot like me, strong, forceful, scared, and anxious. I guess she’s a lot like all of us.

Her world was the color red, the sky, the dirt, and sometimes the water. Every now and again a wind would rise, blowing away dust revealing blue skies much like our own. Storms crackled from the heights of Thunder Mountain, sending rocks and rivers cascading onto the valley floor, much like what was happening outside my own bedroom window.

Faced with a coming disaster of epic proportions, Kate tries to deny what’s happening, but soon she must accept her new reality, as a comet is set to turn Earth on its axis. Scary right? However, inside this woman, although I felt fear, I also recognized her ability to survive no matter the circumstances. She was stronger than she thought, smarter and quicker than she gave herself credit for.

The love she had for her son was incontrovertible—nurturing yet loving. She kept her marriage together more for him than for herself. Suddenly, a man appears in her life, forcing her to face the fact that her marriage is over, and this man, the one with the strange appeal, is the one she has waited for all her life.


Taking the back road Jason marked off on the Blackberry 3, Kate followed the winding graveled path upward onto the plateau until she arrived at the site. Her husband, head bent in conversation, didn't hear her arrival amongst the din of the equipment. A man, about thirty, listened in rapt attention to whatever Jason had to say.

Her heart hitched as she stared at the stranger’s long lean back rippling with muscle beneath a tight dirt-stained white T-shirt. Blue jeans hugged slim hips and as her eyes slipped toward his face, they traced the angular lines of Native American cheekbones. His hair fell forward over half-lidded eyes, and his dimple answered to a quick infectious smile. The stranger leaned over the hood of a site jeep, using his thick muscled arms for support while he talked to her husband. Loath to disturb them, she settled into her seat and watched surreptitiously, letting the warm desert wind flow over her arms.

“Hey, Kate!” Jason yelled as he looked up and saw the car. He ran over and helped her out of the Lexus. “I'm glad you came.” He waved at the man he had been talking to. “Noah! Come and meet my wife!”

Noah smiled as he walked toward her. His eyes flashed, shining with an incredible glow. Forced backward by the heat of his stare, she almost stumbled on a stone. She bumped into Jason and steadied herself. His eyes! They're so green! Like the ocean, like an emerald, like…

“Hi. It’s nice to meet you.” Noah put out his hand.

Her heart fluttered. Black as night, his hair fell forward onto a sculpted face framing wide-open green eyes fringed in dark heavy lashes. High cheekbones set off a full-lipped smile while chiseled lines of sinew cascaded down a strong muscular neck. While shorter than Jason, he gave the illusion of being taller. Though not particularly handsome, there was something compelling about the way he stared at her. A shock of absolute delight rippled up her arm at the touch of his flesh. She shook his hand then let go.

“Nice to meet you too.” Shaken by the mysterious encounter she stepped closer to her husband. Her heart danced in her chest and excitement tickled her loins as she looked away. Canoqicakte, she thought. Forest hunter. The Hopi name fit him perfectly.

Jason smiled, his face tan with the Arizona sun. “What do you think of the site?”

She nibbled her lip, attempting to create a mental distraction then cleared her throat, trying to buy time. Determined to disguise her obvious overreaction, her hands trembled with the effort. She studied the site. Cement barrels rolled their precious contents in perpetual motion, mixing the earth into a substance resembling the prehistoric mixture. “What are you doing?”

“We're using the mortar to shore up the clay plates.”

“But—” She struggled to keep her eyes from drifting toward the stranger leaning against the Lexus. “Won't you contaminate the original structure?”

“We haven’t any choice. As you can see, the front wall and roof is already lost to the desert.”

She hated the ever-creeping sand that devoured the remains of ancient cultures. The loss saddened her.

“Come with me.” He tugged her sleeve and glanced over his shoulder at Noah. “We’ll be right back.”

As Jason strode off, she hurried after him. Noah was the man he had mentioned this morning at breakfast, the one interested in UFOs. Her husband stopped and jostled her arm, pointing. She looked up and gasped. Standing like a misplaced barbecue in a dry and dusty desert, the habitat grew out of the side of the cliff like a man-made mountain. Four stories high, it reached into the turquoise sky, baring its soul to the elements.

Her eyes widened. “You said it was a pit house.”

Jason frowned. “I told you this morning we found an additional site. This is the newer dig. The tall house was buried behind a landslide. We’ve spent the last three weeks digging it out.”

Brushing the hair from her face, she walked the foot-worn path into the towering red sandstone structure. She huffed her way in through a crude opening then stopped, taking a moment to peer out a window overlooking the Painted Desert.

A breeze nudged her shoulder. Interspersed between the complex, small holes were carved just like ventilation ducts. The openings allowed the air to move, cooling the room. One of at least fifty rooms, this particular habitat was no larger than fifteen feet squared and gave off a homey feel. The shadowed light hugged her and she imagined a family clustered together, talking, living, and dying, all in harmony with the land that gave them shelter and the earth that gave them food. 

My dreams tend to be graphic, colorful, and realistic. They don’t always turn into books, but who knows, if I live long enough, perhaps they will. Eh, I have to remember to leave more time for chocolate.

Thank you for letting me blog today. To read more about Gemini Rising and its sequel visit Louann Carroll . To send an email, I am available at


ReneeRearden said...


Amazing how seemingly innocuous things take root in the imagination and bloom, isn't it?

Love the excerpt. Gemini Rising is on my "to be read list."


Rachel Firasek said...

This sounds like a fabulous story and I can't wait to read it. I also dream in vivid color and completely immerse myself in the pretend world when I wake up. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Rachel Firasek

Berinn said...

Gemini Rising sounds awesome. And, I LOVE the cover!

Heather Howland said...

Chocolate + science channel = a seriously awesome dream.

I've read GEMINI RISING and loved it! The chemistry between Noah and Kate made the book for me. Definitely worth a read, and I'm looking forward to the sequel!

night owl in IL said...

Hi Louann -
Sounds like a great book.
Would love to win a copy.

Lea Ellen {night owl in IL}

Lori said...

This book sounds awesome! I want it! Please enter me in the contest.

Lori said...

This book sounds amazing! Please enter me.