Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Tess Thompson to the blog. She’s here to share about her book, Duet for Three Hands. If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find buy links below and pick up a copy or two.
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A story of forbidden love, lost dreams, and family turmoil. The first book in a new historical series from bestselling author Tess Thompson, Duet for Three Hands is equal parts epic love story, sweeping family saga, and portrait of days gone by. Set against the backdrop of the American South between 1928 and 1934, four voices blend to tell a tale of prejudice, fear, and love. The Bellmonts are the epitome of the rich and elite in Atlanta society, but behind the picture-perfect façade are hidden moments of violence and betrayal. After marrying into the Bellmont family, Nathaniel, a former concert pianist who is nearly ruined by his wife’s unrelenting ambition and unstable mind, finds hope in the promise of his most recent protégé. His brother-in-law, artistic Whitmore Bellmont, and the maid’s daughter, Jeselle, have a secret relationship despite their drastically different circumstances and shades of skin. Unfortunately, most of the world disagrees with their color blindness. All four lives intertwine on a collision course, threatening to destroy, or liberate, them all.
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Author Bio: Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011, she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a bestseller. Like the characters in many of her novels, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella, where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.
Tess can be found:
From Jeselle Thorton’s journal.
June 10, 1928
When I came into the kitchen this morning, Mrs. Bellmont handed me a package wrapped in shiny gold paper, a gift for my thirteenth birthday. A book, I thought, happy. But it wasn’t a book to read. It was a book to write in: a leather-bound journal. Inches of blank pages, waiting for my words.
Mrs. Bellmont beamed at me, seemingly pleased with my delight over the journal. “You write whatever ideas and observations come to you, Jeselle. Don’t censor yourself. Women, especially, can only learn to write by telling the truth about themselves and those around them.”
I put my nose in the middle of all those empty pages and took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the clean smell of new paper. Behind us Mama poured hotcake batter into a frying pan. The room filled with the aroma of those sweet cakes and sizzling oil. Whitmore came in holding a string of fish he’d caught in the lake, the screen door slamming behind him.
“Tell me why it matters that you write?” asked Mrs. Bellmont in her soft teacher voice.
“I cannot say exactly, Mrs. Bellmont.” Too shy to say the words out loud, I shrugged to hide my feelings. But I know exactly. I write to know I exist, to know there is more to me than flesh and muscle being primed for a life of humility, servitude, obedience. I write, seeking clarity. I write because I love. I write, searching for the light.
Mrs. Bellmont understood. This is the way between us. She squeezed my hand, her skin cream over my coffee.
Tonight, for my birthday present, Whit captured lightning bugs in a glass jar, knowing how I love them. We set the jar on the veranda, astonished at the immensity of their combined glow. “Enough light in there to write by,” I said, thinking of my journal now tucked in my apron pocket.
“They spark to attract a mate,” he said, almost mournfully.
“They light up to find love?” I asked, astonished.
He nodded. “Isn’t it something?”
We watched those bugs for a good while until Whit pushed his blond curls back from his forehead like he does when he worries.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“They shouldn’t be trapped in this jar when they’re meant to fly free, to look for love.”
He unscrewed the lid, and those flickers of life drifted out into the sultry air until they intermingled with other fireflies, liberated to attract the love they so desperately sought. I moved closer to him. He took my hand as we watched and watched, not wanting the moment to end but knowing it must, as all moments do, both good and bad, light and dark, leaving only love behind to be savored in our memories.