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Karen Michelle Nutt

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Category: 

Romance

Publisher:  Tease Publishing LLC ISBN-10:  1607670062 Type: 
Pages: 

365

Copyright:  June, 15 2008 ISBN-13:  9781607670063
Fiction

P.E.A.R.L Finalist!

Time Travel Romance/Paranormal
Has a twist of fate sent her back in time? This is a question which plagues Arianna Ward when she wakes up to find her memory in fragments, like a long forgotten dream.


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Has a twist of fate sent her back in time?  This is a question which plagues Arianna Ward when she wakes up to find her memory in fragments, like a long forgotten dream.

 

Everyone claims her name is Annabelle. The year is 1814 and she’s married to Captain Keldon Buchanan, a man who despises her. The more she learns about her life, the more she realizes why she’s chosen to forget it. She was a liar and disloyal to her husband.  She doesn’t understand why she wanted to destroy her marriage when her heart tells her she belongs with him.

 

Keldon harbors his own secrets. He's the Highland Pirate and secrecy is the difference between life and death. He doesn’t trust his wife, but he finds his heart softening to the woman his wife has become. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear he's married to another person and he’s fallen in love with her.

A twist of fate sends Arianna back in time.  She doesn’t remember this life.  None of it makes sense and yet she knows she belongs with Keldon. Keldon never trusted his wife.  If didn’t know better, he’d swear he’s married to another person and he's fallen in love with her. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

                                                          

The Present

Blue Run Plantation, South Carolina

    

Songs from Aerosmith blared from the rollercoaster ride drowning out the screams as the people in the cars sped around the track.  The aroma of the sweet sugary smell of cotton candy and buttered popcorn filled the night air.  Paper wrappers, cups and cheap stuffed animals littered the fairgrounds.  Families, couples—young and old laughed and joked as they tried their hands at the carnival games while stuffing their faces with hot dogs, hamburgers or big turkey legs.

The muggy air promised rain later tonight, but no one seemed anxious to leave the festivities.  Arianna plopped down on the bench and smiled.  She had helped the historical society plan the event and all proceeds from the carnival’s productive night would go toward the restoration of Blue Run Plantation. 

Her eyes wandered toward the mansion silhouetted against the darkening sky of blue, orange and gold.  In the colonial era, the river served as a highway for the Low Country plantations and the families used the tides to travel.  She could only imagine how majestic the Blue Run would have stood facing the Ashley River. 

“Arianna!”

She turned and waved as she caught sight of Megan hurrying toward her.  Her long brown ponytail swung behind her with purpose, making her suspicious.  “What does the spitfire want me to do now?” she whispered under her breath.

Megan pulled Arianna to her feet. “Everyone’s been talking about Madam Carlotta.”

“Who?”

“The gypsy fortune teller.  People claim she has been freakishly accurate.  We have to check this out.”

“And why would I care?”  Arianna dragged her feet.

“We’re going to have our fortunes told.  I want to know if Gregory plans on proposing to me on my birthday.”

Megan and Gregory had been a couple since their first year of college and the way he’s been scraping and saving, Arianna could give the prediction herself.  Gregory would propose, no doubt about it.  “Megan, I don’t— ”

“And you’re going to find out who your one and only is.”

 Arianna drew in a frustrated sigh.  “Not everyone is destined to find his or her soul mate.”  At twenty-six, Arianna had become a successful music teacher at USC School of Music.  With heavy schedules, concerts and her time with the historical society, dating became a distant memory. 

Megan stopped in her tracks and spun her around.  “You don’t give a guy a chance.  Look at you.”  She swung her hand up from Arianna’s head to her toes.  “Talented, tall, slender, blond with cornflower blue eyes—men should be lining up to snatch you up, but you snub your nose.”

“Do not.”  She lifted her chin.

Megan laughed.  “Sure you don’t.  You spend all your free time researching for the Historical Society and with the new items they uncovered you’ve been busier than ever.  And I’ll have you know, I’ve seen you stare at the portrait.”

“What portrait?”

“Oh, don’t act all innocent.  The portrait of the dark, handsome, brooding man related to the Buchanans of Blue Run.  If you ask me, the family buried the portrait for a reason, probably an embarrassment to their refined upstanding position in society.  I don’t need to do research.  The man’s arrogant stance reeks of danger and my guess is he paid for it with his life.”

“It appears I’m not the only one obsessed with the portrait.”

“Only because I was curious to know why you’ve become a hermit.  If you want someone dangerous, at least make sure he’s alive.  Now stop stalling and let’s find out if Carlotta knows where your dark and dangerous guy is hiding.”

“Very funny.”  Arianna shook her head.  “Where are we going anyway?”

“To the mansion.  Don’t you find it perfect?”

“No, I don’t find it perfect.  The mansion isn’t safe for people to run in and out of; it’s still being restored.  How did this gypsy woman obtain permission?”

“Oh lighten up, Arianna.  Someone from the Historical Society must have given her the keys.  Besides, she’s drawing in loads of money.  Isn’t that the plan?”

“Sure, but—” Thunder rumbled cutting off Arianna’s words and she gave up arguing.  “We’re in for a storm tonight.” Arianna looked up at the sky as a flash of light sizzled across the heavens.

“All the more reason to hurry.  My hair will frizz worse than it has already.”

Torches lined the walk like breadcrumbs leading them to their destination.  Arianna stopped and placed her hands on her hips.  She frowned up at the big purple sign over the entrance of the mansion that spelled out FORTUNES, in bold black letters.  “She’s defacing private property.”

Megan yanked on her.  “Sue her later, but first our fortunes.” 

They stepped into the front foyer of darkness.  A battery operated globe stood on the floor giving the illusion of the heavens opening up to them.  A foldable card table stood in the center of the foyer, displaying a large crystal ball with an eerie glowing mist inside it that swirled around in milky silence.  The fortuneteller wore a colorful scarf like a headband to keep her dark curly hair away from her face.  She adorned herself with gold jewelry, hoops in her ears, chains around her neck and bands around her wrists.  The whole ensemble gave the appearance that she could be a descendent from gypsies.

Carlotta beckoned her forward, her bracelets tinkling like tiny bells.  "One at a time, please."  Her voice was rich, flavored with a fake Romanian accent.  "Let Carlotta tell you what you want to know." 

Megan gave Arianna a slight push.  “I’ll wait outside.

Arianna rolled her eyes at her friend, but she approached the table and sat down.

"For the cost of my eyesight into the future, there is a small donation of twenty dollars."  She held out her hand and waited.

“Twenty …” she huffed.  “Fine.”  She reminded herself this was for a good cause and pulled out a crisp bill from her purse and paid the hefty price. 

Carlotta stuffed the money into a skull-adorned black box.  "Now, we shall see what the cards hold for you.  She shuffled the tarot cards before she turned them over revealing first the Death card, then the World card and then the Lovers card.  “This cannot be right.” 

“What?”

Carlotta chuckled nervously. “Sometimes the cards are not clear.”  She scooped them up and put them back in a pile.  “Let me see your palm." 

Arianna leaned forward and held out her hand. 

The fortuneteller’s brows furrowed as she concentrated, a look of fear passing over her features before she concealed her anxiety.

A primitive warning sounded in Arianna’s mind.  She suddenly didn’t want her fortune read.  She tried to pull her hand away, but Carlotta wouldn’t release her. 

"You have an interesting palm."  Carlotte pointed to the line that ran the course of her hand.  "This is your life line.  You will live a long life." 

“What’s the shorter one next to it mean?”

Carlotta didn’t answer.  Her eyes rolled back in her head and her whole body jerked as if she was being controlled by another force.  She flung to one side then the other before she sat up ramrod straight. 

Blood slid through Arianna’s veins like cold needles and she tried to break free, but Carlotta’s grip was like a vice.  As if this wasn’t freaky enough, the woman began to hum. 

Arianna froze and her eyes widened in surprise as she recognized the melody.  It was an old Scottish tune, she’d been haunted by as long as she could remember.  The melody lingered in her subconscious surfacing at odd moments like an annoying tick.  Her parents swore they never taught her the song and no one knew where she’d picked up the tune. 

How did this fake fortuneteller know it?  Arianna again yanked her arm and this time pulled free.  She rubbed her bruised hand, staring at the woman with suspicion. 

Carlotta blinked rapidly before she focused her gaze on Arianna.  "I am sorry.  Did I hurt you?"

"I'm fine," Arianna answered, surprised that her voice sounded calm.  "But I think I'll skip the fortunetelling, if you don't mind?"  She didn't wait for Carlotta to say anything, but stood and hurried toward the exit.

"Arianna," Carlotta called. 

She halted and whirled around.  "How did you know my name?"

“Does it matter?”

She arched her brow.  “Yes, I believe it does.  Is this some kind of hoax?”

“You don’t belong here.” Carlotta dropped her fake accent.

“Excuse me?”

“There are souls out there … wandering … lost, but time always has a way of sorting out the mistakes.  You belong to Blue Run.  Your destiny intertwines with his.”

“What are you talking about?” 

Carlotta walked around the table to face Arianna.  "You must listen, for you don’t have much time.  You will think you have met your end, but it won’t be over.  You’ll return to where you belong, and another woman will take your place of doom.”

“Is this all a part of your theatrical presentation because if it is, I don’t like it.” 

“In this other era, you will meet a very strong man with the blackest of hair.”

“Did you hear me?” 

“His eyes will be green, clear and sharp like a cat,” Carlotta continued.  “He is called …” She chewed on her lower lip, but then her eyes lit up.  “The Scotsman.  He is called the Scotsman.  Trust him, for he will protect you.  He may feel mistrust for you because of the other woman's black heart, but in time, he will see you for who you really are.  He’s your soul mate.  It will be his child you carry."

Terror had kept Arianna frozen in her spot, enduring Carlotta’s eerie premonition, but now the woman had finished and Arianna took a step back.  “You’re crazy.”  She pointed her finger at her.

Thunder rolled shaking the rafters.  Dust and debris fell around Arianna and she held up her hands to protect her head.  Coughing, she turned and ran for the door, but a sharp pain to the back of her skull brought her to her knees.

“Watch out!” Carlotta warned.

Arianna’s eyes widened as she watched the wood beam hurdling toward her.

***

Carlotta finished what she set out to do here and packed her belongings.  A crowd had gathered in the cramped foyer as the young paramedic frantically worked on Arianna, but in the end, he turned toward her friend, Megan and shook his head. 

“Oh my God.  I can’t believe it.  She can’t be gone.  She can’t.”

Carlotta heard Megan’s heartfelt cry and stepped forward, placing a hand on the young woman’s shoulder.  “She’s not dead,” Carlotta told her.

Megan sniffed and wiped away the stream of tears running down her cheek.  She turned toward the paramedic as he pulled a sheet over Arianna’s face.

“Listen to me,” Carlotta insisted and Megan looked back at her again.  “Listen to your heart.  Arianna didn’t die here tonight.  She went back to where she belonged, back in time.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t take my word.  The proof is on her finger.  Your friend wasn’t married, am I correct?”

Megan nodded, her brows furrowing.  “I don’t understand what her being married or not has to do with it. 

“Check the woman’s finger for the proof of what I tell you.  Trust me, Megan,” Carlotta insisted.

“How do you know my name?  Who are you?”

“Who I am is not your concern.  I only tell you what I know because Arianna would have wished you to know she is safe.”

Megan held the fortuneteller’s gaze for a moment longer before she knelt down.  She reached beneath the sheet for her friend’s hand, surprised of how warm her flesh still felt.  She stared at the huge sapphire wedding ring that had been set in gold.  “This isn’t hers.”  Her voice was thick and unsteady.  She whipped back the sheet and stared at the woman who had lost her life.  “Oh my God!”  She covered her mouth with her hand.  The woman’s haircut was slightly different without the streaks of pale-blond.  Her lashes were void of mascara, and she didn’t have a sprinkle of freckles across her nose.  “This isn’t Arianna,” she said aloud knowing how ridiculous she sounded.  How could this be?  She looked up wanting answers but Carlotta had already vanished. 




Professional Reviews

PNR Reviews-
PNR Paranromal Romance Reviews A Twist of Fate- World received its first review!

"a life changing 'Twist of Fate'..."

This story begins with Arianna working at a fundraiser to raise money to restore the Blue Run Plantation in South Carolina. Her friend informs her the fortune teller is very good and they should visit to see if she can tell them their fortune. The fortune teller sees strange things when she shuffles the Tarot deck. Thunder rumbled and shook the plantation causing a wooden beam to hit Arianna in the head. She was knocked unconscious, and when she awoke she had no idea where she was or more precise when she was. She finds herself married to a man that despises her. Arianna finds out many things about this life that she is ashamed of.


Arianna's husband, Keldon has his own secrets, he's the Highland Pirate. He doesn't trust her but he feels his heart softening towards his wife. She seems like a different person than before she hit her head. Will they have enough time to find out that they were meant to be together?


All I can say is WOW! This is my first reading of Karen Michelle Nutt's work, and I must say I am suitably impressed. The story flowed remarkably well and the characters were very loveable. I enjoyed the small history lessons throughout the story. The story was highly descriptive and made you feel as if you were there on the plantation with them . The storyline was developed and resolved at the end. This was my first story but it definitely won't be my last.

Reviewed by Breia Brickey



ROMANTIC TIMES REVIEWS
FOUR STARS!

This nicely inventive romance brings alive the America of the past, including the Battle of New Orleans. The heroine's absorption into the past is handled well, and the gradual acceptance of her change quite believable.

A visit to a fortuneteller has modern-day Arianna Ward waking in 1812 South Carolina. Not only is she living as Annabelle Buchanan, she has knowledge of things that don't yet exist. She owns slaves; her husband Keldon, hates her; and she's having an affair with another man.

As she works to convince those around her she's changed, she discovers Keldon is the Highland Pirate. Soon she falls in love with him. But Annabelle made many enemies, and Arianna becomes convinced that Annabelle's past will destroy Arianna's present and future, even as she tries to change history.

Susan Mobley


************************

GHOST WRITERS REVIEW

AUTHOR: Karen Michelle Nutt

A Twist of Fate begins with Arianna. She is a beautiful woman who is working at a fund raiser, raising money to restore the Blue Run Plantation in South Carolina. Her life is changed when her friend tells her about a soothsayer. Arianna finds out that the fortune teller has a gift to see into the future, and decides to visit this fortune teller, and when she does her whole world is turned upside down. As the fortune teller reads the Tarot cards, a strange crack of thunder shakes the plantation, causing a large wooden beam to come loose. As the huge beam comes crashing down, Arinna is plundered in the head. Arianna is unconscious, but when she awakes, her world around her is different. Arianna opened her eyes but she doesn’t realize that she is was now in the past; no longer in her time. She’s lost in time in a strange place, learning that she is married to a man who despises her, and is stuck in a life that she doesn’t want. She learns of her husband Keldon's secrets, and begins to understand him. Keldon was the Highland Pirate, who doesn't trust her and doesn't want to, he fights with his emotions, but then he realizes that he can’t be strong, for his heart is beginning to melt. His feelings for Arianna begin to grow and he realizes that he’s in love with her. Arianna begins to feel a lot different from when she hit her head, she even seems different to others around her. Will Keldon and Arianna realize that they belong together before she is swept back into her own time? Will love hold them together? Will they conquer the physics of time? Only the fate of time will reveal the truth of their hearts and destinies.

This is not the first book of ‘Karen Michelle Nutt’’ that I’ve read. I’ve read many of her books. She never ceases to amaze me with her talent as a writer. With each of her novels she brings back the edge of excitement and the thrill of romance. Oh, and don't let us forget about true love. She brings magic to the pages of her story, keeping your attention with spellbinding mystery. You can find everything in one of her stories, Romance, Action, Adventure, ect… I think this book should be on the New York Times Best Seller List. Way to go Karen Michelle Nutt, we can not wait until your next novel comes out.

Reviewer: Tabitha


BITTEN BY BOOKS
http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=5584
Review by Jennifer
****

A fated encounter with a gypsy fortuneteller and a destiny-driven accident sends modern-day Arianna Ward into a war-filled part of America’s past - the War of 1812 - to find her soulmate. To do so, she switches personalities with a cold, hateful woman with a sordid past. To set right the life of the form she has taken, she must forge new alliances both within the household and with the man she loves.

The book starts off a bit slowly, and the “mechanism” for Arianna’s time-travel feels a bit rushed and underdeveloped. On the other hand, A Twist of Fate more than makes up for this as it progresses, and the interplay between Arianna and the people she comes to love is what makes this story truly memorable. Her naivete eventually turns out to be endearing, and her compassion shapes the story.

I felt as though some of the story, dedicated to side characters, could have been brought out less in this book and possibly extended into a separate novel. While I certainly enjoyed them, they could have benefited from expansion and more length.

On the whole, I would recommend A Twist of Fate. The romance is handled beautifully, and the characters are sympathetic. A good choice, especially for someone who enjoys being lost in the people of a book.


Coffee Time Romance Fascinating Time Travel
Arianna Ward is enjoying a carnival at Blue Run Plantation in South Carolina. A fortune teller gives her a cryptic fortune and advises her to “trust the Scotsman”. The next thing she knows, she awakens in the year 1814 and everyone is calling her “Annabelle”.

Keldon Buchanon finds his wife changed after she hits her head. Not only does has she forgotten her life, but she is now a kind and decent woman. Keldon does not trust his wife and is determined to find out what evil plan she is devising.

When Arianna discovers that her husband is the notorious Highland Pirate, she wants to save him from his wicked ways, but then she discovers his true purpose. She becomes very worried about Keldon’s safety and joins with him in assisting the United States in the Battle of New Orleans. As much as Keldon tries to pull away from Arianna, he realizes that she is not the horrible woman he married and finds himself falling in love.

A Twist of Fate is a fascinating time travel. The romance between Keldon and Arianna is delightful.
I love the setting of the southern plantation and genteel lifestyle. Although I would have liked to have known more about why Arianna and Annabelle switched places, the storyline was exciting and entertaining. I particularly think it is a stroke of genius placing a Scottish pirate in the American south. Ms. Nutt has written a gem of a tale.

Bonnie-Lass
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books


Trinagon Reviews!
Rating: 5 Stars

Arianna Ward is known for her humane, compassionate, and sincere qualities, she also possesses strong determination and stubbornness. In the Present Day, Arianna is a successful music teacher who loves to play the piano. The majority of her spare time is occupied helping the Historical Society by researching new events, unfortunately, her hectic work schedule doesn't leave her any time to pursue a relationship, let alone search for her soul mate.

While visiting a fortuneteller at a carnival, Arianna receives an eerie premonition. The fortuneteller tells her "Time has a way of sorting out mistakes, she belongs to Blue Run and her destiny intertwines with his. She will meet a man with the blackest of hair and green cat-like eyes; he is called the "Scotsman". Trust him for he will protect you, he may feel mistrust for you because of the other woman’s black heart, but in time, he will see you for who you really are. He’s your soul mate". Then Arianna was stuck in the head by a wooden beam when the building collapsed.
Arianna woke up to find herself in an unfamiliar place and time with people she did not recognize. She has no memory of who she was before the accident; all she’s able to recall is her name, but everyone is claiming that she is Annabelle and that she is married to Captain Keldon Buchanan. Arianna has no prior remembrances of her husband, Keldon, but once she gazes upon his strong build, handsome-rugged features and green cat-like eyes, she feels an immense connection towards him and she yearns for his touch.

For reasons unknown to Arianna, Keldon despises and distrusts her, and she wonders what transgressions she has done to him in the past for him to feel that way towards her. In the process of searching for whom she once was Arianna is appalled to learn that she is known as a malicious, deceitful and menacing person. To make things even worse, she’s also an adulteress and a potential murderer. Arianna knows in her heart she is not that person and she’s determined to amend her wicked ways of her past.
Keldon possesses his own secret, one that could mean life or death for both him and his crew members. He is known as the "Scotsman", a Highland Pirate. Keldon chose to become a pirate due to his wife’s nefarious ways, but he realizes something is amiss shortly after Annabelle’s head injury. It’s like she is a different person, one that he is falling passionately in love with. Will Keldon be able to accept that Annabelle is no longer among them or will he see it as a one of Annabelle’s malicious traps, just to torture him once more? Fate brought them together, but can their love survive their past transgressions?

A Twist of Fate is a superbly written romantic love tale. I immensely enjoyed reading this book. Karen Michelle Nutt has vividly and emotionally wrote the plot and characters in a way that the reader will become enveloped, captivated and entranced in the story. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about paranormal, historical romance, time-travel genres.

Karen Michelle Nutt is an avid reader of history, romance, and the paranormal; she tends to combine the three in her writings. She lives in California with her husband, three fascinating children, a dog, named Shakespeare, and three cats that have everyone well trained. She enjoys travel, old movies, books, and a chance to weave a tale. For more information about Karen Michelle Nutt and her upcoming releases, visit her web site at www.kmnbooks.com.

Amy J Ramsey "Trinagon"
Website: www.trinagon.blogspot.com



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