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A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety."

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Feature: Carver's Fall by Jillian Chantal

I want to thank Liz for letting me pop in and talk about my latest release with Secret Cravings Publishing. I write all kinds of heat levels and eras. I'm one of those writers who go with the flow of the muse and let the story grow organically from the seed of an idea.  This latest release is a sweet level story and the reason is that the characters are based on my great grandparents. Well, the story is pure fiction but I used their names for the hero and heroine and based the story in their hometown. I couldn't bring myself to write a steamy sex scene for them. LOL. Of course, if you want that, see some of my other stories such as The Season of the Witch.

The seed for this story was the true story of Jesse James and his gang robbing the federal paymaster in my great grandparents town in the 1800s. That fact sparked the idea for a crime story based in the 1920s. My great grandfather owned a Model T and once they were not being made any longer, he never wanted to drive again. I love that and thats the only true part of this story. Well, except for the fact that Carver Fowler was actually quite a good furniture maker and carver.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt.

~ * ~

Carver's Fall
by Jillian Chantal


In 1924, Carver Fowler, a young man raised on his family’s farm in North Alabama, has long been in love with one of the girls who lives in town. Her name is Mallie Phillips. Mallie has always treated Carver as beneath her notice since in her opinion he’s nothing but a country yokel. The county’s fall festival is soon and, as a joke, Mallie is dared by a friend to ask Carver to be her date to the party. Mallie takes her up on the dare and visits Carver to invite him to accompany her to the festivities. In the midst of all the intrigue about whether Carver will be her date or not, a young man is killed and another is attacked. Carver becomes a suspect and Mallie begins to understand that Carver may not merely be the backwoods boy she thought he was.

Carver Fowler, twenty years old, turned the pumpkin around and around to assess all angles. This was serious business. The final product had to be perfect, and the best side needed to face the front.
Once he was satisfied with his choice, he opened the drawer in the rickety old workbench that served him well in his shop. He dug around for a nub of a pencil and then opened the next drawer over. He sighed in pleasure at the array of knives. He loved all of his tools, but his knives made him the happiest.
He carefully selected one with a wide blade and tested the edge with the tip of his index finger. A small drop of blood pooled on the side and he sucked it off. He wiped his hand on his dusty coveralls and set the knife down.
Carver picked up the pencil and drew on the side of the pumpkin. He then picked up the knife and started to cut.
A throat clearing startled him. The knife slipped and gouged the fa├žade of his creation. He whirled around, thinking it was his younger brother. Ready to lay into the little brat for messing up his masterpiece, he stopped short when he saw who it was.
Leaning against the weathered wooden slats of the old barn that had been converted to a woodworking shop was none other than Mallie Phillips. The girl of his dreams. Eighteen and beautiful. Of course, she didn’t know he dreamt of her every night. But what was she doing here?
Mallie wore a long blue faded cotton dress and a pair of old Mary Jane shoes. Her stockings were dusty like she’d walked a long way. She had one knee bent and her foot rested on the wall. “Whatcha doing, Carver?”
“What are you doing is a better question. How’d you get way out here to my daddy’s farm? Li’l city gal like you don’t have no business out here in the boonies.” Carver set the knife down and wiped his brow that suddenly seemed to be manufacturing an inordinate amount of sweat. Good God, I hope I don’t smell bad. He resisted the urge to sniff his armpits, but just barely.
“My brother Joseph had some business out this way and he brought me in the wagon.”
Mallie came over to the workbench and picked up the knife. She used it to point at the pumpkin. “Are you carving that for the contest down at the Fall Festival this weekend?”
“I am. I think I’ve got a good idea for a very spooky fella and I’m planning to win that jackpot.”
“A jackpot for a Jack-o-lantern.” She giggled. “I like the sound of that.” She handed him the knife. “Show me what ya got, Carver Fowler.” She batted her eyelashes at him and he was lost.
He could barely speak English when she stood so close and smelled so good. Just like lemon verbena. As she continued to stare at him, he found his voice. “I can’t carve with you standing here. I can’t handle an audience. You’ll have to wait to see it at the festival.”
“I like that too, Carver.”
“What?” Embarrassed as his voice came out in a squeak, he ducked his head.
She lifted his chin with her index finger until he was looking at her. “I like that Carver is carving. See how nice that sounds? Jackpot for jack-o-lantern and Carver is carving. You have to admit it’s kind of poetic.”
“I don’t know nothing about poetry, Mallie.” Carver pulled away from her

Website: www.jillianchantal.com.    


  1. Thanks again for letting me pop by Liz.

    1. Not at all, hun. It's a pleasure to have you. :-)

  2. Jillian, I wish you all the best on this wonderful sounding book. He might not know about poetry, but I bet he's a great catch.

  3. This sounds like they both have a lot of lessons ahead of them. Your excerpt caught my interest.

  4. Thanks Flossie. He's a grand catch!
    Thanks Sherry- they def. had some lessons. Glad you liked the excerpt.

  5. Okay now the writing and the formatting are going to the back burner cause I am reading this tonight. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. nope. You need to finish that Scottish story Dandwh. This one will wait. LOL!

  7. I have got to bump this story up the TBR ladder. Every time I read something about it, I fall a little further in love with the idea. Congrats on the new release, Jillian. And Elizabeth--that's an AWESOME header!

  8. Thanks Laurie. This is a short one so you can knock it out in no time. LOL! I'm glad you're falling in love with the idea. Maybe it should be called Laurie's fall! LOL!