Available at local bookstores at discounted price of $16.99 from all Copperfield’s Bookstores, North Light Books in Cotati, River Reader in Guerneville, Readers’ Books in Sonoma, Sawyers News in Santa Rosa, and Amazon.com.
Touch of Magenta is also available through CreateSpace.com for $15
Can you keep a secret – some might call it a lie – about another’s heritage?
Do you have that right?
Corri Montclair… returns home in 1971 for her mother’s funeral – a mystery begins – her identity is shaken. An ex-lover complicates her emotions as she discovers shocking facts at the reading of the will. A phantom “someone” is controlling her life.
Pegeen… defies the conventions of 1895 by falling in love with Chan Li. The consequences of their forbidden passion drives her into a life of vigilance, as she fights to keep a sacred promise that will protect her child.
As Corri struggles to decipher her past, Pegeen’s life unfolds, and these two passionate stories merge, revealing seventy years of hidden entanglements. Touch of Magenta takes place in California Gold Country, San Francisco, Chinatown, Singapore, Italy, and England, and explores the compelling drive to know the truth of one’s own history, and the sacrifices made for those we love.
Fear and love are strong emotions – when forced together they can explode conventional beliefs and sometimes wisdom.
Touch of Magenta endorsements
|“I fell in love with the characters. I have read many books in my lifetime of which I rate Touch of Magenta in the top list.”
Linda Bingham, Rio Vista, California
“When the mystery was solved and everything came together, I was sad to be on the last page.”
Kathy Van Winkle, Bend, Oregon
“This is a serious book with a deep message.”
Connie Firestone, Hawaii
“Loved the story, didn’t want it to end.”
Bonnie Wallen, Healdsburg, California
“This book, for me, was what they call a page-turner.”
Colleen Asmuth, Eugene, Oregon
“Touch of Magenta is mesmerizing and beautifully crafted. I felt the joy and pain the characters experienced as keenly as if they were my own family.”
Karen Reid, author – Springfield, Oregon
“I was excited by this book; loved the two stories running together.”
Nicole Holmes, San Jose, California
“As a university student, I included this book on my ‘Best Books’ List, compiled for English class.”
Andrea Whitney, Santa Barbara, California
Questions About… Touch of Magenta
|How does Touch of Magenta reflect my own life? Does it?
Perhaps every novel contains biographical elements. We suffer the slings and arrows of life, collect insights and forebodings from childhood, fall in love, marry, often divorce, have children, work, and play. All of which becomes a bundle of notions, ideals, contradictions, sorrows, and knowledge which feed into how slanted or open we view the world. I believe, in some way, that these momentous events, even when not consciously remembered, affect our character.
What is memorable about Touch of Magenta?
This is not a traditional love story. It has romance, more than one, but the underlying theme is much more than two people falling in love, the deeper story is about the longing to know who we are.
What is unusual about Touch of Magenta?
The reader follows two women. We begin with Pegeen in 1895. Corri we view through her ten days in Sonora where she returns home in 1971 to bury her mother. As Corri wrestles with the unexpected tenants of the family will and its odd bequest, we are, at the same time, involved with Pegeen’s life, which unfolds over seventy years.
What are 3 benefits from reading Touch of Magenta?
What do people say who hear the whole story of Touch of Magenta?
They stop, are caught for a moment, and say, “Oh,” softly. As if to mean: yes, I feel that inside.
What questions do people ask me after reading Touch of Magenta?
Interestingly, it is not the romance that people ask about, albeit, an emotional part of the story. It is the generational entanglement that most deeply affects readers, the search for ones history and identity, from which many feelings arise.
Touch of Magenta
by Linda Loveland Reid.
Each of these four excerpts involves one of the two main characters.
Corri (1971, Sonora)
It had happened fast. After her father died, her mother seemed to collapse under the weight of immense sadness. The ache of inadequacy invades Corri even now, remembering how hard she tried to fill the gap, to engage her mother back into life. On each trip up and down, from Santa Monica to Sonora, the idea of moving her mother closer to L.A. mingled in her mind with a large dose of guilt, her mother’s words ever present: I will live in this beauty until they carry me out feet first. Sonora, even in a convalescent hospital, represented home, by osmosis it cradled a lifetime of family and memories. No, the better, tougher answer Corri knew was to quit her job and find work in Sonora. Then, before the particulars could be worked out, before coaxing her mind around such a sacrifice—her mother suddenly failed. No more time for planning. Guilt flooded in.
The driveway to the all too familiar nursing home comes into view. Flowering Rose Convalescent Home. The sign awash in purple and white lettering has pink roses entwined through the words. Why do they call places where people obviously come to die, flowering or blooming? Well, Corri reasons, they can’t be called, Trails End or Last Roundup. Who would put her parent in a place like that?
Corri looks down the picket-lined driveway. Instantly her senses are assailed by roaming wheelchairs and barely coherent occupants. Nursing homes have a distinctive smell of too much sickness mixed with too much loneliness.
She remembers Bessie, her mother’s roommate. A sweet person, always ready to visit and help pass the hours Corri spent at her mother’s silent bedside. Bessie gave Corri a secret recipe for making “melt in your mouth” Bonbons. Old people, Corri learned, are just like anyone else. Just people, but, who have run out of future.
They say, if nature gets to play itself out, parents becomes the children. Mother had gone quickly but Father declined gradually. As Corri assisted him to slip uneasily from bed to wheelchair, she found it unnatural to see his shrunken white thigh, a place of fierce privacy, now on display for nurses, other patients, and reluctant daughters. Maybe a lack of siblings contributed to Corri’s awkwardness, no brother or sister running about nude. Definitely not her mother and father without clothes. Unimaginable. She still remembers when eleven, the flick of shock as the bathroom door opened on her naked father, his penis somewhat enlarged and pressed against the white sink. The door closed quickly, the incident never mentioned. Corri could not consider asking her mother about such things, about penises.
As the hospital recedes into the background, Corri wonders, am I relieved not to turn in here today or sorry that I am heading to the funeral?
“God!” she winces. Death is not easy. It causes you to explore too many hidden and sacred corners of your mind. This day, these memories! Soon it will be over, only a few last hurdles. She checks the rear-view mirror to be sure tears and eyeliner aren’t commingling down her cheeks. Her eyes look puffy. Crow’s feet no doubt lurk below the surface. She makes a promise to invest in some eye cream, that cucumber-essence stuff, and a pound of expensive wrinkle-free night balm. She smoothes her jet-black hair, recently cut from shoulder to ear length, just enough to tuck behind. Hank said she was sophisticated, in a sexy way. Corri wasn’t sure what that meant. She patted her finger at the tender area just below her eye. The big four-O two steps away, not married, no kids, no satisfying job, and now—puffy eyes. What next?
Pegeen (1899, Signapore. Pegeen is inside an opium den)
Pegeen’s hand pressed firmly against the paint-peeled green door. A peculiar, not unpleasant smell filled her nose, stung her eyes. Geu Pao nodded in greeting as she followed him in silence across the small room, her eyes adjusting to the dim light. Six bunks, stacked two deep, lined the yellowed, stucco walls. Most of the beds were occupied, the full sleeves of men’s pajamas flapping softly as they conversed the gossip of the week, their manner casual. Other beds were inhabited by bodies that did not move, clumps dreaming into the distance, minds living in some better world.
Pegeen side-stepped three Chinese in white dress shirts, sprawled on mats next to a small tray that contained a tumbler of thick brown syrup, some brass thimbles, one or two bits of wire, along with burning tapers and pipes. Pegeen ducked to miss a clothesline stretching from one corner to the other, from which hung the men’s business jackets, collars, and cravats. They stopped momentarily at seeing a woman in their midst, then continued to murmur the news of the day. They drew vigorously on their pipes, more so, Pegeen thought, than their entranced, sunken eyes would seem to allow.
Geu Pao stopped before a small Chinese woman. “This Tzu-Sue,” he said with a slight bow, shoving her toward Pegeen.
Like Gue Pao, Tzu-Sue had on a long black gown, but with a cummerbund around her tiny waist; her hair held back into a severe bun, exposing an expressionless face. Mr. Johnny had requested Pegeen be provided with an assistant during her “visits.” Tzu-Sue must be a prostitute, Pegeen knew, as these were the only women allowed in opium dens. Except now—herself.
Tzu-Sue put her hands out and bowed several times in accepting a blanket from Geu Pao for Pegeen, an unexpected gesture. Geu Pao grinned and moved silently away.
At the nod of Tzu-Sue’s head, Pegeen climbed onto a wooden bunk and leaned back against the tilted headboard. Tzu-Sue covered Pegeen and sat down on a stool beside the bed, turning her attention to a table filled with “cooking’ utensils, a potbelly stove nearby.
Tzu-Sue placed the ball of opium on a small iron skewer and set it over the flame. As it began to bubble and fume, she inserted a pin into the syrup and twisted it around in the flame until the substance hardened. She then inserted the pill-like globule into the barrel of the pipe. Pegeen opened her mouth and Tzu-Sue placed the pipe to her trembling lips. Just at the right moment, when the opium vaporized—as Tzu-Sue’s finger tapped sharply—Pegeen inhaled, her chest rising as she held the smoke inside, then ever so slowly let it out, leaving its hallucinogenic deposit behind.
Corri (1971, Sonora – Corri unexpectedly meets ex-lover at cocktail party)
“Have you met our professor?” Janice asks, swooping up beside Corri, swaying slightly. Corri manages an “Unh-unh,” through a full mouth, shaking her head from side to side.
Janice rather loudly insists, “You must! You must meet him. You are right for each other.”
“No!” Corri strangles out.
“Oh, I know there’s Hank,” Janice says, “but, a ‘bird in the bush’ and all that,” she smiles coyly and drags a reluctant Corri across the crowded room with her plate of hors d’oeuvres teetering precariously.
“Stephen Duncan, meet Miss Corri Montclair,” Janice says with a dramatic flare, tapping the tuxedo-clad shoulder of a tall drink-of-water.
Stephen turns around and without skipping a beat, says softly, “It’s a pleasure…a pure pleasure.” He stands grinning; sea-blue eyes waiting for Corri’s response.
Corri is speechless! Her pulse skips and she goes weak. Get a hold, she admonishes. Hang on to what little dignity you can. “Well, I see you have two jobs, Mr. Duncan,” she manages after fighting down a mouthfull of egg, “Journalist and Professor. I guess it’s hard to make ends meet these days?” That was stupid. She takes a gulp of champagne.
“True, but fortunately both of my jobs have recently led me to meet some interesting, and, may I say, lovely people,” he banters back.
He’s playing the Clark Gable charmer, Corri notes with disgust.
“I knew you two would hit it off,” Janice grins, then staggers away.
Corri wants a cigarette right now, she’d smoke the hell out of it. She’d pull out a long cigarette holder and ask for a light, then draw on it heavily blowing the smoke into Stephen’s face, while waiting for her next inspiration. Instead, she sets her plate down, tidies her mouth, and says, “I can’t do this. I’m no good at it. It has been wrenching meeting you again. Good evening.” Her eyes clash at his.
“Corri, please,” he responds, touching her arm lightly.
Corri pulls away as if struck! How dare he touch her. But, before she can speak, and it’s going to be stinging, he says…
“I want to apologize for yesterday, after the funeral. It was unforgivable for me to bother you. I’m embarrassed to have been such a clod. My feeble excuse is, I wanted to see you and had no other way to get in touch. My stupid solution was to just show up. Can you forgive me?”
He looks fabulous.
“I thought I had forgiven you, sixteen years ago, and me, for being young and super stupid. But now I don’t think so. Oh, I’m okay with me…but you? Now, as I’m forced to reassess, I’ve decided that you’re an asshole.” A nearby reveler looks over, to whom Corri gives a cool smile.
“You have every right to be mad.” He’s no longer grinning, his eyes soft. “I’d like to have some time with you, Corri.”
Mad. Corri can’t believe what she hears. Mad, as if he was late for a date or forgot my birthday! What’s wrong with him? “And I still have the same answer. No, on all counts. ‘No’ on my parents and a definite ‘No’ on me.”
“Corri,” he says quickly, before she walks off, “we professor types need to be published. I’m working on a project now, a paper that I hope will get me another few years on the university rolls. Please. it might be good getting to know one another again?”
Corri reaches for her champagne. Maybe she’ll throw it in that handsome face. Watch it splash into his eyes, then dribble down onto his tuxedo, satisfyingly wetting his perfect demeanor, bouncing off the lapels of his tux. The reveler next door would love it. Too bad he wasn’t worth it. Instead she takes a big gulp.
Why doesn’t she walk away? Some unspoken bond is holding her here, an odd connection. They’d shared a past-life, an intimate experience, which, hurtful or not, provided the emotional energy that now flies between them. Emotion, like glue, provides a strong bond—negative energy stimulates, maybe even more than positive.
Corri falls quiet.
“What do you think,” he is saying. You always were a smart one. I’d love having you on my team.” He looks at her intently. Then, before she can object to his familiarity, “At the risk of incurring your wrath, again, I do think your parents fit the package.”
Corri is amazed at how nonchalant and un-effected he seems. As if nothing but a slight acquaintance had passed between them. She’s not sick but something is definitely happening in her stomach. “My parents do not fit the package. They didn’t do anything. They lived quiet, even uninteresting lives. There is no story in my parents. Goodbye Professor, as in forever!” She steadies herself then slams her glass down, turns to walk away.
“What about you, Corri? Is there a story in you? I mean you’re part of the family…should I study you?” he says gently.
She swings to face him. He’s flirting! And, he is dynamite handsome. Corri is way past knowing that coming to this party is a huge mistake.
“Corri,” he says quietly, reaching for her arm, “I’m so sorry for what you‘ve been going through. I haven’t helped and I’m sorry. You look great by the way.”
She pulls away. “Don’t worry about me, Stephen. I’ve allotted so much time every day to feel sorry for myself and it’s working out swell. Our meeting has added immensely to my mental health.”
“At least you were able to squeeze this party into your schedule, and I am glad you did or we might not have met each other again.”
Is he teasing? One minute his eyes are sincere, the next they’re dancing. He is dead right, of course. What is she doing here if she’s so damn busy? One thing is clear. Her strong instinct to avoid this man has nothing to do with lack of time. “Stephen, all of my family are dead…we are not who you’re looking for.”
He moves in close, and with that crooked nose and great eyes, says, “You don’t know what I’m looking for, Corri.”
Okay, she’s out of here!
Her pulse shoots up and she can feel all the wrong things happening to her body. And, worse…she might cry. She needs to leave now!
Pegeen - 1904, Italy
She shifted in the wooden arm-chair, better to meet the doctor’s eyes. Behind him stood a bookshelf with a framed picture of the doctor, a smiling plump woman, and two children hugging a large panting dog. The only personal item in an otherwise sterile room.
“Of course, the science of anesthesiology has been quite modernized over the last decade, but, again—there are risks.”
“Anesthesiology?” Pegeen asked. “Putting me to sleep?”
“Ya, of course, Fraulein,” he responded with animation, moving about the room excitedly, using his arms in wide expanse as he explained the details of the operation. Herr Doctor was definitely interested in Pegeen’s case.
The original scar would be cut away, thrown out. This jolted Pegeen. A part of her body simply thrown away? “The skin from each side of the old scar will be stitched together in a zigzag pattern down your face,” the doctor explained. “As it heals, the new scar will better match the contours of your face, determined by facial muscles and the natural lines of you expressions.”
“Excuse me, doctor. New scar?” Pegeen asked. “Am I to go through all of this and still have a scar?”
“Tiny,” Doctor Hansburg responded. “Some kleine scars, tiny white lines, here and there,” he said, touching her face. “No big, wide scar pulling at your skin like now. Some little white lines you can cover with cosmetics,” he finished with a smile, eyes shining, becoming less the frigid scientist.
She offered a frown. “Doctor, what is the biggest danger I face?”
“Cutting too deep,” he responded. “We must not cut the nerves. However,” he continued quickly seeing Pegeen’s concern, “this is not possible. Because that is my job, to know this region of the body. We cannot see these nerves, so it is important that I know all about your face. And, I do,” he finished, whisking his glasses off and giving a confident nod.
“So, could my face be paralyzed?”
“No worry, my Fraulein,” he said, softly. “Now, we need to discuss the anesthetic.” He readjusted his glasses, carefully curling each wing over each ear. “Have you ever taken morphine?”
“I…well, maybe. Is opium a form of morphine?” Pegeen asked, wondering how much she needed to divulge.
The good doctor, eyes on clipboard, glanced up at Pegeen’s question. She could see him wondering what kind of woman he’d drawn. “No, it’s the other way around. Morphine is a derivative of opium. We will give you morphine to calm you, and for pain, but it is important that you not be completely unconscious.”
“You mean, I am to be awake while you cut on my face?”
For the first time Pegeen felt fear.
Media Kit for Touch of Magenta
Please review the following information:
Media Kit – Sell Sheet
|Linda Loveland Reid
Available online at Amazon.com and local bookstores..
To purchase additional copies, contact:
Book Surge at 866-308-6235 x6
Perhaps every novel contains biographical elements. We suffer the slings and arrows of life, collect insights and forebodings from childhood, fall in love, marry, sometimes divorce, have children, work, and play. All of which becomes a bundle of notions, ideals, contradictions, sorrows, and knowledge that feeds into how open or slanted we view the world. I believe, in some way, that these momentous events, even when not consciously remembered, affect our character. Fiction is not real life, but real life made up—the emotions are still there, the lessons still learned.
Media Kit – Author Bio
|LINDA LOVELAND REID
Touch of Magenta is Linda’s first novel, out in May 2009.
Linda has been a resident of Sonoma County since 1950.
Healdsburg is her hometown.
Linda won first place in the Redwood Writers Club 2008 Writing Contest.
The winning short story is available on website.
Education includes a BA in History and in Art History, both from Sonoma State University,
where she graduated in 1999, Cum Laude and “with distinction,” in both disciplines.
Other interests include figurative oil painting and directing theater.
In 2008, Linda directed Gin Game for Novato Theater Company and Oleanna for Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse.
Linda is the founder of a family insurance business in Santa Rosa where she works with her daughter, son, and son-in-law. Name of business: ReidLoveland Insurance Services.
Linda has three children and many grandchildren.
She resides in Sonoma County with Architect and playwright Harry Reid.
|Touch of Magenta
(ISBN: 978-14392-0285-2 LCCN: 2008908399)
Media Kit – Book Club Reading Guide
|I love to meet with readers.
Please feel free to call on me to discuss my book with your group.
Whenever possible, I would love to visit your club in person.
Please reach me via email or web site and give me the contact person of your group, an email and phone number, and some idea of date and time. In addition, of course, any other questions or special requests.
Looking forward to getting acquainted before your read, after, or, heck, maybe both!
I deeply appreciate your interest in my work. Thank you.
Reading Guide Questions:
(Please email me other questions that you and your group think are pertinent to the story.)