TITLE: Stronger than Poison
GENRE: YA Romantic Suspense
Nerves twisted my stomach into an origami crane. My eyes followed the gallery owner’s nimble hands flipping through my most precious possessions like they were the morning newspaper.
“Hmm.” He paused. “How would you describe this one?”
My half-chewed-off fingernail dropped from my lips. I peered over his shoulder. Red and black paint splashed across the canvass. I’d debated on whether to include that one. It was a result of a recurring nightmare. I opened my mouth to answer when my phone buzzed in my pocket. I always at least kept it on vibrate for emergencies.
“Sorry,” I said and glanced at the display, Will, my brother. I hit decline. He’d pestered me for the last week. I cleared my throat and motioned to the picture. “I painted it after an intense nightmare.”
He nodded and pointed to the silver blur racing off the canvas. “Someone was shot?”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “My dad. He was killed in action in Afghanistan.”
“Your emotion is vivid here, not like the first few. They’re pretty but without feeling. This is more visceral, piercing, if you will. Reminiscent of Munch’s The Scream.”
I flinched. That painting was the hell I tried to escape from.
The posh gallery even smelled artsy, a combination of the perfume of fresh flowers mixed with paint fumes. I sucked in a breath. These white walls launched more careers than anywhere else in Chicago.