Take the plunge with Beth Parker and be ready to fall headfirst Into the blue …
“I promise. Wherever you are, Beth, I will always be with you,” ~ Ayden
Blue Genes is the continuation of the bestselling trilogy, The Story of Us.
Handsome, media magnate, Ayden Stone came into Beth Parker’s life like a bolt out of the blue, introducing her to an extravagant lifestyle filled with promises, new experiences and sensual pleasures. Possessed by love, they have fulfilled a childhood dream to be man and wife, believing nothing can come between them ‘until death us do part.’
Having been tortured by tragic events involving angels and demons from their past, these star-crossed lovers are ready to start a new chapter in their lives. Now, family comes first.
But which family?
Time is running out! Difficult decisions must be made that will stretch their fated bond to its very limit. Unforeseen enemies are conspiring and about to test the very foundation of their relationship: trust.
Blue Genes is an emotional, adult fairy-tale that transcends the ordinary: a sensual, suspense filled story overflowing with love, laughter and a longing for a happy ever after.
While Beth sleeps, I’m scrolling through the notes Charlotte jotted down during our conference call. It reads like a script for a movie: a far cry from the life I had mapped out for us. We made love last night and it took every ounce of self-control I had to hold back. She wanted to be loved, and all I wanted to do was to fuck her so hard and so deep; to lose myself in her, knowing the memory of it would have to last us for … who knows how long.
Keeping this fucking secret from her is killing me. But what I can I do? I’ve been boxed into a corner and I hate it. Guilt is gnawing at my insides like a cancerous growth, causing me to sweat through my clothes with a fever inducing fear that I may never be forgiven. Trust is the foundation of our love, and here I’m desecrating it. She was the one missing mechanism in my life that I needed to make everything work; without her everything will grind to a halt.
I won’t be living: I’ll be existing.
There will be tears enough to drown in, and in Beth’s eyes, I’ll be the bastard who’s ditched her for the sake of some fucking business deal, or worse, for a family I hardly know. This will be the hardest thing I have ever done, or will have to do again …
Sydney Jamesson is an English teacher by day and bestselling author of romance by night. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always scribbled things down; in her home is one enormous waste paper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night or whilst parked up at a set of traffic lights. Her bestselling trilogy, The Story of Us is available worldwide, and she’s thrilled to continue Ayden Stone and Beth Parker’s epic love story in her upcoming The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue.
Yesterday, I talked about the origins and structure inherent in fairy tales, a genre that continues to captivate young and old alike, as they have for hundreds if not thousands of years. If you look closely enough, the themes, motifs, and archetypes embodied in fairy tales are everywhere, and include not only literature — but all forms of classic and contemporary art, poetry, music, television and movies.
Disney has made a fortune capturing the hearts of children, and adults, with the re-telling of classic fairy tales, recently retelling the story of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent’s point of view in a film made for a mature audience. Popular American TV shows like “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” have also brought childhood fairy tales back into the mainstream; darker, more contemporary, using paranormal elements of time travel mingled with ancient creatures – but remaining absolutely true to the structural elements of that genre.
“When I was least expecting it, my wish found its way to a fateful star. Someone extraordinary succumbed to the gravitational pull: a mere mortal. That little piece of heaven was Ayden Stone.”
“Was there a single moment when I knew, we knew, that Fate was taking us by the hand and leading us toward our destiny? When the planets aligned and the stars came together to form a new constellation?” Beth Parker, TouchStone for play, Prologue
The prologue sets the stage for all the events that follow, including the dramatic conclusion in TouchStone for ever. It is the beginning of the fairy tale, and if you read (or re-read) closely, all clues point to the fact that a shared destiny is the over-riding focal point of the trilogy.
Sydney Jamesson goes on to build a 3-part story based on classic fairy-tale themes, using powerful, traditional character archetypes to take the reader on an edge-of-your-seat adventure — culminating in an ultimate battle of good vs. evil to claim their shared destiny.
I have to admit, once again, that I didn’t get “the big picture” – that the fairy tale elements are woven skillfully and deliberately throughout TouchStone for play – until I read it again, and realized that what so deeply resonated about the book was not merely the breath-taking sensuality, the compelling emotional struggles within and between Ayden and Beth, or the heart-stopping suspense that Dan Rizler brought to the story. It was the idea of shared destiny, of a love so unstoppable that it had to be pre-ordained. It was that Ayden was a reluctant Prince, certainly an imperfect Prince, but he was Beth’s Prince…and that together, both were being transformed through the love they share.
First Meeting…First Brush with Destiny
“Miss Parker?” He presents a heart-stopping smile that makes its way to an ocean of sea green eyes, causing the skin around them to ripple slightly. It renders me temporarily senseless; for in those eyes I catch sight of a memory, something forgotten, a wish maybe?”
And as they say goodbye for the first time, in Chapter 1 of TouchStone for play…
“…I realize that he still has hold of my hand, stroking my feverish skin, creating a silent but not unfamiliar bond.”
If you’ve read it before – did you see it then? Do you see it now? The sense of familiarity – a hidden memory – perhaps a wish – a hint at a destiny yet to be fulfilled, because we know this is only the beginning. But these pieces don’t fully connect until TouchStone for giving, where the destiny theme becomes even more apparent. A loose end? Yes. A very deliberate hint at what is yet to come.
Finally, as the impression of their first encounter sinks in – a light kiss on the corner of the mouth…Sleeping Beauty stirs.
“What just happened? With that whisper of a kiss he has awakened something in me. I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my heart, a spell broken; I feel alive.”
Enter the Villain...
“With a kick and a tug, his locker door opens and he checks to see if anyone is around, there’s no way he’s going to share her. Tucked away under a prospectus is a photo; the faded picture of a pretty, dark haired girl in her late teens, wearing a pair of jeans and a black sweater; he rubs his thumbs over the sweater and his breathing quickens at the thought of sliding his hand up inside. He knows what he’s doing; he’s seen it on the internet; getting her hot and ready won’t be a problem for him … He slides his hand down inside his boxers and touches himself, smiling and whispering, “I’m saving this for you Princess.”
Dan Rizler, the man you love to hate, a force of evil just outside Beth’s door. Throughout TouchStone for play, Dan seems to have the upper hand – always one step ahead, patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. Like the Big Bad Wolf that he is, he relentlessly and secretly searches for his “Princess” – the woman he knows as Frances Parker – convinced that they are meant to be together. But his plans are unspeakably terrifying, and the use of his point of view adds a dark, sinister element to the story, in true fairy-tale fashion.
“It’s 0100 hrs and another wasted night. No sign of her, but he knows she’s out there, thinking about him, waiting for him. Every night he gets one step nearer to finding her. He stands eye to eye with her faded image, remembering her smell, her voice and that look in her eyes, it excites him, makes him hard and ready. His mouth opens slightly and his hands unwrap, pinning her to the noticeboard with human handcuffs. I’m going to find you, Princess.“
From Ugly Duckling to Cinderella
“I consider myself to have been what my father reliably called ‘an ugly duckling‘ and I trusted his judgement…”
“I switch on Britney and…before she hits the chorus I’m dancing in my one designer dress and stomping in heels I’ve never worn, hoping I’ll find something that won’t reveal my ordinariness to this prince of a man.”
With the help of her best friend Charlie, Beth is transformed, shedding her protective cloak of plain clothes and eyeglasses to reveal a beautiful young woman who feels like a fairy-tale princess as she prepares to meet Ayden at the theatre.
“By the time we reach the theatre I’m feeling nervous, not the frightened kind, but the kind that comes from having high expectations. Could he be the one I’ve been waiting for? Has he found me?”
“Charlie bolsters my resolve. “Look, you can do this Beth…Just look at you! You’re Cinderella!”
“I wave her off and head towards the crowd, considering at what point my life became a hopeless fairy tale: that would be the day I learned there were wolves out there, I suppose.”
“His gaze rests on my face and I can’t shake free; it’s like a gravitational pull and, as hard as I try, those dazzling flecks of blue and green hold me captive.”
But is he for real? Or is he playing with Beth for his own amusement – another conquest he can claim? The reader is left wondering at this point – hoping that it’s something more. Fortunately, there are good reasons to hope. Although we are unaware at this point, future events are foreshadowed – and remain hidden until TouchStone for giving:
“He hands me the wine, turns to face me and offers a toast. ‘To new beginnings…’
Beth – having earlier sensed a “familiarity” in his touch, a “lost memory” in his eyes – misunderstands the meaning of his words – and won’t grasp the true implications of them until Ayden reveals more about their shared destiny in TouchStone for giving. (You won’t either – it’s only one strand of the common thread that intricately links all of the books in the trilogy!)
And then, they kiss – really kiss – for the first time; and here is where you find one clue to the events that unfold in TouchStone for ever:
“Feeling my embrace, his urgency melts, his movements are less fraught and it’s as if a moment of complete calm folds in on us; there’s an understanding, beyond words, beyond space and time: this is where we belong.”
“My heartbeat is whooshing in my ears, yet there’s a gentle stillness between us that comes from accepting our fate. I want to frame this moment, to put it up on a wall behind a curtain so only I know it’s there: the moment when our two worlds actually collide.”
These passages, as beautiful as they are within the context of TouchStone for play, mean so much more when viewed within the context of TouchStone for ever. As I have said, time and time again, Sydney Jamesson’s storytelling goes beyond the ordinary – the basic love story – and, with intelligence, vision and passion, creates a timeless series that begs to be read over and over again. Every time I read it, I find another clue – another connection; it’s like unwrapping a gift with every read.
I could go on; there are countless clues in TouchStone for play that set the stage for the rest of the trilogy. There are unanswered questions, dozens of direct and hundreds of indirect fairy-tale references, even a conversation between Ayden and Beth about what fairy tales are and what they mean. The “wicked witch” appears – again, in what is later revealed to be a fated meeting. Ultimately recognizing that they have a common enemy, she conspires with Dan to exact her own vengeance, although we have to wait a very long time – until TouchStone for ever – before her motivation is revealed. Even an angel makes an appearance, leaving breadcrumbs that foreshadow developments in TouchStone for giving and TouchStone for ever that set the stage for its epic conclusion.
For now, I hope I’ve given you something to think about – and more than a taste of the magic and mystery that makes The Story of Us a truly unique, utterly timeless and addictive trilogy. If you’ve read it – I encourage you to read it again, with fresh eyes. If you haven’t – what are you waiting for?!
Thanks for reading…
Up next on Curl Up and Read:
“TouchStone for giving – the Fairy Tale Continues”