It's the 1963 holiday season in New York, and talented actress Danica Britt is newly engaged to Tyler Newton, star of their television sitcom.
History professor-novelist Zane McCaul visits the studio and encounters Dannie, who is being considered for the starring role in the TV production of his best-seller. Although Zane is fourteen years her senior and burdened by a polio-limp, his subtle charisma and ironic expression reveal an inner star quality that soon draws Dannie's professional and personal attention.
Widowed, lonely and reserved, Zane is enthralled by the fey, nervy young beauty whose incandescence seems to promise future stardom. Complicated by Dannie's ambition and her engagement to the enigmatic Tyle, a complex, edgy relationship develops between the professor and the actress, based on collaboration, Dannie's desire for a mentor, and Zane's desire for her.
The Autumn in Cranky Otter series is a 20th Century American family tapestry, woven of the love stories and luminous psychic threads binding four generations.
A Hard Shell Word Factory Release
C.J. Winters was always more interested in Tomorrow than Yesterday. Then she discovered the American Past offers a wealth of backgrounds for some of her offbeat story ideas. Combining such backgrounds with her fascination for the extra-normal has led to ten-and-a-half books published or soon to be published by Hard Shell Word Factory. Show-Me Murder is a paranormal cozy mystery trio. Right Man Wrong Time, Sleighride, Moon Night, and A Star in the Earth are paranormal romances. The love stories of four generations of an American family unfold in Foredestined Summer, Fires of War and Winter, A Dazzling Spring and Autumn in Cranky Otter. Still to come is a contemporary romance, Mai's Ties, and half of a paranormal anthology, Deadknots. C.J. also has eight short stories included in five anthologies.
Iowa born-raised-educated and Missouri seasoned, earth-bound C.J. feels compelled to follow her characters through their times, lifetimes, and the gauzy curtains separating them. Although she lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, she prefer rustic settings for her stories. Creating intense relationships and helping them unfold through intriguing, subtle or whimsical interplay is her idea of fun. She says, "Story plotting is like weight-lifting for the brain. You collect puzzle pieces and then find places to fit them."
About herself, C.J. says, "My fantasy life began early, through movies more than books. Star-struck, I played Western roles on my pony, and kept a nightly serial story going in my head at bedtime, naturally casting myself as the heroine.
"When my career as a copywriter ended, I began writing a different form of fiction--love stories with a different twist than those being published at the time. Then along came e-publishing, and a new, limitless niche opened. Admittedly self-indulgent, I first write to entertain myself, and it looks like I'm addicted to a life of fiction!"
For more, visit my website, www.cjwinters.com
"I very much looked forward to reading A Dazzling Spring. The 1960's New York always brings to mind for me, Jacqueline Susann's VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. I truly enjoyed A Dazzling Spring. The characters are well shaped and fresh and the plot kept me interested enough to read the entire book in one afternoon. I only wish Ms. Winters would have shared more with her readers the feel of 1960's New York, but A Dazzling Spring is certainly a charming, worthwhile read. 4 flames-rare find"--Sandee McCann -- Word Museum
"If you are looking for a light, show-biz, romance of the 60s, A Dazzling Spring by C. J. Winters will fill the bill."Jaye Dee Tyrack -- Gotta Write Network
Overall rating: 4.25
"C.J. Winters did a terrific job though of continuing the 'genealogy' and I am looking forward to the 'autumn' edition!"Robyn Roberts -- Once Upon a Romance
"A Dazzling Spring by C.J. Winters is a beautiful love story. Winters is a talented author able to use humor, sarcasm, and romance to bring her characters to life. Danica and Zane were made for each other. The plot is interesting and holds the reader's attention. Watch for the name C.J. Winters; you will be hearing it again."Debra Gaynor -- Review Your Book
New York City, December, 1963
"Why'd you do it, kid? I'm available."
"Let's see it, Dannie."
"Later, guys—duty first!" Smiling broadly, Danica Maureen Britt, nee Barre, waggled her left hand above her head and hurried past the television crew, aimed for the safety of her dressing room.
But handsome blond Tyler Newton, wearing an equally wide smile, blocked her path, leaned down and planted a loud smacking kiss somewhere in the vicinity of her mouth. "C'mon, Dannie Girl, that thing cost me a month of shows. Let's flaunt it."
Dannie sighed, then, her smile restored, she turned back to the swarm of camera men, script girls, prop men, electricians and other crew members. "It's really only a small token of a grand passion," she said, flinging out her left hand with its flashy burden for inspection. Poker-straight, she added, "Tyle says it's a diamond, but I've only his word for it. What do you think?"
The three-plus carat marquis stone caught a down light and glitter ricocheted around the studio.
"Good Lord! You'll never need a flashlight again."
"A month of shows? When'd you get a raise, Tyle?"
"Who you trying to impress? The IRS?"
Everybody on the set had a comment, most of them wisecracks.
"It'll be interesting to see the fan mail next week." The dry voice behind Dannie and Tyle brought the actors swinging around. "I'm betting it runs fifty-fifty. Half from irate women losing their favorite bachelor and half from irate men whose engagement rings are being sneered at."
"As long as they write," said Tyle airily.
"Now may I go to my dressing room?" Dannie inquired a little too sweetly of Producer Marc Ahren.
"Since we don't have a guard dog," Marc said, falling into step beside her, "I'll walk with you. With that thing on the premises, our insurance rates may go up."
"I promise not to take it off around here," Dannie said. "If anyone wants it, they'll have to take me, too."
"True. I just feel a little spacey this morning."
"I can see why."
As they approached the dressing room Dannie shared with the three other actresses in the Airlanes sitcom, Ahren stroked the back of his neck, a sure sign he had something on his mind. "Dannie, when you're ready for rehearsal, plan a few minutes with me and a new guy, Zane McCaul. He's in town to help us with some regional and historical flavor."