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Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Portrait of Jenny," by Alice K. Arenz - Enjoy this Excerpt

I understand this book has a few curse words and sexual tension, but it also has Christian content, and we feature books like Portrait of Jenny from time to time if they have good reviews. 

Enjoy this excerpt! I sure do love the cover.


Not even a beautiful woman can save Richard Tanner from his past.

Following an explosive—and public—argument with his ex-girlfriend, artist Richard Tanner races into a rainstorm, gripped by a powerful migraine. He wanders to the gazebo in University Park, where he meets the beautiful and mysterious Jenny—a brief encounter that leaves an indelible impression on his mind—and in his paintings.

When Detective Jack Hargrave accuses Richard of the brutal assault on his ex, he finds himself confronting demons of a past he doesn’t remember. A time when little Richie Tanner walked into University Park whole, was beaten and left to die…a time that may hold the key to his future.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 PORTRAIT OF JENNY
by Alice K. Arenz

For the first time since I’d noticed her, I realized her clothing was completely dry in contrast to my own rather bedraggled state. For an instant, I felt awkward and self-conscious, especially since I was still fighting that unusual urge—but it was only for an instant. The moment those violet eyes met mine once more, I was lost, completely caught up in the girl before me.
“You come here often?”
The question was inept, and I could have kicked myself for having asked it. I still wanted to move closer to her, examine her from every angle, my artist’s eye preparing the figure before me to transfer her likeness onto canvas. Even this was odd. I’d always steered away from portraits, never feeling capable of giving the subject the proper three-dimensional look. But this girl…
“It’s nice here.” She withdrew her hand from beneath the gutter, pulling it in to watch the remainder of the water run between her fingers. “Do you come here often?” She gazed up at me, the smile still playing about her lips, the question innocent rather than mocking.
I shook my head. “It’s usually too crowded for my taste. It’s a beautiful spot, though.”
She nodded. “I don’t care for crowds, either.”
She dried her hand on the hem of her skirt, then stood and stretched her arms over her head. The action set in motion a long chain with an ankh at its end, both swinging and bouncing lightly between her breasts. Even from where I sat, I could see the unusual design of silver and gold entwined, and wished again to have a better look at the girl.
My assumption that she was short was correct; she couldn’t be more than five feet if that. There was a delicacy about her, an overwhelming presence of femininity that was so rare in girls today. She wore it casually, as one might an old, familiar piece of clothing, which added to her overall attractiveness. I guessed her at around twenty but knew immediately that her very smallness could add to the illusion of youth. But the vitality I sensed from her was no illusion. She seemed to radiate a kind of controlled sense of being, abundant energy that was held tightly in check.
I was held transfixed as she appeared to float across the gazebo with her eyes downcast, their long, sweeping lashes and her secret smile making it impossible to catch my breath. Coming to, I ran nervous fingers through my hair in an effort to make myself more presentable.
“You should use an umbrella next time.” She stopped a short way in front of me near the edge of one of the picnic tables. Lowering herself gracefully onto the seat, she clutched absently at her pendant as she regarded me with obvious amusement.
I felt the heat rise from my neck into my face, and wondered idly about the last time I’d blushed. It wasn’t a normal reaction for me, my response to the girl seeming to prove just how special she was.
“I didn’t mean to embarrass you,” she said softly, lowering her eyes from mine once more.
“You didn’t, er, well.” I laughed. “You’re right. I should’ve used an umbrella. Actually, I had one when I started out. Guess I left it at my last stop.”
I made a futile attempt to straighten my wet clothing, quickly realized the uselessness of the effort, then sat back to drink her in.
The blush came readily to her face, touching the high cheekbones and adding to her overall beauty. Her eyes seemed to take on a darker hue as the rosy glow spread across her face, and she looked at me frankly, completely aware I studied her every move.
“I’m being rude—”
“No, no. It’s all right. Really. I,” she smiled broadly. “I’m flattered. It’s not often a girl sees such honest admiration in a man’s eyes. I like it.”
She nodded. “Completely. No come-ons, no overt acts to seduce me. Why, you actually seem quite shy, even a little embarrassed to be so interested in me.” She drew her legs onto the bench and hugged them to her as she’d been doing earlier. “Whether you know it or not, you’re really quite sweet. And, I’d imagine, very nice looking when you’re not soaking wet.”
“Thank you. I think.”
She laughed.
“My name’s Richard Tanner.” I held out my hand, but she made no move to take it. Seeing her hesitation, I withdrew it and made a show of tucking the book back inside my jacket pocket.
“I’m Jenny.”


Romantic mystery/suspense Portrait of Jenny is the newest book of 2010 ACFW Carol Award winning author, Alice K. Arenz. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her first three novels were honored by two finals and one win in ACFW’s Carol Award: cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist), all re-released by Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications. Last August, An American Gothic, also a romantic mystery/suspense, was released by Forget Me Not Romances.

Visit her at her website



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Trying again. :) Nice interview, and I think Portrait of Jenny
      sounds wonderful.The author has a nice resume of other books
      that look equally good. And I love the gazebo and stormy night cover!

  2. Wonderful excerpt of Portrait of Jenny. Alice is a fantastic writer. I am a bit confused, though. I'm pretty sure Jenny in the book's title is spelled with a 'y.' But, the title of it in the blog heading spells it with an 'i.'


  3. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks. Lorilyn & Alice.

  4. Thanks for sharing - sounds like a great snuggle up and read story.