A nightgown model and a soap opera star meet in Valselo, a Croatian village where millions believe the Mother of God appears to three visionaries. Yugoslavian born Maya Lidovic owns Intimate Whispers, a New York based sleepwear company. Determined not to lose her faith in a secular world, she spends her vacations leading tours in Valselo where her parents run an inn. Colin O'Reilly plays heartthrob, Dr. Brock Stone, on the soap opera Tides Of Tomorrow. Through various setbacks in life he's managed to keep God first. But now he's furious at God for taking his mother. Colin doesn't believe that God has sent the Virgin Mary to earth with messages of hope. He doesn't believe that God cares about the world. A series of apparitions, prophetic dreams and earthy attraction draw these different people together. Human frailties obscure the intention of the call that brought them to their destinies.

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Jewel of The Adriatic Excerpt:

Colin swept her up in his arms again. "See you back at the house, Tom."

She swayed and bobbled with the herky-jerky motion. "You can't carry me down the mountain. I'm too heavy. You'll hurt yourself."

"Only if you keep wiggling around."

He landed awkwardly, and her stomach dove. "Colin!" She buried her head in his neck. "I'm scared."

"Don't be. I've got you." His breath was warm against her ear. "Just stay like that, close to me. Keep as still as you can; it'll help me balance."

He squeezed her tighter in his arms. "I'll keep you safe."

She breathed easier locked against him like that. She heard his heartbeat hammer from his exertion, and the steady drumming soothed her.

"I could get used to this," he said.

She raised her head slowly. "What, carrying people down all the hills and mountains in Valselo?"

"No." He smiled. "I could get used to having you in my arms."

She felt tongue-tied. What should she say? Should she admit that there was no place she would rather be? That she had never felt so safe and protected? She wanted to trust him but how could she after the sting of his display with Brianna?

"Wouldn't you rather have Brianna in your arms?"

"Brianna?" His baffled look gave her a jolt of pleasure. "Why in the world would you think that?"

He hopped down, and for a moment her legs and shoulders flew out of his hold. The freefall sensation was as unsettling as it was exhilarating. She could do this; she could confront him.

"She said you were in her room this morning, and that's why you missed breakfast. And she hung all over you on the path."

"I was in her room." Down, down some more, he didn't break stride. "She twisted the knob off the air conditioner and asked if I could help her put it back on. It took me two minutes. I don't know why she couldn't do it herself."

He stopped short and caught his breath.

"Wait a minute," he said with a bemused expression.


Want more? Read Chapter 1 here