I read the other day that people who enjoy looking at works of art often have feelings equal to that of falling in love. It’s the endorphins that radiate, those peptide hormones that make us feel high as if we have ingested opiates. This explains why I write about the Italian Renaissance and its myriad of artists, writers and scholars—Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, da Vinci, Dante—why I am infatuated by a period of time that occurred over 500 years ago, and why I am in love with those who created its art and whose ideas continue to shape our world today. It feels good.

            Yesterday morning I was jogging in the park across the street from my home where a car show was set up for the weekend. Amid the classic Corvettes, Cordobas and 88s, my gaze continually found the Mustangs. A 1969 lime green Mach 1 with its sloped back and slick hood looked like a long fingered piano player hunched over keyboards at a smoky saloon. A 1966 cherry red pony seemed to be in motion like an exploding tomato. A 1964 1/2 ‘Stang—white with a red interior—in which I could imagine Frankie Valli and Annette Funicello headed to the beach with surfboards hanging out the back.

            The other day I met a new friend for tea. As we exited the café and walked to the crowded parking lot, she said, “Guess which car is mine.”

            I looked around the cement lot and took in the four-door sedans, the minivans, the sports cars, and the hybrids. I knew she made a good living but wasn’t rich, she was liberal in her politics, probably fiscally responsible, and she had ordered a fruity herbal tea.

            “That one.” I pointed to a gray Toyota Prius.

            “How did you know?”

            I shrugged, preferring to let the mystery hang in the air like the rain clouds that threatened to burst at any moment. My true response of “just a lucky guess” would not have been as much fun.

            “Okay, my turn.” She scanned the parking lot.

            I knew she would never guess. No one ever does. While many women own Mustangs, men are the predominant purchasers of the muscle car. In fact, based on my independent, unsponsored, and totally unverified survey, most of the people who like Mustangs are men. I believe this since almost daily I am yelled to from a neighboring car at a stop light, approached at a gas station, or stopped in a parking lot by men who admire my car.

            “Over there.” My friend pointed to a BMW.

            I smiled and shook my head.

            “How about that one?” she asked.

            “Not the Volvo either,” I said.

            “The Mercedes?”

            I kissed my friend good-bye on the cheek and clicked the unlock button on my key fob. The beep-beep from my blue 2010 Mustang with the side window louvers drew her eyes to my pony.

            “I never would have guessed,” she said.

            As I got in my car and drove away, I was thankful for my Mustang, and thankful for the endorphins that allow me to feel as if I am falling in love all over again every day. It feels good.

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joanne lewis

When Joanne Lewis is not practicing law, she is writing. She pens murder mysteries, historical fiction and historical fantasy books and is the author of several award-winning novels. As an author, she hopes to entertain, to educate, and perhaps to enlighten. As an attorney, she is most proud of her work as an assistant state attorney and as a guardian ad litem representing the best interests of children.

Her books are available on Kindle, as paperbacks, and as audio books.

Her latest release is Bee King, a historical novel that is about the first person in the United States diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and takes place from the start of the Civil War until 1910. Just like the people who inhabited Five Points in lower Manhattan during the 1800s and the turn of the century, Bee King traverses the pentagonal streets where abolitionists battled copperheads, immigrants clashed among social, religious and political strife, and doctors and psychologists strained to help patients. Told in Five Points (sections), Bee King is dramatized through conventional literary devices as well as through newspaper articles, a manifesto, and other non-traditional tools.

The Forbidden trilogy consists of the novels: Forbidden Room, Forbidden Night, and Forbidden Horses. Forbidden Room is her best-selling novel.

In Forbidden Room, the first book in the Forbidden trilogy, new attorney Michael Tucker has few clients, yearns to be like his famous grandmother and cannot afford to move out of his parents' home. Sara Goldstein is an heiress accused of killing her uncle. When Sara hires Michael, he gets the chance to defend an innocent person, a beautiful lover and notoriety like his grandmother. But is it more than he asked for? Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer?

Forbidden Night, the second book in the Forbidden trilogy, delves further into Michael and Sara’s complicated relationship, as well as into Soldier Boy’s psyche, into their family histories, and into the creation of the carousel horses. The question posed in Forbidden Room, the first book of the Forbidden trilogy—Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer—is answered.

Forbidden Horses, the final book in the Forbidden trilogy, travels to the eighteenth century and takes place in Austria to reveal the troubled history of the creation of the carousel horses.

Michelangelo & Me is a series of five novellas in the genre of historical fantasy.

In the first book of the series, Michelangelo & the Morgue, seventeen-year-old Michelangelo defies religious and political powers in order to capture a serial killer who is murdering the artists of Florence. In Sleeping Cupid, the second book, Michelangelo’s believed-to-be lost statue narrates his journey from fifteenth century Florence, Italy until the present day where he lives in an attic in a sleepy Florida town. Future books in the anthology include Space Between, School of the World and Michelangelo & Me.

The Lantern is a historical novel about a modern-day woman's search to find a girl from 15th century Florence, Italy who dared to enter the competition to build the lantern on top of Brunelleschi's dome. Across time and space, three lives collide as they battle abuse, disease, fear and prejudice in pursuit of their dreams. Along the way, they intersect with some of the most famous figures of the Renaissance including members of the Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello and a young Michelangelo.

Wicked Good, a different kind of love story, begins in Bangor, Maine. Fifteen-year-old Rory is not defined by his diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome and Bipolar Disorder and lives life to the fullest. Archer, his adoptive mother, is Rory's biggest fan. Rory searches for his birth parents to find out why he is the way he is. He discovers his roots in Salem, Massachusetts where the Salem Witch Trials had occurred, and in Gloucester, Massachusetts where fishermen went down with the Andrea Gail during the Perfect Storm. He also learns his true roots are closest to his home in Bangor. As Rory discovers truths about himself, Archer learns about herself too.

Make Your Own Luck is the unforgettable and moving novel of Remy Summer Woods, a young attorney who refuses to believe thirteen-year-old Bonita Pickney killed her father, Patrick Pickney. Remy risks her relationship with her own father as well as her life to prove Bonita's innocence. Along with learning what happened the night Patrick was murdered, Remy discovers hard truths about her family and herself.

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