I can't believe it's Wednesday already! Things for me have been so hectic lately, that I'm feeling a bit winded. I've been dealing with some health issues that love to rise up and kick my butt and I'm neck deep into edits of Spanked by the Bad Boy, the first book in my series of stand alone books called Bad Boy Fever, coming soon from Decadent Publishing.
Here's some more deets on my goings on. The Good Sister: Part One has released on audiobook, and thanks to a whole lot of awesome people, and some terrific author friends, the audio tour is well underway. To everyone who has helped out by being part of the tour and/or just hosted little old me, THANK YOU. I'm sending love and appreciation your way. Oh, and I'm happy to say some wonderful reviews have been rolling in too. *Smiles* Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to listen and review!
In other news, on Aug 18th, Welcome to Paradise, the introduction novella to my contemporary western erotic romance series called Paradise Ranch will be releasing from Roane Publishing, and on Aug 22nd, Confessions of a Chocoholic a stand alone erotic romance (part of the Romance on the Go Line) will release from Evernight Publishing.
So, now I take a breath and a moment to let my typing fingers rest....
Okay, I've said all of the above to really say, Welcome to Mid Week Tease, where my author friends and I post a little something from a WIP, flash fiction piece or from some of our published work for you, the readers. Thanks to fellow author Sandra Bunino for creating this weekly event.
Here's a first draft unedited piece from a holiday themed story I've worked on, and have recently pulled out of the pile of WIPs I have on the back-burner. Cedar Pointe is about love and loss, the journey we take, and the paths that lead two people back to their childhood home to reconnect with each other as adults. A second chance at love story.
Sometimes we need to leave behind what we know, the journey to somewhere, anywhere else calling us onward into the world, and so we go. In time we grow a little older, a little wiser, and perhaps more than a little world weary. Eventually we realize the most important journey of our life will be to find our way back to the place where we started. That place called home.
― London Saint James
― London Saint James
After pulling into the last spot in front of Bea’s BookNook, Delany sat inside her compact car and watched the snowflakes fall. They hit the windshield in white lacy perfection before they died a tragic death and dissolved against the warm glass. Once transformed into liquid, the multiple winding streaks distorted the view. Main Street had turned into a blur, and when the Christmas lights adorning the polls of the street lamps came on, everything became an abstract version of a festive watercolor.
Peeking at her pale reflection within the rearview mirror, she tugged the collar of her wool coat. A surreal feeling shot over her. She had left town the moment she graduated from high school, never expecting to return, especially under these circumstances. At the time, she was young and dumb, and she’d hurt a lot of people she cared for when she left the way she did, but she didn’t want a boring, cookie-cutter life. She refused be stuck in Cedar Pointe like her mother and her sister. She wasn’t going to settle for the mundane, the white picket fence, the polite niceties of being a wife and mother, so she had planned her new, exciting life to come. She wanted to travel. She wanted to cook. Back then, visions of book deals, and even her own cooking show danced in her head. Picturing a bright shining future ahead, she made up her mind to become an international cooking sensation. A modern day, Julia Child.
Following the dazzling dream, Delany flew to France, enrolled in one of the most prestigious culinary academies Paris had to offer, and walked the straight and narrow path toward her famous upcoming opportunities, until she met Daniel.
Daniel Arquette was a brilliant chef and part-time teacher at the culinary academy. He was handsome, charming, and witty. Instantly, she was smitten. She became the teacher’s pet, morphed into the teacher’s protégé, then something more sparked. When he asked if she wanted to go to a concert with him she said ‘yes’ without any hesitation. She figured they were to be a casual thing, nothing too serious, but by their second outing the casual thing changed and too soon, word leaked out about Daniel and Delany fraternizing beneath the sheets. As a result, Daniel was asked to resign his position at the academy and she was dismissed.
Distraught, she thought about heading home with her tail tucked between her legs, but Daniel convinced her being booted out of the academy wasn’t the end of the world and took her to his Paris apartment. Two weeks later, she was working alongside him as a pastry chef. Two years later, what started as a crush on an older, exciting, world-wise man, had turned into real love for him. They were married in a tiny chapel nestled in the French countryside the day before she turned twenty.
She’d allowed her priorities to change and a picket fence no longer seemed so bad. She thought to spend her lifetime with Daniel, and envisioned both of them, always side-by-side. It didn’t even matter she wouldn’t become a famous chef, because she was doing what she loved, baking and cooking with Daniel in the restaurant they opened together with borrowed funds he acquired from his father. Everything about her life, as far as she was concerned, was perfect. Especially when La Eatery Arquette received the coveted Michelin Star.
Unable to stop herself, she recalled what it felt like to be in love and have a successful business with the man she’d completely given her heart to. It seemed she did that a lot lately. Perhaps the wounds were still too fresh, or maybe it was the melancholy she always felt during the holiday season, but she couldn’t shake the memories.
“Don’t think about the restaurant, or him,” she whispered.
Not wishing to see the sadness etched into the features of her face, she looked away from the broken woman staring back at her and returned her green-eyed gaze to the windshield. It didn’t look as though the snow would be stopping any time soon, and she needed to get on with things before the weather took a nasty turn for the worse.
Reaching, she turned off the heater and the ignition, and attempted to keep her mind on the task at hand. She needed to grab a few gifts for her sister’s pre Christmas Eve bash and gift exchange. Apparently, Danica and her lawyer husband, Martin threw one heck of an event every year on December twenty-third, and it was all the rage with their snooty over thirty-something crowd. Delany herself wasn’t really in the party mood, but if she didn’t go, she’d be reminded what a horrible little sister she was.
Resigned to endure the upcoming festivities, she grabbed her purse from the passenger’s side seat and stepped out of her KIA. A shiver racked her frame. It was colder than she remembered the winters to be, but she bucked up and hopped over a slushy puddle, blinking to keep the flakes from sticking to her lashes and made her way to the book store.
The glass store front sparkled with little multi-colored twinkle lights and sported faux frosted glass. She grinned. With the current developments in the weather the frost on the glass would soon be real.
When she opened the door, the sound of jingle bells greeted her. She wiped her cheeks and stepped into the place she’d frequented in her youth, taking in the smell of brewing coffee as she glanced around. Even though ten years had passed, nothing much looked different.
“Delany Lorry? Is that you, dear?”
While she was using her maiden name again, it was still sort of a shock to her system to hear it, but like it or not, Delany Arquette no longer existed.
Trying not to look forlorn, she turned to see Bea Clark pluck the glasses nested in her hair out of her gray curls and place them on her apple-doll face. “Hi, Bea. Yes, it’s me.”
“I heard you were back.”
Bea left her spot behind the register. She wore a long red and white skirt with a bright red sweater that had a fuzzy white collar. The bejeweled candy cane pin she had tucked into the fur of her collar sparkled beneath the florescent lighting. She reminded Delany of the picture perfect Mrs. Clause.
“You’re looking good, Bea.”
“Pssft…” She waved her hand. “I don’t know about that. I’ve gotten a bit grayer and a whole lot plumper since I last saw you.” Bea hugged her tightly before releasing her. “I’m so sorry to hear about that nasty business with your divorce and loosing the restaurant.”
Since Bea obviously knew the gory details, that meant one thing. Delany’s mother had spilled the beans to her bridge buddies at the ladies auxiliary. Heck, the particulars of her divorce probably made the rounds on the phone tree. She sighed. Sometimes she wanted to strangle her mother.
Putting on her best smile, she forced herself to relax her shoulders. “Thank you for the condolences.”
She supposed there were worse things other than the whole town knowing about the epic failures which forced her to move back home, however at the moment, what exactly could be worse, eluded her.
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