An Afternoon at the Beach #Excerpt #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

While winter grips parts of the United States with storm warnings and rolling black-outs resulting from extremely cold temperatures, let’s escape to the beach on a summer afternoon with Eve, my main character in The Red Dress.

***

Eve had never been much of a swimmer, but she enjoyed walking along the water’s edge, feeling the  warm sand between her bare toes and the cool waves washing over her feet.

Ashley grinned at her. “Come on in. The water’s fine.”

“We packed an extra towel, so you can get wet if you want,” said Brenda. “It’s a good thing Mark  didn’t come. He’d throw you in.”

Eve laughed. “I seriously doubt that.” She studied the ocean and finally said, “Oh, what the hell.”  Before she could change her mind, she waded in toward the girls. A moment later, a large wave  washed over her, soaking her and nearly knocking her down.

“Whoa!” she said with a laugh as both girls steadied her.

“Isn’t this fun?” asked Ashley.

“Do you know how to swim?” asked Brenda.

“It’s been a long time since I took lessons,” said Eve. “I’ll just stay here in the shallows. You  girls go on ahead.”

***

Who are Ashley, Mark, and Brenda? Where is this beach Eve and the girls are  enjoying? Read the book and find out.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Only Time #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I first heard this song in 2003 while I was writing my first novel, We Shall Overcome. According to Wikipedia, Enya, who’s birth name was Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, born in County Donegal, Ireland on May 17, 1961, is the same age as me, 59. Her genres include Celtic, pop, new age, and world. Her original birth name was anglicized to Enya Patricia Brennan. She first joined her family’s Irish band on keyboard and backing vocals. She left in 1980 with their manager and producer to pursue a solo career.

Over the next four years, she developed her own sound, including elements of classical, folk, and church music as well as her other genres. She has sung in ten languages. Her first solo projects include the soundtrack for The Frog Prince (1984) and the BBC documentary series, The Celts, which was released as her debut album in 1987. In 1988, she soared to the top of the charts with her hit single “Orinoco Flow,” followed by the multi-million selling albums, Shepherd Moons in 1991, The Memory of Trees in 1995, and A Day Without Rain in 2000. “Only Time” became popular in the United States after it was used in media coverage of the September 11th attacks in 2001. You can learn more about Ireland’s best-selling solo artist

here.

After hearing this song, I was inspired to refer to it in a scene from We Shall Overcome, which I’ll include below. My main character, Lisa, is visually impaired and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. She is dating John, who used to be a policeman. Hank is Lisa’s brother, who is visiting from New Mexico. As the scene begins, John and Lisa are returning from a ride together on a tandem bike. If you want to know more, you’ll need to read the book, and you’ll find more information about it here. Now, here’s the scene, followed by the song.

***

They rode the trail a while before returning to the shop. The truck was parked in the driveway, and the station wagon was still parked on the street.  The shop door was still locked. “I guess Dad and Hank must be in the house eating lunch,” Lisa said. “Would you please wait while I reset the alarm in case I screw up?” With trembling fingers, she unlocked the door and pushed the buttons on the panel, giving a sigh of relief when a beep indicated the alarm was reset.

“You did it,” said John, pulling Lisa into his arms. A nearby jukebox in the shop began to play. John jumped and said, “I think there’s something wrong with that machine.”

“Oh, no,” said Lisa with a laugh. “This is one of the newer jukeboxes that plays CDs. It plays a song at random every twenty minutes unless it is already being played.”

“Very interesting,” said John, delivering a passionate kiss on Lisa’s mouth.

As Lisa became enveloped in this kiss she noticed the song being played. It was one she’d never heard before but she liked it.

“Hello,” said Hank who stood in the doorway. Startled, the two lovers separated. “Guilty as charged,” said Hank.

“We just got here and were listening to this song that just came on the jukebox,” said John. “Do you know what it is?”

After Hank listened a minute, he said, “Yes. It’s ‘Only Time’ by Enya. A good song to kiss to, if you ask me.”

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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When a Complete Back Story Works #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I like the idea of letting the reader discover the back story as the book progresses. For example, I’m currently reading Hello, Summer by Mary K. Andrews. After her job in Washington D.C. disappears, an award-winning journalist is compelled to return to her small hometown in Florida and work in her family’s newspaper after so many years away. Why did she leave her hometown? I get the feeling it’s not because she wanted a higher-paying job. Will just have to find out.

But in some instances, providing the back story at once is necessary. Take, for example, the prolog of my latest book, The Red Dress. My main character, Eve, ends up telling her college roommate, Charlene, the history behind the red dress she keeps in the back of her closet, a dress she hasn’t worn since her disastrous prom night. Charlene is someone who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and she wants that dress. In the following excerpt, I’m providing the full back story to emphasize Charlene’s selfishness. This will be important later in the book.

***

Eve found herself blurting it all out.

“Mom made that dress for my senior prom. I had a date with Trent Boyer, the cutest boy in school.  He was the captain of the football team, and I loved watching him play.”

“Wow, just like Alex.”

“Yeah. Well, at the prom, we danced to that song, and I felt like I truly loved him, and I thought  he loved me. Afterwards, he said he had to use the restroom. Other boys asked me to dance, and I  got to talking with my friends, and when I looked around the gym later, I couldn’t find him. I  asked my friends if they’d seen him, and they just shook their heads.”

“Oh, gosh.”

“Like I said, I thought he loved me. I didn’t think he’d leave me. I decided to go out to the  parking lot to see if his car was still there. He’d dropped me off at the entrance, so I didn’t  know where he’d parked. It took me a while to find his car, but I did, in a dark corner up against  the fence by the football field. I looked in the window and saw two figures in the back seat.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I thought I was imagining things. I was on the driver’s side, so I opened that door, and of course  the light came on, and there they were, Trent and my best friend, Adele Matthews. Or at least I  thought she was my best friend.”

Eve paused to fight back more tears, and Charlene asked, “Were they actually having sex, or were  they just necking?”

“They were totally naked. Of course they stopped when I opened the door, and they both looked at me  like I was from another planet or something. I said a few choice words I’d learned from my dad,  then slammed the door and ran back into the building.”

“Good for you.”

“I went to the restroom and cried my eyes out. Fortunately, no one was there. Then I washed my face  and put on more makeup so I wouldn’t look as if I’d been crying. I went to the pay phone in the  hall near the main office and called home. Mom answered, and she could tell something was wrong, so  she came and picked me up.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t want to go back to school after that.”

“I didn’t, but Mom and Dad said it wouldn’t do any good to hide from my problems. I had to face  them head on.”

“What did you do when you saw Trent and Adele at school?”

“I didn’t speak to them, and they never spoke to me. Other kids knew, I think, but nobody said  anything to me about it. Boy, was I glad a few weeks later, when graduation came.”

“I’ll bet. Have you heard from Adele or Trent since then?”

“No. Adele was planning to come here with me and major in drama, like you, but I heard that Trent  got her pregnant, and they ran off to Las Vegas to get married.”

“So why did you bring that dress with you?”

“Mom insisted I take it in case there was something formal here.”

“Like the homecoming dance.”

“I’m not going to the dance. You can borrow the dress if you want.”

“You know, I can see why you put this dress off to one side. It’s only hurting you now. Let me take  it off your hands. You don’t need it anymore.”

“But my mother made it. Of course I wanted a store–bought dress, but she wanted to save money and  make me one. She worked long days at her job as director of the public library. There were only two  weeks left until the prom when I told her I wanted a new dress, so she stayed up nights and  scrambled to get it done.”

“Oh, you poor, homesick baby. Now you miss your mommy, who made this beautiful dress for you. Are  you gonna cry now? Go ahead, crybaby. Cry.”

***

Thanks to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring this. To participate and learn how other authors handle back story, click here.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

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Importance of Knowing the Time #Tuesday Tidbit, #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

In January of 2006, three months after Bill and I were married and two weeks before he suffered his first stroke, I learned the value of having an effective time piece. Bill and I took the bus from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Fowler, Colorado, to visit Bill’s sister and other family and friends for a couple of weeks. In our haste to get to the Sheridan bus station at three in the morning, I forgot to put on my talking watch after showering and didn’t realize it until it was too late. The following excerpt from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds describes a faux pas that occurred as a result of me not having my watch.

***

One morning, soon after we arrived in Fowler, Bill shook me awake and told me it was seven o’clock. Shirley’s cleaning lady was due at eight, and I didn’t want her to catch us in bed. At a quarter to eight, after having showered and dressed, I settled in a recliner in the living room with my radio and headphones.

Shirley wasn’t up yet, and this seemed odd. I also noticed that it didn’t appear to be getting any lighter. I tuned in a public radio station out of Pueblo, and after fifteen minutes of national news, a local announcer said, “Good morning. It’s six a.m.”

Barely able to contain my anger, I stomped into the bedroom where Bill was dressing. I didn’t want to yell for fear of waking Shirley. “You idiot! It’s only six o’clock.”

Bill laughed. “I thought my watch said it was seven.”

“Yeah, right,” I said, as I sat on the bed and took off my shoes. “That’s why I don’t use a Braille watch anymore.”

“Well, let’s go out to breakfast.”

“You go out to breakfast,” I said, as I lay on the bed and covered myself with the blanket. “I’m going back to sleep.”

I turned on my side and closed my eyes. I heard him leave and knew he was mad, but I didn’t care. As I drifted back to sleep, I vowed never to forget my watch again. Little did I know that this was the last trip Bill and I would take together.

***

How about you? Can you remember an instance when you didn’t have a watch or a way to tell time? What happened as a result?

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

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What Did You Do New Year’s Eve #Wednesday Words, #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Two months after Bill and I were married in 2005, we decided to toast the new year with French silk pie from Schwan. At a little before midnight, he served us each a slice of this chocolaty, rich dessert. Then, when he tried to put the pie back in the refrigerator, the dish slipped out of his hand, and the pie ended up on our carpeted kitchen floor. Needless to say, when 2006 arrived, we were cleaning bits of chocolate off the rug. We then ate our slices, laughed, and wished each other a happy New Year, unaware of what the new year would bring.

I don’t know why I didn’t include this in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. But the following excerpt explains how Bill and I celebrated our first Christmas and New Year’s after his first debilitating stroke, when he could no longer slice a French silk pie.

***

Christmas was a relatively simple affair compared to Thanksgiving. My uncle and aunt offered to come over on Christmas Day and bring chili. We had no out−of−town relatives visiting, just me, Bill, Dad, Grandma, and my uncle and aunt. It was a nice, quiet holiday. Bill and I rang in the New Year by watching Casablanca.

The past few months were tough at times, but we finally settled into a routine, and I could do most tasks associated with Bill’s care without thinking or worrying too much about them. Bill had recently started outpatient physical and occupational therapy, and I hoped he would develop the strength to do more on his own. However, as we snuggled together in bed after the movie, little did we know what lay ahead.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

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