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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Some Things Money Can’t Buy #Reblog #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Here’s an oldie but goodie from about this time last year. The book I’m reviewing teaches an important lesson about attitudes toward money. Happy reading!

Pay Day’

by

Reshonda Tate Billingsly, Richelle Denise, et al

Copyright 2015

 

This novel is about how coming into a lot of money all of a sudden can change one’s life. Four friends who work together at a Texas cable company form a lotto pool. When they all win millions of dollars, they quit their jobs and engage in foolish activities that get them into situations that are interesting, to say the least.

Each chapter is told, in turn, from the first person point of view of each of the four friends. In the audio version of this book, each main character’s story is told by a different narrator. All the readers do an excellent job of portraying these characters and anyone else associated with them.

However, this is one of those books I wish I hadn’t read. I didn’t like any of the main characters but was curious about what would happen to them once they won the lottery. Well, curiosity killed the cat. I hoped for a happier ending, but at least these people got what they deserved and learned that money can’t buy everything. Now, whenever I hear Abba’s song, “Money, Money, Money,” I’ll think of this book.

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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Just My Luck #Fiction #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The weekend after I was laid off from my job as a guidance counselor at the local high school, my husband and I went skiing. I took a flying leap off a small hill and landed spread-eagled in the snow, my skis pointing in one direction, my poles in another. My right knee was badly twisted.

On Monday, my birthday, my husband announced that he had out of town business that just couldn’t wait. After promising to return late Friday night and kissing me on the cheek, he was out the door. Here I was, with no job, no husband, and no one to take care of me. I lay on the living room couch and wallowed in self-pity, as I watched a mindless game show on television.

When the doorbell rang, I struggled to my feet, picked up my crutches, and hobbled to answer it. Reaching for the doorknob, I heard a thud, then two men yelling and punching each other. When I opened the door, I gasped at the sight in front of me. A box of fruit lay torn open on the porch. Planters were broken, and pears had rolled everywhere. Two guys were fighting, yelling obscenities at each other. A UPS truck was parked in my driveway, and a sport utility vehicle stood on the street directly in front of my house.

“What’s going on?” I yelled.

The two men stopped and looked at me with sheepish expressions. One of them handed me a business card that read “Doug Ross, Certified Massage Therapist.”

“Happy birthday. Your husband arranged for me to give you a massage today.”

The UPS driver said, “I also have a delivery for you. Looks like it’s a subscription to a fruit of the month club.” His gaze shifted to the smashed pears on the porch.

“And you guys were fighting over who would make the first delivery?” They looked at each other and shrugged.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” I said. “Come in out of the cold.”

They followed me inside. I hobbled into the kitchen and started making coffee. The massage therapist put a hand on my shoulder. “Sit down. I’ll do that.”

“I’ll clean up the mess on the porch,” said the UPS driver. “You’ll be reimbursed for what was broken. I’m really sorry.”

A few minutes later, we were drinking coffee and eating pears that weren’t too badly damaged. “Would you like to tell me what’s on your mind?” I asked.

The UPS driver said, “Doug and I have been friends for years. A couple of months ago, I met the most incredible woman. I made the mistake of introducing her to him. Now, she’s seeing him and wants to break up with me. But you know what, Doug? You can have her. I found someone better.”

“Glad we got past that one, Brent,” Doug said. “Still friends?”

“Still friends,” Brent said, and they shook hands.

For the price my husband paid for one massage, Doug gave me daily treatments, paying special attention to my injured knee. Brent also came every day and brought fresh fruit he’d salvaged from other customers who weren’t home to receive their deliveries.

On Monday afternoon when the mail came, I opened my husband’s credit card statement. He usually took care of the bills, but I was bored to tears and sick of game shows, news programs, and soap operas. I was shocked when I saw charges for restaurants where we’d never eaten together, a flower shop, a jewelry store, and a hotel in a different city. I couldn’t remember the last time my husband gave me flowers or jewelry. His work often took him out of town, so the hotel charges probably weren’t anything to suspect, or were they?

On Monday night, I called my husband’s cell and a woman answered, “Hello?”

“Oh, who’s this?” I asked.

“I’m Melanie,” she answered with a giggle.

“I’m sorry,” I said, not surprised. “I was trying to reach Charles Redford. I must have the wrong number.”

After that, Doug and Brent took turns spending the night. They gave me more than massages and fresh fruit. Charles never called, and I didn’t try to reach him again.

On Friday night, when the two of them showed up at the same time, I said, “Both of you can have me tonight. Let’s get a pizza and watch a movie.”

When Charles walked in late that night, he found the three of us snuggled on the living room  couch, watching Casablanca. Doug was rubbing my injured knee, and Brent’s arm was around my shoulder. An open box of oranges stood on the coffee table.

As Charles gaped at us open-mouthed, I placed an arm around each of them and said, “Hi, honey. Did you have a nice time with Melanie? Thank you for the lovely birthday presents.” I kissed Doug, then Brent.

In divorce court, Charles told the judge, “If only I’d picked either the massage or the fruit.”

***

The above appears in the January issue of The Writer’s Grapevine. To subscribe, send a blank email to: writersgv+subscribe@groups.io  It was also published years ago in Emerging Voices, a journal produced by Northwestern Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff. This story was inspired by something I heard on National Public Radio’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell 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

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

Facebook

Website

 

 

Poems and Stories Reflect Sadness and Joy #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Bitter

By Sally Cronin

Copyright 2020

 

What Amazon Says

 

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve known the author, Sally Cronin, for several years and enjoyed reading and participating in her blog magazine, which features author showcases, health columns, and more. I found this collection of fictional stories and poems delightful. I like the supernatural quality of some of the pieces, although I don’t believe in that sort of thing. I especially enjoyed reading about how one woman handled an abusive relationship. Romance and other topics may not be for the faint of heart, but I think you’ll find the bitter cherries, along with the sweet ones, a joy to read about in this book.

***

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

Facebook

Website