I’ve officially turned the corner on Week 2 of no caffeine. There’ll be no looking back. I couldn’t if I want to. Most of the days have passed in a gray fugue-like state. Like one of those “artsy” music videos from the eighties when the camera lens filmed through some kind of gauzy veil.
Health-wise, I’m still a mess, but I have hope. The more I read up on my condition and the symptoms, the more amazed I am that no one put it all together for me years ago. More on that when I actually start to reap the benefits and become the person I used to be.
This past week, I celebrated my birthday with my family. It was a warm and happy time for me, and I’m so grateful to those of my friends who sent me cards and gifts and wishes galore.
To celebrate–and to give back–I’ll be setting several of my backlist titles up for FREE download on Amazon. One at a time. Keep in touch. For the next two days, it’s my latest release, REUNION IN OCTOBER, Book II of the Calendar Girls series.
Here’s a Sneak Peek:
Don’t trust him, my brain scolded. He’ll hurt you again if you let him.
“Oregon doesn’t have you, Francesca. I made a mistake, leaving you behind. You’re more important to me than any job. I realize that now.” His fingers dug into my tense neck muscles, which would normally have weakened my resolve.
Josh’s kiss, still warm on my lips, strengthened me. “It took you five years to figure that out?”
“No, it took me five years to find a way back home.”
“Puh-leez.” Still staring out the window, I blew out an exasperated breath. “You should have called before coming back here. I’ve been busy, living my life without you.”
He dropped his hands from my shoulders and neck, thank God. “Okay. You’re mad. I get that.”
I whirled. “Mad? No, I’m not mad, Michael. Dogs go mad.”
His arms wrapped my waist, and he nuzzled my earlobe. “God, you’re still adorable when you’re angry. My plane landed this afternoon, and all I could think about was getting here to you. To tell you I’m sorry. I screwed up. I never should have left you. But now, I’m back, and we can pick up where we left off.”
I pushed out of his embrace and raced behind the couch, using my furniture as a dam between us. “‘Where we left off?’ We left off twenty days before a huge wedding that I’m still paying for.”
Technically, I’d only paid for my gown and the flowers. The catering hall had offered to hold my deposit for a future date, which my brother, Ronnie, wound up using for his wedding eighteen months ago. Ronnie and his wife paid me back for that deposit after their marriage. So all in all, I’d walked away a few thousand dollars poorer, but wiser in experience. Michael, who’d flown off without a thought about the financial aspect, didn’t deserve to know the truth.
“Really, Michael,” I scoffed. “What makes you think you can just reappear after five years as if I were Sleeping Beauty, lying around, waiting for you to come wake me up?”
“Don’t be silly. I didn’t expect you to wait around for me.” He took a step toward me and braced a bent knee on the leather couch. “I didn’t rearrange my entire life without checking on you first. I spoke to your mom.”
“My mom.” Naturally. The one person in this whole town who would forgive him unconditionally—my mother.
“Of course. I’ve been in touch with her for months now.”
Months. A chill surged through me.
He reached for my hand, rubbed his thumb across my knuckles. “I knew before the plane left JFK that night I’d made a huge mistake in letting you go. And I’ve spent the last five years trying to make it work in Oregon, but I was miserable. Once I admitted to myself I could never be whole without you, I started making plans to come back to Long Island. I’ve taken a job with a firm in Riverhead. I can commute from here so you don’t have to leave that hospital of yours. We can make it work this time.”
“What makes you think I want to make it work this time?” I yanked my hand from his grasp. “What makes you think I’m so gullible?”
His jaw went slack. “But your mother said—”
“If you’re so obsessed with my mother, marry her. Leave me out of it.”
Be sure to grab your copy before it’s too late! Starting on August 25, another book will be available.
Enjoy and happy reading!
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