With just about eight weeks now ’til the release of The Bonds of Matri-money, I figured it was time to post the first of a few sneak peeks. (Okay, so I’m still trying to catch up for the holidays and figured this was as good a time as any to fall back a bit on my writing–but hey! Everybody benefits, right?) So, without further ado, I introduce you to Renata Moon, the heroine, and her wacky next door neighbor, Lillian:

A new game show entitled, “The Bonds of Matri-money” is seeking newlyweds in the tri-state area willing to spend a month in the South Pacific for the chance to win one million dollars…

Seated at her kitchen table, Renata looked up from the newspaper article and into her neighbor’s heavily made-up face. “I can’t do this.”

“Of course you can,” Lillian told her. “As a matter of fact, I’d say this game show is just what you need.”

“Don’t start that again. Please?” She wanted to push away from the table, but the old lady’s cardinal talons dug into her wrist, pinning her in place.

“Start what?”

“That ‘you should take a risk now and then’ speech.”

“Well, it’s true. You’ve spent your whole life living by the rules, and what’s it ever got you? Your closest friends are your Nana, Buttons, and me–three useless senile broads with more miles on them than Route Sixty-six.”

Buttons apparently took offense and screeched her outrage in near glass-breaking tones.

“Be quiet, old girl.” Lillian passed the cockatiel a piece of corn muffin. “You and I may be ancient but we’ve still got our sex appeal. Rennie, honey, you need to shake up your life. Otherwise, you’ll wind up an old lady all alone, wondering when your life passed you by.”

“And you’re the voice of experience?” she retorted. “You live all alone, except for Buttons.”

“Yes, but I had a glorious time in my youth. Years ago, I had men clamoring to smell the perfume on my gloves.”

“You did not.”

Lillian nodded, tipping the gold turban forward over her forehead. “Indeed I did. Have I ever told you about the night I spent with Henry Kissinger?”


“Back in 1969, Henry was giving a speech at the U.N. and took in our Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. Did you ever see one of those? With the live animals on stage during the Nativity scene? Do you have any idea how hard it is to maintain a straight kick line with two dozen other girls while you’re all hopping up and down in camel dung?”

“But you digress…” she prompted, rolling her hands to speed up Lillian’s memory.

“Yes, of course. How silly of me. Anyway, after the show, Henry sent a note backstage requesting my company for a late supper at the Russian Tea Room. Naturally, I went.”


“One doesn’t say ‘no’ to a Secretary of State.”

“Yes, Miss Manners.”

“We were sitting in a booth at the Tea Room, enjoying baklava of squab and making our way through a bottle of Cristal when all of a sudden, one of his people interrupted us. The CIA believed a major crisis would develop in Cambodia in the next week. Do you know what Henry said to his aide?”


“Never taking his eyes off me, he said, ‘There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.'”

“You’re making that up.”

Lillian’s grin widened. “No, I’m not. But regardless, you’re missing my point. Your life is full of crises because you make time for them.”

“That’s a pretty simplistic view, don’t you think?”

Lillian shrugged, causing Buttons to bounce up and down for a brief second. The cockatiel gave her owner a pertrubed look, then settled down to nibble at her corn muffin again. “Simplistic or not, there’s some truth to it. You need to do something proactive about this situation. Sitting here writing a list on a legal pad isn’t going to get you the money you need.”

Want more? Buy the book! Or stay tuned. Next time around, I’ll introduce you to Connell.