Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Small Taste of Characters to Come

I did it!

Less than half an hour ago, I sent the third and final Marita/Angel/Charli book off to my beta readers. Once I get feedback from them and the last bit of feedback from my critique book, this book will finally launch! I am aiming for a November 1 launch -- stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here's a scene from the book. Happy reading!

Title and cover for the new book coming soon!

           Marita gave Lukas a quick kiss then slid into the booth across from him. A roast beef on rye with lettuce, tomato, extra mayo and a side of coleslaw waited for her, alongside a glass of iced tea. Her favorite sandwich, her favorite guy and a heaping helping of guilty conscience. 
            “Sorry I’m late,” she said, squeezing his hand on the way past. “The deposition ran long, and then my mother called.” 
            “How is Rosemarie?”
            “Same,” Marita said, her mouth full of sandwich. She held up one finger, as she chewed and swallowed, regretting the size of the bite she’d taken. “Offering intrusion in the guise of assistance.”
            “I’m assuming there’s a story behind that.”
            “She wants to take Charli to the beach with them.”
            “And this beach is the French Riviera?”        
Marita shook her head. “No. My mother’s hatred of cruise ships now extends to airplanes. Just a friend’s condo at the Delaware shore.”
            “And this is bad?”
            “Not bad. Just pushy. Summer is months away. It’s too soon to start planning trips to the beach.”
            “I don’t meant to be dense, but isn’t that kind of the idea of planning? You do it ahead of time?”  
Marita took another enormous bite of her sandwich, this time to avoid answering. Lukas refused to see her mother’s helpful ideas for what they were—candy-coated machinations designed to exert grandmotherly influence over Charli. 
            The worst part was that Marita couldn’t just say no. After all the drama of the past few months—Spencer’s birth, Charli’s break-up with Todd—Charli could really use a vacation. One that Marita wasn’t sure she could afford. 
            Actually, the worst part was that her mother was right. Marita needed to make summer arrangements for Charli as much as Charli needed to get away from Todd.
            Marita washed down her food with a large sip of tea. “Sorry.”
            “You seem preoccupied.”
            She nodded. “I am.”
            “Is Charli still struggling with Todd dating someone else?”
            “It’s more than just dating someone else, Lukas. He has all the subtlety of—” 
            “A teenage boy?” 
            Marita bit back a retort. It wasn’t Lukas’s fault that he didn’t get it. He wasn’t a parent. Not only that, but she’d chosen to keep the gory details from him. He was, after all, Todd’s youth pastor and trashing Todd to him didn’t seem fair. Besides, Mary Kate and her husband were doing their best to reign Todd in, and Marita knew—probably better than most people—that overcoming teenage hormones with parental intervention was a battle more often lost than won.
            Lukas took her hand. “Did I offend you?”
            “It’s just hard to watch Charli go through it. She and Anna are still best friends, so it’s not like Charli can simply walk away from the drama. Every time she goes to Anna’s house—or youth group, or even to school, for that matter—she stands a good chance of running into Todd. I’m sure she’ll be fine in time, but he was her first boyfriend. She doesn’t know what to do with all the feelings.” Marita took another sip of tea. “How about if we talk about something else?”          
             “Sounds like a plan. How are you enjoying Bible study?”
            From teenage hormones to church.“Good. But a little weird. Angel hasn’t been coming.”
            “That is weird. How many meetings has she missed?”          
Marita shrugged. Great. Rescue Todd, but throw Angel under the bus.“Just a couple. But it feels strange without her there.” 
            Lukas squinted at her. “Are you all right?

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