Friday, October 6, 2017

Sofie Darling: Author Interview and Book Feature

Carly's View welcomes writer Sofie Darling, author of Three Lessons in Seduction. 

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.


When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I went to university as a Biology major, but, like everyone else, had to take a few basic English classes. I’d always been a reader, so this was no great burden. At the top of an essay I’d written, a professor wrote, “By the way, you write beautifully.” Well, that was it. I was hooked.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

I love George Eliot, and her masterpiece, Middlemarch, for her ability to create a complex plot structure while never losing sight of the characters who drive the narrative. I love Judith Ivory’s novels not only for their exquisite writing, but mostly for the unforgettable chemistry between her heroes and heroines.

If you could be any character in any book, who would it be and why?


Oh, this is an easy one: Elizabeth Bennett. Why? I could say she’s an intelligent woman who speaks her mind, but is also willing to change it, and that would be true. But the real reason? She makes Mr. Darcy fall madly in love with her. And she gets Pemberley. :)

Do you have any hobbies you would like to share?
For whatever mad reason I became a distance runner about ten years ago. To this day, I can’t say I particularly enjoy it, but it’s something I feel compelled to do, if that makes any sense. Distance running is a lot like novel writing in that way. Both are work, but provoke a strange love in me.

Tell me about your first kiss? Was it magical or not so magical?

Well, I hope my Darling boys won’t read this, but my first kiss was pretty magical. I was sixteen and visiting my cousin in East Texas. Ever the wilder one of the two of us, she encouraged me to sneak out of the house one night with her and some boys. After a good bit of country road driving, we found ourselves at the Lake O’ the Pines. The sky that night was so clear we could see the Milky Way above and its reflection on the ink-black water below. One of the boys had long blonde hair and was just different enough to catch my city-girl eye. Anyway, we ended up kissing on the hood of his car beneath that star-bright sky. I never saw that boy again, and I didn’t have another kiss for over a year.

What’s an item on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?
I’ve never gone blonde.

Tell us the best vacation you have ever been on.

Last year, I visited Ireland with Mr. Darling and the Darling boys. The eldest had just graduated from high school, so the entire trip had this lovely sweetness to it as we drove all over, hiked glorious cliffs, stomped around ruined castles, and just enjoyed being together as a family. It was wonderful.

Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

I generally find inspiration in other genres, mostly historical non-fiction.


Thank you for joining me today, Sofie.

BLURB FOR THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION:

Paris, September 1824

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.
Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent. Even if the thought makes his blood boil. Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping . . .

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

EXCERPT:

Nick watched Lady Mariana slip through a crack in the exterior French doors. He paused. A man like him had no business following virgins into the night for he had no intention of ever marrying. Marriage and children crippled a man involved in espionage.

Yet the hesitation lasted only long enough for him to set down his brandy. In three short strides, he was through the doors and beneath an indigo sky dotted with a million stars, the sort of sky only possible outside the fog-bound city. He stood uncertainly on the stone portico feeling exposed and a thousand ways a fool.

Where had she gone?

Instinct guided him down the wide staircase and onto a crushed granite path lined with all manner of flowers. Montfort’s was the quintessential English garden with its riots of overgrown blooms of every hue, tonight rendered monochromatic by the stark rays of the moon.

He’d begun to doubt his instinct when he rounded a bend in the path and spotted her some ten yards ahead, seeming to be in no particular hurry. Her ease was apparent in the relaxed set of her shoulders and the way her hand trailed idly above the flowers, allowing their velvety petals to brush the bare flesh of her palm. The way the light washed over and embraced her called to mind Selene, goddess of the moon.

He should turn back before they ruined each other.

Just as he made to retrace his steps toward the house, she called out over her shoulder, “Are you going to skulk behind me all night?”

They were the first words she ever spoke to him. His heart kicked up a notch, and his tongue became a sodden blanket in his mouth as a series of facts occurred to him:

He’d followed her. He was alone with her. And he wanted nothing more than to touch her and know the scent of her. His stride increased in length to catch her.

“Do we need a formal introduction before you will speak to me?” she teased, presenting him her flawless profile. The moon above limned her features in a contradictory soft, yet crisp, glow. “Or are you simply shy?”

“You must know who I am,” he called out to her back.

“He speaks.” An enchanting giggle floated over her shoulder. “I know you are one of many young men who venture out to my uncle’s estate to discuss England’s politics. But who you are specifically, I can’t say.”

They reached the ha-ha, and he watched her clear its low wall with ease before turning toward the edge of the woods, him following at her heels like a lap dog hungry for the tiniest crumb of her attention.

He found himself close behind her, close enough to catch her scent of jasmine and neroli. It struck him that this wasn’t the one-note scent of a debutante. On the surface, the floral jasmine indicated the shallow innocence of her peers, but the deep bitter-orange neroli complicated that assessment and made for a more interesting conclusion. She was different.

“Why did you leave the house?” he asked.

His lips curved into a half-smile when she jumped at his words. Words so close she might have felt their dewy warmth on the nape of her neck.

“I was hot.”

Three simpler words didn’t exist in the English language. Yet that one simple word—hot—sent a spike of longing straight through him. “I suppose the air was a bit stale,” he rasped.

They climbed a short rise that overlooked a small pond, wavy beams of moonlight rippling across its fluid surface. What was he doing in the woods with this moon goddess? It wasn’t too late to turn back.

Then she spoke the next words, and he was lost.

“I wasn’t hot from stale air.” She faced him, her amber eyes, clear and unflinching, gauging his reaction. “It was you. I was hot because of you.”

No longer could he keep his emotions under a tight rein. She’d negated that control with a few careless words that struck his core with the precision of a well-aimed arrow.

“Did no one ever teach you not to say such things to strange men?”

“They tried,” she said with the assuredness of a woman with far too much experience, or maybe it was far too little. “There is nothing strange about you.”

“You should try those words on a different man,” he said, straining for a tone of paternal guidance. If she believed it, he might, too. “One who would marry you.”

“Oh, I care naught for that,” she said on a laugh.

Instinctively, protectively, he reached out and pulled her close, her upturned lips a hairsbreadth away from his, her playful eyes inviting him to bridge the distance. “Society doesn’t tolerate ladies who entertain loose morals.”

With feelings of longing, desire, and bewilderment warring inside him, he lowered his head and touched his mouth to hers, unprepared for the responding punch of electricity. His hands slid to her waist, and her fingers found the back of his neck, her nails tickling across sensitive skin, her body swaying into his in surrender.

Kisses had the power to reveal truths about two people that extended far beyond trivialities like compatibility and incompatibility. This kiss revealed a single unshakeable truth: she was the only woman for him.

It was a truth that shook him clear through to his bones.

His eyes flew open, and he broke the kiss, eliciting a tiny gasp of protest from her. He watched with a mixture of self-loathing and thwarted passion as she opened desire-glazed eyes and closed kiss-crushed lips.

“A girl like you is a girl one could marry,” he murmured. They were heedless and dangerous words that fell from his lips, and he couldn’t understand why he spoke them.

“A girl like me?”

“You.”

“One could marry?”

“I.”

“Careful,” she whispered into the space between their lips. It was the only space that mattered in the universe. “I might hold you to such words.”

“I might hope you do.”

Again, words fell from his mouth of their own accord, and he’d proposed to her. There had been no biting it back.

And he hadn’t wanted to.

At least, not for another five seconds.

He’d proposed to Lady Mariana Montfort, a girl he didn’t know.

That wasn’t precisely true.

In the ways that mattered, he knew her.


FOLLOW SOFIE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

http://www.sofiedarling.com
http://www.instagram.com/sofiedarlingluv
https://www.facebook.com/sofiedarlingauthor



Monday, September 25, 2017

Character Interview with Becka Clemmons of the Health Nut Cafe

Today we are interviewing Becka Clemmons, a character from Rhonda Frankhouser's newest book, Health Nut Cafe.



Thank you for joining us, Becka. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Becka Clemmons. I’m dedicated to running my parent’s cool little restaurant, the Health Nut Café. My mother, Silvy and my best friend, Annie think I should spend more time looking for love, but I have no time for that.

What is your greatest fear and why?
I have a devastating fear of the ocean, for absolutely no reason at all. I wake up in cold sweats from the same nightmare every night. It makes me dread going to sleep.

 What's an item you really want to cross off your bucket list?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE old movies. I work too much to do it, but I would love to tour the homes of old Hollywood stars. That sounds like fun.

 Tell us about your last vacation.
I don’t really take vacations, but my mother just purchased tickets for a Hawaiian vacation for me and my best friend. I know she’s up to something, because she always is, but I’m not sure what. I’m terrified to fly over the ocean to get there, but I’ll go to appease her and to figure out what she has in store for me there.

Do you prefer the mountains or the beach? Why?
I live at the beach and I do love it, but my heart belongs in the mountains. When my father was alive, we escaped up there as often as we could manage. The pine-scented air and the quiet calms me down.

 What's your relationship status?
Much to my mother’s dismay, I haven’t been in a serious relationship since high school.  I don’t have the time or desire to complicate my life. The new owner of Parker’s Antique Bookstore, Jonathan, is the first man who’s had any effect on me in years. And I admit it’s quite an effect. He seems so familiar and yes, gorgeous. I can’t stop thinking about him.

 Anything else you want the readers to know about you?
I think anyone who steps into the Health Nut Café will not be disappointed. We serve up more than just delicious foods, we provide a safe haven for some crazy, beautiful people and solve some mysteries along the way. With the help of my meddlesome, lovely family and friends, I’m sure to solve a few mysteries of my own.

How did you like Becka's interview? Do you want to know more about the Health Nut Cafe? Read on for a short blurb.

Imagine recognizing someone you’ve never seen before…
Becka Clemmons’ one true passion is running the Health Nut Café. Awakened every morning by the same nightmare, Becka sees the world through tainted eyes. She’s never believed in fairytale romances until Jonathan Parker walks through the café door one cool, foggy morning. She struggles to understand why this familiar stranger makes her crave things she’s never craved. Solving the mystery of Jonathan is the first thing that has ever taken her focus away from her cafe.

Imagine missing someone you’ve never met…
Jonathan Parker is the idealistic son of old money who knows exactly what he wants. Day after day he searches to find the missing connection that eludes him, until the morning he lays eyes on Becka. He knows his search is over but the struggle to make her believe has just begun. From that moment he works to prove to Becka that they belong together. 

Will Becka let herself believe? Will Jonathan’s family ruin their chance at love?

Bio of Rhonda Frankhouser:

Rhonda Frankhouser has been an author with SoulMate Publishing since November of 2016. Her debut novel, Return to Ruby's Ranch, earned an InD'Tale Magazine RONE Finalist award, an Uncaged Magazine Raven Finalist, and a Books and Benches Reviewer's Top Pick, Seal of Distinction. Her second release, Health Nut Café, is due out in October 2017. Rhonda lives with her own knight in shining armor in central California, with her two pug puppies, Geddy and Ruby, and their beautiful Labrador, Dutch. 

Follow Rhonda on Social Media:






Friday, August 25, 2017

The Cycle of Friendship


Hey Guys, It's Carly and I'm blogging myself this week. Once again I find myself trying to find something to say when the word friendship crossed my mind. Friends are important to me. I love laughing and living life with those I am close to. This made me reflect on the friends I have had through the years and how those friendships could be categorized in lifetime, season, Church, and cycle.

A lifetime friend is someone you connect with on many levels. Through those common interests the friendship grows until you become almost like siblings. Many of my lifetime friends are extended family to me. I would do anything for them and the same goes with them in turn.

A seasonal friend is someone you connect with instantly. The friendship grows fast and burn bright until it has nowhere else to go. I believe seasonal friends come into our lives to help with something specific you are dealing with. When the situation has passed, the friendship fades.

A Church friend is somebody you share your religion and spiritual beliefs with. Many of these friends can become lifetime or seasonal friends too. The common bond of faith keeps you together 

A cycle friend or recycle if you will, is a friend that keeps repeatedly coming back into your life. I would say this could be kids you went to school or college with, co-workers, or people who belonged to a same club as you.

Now that you get where I am coming from, I want to share a little bit about all four of these friendships in my personal life. I have several lifetime friends. These are people I have known since I was a little girl. They know almost everything there is to know about me and love me anyway. Truthfully, I am closer to some of these friends then some of my blood relatives. I know in a pinch that this core group of people will have my back no matter what the situation. Time and distance do not make a difference with a lifetime friend. Most of the time, you can pick up exactly where you left off before life separated you for awhile.

I have had a few seasonal friends during key points in my life. For example, getting married. It's a major milestone in your life. When my ex hubby and I got married, a lot of our friends were too. All of us brides discussed our dresses, flowers, attendants, and color schemes. The thing is, when the weddings were over, the friendships began to fade. You discover there is not enough common ground for the friendship to build on. Sadly, you drift apart. You are still nice to each other when you see each other in public and you are probably friends with them on Facebook, but as for important life interaction, it's just not there.

Church friends is pretty self-explanatory. I've been attending my Church since the cradle except for a brief period during college and when I was married. Growing up in the Church, everyone gets to know you. They get both the good and the bad. I hit it lucky with my Bible study group. We have been together for twenty years and these people get me. Most people think that Church is full of hypocrites... whatever! I look at it as I'm in the right place to repent and try again to be better. What I like about my friends in Bible study is they are genuine. We are not perfect. We are married, divorced, widowed, and single. Some have kids, some have grandkids, and others don't have any yet. We come from all walks of life, but we all love one another regardless of the background. I'm very lucky to have these people in my life. They make me strive to be a better person.

Finally we come to cycle friends. I like to think of these as recycle or do-overs. Sometimes these are friendships that fell into the seasonal category originally only to come back around years later. Whenever this has happened with me, the friendship will grow stronger than it was before. For example: friends and acquaintances from school or work. How many times have you been "best friends" with somebody from college or work? We've all been there. At the time, they are close to you but then you either graduate or leave the company. What happens then? Most of the time, the friendship fades. It comes to find out the only thing holding you together was the job or class. Years later, you find yourself on a reunion committee or at another job and there is so and so from school or work. You start to talk and the friendship renews. It grows stronger and sometimes you have changed from the person you used to be. The friendship may last longer as a result.

I count myself as very lucky to have had some really good friends over the years. I value friendship and all that those people bring to my life. They help mold me into who I am. They make me stronger. They make me better. They support and encourage. They lift you up when you are down. That is what friendship is all about. 

Until next time...Carly

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Welcome Susan B. James, author of Maybe This Time

Carly's View welcomes Susan B. James. She is the author of MAYBE THIS TIME, a time-travel romance that is the companion book to TIME AND FOREVER.

Susan writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger. She writes older heroines because she is chronologically gifted and enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside. Inside our older shells is a much younger psyche. In her debut romance, Time and Forever, two women in their sixties inadvertently travel back to London in 1969. Time and Forever was a 2015 Golden Quill finalist for Best First Book and a 2015 RONE finalist for Best Time Travel Book. Maybe This Time, the companion book, came out July 12, 2017.

Susan’s other career is acting. Last year, among other things, she killed Kathy Bates on American Horror Story. This she, among other things, she got stabbed by a pen on Future Man and played the victim on Major Crimes. Karma? Who knows what’s next. The joy is in the journey.

BLURB FOR MAYBE THIS TIME:

Their Happy Ever After is over before it begins unless they can change time. London 2001 Popular stage actress Jennifer Knight just turned forty-nine and she’s fine with her life, thank you very much. Or she was until her beloved niece accidentally time travels them both to 1988 bringing her face to face with her first husband. 

Computer guru, Lance Davies is more comfortable with machines than people. He never knew how to handle his beloved, mercurial Jen. But now her future self is here in front of him and he wants another chance. Jen’s traitorous body insists that home is in Lance’s arms, but her heart has trust issues. When Lance follows Jen into the future, time tangles. According to the computer they both died.

Their hope of a future together is over unless her genius brother can help them change time.


EXCERPT FOR MAYBE THIS TIME:

Jen ran to the living room to retrieve the papers Mrs. Flannery was talking about. No way was she going to hang around waiting for He Who Must Not Be Named. The last person she ever wanted to see again was . . .
“Hello, Guinevere.”
Jen froze at the sound of that well-loved, well-hated, husky voice. “It’s Jen. And don’t you forget it.” The words sounded far away in her head. “You didn’t knock.”
“I have a key. I’m helping Jeremy with a project he’s working on. He left me some papers. You’re supposed to be swanning it in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in New York. I wouldn’t have stopped by otherwise.”
Jen swayed. Her brain was on overload. Strong hands caught her and turned her around.
“What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
Jen looked into the face of the man she’d adored since she was nine, and actively avoided for the last twenty years. Lance looked almost the same as the day they’d parted. A few more lines framed his hazel eyes, now sea-dark with concern. His brown hair showed no trace of gray. It was still too long, with the same stupid lock falling over his forehead. She automatically reached to brush it back. Stopped herself. Her throat was so dry. Where was a cough drop when you needed one? “You’ve aged well.” Jen’s knees buckled.
Lance kicked out a chair and sat, pulling her into his lap. “It’s okay. Whatever it is, we can fix it.”
His warm, strong hands sent shock waves shivering through her body. She shook her head mutely.
Lance’s voice sharpened. “Is it Jeremy? Kathryn? Has something happened to them?”
“Uncle Lance!” Kathryn stopped in the living room archway, eyes child-solemn. “Why are you hugging Aunty Jen?”
Jen slipped out of Lance’s arms and landed on the floor. Could this get any worse?
“Aunty Jen says you are a stupid head with a big brain and no feelings.”
Jen rose with all the dignity she could muster. “You shouldn’t repeat things grownups say, Kitty-Kat. It’s not polite.” She reached for the packet Mrs. Flannery left behind, willing her hands not to tremble. “Here are the papers, you came for. Nice to see you. Goodbye.”
Lance glanced from Kathryn to Jen. “Where’s Jeremy? I know he and Kitty-Kat went to Sussex. Why is she back without him, and what are you doing here?”
“We couldn’t get home, Uncle Lance. So we came here.” Kathryn scuffed her foot, now shod in a plastic Jelly shoe, against the wood floor. “I thought Jen would like the machine, but I don’t like being young again. My brain is too small. I want to go home.”
Lance’s hand tightened on the papers he held. “Kathryn,” he said carefully. “How old are you?”
“I’m nineteen and I want to go home.”
Lance catapulted out of the chair. “It worked. By all that’s good and beautiful, it worked. I didn’t think he could do it.”
“You knew? You knew what he was working on?”
Lance’s grin changed to the expressionless mask she used to hate so much. “Of course, I knew. I divorced you. Not your brother. I was helping him with the theory. He probably would have told you about it, had you been interested in anyone but yourself and your career.”
Jen resisted the urge to punch him. One of them reverting to childhood was enough. Too bad. Her boxing trainer said she had a fantastic right hook. She kept her tone smooth and even. “I
don’t know when we are, but I turned forty-nine yesterday, Lancelot, and you don’t know half as much about me as you think you do. I am very interested in my niece, and she’s standing there listening to every word we say.”
Lance turned to Kathryn. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. Your aunty and I won’t fight anymore.” He crooked his little finger at Jen the way they used to do when they were children. “Pax?”
Resisting the temptation to break it, Jen hooked her little finger in his. “Pax,”
Kathryn curved her little finger around theirs. “Pax. Now can we get ice cream?”
Lance drove them to Holby’s 1950’s Diner. Kitty-Kat had declared it her favorite place after Jeremy had taken her to see Back to the Future. They ordered Kathryn a hot fudge sundae and sent her off to play Holby’s vast selection of Arcade games.
Lance wrapped his hands around the mug of coffee he’d ordered. “Tell me exactly what happened.”
Jen wished she didn’t know Lance so well. He was obviously torn between despising her and the attraction which sparked between them every time they were together. Until the last time.
“Kat said she had a birthday present for me and she took me to Jeremy’s lab, which, by the way, Jeremy never invited me to even though I asked what he was working on. I was quite prepared to show an intelligent interest.”
Lance’s expression said it all.
“Look, I know I’m not a genius, but I’m not stupid. I would have tried if either of you could have ever gotten past your incredibly superior attitudes.”
Lance ignored her perfectly justifiable complaint. “Tell me what happened.”
Deep breaths. That was the key. No use losing her temper. She reached for her inner Zen and held onto it during her factual recounting, right up to the moment she and Kat stepped through the door.
“The street was full of people dressed as though they were going to a costume party. Big hair. Shoulder pads. Men wearing mullets. Possibly the worst haircut ever invented. I turned to make a joke about it to Kat, and child Kathryn was standing next to me.” Jen fought to keep her voice from shaking. “I don’t know what happened, and I don’t know what year it is right now, and I have absolutely no idea how to fix this.”
“Calm down.” Lance put his hand over hers and for once he didn’t sound superior. “It’s going to be okay.”
“I don’t see how.” Jen sniffled.
He handed her a handkerchief. “Tell me about the cards. What happened to them?”
“Kathryn’s body shrank, but her clothes didn’t. She pulled up her jeans to look through the pockets, and the card blew into the street under a bus. I tried to get it, but it must have stuck to the bus’s tire.”
Lance’s voice sharpened. “You said there were two cards? What happened to the second one?”
“I don’t know. Maybe she left it in the door when we came through.”
“Here you go, love.” The server wearing a soda jerk’s paper cap set Kathryn’s sundae in front of Jen. Jen automatically dipped her spoon into the fudge sauce.
Lance’s lips curved into a wry smile. “Some things are immutable. I see you love chocolate as much as ever, Guinevere.” He turned to the server. “Bring us another sundae, please.”
“Stop calling me that.” Jen could feel her face growing warm. He shouldn’t have smiled at her. It did funny things to her insides. “Did we really travel back to the 1980s?”
“1988. Thursday, the thirty-first of March, to be precise.”
“By all means. Let us be precise.” Stop looking at him. Concentrate on the chocolate. “April Fool’s Day would have been more appropriate. I wish this were a joke.”
“This year April first is also Good Friday. That’s why Jeremy and Kathryn are in Sussex with your parents. You are in New York.”
Jen shuddered. “This is worse than those horror films you used to drag me to. 1988 of all times. Why would she bring me here?”
“I have no idea. The better question is why would you come?”
“I didn’t know what she was doing!”
People at the next table turned to look at them.
Jen modulated her voice. “She took me into a closet. I thought I was humoring her.”
Kathryn rejoined them when the waiter brought the second sundae. “You were yelling. I could hear you.”
“Your aunt was telling me about your adventure. Can you tell me what you remember?”
“No. My brain feels wrong. Fuzzy.” Kathryn spooned up ice cream with one hand, tapped her head rhythmically with the other.
“Sweetheart,” Lance said. “Do you remember programming where you wanted to go?”
“Yes. Dad showed me how it worked. He took me five years into the future. It was wicked fun being older. I met someone. That’s where I wanted to take Jen. To meet Daniel.” Kathryn hiccoughed back a sob. “The time machine never went backward before. I don’t know what I did wrong.”
“Tell me about the cards.”
“You program where you want to go and the machine gives you cards.”
“What did you do with the second card?”
Kathryn sat up straight. “There were two cards. I remember.” Her forehead wrinkled. “Maybe I dropped one in the little room.”
Jen set her spoon down. “Why don’t we call your father? He can fix it.”
Kathryn’s eyes lit up. “Yes. I want to see my dad.”
Lance took out his wallet and handed Kathryn two one-pound coins. “Go back to the game room and see if you can beat my score at Double Dragon.”
“That means you want to talk without me hearing.” Kathryn spooned up the last of her sundae and slid out of the booth. “Don’t fight. Please.”
Lance watched her go. He took a deep breath, exhaled, and turned back to Jen.
Jen recoiled. “You’ve got that ‘I am a calm space in a moment of disaster’ look in your eyes.”
“Jen, Jeremy will invent the machine, but as of today, it hasn’t been invented. I will . . . we will call Jeremy, but I’m not sure what he can do.”
Jen took a deep breath of her own and held it for a count of ten. She really, really wanted to punch something. “You’re one of the big brain computer men. Can’t you fix it?”
“No.”
She could feel Lance’s tension. He was waiting for the explosion.
“Do you want a drink?” he asked warily.
“Yes. I would also like a pack of cigarettes and possibly, some weed. But I don’t do those anymore.”
Lance stared at her.
She shrugged. “I wouldn’t say no to a Xanax.”
“How long?”
“Have I been sober? Since the twentieth of May, 1980.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Why? He’d divorced her because he’d assumed she’d deliberately aborted their child. She’d never forgiven him for believing that. She didn’t owe him the truth. “The twelve steps say to make amends where possible.” The old familiar wound sliced her open. “I couldn’t bring the baby back, so what was the point?”
He winced.
She saw the reflection of her pain in his eyes.
“I never ask Jeremy about you. I didn’t know. I see your name in the papers when you’re doing a play.” His smile cracked. “So how is sober life?”
“Hard, at first. But worth it. You, of course, never succumbed to any temptation.”
“Yes. Yes, I did. I married you.”

BUY LINK FOR MAYBE THIS TIME:
Author: Susan B, James
Category: Contemporary Time Travel
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-68291-407-6
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073DJ2RK4

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR SUSAN B. JAMES:

Writing: www.susanbjames.blogspot.com (for adult books and authors and giveaways) www.thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com (children’s books) 
Twitter: @susanjberger
Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/SusanJames/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bergersusanjames/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791397.Susan_B_James https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3027649.Susan_J_Berger
Acting www.SusanBergerActor.com