Hey there loves,
Today, some exclusive updates about my novel, Catchlight, plus a new excerpt that no one else has seen yet.
First: the official release date is October 5! 53 days and counting.
Second: I’m playing with a really fun way that you can get involved and support the book release in a really big, important way. Stay tuned for more details.
Third: the interior design is finished and Catchlight will be available for pre-orders soon!
Here’s a snapshot of the title page!
Cue jumping up and down with excitement.
And here’s an excerpt for you that no one else has seen yet. Enjoy.
I parked down the street from Murray’s and texted Amber. Going on my first post-divorce date.
She wrote back immediately. ???!!! WTF tell me everything!
I grinned. Later. Late.
She sent a string of celebratory emojis.
I took a deep breath. I was nervous.
And tired. I hadn’t been sleeping well since Mom’s fall. The hollows under my eyes felt as deep as thumbprints pressed in clay. I needed coffee.
The small diner was a maze of tables and chairs, with space carved out in the center for a deli case of meat and cheese and another stocked with pastries and doughnuts. The tables were plastic, painted to look like wood, and teetered against cheap diner chairs. A few booths lined up against the far wall with benches covered in powder-blue upholstery and plastic. The plate glass windows at the front showcased a spectacular view of the water.
The only patrons were blue-haired retirees—until I spotted Jonah sitting in the corner by the front window. His scrubs blended in perfectly with the booth. He saw me at the same time and stood up. “Hey,” he said, waving me over and giving me a loose hug. “Have a seat.”
I sat. And found myself tongue-tied. “You a regular?” was the only thing I could think to say.
He nodded. “I love this place. They have the best specials.” He motioned to a chalkboard by the door.
“I bet they love you. You really bring down the age demographic.”
The waitress, wearing a white apron over shorts and a polo shirt, came over and poured coffee without asking.
“Thank God,” I said as I added a creamer and took a long sip.
“Seriously,” Jonah said, adding three sugars and two creamers to his. “Oh, and sorry about the scrubs. Once upon a time I wore real clothes to go to work, until my favorite pair of jeans got stolen from my locker.”
The waitress came back and took our order. Awkwardness descended.
Jonah took a long swallow of coffee. “So. What do you do?”
“I’m a therapist.”
He nodded. “Tell me more.”
“Ha. That’s usually my line.” I hooked my hand around the warm coffee mug. “I don’t know where to start.”
“At the beginning, I guess.”
The early-morning sun poured in the window behind Jonah, glinting on gold streaks in his brown hair. His green eyes were flecked with brown, and they reminded me suddenly of my mother’s eyes. I took a deep breath. “Well, I was a psych major at NYU, and I really wanted to be a therapist. So I went for my PhD at GW. I moved back to Eastville because my whole family is here.” I took a sip of coffee. “I work at a clinic downtown.”
Jonah was smiling.
“Nothing.” He shook his head.
“Well, I asked about your work, and you gave me your résumé. Like a job interview.”
“Isn’t a first date kind of like a job interview?”
He shrugged. “You’re the one who asked me out.”
I bit the inside of my cheek. “I’m sorry; that was a stupid thing to say.”
“Someone break your heart?” he asked, draining his coffee.
I traced the empty space on my left ring finger. “Yeah,” I said. “Someone did.”
The waitress clattered plates of eggs and home fries and bacon in front of us. Without a word she flounced off, returning with saucers piled with toast and a full pot of coffee to refill our mugs.
“How do you like being a nurse?” I asked.
Jonah folded his hands in front of him, a mock interviewee. “Well, ma’am, I did my undergraduate study and nursing school at the University of Rhode Island.” He laughed, picked up a fork, and shoveled eggs into his mouth. “You can make any Meet the Parents joke you want. I had no interest in being a doctor. I didn’t secretly ace the MCAT. I wanted to be a nurse. It’s not really that weird.”
“I’m sensing some defensiveness here,” I said.
“Just trying to stay a step ahead.”
“You didn’t really answer my question, though.” I cringed inwardly, but it was too late to take it back. “How do you like your job?”
“I enjoy taking care of people,” he said. “Of course the hours are long, some of the patients can be really difficult, and there are no other men in my position.” He laughed.
We ate in silence for a moment. The eggs were good.
“Are there rules about me being here with you?” I asked.
He looked at me steadily as he inhaled his eggs. “Yes. Rules that say I shouldn’t be.”
“And what do you think about those?”
“Well, I had no control over you kissing me, so I figured it was only polite to take you out for a meal.”
“Point well taken.”
“It must be nice to have such a big family,” Jonah said. “I’m an only child, and my mom’s remarried out in California.”
I tried to picture my life as an only child. I couldn’t.
“Why did you kiss me yesterday?” he said, his voice suddenly serious.
I picked up a plastic tub of strawberry jam, peeled back the film, and spread some on my toast. I leaned forward conspiratorially. “For your body.”
He laughed appreciatively. “Good reason.”
I couldn’t answer him seriously because I didn’t know.
Stay tuned for more…
August 18, 2020