Monday, March 13, 2017

EXCERPT of DEATH of a SCULPTOR; In Hue, Shape and color © M.C.V. EGAN Mary: Wife No. 1






EXCERPT of DEATH of a SCULPTOR;

In Hue, Shape and color © M.C.V. EGAN

Mary: Wife No. 1





Thunder, lightning, and rain, that was what we had at our wedding. However, on the day of his funeral, the Florida heat and humidity made my face shiny with perspiration. My hair looked like a dark Brillo pad. My children requested I attend the funeral of my first husband. Bruce Jones, the world-renowned sculptor.

     The parking lot was already packed with an unexpected variety of cars. I then realized that it was not peak season. The South Florida snowbirds are attached to their cars and they migrate with them back and forth each year.

     I noticed a police car and a uniformed man by the entrance. Even for Bruce a bit much; however, since 9/11, security has been tight everywhere.

     The valet attendant opened my rental car door. “Welcome ma’am. Your daughter is waiting for you.”

     “Thank you. Please make sure you keep the car in the shade. August Florida heat and sun are not my friends.”  I pulled a five-dollar bill from my purse to tip him, but he shook his head and mumbled, “No, thank you.”  After all It was Palm Beach. I probably should have pulled out a twenty.

     I was surprised that the building looked like an actual church, at least from the outside. The church had a long name. It was Universal something or other; apparently, a place of worship with neither affiliation nor strictures. Bruce’s life had, after all, been too outré to pretend he followed any conventional religious norm.

     “Thanks for coming, Mom.” Clair’s voice shouldn’t have surprised me, but I stood still, focused on carefully dabbing my shiny nose. I clicked the compact shut, smiled, and answered, “Anything for you and Aaron, sweetheart.” She nodded as she guided me where to sit. It was toward the back of the church—the ex-wives’ pew.

     “Please Mom, don’t look at me that way. This funeral is a time for forgiveness and closure.”

     Clair always found a way to get me to do whatever she wanted. The last thing I wanted was to be in the company of the women sitting there. I touched my frizzy hair, regretting my rejection of the keratin treatment.

     Wife number two, Leslie, was the first to say hello. “Mary, you look lovely. It’s been years.”

     “It has, thankfully,” I replied. The other two simply nodded, and I nodded back. Leslie, the one Bruce left me for, handed me a packet of tissues and winked. Forcing a smile, I took them. The idea that she assumed I planned to cry had not crossed my mind. I pulled the compact out of my purse again to check my makeup; it looked fine. Through the mirror I saw the reflection of the fifth and last Mrs. Bruce Jones, the widow. She was standing waiting for the ushers. I shook my head in disbelief. There next to Brooke was the coffin. The ushers waited with the coffin for the minister’s signal. It had images of Bruce’s artwork. Digital photography makes it possible to decorate anything in living color. Some of the images were blocked from my view by the ushers, but not mine. There I was paraded as a nude sketch. Each one of Bruce’s loves had a color and mine was pink. It was kitsch…even worse, it was downright tasteless.

     Bruce had a type. We all had brown hair and pretty faces with full lips and straight noses. The eye color varied as did our size and build. His type was limited to our physiognomy.   I clicked the compact shut, and the other ex-wives faced me, startled by the sound. I shrugged with a coy apologetic smile. Look at the five of us; he had a type.

     Bruce’s love also had a shelf life. He took the seven-year-itch need to scratch very literally. Some marriages were shorter because sometimes the divorces got complicated and his new loves always overlapped with the old. Public or private, his relationships always lasted seven years.

     I was nineteen when I first walked into his classroom. He was tall and muscular. I felt a tingle at the base of my neck when I saw his back, as if somehow I already knew. When he turned to face me, I was gone and completely in love. I fell in love with Bruce and the sculpture next to him all at once.  I soon learned he made love in a way no other man did (not that I was very experienced then),Bruce traced every inch of my body with every part of his. At twenty-four, he already made a good living from his sculptures, but teaching remained his passion. As he grew older and wealthier, he taught short workshops in different parts of the world. His last one had been just a few months before his untimely death. He was after all, only sixty-two.

     It was clear by the careful shape of his sculptures that he knew the shape of my legs, ankles, feet, and every other part of my body. His sculpture venues varied; his talent knew no boundaries. Bruce loved and sculpted as instinctively as the rest of us breathe. Whoever inherited the rights to his art would be wise to market his sketches as limited edition lithographs. Bruce liked to keep those private, but he always added color to the sketches in a way that made them works of art unto themselves. Bruce was as gifted with hue and color as he was with shapes. Those were the sketches that someone had the poor taste to use for the coffin. As the ushers moved around, I heard the reactions of the other ex-wives, a blend of gasps and giggles. We recognized all the shapes and colors.

     Focused on raising our children, I had not noticed when the sculptures started to change. That was when Leslie entered the picture. Bruce may not have planned to divorce me, or at least for years I tried to believe that, but then Leslie got pregnant.

     Our marriage, his first as well, was the longest marriage: it lasted ten years. Three of those, Bruce had spent loving Leslie, but playing house with me. His marriage to Leslie was far shorter. I could tell by the sculptures he had loved her for seven years. We all met him through his art in one way or another. Wife number three, Petra, worked in an art gallery. Although not an artist she was very involved with his work. I derived great pleasure from the public scandal when he hurt Leslie that way, leaving her for a mere merchant. By then Bruce had a name, an art, and a face that was recognized everywhere. Leslie had ended my marriage, so curiosity as to who had ended hers interrupted my life for a time. Hers was the only one of Bruce’s love stories I followed carefully, aside from my own.

     Aside from relishing in Leslie’s pain, his personal life did not pique my interest. I knew my children were always respected and old enough to voice concern if anyone mistreated them.  I could not remember if it was the third or fourth wife who was the only one of us who did not have children with Bruce.

     Chopin’s somber Marche Funèbre snapped me back to the moment. The elaborate coffin encasing Bruce’s body had been placed on a movable catafalque. The catafalque with squeaky wheels carried Bruce’s body in a guided procession down the aisle. He was always a large man and had managed to become larger as he aged. His appetite for food and drink superseded all his other appetites.

     Leslie whispered in my ear, “She doesn’t look sad.”

     Glancing over at the person in question, I nodded in agreement. The widow could not be described as grieving. Grief is, of course, different in all of us. The body language of grief, though, is universal: the defeated, slumped shoulders, head bowed, tears flowing. Leslie was right. The widow was crying, but they almost looked like tears of relief.

     A montage of Bruce’s works on a screen at the side of the altar shaped in a semicircle created the focal point. The aisle inclined and my pew toward the back provided a good vantage point. The incline was slight but pronounced enough to give those of us in the back a full view. The ushers seemed to be holding back the coffin so it would not speed down the aisle. The wheels continued to squeak. Bruce would have hated this. The minister or priestess─I am not sure what title this universal church gave her─had a very unpleasant voice and thus was difficult to listen to. No voice, even a pleasant one, could compete with Bruce’s art. For all the rotten things I would be happy to tell you about Bruce Jones, his art was not something anyone could criticize. Even the most prestigious critics raved about his talent and his work.

     The slides were in chronological order. The memory and pain from the sting of betrayal flooded me as it had twenty-eight years earlier. I could see Leslie through the corner of my eye and the blush that betrayed her shame.

     As wife number two, she had been party to betrayal because she too had been betrayed. I know Leslie grew to love my children very much. I guess she saw me as an extension of that love in some ways. I felt terrible. I had been so curt.

     My hand reached to her shoulder in a gesture of solidarity and forgiveness when the images on the screen segued to show the shape of ex-wife number three. My heart ached for Leslie because we had similar builds, and many would not have been able to distinguish when Bruce transitioned from sculpting my body to sculpting hers.

     Ex-wife number three, Petra─a very tall woman with long slender limbs─had a body that blatantly displayed the transition from Leslie to her replacement. The unquestionable change in shape left no doubt Bruce’s affections had shifted again.  Leslie, pregnant with her second child at the time, lost the baby to grief, a loss I also knew well.

     At that point, I did need the tissues Leslie had given me, but I was shedding tears for her, not for Bruce. I miscarried a child with my second husband. I understood her pain and sense of loss. Mine, too, was the last child, the child I never had.

     Bruce never sculpted pregnant women. Consequently, wife number three, the one who had never been pregnant had seven years that boasted more sculptures than the rest of us. At the seven-year mark, Bruce transitioned into a new love story, a new model. Petra’s telltale sobs showed her grasp of Bruce’s tell. After all, loving Bruce was a gamble. The change of model in the sculpture showed his change of heart. Petra was from a foreign country; I never paid much attention where. My kids interacted with her, and she welcomed them with kindness. In tandem, Leslie and I passed her the tissues.

     Petra took both tissues we offered and her lips moved in a quiet whisper; the words were obviously meant for Leslie, though I could discern they were, “I am sorry.”

     My daughter, Clair, had always lived up to the dual meanings of her name: clear and famous. Clair could see things with great clarity, and she could convey them as such. I could only assume that she knew the ex-wives belonged together, ‘for closure and forgiveness’ as she had said.

     Clair’s modeling career had started in her teens at her insistence; she was not pushed nor did anyone suggest she should model. She knew she was very attractive, and she knew she could convey her beauty and charm to an audience, a photographer, a camera.

     Her modeling spun into acting. She was as natural on a screen as on a stage. It came to her with ease, though she was happy to take classes and learn. My Aaron is also successful, but he is a behind-the-scenes sort of person. I took great pride in knowing that I had always been a good mother. I had known how to allow my children to forge their own paths.

     Not everything in my life succeeded, but I was a success at being a mother. I recognized Bruce’s love shelf life because I had one of my own, with a trail of the remains of ended marriages or relationships. Mine perhaps more impressive than Bruce’s.

     I guess Bruce might have been the love of my life. But now in my mid-fifties, I questioned whether a spouse or companion had any viable use?  I loved art, my passion, and although my work is not as popular or renowned as Bruce’s, I have achieved a certain level of success.

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Mineran Influence Tour



Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.
Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he'll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.
His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?




CHAPTER 12





Sam could feel the air move around him as bullets whisked past. He knew Reb was covering his retreat and that he must be taking hits. Pumped up on adrenalin, Sam raced up the gantry towards the Dia Kuklos. Part of his mind found it funny that he was running nude towards an alien Dia Kuklos to another world full of aliens and he was making his debut with his manhood swinging about and a 16-inch arrow in his shoulder. ‘You don’t see this in the movies,’ Sam groaned to himself as the jostling shaft sent a cascading wave of pain from his shoulder down throughout his body.

He was at the top and facing the angled surface of the Dia Kuklos. He certainly couldn’t jump through feet first, as the metal pins would burn up his body. It would have been better to come at it from the other side where the angle would work in his favour, but there was no time for that. He leant forward and tried to hit the surface of the Dia Kuklos in a falling walk, turning his head at the last second to look back to see Reb. Reb’s face was grim but had a look of determination. Suddenly Reb’s head violently jerked forward as if he was performing a violent Glasgow Kiss and Sam realised he had just taken a shot to the back of his head. Not having seen Reb apply the hood he thought him surely dead. At that instant, Sam’s face exploded!

He had utterly overlooked a forgotten amalgamation of mercury, silver, tin and copper, which instantly heated up to a liquid state. The sudden increase in size shattered the bottom molar that it had previously protected. The superheated liquid destroyed and cauterised flesh at the same time. Here was where Sam’s luck ran out as the molten metal had to pass through from right to left. If only he had looked the other way! Heat seared and burnt his mouth and throat, and the super-heated air made its way into his lungs, seriously charring the interior surface and making it impossible for him to breathe. The molten metal burnt its way through Sam’s tongue and lower jaw until it finally escaped through the left check. A fraction of a second later, seven micro pins burnt through his fibula, tibia and calf muscle.

Sam fell into a pair of outstretched arms. He couldn’t breathe as the nerves in his lungs screamed that they were on fire. It felt like most of his face was missing and in the haze of pain he was sure he saw part of his tongue fall to the floor. For some reason, the last thought that ran through his mind was ‘mind the porcupine.’ Then blackness enveloped him and the pain went away.





Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside.  I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England.  After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government.  As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.
In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more. Our favourite one is learning to dance. This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives. We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with. After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.
Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine. I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.
I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells. Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child. Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading. His imagination was and always will be, inspiring. I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.

Contact Information
Website: www.pnburrows.com ~ Twitter: @pnburows ~ Goodreads


Purchase Links

Saturday, March 11, 2017

P N Burrows - Mineran Influence - Virtual Book Tour



Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.
Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he'll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.
His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?






Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside.  I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England.  After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government.  As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.
In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more. Our favourite one is learning to dance. This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives. We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with. After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.
Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine. I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.
I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells. Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child. Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading. His imagination was and always will be, inspiring. I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.

Contact Information
Facebook: /pnburrows
Twitter: @pnburows


Purchase Links

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shelby Londyn-Heath - The Twilight Tsunami - Virtual Book Tour




Psychological Thriller
Date Published: October 28, 2016
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions
   

Grey and his co-workers find themselves in dangerous situations every day at work. Their social services jobs require them to confront irate parents who are on drugs or who are mentally unbalanced. Grey is a long-time social worker, one who is not afraid to snatch newborn babies from glazed-eyed mothers or grab abused children out of classrooms, to place them in foster care. But something happens to Grey, something he cannot put into words as he struggles to cope.


When a new co-worker enters the department, she secretly strategizes ways to force Grey out of his job. He senses her ploy and his stress intensifies. He grows increasingly head-strong and defiant, but he fails to stop her from delivering the final crush in an unexpected, malevolent manner
To challenge his co-worker, Grey must find his inner truth and his co-worker’s "Achilles Heel" in order to rise up to conquer her.   One of them must be transformed or destroyed




     

Shelby Londyn-Heath has been a world-traveler, crossing the Sahara Desert on the back of a salt truck, working on banana plantations in Spain, an oil company in New York, and on coffee farms in Hawaii. She has jumped freight trains across the United States, and she was the proud owner of a beachfront bamboo hut on the Canary Islands. She has worked as a counselor, social worker, and teacher



Contact Information




Purchase Links

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Casting Light upon the Shadow: Review/Interview - The Beauty Shop: Suzy Henderson...

Casting Light upon the Shadow: Review/Interview - The Beauty Shop: Suzy Henderson...: This month's review represents a bit of a departure for me, in that it is as modern as my historical fiction reading has ever taken me. ...

Community Bookstop: Review;: Facials Can Be Fatal by: Nancy J. Cohen

Community Bookstop: Review;: Facials Can Be Fatal by: Nancy J. Cohen: Title: Facials Can Be Fatal Author: Nancy J. Cohen Publisher: Five Star Publishing Series: Bad Hair Day Mystery #13 Pages: 286 For...

Raven Falls and Suzanne Brandyn ~ Romancing The Outback



Find Raven Falls @




Welcome Suzanne. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I loved your website. I encourage everyone to visit Suzanne @ suzannebrandyn.com

-What Inspired the book?
Like all my stories, they are inspired by the places I’ve lived. One was a wheat and cattle property where the distinct aroma of cow dung and dust hung constantly in the atmosphere. I had some great times on this property with my four siblings all of whom are brothers’ and I have taken some personality traits and moved them over to my characters. It was fun to write. Living on the edge of the Outback in Australia taught me many things. With my love of our sunburnt land, and my experiences they have transferred over into my stories. Mind you, it is still fiction. 😊
-Which is your favorite character and why?
Although I edge toward the hero, it is Cameron the oldest brother who really shines through the character of my youngest brother. He’s sincere, kind and jokes about somewhat. Cameron is loveable, and just a really nice guy who reflects the decency and family orientated man that he is.
-Do you write in one or several genres? My genres are Romantic Suspense and Rural Romantic Suspense. They are much the same, although I have written a suspense/thriller and contemporary, I’m sticking to Romantic Suspense for the time being. 
 
Anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to thank you for having me on your site, and understand how busy you’ve been lately. So it’s a huge thank you from me. 😊 I would also like readers to keep an eye out on my blog and website for an upcoming competition to win an Amazon Gift Voucher for $150 Au. Imagine the eBooks you could buy with that. 😊

 Thank you for dropping by and do keep us posted on your fabulous giveaway. Best wishes for the greatest success.
You can keep up with Suzanne's updates at her Blog; suzanne-brandyn.blogspot.com
 
 

If there’s a job to be done in the country, Suzanne Brandyn has done it. From mustering stock in the heat of cattle-country, spotlighting for foxes, shooting a rifle, and navigating through the red dust of the outback. Her love of our diverse land, feisty heroines, and the all-important meeting of Mr Right has been delighting readers for years.

You can find out more about Suzanne on her website Romance and Suspense set in remote Australia.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Christa Reads and Writes: Review: FACIALS CAN BE FATAL (A Bad Hair Day Myste...

Christa Reads and Writes: Review: FACIALS CAN BE FATAL (A Bad Hair Day Myste...: Synopsis: During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial...

Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson

isabellalouiseanderson_cardsfromkhloes_web1_6 copy

As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she’s kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all.

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story.

A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn’t ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor’s guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life?

As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe’s shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

EXCERPT
Connie Albright
Connie typed anxiously on her keyboard, looking up from her cubicle every few seconds, waiting for Sharon from Khloe’s Flower Shop to come through the glass entryway doors. She had checked her email first thing that morning, and like always, once a week, there was a confirmation about her order.
Dear Connie Albright,
Your order to CONNIE ALBRIGHT has been created by one of our team members and is on its way to the recipient.
If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please call Khloe Harper at 1-800-555-1212.
As always, I wish you a bouquet of happiness! Khloe HarperOwner of Khloe’s Flower Shop
With a sigh, Connie looked back down at her keyboard and continued entering patients’ data into the Excel spreadsheet. Six years ago, to pay for her college education, she had started the medical data entry job, where she found mundane tasks enjoyable, and had been looking forward to making new friends. However, these days, she was now a college graduate with a degree in marketing who hated her job, finding it boring and repetitive, nor had she made friends with any of her co-workers. In fact, they barely noticed her.
Compared to the thin, sexy bombshells she worked with, Connie wasn’t anyone to be desired. She was tall, frumpy, wore glasses, and, thanks to a conversation she overheard, was known in the office as “the ugly girl who wore tacky sweaters.” With the exception of a few that her grandmother had sent her for her birthday, having crocheted each one, Connie didn’t think the sweaters were tacky.
So, after hearing enough of what was being said behind her back, and after complaining to her best friend—her diary—she came up with an idea to change things, and, so far, it seemed to have worked like magic.
“Connie!” Mia, the office receptionist, squealed. “They’re here!”
With a slight pause to get ready for the weekly act she performed, Connie popped up from her chair and watched Sharon approach. After signing her name to the page on the clipboard, she gave Sharon, the only other person besides Khloe who knew her secret, a quick nod.
Suddenly, Connie found herself in the center of a circle of women hovering over her desk, eagerly waiting for her to read the card that came with the bouquet.
“Well, what does it say?” asked a co-worker.“Yeah, come on. Tell us,” begged another.She took in the moment, wishing she had a real man who would say the things she had written to herself. “Your beauty captures me more each day, and my love for you grows each time I touch you. I’m looking forward to this weekend...in bed! Walt.”
Holding the card close to her chest, Connie forced tears from her eyes, forcing herself to blush in front of her co-workers. “Oh, I love that man so very much.”
“Seriously, that has to be the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard,” Mia said, dramatizing her voice and placing her hands on her chest. “Oh, Connie, you’re so lucky to have a man like him.”
“Yeah, Con, that’s cute,” began Nicola, the bitchiest of them all. “But the last time I got flowers, just yesterday as a matter of fact, they certainly weren’t carnations,” she joked, motioning her hand like she was shooing the flowers away from her. All the co-workers joined in her laughter, and then shuffled back to their desks.
Connie looked at her flowers and smiled, her feathers not ruffled by Nicola’s comment. She felt accomplished and desired. For a few moments, she’d been the center of attention of a group of women who she knew despised her. Even back in high school, she had been a female nerd, which crossed her out from being friends with the beautiful and popular girls, and in college it was pretty much the same story. It’s not that she didn’t try to make an effort, because she did, but after failing time and time again, whether it be at orientation, working together in groups for school projects, or the few times Connie went to a pub near the university in hopes of meeting up with a few girls who she thought she could be friends with, it never worked. They either laughed in her face, said that the empty seat next to them was already taken (when it really wasn’t), or simply ignored her.
Though it was beginning to get expensive and difficult to keep the lies about Walt straight, Connie had no other choice but to continue the weekly charade.
It’s just the right thing to do!, she told herself, taking a seat in her chair before continuing to enter the endless data, while thinking of what Walt’s card would say the following week.

**Find “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop”: Amazon-US (Kindle and paperback) * Amazon-UK * Amazon-Canada * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Goodreads

BioPic

About the author: Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing haschanged. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy consultant and hoarder.

Isabella is the author of The Right Design and Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop. Her short story, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,” was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright. She’s currently working on another book.


Website * Chick Lit Goddess Website * Facebook * Goodreads *
Instagram – Isabella Louise Anderson * Instagram – Chick Lit Goddess * Pinterest * Twitter