The band stopped playing and they heard someone onstage tapping at the microphone. “Attention, everyone,” Aunt Amelia said. “It’s an hour before the new year. Shortly, I’ll announce when we should move outdoors for the countdown and smooches, followed by a dazzling display of fireworks over the Indian River Lagoon.” Aunt Amelia looked directly at the Indialantic by the Sea Emporium’s most recent shopkeeper and gave him a sly smile. Then she stepped off the stage to much applause, stopping when she reached none other than Samuel Clemens dressed as Huck Finn, barefoot and all. His gray ponytail was tucked beneath a ratty hat with fishing lures hanging from the brim. A fishing pole dangled with what Liz hoped was a rubber fish. Samuel Clemens was the name on his birth certificate, but everyone called him Ziggy.
Ziggy took Aunt Amelia’s hand in his. If her great-aunt’s face wasn’t covered in white pancake makeup, she’d most definitely be blushing. Ziggy had rented a space in the emporium after last October’s hurricane took the
roof off his surf shop. He and Aunt Amelia went way back—sixty-five years back. They’d recently rekindled their friendship and a shared love of surfing. If Liz hadn’t seen it for herself, she never would have believed her eighty-year-old great-aunt could ride a wave.
Ryan said something to her, but it didn’t register. Liz could have sworn she saw someone she knew. Paula Resnick, her ex-boyfriend Travis Osterman’s literary agent. Unless Paula had a twin, there was no mistaking her one-of-a-kind upturned nose and inner-tube lips. She said, “Hold that thought. I see someone I need to talk to.” Then she raced off in pursuit of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Ryan called out, “You better be back before the countdown to midnight. I demand a kiss from your prim little mouth, Miss Eyre.”
“But of course, Monsieur Valjean,” she said, barreling across the dance floor. She tripped on the hem of her dress and fell headfirst into the paws of the Beast from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s fairy tale. Beauty looked on in alarm. Beauty had nothing to worry about; Liz already had her prince and wasn’t in need of another. When she finally made it to the corner of the courtyard, she hurried through the doorway leading to the hotel’s grand dining room.
There was no sign of Paula.
May 20 – ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ - SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
May 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 21 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
May 22 – Kelly P's Blog – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
May 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 23 – Babs Book Bistro – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
May 24 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW
May 25 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
May 25 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 26 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT