Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…

Life Is . . . Settling Down . . .

July13

. . . a little bit. Summer is nearly half over. Can you believe it? I really thought that after Dee’s memorial service, life would settle back into normal, but you know, I think that I’ve lost “normal.” Or maybe I never had it in the first place. I’m not sure anymore. Is there normal?

If anyone figures that one out, let me know.

In the meantime, here’s a scene from Saving Sarah–Book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series. It’s currently with my editor and hopefully, very soon, we’ll have a cover to show you and a release date. This scene takes place about a week and half after she’s moved to Willow Bay. Her friends Carrie and Julie have come to her apartment because they haven’t been able to get a hold of her and they’re worried. Rightfully so. Sarah’s been holed up, but her friends have come to rescue her. Hold tight and let me know what you think, okay?

“Okay, let me look at you.” Julie closed the gap between them with three long strides. “Jesus, Sarah Jane, you look like hell. When’s the last time you ate a decent meal? Or had a shower?”

“I showered a couple of days ago, I think,” Sarah muttered, heat rising in her cheeks. Dammit, what did it matter to Julie how often she showered? Resentment flashed through her. She sure as hell didn’t need Julie and Carrie poking in, dragging strangers into her house. How often she showered was none of their affair. Neither was how much she’d been eating for that matter. “And I’ve been eating. I finished that casserole and ate the pie and salad you left me.” She gave them a nod, shoving down the anger her reasonable mind told her was silly. “Thanks, all of you, by the way.”

Julie put a finger under Sarah’s chin, gently insisting she meet her gaze. “Baby, you’ve been holed up for over a week. You’ve answered our texts, but put us off and put us off, claiming you were exhausted or had a headache or some other nonsense. I’m fairly sure you haven’t opened the door once because Noah and Margie said the place has been shut up tight since you arrived.” She didn’t even have the grace to look sheepish for having checked up on her with the Dixons. “The shutters were all closed when we got here, all the blinds are drawn—”

“And what’s the deal with the chair wedged under the back door?” Carrie called from the mudroom. She appeared in the doorway, a new bottle of laundry detergent still dangling from her fingers.

“So what’s going on? Did something else happen?” Julie led Sarah to a bar stool and practically shoved her onto it. “It’s obvious you’re frightened out of your wits, and now, you’re scaring us, too. Jesus, Sarah! Tony said you pulled a gun on him last week when he came to finish up the closet.” She peered into Sarah’s face and enunciated firmly, “Paul’s not here. He doesn’t know where you are. You’re safe.”

Sarah folded her hands on the bar, opened her mouth to speak, and shut it again. She was a mess, Julie was absolutely right, but the terror was real and she had no idea how to express it without sounding like she’d completely slipped a cog. Perhaps she had. Maybe Paul had finally sent her ’round the bend. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate in irony? She finally fought back, but lost her mind in the aftermath. She glanced around at the four women, who were all staring at her with various levels of sympathy and curiosity. “I-I . . .” The words clogged up in her throat.

How could she confess she’d spent the past few days curled up in the armchair in the bedroom because it was in the corner that faced the door so she would see anyone coming up the stairs? How did she admit that hourly she’d made the rounds of the windows and doors, assuring herself each one was securely locked? That she’d finally turned off the ringer on her cell phone because every time it rang, she nearly jumped out of her skin? That the sound of gravel crunching under car tires in the parking lot at the top of the hill sent her flying to the window to peer out between the slats of the shutters to make certain it wasn’t a black Town Car with dark-tinted windows?

Libby held up a bottle she’d pulled from a six-bottle cloth carrier. “I think we need wine. I mean it’s almost two. The sun is definitely over the yardarm somewhere.” She yanked open a drawer and took out a corkscrew. “Soph, grab some glasses.” She stopped for a moment to give Sarah a concerned smile. “Unless . . . I mean, unless you need Sophie and me to leave . . .”

Sarah gazed around for a moment before closing her eyes and pressing her fist to her mouth—the only way she could hold back a wail of anguish. These women had no idea. Just looking at them, she knew. They were clueless. They’d never known the cold brick of fear that she’d carried in her belly for so many years. Not a single one of them had ever hidden in a closet from a ranting maniac or been kicked in the ribs as she cleaned up an entire pot of hot spaghetti sauce that had been swept from the stove because it didn’t have enough basil in it; or re-ironed a shirt nine times while a monster stood behind her tightening an extension cord he’d wrapped around her neck.

So–a little peek into Sarah’s head . . .

Gratitude list:

  1. Husband, Son, Grandboy, DIL, Sister–my family. How grateful I am for them!
  2. My denomination just elected the first black woman General Minister–man I love being a part of the Disciples of Christ.
  3. The lake–always a place of peace and comfort.
  4. Richie came through his cancer surgery well and is home safe and sound.
  5. Made the decision to go indie with Saving Sarah. Big load off my mind, so now I can focus on new stories.

 

 

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