It’s been a busy week. I’ve got a couple of editing gigs going and I’m trying to write. We’ve been up at the lake since Thursday and although I love this place, I confess I’m more easily distracted when we are here. We won’t be coming up again until June, which is fine–we avoid the holiday weekends. It just gets too people-y for us. Husband’s had a good weekend–we put the boat in the water and that always makes him happy. Tomorrow I get to meet Liz for a writing day and that always makes me happy.
I’m working on book 3 of the Lange Brothers series and it’s coming along, if slow. Not because I don’t have any story to write, but because other stuff is getting the way of writing. This is Becker’s book–he’s the oldest Lange brother. He’s a fireman and as the book opens, he’s just been promoted to Fire Chief. He’s still smarting a little from his divorce two years ago and he’d really rather just skip Christmas this year. But his mom is newly married and his brothers are both deeply in love–seems like everyone is in love this Christmas, except Beck. His friend, preschool teacher, Harley Cole, thinks he needs a little Christmas spirit and she’s determined to help him find it.
Here’s a short snippet. Setup is that Beck and Harley are having dinner together after he’s brought the town’s antique fire truck to the nursery school where she teaches. The kids have had a ball learning about fire safety and playing on the truck, so she’s treating him to supper as a thank you. She’s thinking about when he’d first returned to River’s Edge two years ago…
Somehow, jollying him had become rather a game for her since she’d first seen him again, sitting alone in booth at the Riverside Diner frowning at a bowl of chili. When she’d stopped, smiled, and welcomed him home, he’d lifted his head slowly and regarded her with misgiving. After an awkward silence, she finally said, “It’s me, Harley Cole.”
No response except that his granite-colored eyes had narrowed.
She’d tried again. “From Rye’s class? He and I…um…you know, dated for a while.”
One dark brow had quirked and she couldn’t help noticing the dark purple smudges under his eyes, the gauntness of his bristled cheeks. Still, he didn’t say a word.
So, she’d simply blathered on—inane chatter about how nice it was to see him back in River’s Edge and did he like his job at the fire station and she bet his family was glad to have him home and… She recalled snapping her jaws shut when she realized she was doing what her mom always referred to as ancient mariner syndrome. Harley chattered when she was nervous.
At last, the corners of his mouth had turned up almost imperceptibly and he’d nodded. “I remember you.”
When she realized that he wasn’t going to add anything to that, she’d simply given him another smile and walked away, wondering what had happened to him in Indianapolis that had left him even terser than she’d remembered him from before. That had been nearly two Christmases ago and since then, she’d made a point of seeking him out, even if only to offer him a kind word and a smile, and they’d developed a casual friendship. He’d picked up weight, the dark circles had disappeared, and he smiled more easily, but the grumpy exterior remained and she was longing to find the key to open up Becker Lange.
There you go–hope you’re intrigued. Until next week, stay safe, stay well, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful.