Hiya, happy Sunday. Well, okay, it’s actually Saturday morning and it’s snowing here in the city (probably up at the lake cottage, too, from the look of the radar), and we are snug in our little brick house enjoying this view. I love snow, particularly the first snow of the season. It makes me want hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace, a soft snuggly sweater and a good book.
And speaking of good books… See what I did there? It’s called a transition or a segue. It’s an author trick to lead readers to the next part of the story. That one wasn’t very subtle, but it’s fun to practice the art. Anyway, speaking of good books, here’s a little snippet from the first book in the Weaver Sisters trilogy–The Carpenter’s Heart, which releases in April 2023. Here’s the setup: It’s New Year’s Eve and Eli Walker has promised himself he would go up to the house he and his fiancée had been building before the year end. She died suddenly two and half years ago and he hasn’t been to the building site since. Now, he’s sitting in his car at the end of the lane, working up the courage to continue up to the half-finished house.
He swiped at the tear that had escaped and was running down his cheek. “Okay, I waited until the last possible day to keep this promise, but now I don’t know if I can do it.” He pressed his lips together. “I need your help, Angel. Show me how. Give me a sign that going back up there is the right thing to—”
A thump and a jolt shook him, and when he looked in the rearview mirror, he saw a cream and blue ragtop sports car out his back window. Holy hell. Somebody had rear-ended him? Seriously? On this deserted lane that led up to maybe six houses? He turned off the car, jerked on his knit cap, and got out.
The woman in the little vintage Mustang was shaking her head as she pounded her gloved fists on the steering wheel. Her words weren’t totally clear through the closed window, but he caught enough of it to know that she was turning the air inside the car the same shade of blue as the exterior. The car looked familiar, and when he peered closer, so did the woman. Surely this couldn’t be . . .
She glanced up and jerked a thumb at him. The message was clear. Move your butt. So he did, allowing her the space to open the door, swing around in the bucket seat, and put her booted feet on the ground.
“I cannot believe this!” Her words rang out over the sound of cars speeding by on Riverview Road. “What the ever lovin’ . . .?” Her shoulders drooped. “Oh, what the hell? I mean, honestly, if this hadn’t already been the freakin’ holiday season from hell, I’d be more surprised, but, ya know? Why not? I swerve to avoid hitting a stupid deer who flew out across the road just as I came around the curve and I end up in the butt of a BMW SUV. Because I couldn’t hit an old beater, or turn into a deserted country road and simply land in a snowbank, or hit a fence. No, I had to rear-end a fifty-thousand-dollar automobile with my newly restored Mustang.” She stomped up to the front of her car without so much as glancing at him and glared at what appeared to him to be minimal damage to both vehicles. “And on New Year’s Eve! Seriously?”
She scowled over her shoulder at him, blinked, then her brow furrowed, and as she came closer, her tone softened. “Eli? Eli Walker? Is that you?”
Cripes! It is Jasmine Weaver!
. . . She stood still for a few seconds, not speaking, allowing him a chance to also notice that although she was still gorgeous, she appeared . . . tired. Purple shadows smudged the delicate skin below her golden-brown eyes, and despite her red cheeks, she was pale.
He should speak. Say something intelligent, but his brain was still processing the fact that Jasmine Weaver was standing in the snow in front of him, so he simply smiled. “Yeah, it’s me. Hi, Jazz.”
With a moan, she leaned against the front fender of the Mustang and dropped her head. “Of course it’s you. Sure. Absolutely. What would cap this year off any better than landing in my hometown and slamming into the guy who dumped me three days before the senior prom—a guy I haven’t spoken to or even thought of in ages? But as fate would have it, here we are. Because my life has become a surreal nightmare that I can’t seem to wake up from.”
Suddenly, she spun around and jerked the car door open, nearly trouncing on his hiking boots in the process. After shoving the driver’s seat forward, she grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels from a cloth wine carrier on the floor and unscrewed the cap. Throwing him a look that dared him to stop her, she tossed back a slug of whiskey in one quick gulp. Eyes watering, she coughed and swiped the back of her hand over her lips and then wordlessly held up the bottle in invitation.
Jack Daniels—Amy’s drink of choice, over ice and mixed with ginger ale. Jack and ginger. He only debated for a second before he accepted the bottle and took a swig, feeling the whiskey warm him from the inside out. Then it hit him with the force of the Ohio River at high-flood stage. “Oh my God! It’s you! You’re the sign!”
So…there you go… The Carpenter’s Heart releases April 2023–more stories from my beloved River’s Edge, Indiana.
Gratitude for this week: Saw the cardiologist and we have begun our journey in figuring out what’s wrong with Nan–7-day heart monitor will be here in a couple of days and echocardiogram is scheduled for November 22. GP sent in a scrip for prednisone for the arthritis flare and yesterday, I got to take a walk around the ‘hood with neighbor Mary and a bike ride with Husband as well–not too far, but I’m moving relatively pain-free again. Son is discovering his guitar self again–I’m so delighted. I’m writing–7K words this week on Jenny Weaver’s story. Nice. Nail date with sis set me up on Tuesday. It’s been a good week and now there’s snow!
Stay well, stay safe, be kind to someone today–you never know what impact your smile may have–and most of all, mes amies. stay grateful.