Sometimes, I pause in the middle of the day and check the time, only to feel like time is crawling by slowly. But if in that same day I take a look back at the years, or months, or even weeks, my thoughts are always on how time flies by on jet wings. Is it my cynic self being contradictory, or is everyone the same? Mostly, however, I think on how the past, the farther you think back, the better life was. It makes one fear what the future hides in store.
Inner philosopher aside, I realized last night that it’s been over a month since my last post. I meant to post something a while back, several somethings actually, but keep getting distracted.
For one, after I finished with the last book in the Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy in January, I began drafting a new book. In may, the manuscript was out with beta readers. The book, titled “Of Fame and Ruin” is a romantic thriller, something new to my writing, though not to my reading. This story has been percolating in my mind for years now, and I’d even gone and drafted some scenes so I wouldn’t forget. And the moment Heir of Fury, the last book in the trilogy was out the door, I began drafting, conferring now and then with that mismatched few scenes.
I wasn’t sure which excerpt to use in this post, and finally settled on one, though I’m sure when the post goes live, I’d doubt my choice 😉
So, let me paste first the blurb – which is still subject to future change. If any of you have suggestions, good or bad, let me know in the comments below.
Two opposite halves.
He’s a rock star who lives in the limelight.
She’s a multimillion dollar heiress who longs for quiet.
They were perfect for each other.
When the inevitable happens, their pieces no longer fit.
Carol’s first and last impulsive act changed her life. She’d have regretted it, had it not brought her the happiest moments too.
Chad put his singing days in the past, where he wanted them, and a certain woman to stay buried. Unfortunately, his celebrity status didn’t go away, and neither did the memories of a weekend in paradise.
Fate had a hand in throwing them together. Their past broke them apart.
When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol had no choice but to turn to the only person who could help, even if doing so revealed her biggest secret. Chad wanted nothing to do with the woman who played him as a fool, but was he strong enough to walk away now that he knew the truth?
Josh walked into his father’s hardware store, his eyes finding Chad at once, behind the cash register–standing for Ralph again. He sighed deeply, no longer surprised. Such a waste of talent, his brother. A bachelor’s degree and a JD, a voice that could win awards, and there he was, putting in regular hours as if he couldn’t find anything better.
He moved around to the employee’s side and came to stand beside him. A gangly teenage boy with wire-rimmed glasses shifted from foot to foot while Chad rang his purchase.
“Thanks, Mr. Parker.”
“Any time, David.”
“Mmm,” the boy fidgeted, “can I have another autograph, Mr. Parker? I forgot the last one in my pocket and my mom washed my pants, and, you know?” He pushed his glasses up with his index, and Josh smirked.
“Sure, it happens all the time,” his brother obliged, pulling out a notepad Josh suspected was there for autographs alone.
The boy took his prize with a broad smile, waved at Chad, and hurried out the door. Both Josh and Chad watched as he showed the piece of paper to a group of boys standing by the sidewalk, high fiving each other before skidding out of sight.
“You know he’s selling that on e-bay, right?”
Chad grinned. “Yeah, made more than a grand by now too.”
Josh studied his brother’s profile. He’d grown to wear some stubble after he broke his engagement with Debbie, taking to shaving only once a week. And though he’d gained some weight, most of it was muscle around his shoulders and torso, the result of the weight lifting he and Neil had started a few months back.
“So this is it? This is how you’re spending your days?” Josh asked in a low tone, aware of customer ears nearby. “Hiding in the store, filling in for lazy employees, giving away autographs for a good cause?”
Chad’s eyes flashed with annoyance. “Haven’t we closed this topic twice already?”
They had, but Josh refused to let his brother waste his life away like that. “We never got to a conclusion.”
They both fell quiet when a woman brought her purchase to be checked.
“Good morning,” she said politely, her English heavy.
“Morning, Elena. How do you do?”
“Fine,” she replied with a nice smile. “My friends and I are going to Coney Island this weekend.”
“I’m not sure yet if I should go, you know?” she shrugged, “these days I feel like I’m the extra, what with everyone and their dates and me alone. It’s kind of weird.”
Chad made a sympathetic sound. With pursed lips, Josh observed the exchange.
“Maybe I should find an extra friend to come along, just so I won’t feel left out.” She gave Chad a meaningful look that he ignored.
“Maybe you should,” he agreed.
“Maybe. I might even decide I don’t want to go to Coney Island, and me and my extra friend can stay in my place, order pizza, maybe even watch a movie.”
“That’s nice. Twenty-nine ninety-nine.” Chad gave her a polite smile, and after a second, she reached into her purse and pulled out her card.
Josh watched the woman go, admiring the rearview. She looked nice enough, dressed nice–low, formfitting Capri pants, a red tank top that enhanced the size of her boobs. Nice curves, nice smile, nice hair. Good teeth, smelled of peaches.
“Why you blew her off like that?” he asked, puzzled.
Chad shrugged. “Not interested.”
“I see. How long have you not been interested?”
Chad tapped his finger on the countertop, not bothering to hide his irritation. “Let’s see, Elena has been coming here since last winter. A few months, then, I’d say.”
“Is the not interested the reason you broke your engagement with Debbie?”
“No, that was another matter altogether,” Chad said, his brother’s psycho analysis grating.
“What’s the matter with you, women don’t interest you anymore?” Josh asked, his voice rising in pitch. A few feet away, Todd stopped dusting the shelves and glanced back at them.
“What’s next?” his brother went on, unrelenting.
“That’s none of your business,” Chad snapped.
“Why do you insist on throwing your life away? You’re twenty-nine, for fuck’s sake, do something besides hiding yourself in a small office, doing minimal work. When did you last go home for dinner? Talked to Nelson? Because no one’s seen him or talked to him for months. You go to the gym with Neil every day but don’t exchange more than a handful of words. Did you know Monica is expecting their third child? Or that Neil is considering filing a missing person’s report if Nelson doesn’t show up or answer his phone? Did you know Celia has a boyfriend and that they’re looking for an apartment to move in together? Noah is dead, through a fault of his own–”
“That’s enough,” Chad hissed, his brother’s words cutting deep.
Todd moved away, no doubt to give the brothers privacy, and Chad glared at Josh. “I’ll say this for the third time and no more. I don’t want, neither now nor in the future, to record a solo. Do you understand? Whether I choose to rot away in the office above or not, it’s my choice to make, not yours.” He unclenched his fists and turned away. “My singing days are over, buried in a past I don’t want to return to.”
Stiff silence followed, broken only when the front door opened and let in the sound of the outside world.
And there she was, five days, four nights, and she’d changed his life forever.
So this is it for today. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a new post. In the meanwhile, I plan to make some rounds and visit the blogs I’ve missed since my absence.