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The First Day of the Rest of My Life
In this deeply moving and wonderfully insightful novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb explores what can happen when one woman decides to reclaim her past-and her future-no matter where they lead…
Madeline O'Shea tells people what to do with their lives. A renowned life coach, she inspires thousands of women through her thriving practice-exuding enviable confidence along with her stylish suits and sleek hair. But her confidence, just like her fashionable demeanor, is all a front.
For decades, Madeline has lived in fear of her traumatic past becoming public. Now a reporter is reinvestigating the notorious crime that put Madeline's mother behind bars, threatening to destroy her elaborate façade. Only Madeline's sister, Annie, and their frail grandparents know about her childhood--but lately Madeline has reason to wonder if her grandparents also have a history they've been keeping from her.
As the demons of the past swirl around her, a tough, handsome judge with a gentle heart is urging Madeline to have faith in him-and in herself. And as she allows her resistance to thaw, the pain she expects pales in comparison to the surprises headed straight to her door. With one bold, unprecedented move, Madeline O'Shea may just wake up out of the sadness and guilt that have kept her sleepwalking through life for so long-and discover that the worst thing that can happen is sometimes the very thing we desperately need.
The First Day of the Rest of My Life is an eloquent and triumphant tale of a fierce act of love, a family's legacy, and one woman's awakening to her own power-with no secrets.... .
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1 . Wow!
Posted August 26, 2011 by Abby , Vancouver, BCIncredible book! Loved it!
July 26, 2011
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Excerpt from The First Day of the Rest of My Life by Cathy Lamb
The Gunshot Anniversary is coming up. Those six gunshots have echoed throughout my entire life. They grabbed everyone's attention in the courthouse pretty darn quick, too.
Bang, bang, bang!
There was the expected cacophony of panic with people screaming and diving to the floor, attorneys scattering, the jury ducking, reporters squawking, photographers scrambling for a photo, and the sheriff barreling toward the gunman.
Or, more properly should I say, the gunwoman.
The gunwoman was my momma.
Marie Elise O'Shea was a well-dressed shooter. She wore her light pink dress with embroidered white daisies circling the trim, matching cotton candy pink heels, red lipstick, liquid black liner that tilted up at the corners, and a yellow ribbon holding back her thick black hair. "Yellow means there's still hope in this pickled, wrinkled, warped world, sugar," she told me. "Yellow means there's a new tomorrow scootin' around the corner, you just wait."
She looked a little weak, a little tired, but still beautiful, innocent even, the gun a strange, black aberration in her firm grip.
Annie and I were the only two people in the courtroom that sunny spring day who didn't move when she started shooting. We knew she would never shoot us.
She was shooting for us. Shooting for her daughters, and she had excellent aim. Momma had been raised on a farm in Oregon with fruit trees and rows of lavender and enjoyed target practice as an after-school activity. Some would argue her perfect aim was a good thing, others would argue it was not.
Right before my momma shot off her ladies' gun she said to those three men, in a voice as hard as a chunk of iron, "This is from Big Luke. He's going to escort you to hell. Good-bye." She spread her legs in her cotton candy pink heels so she would have perfect balance, then whipped her gun out from her bra.
Bang, bang, bang. Dead on target. Three more shots to call it good.
Sheriff Ellery knew he did not need to tackle my momma as he would have with any other shooter. He sprinted up to her, sweating, and scolded, "Now, sugar, you shouldn't have done that."
Momma didn't argue with him. She handed over the gun to the puffing, distressed sheriff amidst the utter chaos and declared, "Ellery, I had to. You know they've been threatening to come after my girls as soon as they're loosed from prison and I can't have that. I won't be around to protect them." She held out her wrists for the handcuffs. "Careful, honey. Don't you break my nails. And make sure your wife knows that I will not be able to make her appointment tomorrow for her Cut 'n Blow."
Sheriff Ellery, clearly upset, almost crying, but not because of the missed Cut 'n Blow appointment, snapped the cuffs on. He did not break Momma's nails. His wife was all aflutter about missing Marie Elise's Splendid, Superior Cut 'n Blow. Her niece's wedding was coming up, and the niece's mother, her older sister, who was so hoity-toity, would be there with her "piggly comments," and now who would get her all fixed up to do battle with "that pig-dragon witch? Who? Why couldn't Marie Elise have done the shooting on Monday? She knew I had this wedding!"
Momma went to jail on that sunny spring day and worked her magic on the nails, hair, and makeup of many female convicts. One of them later became the owner of a beauty supply chain, inspired by "the transformation Marie Elise made to my wretched hair and face. She made me believe in me. Me, Birdie Tyson, former delinquent." She named her highest selling shampoo Marie Elise's Pink.
Some say it was my momma's parents' money that got her out of jail because of the supersmart attorneys they hauled on in. Most said it was because the men she shot deserved it and more. But I knew why my momma's life was spared.
It was because of Marie Elise's French Beauty Parlor. Yes, the magic my momma brought to her beauty parlor saved her life.
At least that time it did.