Ten Years Can Disappear In The Blink Of An Eye...
One look at August Meyer, and Evie Ray Randall is transported back to happier times. Times before her loveless marriage and subsequent divorce. Times before she'd become an overworked, stressed-out mom. August reminds her of hot summers and even hotter times, playing in the surf, sharing secrets...and losing their innocence.
Then the budding lovers had headed for college--on separate coasts--and everything had changed. Her life is in Texas now, with her two little girls, and his obligations are to his family and business in Bishop's Gate, Florida. But even a decade apart and a world of regret hasn't broken their connection or dimmed their attraction for each other one bit. If their love was worth waiting for, maybe it's worth fighting for....
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October 08, 2007
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Excerpt from The Good Mother by Shelley Galloway
In her next life, Evie was going to think things through just a little bit more carefully. Think about things like good old cause and effect.
Brrrinnnggg! Bring, breeng! Bringgg!
Case in point. How come she hadn't considered just how terrible the shrill ring of a fake cell phone would sound in her baby daughter's hands when she was in Grab-A-Lot Dollar Store two days ago? Thinking ahead would have done her a lot of good.
Briinnggg! "Momma, make Missy stop! Her stupid cell phone is drivin' me crazy!"
Leave it to Jenna to tell it like it was. "Missy, stop," Evie said, more to please her seven-year-old than to bring about any change in her toddler.
Jenna had never been one to suffer fools, or to suffer her baby sister's needs and wishes. Actually, from the moment her little redheaded darling had been born, she hadn't been in the mood to put up with much of anything, which was really too bad, since Evie could have used some support at the moment.
Briiinnnngggg! "Momma! She's not stopping."
A better mother would be more patient and kind. But Jenna had come about her personality rightfully...which meant a lot of the time Evie didn't have much patience, either. "Thanks for the update."
"Can't you do something?"
"No, and you can't, either. Don't touch that phone," she added, when she heard Jenna shifting closer to the baby, which could only mean the toy was about to be snatched.
It didn't take a genius to know what would happen then. Missy screaming--loud, clear and unrelenting.
"Don't touch it."
Breeeinnngggg! Bring! Ding!
"I hate that phone! Can I at least say that?"
"You may." Evie drummed her fingers on her steering wheel and hoped she was going to make it to her parents' without going crazy or wondering yet again why she'd decided to make the drive from Texas to Florida's panhandle in two days.
After all, the girls were acting just like all the parenting books said they were supposed to. Jenna was all of seven and trying so hard to be helpful, even if she was only helping to benefit herself. Missy was just a baby.
As the toy rang and whistled and Jenna sighed dramatically, Evie glanced up to meet her eldest's glare in the rearview mirror. "Why don't you color or something?"
Out went the lip. "I'm sick of coloring. And I can't do anything with Missy going nuts with that phone."
"It's keeping her happy. Look on the bright side. She's not crying."
"Well, I'm not happy."
Evie wasn't, either, but since no one had cared about that during the last year, she didn't bother to bring it up now. "You're just going to have to be patient."
"How much longer until we get to Bishop's Gate?" Recalling that they'd just passed the sign for I-85, Evie guesstimated they were close. "One hour. Maybe less." Bishop's Gate was a sleepy little beachside town on the west coast of Florida. As the resort billboards on the side of the road advertised, nonstop fun was just minutes away.
Jenna groaned like that was an eternity. "Momma, we've been in here forever."
"Only nine hours."
"I don't see why we had to vacation in Florida, anyway."
"I told you why. We're going to Bishop's Gate because it's where I vacationed every summer when I was a little girl."
"Now Missy and me get to go."
It was truly amazing just how sarcastic a seven-year-old could be. "Yep." And they were going to have a fun time.
"Daddy said Gulf Shores was closer."
"Daddy's not here." Evie winced as she heard her sharp tone. Because she promised herself never to talk bad about John in the girls' presence, Evie added, "Don't forget, Grandma and Grandpa will be at the house when we get there. We're going to grill hot dogs tonight, then all go to the beach tomorrow."
As Missy pressed another three buttons on the phone and squealed with laughter, Jenna folded her arms across her chest, a true imitation of her father. "Daddy's going to be all alone while we're in Florida for one whole month."
Evie seriously doubted that. Ever since their divorce, John had spent very little time home alone. In fact, he'd spent very little time "finding himself," which was what he'd said he needed to do the night he'd said their marriage was over.
But that wasn't something good mothers told their daughters. "We'll call Daddy tomorrow. You can tell him all about the trip. You're going to send him pictures, too, remember?"
"I remember." As Missy kicked her pudgy legs against the navy car seat, Jenna twisted up her lips in a pout. "I'm going to tell Daddy all about your presents, starting with Missy's cell phone."
Evie smiled. "I think you should, honey. I think you should tell him all about every single little detail. Maybe you could even bring Missy's cell phone with you next time y'all go visit him. That way, he'll know exactly what it was like, traveling in the car with both of you for ten hours straight."