|To Readers: Excerpt & An Apology
Author: LadyOfLiterature PM
Sorry to have been away so long: thank you all who've read my work.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 1,182 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-05-09 - id: 2669327
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To my readers on FictionPress
I'm sorry that I disappeared last year and left you hanging on the stories in progress. I've been trying to get myself published, and publishers, agents, and the book world in general look very unkindly on publishing anything that has been available online.
So I couldn't share any of my new work with you.
I'm delighted to announce that my goal has been reached – I'll have 3 books published this year. The first of these, Stranded, was released as an e-book on April 30th and is available from Pink Petal Books (ww. pinkpetalbooks. com). I've also set up an author website: www dot jasmineaherne dot com
If you'd like to buy it, I hope you enjoy it.
As a thank you for reading this, here's an excerpt from my current novel-in-progress, Winter Heart. It's about an injured, ex-formula one driver, and his struggle to accept himself and the woman who falls for him.
Finally, thank you, thank you for all your support during my time on FictionPress. I could not have been published with you all!!!
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The quick, musical one-two-three of the doorbell had Toby's heart leaping into his throat. She's here.
As he wheeled himself into the hall, Jenna's words over the phone earlier that day replayed over and over in his head, a broken recording. We need to talk. As if he didn't know what they would be chatting about.
He already knew what she'd come here to say. And hey, things had lasted a lot longer than he'd predicted. A hell of a lot longer. So long, that he'd allowed himself to hope, to be happy.
But always, in the back of his mind, the seed of doubt had been growing, unchecked. And now it would bear fruit.
He opened the door. Jenna stood outside, and she looked stunning. Her wildly curling, coal-black hair wove around her shoulders, a stark contrast to the white sweater she wore, emblazoned with a knitted blue snowflake. Close-fitting jeans clung to her long legs. "Hi," he murmured, feeling like a man in the presence of an angel.
"Hi." Her lips curved in a big smile. Toby felt one of the knots in his stomach unwind. She wouldn't smile like that if she'd come here to break up with him… right? Or perhaps she would try and be nice to cushion the blow.
Jenna's smile faded a little, replaced by a puzzled look. "Can I come in, or would you like to look at me some more?"
Startled, Toby mentally shook himself. "Sure. Come in." He turned and wheeled himself a little way down the hall. Jenna came in and closed the door behind her.
She rubbed her gloved hands up and down her arms. "It's cold out. Wish I'd worn more than a sweater."
"Come on into the living room and warm up."
He turned the corner and Jenna came to sit on the couch. She slipped off her gloves and rubbed her hands together, breathing on the tips of her fingers. "God, that's so much better."
Toby didn't feel better. He was still waiting for the axe to fall. "Can I get you a drink?"
She smiled, and her brown eyes warmed. "If I want one, I can get it myself." She touched his cheek. "I'd like to think I'm more than just a guest here now."
His heart bumped at the softness of her skin against his own. "You are."
Jenna smoothed her thumb over his bottom lip affectionately, then dropped her hand. "Toby, I have something to tell you."
"I know." He braced himself. This was it. The moment he'd dreaded since she had burst into his life on Christmas Eve, brimming with light and happiness and everything he had purposefully shut himself away from.
He looked into her beautiful face, the face he'd come to see every time he closed his eyes, and waited for her to say the things he ex-wife had. About having a normal life. About how much things had changed. About how she didn't think he could ever be a proper husband or father again.
"I think I'm in love with you, Toby," Jenna said.
He blinked. He must have misheard her. He searched her gaze, thinking that there must be some mistake.
"You can't be," he stuttered.
She laughed, her expression perplexed. "I think I'm grown-up enough to know my own emotions." Her gaze dropped to her hands, which she held clasped in her lap. "I must say, this kinda isn't how I imagined you'd react."
His heart clenched. "Jenna, I…" He rubbed a hand over his face, over eyes that suddenly felt gritty. "Maybe you think you're in love with me, but I don't want you to say that because you feel sorry for me."
Jenna stared at him for a full five seconds. "What?"
Determined not to be swayed by her shock, he said what he'd been carrying around inside him for almost two months now. "Jenna, we can never have a normal life together. Not with me… like this. Have you thought about that? Things will never change. I'm not gong to suddenly get better and start walking around."
"Really? And who said I wanted you to?" Shock and fury vibrated around Jenna in waves. She stood up from the couch, her expression tight. "You can be a total ass sometimes, you know that?"
His stomach churned. "Please understand. I'm trying to do what's best for you."
Her pretty mouth thinned. "Oh, and suddenly you know what's best for me? Have you ever thought that maybe I want to be with you? That maybe I think you're what's best for me?"
Toby couldn't believe it. He shook his head. "Jenna, how can I be? Look at me."
She did. For a long moment that seemed to stretch into hours, she let her gaze roam over him, over his short, tousled brown-sugar hair, the grey sweater he wore over a smart button down shirt, and the black cord pants that covered his legs. "I'm looking at you, all right."
He couldn't bring himself to meet her gaze. "You can't keep pretending not to know what's wrong with me."
Jenna's brown eyes blazed with fury. She opened her mouth to speak, then snapped it shut. Finally she told him, flatly, "You're right. I know exactly what's wrong with you, Toby Winter."
Toby waited for her to say the words she'd spoken to him so often in his nightmares.
"You're an idiot," she said. Then she turned on her heel and marched down the hall. The sound of the door slamming reverberated through the house.
He'd never felt so alone. Or so disappointed in himself.