Romance Writers Weekly


Hello and welcome to this week’s challenge. The incredibly talented A.S. Fenichel suggested it:

It’s been a while since we shared anything about our own books. How about we share an excerpt from our work in progress and the inspiration for the book?

“Stay With Me” is one of my latest works in progress. I have always believed that houses retain something of the individuals who have inhabited them. I am also intrigued by the people who lived during the Civil War and how that conflict affected them. And so, this book is the story of two women: one lived in the past, one lives in the present and both call a cottage in Florida home. Each of the women has suffered hardship and has had to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds. But the past has reached out and the two find comfort in each other. Here is an excerpt:

            Schooling her features to neutral, a skill she had perfected over the years as a mean of lessening the abuse, she could not meet his eyes. “Thank you for all you’ve done, but you need to go.”

            He acted as though he thought she was joking. “Oh, no you don’t. You don’t all this food for yourself.”

She raised her gaze. “I mean it. Please. Just go.” She raised her gaze, a sob burning a hole in her throat as she refused to give in to the misery. “I mean it. Please. Just go.”

            He frowned, tilted his head, completely confused. “What are you saying?” His chest heaved.

            She filled her lungs with air, gaining courage. “I like you, Donovan.”

            He grinned. “I like you, too.”

            Holding up her hand, palm out, she shook her head. “I have no desire to form any attachments. And I think we’re getting a little too used to each other.”

            He took a step forward, she took a step back. “Evelyn, I don’t understand. I told you I would never hurt you and I meant it. I don’t want anything but your friendship.”

She was walking on the thin ice of her resolve now and prayed it wouldn’t shatter. “Please, just go,” she repeated, this time a little more forcefully.

The pain in his eyes nearly undid her. It took everything in her not to rush into his arms and tell him everything. But then what? He would think her a monster. He would call the police. No, she could not afford that. She knew she needed to cut ties with him now.

She brushed past him and he reached for her arm, but she pulled back and opened the front door. The tears were relentless, so she dropped her gaze to her feet. “Thank you for everything. Goodbye.”

He stumbled down the porch steps and hesitated, then obviously thinking better of it, got into his car and drove away.

Unable to stem the tide any longer, her chest tore apart with agony. This was her life now. Empty, alone, afraid of discovery. Sinking to the floor, she wrapped her arms around her middle and let the deluge flow. Barely aware of anything but her own misery, it seemed as if a hand stroked her hair and rubbed her back. Nearly bursting out in laughter at the incongruity of it, her sobbing eased. “And so we have each other,” she spoke to the unseen presence. “Both dead in our own way.”

Now let’s hop over to Clair Brett and read some of her latest. But first, check this out!

Courtesan’s Wicked Desire

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