Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blanking on Posts and an Excerpt Tease...

LOL because I couldn't think of anything to write today and then, when I went to click on my e-mail program instead, I accidentally hit "Publish Post" and gave you all a blank post for a few minutes. That got me in here to delete it, and I found myself finding the whole blanking on a blank post thing funny.

Okay, so it takes very little to amuse me.

I finished the page proofs for THE OTHER WIFE last night and I think you're going to really enjoy it. Here's a tiny taste, until I have a chance to get the rest of the excerpt up:

CHAPTER ONE
excerpted from THE OTHER WIFE by Shirley Jump, November 2007, Harlequin NeXt

The last person I expected to see at my husband’s funeral was his wife.

Yet, there she stood, to the right of his casket, wiping away her tears with a lacy white handkerchief, a fancy one with a tatted edge and an embroidered monogram, the kind your grandmother hands down to you because tissues aren’t as ladylike.

She was tall, this other wife, probably five-foot-eight, and wearing strappy black heels with little rhinestones marching across the toe. I wanted to grab her, shake her and tell her those stupid shoes were completely inappropriate for the funeral of the man I’d been married to for fifteen years. Go get yourself some pumps, I wanted to scream. Low-heeled, sensible, boring shoes.

I wasn’t mad at her. Exactly. I was madder than hell at the man lying on the top-grade satin in an elaborate, six-thousand dollar cherry box, a peaceful expression on his cheating face.

Even in death, he looked ordinary and normal, the kind of guy you’d see on the street and think, oh, he’s got the American Dream in his hands. A slight paunch over his belly from too many years behind his desk, the bald spot he’d been trying to hide with creative combing, the wrinkles around his eyes from finding humor in everything from the newspaper to the cereal box.

Just your typical forty-year-old man--a forty-year-old whom I had loved and thought would be sitting beside me on the porch, complaining about the neighbors’ landscaping habits and debating a move to Florida, long into our old age. A man who could make me laugh on a dime, who’d thought nothing of surprising me with flowers or a DVD player, just because. He’d been a typical man in a hundred different ways--and so had our marriage.

Sure, a little dull at times, marked by trips to the drycleaner on Tuesday and scrambled eggs every Sunday morning. But it had been a marriage, a partnership.

Or not, considering the two wives at one time thing, something I’d discovered last night in a picture of his double wedded bliss, stuffed behind the AmEx in his wallet.

Forty-eight hours ago, my life had been so normal, it would have bored Paris Hilton into insanity. While I was picking out a roast for dinner that night, paramedics had been rushing him into the hospital. Someone found my number on his cell phone because I, being the practical one, had seen some commercial about setting up an I.C.E. list, in case of emergency, and inputted my cell number. Dave, the spontaneous one, had laughed at me, but kept the number there.

The voice on the other end told me he’d had a heart attack. I’d rushed to Mass General, then stayed by his bedside, fretting, pacing, shouting at the doctors to do something. But there wasn’t anything they could do.

The Big Macs and Dave’s habit of burning the candle on all ends had caught up with him.

Either that or the weight of his conscience had squished an aortic valve. In my less charitable moments, I wanted to think it was the latter. (END...buy the book if you want more :-)

Have a great day! May it be sunny wherever you are (particularly in China and on the East Coast -- enough rain already!)

Shirley

1 comment:

  1. Awesome first line! Definitely sounds like an interesting story. :)

    ReplyDelete

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