Friday, June 7, 2013

All My Friends Are at Lori Foster's RAGT--and I'm Not, so...

Lori Foster's Reader-Author Get Together is going on now in Cincinnati. Some of my author friends are there. I'm not, but why let hundreds of miles stop me? I'm having my own little cyber Get Together right here. I'll be posting excerpts over the next few days and am open to comments and questions, either here or on Facebook. Don't be shy.

Up first is my newest women's fiction novel, Unconditional.


Meg Flores has it all—a loving family, a fulfilling career, and marriage to her best friend, Thomas. She is devastated when her husband announces he wants a divorce so he can pursue a relationship with his secretary—his male secretary. For Meg, the betrayal goes beyond that of a cheating husband. She is losing her best friend and the hopes for adding a child to her life. But when Thomas is diagnosed with terminal cancer and his lover walks away, Meg must decide if she can move beyond Thomas’s betrayal and love him 'til-death-do-us-part.'


A door opened and closed, and a voice called, “Megan. Wait up.”

I whirled around at Thomas’s approach. “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” It was a rhetorical question, however. He’d already attacked my heart.

“I wanted to make sure you’re okay,” he said with sincerity in his voice and, I saw as he came nearer, in his eyes.

“I’m just peachy. What the hell is wrong with you? Am I okay?” I shouted. “You’re unbelievable. You traipse out here in the fog, in the dark, with your damn gay lover driving, to ask me if I’m okay?”

He stood with his head bowed, hands shoved into his pockets. The soft rain continued to fall, beading on his jet black hair. I instinctively lifted a hand to brush off the moisture, but then recoiled.

“I’m sorry. But you’re not answering my calls,” he murmured.

I took a breath. “And that would be because I don’t want to talk to you. We have nothing more to discuss.” I paused. “I do have one question, though.” I looked past him to the darkened SUV. “What does he do for you that I didn’t?”

Thomas closed his eyes for a moment, then looked directly into mine. “It’s not you. It’s me.”

“Oh, please. Don’t even go there. Thomas, it’s over. As soon as the paperwork is filed and signed by a judge, you’re free to be with…” My gaze wandered again to the SUV hulking like a dragon in wait of its prey. “…with him.”

“I was hoping we could remain friends. You know me better than anyone.”

I laughed, but it came out as more of a bark. “No, I don’t think I do. Please. Francisco has seen a side of you that I had no idea even existed. I’m sure the two of you had a few laughs about that. Poor Megan, clueless that her husband prefers men. All those times I smiled and welcomed Francisco into our home. It must have been a helluva joke between the two of you.” I had never felt so totally alone, disconsolate.

Even in the shadows, I could see color deepen in his face. Then it hit me. The one thing I could count on from Thomas was no longer available to me. Consolation. He wasn’t consoling me. He was seeking forgiveness.

I swayed, and he enveloped me in his arms, echoing the words he had used the night he shattered my heart. “I never wanted to hurt you.”

My cheek fell to rest on his chest, a familiar place. “You know what hurts the most? That you kept this secret. You kept it from me.” I lifted my face to his. “You know all of my secrets.”

He took a step back and stared at his shoes. “I was ashamed.” Unshed tears glimmered in the light that cut a swath across his dark features.

I gazed into his liquid brown eyes where I could once easily lose myself. But I was not lost. I was simply a stranger there. Shrugging out of his embrace, I hoisted up the shoulder strap of my briefcase. “I have to go.” With a shaking hand, I opened the car door and took one last look back.

“I’m trading in my car this weekend.”

“Something wrong with it?”

“Yes. It reminds me of you.”

~ * ~
Available at Turquoise Morning Press and at and B&


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