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Thursday, September 16, 2021

French Kiss

                                                                 FRENCH KISS

by Gloria J. Goldsmith




GENRE:  Contemporary Romance






I was DONE! I ditched graduation, dumped my repressed college boyfriend, and dropped my sexual insecurities for a wild ride with Destiny. Unpredictable Fate beckoned with a European adventure!


In a chance encounter, I met Jean Louis. From the instant we met, the dashing young Frenchman soothed my bruised heart, rejuvenated my spirit, and convinced me that leaving my old life was no mistake. Together, we set out to explore southern France.


Jean Louis was torn from my life almost as quickly as he had entered it, yet leaving the haunting memory of his caress permeating my every thought. Driven by love and passion, I journeyed to find my lover, even if it meant scouring all the hidden corners of France. 


Would I ever reunite with the man I believe to be my one true soulmate? Would I ever hear him say he feels the same for me as I do him? What twist of Fate will it take for me to find him?







There was only one window in the room, which had no screen. To keep out the bugs, we closed the shutter, which still allowed some air inside. That evening, I slept on the couch, right below the window, and the guys lay on the cement floor. The males had no blankets or sleeping bags, but at least they were out of the rain.


Some hours into the night, I was dreaming of Luke. Luke, who loved to tease me by fondling me when I was asleep, by touching my cheek or blowing a strand of hair or slowly stroking my hand. I smiled and wiggled my fingers, and he responded. It was so lovely to feel his antics. I missed his night tricks. His hand was trailing up my arm, and soft lips kissed my palm. Luke. So romantic. Always waking me with kisses.


I let out a sigh, slowly drifting my eyes open. It seemed it had been forever since Luke had brushed my cheek or held me close. I longed for his warmth. 


The room was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing. I wasn’t on the waterbed. My heart pounded with alarm. Where am I? My arm was hanging over the side of a couch. Where the hell am I? It was pitch-black. 


The fingers tickled a bit more with a kiss on my arm, then came a whisper. Was I dreaming? Or awake? The whisper came again.


I whispered back, “What?” I felt the side of the bed depress. The murmuring voice was now by my face.


“J’ai froid.”




“Oui. J’ai froid.” 


This wasn’t Luke. Not my Luke. A bolt of recognition struck me hard as I comprehended. I didn’t recall his name, it did sound something like Luke, and it was the French guy Marc had brought in from the rain.


My high school French was twisting my brain cells to recall…J’ai means I am, right is droite, left is gauche…and a left faucet is chaud, which means hot, and right is froid—COLD. He is cold!


I patted the couch, and he squeezed onto the settee with me. He cuddled his arms around me, kissed my cheek, and we returned to slumber.


 All three of us woke as the morning sunlight pierced the slits of the shutter. They bounced off the wall and into the room. We had some tea before the two men left. Around dinner time, Jean Louis returned alone, with sandwiches and chocolates. I had unknowingly passed another sex attraction test.


Constrained by the lack of English language skills, Jean Louis spoke very few words. I am an excellent mimic, but my French language skills were limited. 


After dinner, sipping our tea, Jean Louis turned to me.


“I wants stay wis you.” I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. For the evening? Sleep on the floor? Sleep with me?


“En bas?” I tapped the floor with my foot.


“Si je dois. Je préfère avec toi.”


I wasn’t sure about all the words, but the last two, avec toi, meant “with you.”

A Word With the Author


1. Did you always want to be an author?

Yes, it was always a secret desire. I wrote in journals and diaries as a child. But with little privacy, I stopped until I was considerably older. I had written several of the stories down that first year after returning from Europe. They seemed to be minor individual incidents. When I decided to write a love story that takes place in Europe, I checked to see if those stories would work. Many of them did fit and were incorporated into the book. I will let the readers determine for themselves what is fact and what they believe is imagination.


2. Tell us about the publication of your first book.

French Kiss is my first contemporary romance. This story is close to my heart, so I decided to use a professional editor. Plus, a cover and interior designer. I am impressed with their skills and how much it compliments my work. 


3. Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?

I actually write in two genres, contemporary and historical romance. My favorites authors in contemporary romance are Nora Roberts and Patricia McLinn. In the historical romance genre, I enjoy Sarah MacLean, Brenda Hiatt, and Bree Wolf. 

Sarah MacLean is a particularly clever and exciting writer. I try to emulate her, especially by using all the senses in scenes. She is a master at it.



4. What's the best part of being an author? The worst?

The best part of being an author is using my rather large imagination and creating many different scenarios. And you are never without something to do.

Unless you have gobs of money to spend on people doing marketing services, many of us have to figure out how to create our own websites. Beyond that is managing the marketing of our books regularly. We would prefer instead to be writing the idea that is burning our brain cells to get out. I know waaaay too much about Word Press, Elementor, and Astra, and yet never enough to make changes without asking Support Services for help.


5. What are you working on now?

I love incorporating historical facts into a story. It makes the characters even more believable when dealing with the societal and political reality and how it affects them. 

I soon begin the first round of editing my historical romance. This is a series, and the first is That Wylde Woman! Here is a short description: 

Marleigh Barret, the American daughter of the Earle of Wylde, rides her stallion astride, is deadly accurate with a shepherd’s sling, fences with stamina and strategy, and has become an astute businesswoman. 

Independent and headstrong, Marleigh uses a commerce perspective with marital suitors in England. That is until the loathsome attention from an unwanted Lothario is quickly dispatched by a disarming Duke. 





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


As a Special Education teacher, I became fascinated by the English language. I still marvel at how it changes and expands over time. My most pleasurable teaching moments were showing children how a wondrous story can take their imaginations to other times, places, even other worlds. When the pandemic began, I started my first foray into publishing a nonfiction book, The Sensible Parent’s Little Homeschooler Handbook.


My secret pleasure-writing has always been focused on romance. French Kiss is a Contemporary Romance based on a fictionalized version of experiences during eighteen months of living and working abroad before the formation of the European Union. 


Next year, my first Historical Regency Romance That Wylde Woman will be published.  It has allowed me to indulge my curiosity and enthusiasm for history by incorporating in the storyline a historical geologic event which affected weather and farming and even how England’s war with Napoleon impacted clothing styles.







Amazon Author Page:





Purchase Link:






THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY a $50 Amazon/BN gift certificate. 


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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Rewired Series: The Recruiter and Deeply Rooted Dreams


The Rewired Series: The Recruiter

by Alexander Mukte




GENRE: Mystery/Thriller Sci-fi




BLURB:  The Rewired Series


Series Blurb:


This is a fantastic, genre-bending series that weaves together the best mystery, visionary, and speculative fiction elements. With characters that span across books and time, The Rewired Series explores what plagues humanity and the impact each person can have while leaving you with the promise of a better tomorrow. Alexander Mukte wraps all of these themes inside edge-of-your-seat, engaging mysteries with larger-than-life characters you’ll want to revisit again and again.


Blurb:  The Recruiter


A fast-paced and thought-provoking mystery that will keep you on your toes until the very end. The Recruiter is an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable start to the series, full of intriguing twists and turns.


Leslie may be an idealist, but she's no fool. She trusts her boss, Ori, implicitly. He has vision, principles, and a way with people. When a bomb is detonated at work, she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of events. All of a sudden, their lives are on the line, and every choice matters.


Is Ori who she thinks he is? Why would anyone want to hurt him? And how do they get out of this mess? Leslie doesn't have it all figured out, but what becomes clear is that there's a lot the world doesn't know about Ori Clayborn.


Jessica is driven to make a difference by uncovering the truth. Investigative reporting is her life. One day she gets a unique assignment that leads her back to her hometown and into Ori's orbit. What will she find, and what's her role in this?


The Recruiter is a captivating, imaginative story that draws you in deeper and deeper, page-by-page. Alexander Mukte creates a universe that pulls you in and doesn't let you go.

Blurb - Deeply Rooted Dreams:


This bold and compelling sequel is an evocative page-turner on the journey to a better future.


Since her encounter with Ori years ago, Jessica, an investigative journalist, has continued her mission to print the truth that the world needs to hear. Her pursuit has led her to meet with a source, Zach Carver, a leading mind at Singularity Group. The meeting goes awry, and Jessica awakens to find that she has a gap in time and memory and that Zach is now missing. 


What happened? Who is responsible? And how can she help Zach? It is imperative that Jessica find out, and to her surprise, Ori has reappeared to help her do just that.


Malik, an intelligent and inventive young man, is determined to find a way to overcome the virus that has impacted the world. When he crosses paths with powerful people at Confidence Biotech, the leading treatment and contact tracing company, they take an unusual interest in him. Then, all of a sudden, they paint Malik as public enemy number one, forcing him to go on the run. 


What do they want from him, and does this mean that he is close to discovering something they couldn't? 



Deeply Rooted Dreams is the second installment of The Rewired Series, unveiling more of the universal trial that Ori alluded to in The Recruiter. Alexander Mukte's second novel creates an even more intricate world, striking an engaging balance of mystery and wonder.




EXCERPT: from The Recruiter


Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” 


Martin Luther King Jr. 




“Did you think we were going to let you get away with it?” The man’s voice was both incredulous and triumphant. The light from the full moon began to fill the room as Ori’s eyes adjusted. He inhaled deeply. The man continued as if he was talking to himself, “We knew you were up to something. Did you actually think that you stood a chance?” Ori surveyed the room. He squinted to focus on his surroundings. 


“Are you listening to me?” the man continued speaking while Ori remained silent, not acknowledging him. Ori made out three bodies in the room with him: one talking, one holding a flashlight, and a third one close to what looked like the door. 


The shack was an old cabin but was well built. No lights were turned on, nor was there a fire burning, so as not to attract any unwanted attention. The natural moonlight was perfect to illuminate most of the space. In the areas where the moonlight did not reach, there was the glow of a bright flashlight. This flashlight was suddenly pointed directly into Ori’s eyes.

A Word With the Author

 What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

My wife bought me a nice Italian leather journal with my initials embroidered on it. She gave it to me for Father's Day after our first son was born and said it was so I could write down my dreams for his future. At the time, I had begun writing my first novel but was not yet bold enough to say this would be my career. It was her way of showing me that she had complete confidence in me and supported my dream. It meant the world to me and helped solidify that this was the path for me. 

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

If I could quiet my frugal side long enough, I would spend it on a luxurious vacation to Southeast Asia. I'm seeing first-class flights, great food, and massages on the beach. If my frugal side wins out, I would save it until I have enough to invest in a passive income stream like a rental property.

Where do you get your best ideas?

That's a good question. I'm not really sure. If I had to say something, I would say that I get my best ideas from being curious about the world around me and asking how things work and why. If I'm really interested in something, I'll get several books on the topic to learn more. Often that will spark an idea. Then I love to ask the question "What If," and I'll play out endless scenarios in my head until one feels right.

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time with my four-year-old. It's been great because it has made me realize that there's so much that I don't know. He asks questions about things that, in the past, I wouldn't have thought twice about. And, my desire to give him a correct answer leads me down the path of learning something new. There are several themes in Deeply Rooted Dreams, my second novel, that came from me hanging out with my kid. 

What comes first, the plot or characters?

I have two books out that are the first two installments of The Rewired Series. The primary plot came first for book one, though it was centered on one key character. It started with Ori, the visionary leader of a large private company, using his business to help "the little guy." Then someone tries to ruin him and everything he's built.

Then as I developed the plot further, both other plot lines and other characters began to take shape.  I started to see his lead counsel, Leslie, an FBI agent on the case, Evelyn, an investigative reporter, Jessica, and the list goes on. 

Many of these characters are in book two as well, and I had a little fun thinking about the different roles they could play. But again, it was a new primary plot that came first. This time, I wondered what if this virus could or was somehow meant to unite us?

While the plot comes to me first, I try to put equal attention on that and on the characters. Since I spend so much time with the characters, it's essential to ensure that the characters are people who I would want to be around.  I figure, if I want to spend time with them, then other people will too. 

Across plot and characters, my ultimate goal is to create an engaging novel that stretches the imagination and hopefully stretches readers' perception of what's possible. 


What does your main character do that makes him/her special.

Ori can see things other people can't, about themselves, and about a chain of events and how actions spark different outcomes. There's more that makes him unique, but you'll have to read it to find out… no spoilers!



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Alexander had an active imagination his whole life, but it wasn’t until the birth of his son that he began putting the stories in his mind on paper. He wanted to be an example of someone pursuing his passion, dreaming big, and taking chances. 


Alexander loves people, their stories, and their backgrounds as well as what shapes them, how they think, and what they dream about. He has a passion for learning and is known by most as an intensely curious person who eagerly soaks up anything and everything he can. He dreamt of a career that allowed him to learn new things every day. In writing, he has found a life that allows him to do just that. 


After graduating with a degree in business, Alexander volunteered in the U.S. Peace Corps where he aided in creating sustainable small business ventures in Central America. Before taking this leap of faith, Alexander did Business Development and Consulting for large domestic and international companies. These experiences weave themselves into the characters, places and stories he creates.


An avid traveler, Alexander enjoys exploring new places with his family. He was raised in Southeastern Arizona, and now calls Georgia home, along with his wife and two sons.  


The Recruiter is Alexander’s first novel, though perhaps the 39th in his mind. We hope you enjoy it, and Deeply Rooted Dreams, as much as we have.


Author Links:


Amazon Author Profile:


GoodReads Author Profile:


BookBub Author Profile:






Buy Links:




The Recruiter






Barnes & Noble:



Apple Books:




Deeply Rooted Dreams






Barnes & Noble:



Apple Books:









One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.




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Hard Conversations


Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-month book tour and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway For Hard Conversations: Book 1: Breadcrumbs To The Past by BJ Communicates. The book tour will run Sept 6-October 29, 2021.  

Genre: Urban Fiction 



BJ Communicates, aka Dr. Brad Johnson, LSSBB, CSM, is a Kingdom writer, a communication practitioner, and an influential Bible teacher. Given the assignments of assisting urban believers in articulating their stories, finding resolution, and gaining the language of the Kingdom, BJ continually creates and releases inspirational media content that highlights their stories and experiences. “The Holy Spirit is constantly giving me things to write; sometimes it’s a book, sometimes it’s an article for a Christian publication, sometimes it’s something for my blog site or social media, and sometimes it’s a song for me or another recording artist, I’m just the pen in His hand,” says BJ. In addition to faith-based media creator, he is the owner of Communic8 Life Consulting, a communication consulting firm that specializes in assisting couples, families, and business teams in improving their interpersonal communication skills; and is the co-pastor of the urban cafe church Transformed City in Richmond, VA.

Sometimes it’s the conversations not had that do the most damage to the people in our lives. Hard Conversations is a collection of short stories detailing the lives of five urban people who are standing at the intersection of their past and their potential. Sensing that something is still off in the lives that they have built, each has to make the crucial decision whether to address their secrets long buried, or to continue living in the uncomfortable matrix they created. Only they can decide what their future will bring.

Our gifting often becomes our prison. I wrote this book to pull back the mask on our experience in the hopes that it compels us to confront our learned ability to white wash our pain with our talent and giftings. We are often taught that the greatest value that we bring to the world is solely present in what we do, what we earn, or how well we play. In reality our greatest value is in the stories that we can articulate to those we influence once we have reached the other side of trauma. Trauma that tried to silence our voice, trauma that caused a part of us to die in the fight, and trauma that threatened us to stay silent after our experience with it because we should just be grateful that we made it to the other side.  

Why Did You Write Your Book?



I have known too many people who are stuck in their life because something that occurred in their past.  I have grown tired of watching others and myself go around the same tree in life because we refuse to confront the trauma that we have experienced in life.  One thing about people of color is that we know how to survive things. Through oppression, depression, suppression, and trauma, we become determined to make it to the other side.  The problem becomes when we make it through to the other side, we often have been changed and lost some things along the way that are necessities to moving forward in life and in wholeness. At some point, we realize that we have made it, but we are broken, we are wounded, and we are leaking out what we have been through. We must decide whether we are going to try to keep it moving or if we are brave enough to confront the past to not just survive, but to thrive. In order to thrive we have to back track and have conversations with people, not for their sake, but for ours.  We can’t build new homes or new lives on top of the graveyards of traumatic experiences.  Those experiences have to be confronted and uncovered to regain our power and freedom.  The first book Hard Conversations: Book 1 Breadcrumbs to the Past is the first book in my new urban fiction series that begins to unpack the stories of fictional characters that hav obtained a lot of things yet they are still just as unhappy and unfulfilled as when they had nothing.  It isn’t the acquiring of things or experiences that can make them free, it is truly addressing the deep seated pain that they keep living from though they try to ignore it. The book is a way for people to locate themselves and then start the process of actively pursuing their wholeness so that they really can become the person that many of us desire to be or pretend to be.  It’s not until we really clear up the inner turmoil that we can have successful relationships: business, personal, romantic, familial, etc. 

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Beyond the Book: Inspiration

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named David. He had one sister who was fourteen years older than him, and his best friend was an imaginary pink rabbit. The rabbit is not surprising if you consider that the little boy’s grandmother is a writer. The child had to get his imagination from somewhere, right? David was Grandma’s biggest fan, probably because he admired her book video trailers.


Time passed and David’s sister got married. The little boy soon idolized Josh, mostly because Josh owned a gym and taught people how to wrestle WWE style. The boy’s sister thought she’d give wrestling a try too, but she didn’t like getting flipped around and hurt so she gave it up in a hurry.


Grandma thought that wrestling was too violent for little David, but his father let him watch it anyway. After one exciting match, the little boy demanded, “Grandma, write me a book about wrestlers.”


Grandma resisted. Wrestling was not her cup of tea, but like all good grandmas, she caved and said she’d do it. She consulted with Josh and soon started her first romantic comedy, which she called Fortuna. Not wishing to have all the action in a wrestling ring, Grandma had one match in chapter one, and then her wrestlers retired to West Virginia where the adventures just wouldn’t stop coming. 


And that, dear friends, is where Grandma got the idea for Fortuna. 

Monday, September 13, 2021


Parentectomy: A narrative ethnography of 30 cases of parental alienation and what to do about it

by Christine Giancarlo 




GENRE: Non-fiction






When parents separate and divorce, kids come last in family law. Should children's welfare be measured in "billable hours"? Christine Giancarlo thinks kids come first and need both parents. Parentectomy moves us toward that goal... for the sake of the children.


Based on Dr. Giancarlo's peer-reviewed research study, Kids Come Last: The Effect of Family Law Involvement in Parental Alienation, this book tells, in their own voices, the stories of thirty loving, capable and dependable parents who, nonetheless, were removed from their children's lives. It is also the author's own journey through the devastation caused by parental alienation.


This book sheds light on an urgent social crisis, enabled by a broken family law system. An equitable and just model for eliminating this form of child abuse is proposed with an urgent plea for its implementation.







I have two children: a daughter, now 20 and a son who’s 16. My wife and I separated in 2003 after many unhappy years trying to make our marriage work. We were able to sort our finances rather quickly, but I can’t say it was ever amicable. We also made a verbal shared-parenting agreement. The kids would spend one week with their mom and the next with me and so on. I bought a house only a block away from my ex-wife in order to make the logistics easier on our kids. For the first three or four months, the kids did go back and forth as we had agreed. But “mom” made it clear to the kids and me that she was the primary caregiver and could change the terms of parenting as she “thought necessary”. She proceeded to make co-parenting as difficult as possible. 


Sometimes she would deny my daughter her thyroid medication by “forgetting” to put the pills in our daughter’s suitcase. When I would call mom to ask about them, she would say it was up to me to come get the pills. In a couple of instances mom was out of town and had not sent along my daughter’s meds. I had to go to the drugstore and beg the pharmacist for a couple of pills to get her through the weekend. Mom told the kids that clothes and toys at her house stayed at her house, so they were not allowed to bring things to my house. She would insist that my daughter go back to her (mom’s) place in the morning and dress there for school. So the things that were important to my children she made difficult; it was unreal. My daughter was then eleven and my son eight. After these early months, I got a letter saying that I was being taken to court to resolve the custody issue. 


Legal involvement started with my receiving notice that I was to attend a DRO (Dispute Resolution Office) meeting, which was apparently a pilot project. I was told my ex and I had been selected to attend to see if we could resolve our issues there. I agreed, thinking we certainly needed some help to smooth the co-parenting situation. We had not even been involved with lawyers yet, so it was unclear to me how we were chosen to participate in the DRO. The officer was “snarky” and no help at all. She suggested we hire (we each paid half the cost) a mediator named Larry Fung and were told he was one of the best. He supposedly also travels all over to train mediators. 


Well it was a bad idea.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Christine Giancarlo is an applied anthropologist at Mount Royal University since 1992. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Services from Capella University, Minnesota, and an M.A. in Primatology from the University of Calgary, Alberta. Growing up with two loving parents, four brothers and being blessed with her own children, Devon and Carmen, inform her holistic perspective on the family. Christine resides in Calgary with her partner, Bert, and their dog, Gavin.




































Christine Giancarlo will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors

  Welcome to Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors. I'd like to thank everyone for the nice comments you've left about my WIP. They were encouraging to me, and I received some excellent advice. Again, thank you. 

Today I'm staring excerpts from Return Engagement, my first book about the Lovinggood family. I've already shared some of the first part so I'll be doing a little jumping around. First a blurb, then that excerpt. Oh, and on Sunday when you finish here go to for more excerpts from a talented group of authors.


Elizabeth Lane is one lucky woman. She has it all-money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé. Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn't the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he'll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side. Ten years ago the senator broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won't be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she'll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

Last Weeks Excerpt:

Mrs. Lane knocked on Elizabeth’s bedroom door around nine the next morning. “Are you going to sleep all day?” she called as she entered the room and drew back the drapes. Sunshine flooded the room as a flower-scented breeze wafted into the room. 

Elizabeth yawned and stretched. “Good morning. I didn’t mean to be so lazy, but I couldn’t sleep last night. I had a lot on my mind, I guess.”

She got out of bed and stretched again, and her mother passed her robe to her. “I’m going to get breakfast. What do you feel like?”

“Oh, grapefruit and toast. Coffee too.”

Mrs. Lane paused for a moment when she saw Elaine Lovinggood’s card lying on Elizabeth’s night stand. “Have you decided whether or not to call Mrs. Lovinggood?” She indicated the card with a nod of her head. “She seems awfully eager to meet you.”

Elizabeth sat back down and poked her lip out. “Mother, why did she have to come here? She must know I don't want to see her."

Today's Excerpt: In this excerpt my hero Richard plans a special day for Elizabeth. You won't see what it is today because I like to start at the beginning of a chapter with my excerpts. Elizabeth and Richard married in haste, and due to no fault of their own, things aren't going well for them.

“I’m sure she does, but she came anyway, honey. Maybe she thought she could help you and Richard patch things up.” 

“I doubt it.” Elizabeth scowled ferociously. “She probably wants to fuss at me because I’m not living with him.” 

“You’ve had weeks to think about it,” Mrs. Lane pointed out. “Have you decided to get a divorce?”

Elizabeth’s shoulders drooped. “No, I haven’t made up my mind about anything.”

Hastily, she changed the subject. She didn’t want to even think about Richard, much less talk about him. “I’m starving, Mother,” she hinted.

Mrs. Lane rolled her eyes. “I knew you wouldn’t talk to me. In that one respect you do resemble your father. He had an absolute genius for dodging unpleasant confrontations, but in this case ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Your husband isn’t the kind of man you can dismiss and pass off to your lawyers. No, Richard’ll demand a face-to-face meeting, and if things don’t go his way I shudder to think what he might do.”

Elizabeth scrambled out of bed. “I have to go to the bathroom. ”