Welcome to the 2013 Chick Lit Author Blog Hop! I'm so excited to be a part of it this year. It's my first one. Who knew a year ago I would be making friends with so many talented authors. Be sure to hop along and you could possibly win a Kindle 3G!
The assignment for the blog hop is to tell your audience "What's going on on Page 25." Here is a sneak peek of my upcoming book (which I promise will be published soon! The goal for the day is to continue to work on edits. So far, a lot of my editors' comments are giving me chills! So awesome!)
To set you up, at the end of Sugar and Spies, we found Riley moving on from her exhusband, Stan quitting his association with the CIA to be a regular doctor, and Stella quit the CIA for good to be with Riley and her daughters. Book two, The Truth and the Spy opens up a few months after her resignation, and she's not handling things well. She's given the opportunity to get back into work with a private organization, The Strohman Group, as an assassin. What happens on page 25 is when she asks the opinion of her Stepfather, Elliot.
After their big haul at all the stores in town. Riley, Gloria and Stan planned to meet Stella and Elliot for breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg. on 80th and Dodge in Omaha for breakfast. The decor was fairly contemporary in the small dining room with several booths in the middle and tables toward the front. Egg shaped sound muffling panels hung suspended from the high industrial ceiling. There was a counter for people to sit at at the back of the restaurant facing the kitchen, where the friendly waitstaff would chat while they worked, and would make you feel right at home.
Elliot and Gloria adored the franchise and went every Friday morning. Elliot, knowing how busy they would be on Black Friday, made sure to get there before he knew that his wife and daughters would arrive, and save a table. Luckily Stella arrived before he had to wait too long for the others.
“Morning, Kiddo.” He stood and greeted her with a kiss on the cheek as several people in the long line at the door glowered at them.
“Hey, Elliot.” She replied, taking a seat next to him. “What looks good today?”
“Coffee’s better than usual.” Elliot replied, catching their waitress’ eye. She nodded at him and returned a few minutes later with another mug and filled it for Stella.
“Morning Stella. How’re you doin’ today?” She asked. She was a middle aged blond with a big grin, and she was actually Elliot and Gloria’s usual waitress.
“I’m good, Lynette. How are you?” Stella asked, noting the name tag.
“Upright and above ground and happy to see all those smiling faces!” Lynette put her free hand on her hip. “Everytime I see you I just can’t get over a young thing like you being a Stella. Nobody names their daughter Stella anymore.” She chuckled before returning to her other tables.
“I see she’s been drinking the coffee.” Stella grabbed a packet of Splenda and poured it into her cup before adding a small container of hazelnut creamer from the bowl that was always on the table.
“It is good coffee.” Elliot replied as he watched Stella take a cautious first sip. She winced as it burned her tongue, but continued to drink it anyway. “You’re here early.”
She checked her watch. “You said 7:30.”
“And by Stella time, that usually means 8:00.” He took a sip of his own coffee. “Something troubling you?”
“Why would you say that?”
“You knew your mom and sister wouldn’t be here yet, and whenever you want to discuss anything work related, I’m the first person you talk to. And having known you since you were fourteen, I know that you like to rip off band aids rather than peeling them slowly, so spill.”
Elliot knew her better than she wanted to give him credit for. “I took the job with the Strohman Group.” She said, quietly, looking into her coffee. When he didn’t say anything, she looked up to find him gazing at her, sadly. “What?”
“What are you going to tell your mom and Riley?”
Stella couldn’t answer. She gave him a tired, pensive glance as she finished her coffee, swallowing hard. In a moment, Lynette was at their table, refilling her cup, as well as giving her a tall glass of ice water. "Who says I have to tell them anything?" She finally asked. "I'm allowed to take vacations by myself, right? I might stick with the investment banker line. They would probably still believe that if Brad had never left Riley."
"But this wouldn't be a vacation. How often would you be working?"
"On call, but I can handle it." She opened her menu to the breakfast page. "Done it before. This would be kind of freelance work."
"What about Madison and Chloe? Riley depends on you to help take care of them."
"She works from home and they're in school most of the time?" Stella didn't want to look at Elliot. The man could spot an invisible sweat a mile away, and her nerves were getting to her. "Come on, Elliot. I can't live my life based on other people's expectations of me. I came home to help Riley through her divorce. I quit a job I loved to help her. Riley’s not the only single mom in the world who has to make arrangements for childcare while they work. Most manage it without sucking the life out of their sisters. I think it's time I moved on, don't you?"
Win the grand prize! The -- secret word in the 25-word sentence is: Thank
Elliot sighed as he gazed at her, sadly. "All right." He said in that tone that said he disapproved, but couldn't do anything about it.
With the decision weighing on her chest, Stella stared into Elliot’s soft brown eyes that crinkled with worry. “Do you think it’s wrong?”
“I actually don’t.” Elliot was quiet as he traced the rim of his coffee cup with his finger.Stella let out the breath she was holding and started to reach across the table to take Elliot’s hand when Gloria, Riley and Stan arrived, pulling out their chairs and all talking at once. Exchanging knowing glances, Stella and Elliot listened to their shopping stories as Lynette came over with more coffee and to take their orders.
As you can see, all is not right in Who-ville. Some people have to use their purpose, while others can go on without figuring out what that purpose is. Stella has a purpose, and she physically has to use it.
Be sure to check out what's on page 25 with other bloggers in the blog hop! Click here for a list of all the other participants!
Learn "How to Hop & Win!" New to blog hops? Want to learn how to win the grand prize? Find complete information here.