Winners & ALLM Excerpt #4
Days 'till Memorial Day: 8
Days 'till A Little Light Magic: 9
Days 'till the Summer Solstice: 35
Yesterday's Relay for Life walkathon at my son's school went very well! Weather was warm, but not hot and the rain held off :-) Lots of money raised for a good cause - I hope someday we can say cancer is a completely curable disease. This picture is actually from last year, but this year's scene was much the same. The word "hope" is spelled out on the hill with paper bag candle luminaries. When its lit at night, it's very beautiful.
Yesterday's excerpt of A Little Light Magic continues...Winners of last week's countdown prizes, and next week's prizes, are listed at the end of the excerpt!
A Little Light Magic
from Chapter Two (continued from yesterday)
Nonna waved a disapproving hand. “Office, office. Always that office. It’s like you’re married to that job. You work too much, Nicky. When you gonna get a new wife? I want to see a great-grandson before I die.”
“Talk to Alex,” Nick muttered. “Or Zach.” Hell, even his youngest brother, Johnny, was more likely to fulfill that wish than Nick was. The very last thing Nick needed was another kid. Leigh had been more than enough to handle since day one. Another like her, and he’d have a stroke.
“Okay, then,” Rita said. “Don’t anybody wait up for me.” She disappeared into the living room. A moment later, Nick heard the front door slam.
Leigh stood. “Nonna, you go ahead with Dad. I’ll do the dishes.”
Nick raised his brows at his daughter’s sudden attack of domesticity. So she wanted him gone, did she? He wasn’t about to let her off the hook so easily.
“Grazie, carina,” Nonna said. “Nicky, don’t move. I’ll be right back.”
She disappeared in the direction of the bathroom, towing her handbag behind her. She’d carried the bag, a plain black patent-leather trapezoid with a big gold clasp and stiff, semicircular handles, ever since Nick could remember. The thing held the world.
Nick pushed his plate toward the center of the table, his eyes on his daughter. “So,” he asked her. “What is it I’m not going to agree to?”
Leigh headed to the sink with a stack of plates. “If you’re not going to agree to it, why bother talking about it?”
“Because I’m your father, that’s why. What’s up?”
She turned, still clutching the dishes. “Jason’s having a graduation party. All the seniors are going.”
“You’re only a junior.”
“Exactly! That’s why I have to go.”
“Aren’t Jason’s parents on a cruise?”
“Yes. But Beth is home from college. She’ll be there.”
“Jason’s sister is what—twenty-one?”
“Yeah. She’s an adult.”
“Oh, right. An adult who’ll buy the beer and disappear into her bedroom with her boyfriend. The next thing you know, you’ll be with Jason in his bedroom.”
“Oh!” Leigh’s blue eyes flashed daggers at him. “That is so unfair.”
Nick leaned back in his chair. Christ, but Leigh looked more and more like Cindy every day. The long, straight blond hair, the blue eyes, the high cheekbones. And, of course, the figure. About the only thing she’d gotten from Nick was her temper.
He sighed. “I don’t want you to get hurt, honey.”
“Jason wouldn’t hurt me! He loves me.”
Nick’s temper flared. “Oh, come off it, Leigh. How many girls do you think he’s told that one to?”
“One! Me. But you— Oh!”
She slammed the stack of dishes on the table. A soggy tomato flew off the top plate and struck Nick in the chest.
He jumped to his feet as it slithered down his shirt. “Jesus, Leigh!”
“God! You just won’t understand! You never do. You won’t even try!”
Nick tried to keep his reply calm, but didn’t quite succeed. “I understand better than you think. And that’s exactly why you are not going to an unchaperoned party with a muscle-bound lifeguard whose neck size is larger than his IQ.”
“Jason’s not dumb! He’s going to Rutgers in the fall.”
“That’s right. He’s leaving, Leigh. Do you really think he’s going to spend his Saturday nights texting you? Get real. He’s gonna find someone else. It’s inevitable.”
Leigh looked away, but not before Nick saw a shimmer of tears in her eyes.
“Ah, Christ, honey, I didn’t mean …” He reached for her, but she took a quick step back and his fingers closed on air. She was always dodging him these days. He couldn’t even remember the last time she’d let him touch her, let alone give her a hug, the way he had when she was little.
She hugged herself, blinking furiously at a point over his head.
Nick felt like kicking himself. Or better yet, kicking Jason.
“Look, honey, I’m just trying to protect you.”
“Don’t bother. I can take care of myself.”
He ran a hand over his face. She couldn’t take care of herself, not by a long shot, but there was nothing else he could say to her now that wouldn’t make things worse.
“Look, I’ve got some work to do at the office after I drop Nonna off. I should be home by eleven. Will you be okay here alone?”
“Let’s see … yeah, I think I can manage.”
He ignored her tone. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He paused. “No visitors. Understood?”
Leigh’s expression hardened. “Yes. Can I go now?”
Nonna chose that moment to reappear, her handbag clutched to her chest. Her knowing eyes darted first to Leigh, then to Nick.
“Dio in cielo,” she said. “I missed a fight.”
Winners, Winners....from last week...
- Caffey - posted May 15 @ 9:17 m -A TASTE OF MAGIC by Tracy Madison
- Cheryl S. - posted May 11 @ 3:54 pm - GOTCHA! by Christie Craig
- Pam P. - posted May 12 @ 5:31 pm - SIREN'S SECRET by Trish Albright
- housemouse88 - posted May 14 @ 8:16 am - THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley
- Librarysticher - posted May 16 9:50 pm - DEEP MAGIC by Joy Nash
Congrats to all! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your snail mail addresses to claim your prizes. Note: First four books will be coming directly from Dorchester and will not be autographed.
Coming week's prizes..
- The Grail King by Joy Nash
- Fallen by Cindy Holby
- T-shirt with the slogan "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel"
Comment on any post from TODAY, Sunday May 17 through Saturday May 23 to enter the contest. Three winners chosen at random and posted on Sunday May 24.
See ya tomorrow!