For those who haven’t yet read my latest novel, Cocoon, here’s a sampler to entice you to buy a copy! Though fiction, this book is based on the true story of a woman stricken with a dark psychosis, from which she may never return.
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That Monday night, Seana had settled down in a chair at Happy Feet Dance Studio, chilling out. Tired after spending a good part of the day at son Tim’s Howard Real Estate office, helping his wife, Sherry with some paperwork.
She’d discovered how rusty her office skills had become. “I’ve got to take a computer course to brush up.” Seana blew out a frustrated breath and gazed at Sherry that afternoon as she sat at the computer. “Everything is changing in cyberspace.”
“There’s going to be a computer class at Tech in a few months. I’m thinking about taking a refresher myself,” Sherry said, stapling some forms together that the collator machine had just spit out. She reached down to give Seana a hug. “Thanks, Seana. You’re sweet to bail me out of this paper jungle.”
“Glad to be here for you.” She glanced at her watch. “Oops! Gotta get over to studio.”
So there Seana sat that Newcomers Night, one held periodically to welcome new arrivals to town and maybe infect some more locals with dance fever. Zoe depended on her to help greet those who wandered in. Too, Seana knew it was to get her mom out of the house.
Seana covered her mouth to hide a huge yawn.
She was weary and—lonesome. In a room full of happy, dancing people.
Seemed ridiculous. But there it was, like a daggumGrand Canyonchasm gaping before her.
Then she saw him. A newcomer. A stag. Most folks thereabouts came in twos and sometimes more.
Ambitious Zoe’s coupons for two free introductory dance lessons littered the entire town to lure folks in. New resident Barth McGrath took the bait, moseyed into Happy Feet Studio and planted his long length in one of the folding studio chairs as far back into a dim corner as he could manage, fidgeting at his white starched shirt collar until he could stand it no longer and pulled off his paisley tie, folded it and slipped it into his navy blue blazer pocket.
Seana witnessed it all that Monday night, fighting a tug at the corners of her generous mouth. Her tiredness dissolved. He looked about as lonely as she felt. Next thing she knew, she migrated toward him.
Tall and lanky as a western cowboy, he looked so ill at ease and so nerdy she felt sorry for the man. But that only lasted until she looked through those thick lenses into eyes the color of roasted chestnuts and saw the vulnerability lurking there
That he was sort of attractive behind those frames, in a decidedly rugged way, was the next thing to register.
“How about we show these folks how to dance?” she heard herself saying to him and was rewarded with a slow smile as he arose. The smile produced dimples as he swallowed her hand in his big one and in a blink had her moving with the music.
He was remarkably graceful on the dance floor being as how he’d never had formal lessons, he quickly informed her.
“I’d never have known,” she said truthfully.
“Of course I spent a lot of time dancing years back,” he added. “I really liked the disco era. Gave young folks places to go to simply dance. Like this one. Nice place. Who owns it?”
“My daughter, Zoe.” With blatant pride she pointed out her lovely brunette offspring, partnering with the town jock, Scott Burns.
“That her husband?”
“No. But not for lack of his trying.” Seana grinned up at him. “He’s Paradise Spring High’s athletic coach and is determined to win my Zoe. She’s a challenge, something Scott cannot resist.” She whispered theatrically, “It’s in his blood.”
Barth chuckled, nodding his head. “I see.”
Scott’s pursuit of the wary, slippery-eel Zoe was by now what Paradise Springs’ legends were made of. Big, strapping, available Scott was all American good looking with his butch hair cut and muscular physique.
Scott was at his best in contest. In this one, Zoe was the prize.
Thus, the drama played on.
Barth the newcomer was light on his feet for someone his size. And he was a quick learner and adventuresome, to Seana’s delight. She hadn’t had a good partner since Ansel and was excited to have someone so compatible, both physically—he was tall but so was she at five-eight to his six-one—and they both loved music and the pull and challenge of dance.
Yup. Seana felt herself relaxing and enjoying simply being, like she had not since Ansel’s passing.
It felt good.