Thursday, October 15, 2015
Read the 1st Chapter of Flora Reigada's "Love's Sweetest Revenge" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!
Usually, Liz (as everyone called her) walked along the rural road with her friend, Rosa. But this day, the singing birds and golden daffodils drew her toward the meadow and woods beyond her home. She thought of painting the scene. Although her work had sold and won awards, it had been far too long since she had picked up her paintbrush.
Pulling her jacket tighter, Liz wished she could leave her sorrows behind. Steve was gone and there was nothing she could do about it. Even the rugged beauty of the area, where he enjoyed hiking and fishing, could not keep him; nor could the rambling old farmhouse Steve's wealthy parents had given them as a wedding gift.
He and Liz were only in their teens when she got pregnant with their twin sons. She gave birth to the boys at 15 and despite her youth, motherhood came as naturally as breathing. But marriage to Steve always felt like a bad fit, as if she were struggling to walk with tight shoes on the wrong feet. Still in her thirties, Liz felt unattractive and alone.
She couldn't go home to her parents, since they had recently passed away. Liz recalled their anger when they discovered her pregnancy. They pressured her to have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption, rather than marry Steve.
We don't like him. He's selfish and immature and we don't want to be saddled with his responsibilities.
Liz dismissed their warnings. She was the accident her parents had in their late forties, when they never wanted children. She always felt like an intruder.
Seeing Liz's determination, her parents relented and grudgingly accepted her pregnancy, but they never liked or accepted Steve.
In those early days, he would run his fingers through Liz's flowing chocolate curls, compliment her golden-brown eyes, accentuated by a hint of makeup and call her his curvaceous cutie. But the chocolate curls had since been shorn and the warmth had faded from eyes that now reflected only sadness. Liz still had her curves; however, they had become a bit more rounded.
Toward the end of their marriage, Steve would not let her forget that. His icy blue eyes would view her with contempt, while his words stabbed at her heart. I wasted my youth on you. You've let yourself go. Look at you! I don't even want you anymore.
Liz's anger simmered. What right does he have to criticize my appearance? Steve's no Adonis.
Though athletic and muscular when they married, he had packed on the pounds over the years.
I should have suspected something when he began exercising again and losing weight.
Liz didn’t see how she could ever forgive him for what he had done. Her mind raged at the memory. How could I even think about him after he left me for that slut?
He and twenty-three-year-old Gloria Hamilton had met at a business convention in the Daytona Beach, Florida, hotel where she oversees social events. Steve had moved to Florida and they were now living together in an oceanfront condominium.
It gave Liz some satisfaction to shed her married name of Cavanaugh for her maiden name, recalling her Italian heritage. Even though her twin sons would always be Cavanaughs, to Liz, the name change was rejecting a part of Steve for the way he had rejected her. The boys also were gone, only they to pursue their individuality and lives.
Liz's heart always swelled with pride when she thought of her tall, lean sons. She could see Steve in their faces, but there was not a hint of his deceitful ways.
A recent law school graduate, Steve Jr. (Stevie) had graduated summa cum laude—the youngest in his class. After the prodigy breezed through his bar exam, he was quickly picked up by a law firm. Tony (named after Liz's late father, Antonio) followed in his father's footsteps as a chef. He and his wife, Stephanie (Steph) managed a restaurant and had given Liz her only grandchild, Ashley. Each of Liz's sons held an equal place in her heart.
When their sons were growing up, Liz and Steve brought them to church whenever they could, especially on Christmas and Easter. When her boys asked if she believed in God, Liz said "yes," but her heart was filled with doubt.
These days it was just Liz and King, the young Rottweiler she had gotten for protection in the house, now too empty and creaky. Thinking of her affectionate pet, she had to smile. Despite his menacing appearance and bark, Liz had often said if a burglar broke into the house, King would probably lick rather than bite. Liz guessed he was less aggressive because she had him neutered.
She looked toward the house, wondering if she should go back for him. But he was sleeping after recent surgery to correct elbow dysplasia, thankfully discovered early in his life. Deciding to let him rest, she continued on her way, occasionally pausing to admire the grassy carpet, speckled with wildflowers, such as blue flax and yellow dandelion.
As the house grew distant and the shadows of the woods began to creep over her, it struck Liz that in the twenty years she’d lived there, she had never ventured into the forest alone. An uneasy feeling invaded her thoughts—unknown eyes seemed to be watching.
What do you think? Flora would love your feedback on both her cover options and the story sample.Please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar of the blog.Thank you!!!!!!