Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A dynamite deal and a great giveaway!

With Madily in Love coming out very soon, I thought I’d offer a deal on Mind over Madi, for those of you who haven’t yet read it. I have several signed copies available at the discounted price of $13, which includes shipping and handling. Just click on the BUY NOW button in the left sidebar to order. If you have special signing instructions, make a note during checkout. I will then get your book out to you within 2 days. 

BONUS GIVEAWAY: Everyone who orders a copy of Mind over Madi will be entered to win a copy of MADILY IN LOVE, as soon as it’s available. I don’t have an exact release date yet, but it is scheduled for sometime this fall. I’d love you to be one of the very first to receive my next book! You can order via my blog or Amazon.com. If you order through Amazon (either in print or the Kindle version), just leave me a comment or send me an email to let me know, and I will enter you in the drawing.

I've posted the first chapter of Mind over Madi below. You can read the first FOUR chapters of Mind over Madi on Amazon.com by clicking HERE.

Chapter One

      I’m on the run. Unfortunately, not a very fast run. Heels have a way of slowing a woman down. Especially a woman who lives in tennis shoes, loafers, and flip-flops. Why, oh why, did I let Christina talk me into wearing my heels today? Christina is sixteen. She could probably hike the Grand Canyon in heels. Me? A couple hours in pumps and my calf muscles still ache three days later.
     Not that I knew when I put them on this morning I’d be darting through the halls of church, fleeing from the likes of Claudia Boeve. Claudia is a hundred and ten pounds of tofu-eating energy who wants to convince me to join her Losing Means Winning Workshop. For the past couple months, she’s been tossing around hints like the salads she eats daily for lunch. But right now, I have no interest in joining her group. I am a Wendy’s woman—hear me roar! Or, Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell or whatever fast food chain I happen to crave at any given moment.
     I duck behind a large potted plant to catch my breath. My heart is racing after the two-hundred-foot-dash from my pew to the atrium. Hmmm . . . Maybe God is trying to tell me something.
     Peering between leaves, I survey the throng of people still exiting the sanctuary, trying to catch a glimpse of Claudia so I can hightail it in the opposite direction. My husband, Richard, has gone to pick up Emily, our nine-year-old, from her Sunday school class. He’ll meet me and our sixteen-year-old twins—Christina and Max—at the car.
     A tall, willowy blonde stands in front of the bookstore, chatting with one of the associate pastors. The blonde is Sarah Price, a friendly acquaintance who happens to be a clinical psychologist. Catching sight of her reminds me that I’ve been meaning to set up an appointment. Not that seeing a shrink is something I’m dying to do, but I need some professional advice, due to some, um, issues I’ve been dealing with lately. Okay, not really lately. More like for thirty years. I only just realized it might do me some good to get some professional advice. Better late than never, right?
     Affixing an invisible sticky note to my brain to call Sarah’s office first thing in the morning, I intently search the faces in the crowd for Claudia. Someone grabs my arm and twirls me around, causing me to lose my balance. I crash to the floor, butt first.
     The only thing worse than falling in public is falling while wearing a skirt.
     I lock my legs together and struggle to my feet. My friend Sylvie does her best to help me up while trying to maintain a straight face.
     “So not funny, Sylv.”
     “Sorry. You’re usually not so … unbalanced.”
     “Yeah, well, blame Christina. She made me wear high heels today.”
     Sylvie looks at my feet and raises a perfectly tweezed eyebrow. “I would hardly call those heels. They’re wedges. Now these,” she points a toe, “are heels.”
     And so they are. At least four inches. Which explains why today I look her in the eye instead of down about four inches.
     “What are you doing hiding behind a potted plant, anyway?”
     “I’m avoiding Claudia. She spotted me in church and wants to invite me to be a part of her stupid weight loss group.”
     “Joining might not be such a bad idea.”
     I fold my arms across my chest. “Thanks, Sylv. Why don’t you just come right out and call me Orca?”
     She sighs. “I’m not saying you’re fat. It’s just the whole health thing, you know? It would be good to learn more healthy eating habits.”
     “I do eat healthy.” I sound defensive even to myself.
     Sylvie grabs the big black purse from my shoulder, as only a best friend would do. Unzipping it, she pulls out a bag of chocolate-covered candies and a bulky napkin that holds the other half of the cinnamon roll I grabbed for breakfast. She waves the evidence in the air. “Care to change your statement?”
     “So I didn’t have time to make an egg-white omelet this morning, Miss Calorie Police Officer.” I snatch back my purse and shove the food inside.
     Sylvie holds up a French-manicured hand. “Okay. I’m done now. Are we still on for coffee on Thursday? Because there’s something I need to talk to you about.”
     Her words are washed away in a wave of jealousy as, over Sylvie’s shoulder, I catch a glimpse of Richard. He stands by the coat rack, chatting with a woman whose back is to me. She wears a clingy off-white dress that shows off her, uh, assets more than should be legally allowed in public. Even though I can’t see her face, I know who she is. There’s no mistaking that gorgeous head of long, thick auburn hair or the sleazy—er, figure-hugging dress. But seriously, there is only one person I know who would ever wear something so … provocative to church.
     Fawn Witchburn.
     I can’t help but notice men’s reactions as they walk past Fawn and Richard. The guys try with all their might to avert their eyes but can’t help sneaking a peek when they think their wives or girlfriends aren’t looking. What the men don’t realize is that the women detect Fawn even before they do. But the looks the women give her aren’t quite so appreciative. I watch as a few of the ladies blatantly veer their husbands off in the other direction to prevent them from the inevitable lure of Fawn’s presence.
     And there is Rich, trapped in her poisonous web.
     Although, for someone who is trapped, he doesn’t seem to mind. He grins like a goofy schoolboy.
     I scowl like a jealous wife.
    “Earth to Madi. Did you hear what I said? Are we still on for Thursday?”
     Sylvie looks over her shoulder and then moves to block my view, offering me a weak smile. “They’re only talking.”
      I sidestep her blockade. Rich says something and Fawn throws her head back and laughs.
     “Talking, hmmm?” My heartbeat picks up speed again, but this time it definitely has nothing to do with running. Unless you count the running Fawn’s hand is doing down my husband’s arm. The touch only lasts a second but it makes me want to hurl one of Sylvie’s stilettos at Fawn’s back.
    “Come on, Mads. Richard is her daughter’s teacher. They’re probably talking about Lexi.
     Speaking of daughters, my two approach Rich from behind. When they’re a few feet away, Fawn sharply turns away from them. I suppress a gasp at her cleavage, which would put any Playboy centerfold to shame.
     Fawn sashays off as nearby men pretend they’re brushing something from their shoulder while stealing one last look at her behind.
     Richard joins the pig party and watches for a second before turning his attention toward our daughters.
     “Are you okay? You look like you just swallowed a bag of Emily’s Sour Skittles.” Sylvie frowns, tiny lines appearing on her forehead.
     “I’m fine. Now that the witch has flown off on her broomstick, I guess it’s safe to go out. I’ll see you Thursday.” I brush past Sylvie and emerge from behind the plant.
     “I’m working tomorrow. Call my cell if you need to talk,” Sylvie says from behind me.
     I lift a hand in response.
     Emily smiles a toothy grin when she sees me. “You look so pretty today, Mommy.”
     “I picked it out,” Christina brags.
     “She does look great, doesn’t she? I love a woman in a dress.” Rich drapes an arm around my shoulder.
     “I’m wearing a skirt.”
     “Skirt, dress, same thing to me.” Rich laughs it off but my back tenses. For some reason the compliment—and smile—seem phony. How can he say I look great in my knee-length denim skirt after ogling Fawn mere moments ago? There’s no comparison. Does the fact that he said “dress” mean he is still thinking about her?
     Okay. Giving myself a mental slap. I know all about how wrong it is to make comparisons. This is what I mean about issues. Definitely time to call Dr. Sarah Price.
     I spot Claudia coming out of the bookstore. She waves in my direction, too perky for a normal human, and I kick myself for not rushing Rich and the kids out of there when I had the chance. Then a plus-sized woman in a navy suit passes by me, and I realize the wave was meant for her. The woman gives a tight smile, but can’t disguise the irritation on her face. Guess Claudia’s been trying to rope her into joining her group, too. I wince as I feel her pain, while at the same time am relieved it’s her and not me.
     I definitely will not be joining Claudia’s group. Seeing Fawn talking to my husband has made me understand there are times when sugar is not only a craving, it’s the difference between sanity and a mental breakdown. And right now, fat and sane trumps healthy and locked up in a loony bin.
     Bring on the chocolate!

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