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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Revell (January 1, 2009)
The Someday List Blog Tour Giveaway
Tell Us One Item on Your Someday List. Leave your answer in the comment section. Participants will be entered into a drawing for The Someday List Blog Giveaway. View the prize package below:
* $50 American Express Gift Card
*Autographed Copies of all of Stacy’s books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Watercolored Pearls, and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By Faith.
*20% Discount Coupon from Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)
Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call.
Phone #: 1-518-825-1400 / Access Code: 15642 / Time: 8:00 pm EST
Stacy Hawkins Adams is a nationally-published, award-winning author and speaker. Her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with social themes and spiritual quests that take readers on journeys into their own souls.
She holds a degree in journalism and served as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade before turning her full attention to penning books, speaking professionally and writing freelance articles.
She is currently writing her sixth novel and her first nonfiction book, an inspirational title that will encourage women in their faith.
Stacy lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two young children.
Visit the author's website.
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2009)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Rachelle fumbled with the bouquet of yellow roses and locked eyes with him. Her flowers sagged from thirst.
The simple gold band she clutched stuck to her sweaty palm.
Instead of a flowing white gown, she wore the black pencil skirt and short-sleeved white silk blouse that, until today, had served as her choral ensemble uniform.
Her groom was dressed in his standard singing attire too—white collared shirt, black tie, and black slacks. He had removed the diamond earring from his left earlobe, his goatee was freshly cut, and as far as she was concerned, he had never looked finer.
Between the two of them, the worldly goods they possessed amounted to less than what Rev. Prescott likely paid to have his preaching robe cleaned.
And yet, she knew this was right. The right time, the right place, and the right man, even if she had to marry him in secret.
One day they would look back on this elopement with tenderness and pride, telling their children about their union in an empty church sanctuary, not far from the university they would graduate from in six months.
He smiled at her and arched an eyebrow, questioning the delay in her response.
The minister repeated himself.
“Rachelle Marie Mitchell, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
She smiled. Her beloved didn’t have to worry about her having second thoughts—not when she felt this way.
“I do, Reverend Prescott,” she said. “I do.”
Rachelle Mitchell Covington felt both giddy and guilty.
In twenty-four hours she would be completely alone and she couldn’t wait.
No worries about temporary empty-nest syndrome—she was happy to let her parents deal with two preadolescent know-it-alls for half of the summer. And no need to feign an interest in her husband’s wants, work, or even his world.
For the first time in their eleven-year marriage, she and Gabe would be away from each other for more than a week.
When he informed her that he had agreed to speak at a medical conference the week before he left for a medical mission trip, she knew he expected her to complain. Rachelle had frowned for his benefit, but also bit her lip to keep from cheering.
Though it was already steamy outside this morning, the temperature inside Houston’s Intercontinental Airport left her longing for her cashmere coat. Rachelle shivered and smiled when Tate and Taryn, looking like they had stepped off the pages of a Children’s Wear Digest catalog, turned to wave one last time before passing through the security gate and approaching a waiting airline employee.
The young woman in the crisp navy and white uniform would escort them to their direct flight to Philadelphia.
The fifth and third graders had been trying to whine their way out of their annual summer visit with Rachelle’s parents for two days, because they would miss their friends, feared boredom, and believed Gram would have way too many rules. Rachelle had reminded them again this morning that, despite those perceived hardships, they had no problem enjoying the regular outings, video games, and other treats they enjoyed during their stay.
When Tate and Taryn disappeared around a bend that led to Terminal A, Gabe turned toward Rachelle and motioned with his head that he was ready to go. He and Rachelle walked briskly toward the parking deck without touching or talking.
Gabe walked a stride or two ahead of her, as if he were on a mission. He tempered his gait as they neared his SUV, and he unlocked the doors with his key chain device.
“I’m not going into the office this morning since I’ll be flying out early tomorrow,” he said without looking toward Rachelle.
“Let’s grab breakfast at Olivette.”
Rachelle scrambled for an excuse, but none presented itself.
She hadn’t mentioned that she soon would be leaving too, for a weekend trip to the West Coast. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know. He wasn’t going to be home anyway.
“That’s fine,” she finally said about breakfast, although he had already steered his Mercedes in the direction of the hotel restaurant.
They rode in silence during the half-hour drive and didn’t speak until the waitress asked for their order.
Rachelle sighed and responded by rote. “He’ll have smoked salmon and a bagel with a side of fresh fruit.”
Gabe nodded and looked up at the waitress. “She got it right.”
“Salmon and bagel with a side of fruit,” the waitress repeated, lodging the order in her memory.
Rachelle leveled her eyes at Gabe. “Order for me.”
He peered at her over the rim of his glasses. “How would I know what to order for you?”
Rachelle didn’t feel like playing along with his public politeness today. She sat back and folded her arms.
The waitress shifted from one foot to the other and turned her gaze to a nearby bank of potted plants.
Gabe’s nostrils flared and he clenched his teeth. “Just order something already.”
“If you can’t do it, I guess I’m not hungry,” Rachelle said.
Gabe opened the leather-encased menu and glared at the offerings.
Seconds later, he pushed it into the waitress’s face. Startled, she grabbed it before it landed on the Oriental rug beneath the table.
“Bring her an omelet with ham, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese.”
The waitress nodded and left quickly, her reddish-brown ponytail swaying with each step. Rachelle knew the young lady had to be wondering how a couple could fight over a breakfast order.
If she had asked, Rachelle would have assured her this skirmish was overdue.
Since she had received Jillian’s unsettling invitation three weeks ago, Rachelle’s tolerance for just about everything had plummeted.
With the kids away for the next month, she didn’t have to contain herself. Gabe should be thankful he was leaving for a business trip tomorrow.
He laid his linen napkin across his lap and stared at her.
Rachelle challenged him with her eyes. She wanted him to care enough to question her, to probe why she was being defiant.
But just as she knew what to order for his meal, she knew he wouldn’t take the bait. He was his usual, detached self—enveloped in skin that was a smooth, savory brown and as self-absorbed as a two-year-old whose favorite words were “no” and “mine.”
In that moment, something welled up inside of her. She looked past Gabe’s glasses, past the perfect white teeth, past the pool of nothingness in his eyes. She wanted to see into his soul. She wanted to know that he had an “I would die for you” kind of love inside of him. For her.
Even if they had been together for what seemed like forever. Even if she didn’t know how she really felt about him. If one of them could summon the emotion, maybe that would make all the difference.
He was leaving tomorrow for New York and would return home for one day before traveling to Uganda. In twenty-four hours, she’d have the entire house to herself. But right now, she realized, she needed to leave to save herself.
Right now, what mattered more than being a good wife was being good to herself. Hearing from Jillian for the first time in a long time was nudging her to stop procrastinating.
Rachelle took a sip of her coffee and rose from her seat. “Stay and enjoy your breakfast. Call a taxi when you’re done. I may or may not be at home by then.”
Before he could protest, Rachelle raised her hand to stop him.
Her voice trembled when she addressed him in a whisper.
“Gabe, I’m tired of playing like the happy couple. Our life is strangling me. I want a real marriage and this isn’t it . . . And by the way, I’ve always hated cheddar cheese.”
She grabbed her purse from the back of her chair and strode toward the door, heart pounding as if it would burst through her sleeveless tangerine top.
Had she really done that? Did she just walk away from her well-to-do, handsome husband and leave him stranded in a restaurant?
What would her parents say? Their friends? For the first time that she could recall, those questions wouldn’t determine her actions.
Rachelle slowed her pace when she reached the restaurant’s entrance and nodded farewell to the hostess. She strode through the lobby of the Houstonian Hotel and thanked the bellhop who held open the door for her. While the valet retrieved Gabe’s Mercedes truck, she stood at his booth, tapping her foot and looking over her shoulder.
In the minutes since she had left the table, Gabe hadn’t pursued her. Despite the fact that she had fueled this drama, she was hurt.
She breathed in the humid summer air and exhaled slowly, trying to keep her composure.
For once, she wished she were sweaty enough to mask the moisture on her face. The last thing she wanted to admit was that once again, she had allowed him to make her cry.
©Stacy Hawkins Adams, The Someday List: A Novel, Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2009. Used by permission