Sparing the Heart is set to release on March 17, 2016 and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to Kate. Why wait? For today’s Fiction Writers Blog Hop hosted by the amazing Julie Valerie, I thought I would share an excerpt from the book! This is a scene that takes place early on in the story when Kate realizes she is in desperate need of friends. Please read on and you can pre-order the book at http://mybook.to/STH for $2.99!
Sparing the Heart Excerpt
Chapter 5 – Pizza’s Here!
Incredible is the only way to describe my night bowling. I’m so glad to be on the team and with a group of people I can call friends. I can’t even recall the last person I considered a friend who wasn’t family. We didn’t leave the alley until almost ten and I was bursting with giggles as we left. Can you be drunk on happiness? If so, I’m hammered.
I stop off at the liquor store tonight and pick up a bottle of wine. Not a box — a bottle. I’m celebrating my newfound friendships and getting out there in the world. The best thing to pair with wine? Pizza, of course. I place an order for a small cheese and start flipping through some “For Sale by Owner” listings. I need to add a few more to my portfolio, and if I’m lucky I’ll find a lead worth pursuing.
There are a ton listed. The problem with people selling their own homes is they’re greedy. Listing on their own is how they avoid paying extra fees to the middle man, but as a result they tend to over price. I’m laughing at what I’m finding. A new buyer will refuse to see past the neon orange walls and country linoleum floors. I can, but they can’t. If a random homeowner wants ten thousand over what the average home in the area sells for, that person better put in some work to modernize. I save four in my favorites. I’ll call on those tomorrow — when it’s not almost eleven and I’m sober.
I take a sip of my wine and wish I weren’t alone. Alcohol is more enjoyable when shared with someone. Next time I’ll invite Gretchen over. I considered asking her to hang out after, but she wanted to get home to Mona and urged Clark to leave. I would, too. That baby is adorable.
The intercom interrupts my internet browsing. My food is already here! I buzz in the delivery guy and race to my bedroom to grab a ten and a five. He delivered this super fast, so deserves a big tip. One last swig of wine before I answer the door.
“You’re speedy! They said about thirty minutes.” He made it in under twenty. I praise the delivery guy who can’t be more than nineteen or twenty years old. I assume he’s in college and doing this for extra cash. Yeah. He can definitely keep the change. A twenty may be a better choice for him. I’m sure he can use the larger tip. I remember those days of living off ramen noodles. He looks like he could use some real food, too. He’s drowning in his shirt and his pants are sagging. He needs to put some meat on those bones.
“A plain cheese pizza? Easy. And you’re right down the road from us.” He hands me the box. “Besides, we stop deliveries at eleven, so I made this one quick.”
“I suppose you’re right.” The pizza place is within walking distance. Next time I’ll walk. Doing that allows me to work off the calories before I eat them. I can’t remember the last time I went to a gym. I should think about a membership.
Delivery boy shrugs. “It’s my job. I get paid to do it.” Greasy strands of black are forcing their way out of his baseball cap and his left ear is pierced. His earring is nicer than any of mine.
I want to ask him his name, but I push the urge away. I don’t like not knowing people’s names. I don’t know why. Every face has a name and without one on his shirt or him giving me one, I’m forced to call him Delivery Boy. He looks kind of like a Steve. Yeah. I’ll call him Steve in my mind.
“Do you like your job?” A weird question, but I want to keep a conversation going. “I mean, are you happy?” I clarify the inquiry, even if I don’t know why I’m asking.
“Um…” He fiddles with his keys. He’s probably waiting for me to invite him in so I can attack him or something. Unless a lot of his customers interrogate him. Maybe they do and I’m being completely normal.
I’ve never been completely normal.
“It’s okay.” I lean in and he leans back. “You can tell me,” I whisper. “I won’t tell your boss.”
He slides the bills into his pocket and waves his hand in front of his face. “I should go.”
He probably smells the wine on my breath. At this point, it’s safe to say I may have had a little too much. “You didn’t answer my question. Are you really happy, or just going through the motions? You can’t be more than twenty years old, right?”
He steps back. “Look, lady. I’m just delivering your pizza. Enjoy.”
“Hold on.” I put my finger up and leave the door open as I run to my room and grab that extra five dollars. I race back and am shocked he stuck around. If I were him, I would have made a run for it. “Here.” I stick the money out.
He cautiously takes it from my hand. “Thanks?”
“A little something extra.” He’s staring at me. “You make nothing. I’m sure you’re in college. I remember those years. Any little bit helps.” I attended college eons ago, when things were much cheaper. I can’t imagine what it’s like now for him.
He folds the bill and slips it into his pocket. “Oh. Well, I’m actually not in college, but thanks.”
“You’re not in college? Why? What are you planning on doing with your life? How can you do anything without an education?” I can’t believe kids these days overlook college. I prepped all four years of high school for college. I couldn’t wait to go and be part of that world. I finally paid off my loans, and it was worth every penny. I’m thirty-five and I already ran my own business. Sure, my business degree hasn’t made me some Forbes 500 CEO of a large corporation or anything, but I do okay.
“I’ve gotta go.”
He turns to walk away and someone who sounds like me shouts “Wait!”
Delivery guy, Steve, whoever, stops and waits for me to say something. Words are swirling in my head, but I can’t make a sentence because I don’t really have anything to say. Why did I want him to stop? To talk maybe? I want to have a long conversation with a human being. Lunch with Gretchen was great, and bowling was a fun night out. I want more of that. I need more of that. I’m cooped up in this condo by myself. I talk to clients, but outside of work, who am I?
Then it hits me. “Never mind.”
I know exactly who I am. I’m the lady so desperately in need of friends she tries to hang out with her pizza delivery guy.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt and consider pre-ordering the book! You can grab it at http://mybook.to/STH.
Join the release party on Facebook on the 17th here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1684602921755245/
Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-feb-2016