SouthernReader.com is a fantastic quarterly short story magazine that I have not only followed for years, but am very proud to have been published in! The stories are great and the illustrations are out of this world! Please take a few moments to check it out and share it with your friends.
Not a review but a shout out for a book that quite a few of you might want to grab for the summer pool/beach time. Thought I would share with the readers. EXCERPT BELOW!
As teenagers in the seventies, Tully Hart and Kate Mularky were inseparable. Tully, with her make-up and her halter tops, was the coolest girl in school. Kate, with her glasses and her high water jeans, was the geeky outsider. But chance and circumstance brought them together and through the decades they were devoted to each other. This was the story of Tully and Kate which began on a quiet street called Firefly Lane. Best friends forever.
But sometimes stories end, and we have to find a way to begin again.
Now, years later, Tully is a woman trying to deal with the loss of her best friend. She wants to fulfill her promise to Kate—to be there for Kate’s children, but it’s a promise she has no idea how to carry out. What does brash, lonely, ambitious Tully know about being part of a family?
Kate's daughter, sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan, is as lost in her grief as Tully is...until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.
Tully's mother, Dorothy Hart, is an unstable woman who abandoned her child too many times in the past and ultimately broke her heart. Now, when Tully is in danger of losing everything and is more vulnerable and alone than she’s been since she put those rough childhood years behind her, Dorothy returns once more, desperate for another chance to be a good mother. But can she be trusted this time? To help her daughter, Dorothy must face her darkest fears and reveal the terrible secret in her past—only then can she become the mother her wounded daughter needs.
In Fly Away, tragedy will bring these three women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way and they will need each other—and maybe a miracle—to transform their lives…
September 2, 2010
She was sitting on a closed toilet seat in a restroom stall, slumped over, with tears drying on her cheeks. How long had she been here? She got slowly to her feet and left the bathroom, pushing her way through the theater's crowded lobby, ignoring the judgmental looks cast her way by the beautiful people drinking champagne beneath a glittering, nineteenth century chandelier. The movie must be over.
Outside, she kicked her ridiculous patent leather pumps into the shadows. In her expensive black nylons, she walked in the spitting rain down the dirty Seattle sidewalk toward home.
A bright pink Martini Bar sign caught her attention. A few people were clustered together outside the front door, smoking and talking beneath a protective overhang.
Even as she vowed to pass by, she found herself turning, reaching for the door, going inside. She slipped into the dark, crowded interior and headed straight for the long, mahogany bar.
"What can I get for you?" asked a thin, artsy-looking man with hair the color of a tangerine and more hardware on his face than Sears carried in the nuts and bolts aisle.
"Tequila straight shot," she said.
She drank the first shot and ordered another. The loud music comforted her. She drank another straight shot and swayed to the beat. All around her people were talking and laughing. It felt a little like she was part of all that activity.
A man in an expensive Italian suit sidled up beside her. He was tall and obviously fit, with blond hair that had been carefully cut and styled. Banker, probably, or corporate lawyer. Too young for her, of course. He couldn't be much past thirty-five. How long was he there, trolling for a date, looking for the best looking woman in the room? One drink, two?
Finally, he turned to her. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew who she was and that small recognition seduced her. "Can I buy you a drink?"
"I don't know. Can you?" Was she slurring her words? That wasn't good. And she couldn't think clearly.
His gaze moved from her face, down to her breasts, and then back to her face. It was a look that stripped past any pretense. "I'd say a drink at the very least."
"I don't usually pick up strangers," she lied. Lately, there were only strangers in her life. Everyone else, everyone who mattered, had forgotten about her. She could really feel that Xanax kicking in now, or was it the tequila?
He touched her chin, a jawline caress that made her shiver. The boldness of it, just touching her; no one did that anymore. "I'm Troy," he said.
She looked up into his blue eyes and felt the bone crushing weight of her loneliness. When was the last time a man had wanted her? She couldn't even remember.
"I'm Tully Hart," she said.
He kissed her. He tasted sweet, of some kind of liquor, and of cigarettes. Or maybe pot. She wanted to lose herself in pure physical sensation, to dissolve like a bit of candy.
She wanted to forget everything that had gone wrong with her life, and how it was that she'd ended up in a place like this, alone in a sea of strangers.
"Kiss me again," she said, hating the pathetic pleading she heard in her voice. It was how she'd sounded as a child, back when she'd been a little girl with her nose pressed to the window, waiting for her mother to return. What's wrong with me? that little girl had asked anyone who would listen, but there had never been an answer. Tully reached out for him, pulling him close, but even as he kissed her and pressed his body into hers, she felt herself starting to cry, and when her tears started, there was no way to hold them back.
Traffic made the pavement hum beneath her bare feet. She made her way down the slick sidewalk, a little unsteady on her feet. A man had kissed her - a stranger - and she'd started to cry.
Pathetic. No wonder he'd backed away.
Rain pelted her, almost overwhelmed her. She thought about stopping, tilting her head back and drinking it in until she drowned.
That would be good. Drowning.
It seemed to take hours to get home. At her condominium building, she pushed past the doorman without making eye contact.
In the elevator, she saw herself in the wall of mirrors.
She looked terrible. Her auburn hair - in need of coloring - was a bird's nest, mascara ran like war paint down her cheeks.
The elevator doors opened and she stepped out into the hallway. Her balance was so off it took four tries to get her key into the lock. By the time she opened the door, she was dizzy and her headache had roared back to life.
Somewhere between the dining room and the living room, she banged into a chrome side table and almost fell. Only a last minute Hail Mary grab for the sofa saved her. She sank onto the thick, down filled white cushion with a sigh. The table in front of her was piled high with mail. Bills and magazines. Junk mail.
She slumped back and closed her eyes, thinking what a mess her life had become.
"Damn you, Katie Ryan," she whispered to the best friend who wasn't there. This loneliness was unbearable. But her best friend was gone. Dead. That was what had started all of it. Losing Kate. How pitiful was that? Tully had begun to plummet at her best friend's death and she hadn't been able to pull out of the dive. "I need you." Then she screamed it: "I need you!"
She let her head fall forward. Did she fall asleep? Maybe...
When she opened her eyes again, she stared, bleary-eyed, at the pile of mail on her coffee table. A Star magazine lay on top - a small, business card size photograph of her was in the upper right corner. Beneath her name was a single, terrible word.
She reached forward, grabbed the magazine. It was a small story; not even a full page.
The Real Story behind the rumors.
The betrayal hurt so badly she couldn't breathe. She read the rest of the story and then let the magazine slide to the floor.
The pain she'd been holding at bay for months, years, roared to life, sucking her into the bleakest, loneliest place she'd ever been. For the first time, she couldn't even imagine crawling out of this pit.
She staggered to her feet, her vision blurred by tears, and reached for her car keys. She couldn't live like this anymore.
Copyright @ Kristin Hannah 2013
A Common Day At The Hospital
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Rosemary Beach Press LLC (March 1, 2014)
Greenwich, Connecticut socialite Jaspar Moran has it all-a magnificent estate, two beautiful children and a loving husband, Trevor, serving as the Secretary of the Treasury. Protected, admired and living in the lap of luxury, Jaspar is reeling from the news that his government jet has crashed just as her children vanish without a trace. An ominous message warns her to keep silent about her husband's role in the President's economic plan. Or else. Determined to save her children, she'll go to hell and back, form alliances with assassins, traitors and Mafioso, and commit unspeakable acts-if that's what it takes. With alarms sounding around the world, hunted from all sides, and unsure of who to trust, she finds herself depending on a mysterious figure without an identity. Jaspar journeys from the Australian outback to the palazzos of Rome, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, and to the magnificence of the Vatican, in her quest. Can she rescue her children before the plot to crash the global economy is unleashed?
Q & A PLUS an Excerpt below!