Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pretending to Dance - A Shout Out and Book Excerpt!

Idgie Says:
This is a nice hearty-sized book to disappear into for a while.  A great mystery of what Molly is hiding and what will happen if it's found out.


St. Martin's Press
October 6, 2015

Book Description:

Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to soon adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her.

As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved: Her mother, the woman who raised her and who Molly says is dead but is very much alive. Her birth mother, whose mysterious presence raised so many issues. The father she adored, whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison Ridge.

Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.
Told with Diane Chamberlain's compelling prose and gift for deft exploration of the human heart, Pretending to Dance is an exploration of family, lies, and the complexities of both.



San Diego
          I'm a good liar.
          I take comfort in that fact as Aidan and I sit next to each other on our leather sectional, so close together that our thighs touch. I wonder if that's too close. Patti, the  social worker sitting on the other wing of our sectional, writes something in her notes and with every scribble of her pen, I worry her words will cost us our baby. I imagine she's writing The couple appears to be codependent to an unhealthy degree. As if picking up on my nervousness, Aidan takes my hand, squeezing it against his warm palm. How can he be so calm?
          "You're both thirty-eight, is that right?" Patti asks.
          We nod in unison.
          Patti isn't at all what I expected. In my mind I've dubbed her 'Perky Patti'. I'd expected someone dour, older, judgmental. She's a licensed social worker, but she can't be any older than twenty-five. Her blond hair is in a pony tail, her blue eyes are huge and her eyelashes look like something out of an advertisement in Vogue. She has a quick smile and bubbly enthusiasm. Yet, still, Perky Patti holds our future in her hands and despite her youth and bubbly charm, she intimidates me.
          Patti looks up from her notes. "How did you meet?" she asks.
          "At a law conference," I say. "2003."
          "It was love at first sight for me," Aidan says. I know he means it. He's told me often enough. It was your freckles, he'd say, touching his finger to the bridge of my nose. Right now, I feel the warmth of his gaze on me.
          "We hit it off right away." I smile at Aidan, remembering the first time I saw him. The workshop was on immigration law, which would later become Aidan's specialization. He'd come in late, backpack slung over one shoulder, bicycle helmet dangling from his hand, blond hair jutting up in all directions. His gray t-shirt was damp with sweat and he was out of breath. Our workshop leader, a humorless woman with a stiff looking black bob, glared at him but he gave her that endearing smile of his, his big brown eyes apologetic behind his glasses. His smile said, I know I'm late and I'm sorry, but I'll make you happy that I'm in your workshop. I watched her melt, her features softening as she nodded toward an empty chair in the center of the room. I'd been a wounded soul back then. I'd sworn off men a couple of years earlier after a soul-searing broken engagement to my long-time boyfriend Jordan, but I knew in that moment that I wanted to get to know this particular man, Aidan James, and I introduced myself to him during the break. I was smitten. Aidan was playful, sexy and brainy, an irresistible combination. Eleven years later, I still can't resist him.
          "You're in immigration law, is that right?" Patti looks at Aidan.
          "Yes. I'm teaching at the University of San Diego right now."
          "And you're family law?" She looks at me and I nod.
          "How long did you date before you got married?" she asks.
          "About a year," Aidan says. It had only been eight months, but I knew he thought a year sounded better.
          "Did you try to have children right away?"
          "No," I say. "We wanted to focus on our careers first. We never realized we'd have a problem when we finally started trying."
          "And why are you unable to have children of your own?"
          "Well, initially it was just that we couldn't get pregnant," Aidan says. "We tried for two years before going to a specialist."
          I remember those years all too well. I'd cry every time I'd get my period. Every single time. 
          "When I finally did get pregnant," I say, "I lost the baby at twenty weeks and had to have a hysterectomy." The words sound dry as they leave my mouth, no hint of the agony behind them. Our lost daughter, Sara. Our lost dreams.