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About the author:
Rebecca Moisio is a young author from the backwaters of Ohio where she dreams of misunderstood monsters, dashing heroes, and exciting adventures. She is actively striving to become a part of the television production world as she hones her writing skills. She enjoys plotting to take over the world, baking delicious creations, discovering interesting words, and sporks.
Here is a short sample from the book:
My grandmum was an interesting person. At times, she was quite magnanimous. At other times, she was quite horrific. She was an underwhelming meter and a half tall and about as thin as a lamp pole. But she could certainly bring down the toughest man with a mere glare. There are two things about my grandmum which I will always hold dear to my heart – aside from her love. The first was the way she would always bring me my most favorite cookies whenever she came to visit – jammy dodgers. The second was the advice that she gave. No matter the situation, she always had some sort of matching phrase or idiom. Even though she’d passed away, I still heard her voice in my head as I stared down the Band-Aid of a dress hanging off of the closet door.
“Every girl should own a little black dress. Especially if you have big hips.”
Mine was indeed quite little. David – the boyfriend – had bought it especially for that night. I was seventy-five percent sure that he forgot my size because this thing was nearly two sizes too small. Either that or he was trying to send me a message about my weight. I’d like to think he simply forgot. Whatever the case was, the small dress was the least of my problems that night. Party hair is not a specialty of mine. I know how to blow dry and flatiron my fine brown locks, but that’s about it. Anything fancier and I start burning my fingers and getting hairspray in my eyes – both of which had already happened at that point. I nearly died trying to put my hair in curlers. The result was something very close to a bird’s nest. All frizz and dried ends with just enough shape to let people know I had actually attempted a real hairstyle.
Perhaps a nice bun was in order. That was fairly manageable. Perhaps elegant? Yes. A chic, elegant bun.
With a handful of pins and a can of spray, I managed to tame down the tresses into a slightly more presentable style. Which meant I looked like a mild hurricane rather than an earth-shaking tsunami.
“Ada! We’re late!” David yelled from the bedroom.
I rolled my eyes. “Give me five more minutes. I need to throw some makeup on.”
I overdid everything in my haste and ended up looking like a clown, but at least there was some sort of barrier between my face and the world. It was a better than nothing. In theory, anyway. The dress was much more important. It took a lot more effort than any dress had any right to take. I think I pulled a muscle trying to wedge myself into the thing. My stomach sort of bulged, but I was used to a bulging stomach.
“Shoes! Let me get my shoes!” I snapped. Once I strapped the spikes to my feet, I tottered out to David.
He looked me over with those piercing eyes of his. Gorgeous eyes—don’t get me wrong. David is quite the handsome hunk. He’s got beautiful blue eyes, a firm square jaw, luscious golden hair, and he’s tall. It’s enough to make any woman swoon. But he is on the impatient side. I loved dating David. Honest, I did. He’s a good man. He’s smart and successful and a terrific kisser. He bought me a diamond necklace for our anniversary (which was promptly misplaced – but I’d rather not go into that story). He was there for me when I had my accident eight months ago – in the hospital, holding my hand. He put up with my mum when she came to help me through recovery for two weeks.
He’s really a terrific guy.
I walked out of the bathroom and smiled at him. “All ready. Sorry it took so long.”
David looked me up and down, and I felt like a cow being appraised for auction. “That’s, uh, fine. Are you doing your makeup in the car?” he asked.
I blinked. The answer was “no” of course, but I was suddenly very ashamed to admit it. “Did the dress smear it?” I asked with a wince.
The corner of his mouth quirked up into a pseudo-sympathetic smile. “I guess so. I’ll get the car started. You go get your things.”
He left, and I heaved a heavy sigh. This night was gearing up to be a disaster. It was already promising sheer boredom. David’s boss throws these lavish parties every few months. Only the very best employees are invited – not the interns or the janitors or the secretaries. Not the interesting people. Naturally, as David’s girlfriend, I was also expected to attend the party. It’s one of those unavoidable social customs. The only time I was able to get out of one of these things was when my leg was in a cast up to my thigh, and I looked like someone had hit me with their car – which was very near to the truth.
I felt like that cow again – being led from the auction pens to the slaughter pens.
The makeup was strewn all over the bathroom counter, and I quickly scooped up a few essentials, not really paying much attention to what I grabbed. It wasn’t as if I’d be able to successfully put on makeup in the car anyway.
A silly little tune started bleeping from my mobile. I snatched it up. The word “work” flashed across the screen.
“Bix, hey, it’s Alex,” came the voice of my boss. He’s a good boss. Friendly, personable, organized, smart.
“Alex, please tell me there’s an emergency, and you need me at the shop,” I said in a rush. The thought of having to rush to work was suddenly very, very appealing.
“And… I just needed to know where you put the box of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” I’m running inventory,” Alex said. “You ok?”
I sighed, running my hand over my messy bun as if that would make it smooth. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just have this party I’m trying to get out of.”
He chuckled, his breath snorting into the phone. “Going out with that Dave guy?”
“David, yes. It’s a work party,” I explained.
Alex groaned. “Those are the worst! That’s why I never throw parties. Although I do have the occasional social gathering. Perhaps a few bashes. Maybe even celebrations. You know, you should just break up with him. I could take you bowling instead.”
I laughed a little humorlessly. “That’s not helpful, Alex. But look, if you happen to accidentally set the store on fire, and you need my help to put it out—”
“I’ll call you,” he promised.
“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure thing. Oh hey, books?” he asked.
“Try upstairs near the box of special orders.”
He hung up. He was never one for saying a proper goodbye. I didn’t mind. I’m very bad at ending phone conversations. I can’t read social cues unless I can see the person I’m talking to, and I end up trailing off and creating that dreaded awkward pause until the person I talk to hangs up. Alex just cut right to the chase. David just stopped calling me.
I looked at myself one last time, feeling my spirits sink a little lower, and then I finally joined David in the car and tried to not look like a disaster. After poking myself in the eye with the eyeliner twice, I gave up. I couldn’t help but notice the way David avoided looking at me or the disappointed sigh he huffed when we pulled up to the house.
Thanks, babe. Way to make me feel great about myself.
There were loads of cars in the driveway. I gave him a smile.
“Looks like it’s going to be a fun night,” I said with as much positivity as I could muster. I didn’t actually believe that it was going to be fun. David gave me a tight lipped smile that was anything but honest. He didn’t believe it would be fun either. And yet, we still both attempted to maintain the illusion.
“Sure,” he said.
I moaned inwardly in a dramatic fashion.