Broken Pieces

Her Books Presents: Book Club Picks

If looks could kill, her daughter would be a goddess whose stare withered Megan into dust in the hallway. All from the glance of a ten year old.

“Why, Mom? Why won’t you let us walk?” Alexis half-turned on the stairs, hands on her hips as she challenged a rule they had created two years ago.

Megan closed her eyes and pinched the top of her nose. Drops of water from the end of her high ponytail dripped down the back of her neck. She’d rushed through her shower.

“Alexis, you know why,” she said. Her head throbbed. Great. It was only eight in the morning and she already had a headache. Megan headed to the kitchen for aspirin and water.

“But you let us walk home . . .” Alexis followed her.

“Yes, with an adult. Not alone. Sorry, but you are not walking to school by yourself. Honestly, Alex. Why do you have to push this? And today of all days.” With last night’s attempted abduction plastered all over the news there was no way another one of her daughters would be kidnapped. Not this time.

The afternoon Safe Walks program she’d started was going well, but she couldn’t round up enough volunteers to help in the mornings. She hoped by next year she would. Until then, she would continue to drive her daughter to school. It was the least she could do.

“What’s the big deal? Dad trusts us enough to walk home.”

Megan swallowed the pills and leaned against the counter. “I’m not Dad.”

The look of defiance on her daughter’s face dissolved before she walked out of the kitchen and headed back up the stairs. Megan shook her head.

“Stop arguing and just get ready,” she called over her shoulder. The thud of Alexis’s feet as they stomped up the stairs sounded along the hardwood floor.

“And change into a pair of pants without holes in the knees,” she said before Alexis had the chance to slam her door.

Megan grabbed her glass of water and headed into Peter’s office.

His desk was a mess. Books were piled up in one corner, stacks of bills and house appraisals in the other. His laptop had been moved to the edge of his desk so he could read the morning news. Peter sat there, his fingers splayed through this hair.

“Did you know about this?” He leaned back in his chair and held up the front page for her to see.

The headline captivated her attention: Missing. A ball of steel dropped in Megan’s stomach. Oh God, please let that little girl be okay. Her heart raced at the thought of another family having to experience their nightmare.

She pulled the paper toward her when she realized the picture wasn’t of the little girl plastered all over the evening news, but of Emma.

Her baby.

“Always remembered, always loved. Emma Taylor will turn five years old today. As a town, we pray for her safe return.”

“I had no idea.” Megan’s hand shook as she scanned the article and read about the attempted abduction beneath a recap about Emma. She handed the paper back to Peter who folded it up and let it drop to the floor before reaching for Megan.

“I was thinking we could play hooky and spend the day together. Maybe go for a drive along the beach?” Peter pulled her into his lap and ran his hand along her jawline before he cupped the back of her neck and brought her close.

Megan pulled away. “I have that assembly later this afternoon I need to get ready for.”

She watched the light in Peter’s eyes dim. “But, I could always pick up some coffee. . .”

Peter eyed her chest and winked. “Is there anything else on the menu with the coffee?”

Megan leaned forward and placed a tender kiss on his lips.

“Maybe,” she said, her voice transformed into a husky whisper. She pulled away only to be tugged back down. This time Peter didn’t settle for a small kiss. When his lips met hers, he didn’t hold back. He made sure she knew what he wanted on the menu. Megan sighed. It had been so long . . .

“Argh, would you guys get a room or something? Gross.” Alexis groaned from outside the door.

“Oops,” Megan said while Peter rubbed at his face with his free hand. “I’ll be back with coffee.”

Peter’s voice stopped her from leaving. “Promise?”

Megan looked at Peter. Really looked at him. She knew he meant more than just coffee. Their intimacy, or lack thereof, was starting to hurt their marriage. She could see it in his eyes.

“Yes,” she said. She gave him a wink before facing her daughter.

“I was thinking we could go out for ice cream or something tonight. You know, to celebrate. . .” She listened to the silence that met her words.

She took the brush and elastic Alexis held out, spun her daughter around so her back faced her, and then pulled her hair into a ponytail high on her head.

“Are we really going to celebrate Emma’s birthday?” Alexis asked.

Peter walked out of the room.

Megan swallowed past the lump in her throat as she caught the slight droop of his shoulders. “Of course we will.” She kissed the top of her daughter’s head before turning her around to give her a brief hug and glance down at her new outfit. Alexis had changed into a brown sundress with tiny white flowers along the hem, a soft purple cardigan over top and blue socks pulled high up her legs. Megan shook her head but kept her mouth shut. This battle is not worth it. At least she’d changed her pants.

“All right, you. Ready? How about if I drop you off at the corner this time so you can pretend you didn’t get a ride to school.” Megan placed her arm around her daughter’s shoulders.

Alexis shrugged. “Whatever.” They both knew Megan wouldn’t drive away until she knew both her children were safe inside the school. She never did.



Samples to Savor: Book Club Picks, presented by Her Books:

Discover your book club’s next page-turner and spark fascinating conversations with your friends in this free sampling from eight bestselling authors. You’ll find rich prose, evocative plots, compelling characters and surprising twists from:

Finding Emma by Steena Holmes
Composing Myself by Elena Aitken
Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby
The Scandalous Ward by Karla Darcy
The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi
The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands
Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson
Depraved Heart by Kathleen Valentine

About the Author(s):
Bestselling authors Steena Holmes, Elena Aitken, Rachel Thompson, Patricia Sands, Christine Nolfi, Kathleen Valentine, Bette Lee Crosby and Karla Darcy provide readers worldwide with contemporary fiction and nonfiction releases ranging from historical romance to literary.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG

Connect with the authors on Faceboook



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