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LONG WALK, SHORT PIER
BY LINDA RETTSTATT
Blaire Copeland is told she’s going through ‘the change.’ Between hot flashes and mood swings, she tries to figure out what she’s changing into. At fifty-five, she thought she’d slip quietly into menopause. She was so wrong. Her mother tells her it’s her time–time to stop doing and start listening to her inner voice that will guide her through this change. Confused, but trusting her mother, Blaire heads south to Eventide, her family home on Isle of Hope, Georgia, to reflect on what it might mean to change and to take a long walk off a short pier. Where will she land?
BY LINDA RETTSTATT
When I first started writing, I wrote women’s fiction. But I soon realized that some elements of romance kept creeping into my stories. Then I wrote a contemporary romance and learned why—writing romance is fun. My heroines generally tend to be beyond the traditional contemporary romance age and, as I get older, so do they. I discovered a group of authors who write ‘seasoned’ romance. Now, you might associate the term with hot and spicy, but that’s not necessarily the case. Though some of the more mature heroes and heroines still have a fire blazing in their furnaces. I found that, as a woman of a certain age (and no, I’m not saying what age), I can better relate to seasoned characters, women and men who have been around the block a time or two, generally involved in a second-chance romance. Technically, seasoned romance refers to romance with characters age thirty-five and older. Mine tend to be in the older (forties or fifties) category.
In my newest book, Long Walk, Short Pier, I’ve blended my two writing loves—women’s fiction and seasoned romance. And I had so darned much fun writing this book. Seasoned characters have so much to offer a writer. They’ve lived a little, and they have baggage that they prefer to think of as ‘experience.’ That doesn’t mean they can’t be surprised or that they can’t fall in love again.
Such is the case with Blaire Copeland. At fifty-five, she is told she’s going through ‘the change.’ Between hot flashes and mood swings, she tries to figure out what she’s changing into. Her friends have already made this transition, so Blaire thought she’d slipped quietly into menopause without notice. She was so wrong. She’s divorced and also feeling a pull to step away from her life and examine all these changes. Her father’s favorite phrase had been, ‘Some people should take a long walk off a short pier.’ Blaire now thinks this could apply to her, that she needs to take a long walk—or run—and drop off the end of a metaphorical pier to see where she lands.
Her mother tells her it’s her time—time to stop doing and start listening to her inner voice that will guide her through this change. Confused, but trusting her mother’s wisdom, Blaire heads south to Eventide, her family home on Isle of Hope, Georgia, to reflect on what it might mean to change—and to take a long walk or a flying leap off a short pier. The solitude she anticipates is not to be had. She finds a single mom of two—the caretaker’s fiancée and children—living in the house. She is also reunited with Davis Rembert, the boy she once fantasized about marrying, and the attraction has not died. If she thought the hot flashes were going to consume her, they were barely a spark compared to the heat Davis reignites.
Blaire strolled the bluff overlooking the river. Frogs croaked along the water’s edge. The heavy aroma of earth filled her nose. Lights twinkled on the dock at the marina farther down the bluff. An occasional burst of laughter rolled from one of the porches. She reached the corner and stopped to observe the Rembert house. It was a much larger Victorian that occupied the entire corner. Live oaks and magnolia trees were scattered around the property. A fieldstone walk led to the front porch.
Lights shone from the first floor. She followed the stone walk, but stopped again before climbing the steps to the porch. So many memories flooded back to her. The one that stuck was that of the last time she’d been inside this house. Davis’s mother, Christine, had passed away. Blaire insisted on driving down for the funeral, even though Martin protested. That had been nearly twenty years earlier. She and Martin had left the children with her mother. A part of Blaire had hoped the time away for just the two of them would rekindle a spark, but she’d been wrong.
After the burial service, guests had been invited to return to the house for lunch. Martin hastily ate and interrupted her conversation with Davis to say he was going back to their house, to call if she needed a ride. She told him she didn’t need anything, to go, embarrassed by his behavior.
Later, when she carried plates to the kitchen and began to clean up, Davis came in and stopped her. “That’s why I hired caterers.” He’d asked if she was okay, and she’d burst into tears. He hugged her, she sank into him, and, before either of them knew what was happening, he kissed her. He apologized, she forgave him, and then she slipped out and returned home. She didn’t take his call the next day. They’d not spoken since.
“Are you just going to just stand there, Irish? Or are you coming in?”
His voice startled her. That and the use of the nickname only Davis had for her.
Linda Rettstatt is an award-winning author who discovered her passion for writing after years of working in the human services field. When she’s not writing, Linda loves travel, penny slot machines, and figuring out what makes people tick. Her fantasy is to win the lottery, buy an old Victorian home on the eastern shore, and open a writer’s retreat. While she waits for that fantasy to materialize (i.e. that miracle to happen), she continues to live and work in NW Mississippi and to write under the constant observation of her tuxedo cat, Binky.
Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, etc.
Facebook: Linda Rettstatt, Writing for Women
Editing service FB page: Linda Edits 4 U
Or at Amazon.com as Linda Rettstatt
Thanks, Linda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!