Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. Today’s selection comes from my new release, The Book of Joy. The full synopsis is below. Following last week’s church visit, the outcome remains the same: Shannon and Joya are still ‘just friends.’ Then an accident occurs, bringing them all to Evelyn’s house, where seeds of doubt are sown. Maybe there was something more…
“Do you and your husband live near here?” Ashley asked as she chopped up some onions for the casserole they were working on. Joya was so focused on her part of the recipe, she didn’t immediately realize Ashley was talking to her, then it was another minute before Joya understood Ashley was referring to Shannon.
“Oh, no, we’re not married,” she corrected her, “I’m just a family friend.”
“I’m sorry, I assumed by the way you two were…” —she paused, seemingly searching for the right words. Joya was suddenly curious. She stopped what she was doing and turned to the young woman, causing her to blush— “…friendly with each other, I thought maybe you were married…or together at least; you definitely make a cute couple.”
Joya considered her actions around Shannon. Yes, she was friendly, but not any more so with Shannon than with any one else…right?
Shannon wants for nothing except the love of a good woman. However, he is so focused on his career and caring for his elderly mother Evelyn, he doesn’t realize he’s missing anything. Until he meets Joya, the widowed daughter-in-law of a family friend. She is a loving, generous woman who brings a much-needed spark into his life; but because she is younger than him and still dealing with the loss of her husband, he is hesitant to approach her.
Joya, for her part, maintains a good attitude about her situation and is appreciative of the people around her—especially Shannon, whose friendship fills the gaps in her life that would otherwise remain empty. But after burying her husband, she isn’t sure she has it in her to fall in love again.
This, of course, will not do for Evelyn, who sees the potential for love (and grandchildren) in them. Nor for Gail, the family friend, who has her own reasons for wanting to match the two. They go to great lengths to bring Shannon and Joya together. But as the four contend with the directions their lives are moving, they soon discover that sometimes life is more about letting yourself be loved than it is about falling into it.
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