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). Though Joya and Shannon have spent lots of time together, Joya is still operating under the status quo–a widow unable to love again. But while the Independence Day party still rages on, Joya comes to an important realization–not about herself, but Shannon, leaving her with a decision to make.
Joya looked around the yard, searching for Shannon. She saw dozens of faces, many of whom she hadn’t yet met, but none were him. He was probably inside, helping out. What was she hoping to see though — the look he gave her when his eyes rested upon her? Did she hope to hear his heart when he said her name, or promised her whatsoever her heart desired? What was he going to ask her before his cousins interrupted him? Was he going to ask her out, ask her to open her heart to him? Could she?
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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