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). Last week, the moment Shannon was waiting for came … and went, as Joya walked away from him. The two agreed to remain friends, but as Joya takes her mother-in-law home after the party, she is left with the reality of her situation–her walking away isn’t so much about lack of interest as it is about unresolved grief over her husband’s passing.
They got ready for bed and turned in with only a brief ‘goodnight’. Joya tried to rest, but she couldn’t fight the dark emotions settling over her. Not wanting to be alone, she got up and climbed into bed with Gail. The older woman turned around and looked at her.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
Joya knew her mood was obvious. It was a fine balance in the past, being strong, hiding how she felt so she could be the shoulder Gail leaned on–tonight, though, she didn’t think she could do this on her own.
“I miss Michael,” she said quietly.
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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