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 matchmakers decided to ditch their machinations and go with the truth. They knew Shannon was in love with Joya, but weren’t sure where Joya stood in all this. Was it even worth their efforts? Was their a future between them? It was left for Gail to talk to her daughter-in-law Joya and find out. This is the second to last excerpt I’ll post from this book.
“Don’t do this; you know if Michael was here—”
“But he’s not; worse than that, the moment he stopped living, so did you.”
Joya had no response for that–deep down inside she knew Gail was right.
“You’re going through the motions, Joya; you’re existing, looking for something to distract you from the memories, but you can’t continue like this–you have to start living again, you have to start enjoying life, you have to start loving again.”
“I do,” Joya insisted, her eyes stinging with unshed tears, “I love you.”
Gail shook her head and said, “Not me.”
And though Joya could deny it to her dying breath, she knew whom Gail meant—Shannon. She had scarcely been able to get him out of her mind; she had tried, so very hard, but couldn’t…and it scared her.
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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