Coming out March 15 from Whiskey Creek Press
Blurb: Smoldering Ember
After 5 years of divorce, Cassandra Vance is invited to her ex-husband's new building inaugural ceremony. As a city's most successful architect, Ethan Vance, has worked hard for the prestige earned. Though time has passed, Cassandra had always wondered the what-if of things long lost. Over the course of two days, her life changes significantly and in ways she never imagined. In a single conversation with her ex-husband, Cassandra realizes the conditions Ethan had to give up everything. Coming to terms with the truth and a hidden secret, both Cassandra and Ethan learn that there are some fires that can never be extinguished.
Picking up the phone, she twirled the cord in her fingertips as a renewed zest pumped her attitude. She flipped through her rolodex of numbers, but the small stirrings in her heart fluttered. Had Ethan changed much over the years? Did he still have that devastating smile that could always undo her? Did he have the little creases around his eyes when he smiled? Who was he with at that moment? She knew it wasn't Stacey Williams any longer. There was talk in the news Ethan had quit the architect firm a few days after he received the divorce papers.
Taken out of her thoughts, Cassandra smiled at the trusted voice. "Kat, it's me, Cassie."
"Hey, girl, what's up?"
She coiled the phone cord with gnawing uncertainty. How was she going to tell her best friend about Ethan? Katherine—or Kat as she went by—was her lifeline from many years. Kat was her maid of honor at her wedding, her longest friend since childhood. The night she found Ethan with Stacey Williams, Cassandra ran to Kat's house. Kat did the one thing only a friend could do: offer ice cream and violence. They sat with tears in both their eyes, chocolate pint-size containers half eaten, chocolate cookies covering the table, and arms around each other in comfort, stating how they would beat him to a pulp. She remembered that conversation with clarity. Kat had amusingly informed her that Ethan would be plucked of all body hair and fingernails, tarred, feathered, have vinegar poured on him, and then finally drowned in toilet.
Cassandra told her all the deep pained secrets, desires, and longings she wished for, things to this day she had never repeated in Kat's presence, but ached for deep inside when she slept at night. The most important reason Kat was her lifeline was the night Cassandra needed her dear friend's support. To this day, she didn't know how she made it, but she did.
"I got a letter today." Hesitation laced through her voice.
"Well, yes, sweetie, that's what happens when you get mail; one of them may be addressed to you."
"Okay, okay, smartass, that's not what I meant." She chuckled with amusement.
"What is it then?"
She bit her fingernails. "Ethan sent me an invitation."
"Ethan? That sorry son of a bitch contacted you?" Kat yelled into the phone.
Cassandra winced and pulled the phone away from her ear. Oh, she was waiting for that one. Of all people, Kat truly would want to find the man just to appease her anger as she pounded him into unconsciousness. If she mentioned it to her parents, there was no doubt her father would pick up Kat and then blow Ethan's head off.