Happy Monday! Home Again, the first book in my Home series, was released in paperback this week. It's funny because all the other books in the series are already in paperback, but that one was a smidge shorter so it didn't make the cutoff. Thankfully, we found a way to solve that problem by including another story in the
paperback - A Shot at Forgiveness.
If you haven't read either of these stories, now is the time because the paperback comes with both ebooks for free. Also, Noah, one of the main characters in Home Again, makes an appearance in the last Home book so you can meet him early. If you want to know a little more about the books, you can check out the reviews they got at Joyfully Jay (love that review site!): Home Again review; A Shot at Forgiveness Review.
Following in my footsteps from last week, I'll share a memory from when I wrote Home Again. I was at a retreat thing for work. We were out far away from everything in cabins in the woods. The people sharing my cabin were out so I had some time to myself. I sat on the porch, enjoyed the sunset and the fresh air, and wrote a scene about my main character's mother passing away:
Her funeral was beautiful. It was like the earth knew one of its believers was coming home. The normally cold November weather tempered. The sky was extra blue, scattered with white, fluffy clouds, and decorated with a double rainbow. As we stood outside and lowered her casket into the ground, the leaves on the trees danced and a light breeze sailed past me in a soft caress, drying my tears before they could make their way down my cheeks.
Lots of people came out to remember my mother that day—her friends from childhood who still lived in Emile City, her friends from all over the country who flew in to see her, her sister and cousins, and even some of my friends, including the Formans. Noah caught my gaze as my mom was lowered into the ground. Looking into his hazel eyes gave me strength and comfort. After we buried her, everyone went back to my Aunt Shirley’s house and sat around telling stories about my mother.
The Formans came by, but they left after only a few minutes. I briefly wondered whether the stories had driven them away—my mother was no wallflower, and almost all of the stories involved tales of her youth, which was spent wandering the country with different men, fighting for a variety of causes.
“Clark, are you sure you don’t want to stay here with us? We have plenty of space for you, dear. The girls are happy to share a room and we can put you in Tracey’s room.”
Everyone had left and I was helping my Aunt Shirley clean up the last of the plates and glasses.
“Thanks, Aunt Shirley, but I want to go home. I won’t turn down a home-cooked meal every now and then, though.”
She patted my back. It didn’t feel exactly like the pats my mom used to give me, but it’d have to do.
“There’s no problem with that, Clark. You’re welcome here anytime. This is home now, you hear? Don’t you dare try to stay away.”
I gave her a hug.
“You know I won’t. Good night, Aunt Shirley.”
By the time I got home, it was after ten. I sighed as I set my keys in the bowl by the door and looked around. This was it, I was alone. Well, I still had her in my heart. That wouldn't ever change.
I took a long shower and let the hot water hit my back and relieve some of my tension. That was the longest I’d stood still in days, and my exhaustion finally caught up with me. When I noticed my eyelids drooping shut, I turned off the water, wiped myself dry, and shuffled to my bedroom. I pulled on some sweats pants and a long shirt, crawled under the covers, and was about to close my eyes when I heard the doorbell ring.
What the hell? A look at the clock on my nightstand told me it was after eleven o’clock. I walked out to the living room quietly, and moved toward the front door without making any noise, in case the person out there was up to no good. A quick look through the peephole confirmed that suspicion, but not in a bad way.
I swung my door open and smiled for the first time in a week.
“Noah Forman. Should I even bother asking what you’re doing out at this hour?”
Noah raised his captivating hazel eyes up to meet my blue ones and my heart stuttered. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and shifted from foot to foot. For the first time since I’d met him, Noah seemed nervous.
“I wanted to see if you were okay. I… I thought you could use some company. Can I come in?”
Have a great week.