Today I’d like to welcome Robyn Carr back to Reading Reality! Robyn is the author of one of my new favorite series, Thunder Point (located just down the coast in Oregon)! The first book in the Thunder Point series is The Wanderer (review here) and the brand new book is The Newcomer (review here). Here is an excerpt from that book:
Gina filled the scrub bucket and pulled on her rubber gloves. It was her curse that when she had a lot on her mind, she cleaned. She was just about to get on her hands and knees behind the counter to give the floor a good scouring when the door to the diner opened. She looked up to see a woman come in. In fact, the woman nearly took her breath away, she was so stunning. She had thick raven hair that fell to her shoulders in those soft Hollywood curls, shining blue eyes, ivory skin, pink cheeks and luscious lips. She looked familiar and Gina wondered if she’d seen her in a movie. She wore very expensive clothes as only a woman like herself, who bought discount whenever possible, would know. Designer slacks, shiny pumps with very high heels, a leather blazer with a designer logo on the breast pocket. And her purse was worth at least a week of Gina’s tips—a Dooney & Bourke.
Gina pulled off her gloves and smiled. “Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” the woman said, smiling with straight, white teeth. “I wonder if you know—will the Sheriff’s office across the street be closed all day, since it’s Saturday?”
“No, but since they usually have only one of the deputies in on the weekends, he’s in and out. Do you need the police?”
“No,” she said with a laugh. “I just wanted to see Deputy McCain. I wonder if he’s going to be around today?”
“Well, you might just have stumbled into the right place.” Gina looked at her watch. “He’s working today and in about an hour, he’ll probably be stopping by for his morning coffee. Unless he’s tied up somewhere.”
“That’s good. If you don’t mind, I’ll stick around. See if he comes in.”
“I can call him for you, if you’d like.”
“You know him?”
Gina laughed. “Everyone knows everyone here. Plus, their office being across the street from the diner means we see each other almost every day. I’ll check and make sure he’s coming by this morning.”
“Thanks,” she said, digging into her expensive purse for her cell phone. “I should return a couple of calls while I wait.”
“Perfect. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Anything?”
“Coffee would be great. And how about a slice of that pie?”
“Coming up. I’ll get that for you before I call him.” While the woman went to a booth in the rear of the diner, presumably so that Gina wouldn’t overhear her talking to her good friend George Clooney, Gina served up a cup of coffee and slice of pie. She took it back to the incognito movie star. Since she wasn’t talking on the phone yet, Gina asked, “Can I tell him who’s waiting for him?”
“Well, I wanted to surprise him, but go ahead. Tell him it’s his wife. I’m Cee Jay McCain.” And she flashed that glorious smile.
Gina was frozen. Stunned. The coffee and pie were suspended in midair. “Wife?” she asked weakly. “I thought Mac was divorced.”
“Right. Ex-wife,” she amended. “We’ve been out of touch and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
Gina put down the pie and coffee. “Let me make that call,” she said, scooting back behind the counter.
Gina’s hands actually trembled as she fished her phone out of her pocket. She had a lot of bizarre and random thoughts as she punched in Mac’s number. I should get my teeth whitened, she thought. Underwire, I need more underwire….
Glancing over, she could see that Cee Jay was chatting and laughing into her phone. Gina turned away so that her back was facing Cee Jay.
“McCain,” he answered.
“Mac, I think you’d better come to the diner if you can. There’s someone here to see you.”
“Gina? You all right?”
She cleared her throat. “Mmm. Yeah, fine. Are you coming?”
“Mac, you’re not driving, are you?”
“I don’t want you to drive up a pole….”
“I’m pulled over. What’s going on?”
“It’s Cee Jay, Mac. She’s here. To see you.”
Dead silence answered her. And it stretched out.
“Mac?” she asked.
“Good thing I was pulled over. Listen, try to keep this quiet. I have to know what she wants and I don’t want the whole town to know before I have a chance to talk to my kids. And to Lou.”
“Not a problem,” Gina said.
“I’m there in five.”
“Sure. Fine. Drive carefully.”
Gina disconnected. She looked down at herself. Cheap black pants that were no longer as black as they had once been, checkered blouse, name tag… Why did she always wear that stupid name tag? There had been about four people she didn’t know in the diner in the last month. God, the woman was so beautiful. And no wonder she seemed familiar—Eve was a younger version of her mother.
Gina felt a devastation come over her. Grief. After four years of devoted friendship she and Mac had finally become lovers. They tried to be discreet since their sixteen-year-old daughters were best friends, but at long last they could hold hands, embrace, even a chaste kiss was appropriate. Privately, there was more, so much more. Passion so rich, her whole life had been changed by it. They loved each other, they’d said so.
But now? What would he do after seeing Cee Jay? Would everything change? Even if Cee Jay hadn’t come back to reclaim her ex-husband, would Mac take one look at her and fall in love all over again? How could he not?
Gina poured herself a cup of coffee. She wasn’t much of a drinker but she sure wished she had a shot of something to jack up that coffee. Her hands trembled as she lifted the cup to her lips. And while Cee Jay laughed and chatted into the phone, taking petite bites of her apple pie, she appeared so carefree. So animated. How do you leave your three children, not see them for ten years, then stroll back into their lives all happy-go-lucky? How do you do that?
Gina had the sense that the world she knew was changing, and she had no idea what the outcome might be, but she was suddenly afraid.
Robyn is giving away two print copies of The Newcomer! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: