Monday, August 8, 2011

Michelle Sutton's Letting Go

Michelle has been writing for a number of years and is a member of ACFW, as well as an avid book reviewer and blogger on a variety of sites. She founded Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers social networking site which is quickly approaching 1000 members.

Southeastern Arizona is where Michelle calls home. She and her husband are approaching twenty-one years of marriage and their two sons will begin their second year of college this fall.

She is the author of well over a dozen novels releasing through 2014, and presently has three publishers. They are... Sheaf House, Desert Breeze Publishing, & Sword of the Spirit.

You can find Michelle online at
her website, http://www.michellesutton.net,
Twitter twitter.com/MichelleSutton,
Facebook www.facebook.com/MichelleSuttonAuthor,
Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers social media network: edgychristianfictionlovers.ning.com,
her Healing Hearts book review blog edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com.

Letting Go

Outwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she’s beautiful and talented, and yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Longing to be loved for who she is, not for what she looks like, she finally realizes the world’s view of love is totally unrealistic and distorted and gives up on romance. She wants to find a better way but has no clue where to look.

Dave Passel can never father a biological child. He loves his foster son deeply, but something goes terribly wrong before the adoption can be finalized. When the State tries to reunite the child with the birth mother he has never known and the new caseworker accuses Dave of sabotaging visits with her, he hires Diane to fight for him in court. He believes in God’s sovereignty, but bad experiences with his late wife make it hard for him to trust Diane as she advocates for his son. If only he didn’t struggle so much with letting go . . .

Here's an excerpt of Letting Go:

A romantic song played in the background at the Coffee Grounds Café in Seattle, Washington. Standing in line at the counter, Diane Simmons smiled and listened to the lyrics, convinced the words were a sign. Things were finally turning around in her love life.

Preoccupied, she yanked her wallet from her Coach bag. Cash and credit cards skittered across the tile. She squatted and chased the items around with her nails. Carefully retrieving the bills first, she shoved the cash into her purse and focused on gathering her credit cards. Unable to retrieve her Macy’s card from the tiled surface, she bit back a frustrated groan.

“Need help?”

A smooth male voice startled her. She glanced up into the deep blue eyes of a man in a pilot’s uniform. His perusal made her shiver. She recognized that hungry look, and it made her want to run in the other direction.

Glancing away from him, she sighed. She just wanted her card back.

“I guess.”

As the dark-haired man knelt beside her and captured the stray card, she noticed the pin on his lapel. He worked for the same airline as her boyfriend, Randy.

Tucking her hair behind her ear, she struggled to stand in her new three-inch heels. She doubted she’d ever get used to them, but Randy thought they were hot, so she wore them anyway. She wanted to look her finest when she surprised him today.

He had no idea she was in Seattle for a conference due to a last minute change in plans at her law firm. Randy would be shocked to see her, but she hoped he would be pleased too. After dating him on and off for nearly two years, she had yet to see his place. He always wanted to come to Boise and stay at her condo instead. Now she had two entire days set aside just for him, and he could show her his place this weekend.

The pilot handed her the Macy’s card and brushed his fingertips against her palm. Her experience with men told her it wasn’t an accident. He was probably just another cheating husband hoping for a quick liaison for the day, but she was done with being stupid about men. Randy was a great catch. She had no intention of ruining their relationship.

Focusing on the poster behind the man, rather than on his face, she said, “Thank you.” When she turned to walk toward the counter, her ankle wobbled.

He chuckled and grabbed her elbow. “Looks like I might need to stick around.”

She stepped away from him. Feeling the heat of his stare, she met his eyes. His attention quickly dropped to her plunging neckline, then slowly returned to her face. His smile widened, revealing gleaming white teeth.

“Can I buy you a drink? Please?”

Diane pressed her hand against her blouse, her face heating. He’d probably seen her black lace bra when she’d leaned forward. Mentally berating herself for not being more careful, she muttered, “No thanks.”

Inhaling the rich aroma of fresh brew, she checked her watch. Almost noon. In less than an hour Randy’s plane would land. He always wanted a good, strong cup of coffee after a long flight, and this was his favorite place. She hoped he didn’t break his routine today or it would mess up her plans.

After enduring two days of boring lectures, she wished she could order something strong as a reward. But surprising Randy and having a chance to visit him would be reward enough.

Resting her hand on her abdomen, she felt a rush of warmth. A tiny life grew inside her womb. She closed her eyes and imagined Randy holding their child for the first time.

Nothing in the world meant more to her than the baby she carried. And though she and Randy had never discussed marriage or becoming a family, she knew he’d be excited about her pregnancy once she gave him the news.

“Are you ready to order, ma’am?”

She opened her eyes. “Yes. I’d like a decaf Chai, please.” Removing a ten dollar bill from her wallet, she offered it to the young man. “Keep the change.”

“Thanks.” He accepted the money with a grin and rang up her order.

While she waited for him to make her drink, she closed her eyes again and imagined Randy’s smile when she told him he was going to be a daddy. He’d hug her, then they’d go to his place to celebrate . . .

Someone tapped her arm. “Are you meeting someone?”

Diane’s pulse skipped a beat. She pretended she hadn’t heard the man or felt his touch. Unfortunately she had a thing for men in uniform. That was how Randy had hooked her two years ago. She didn’t want to be rude; she just didn’t want to encourage the man.

“Excuse me.” The heat from his hand sent a shiver up her spine. “I asked if you’re meeting someone.”

She cleared her throat. “As a matter of fact, I am.”

Shrugging his hand off, she retrieved her cup, then glanced around for a place to sit. Most of the tables were full.

Several soldiers watched her as she tried to decide what to do. They smiled, and one waved for her to join them. With a noncommittal shrug, she moved toward an empty table.

Sliding onto her seat, Diane straightened her short velvet skirt and set her purse under her chair. She removed her leather blazer and hung it over the back of her seat, then tucked another wayward lock of hair behind her ear. She eyed the chocolate cheesecake pictured in a mini-menu beside the napkin holder and smiled, imagining the creamy texture of the dessert. She refused to give into temptation, however. Her clothes were already getting tight.

“Excuse me. Is this seat taken?”

She resisted the urge to stand and slap the young pilot. Glancing up, she met his gaze with a frown, hoping he’d finally take the hint and leave her alone.

He winked. “I bet you’re fantasizing about chocolate cheesecake.”

How had he managed to read her mind? She peered around the crowded coffee bar, noting her table had the only available seat. Though the man annoyed her, she didn’t want to make him stand.

“I’m waiting for someone, but it’ll be a while.” Diane tipped her head toward the vacant chair. “Go ahead. Have a seat.”

He smiled, set his coffee down, and grabbed the vinyl chair. Turning it around, he sat down and folded his arms over the back.

“Thanks.” Giving her another seductive smile, he removed his cap and set it on the table.

Her cheeks warmed at the intense, lusty gleam in his eyes. He couldn’t be more obvious about what he wanted. She despised overly flirtatious men. What she wanted was a husband, and a family. Not a one night stand.

He offered his hand. “I’m Chuck.”

“Diane.” Loosely grasping his hand, she avoided eye contact.

His fingers slid across the center of her palm as he released her hand. She pressed her lips together and bit back a rude comment. Jerk!

“Are you thinking about me?”

She rolled her eyes. “Why would you think that?”

His gaze roamed her face before settling on her mouth. “Maybe I was hoping you were.”

Diane swirled her tea around and pursed her lips to take a careful sip. Without thinking, she licked her lip and caught him watching her intently.

“Why don’t you let me buy you a slice of cheesecake?”

She shook her head. “No thanks. I really shouldn’t.”

“One slice of cheesecake won’t hurt you. You look really great, if you don’t mind me saying.”

Of course she minded. Good sense told her to get up and leave.

Don’t be rude, Diane. You mustn’t let a man get under your skin.

“Come on.” He rested his hand on hers. “I’ll split it with you.”

Sliding her hand out from under his, she noticed his wedding band. “Nice ring. Do you have kids?”

He eyed his finger and twisted his ring. “We’re expecting our first child in February.”

“That’s not long to wait. Are you nervous?”

Rubbing the back of his neck, he forced a chuckle. “Not as much as my best friend was. You should’ve seen him when his wife was due. The guy was a real mess.”

She tipped her head and feigned interest. “How could you tell?”

He leaned forward. “I had to take over for him. She went into labor while we were on a flight, and he totally freaked out because he couldn’t be with her.”

Diane ran her fingers through her bangs. “Do you fly together often?”

“About two or three times a month.” He shrugged, then sipped his coffee. “He’s getting back from an intercontinental flight today. He’s been scheduled for a lot of those lately. The money is good, but the hours suck.”

“I can imagine.”

“In fact, he’s supposed to meet me here in about an hour.”

“Where’s he flying in from?” She took another long sip. Randy was due about that time.

“Paris.”

Diane choked and coughed until her eyes watered.

Chuck squeezed her arm. “You okay?”

“I think so.” She coughed several more times and patted her chest. “My tea went down the wrong pipe.”

She grabbed a napkin and wiped her nose. The thought that Randy might be Chuck’s friend made her want to run out of the coffee shop, but she pushed the fear aside. Randy wouldn’t lie to her. He loved her.

“What’re you doing in Seattle?”

His flirtatious grin sickened her. Had he all ready forgotten he’d told her he was married? Or didn’t he care?

“I was at a family law conference. I’m an attorney.”

“Wow, an attorney.” Chuck whistled. “Sweet. You live in Washington?”

Diane traced the edge of her cup. “I live near Boise.”

His voice grew husky. “Who’re you meeting?”

“I’d hoped to surprise a friend.”

The song in the background warned about playing the fool in love. She clutched her cup so hard her knuckles whitened and the cardboard started to cave in.

She forced a smile. “So, Chuck, what plans do you have today?

He leaned back. “My friend and I will probably go to a sports bar to catch a football game. It really depends on what he wants to do. I’m usually pretty open.”

“Why doesn’t he go home to his wife? Doesn’t she mind him hanging out with you after getting home from a long trip?”

“Beats me if she even cares.” He grinned. “I never asked.”

“You’d think he’d want to see her after being separated for days.”

Chuck shrugged. “No doubt he would if you were his honey. Honestly, he’s pretty private when it comes to his marriage. He doesn’t talk much about his family.”

“Why not?”

“His wife can be a bit of a nag, but she’s pretty, and his baby is the spitting image of her.” With a sly grin he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. “He gave me a picture of his family a few months ago. Want to see it?”

Diane smirked. “You carry his family photo in your wallet?”

“Sure.” He laughed and wiggled his brows. “You get pretty close to a guy when you’re sharing a cockpit for hours. I’m his daughter’s godfather.”

He pulled his chair around closer to hers and handed her the photo. “This was taken last Christmas. She’s about a year and a half old now. Isn’t she sweet?”

Diane sucked in her breath, her vision blurring as tears pooled in her eyes. Randy.

Trembling, she dropped the photo as if it were covered with acid.

“You all right? You look pale.”

She cleared her throat and pasted on what she hoped passed for a smile. “I’m fine. Baby pictures always make me cry.”

She stood and grabbed her jacket from the back of the chair. She struggled to pull it on.

Chuck stood. “Need help?”

She bit her lip and shook her head, then hastily reached under her seat for her purse. “Sorry, but I’ve got to go.”

“Let’s get together sometime.”

The pilot offered her his business card, just as Randy had done two years earlier. When his wife had been pregnant. The memory sent chills up her spine.
She peered at the card as if it were a snake, then hurried out before she started swearing or, worse, burst into tears.




You can purchase Letting Go from Amazon.

Michelle is giving away a copy of Letting Go. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

17 comments:

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read michelle's 'letting go.'

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Tracy Smith said...

Letting Go sounds like a really good book. I would love the chance to read it.

Countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

"Letting Go" looks to be a good read. Thank you for the chance to win.

Blessings,
Kelly in Virginia
kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

Judy said...

I can't wait to read "Letting Go". This book sounds like it will be one of those page turners that you can't put down!

Blessings!

judyjohn2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

cjajsmommy said...

Oh my -- Great excerpt! I want to read more. Please enter me to win a copy of "Letting Go."

Elaine Cooper said...

Michelle, your latest release sounds amazing. Would love to read it...and WIN it!

elainemariecooperatyahoodotcom

Marianne said...

Thanks again, Esther for a great interview and post, and thanks to Michelle for joining. I love the Letting Go idea and would love to win. Thanks ladies, for the chance. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Sounds like a great story and one I can relate to!

Doreen
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

ann said...

I would like to find out how she stops being attracted to the wrong men which alot of us women do


amhengst at verizon dot net

Kristine said...

I'd love to read your book! -Kris Kohut on FB

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

Please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

lgm52 said...

looks like a great read...love the cover too!
lgm52@hotmail.com

Susan H said...

Sounds like a great book! Look forward to reading it!

Teresa Mathews said...

WOW! After reading the excerpt, I know I want to finish the book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. tsmathews61@gmail.com

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Suzanne said...

I love the fact that this book points out how wrong the world's view of "love" is. Sounds like a great read.

shartmann5(at)yahoo(dot)com

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