Monday, January 6, 2014

Where Hope Starts by Angela D. Meyer

In a city full of dreams...Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both. She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.

Still in New York, Barry fights his own demons. He knows he messed up, but is powerless to stop his rage and addictions. A fistfight on the streets of the city lands him in jail and forces him to face the possibility of a future behind bars.

Karen knows holding onto her bitterness won’t repair her marriage. But how do you forgive someone when you don’t feel like it? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers the family secret that threatens to tear them all apart. Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?

Excerpt

Come home.      
   Karen Marino choked back a cry as she stared at the words scribbled on the front of the envelope. She slid her fingernail under the flap and gaped at the plane ticket nestled inside a letter. Why now? She gritted her teeth. Heat flushed from her neck to the top of her head as she remembered the look of disgust on her father’s face.
   The clash of pans in the restaurant kitchen startled her back to the present. “What the...?”
   She glanced at her watch. Almost eleven. She slid the ticket and letter back inside the envelope and tucked it into her purse. She took a deep breath before stepping out of her office.
   “Steve, how does the schedule look?” Karen hired him straight out of culinary school. His lack of experience paled next to his talent, and within a year his specialties had drawn in customers from all over New York City’s five boroughs, earning the restaurant a five-star reputation.
   “Perfect, my love.” He crossed his arms and smiled. “Now, when are you going to marry me?”
   She laughed. “Your mother would be disappointed. I have more red hair than Irish blood.” She enjoyed the attention her hair brought in The City, where she no longer stood out like an apple on an orange tree.
   “My ma would love you anyway.” Steve placed his hand over his heart.
   She shook her head and waved him back to work, then strode through the kitchen inspecting the line cooks as they prepped for the noon rush. “Be sure and clean up as you go....No, not that dish. Use the glass one. And keep a towel nearby.…How long have you worked here?…Don’t wipe your hands on your apron.”     
   She stopped. “Jimmy,” she yelled above the din of the kitchen. Her voice carried to the break room where the young man sauntered out with a donut in one hand and a coffee cup in the other.
   “Yeah?”
   She glared at him. “What’s with all these dirty pots and pans?”
   The guy shrugged. “Had somewhere to be last night, so I saved them.”
   “Get rid of that donut now and finish your job in the next half hour, or you’re fired, no matter who your cousin is.”
   He threw the donut and coffee in the trash can and plodded off to his station.
   “Karen.”
   “What!” 
   “You okay?” Her assistant manager, Cathy, raised an eyebrow.
   “Sorry, didn’t mean to snap.” Karen took a deep breath. “Is the dining room ready?”
   “No problems there. But…” Cathy glanced over her shoulder. “Barry’s at the bar.”
   “Not with the new owner coming in.” Karen clenched her fists. If she talked to her husband now she would lose her cool. “Did you tell him I was busy?”
   “Yes. But, he’s got that look.”    
   Karen rolled her eyes. That meant another of Barry’s money-making ideas. Ideas didn’t pay the rent. “I better go talk to him.”
   Barry grinned as she approached and she paused at the sight of his dark wavy hair and strong jaw line. If life were a photo, he would take her breath away. But once you added sound and action, that fantasy vanished.
   She bit her lip. A part of her longed for what they used to have. How does a man change so much? He used to lead people. Now he controlled them, like the other night. Karen shuddered, then closed the gap between them. “We’re about to open. You need to go. We can talk tonight.”
   “Like all those other times? Please.” He leaned against the bar.
   “I said, we’ll talk.”
   Barry slid off the bar stool. Although he stood only a few inches taller than her five foot seven frame and didn’t work out enough to have an impressive build, he carried himself with a bravado that demanded attention. “We’ll talk now. You’ll like this idea. It’s a chance to get in on the ground floor of a start-up company.”
   Karen caught a whiff of liquor on his breath. “A little early to be drinking, don’t you think?”
   “Don’t change the subject.” He banged his fist on the bar.
   She jumped. His eyes grew dark. She backed away, her eyes frozen on his hands. “You need to leave. Now.”
   “Why?” Barry’s voice grew louder.
   “So I won’t lose my job.” The new owner was a powerful man. Barry could blow it for her.
   “Miss Indispensable? Lose her job?” His empty laugh bounced around the deserted room.
   “Please.” Karen reigned in her hostility.
   “I will do as I please.” He took a step toward her.
   “If you hope to get your hands on my money, try honey not vinegar.” She crossed her arms and stared at him.
   “What are you talking about?”
   “This approach will not get you what you want.”
   He looked behind her and backed away. “Yeah, maybe we should talk tonight.”
   Karen wrinkled her brow. What’s got into him now? She turned. The new owner walked toward her. He reminded her of Danny Devito. Short, stout, and balding. Add a bit of swagger to his walk and you would have her new boss. She groaned. Glancing Barry’s direction she saw him leave through the kitchen. I hope he didn’t just cost me my job.
   She turned to face the man. She mustered a smile and extended her hand. “Karen Marino. You must be Mr. Simon.”
   The man stared at her. “You’re fired.” He smiled like a kid who just lifted a trinket from the store and got away with it.
   “You can’t do that.” Her throat closed up. Breathe.
   “I own this place, I can and will clean house as I see fit.”
   His reputation was well earned. She forced herself to unclench her hands. “I built this restaurant into what it is today.”
   “There’s no place in any of my restaurants for what I just witnessed. Home stays at home.”
   “You’d get rid of me for one incident?”
   “It’s not just one incident.”
   She bit her tongue and glared at the man. Who talked?
   “Leave now. Come back and clear out your desk after lunch.”
   “Fine, I don’t need you or your restaurant. I have my reputation.” She regretted the words as soon as she said them. 
   “When I’m done, you won’t have a reputation.”
   She turned and fled to her office. A man that powerful didn’t make idle threats. She grabbed her purse, squared her shoulders, and marched through the kitchen. She would not be shamed out of here. She did nothing wrong.

   Her assistant manager barked orders at the staff. The new owner smiled while he watched. So Cathy betrayed me. An old pain grabbed at Karen’s heart. Why do people turn on me?



About the Author

Angela D. Meyer lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of more than 22 years. She homeschools their daughter and recently graduated their son who is now off to the Marines. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and served for almost three years on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.





Purchase Where Hope Starts at:


Angela D. Meyer is giving away a copy of Where Hope Starts. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.



10 comments:

Jackie McNutt said...

Thank you for featuring Angela and the excerpt from her book Where Hope Starts. The story line is interesting
Thank you
mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

Deb R. said...

Wonderful excerpt! You love the ocean but have never vacationed by the sea? That must be remedied soon. Waking up to the waves crashing on the shore is one of my favorite things. Please enter my name in the giveaway. cjajsjmommy [at] gmail [dot] com

Angela D. Meyer said...

Thank you for hosting me and today. I am looking forward to meeting new readers! Have a blessed day.
Angela D. Meyer

Patty said...

Great excerpt, thanks for featuring Angela and Where Hope Starts.

pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cindi A said...

The excerpt has me wanting to read more. Ü I hope my name is drawn to win a copy of this book.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter.
cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

Patricia Bradley said...

Love the insert. Very compelling. Hope I win! pat at ptbradley dot com

sm said...

I would like to see the heroine find her way back to hope and overcome the family secrets. Love to win. sharon CA, wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

sm said...

Love to win your book Where Hope Starts! sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Boos Mum said...

This book sounds like a tear jerker. Please enter me. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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