Memories... my mind remembers, as the smell of his brandy tobacco filters up from the box. My hand involuntarily reaches down into the packing crate bringing out one of his curved stemmed corncob pipes, his favorite. I bring it up to my nose and let the aroma conjure more memories.
“Mom, you up here?”
“I’m over by the back window.” I hurriedly put back the pipe and continued my packing. “I’m just boxing up the last of your father’s stuff. You sure you want all this?”
“Yeah, I’ll enjoy sifting through it myself.” Kevin, ducking under the ceiling beams, came in view, climbing over the taped up, already packed boxes. “Connie will have fun too.”
I had no doubt my new daughter-in-law would enjoy looking through old memories. She was still a new wife with lots to learn about her new husband. Even though her and Kevin had gone together for over three years, marriage brings out the little details so missed during the courting process despite the “new found” freedom of today.
“Mom, are you sure you want to do this?” Kevin asked as he bent down to help me tape up the last of the boxes.
“Oh, it’s time,” I replied. “I’ve put off long enough packing up these things.”
“Mom, stop dodging the issue,” my oldest son sternly said. “I don’t think dad would have approved of this new job, going off and all…”
I cut him off, we’d been over it a thousand times. “Kevin, your dad isn’t here. He’s been gone almost two years now. I’m only forty-one years old. I have the rest of my life to plan. I will be fine.”
“But you’ll be in some strange place, no family, no friends...” His frown so looked like my late husband’s I felt a choke come into my throat.
“Kevin, leave your mom alone.” Connie had come up, rescuing me from exposing my raw emotional state. Standing behind her husband, she softly touched his shoulders, “She’s old enough to make her own decisions. I think it’s a grand adventure.”
“Thank you, Connie,” I smiled at my daughter-in-law. Having been the only woman in the house for twenty three years and constantly being ganged up on by the three men in my life, it felt good to have someone on my side. “I will be fine, Kevin.”
“You don’t even know this guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.”
“He’s one of the best comic artists in the country. His strip is syndicated in over 200 cities and he’s almost 75 years old. I doubt I’ll have any trouble.” How little did I know that my words would come back to haunt me.
Title: Love’s Tug of War
Author: Pauline Parson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy the book on Amazon.
At 41 Paula finds herself on her own in beautiful Arizona. She’s a talented comic artist – with a broken heart – a widower that has a chance to discover if she can make it as an cartoonist or fall flat on her face. Jeb Cotner accepts Paula as his new finish artist for his famous Honky Tonk Man comic strip. She has a chance of a lifetime to learn from the famous syndicated satirist. This job holds the opportunity that could lead to her own comic strip career. Yet, rumors fly that the 75-year-old artist is a cantankerous old man who has an eye for the “young girls”.
With grave doubts, she leaves her quiet life in New England and heads into “cowboy” country with her own comic character, Abby Press, at her side. Her world is turned upside down by two handsome brothers, neighbors of Jeb Cotner, who vie for her attention. Her sexual desires awaken, something so new to the young woman that it sends her to heights that she had long forgotten existed. She plays a dangerous game of “Tug of War” as her heart is torn between the two men.
Pauline lived in New England most of her life. She grew up in the hills of northwest Connecticut, did her college on Maine’s beautiful coast and spent her early-married years in Massachusetts. She later returned to her Connecticut roots. She settled in with her husband, two boys and a big Great Dane on a small “gentleman’s farm” in the mountains (yes there are mountains in Connecticut) for 33 years.
During those years, they raised goats, geese, turkeys, chickens and a mischievous horse named Midnight Madness. After the boys grew up and had lives of their own, Pauline and her husband moved to Central Florida. Ever since the kids were little they had loved Disney- they are now only 20 minutes from the parks and visit often. She lives a quiet life writing fiction and motorcycling with her husband whenever she can find the time. Her two cats and fun loving miniature beagle keep life interesting.
This is Pauline’s first foray into a Romance type genre. (Her SciFi, Fantasy, Racing and Motorcycling books are published under a different pen name) “I always wanted to write books about women coming into their own while fighting adversity and finding meaningful relationships. My women characters are always strong and independent and in “Tug of War” I continue with Paula finding the courage and independence to find her own way.”
Don’t miss Pauline’s next romance, coming soon, “Love’s Passion Perfect”.