Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Excerpt time!

Still deciding whether or not to grab YOUR copy of Here's to Campfires and S'mores? Check out some of Jamie and Molly's story here to help you decide....

Jamie approached behind me, putting a warm hand on my shoulder. When I looked up, shocked, I saw that he’d placed the other around Sue. “Molly and I fell in love on s’mores night.” He offered me a half a shrug, as if to say I know I’m breaking the rules. Sorry. “It was summer of 1994. We met and started going steady, and on s’mores night I gave her my pukka shell necklace.”
I snorted, and a tear spilled down my face. “I wore that necklace for a solid year until we met at camp again.”
Owen threw the towel over his shoulder and leaned against the sink with a tired groan. “What in the hell is a pukka shell necklace?”
Jamie laughed, and I noticed that his eyes were shining with tears. Sadness was contagious. He didn’t move his hand off of my shoulder, and I let the feeling of familiarity and comfort it offered envelop me. Looking over at Owen, he said, “They’re white shells that were crushed up and the pieces were strung into a necklace. I got mine when my family went to Florida for my grandpa’s funeral. Wore it all the time. Never took it off.”
“It was all the rage back then,” I explained, sharing a grin with my ex-husband. “Well, they actually caught on a year or two later, when all the boy bands arrived. Jamie… James was ahead of his time.”
I pictured him with his necklace and sweaty blond curls that first summer, and sighed happily. He’d been so unbearably handsome and sweet that first summer. Utterly innocent in every way, and completely unaware of the effect he had on the girls. For some reason I’d still not discovered, he set his sights on me—the mousy girl who never got so much as a second glance from a boy prior to July of 1994. The oddest part of our courtship was, it hadn’t fizzled after our session ended, like most camp romances did. We somehow kept it going, retained our connection for the months we were apart through letters and visits I’d had to plead with my mother to allow. Somehow we beat the odds.
The lump in my throat started to crumble and wash away.
“Ahead of my time. Or totally out of touch. Take your pick.” Jamie kept his arm around Sue and didn’t move away when she rested her head on his shoulder. “But I gave the necklace to Molly during the game of hide and seek on s’mores night. There was a full moon, and everyone was hiding, so the green was still and quiet. Bree told me about her favorite hiding spot behind the fireplace.”
            I noticed as Owen swiped at his eyes. “When we got back there, James thanked her,” I explained. “Then she took off into the darkness to find Rachael and April. James asked her for help. They concocted a plan to get us alone, so he could give it to me. It was very romantic, in a fifteen-year-old sort of way.”
“Hey, I thought it was romantic.” Jamie’s eyes met mine and lingered. “It was one of the best nights of my life. That was the night I realized I loved Molly.”
Sue looked at both of us. “Guess that’s why Bree asked us to make sure we gave you a s’mores night just like the old days.”
“I guess so,” I said finally, my voice hoarse. The weight of Jamie’s gaze felt even heavier than the grief. “She… she must’ve known how important it was to us all those years ago.”
“Still is,” Jamie said, his voice barely audible. I wasn’t sure either Sue or Owen heard him utter it.
I didn’t look at him. Couldn’t. Was something happening between us? I didn’t dare move.
Owen spoke next. Turning back to the dishes, he switched the hot water back on. “It’s a damn shame you two split the sheets.”

Sue stood up straight, and wiped her nose, scolding, “Owen.”