Tuesday, April 8, 2014

MOSAIC Teaser Tuesday!

Yes, Alice, I'm a day late...

I was at the Louisville Authors Event in Kentucky this weekend, so yesterday was a foggy, dig-out day. But I wouldn't change a thing! LAE 2014 was a blast.

Compared to other events, it was relatively small. The turnout was moderate, but for me, the point was getting to spend time with author-friends I know and getting to meet author-friends I've only ever "known" online!

For writers out there trying to decide if they should do one of these things, I say a HUGE YES! This was my third event, and I'll only be able to do probably two more this year.

Still, even when it's small like LAE, I had plenty of sweet reader-friends come out to chat and get a signed copy of one of my books or have me sign their Kindle cases...

More than that, Friday and Saturday nights were spent talking shop, talking family, talking changes, and just getting to know other fellow writer-friends outside the cave. That is so important.

Writing is such an isolated job, and with the way everything is moving online, marketing books is also becoming pretty isolated. Being alone for long periods isn't good for anybody--just ask Elsa! *wink*

Author events are refreshing, rejuvenating, and we had so many good laughs. I think it's safe to say we all came back feeling bonded and great about our goals and aspirations and about each other. Nothing's better for squashing any feelings of isolation, loneliness, or competition than face time.

Here's a little photo collage of my time there...

Top, l-r: Me & Kate Roth, Denise Grover Swank, Kiki,
 Center: Aleatha Romig, Jennifer Laslie (organizer), my signed book haul,
Bottom: Me with Dawn Pendleton & Kate.

* * *

And now for that Mosaic Teaser!!!

Newsletter subscribers got this one last week. Not signed up for my New Release Newsletter? Here's the (link)!*

*Be sure to add leightmoore@gmail.com to your contacts so it doesn't bounce to spam! (Subscribers, be sure you've done this as well!)


by Leigh Talbert Moore

*unedited draft, subject to change*

expected release May/June 2014

© 2014, Leigh Talbert Moore

Everywhere I went, I held my breath expecting to run into Jack. It was inevitable that we would see each other, and I wanted to get it over with. He knew Julian and I were together, but I wanted to see how I’d react to being confronted with him here, alone. I didn’t have to wait any longer because as I made my way past the tables, there he was, sitting by himself in a back corner booth.

“Jack.” I was incredibly nervous. I wasn’t sure how I would react to hearing his voice.

He looked up and saw me. His blue eyes widened almost imperceptibly, and then he laid his head back against the wooden panel of the booth. “Anna.” 

His voice was low and slightly loose, and I noticed a half-empty pitcher on the table in front of him. None of it mattered because he was so amazingly handsome in the dim yellow light. He was almost unchanged from our last meeting at homecoming—the night I left early and Julian sat with me while I cried. I still cringed at that memory.

The blue oxford he wore made his eyes seem to glow, but I was filled with relief.

I didn’t melt at the sight of him. I wasn’t that fragile little girl anymore. I had someone now who meant more to me than the infatuation that had defined almost a year of my life, and all I felt for the guy in front of me was friendship. I wanted us to be friends if that were possible. Julian was his half-brother, after all.

Jack’s eyebrows pulled together in a frown. “What are you doing here?”

“I… I didn’t expect to see you.”

“Well, it looks like you found me.” He was still frowning, and I was starting to feel a pain in my chest that I hadn’t felt in a long time. We could be friends at least, couldn’t we?

“Were you hiding?” I tried to joke. “Wow, it's been what? Almost a year?”

“Six months.” His tone was sharp, and I decided the answer to friendship was No.

“Well, I’d better go. I’m sure we’ll see each other around. I’m at Loyola now. Full scholarship. It was the best offer I got, so I took it.” The way he was acting, I was hoping he didn’t remember how much he’d had to do with my decision to apply here.

“You were always very smart. Speaking of smarts, how’s Julian?”

“He’s at Savannah now.”

Was this about Julian? He slid to the side of the booth and stood to face me. I’d forgotten how tall he was as he leaned forward to close the space between us.

“Tell me, was Julian on the pass-fail system as well, or did you grade him on a curve?” His voice was low and sarcastic, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. My pulse ticked up a notch. This was not the friendly reunion I’d envisioned.

“I don’t understand.”

“You were so good at riding the fence. After I left, did you run straight to Julian or did you wait a day or two for appearances?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You broke up with me.”

“Right. No discussion. No argument.”

“Do you have a head injury?” My voice rose as my tension built. “You were determined... You said…  You told me you needed to end it. Jack, I waited for you.”

“You waited? Why?” He leaned back and the look in his eyes immediately called up the first night I’d encountered his father. It could have been the same man standing in front of me now.

“I don’t know. I don’t even recognize you anymore.”

“I’m me,” he smiled holding out his arms, slightly wobbly.

“You’re not Jack. Not my Jack.”

“I never was your Jack.” The smile left his face, and the cold withdrawal returned.

“Right. You told me many times, but I wanted…” I wouldn't finish that sentence. It was all in the past, and I wasn't going back there. Still, my whole body was tight, every muscle on alert.

“Wanted what?”

“What’s happened to you?”

He looked as if he would sit back in the booth, but after a pause, he turned back and grabbed my arm roughly, pulling me into his embrace. His kiss was hard and aggressive, and I put my hands on his shoulders and pushed myself free.

“Stop it! What are you doing?”

“Just trying to remember what I’ve been missing.”

“If you’re missing anything, it’s your own fault. You could have called me at any time. I’d have waited forever if you’d only asked me to.”

“I didn’t know you needed to be asked.”

“That’s not fair.” A tear spilled down my cheek, and I was leaving then. This was crazy, and why the hell was I crying anyway? He was the one rewriting history, clearly still trying to mess with my head. 

I was so angry and hurt, I could barely see where I was going, but I stopped as I opened the door to leave. Looking back through the center window, I saw him slump back down in the booth, head back against the wall, eyes closed. He might be messing with my head, but one thing was certain--something was very wrong. The question I faced was whether to walk away from it or try and help him.

* * *

And on that note, I'm headed back into the cave, reader-friends!

Have a super week~ 


cleemckenzie said...

If I only meet one new friend, connect with another old one and take away a fresh idea, a conference is worth the time.

Sounds like this one was very rewarding.

LisaAnn said...

Love your collage! Sounds like you had a fabulous time! And wow, you just get me so emotionally involved in every damn character you create! Obsessed! :)