Monday, 11 February 2013

New Book Release

Time or Money

Celebrate this Valentine's Day with the release of 
Book One in the Valentine's Day Collection.

Carly Fall introduces us to Bridget and Mason in Time or Money, where missed calls, a broken cell phone, and a surprise that never eventuated—all on the most romantic day of the year—might just signal the end of their dreams.

Mason Jackson knows his marriage to Bridget is in trouble. He’s been putting in exhausting hours for months to try to make partner in his accounting firm. He knows that it is putting a strain on his marriage, but he has trouble escaping the memory of the poverty of his childhood. He never wants his wife, or the children they yearn for, to know the struggle that he endured when he can provide a better life for them. But things are reaching breaking point; he and Bridget are more like roommates than a married couple. He needs to think of a way to get their marriage back on track and what better way than to make Valentine's Day, Bridget's favorite holiday of the year, a new start for their marriage? Mason puts in place plans for an elaborate evening designed to surprise Bridget.
Bridget is miserable in her marriage and often longs for the days when they were dirt poor. They may have struggled financially, but at least she had her husband around. Mason is always working, and Bridget feels that he has chosen his work over her. She’s tried to talk to him about the way she feels, but he doesn’t seem to hear her. He just keeps telling her that once he makes partner then everything will be all right. But Bridget is sick of Mason forgetting the things that are important to her … like their anniversary a few months ago. She is at the end of her tether and decides that if he forgets Valentine’s Day, her favorite day of the year, then divorce just might be on the cards.
At the end of the day, this couple has only one decision to make: Time or Money?

Time or Money is available for purchase now on our website:

Enjoy this excerpt from Time or Money:

Bridget Jackson rolled over, blindly searching for the blaring alarm clock. After a few missed attempts, she finally opened her eyes and found the snooze button. How did 7:00 a.m. come around so quickly?
            She sank back into the pillows and threw her arm over her eyes, thinking about what needed to be accomplished for the day.  As the assistant to the CEO of a large food distribution facility, her day would be crazy. There was a meeting at nine to sit in on, inventory reports to review, and the organization of a company retreat to work on, among other things.

And it was Valentine’s Day.

As a hopeless romantic, this was her favorite holiday of the year.  She knew that the day had been commercialized to death, but she loved the thought of one day being devoted to … well … love. It was one day that couples focused on each other, made it a point to do sweet things and were a little nicer. The hearts, the flowers, the chocolate, and the sexy lingerie … she couldn’t get enough of it.
She groaned and rolled over to Mason’s side of the bed, which was cold this morning, as usual. Pulling the covers over her head, she wished she could just stay in her little cocoon.
Things between her and Mason hadn’t been going well. He’d been so busy trying to make partner at the accounting firm, it seemed as though he had forgotten that he was married. He had become more of a roommate than a husband, except she still washed his socks and underwear.
She’d gotten her hair cut and dyed a week ago, hoping that the little change would spark some interest from him, but he hadn’t noticed. After he had gotten home last night, they’d had a glass of wine, some awkward conversation, and headed to bed. Bridget had gone into the bathroom to change into a new green lace negligee she’d chosen carefully because it matched her eyes, but he was asleep when she slipped into bed. She’d taken it off and put on her old, beat up nightshirt that said, Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee, before falling asleep next to him, pissed off and sexually frustrated.
Not that he was fully responsible for the breakdown of their marriage. She had been putting in long hours as well, but that was in response to not wanting to be at home alone all the time.
Things used to be so simple. They weren’t easy, but they were simple. When they married, he’d just gotten a job with a small firm, and he was home every night for dinner. She remembered how they used to spend their evenings curled up together on their ratty, old futon watching reruns of Law and Order and talking quietly. They used to make love every night.
She grimaced as she struggled to remember the last time Mason had reached for her. It hurt not being wanted.
Something had to give.
Bridget knew she wasn’t happy with the trajectory of their relationship, and she assumed that Mason wasn’t either. He was never home, and when she tried to talk to him about it, it led to bitter arguments about how she didn’t appreciate what he was trying to do for them. When they weren’t arguing, they seemed to have trouble communicating with each other. It was as if both were guarded in their words for fear of starting another fight. She figured it had been over two months since they’d had sex, and it had crossed her mind more than once that he might be having an affair. She missed the intimacy, not to mention the exquisite physical pleasure that they gave each other.
The alarm blared again, and Bridget flicked the switch to off, resigned to face the day.
An hour later, she stood at the kitchen sink sipping coffee and eating a piece of toast while preparing herself for the onslaught of the day, unable to get rid of the knot of depression that had settled in her heart.  Her co-workers would get flowers and candy, and if her anniversary were any indication, she would most likely receive nothing. Mason would probably forget the day, just as he had forgotten their anniversary four months ago. That had resulted in one of the biggest fights of their relationship, and he had slept in the guest room for two nights. If he forgot today, her favorite holiday of the year, she didn’t know what she would do.
She picked up the card she had gotten him. It spoke of a husband being a best friend, someone she could count on, someone she knew would be there for her. It talked of soul mates and hearts beating together as one. At one point she would have felt comfortable giving it to him, but on this Valentine’s Day it felt like a lie.
She looked around the kitchen of the four-bedroom house they had bought three years ago with intentions of starting a family within a couple of years. Bridget ran her hand over the beautiful brown and white marble they had chosen for their countertops during the remodeling. They had fought about the flooring, as well as the appliances. Mason had won the floor fight, and she now stood on brown stone flooring that tended to be a little slick. She, however, had triumphed over the appliance fight, and bright, shiny steel appliances brightened up the kitchen.
The remodel had been a significant stress on their relationship, but they made it through. The house was far too big for the two of them, and sometimes she longed for the simplicity of their studio apartment and their lives at the beginning of their relationship.
She sighed, and a tear slipped down her cheek. At the rate they were going, there wouldn’t be any family but divorce papers instead. Unlike the remodel, she didn’t know if their relationship would survive Mason’s ambition to become a partner.
Bridget did a quick check of her white silk blouse, making sure that she hadn’t spilled anything on it. Her gray skirt hugged her slim hips and fell just above her knees, and she knew her feet would be sore at the end of the day from her matching gray pumps.
Turning to grab her keys, she almost stepped on Lucy the cat. Her foot twisted, making her grasp onto the counter so she wouldn’t fall, sending her cell phone and keys crashing to the stone floor. Her other foot slipped out from under her, and she hit her chin on the countertop on the way down, landing on her elbow and hip. Slowly sitting up, she cursed silently and propped herself against the cabinets among the pieces of her wrecked phone. She sat on the hard, stone floor, her chin and elbow throbbing, and Lucy came over and sat on her lap and began to purr, obviously surviving the near collision without a scratch. Bridget did a quick check on her elbow and gingerly touched her chin, relieved to find that she wasn’t bleeding.
A perfect start to what potentially would be an absolutely horrible day. 
Tears fell again, both from the pain of the fall and the agony of what her marriage had become, and she wished she could just go back to bed and forget Valentine's Day.

Bottom Drawer Publications
February 11 


No comments:

Post a Comment