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Hello all! I hope you're doing well and enjoying these last weeks of summer safely with masks and social distancing. It's going to take all of us working together and being respectful of each other to get this nasty virus under some semblance of control (at least until the people much smarter than I am come up with a treatment and a vaccine). The struggle is real.

No news on the literary front. Day after day, I check my e-mails hoping to see something from an agent or publisher, but nothing as of yet. I truly hope there comes a day I can share real news, but until then, I thank you for keeping me company. Should I ever have positive news to share, I'm afraid you will all keel over from shock! The wait is excruciating and the struggle is real.

I went back to "school" today (I use that term loosely). It was like nothing I've ever experienced in my entire teaching career. Today was the beginning of my 34th year in education, and I walked away feeling so many different emotions. I feel sadness for what was. I feel anxious about what the new normal will look like and how we'll make it work. I feel frustration at being given vague, or sometimes, no answers to questions needing immediate answers (like before next Monday when I'm supposed to be virtually teaching my students). And most of all, I feel regret for what's been lost. This is not how teaching kids should feel. This is not how kids should be learning. The struggle is real.

Characters in novels face struggles, too! That's what makes the plots more interesting. So today's teaser shares one of Jillian's struggles, and I hope it won't be a struggle for you to enjoy it.

~~~On a whim, Jillian decided to stop in at Sugar & Spice and pick up breakfast for her friends. Parking her car in front of the bakery, she had just stepped out of the car when a man shouted, “Jillian! Look out!”

Out of nowhere, a car came screaming around the corner headed right towards her. Jillian slammed the car door and jumped to the sidewalk behind her car. The sedan sideswiped Jillian’s car, knocking the side mirror off and leaving long gouges in the paint down the driver’s side. Without even slowing down, the car took off down Maple Avenue.

Jillian’s heart was racing as she stood on the sidewalk outside her sister’s bakery. If someone hadn’t shouted her name, Jillian would have been hit by that car. This thought made her feel lightheaded and sick to her stomach. Her hands felt clammy, the sounds around her seemed far away, and her vision began to blur. Knowing she was about to faint , Jillian reached out a hand to grab something to keep her from falling.

Someone, not something stopped her fall. A strong, muscled arm grabbed hold of her waist and pulled her tightly against a rock- hard body. Jillian leaned into the safety offered by her rescuer. Those arms continued to hold her close giving her time to stop trembling. Her hearing was beginning to return to normal, and she again heard someone calling her name. Jillian followed the sound of the voice and saw her sister, Cate, bearing down on her.

“Jilly,” Cate gasped, “Oh my God! Are you ok?” Cate grabbed Jillian from the strong arms currently holding her and wrapped her up in a sisterly hug of her own. Jillian thought Cate was never going to let go.

“I’m fine, Cate. Really, I’m ok,” Jillian managed to mutter as she was being crushed in her sister’s arms. “Cate, you can let go now.” Reluctantly, Cate released Jillian and stepped back to look her over.

Satisfied her baby sister was all in one piece, Cate turned and began speaking to someone standing next to Jillian. She was thanking them for saving her sister. Jillian turned to see who her rescuer was and there stood Travis. For some reason seeing him made her weepy, and her eyes filled up with tears.

“Hey, hey, what’s with the tears?” Travis asked. “It’s all over. You’re ok. Your car can be fixed. No permanent damage.”

Travis was trying to make light of a really bad situation to stem the flow of tears. He used those strong arms to pull her close again, and he held on like he was never letting go. And Jillian let him. It felt so good to let him hold her, and it made her feel safe.~~~

Whew, that was a close one! So glad Travis was there to save the day. And I can tell you as the book progresses, Jillian faces many more dangerous situations. Yes, even in fiction, the struggle is real.

After many hours on technology today, I think it's time to disconnect and try to take my mind off my struggles. My wish for all of you is a struggle-free week. Take time to care for yourself, care for the ones you love, and try your best not to sweat the small stuff. But I know, that struggle is real, too.

Until next time,


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Another great teaser...thank you. The struggle IS real and boy how it helps to share. Take care of you!

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