Elizabeth MacMillan’s husband needed space, and now he’s gone for good leaving her with their ten-year-old son and no idea how they will survive. Max Marino’s life has been empty for years, and then he meets Elizabeth. The attraction is instantaneous and passionate, but Max has a dark secret that will shake Elizabeth’s faith in second chances. Only time will tell if their love can weather the storm ahead, or be destroyed before the seasons change.
Targeted Age Group:: all audience
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Two people inspired Seasons. First a friend of mine whose husband abandoned her leaving her with two children and no support. I was in awe of the courage she showed moving forward. While I was visiting a nursing home, I happened to cross paths with a man who loyally tended to his sick wife. I am amazed at how the human spirit can triumph and conversely how easily it can be crushed.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I identified with Elizabeth. She isn't perfect, she makes mistakes, but she is hopeful. Max is my dream man. A loyal, take charge guy who only reaches a breaking point when something or someone he loves is threatened.
"Oh, Brad, don't you love the name? Emerald Isle. It sounds so exotic. And look, there's the park. It does look like a big green island, just like the brochure said."
Elizabeth MacMillan sat forward, the seat belt straining across her huge belly. The fingers of one hand were spread on the window as if she could touch the lush green grass through the glass, the other lay directly over her baby's kicking feet. She grinned that southern grin of hers. All teeth, sensuous wide lips tipping up making her look like the girl she really was.
"I think Christopher likes the name, too."
Her drawl became soft when she said the baby's name. She reached for her husband's hand and said "feel" but he pulled back
"Honey, come on. I'm driving. I don't want to have an accident." The reprimand was so even, so softly spoken, that Elizabeth didn't notice the edge to it.
“Don’t be a goof. We're only going ten miles an hour," Elizabeth laughed. Life was grand, her head was in the clouds, and her feet were nowhere near the earth. "What are we going to do if you're always this careful? How will this boy ever learn to ride a bike if his own daddy doesn't want to live a little? Raise your voice once in a while. Give me a little what-for when I need it instead of romancing me all the time with that poetry of yours.”
Elizabeth leaned across the seat and put her head on Brad's shoulder.
“Not that I don't love the poetry. I surely do. Then again, I can see your point. It probably wouldn't be seemly for a brilliant young college professor to go throwing caution to the wind, would it?"
She poked him in the side then sat up straight, tiring of the fun before Brad could decide if he was having any. Her green eyes widened. She pointed.
"There! There it is. Our new house. Our home, Brad."
Brad eased the car toward the curb and was out of the door before Elizabeth managed to open hers.
"Out you come," he said.
Brad hung on the open door, as Elizabeth got out of the car. She tugged at the t-shirt that showed every last bulge of her belly. He looked away, pushing his sunglasses up his nose, looking at the place that would tie him to a thirty-year mortgage at a whopping eight and a half percent. Then he looked at his wife as she waddled up the brick walk, calling for him, chattering about the landscaping, curtains, and furniture. He shook his head, thinking that his pretty little wife had her rose-colored glasses firmly in place if she thought they could afford all that. Yes, those glasses were rosier than the rosiest ones in the world. She was his little cheerleader, Elizabeth.
Smiling ruefully, thinking fleetingly of what might have been if Elizabeth hadn't shined her light on him, Brad MacMillan closed the car door and followed. He put down his peevish mood to buyer’s regret. Then again, maybe it should be called life regret. Tenure hadn't been awarded yet, and the payments on this place were high. Sometimes the nine-year difference between him and Elizabeth seemed more like a hundred. Where she felt energized, he felt tired. Where she saw possibilities, he saw roadblocks.
"Hurry, Brad," Elizabeth called, and he did.
He even felt happier because she had a beauty that couldn't be ignored and her happiness couldn't be detected. He learned long ago that it was better to embrace her energy when it came at him like a fireball, or he'd get scorched as it whizzed by. Eighteen months of marriage and Brad MacMillan was just beginning to realize that Elizabeth was actually infectious, and he still had a bad dose of the disease.
"It's a great house, sweetheart. I hope you like it as much in thirty years as you do now," he said as he walked up to the door.
"I will," she whispered, slipping her arms around his waist and pulling him as close as she could. The baby jumped and in that instant Brad MacMillan's heart swelled. He loved Elizabeth, the baby, and this big tract home more than he loved anything in the world. When she put her head to his chest, he buried his lips in her hair. What a lucky man he was. She gave so much and expected so little.
"Well, we might as well take a look."
Brad held Elizabeth aside and opened the door for her, but she didn't move. Perplexed, he waved her in, but she stayed still.
"It's our first home," she said. "Aren't you going to carry me over the threshold?”
Before he could react, Elizabeth laughed and lumbered past him before it dawned on him that she was joking. Experiencing an Elizabeth moment-of-nonsense always threw him off track.
He shook his head and followed her. The August heat felt more oppressive in this closed up house than it did outside. He turned to close the door but was distracted by the sight of the huge park outside. Instead of the lush green oasis of Elizabeth's heart, all Brad saw were heat waves shimmering o the blacktop that surrounded it. Nine o'clock in the morning and the sun was already unbearable. He hated heat. Air conditioning would be expensive, but necessary. He would just have to get used to the sacrifice now that he was a family man.
Closing the door Brad MacMillan listened to Elizabeth's excited exclamations echo through the house as he thought about air-conditioning, his growing family, his impending tenure, and fatherhood. Most of all he thought about a change of season. That would be nice. Yes, a change of season.
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