Well, first, it helps other readers find me. Readers do check reviews: some only read the very good and the very bad reviews; some only read the middle-of-the-road reviews; and some read all the reviews, good, bad, or indifferent. But they do read the reviews, absorb the comments, and make up their own minds about purchasing.
Second, it helps Amazon find me. The more reviews a book receives, good or bad, the more the book shows up in Amazon's crazy botland and gets bumped up out of the sea of books available to customers.
Lastly, it helps me decide what to write next. If a reviewer states (s)he can't wait to read a character's story, there's a possibility I might not have considered writing that character's story. Now, maybe I will.
But enough about the business. Let's have some fun! Let's read a sample, shall we?
I stifled the excited screech straining to escape from my lips and stared out the windshield at the line of scrub pines adjacent to the parking lot. Rain dripped off the needles and onto the blanket of dead leaves that had blown there on some other day’s blustery wind. I don’t know why I noticed them. Since finding sobriety, some of my senses had grown stronger, no longer dulled by alcohol. Nowadays, I noticed a lot of things I hadn’t before: the smell of the air before a heavy rain like this morning’s, the softness of a puppy’s fur, the tang on my tongue when I drank orange juice. All of it was new and exciting. Which brought me right back to tonight’s invitation, also new and exciting, and my heartrate kicked up a notch.
Breathe, kiddo. Play it cool. Don’t be a dork.
When I finally got some semblance of control again, I texted back. What time?
Be ready by 5?
Two hours’ notice? Was he kidding? Or did he think I’d just spent the day waiting for him to text me and invite me someplace? Don’t answer that. I know I did, but that didn’t mean I wanted him to know it—or even think it. Okay, how did I answer him without looking like the dateless loser I was?
I took another deep breath, let it out slowly, then did it again. I toyed with the leather tassels on my keyring and continued the slow breathing exercises I’d learned in rehab.
My time-wasting ploy had nothing to do with drinking, of course. I didn’t want to look too eager. Let the famous Max Trayham think I had to consider my options. As if I had any other options, besides sitting home with a nuked frozen dinner while binge-streaming some television series from my childhood. Addicts like me never really get over their addictions. We channeled them into other habits: smoking, coffee-drinking, or in my case, TV-watching.
While I wasted time, I wondered what he was doing on the other end of our conversation. Did he worry I might say no? Was he staring at his screen like I was? Or was he scrolling through his contacts list, seeking out better possible dates? That thought had my palms sweating and my heart galloping again, so I typed a quick one-letter reply.
Crap, I was such a dateless loser.
This time, his response came back almost immediately—as if he had it already typed out, just waiting to hit Send.
Don’t shatter the fantasy for me, please. Just go with it.
Great. I need your address so we can pick you up.
We. Right. I should have realized he already had a date. He did say he wanted me to be his guard dog. That’s all I was to him. His sober buddy. Still, I was going to a party in the Hamptons. That was a PBD: a pretty big deal.
What should I wear? I asked.
Really? That was his answer? Didn’t he understand the horror of being under- or overdressed at an event? Women sweated and died, stressing about looking just right. Maybe not “died,” but I bet the pressure shaved a few minutes off their lives. Add that up over a lifetime…
Is it dressy or casual? I texted.
Both, I guess.
Oh, for God’s sake! My thumbs hammered the keys on my cell. Can you at least tell me where it is? If I knew the venue, I might have a better idea of the dress code.
At a friend’s house.
Nope. Not a clue. I tried again. What are you wearing?
Aaargh! The man was no help at all. I’d have to muddle through on my own, come up with something casual but dressy. Rather than prolong my agony, I surrendered on the topic of clothing and sent him my address.
Great. See you at 5. Tx, Terri. You’re my angel.
Heh. He called me his angel.
Trust me, I texted back. I’m nobody’s angel.
With a satisfied smile, I tossed my phone into my purse, started my car, and headed home. I was going to have to seriously rummage for something “whatevs” to wear.
Go on. Click here to buy your copy. And don't forget to check out the other books in the Calendar Girls series if you haven't already!
Find me on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Gina-Ardito/e/B001JSBY16