Timeless Is Out!
No April Fools joke here, friends. Timeless is available now from Bold Strokes Books. You can order it in print or ebook right here! I know I’ve spent months telling you all how excited I am about this release but it’s worth repeating. This one is different from anything I’ve ever tried before. Big surprises ahead. I’m not going to spoil anything yet, but I will say things like this can’t be kept under wraps for long so if you’re even remotely interested (and you’re here, so I assume you are) you’re going to want to read this one early.
In order to keep piquing your interest and help speed up the reading process I’m going to share one final print excerpt from Timeless. This will lead us up to a special treat for you next week, so you’ll want to be caught up before then. In case you’re new to the blog you’ll want to read the previous excerpts before going on. Scene one, scene two, scene three/four. If you’ve been following along from the beginning then please, read on!
Dinner passed easily enough. Edmond and Rory took turns holding court from their end of the table while Beth and Miles made cheerful conversation at ours, occasionally stopping to ask my opinion or explain an inside joke. They never left me out, but I had plenty of time to steal little glances at Jody. I couldn’t say she hadn’t aged in the last decade, but the signs of time were minimal. If I didn’t know she had a few years on me, I would’ve placed her in her mid-twenties. Something about her face…maybe the slight upturn at the end of her slender nose, or the sparkle in her eyes, or the way her grin hinted at something mischievous just often enough to catch me off guard. But whatever the cause, she carried an air of perpetual youth.
I pulled my gaze away to see Beth eyeing me sympathetically. Could everyone in the room tell I hadn’t been on a date in three months?
“We’d better call it a night,” Miles said, pushing back from the table. We’ve got some work to do at the house if we’re going to get it on the market this spring.”
“You have a house here?” I asked, eager for a diversion.
“Yes, I worked at the college until about two months ago, when I transferred to the admissions office at DePaul University.” He smiled sweetly. “I wanted to be closer to Edmond.”
“We miss him terribly,” Beth said. “And we hold Edmond personally responsible for cutting our gay and lesbian group by one fifth.”
“It’s not my fault you had only five gays in the village,” Edmond teased her. “Surely you could recruit some more.”
The table went quiet, and Jody seemed suddenly interested in folding her napkin until Edmond realized even though he was among friends, Darlington wasn’t the best place to publicly joke about recruitment, especially with teachers at the table. Despite the fact that Rory and Beth had clearly been granted some level of acceptance, wariness and a level of caution permeated my senses here. That awareness of my surroundings had been born from years of watching, testing, and observing what types of behaviors were rewarded, which were tolerated, and which were met with rebuke, silent or otherwise. Those lessons had guided me through my youth and stayed with me always. Rory, on the other hand, seemed quicker to move on as she rose and extended her arm to Edmond, saying, “Ladies, shall we adjourn?”
“We shall,” Edmond answered cheerfully and, looping his arm through hers, headed toward the parking lot.
We all said good-bye to Edmond, who hugged me again, and to Miles, who thankfully did not, but as we turned to go, Jody lingered.
“So, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” I asked, wishing I’d come up with something more impressive or charming or at least a question I didn’t already know the answer to.
“Yes, of course. I look forward to it, but I won’t be free before the assembly. I have a class until ten o’clock, and after that we won’t have much time to do anything but lead you to the stage.”
I didn’t know what bothered me more, the thought of the stage or the reminder I wouldn’t get another chance to talk with her. Say something, anything. My brain begged my mouth to keep the conversation going, but I managed only to say, “It’s okay, I understand.”
Jody nodded. “So you have everything you need for tomorrow?”
“Yes.” I started to back away. Who was I kidding, wishing for more time with her? I’d likely make a fool of myself, and on the off chance I didn’t, what would it matter? I’d be around for only twenty-six more hours. “I’m sure I’ll be fine, thanks.”
I took another step back and bumped into Beth. She steadied me with a gentle hand on my shoulder before saying, “I’m sure you’re tired, but it might be better for you two to run by the high school tonight. You know, to go over the itinerary and walk through the setup for the assembly.”
“Honey,” Rory interjected. “They’re both professionals. I’m sure they don’t need a dry run on something this straightforward.”
“I didn’t mean to imply they couldn’t handle it,” Beth said, her tone understanding but her gaze purposefully angling from Rory back to me. “But not everyone loves to just jump up on the stage. Having all the information ahead of time might put their minds at ease.”
“Well, I don’t want to keep Stevie out too late, but it might not be a bad idea to check things out tonight. If we do need to make any changes, tomorrow will be too late,” Jody said tentatively, her smile shy but hopeful as she turned to address me directly. “That is, if Stevie doesn’t mind.”
“No, it’s fine with me.” I might have been tired, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I lost another chance to talk to Jody.
“Good,” Beth said. “It’s best to be prepared.”
Rory wrapped her arm around Beth’s waist and kissed her quickly on the temple. “That’s my little librarian for you. Why don’t we just follow you to the school, Jody?”
“We don’t need to go.” Beth subtly steered Rory toward their car. “I’m sure Jody can handle things.”
“We’re Stevie’s ride,” Rory said.
“Jody can drop her off when they are done. Can’t you, Jody?”
“Sure.” Jody’s voice carried a hint of the awareness that warmed my cheeks even in the cold February evening. Beth had arranged for us to be alone together. Why didn’t it surprise me that the darling of Darlington liked to play matchmaker? I didn’t know if I should trip her or hug her, so instead I shrugged my acceptance.
There you have it, friends, your final print excerpt from Timeless. I hope you’ll check out the full book and stay tuned for more updates and adventures between the pages in the weeks to come.
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