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SERIES: Second Chances, Book 1
GENRE: Romantic Suspense, Second Chance/Divorced/Widows
ENDING: HEA (They’re a couple and live Happily Ever After)
WORD COUNT: 75,000 to 99,999 (large book)
HERO’S AGE: Over 50
HEROINE’S AGE: Over 50
HEAT LEVEL: Kinky (Multiple Partners, Bondage, Spanking, etc)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Keeping It Real (Full of “F” bombs, graphic sex, and whatever)
She’s still waiting for her happily ever after. All he wants is someone to love again.
If it’s real, it’s worth fighting for. After all, it only took fifty years for destiny to come full circle.
After three divorces, Annie Rogers never thought she’d spend her “golden years” alone. Now she’s settled into her dream home in the Pacific Northwest, but every day is “Groundhog Day” predictable. Every day, she cares for her dog, laments about her lack of a social life, and checks her empty mailbox. Every night she sleeps with her “magic wand.” Use it or lose it, right?
Sam Baker had it all. A beautiful wife and two beautiful, spoiled daughters. Now he’s a widower and the girls are grown and on their own. He’s active and, hopefully, still virile, and it sure would be nice to have someone to make love to again.
Together, they find the freedom to explore every aspect of a loving, trusting, relationship, a freedom neither had ever had before. This is it. They’ve got their happily ever after. But ageism, con artists, and illness conspire to drive them apart.
Can they find their way back to each other? Will destiny win? And just how long is happily ever after?
BELIEVE is the standalone first book in the Second Chances series. It’s a romance for and about the Silver Generation.
READ AN EXCERPT
“Sheriff’s office, Becky speaking. How may we serve you today?”
“Hey, Becky. How’s my favorite sheriff’s office manager?” And what he meant was Joe was his favorite sheriff, and Becky was his office manager. She was too nosey for that job.
“Sam? That you? Where’ve you been? I’ve been worried!”
“I’ve been around. Everything’s good, Say, is Joe in?”
“He’s just getting out of a meeting. Whatcha need?”
“I need a special favor from him.”
“A special favor? Are you sure everything’s okay? Is this something I can do?”
“No. I need some information from him, and if he says no, I’ll have to find some other way to get what I need.”
He already said too much, and the whole town was going to know in about two minutes.
“Seriously? Now I’m gonna die of curiosity, and it’ll be all your fault!”
Curiosity wasn’t going to kill her. Get her fired, maybe. “Sorry, Becky. Now can I talk to him?”
She huffed and yelled. “Joe? Hey, Joe! Sam needs to talk to you. I don’t know what’s going on, but he said something about needing information only you can give him. You need to talk to him before I die of curiosity!” Back to the phone, “Say Sam, Jennifer was asking about you the other day. Why didn’t you call her after you met for drinks? She’s really into you.”
“She’s not into me. She wants to get into my stuff. She came off like a self-centered gold digger. And it wasn’t drinks. It was one drink, and I didn’t even want to finish it.”
“Well, you have to admit she’s a beautiful gold digger. You could use a little female action, you know.”
“Not that kind, besides, she can’t hold a candle to Annie.”
Sam thought he was saved when he heard Joe bellowing. “I’ll take it in my office. And NO LISTENING IN!”
“Hold on a minute Joe! Sam, Who. Is. Annie?”
“No one. Now let me talk to Joe. I’ve got stuff to do.”
“Damn it Sam! Don’t you dare drop something like that on me! And what am I supposed to tell Jennifer?”
He didn’t give a fuck what she told Jennifer.
“Becky, damn it! I said put him through! And stop gossiping!” Then he mumbled to himself, “Damn woman. Has to know what everybody in town is doing. Like she doesn’t have enough to do. I should fire her.”
He picked up his phone, then tip-toed to his office door and peeked out. Becky was sitting at her desk alert and trying to listen, so to get rid of her nosy ears, he asked her to get him a cup of coffee.
“Seriously? What do I look like? A secretary? Wait a minute! Are you trying to say you don’t trust me? Pffffft!” She turned, flipped him off, and stomped down the hall to the break room.
“All right, we’ve got maybe three minutes. What’s up?”
“I need a favor.”
“Becky said something about information? Do I really want to know? And what do I get out of this if I help you?”
“Best man at my wedding?”
He laughed. This was going to be good.
“Hey, stop laughing! This is serious. It’s just a bit illegal which is why I didn’t tell Becky anything about it, besides it would be all over town in two minutes. I really need your help, and I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t urgent.”
“Okay, tell me. But I’m gonna reserve the right to say no. Shoot.”
“I met someone.”
“That’s it? Well, I can see why you need my help, and why you wouldn’t want Becky to know, but what’s so urgent and illegal about that?”
“All I have is her first name and her license plate number.”
“And you want me to what . . . Break the law by invading her privacy without a court order? Seriously Sam?”
“I said it was urgent, didn’t I? I spent all day skiing with her, and there was something familiar about her. It took me a while to figure it out, but damn it Joe, I knew her when we were kids! She was my first crush; that is until she almost broke my nose with her notebook.”
“So why didn’t you get her number?”
“Because I wanted to surprise her, which was pretty stupid. She didn’t recognize me. Why would she? It was over fifty years ago. And I went by ‘Jeffrey’ then.
“I gotta find her. You’ll help me right? You’ve always been a softy for romantic shit, and it doesn’t get any mushier than this. Will you do your cop magic and get me her address and phone number? Her email, too? Like I said, you do, and you’ll be my best man.”
“Ah, Sam, Sam, Sam. This is illegal as all hell.”
He held his breath hoping Joe would say yes.
“If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I’ll arrest you. Gimme whatcha got, and for fuck’s sake, DON’T TELL BECKY!”
“I heard that! Don’t tell Becky what?”
“None of your damn business and where’s my coffee!” His office door slammed.
“Her name’s Annie, and her license plate number is 147 ZBD. Thanks, man! I’ll be forever in your debt.”
“Damn straight you will, and I do expect to be your best man, too! Hang on while I wave the magic wand.”
He paced the floor waiting for Joe to come back with her info.
“You still there?”
“Where else would I be?”
“Calm down, boy. Okay, here it is. Her name is Anne Elizabeth Rogers, and her address is 193 Cedar Glen Road. Her phone number is 541-555-1212, and I suppose you want her email address too? Of course, you do. She has several, but it looks like she uses email@example.com for personal stuff.
“Now don’t you forget what I said. If I find out you said anything about this to anyone, you’ll be taking an extended vacation in one of my jail cells. Got it?”
“Joe, you have no idea what this means to me. If I get another horse, I’ll name it after you. Thanks, man. Talk to you later.”
“Be careful Sam. She may not want you to find her. But I’ll be expecting to hear good news anyway. Later!”
His heart raced. This wasn’t like him. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt like this. Giddy? Maybe like an elementary school kid? He couldn’t wait to put the rest of his plan in place. He checked his contacts, found the number he wanted, and hit CALL.
“Marie’s flowers. How may I brighten your day?”
“Hi Marie, this is Sam Baker. How’re you doin?”
“Why Sam, haven’t heard from you in a while. Whatcha need? I know it’s not either of your daughters’ birthdays, so . . . Oh no! Did someone die?”
“No, no. Nothing like that. I just need you to do me a favor. And keep it confidential.”
“Of course, Sam. We’re very discreet. We have to be in this business.”
“Good. I need you to send one single red rose to Annie Rogers at 193 Cedar Glen Road. Okay? And include a card that says ‘Believe.’ That’s all. Just that one word. And don’t sign my name. Can you do that for me?”
“Well, sure Sam. What’s the occasion? This is kind of unusual for you.”
“She’s someone I just met, and I felt like doing something different. Oh, and please don’t tell Becky or it’ll be all over town, and I’ll have Jennifer climbing all over me. Okay?”
She chuckled. “Okay, Sam. I won’t say anything, especially to Becky and that bimbo friend of hers. Oh dear. Did I say that out loud? You know, she even tried to get me to setup Jennifer with my cousin, Ted. You don’t do that to family. So when do you want this delivered?”
“First thing tomorrow morning? Say around nine? Have George leave it at her front door, and have him call me when he’s done.”
“Awfully mysterious but it sounds really romantic, Sam. I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“I didn’t either until today. Thanks a lot, Marie. I owe ya.”
“Just the price of the rose, Sam. But I want to hear how it works out. Take it easy.”
If it works out, you’ll do the flowers at our wedding.
“Thanks, Marie. You, too.”
Well, that was done. All he had to do now was wait for George’s call in the morning so he could send the email.
He was full of nervous energy like a teenager. He went out to the barn, saddled up Prince Henry and took off with his dogs chasing behind.
I sure hope she likes horses.
When he got back, he spent the next couple of hours doing some of the chores he had neglected for too long. It kept him busy, but it didn’t keep his mind from wandering.
What if he’d made a mistake? What if this pissed her off? No, he saw the disappointed look on her face when she drove away. He almost stopped her and asked her out right then, but he wanted her to remember and to know this wasn’t going to be the usual boy meets girl story like in those books she read. So he stayed busy and played all the possible scenarios in his head.
It was slow going because of the snow, but she made it home and took care of her dog who greeted her like she’d been gone for days instead of hours. She grilled and ate her birthday steak and washed it down with a glass of wine, eating in the living room in front of the TV.
NCIS night. Perfect. Tony DiNozzo always took her mind off her problems. Then she and Baby settled in snuggled under a fuzzy throw. The next thing she knew it was three o’clock and Baby was snoring, dead to the world as usual. He didn’t even wake up when she carried him to bed. Oh, to be a dog with a mommy who loved her as much as she loved him.
She lay in bed and had a hard time shutting off her mind. There was a time when she believed in reincarnation, in soulmates, in finding her happily ever after with the right man. But after so many phony psychics and tarot card readings, and after all the betrayals, failed relationships and marrying the wrong men, she’d quit believing. She’d been the starter girlfriend who paved the way for the guy to find the love of his life way too many times. She just quit believing it all. And yet, he’d said Believe.
She had to put that out of her mind if she was going to get any sleep. It had been a great day. She had a lot of fun. But that was it. These things never worked out for her.
She closed her eyes.
It was past dinner time when he finished his chores, and he was feeling anxious. Nothing sounded good, but he forced himself to eat a sandwich, then drank a beer, and tried to take his mind off what was going to happen in the morning by watching TV.
NCIS night. Perfect. Ziva David always took his mind off of whatever was bothering him. He woke up at three fifteen, crawled into bed surrounded by dogs, and dreamed of her like he usually did, but now she was sixty-four instead of seven.
He woke up with a start at six. Three hours until George was supposed to call.
Meet Mary A. Nason
Mary A. Nason is a feisty member of the Silver Generation and retired geekette. Originally from Los Angeles and then Silicon Valley, California, she now lives in a small town in Central Oregon.
Mary loves to write and play nickel video poker. During the winter, she can often be found on a ski slope. She has a vivid imagination and finds story ideas and character inspirations through her friends – who are nice to her so she won’t kill them off.
There’s a little bit of Mary in all her heroines, but alas, so far, the heroes have been pure fantasy. She is currently single and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future. Writing is a jealous lover.