Neurotic Promises To Keep Over a Café Mocha / @writebrainedny / @patricia_sands

Hello and welcome to the first post in our brand-new Author’s Café! Today we’re excited to feature two great reads from two of our featured authors, Patricia Sands and Bonnie Trachtenberg. Take a look at the first title in today’s post!

Promises To Keep (Love In Provence #2)

Promises To Keep (Love In Provence #2)

Author:
Series: Love In Provence, Book 2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Falling in love with the south of France was no surprise to Katherine. Choosing to walk away from her past and start over was completely unexpected. A new country, a new lover, and the promise of a bright future beginning in mid-life … who knew? More info →
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Excerpt From Promises To Keep

In the walled courtyard where he had parked, Philippe held the car door open for her. It was a courtesy that seemed to be second nature to him, and Kat appreciated it every time. Then he went to unlock the gate. On his way back to the car, he paused and plucked a folded paper from behind the wiper on the driver’s side. His jaw tightened and he quickly looked around the courtyard. He scrunched the paper and shoved it into the pocket of his jeans before sliding heavily into his seat. Kat had never seen him angry before.

“What was that?” she asked.

“Rien du tout. Nothing, nothing at all,” he answered abruptly.

Putting her hand on his arm, Katherine repeated her question. “I saw the look on your face. It looked like it was something, not nothing.”

Philippe exhaled loudly before he covered her hand with his and lifted it to his lips. “Sorry, Minou. It’s nothing to worry about, and I’m sorry I spoke so sharply.”

“But –”

He squeezed her hand, but he looked pained and his voice had an unfamiliar edge to it. “Seriously, we don’t need to talk about it. It’s just some business from a long time ago that I thought was finished …”

A hush hung in the air. Then Philippe started the engine and they drove off.

Torn between wanting to know what was bothering him but not wanting to push, Katherine stayed quiet as Philippe navigated the town’s narrow streets and drove them into the countryside.

She had learned years earlier, after being scolded and humiliated by James, that she needed to stay out of some matters. Her throat tightened at the memory. His verbal attacks had felt physical, like a kick in the stomach, and completely foreign to her. She had not experienced or witnessed anything like it before she married him. It had crushed her.

Now she struggled to banish those painful memories. She looked straight ahead, taking some deep breaths but saying nothing, until she knew exactly what it was she wanted to say.

She turned to Philippe and touched his cheek lightly. “You know I’m here if you want to talk about it.”

He nodded, staring intently at the road. “Frankly, I hope we never have to talk about it. It’s something that should not be part of our life together. I’m sorry you saw this.”

After a moment, he glanced at her and tried to smile. “I will make it go away, I promise.”

 

 

Neurotically Yours

Neurotically Yours

Witty, poignant, and immensely engaging, this romantic comedy from the bestselling author of Wedlocked: A Novel features sparkling dialogue, colorful characters, and a story that pulls you in and never lets you go. More info →
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Excerpt From Neurotically Yours

“You wanted to see me?” she asked.“Yes. Please close the door and have a seat.”Something in his formal tone told her this had nothing to do with outdated dairy products. She waited for him to open his mouth and breathe some fire her way, but instead, he opened a folder that sat waiting on his desk and shuffled through the stack of papers inside. It didn’t take long for Dara to realize the folder contained a collection of her printed columns.He pursed his flaky lips and narrowed his eyes as he looked at her.“I’ve read over your columns, Dara, and I’m very concerned.”

“Really? Why would they concern you?”

“I’ve never seen an advice columnist let loose on her readers the way you do. You’ve been writing this column for, what, almost eight years?”

Dara nodded slowly.

“I understand that a column will progress along with the columnist over a period of time. It’s only natural—but in your case…”

“Yes?”

“Well, I find the progression quite disturbing.”

“Disturbing?” she echoed with surprise.

“Well,” he said, mustering professionalism, “early on, your column was more like a pep talk, more hopeful. That’s good. That’s what people want to hear, but lately…”

The Beast tapped his bony fingers on his desk while sighing.

“You can get to the point, Bob,” she said with some irreverence. The change in tone brought out the editor she was starting to know and hate.

“Telling people they’re better off on their own is not the best romantic advice.”

“It is if they’re dating a creep.”

“Last month you suggested that a forty-eight-year-old woman,” he shuffled through the file so he could quote her accurately, “‘would be better off with goldfish for company than the pathetic stream of misfits polluting her dating waters.’”

“Well, it’s true,” Dara defended matter-of-factly.

He pulled out another page with a huff and started reading. “And from March, you told Stymied in Santa Monica that, and I quote again, ‘Couples therapy would be a waste of time considering your fiancé’s obvious obsession with killing small, defenseless animals.’”

Bob looked sternly at Dara. “So he’s a hunter,” he said with annoyance. “Lots of people are hunters. That doesn’t disqualify such a person from couples therapy—or good relationships.”

“It does when the person does it every weekend instead of paying some modicum of attention to his fiancée. My God, they’re not even married yet, and he’s totally ignoring her, not to mention murdering innocent wildlife.”

“Well,” Bob added as he pulled Exhibit C from the pile, “at least you’re an equal opportunity offender. You told this man that his girlfriend was ‘clearly a narcissist who will play nice until she sinks her claws deep enough into your skin to hold you down and eat you alive.’ Then you quoted lyrics from a Hall and Oates song, ‘Maneater.’”

“Yes,” Dara commented coolly, “I’ve seen it happen many times with women like that.”

“You told him to ‘get over his hard-on for bitches unless he wants a life of pain and misery.’”

She nodded with assuredness. “Sound advice.”

The Beast huffed at her again and began to raise his voice, “First of all, you can’t diagnose someone with a personality disorder when you’ve never even met her.”

“Oh, come on, it’s so obvious though—” she started.

“And, second, if he breaks up with her after reading this, we could have a lawsuit on our hands!”

“We have a disclaimer, remember? This is only for entertainment purposes, blah, blah, blah—”

“That doesn’t mean someone won’t start trouble anyway! We live in a very litigious state.”

The Beast tried to calm himself with a deep breath.

“Dara, your column is way too… depressing.”

 

 

Recipe of the Day

mocha1
Courtesy Google Images Usage Rights: Reusable

Patricia shared that she and her daughter love a good Café Mocha. Well, ask and you shall receive! Check out this great recipe for making your very own delish treat at home.

  • Combine 1 tablespoon warm water and 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder.
  • Mix until it turns to the consistency of syrup.
  • Add 2 tables of the syrup mixture into an 8 ounce coffee cup.
  • Add a shot espresso or dark-roast coffee.
  • Fill the rest of your cup with steamed milk.
  • Add your favorite whipped cream to finish it off.

Music of the Day

Patricia Sands says…

“I discovered this while writing The Promise of Provence and Katherine refers to it in Promises To Keep as she plays it while she drives. I love this song and play it constantly when I am writing so I am thrilled to share it with you.”

 

 

Bonnie is inspired by The Beatles. The song In My Life is featured frequently in the book.

 

 

Thanks for joining us today! Check back next time for for more books, music, and devine treats to brighten your day.