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Widowhood has left conservative Dallasite Dorrie Greene with a jewelry store she was never allowed to learn to operate, an uptight son who wants her to retire to her rocker like a proper grandma, and a feminist daughter who wants her to “go for it.” When her wise, eccentric, and stout-hearted best friend, Charmaine Stubbs, comes home from a UFO hunt in Peru to comfort her, Charmaine drops Dorrie straight into the New Age movement to find herself.
To add to the confusion of self-discovery and her spiritual quest, she begins a red-hot affair with her accountant, and he wants to marry her. New love is delightful, but once having tasted such freedom, Dorrie is not at all sure she wants to be a Wife again.
After supper Charmaine left the table and returned with a small, carved, wooden box.
"Tell you what," she said, setting it on the table and raising its hinged lid. She removed a packet wrapped in an embroidered scarf of purple silk. "Why don’t you let me read your cards."
She unfolded the scarf, which was covered with strange symbols. Inside was a Tarot deck.
"When did you learn to read the Tarot?"
"I don’t remember. It’s just something I picked up in my travels. You know me: if it’s there, I’ll pick it up and look at it."
Dorrie grinned. "Trouble with that is, you never know where it’s been."
"Christ, you sound just like your daddy! He never did know what to do with me."
"Daddy wasn’t very tolerant of individual differences. I remember one time he said, ‘Why does she have to cultivate her eccentricities?’"
"Shoot! That’s what makes life interesting!" Charmaine shoved the silken wrapper into her pocket and started shuffling. "So is there anything in particular you’d like to know?"
Dorrie laughed ruefully.
"Just life and better things yet. Right now, my whole existence is one big question mark." She’d never had her fortune told before, never believed in fortune-telling. Still, what else did she have to do this evening?
"Well, we’ll just see, then."
Having set the Queen of Cups in the center of the table, Charmaine started laying out cards in the form of a cross.
"This covers her, this crosses her," she muttered, "this beneath her, this behind her, this crowns her. This before her..." She paused to look at the card. "Not bad," she said, and started dealing four cards up the side of the cross. "This her fears, this her friends, this her hope, this the outcome."
Dorrie waited as her friend studied her future. The cards were full of brilliant colors, the drawings on them grotesquely fascinating: dogs like jackals; a horned, goat-legged devil with a pitchfork across his knees; a youth in motley rags with all his belongings tied on a stick over his shoulder and his little dog yapping behind.
"All right," Charmaine said at last. "Death covers you. Not George’s death, though of course that’s probably part of it. It’s like a door, with one side an end and the other a beginning. That’s the immediate influence. And crossing him is the Fool: see him there, out to seek his fortune, happy as if he had good sense and about to walk over the edge of the cliff? He shows you’re facing a choice you’re not prepared to make. Ring any bells?"
"You’re not going to make it easy, are you! Well, you always were close-mouthed. I don’t know why you’d be any different now."
Dorrie pointed at the card at the bottom of the cross. It showed a tower being struck by lightning. A man and a woman were falling headlong from its burning windows as dogs leapt up to bite them.
"Charming," she said. "What’s this?"
"The foundation of your present troubles," Charmaine told her. "The Tower represents some sudden, usually shocking occurrence that brings your life crashing down around your ears." She looked up. "I’d say being widowed meets the description, wouldn’t you?"
"In spades." Dorrie was tired of thinking about it, so sudden and so terrible. She still woke at night and reached for his side of the bed, and it was always a shock to find the sheets cold and smooth. "So then what?"
"Behind you--the influence that’s just passing out of your life--is the Heirophant. He represents convention: observing all the ceremonies, relying on some outside authority to run your life--giving a damn what people think. He’s the absolute opposite of anything I’ve ever been or done. When he turns up in my cards, he’s always standing on his head."
"I can well imagine." Dorrie grinned. "So what does he mean here?"
Claire Bocardo became a transplanted Texan 40 years ago. She lives in a passive solar house on 14 acres of virgin prairie in the Red River Valley. She would love to hear from her readers at email@example.com .
“Claire Bocardo offers up a tough-as-nails voice of wisdom in MAYBE LATER LOVE, a cracker-jack, tell-it-like-it-is look at a widow's mystical spiritual quest.” --Elisabeth Fairchild, author of A GAME OF PATIENCE
“A widow's journey through grief, self-awareness, new and old relationships, and parapsychology makes for an entertaining read. Claire Bocardo proves herself an author to watch in women's fiction.” --Cheryl Norman, 2003 EPPIE winning author of LAST RESORT
Maybe Later, Love: First-time author Claire Bocardo has crafted a strong, sensitive work dealing with a woman’s search for her identity. This novel will appeal to any woman who has questioned her role in life. -- Romantic Times Review, Harriet Klausner
Maybe Later, Love: Dorrie’s personal odyssey, as well as first-novelist Bocardo’s cast of well-drawn and varied supporting characters, should delight mature romance fans who are tired of heroines young enough to be their daughters. -- Publishers Weekly review
Maybe Later, Love: Anyone who can imagine facing a dramatic life change can identify with Bocardo’s book. Even though the ending does not fit the classic romance novel, it is a positive statement about love and aging. The pleasure from reading Maybe Later, Love comes not from knowing what will happen, but from sharing the journey. -- Richardson (TX) News WEEKENDER
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 348