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Sweet Nothings
Claire Bocardo
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The vague hum of discontent that permeates Ginger Power’s life grows louder every day. Discovering that Les is robbing the family firm to buy his current tootsie expensive gifts tears it; Ginger must build a new life without him. After 34 years, the challenge is great—but oh, the rewards!

Ginger punched the button on the garage door opener at two o’clock Sunday afternoon and let herself into the silent house. Having come without calling, she knew Les would be gone. Being alone was like oxygen deprivation for Les--it gave him the bends. She grinned to herself. Elbow bends was more like it--he’d keep a low buzz going all day in the expectation of returning to an empty house. Her early homecoming would be a nice surprise.

She hauled her suitcase down the hall to their bedroom, dumped it on the bed, and started sorting her clothes for the laundry before she noticed: the bed had been stripped, and clean sheets lay folded at its foot. How strange! Les wouldn’t change his own sheets, and the maid would have finished the job...

Scooping up an armload of dirty clothes, Ginger crossed the hall to the laundry room. There were the dirty sheets, piled on the floor. They reeked of Poison, a perfume she’d never been able to abide. Stunned into automatic pilot, she picked the sheets up and dropped them into the washer. A clink stopped her, and she reached into the tub to find its cause--something, snakey, but hard, all the way down at the bottom. Withdrawing her hand, she found a diamond tennis bracelet.

God’s knuckles! It must be worth the price of a small car! What in the name of heaven was a diamond bracelet doing in her washer? Lord, the woman must be frantic!

The facts coalesced into a sixteen-ounce boxing glove and thudded into her solar plexus. Ginger staggered backward and leaned against the door, gasping for breath as she took in their meaning. She sank bonelessly to the floor, staring at the glittering gems that swung back and forth from her fingers.

What’re you making such a fuss about? Her inner voice asked. Talk about denial! You’ve known it for years.

No! Ginger thought. She had not known it! Her eyes filled, and she wiped at them angrily with the backs of her hands. Her own bed! How could he?

But she had known. She really had, she told herself. She’d paid bills for flowers she hadn’t received--even found motel matchbooks in his suit pockets--and silently accepted his glib explanations. She hadn’t wanted to know, hadn’t wanted to admit it. She’d lived in fear of this moment for so long that the final proof was almost a relief.

Now he’d escalated the action beyond her ability to ignore it. Now she must respond. Ginger had read somewhere that unfaithful spouses always left clues, wanting to be caught--that infidelity was a punishment that didn’t work unless it was found out--but this was really too much. It could not be overlooked. She would have to do something. She wrinkled her nose as the smell of Poison assaulted it once again. The sheets would go first.

Still half in shock, her mind and body operating under separate instructions, Ginger fastened the bracelet around her wrist for safekeeping. She grabbed a pair of household gloves and slid them onto her hands before yanking the sheets out of the washer and wadding them into a bundle. Holding them at arms’ length, she stalked down the hallway to the kitchen and grabbed a box of matches and the barbecue starter fluid. Then Ginger let herself out the back door, marched to the center of Les’s newly sodded lawn, and dropped the bundle. She saturated it with lighter fluid, set it afire, and stood on the grass as if hypnotized, striking match after match to toss onto the inferno. Her face felt crackling hot and her eyes burned, but the blaze seemed critical to her survival.

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 clairebocardo@msn.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

ISBN: 1590887220
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590887226
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 360
Paper Weight (lb): 7.0

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