I love fiction, yes I do. I love fiction, what about you?
For the next six or seven months, Fiction Friday here on my blog will include excerpts from my published books. Have you read them all?
This month’s excerpt comes from my most-reviewed book on Amazon. Probably because it is a title a republished after Sweet Promise Press returned the rights to me, and they did most of the heavy marketing lifting during the release.
I’ve written a dozen novellas and fifty shorter pieces since finishing Mimi and the Banker, but I still love Meri. She’s quirky but so relatable.
This is from chapter one of Mimi and the Banker:
Her only granddaughter needed her, at least this year while her parents were on deputation in India. Meri loved being closer to her girls, and she didn’t really have anything to tie her to Ohio.
Thirty minutes later, after an uneventful drive back to the house, Meri blinked at her laptop screen. A chasm of dread devoured her from the inside.
No matter how often she hit the refresh button on the bank’s website, the numbers refused to change. If Steve hadn’t deposited the alimony by now, he wasn’t going to do it in the next five minutes. Maybe not this month. February was the last time he’d made the payment, and it was only half the court-ordered amount.
She brought up her email. Nothing new in the folder she used for correspondence with her ex-husband. The two-week old response to her inquiry about her monthly allotment had been, “Aren’t you living with Sunshine? You don’t need the money.”
As if she was sponging off her only daughter. No, she was taking care of Kana’s and Sunnie’s townhouse while allowing Poppy to continue at her school. Besides, Meri had a business to run.
She knew Steve’s opinion on that, though. Lotion making is a hobby. No one buys that stuff. Why don’t you get a real job?
The scathing comments had found their mark. Meri pressed her hands over her ears, trying to silence her ex’s negativity. His cutting remarks joined older ones spoken by her father. Nothing she did was good enough for either of them.
For years, Steve had demanded that she stay home and “mother” Sunnie. It had been a joy to care for her daughter, so when Poppy came along, Meri watched her while Sunnie finished high school and attended college. Until her daughter had transferred to Henry’s School of the Bible near St. Judith, Virginia, where the school incorporated a daycare program staffed by the students whose children used the service.
Within months, Sunnie met Kana Nagi at a Campus Crusade for Christ event, and they married at the end of that school year. Kana loved Sunnie and Poppy with a fierceness no one could deny, but his calling was to spread the Gospel to his homeland. That’s what took her only daughter half a world away for a year, but the upheaval of their schedule wasn’t right for Poppy. Meri banished the thought of both her girls living so far away. No sense worrying about how much she would miss them. At least Poppy and Sunnie had a man who included them in his travels.
Meri typed a message to Steve—a man who had constantly left her and Sunnie behind—asking about the April alimony payment. Since he’d taken a huge promotion in South Korea, he’d been lax with the payments. In December he’d changed jobs (and banks, of course) and become downright negligent. When she’d contacted her lawyer, she hadn’t sounded hopeful about garnishing wages in a South Korean company. Probably what Steve hoped would free him from paying her another cent.
She backspaced over half the message. If she sounded desperate, he would know it. Once her missive carried the right tone, she sent it.
That’s when she scanned the new messages. She shoved her fingers through ear-length blonde hair, tugging at the roots. Steve made her want to tear her hair out, but it wasn’t just him. The email from her containers supplier brought even worse news.
Her supplier was going out of business and had already depleted most of their stock, so her order couldn’t be filled.
“Poison.” She muttered another curse, hardly aware of what band name she used, but when it registered, she decided poison accurately described what was happening to her day.
She thought she could deal with the closure until she discovered the recommended suppliers expected larger minimum orders, and the primary choice was in Oregon. Oregon! The shipping costs alone would max out her Mastercard.
Her finger twitched over the mouse buttons. No, she wouldn’t bring up that statement. She already knew her balance sat millimeters from the top of her credit line.
Meri bobbed her leg. She needed bottles to fill a sizable order. Once that invoice was paid, both accounts would be in the black again.
Have you read this book? What did you think? I hope you’re one of the people who left a review on Amazon and Goodreads.