Nothing Is Lost In Loving
There is a saying in Spanish that goes something like this, “No hay mal que por bien no venga.” (Roughly translated) “There is no bad thing that is not followed by a good thing.”
When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which happens to be the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to come to terms with her loss, stop talking to his ashes, which she carries around in a sports bottle, and get her life back on track for her son’s sake as well as her own. She never expected posting an ad on Craigslist would send her into the arms of not one but two men, one of which is her former boss, Jack Francis. It’s because of him she’s working as an admin for a retired Broadway star, bookkeeping for an erotic video production company, and writing love letters for the mysterious Oaklander. Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces and the father-in-law Stella’s never met shows up on her doorstep.
With her best friend, Bono, to guide her, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by. Her new extended family comes with plenty of drama, and the ghosts of her dead husband’s past are knocking down her door. Will Stella be able to find her footing in her eccentric life, discover nothing is lost in loving, and have the family she’s always dreamed of? One thing is certain: Stella will learn that happily ever after doesn’t come in one size fits all.
Find out how Stella manages her monster-in-law and takes on romance again. You can find her story on Amazon.
Focus, Stella, the little voice shouts. There’s enough cash in the bank to last six months. This is not a good time to be unemployed. As if there is ever a good time, I whine inside.
“Stella, did you hear me? Are you okay?” A touch of worry sails through the wires and lands like a thud on the counter.
I hit the mute button to block the dry sob growing behind my breastbone. Breathe, one thousand-one, one thousand-two, one thousand-three, one thousand-four, hold for six counts. I grip the edge of the counter, which keeps me rooted to the kitchen floor and from drowning in the acid panic flooding my veins. Damn. I’m losing my job. Ava will come after Santi again. Damn. Stop! Don’t you dare cry on the phone in front of a man, especially not Jack. Inner Stella swoops in and takes control.
“Stella?” His voice is no longer a whisper. I unmute the phone. “Yes, I’m here.”
“Is everything okay? Did you hear what I said?”
“Yes, I heard, and I’m fine.” You jerk, what a stupid question. “The news is unexpected, of course. Thanks for the heads-up.” I need to make a graceful exit from the call. I manage to choke back my sob. “I assume our meeting is canceled. There’s probably no point in me coming into the city to talk about the business plan for next year.” Since I’ll be living in a cardboard box under the Bay Bridge, you selfish prick.
Loving Is Good
Celia Mendoza is not living La Vida Loca. She put her graduate studies on hold after her father died. Now she dishes out advice in her e-zine column, Luna Love, Loving is Good. The problem is, she hasn’t had a second date or a kiss in over a year. Then Gabe Mercer, a modern-day Adonis, shows up, daring her to take a chance.
The string of broken hearts in his wake turns Celia off, but his relentless encouragement to pursue her dream of becoming a serious journalist contradicts his reputation, making it hard to fight the pull of his topaz, come-hither eyes. He’s everything Luna Love tells her readers to take a chance on, but Celia can’t decide if a chance encounter is worth the gamble. But life has a will of its own, and hers is pushing Celia to accept the uncertainty and run towards her destiny.
Need advice on love? See what Luna Love has to say.
“Let me change my clothes.” I closed my computer and stood up.
“Wear something that shows a little skin. Jo tells me our sales spike when you wear your Wonder Bra,” Mom said matter-of-factly.
“I am not on the menu.” I huffed, pushed out my chest, and rolled my eyes for dramatic effect.
“Wear those jeans you bought—you know, the ones that cost a couple hundred dollars—a black bra, and one of those white tank T-shirts you wear around the house.”
“The I’m easy, come and get me, baby, Latina-from-the-hood look? Seriously? That’s not a positive image for the next generation of Latinas, Mom.”
“What’s wrong with showing off your curves to sell a few extra bowls of chili? Besides, you want to look your best in case that sexy friend of yours shows up again.” She winked and ran her hand over my unruly locks.
Gabe Mercer, the black cloud in my sunny day. He was six foot five, a solid mass of goodness, with topaz eyes that melted the skin off my bones every time he fluttered his come-hither lashes in my direction. He was the kind of guy that had you at Hello, but when he left your bed—and he’d left many—you started a blog and wrote sappy love poems the rest of your days and ended up marrying your dentist’s son, Wilber Puck, the one who wore coke-bottle spectacles, ill-fitting tan trousers, and a checkered shirt.
“He’s a professional colleague and nothing more. Stop rolling your eyes at me.”
The screen door opened and banged twice against the doorjamb before stopping. Tia Jo had arrived. She was the other half of the dynamic duo. With her arrival, my chances of winning withered. She winked and blew me a kiss as she had been doing for as long as I could remember. I listened to her Asics as they thumped in double-time across the tile floor. She took her position as second lieutenant alongside Mom at the kitchen sink.
“Youth is wasted on the young. Would it kill you to wear your Wonder Bra, sashay around the park tables, and show off those pearly whites of yours that cost your parents fifteen thousand dollars to straighten?” Tia Jo said.