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Sarah Starting Over Excerpt

Now that my co-writer and I have submitted our co-mance to publishers, I am working on fine tuning my women's fiction novel Sarah Starting Over. Fingers crossed, it will be published in the very near future. 

Here's the premise: It's about a widowed mom who is determined to figure out who murdered her husband. With the help of a handsome black PI with a prosthetic leg, she will find answers and hope.

***

Brandon appeared at the front door. He was holding a pink box. He slipped it open and inside was an anniversary cake.
“We didn’t have a real wedding cake in Vegas, so figured it was time,” Brandon said.
“That’s so sweet of you,” I said as I leaned in to kiss him.
“It’s marble cake inside with chocolate ganache.”
“Mmm…That sounds decadent.”
“I know chocolate always puts you in the mood,” He said with a wink.
Brandon walked inside and put the cake on the kitchen counter.
“If you’re not hungry, maybe we could do something physical to work up our appetites.”
“Are you coming on to me?”
“Maybe.”
He threw his arms around my waist and pulled me close. His lips met mine and I was hit by his kale smoothie breath.
“Why don’t you go to the bedroom and get rid of all of those clothes. I’ll meet you in there once I get this cake put away,” Brandon said.
As I turned to head in that direction, he gave my backside a flirtatious slap.
Once in our room, I shimmied out of my skirt and panties. Then I unbuttoned my top and unsnapped my bra. I tried to arrange myself seductively on the bed while I waited.
I glanced at the alarm clock and ten minutes had passed. Feeling a chill, I shoved myself under the covers. How long could it take to maneuver a cake into the fridge? Well we did have a lot of leftovers crammed in there.
A few more minutes ticked by. Finally I walked back toward the kitchen. Once I got there it was crowded with fifty people wearing black. There were loads of casseroles and baked goods on the counter and the kitchen table.
Brandon’s sister came up to me and gave me a hug.
“Have you seen Brandon, he was just in here trying to get a cake to fit in the fridge?”
“Oh, Sarah, are you okay? Do you need to sit down for a minute?”
Megan touched my forehead like she was checking my temperature.
“I’m fine. Where’s Brandon. As you can see, I’m naked. We had sexy plans, if you know what I mean.”
Tears streamed down Megan’s face. She pulled a wadded up tissue from her pants pocket and dabbed it on her eyes.
“He’s gone.”
What she said wasn’t making any sense.
“Gone where? Did he run out to the store for something?”
“I know it still doesn’t feel real. I’m in shock too.”
Megan took off her cardigan and threw it over my shoulders.
I ran from room to room. He was nowhere to be found. “Brandon, Brandon,” I shouted.
Back in the master bedroom I screamed, “Come back to me.”
You are My Sunshine was now playing in my head. Hands clutched my arm. “Brandon?”
With an audible gasp, I opened my eyes. It was Milo touching me. He held his lullaby-singing bear in his other hand.
I wished he hadn’t woken me. I was so close to getting to spend more time with dream Brandon.
“It’s Milo Mama. Were you dreaming about Daddy again?”
“Yes, honey.”
“I did a few nights ago. We were at Disneyland and he was riding the Dumbo ride with me.”
“That sounds nice.”

Janet called these visitation dreams. She’d lost her mother as a teenager and had them sporadically over the years. Her belief was that it wasn’t just a dream, a loved one was actually paying a visit. I hoped she was right.

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Sarah Starting Over (novella #1) ends with some unanswered questions for a P.I. and a windowed mom. 

Greyson Starting Over is novella #2. It takes place one year later in the sleepy seaside town of Siletz Bay. Greyson and Sarah’s wedding planning comes to a halt when they must find a missing girl. 

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Writing Inspiration

I just answered this reader question over at Goodreads and thought I would post my answer here as well. If you write, what inspires you? How do you get inspired to write? M.J. GreenwayThere are so many times when I'm inspired by something I've read or watched on TV. For example, I remember reading Gone Girl and yearning to be able to one day write a book that well crafted.
That said, most of the writing time isn't about inspiration, it's just about writing most days and seeing where you get. I write an outline and start with a few characters and conflicts and an idea for an ending. As days pass, more details occur to me and snowball into a full fledged story over time. Walks or bike rides can help too.
For my romantic mysteries, Sarah Starting Over and Greyson Starting Over, I wanted to write about parenting and grief and my friend urged me to write about a disabled character. Because of my childhood love of Murder She Wrote, I also wanted to try my hand and writing a mys…