Blurb for THE HOURGLASS:
Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?
Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.
While a blazer had hung off his arm this morning, now he had something else draped there. A succulent specimen by any man’s standards, no less than twenty years his junior, looped her arm through his. Brenda couldn’t decide whether he’d chosen her as pure eye candy to play up his image or whether she was an actual girlfriend. Either way, she played her part to perfection. Her dark straight hair swayed as she took in the crowd and swaggered with her prize.
Men who chose to date out of their age bracket hit Brenda’s nerves worse than the sharp scrape of metal being dragged on a road surface. Many of her female clients approaching their forties and fifties complained the disregard made them feel invisible. She agreed.
Brenda’s furtive assessment screeched to a halt. CJ, now close by, stared straight at her. Remembering her earlier positive attitude, she attempted to ignore the nervous flurry in her stomach. Her mouth curled into a smile and the words “fancy bumping into you again” were poised on the tip of her tongue, waiting to launch.
His vision shifted away. She exhaled her relief a moment too soon. His stare returned and his brows scrunched close. In a nanosecond, the slow drop of his lower lip made it clear he recognized her.
“Not you again!” He leaned toward the young beauty latched to his arm, tipping his head in Brenda’s direction. “That’s the lady who knocked my coffee all over me.”
The beauty viewed her with indifference. An unexpected gravitational pull swelled Brenda’s anger. Her cute quip ran into hiding. She no longer cared about winning this man’s favor. His rudeness left her feeling as if she’d been doused with hot coffee this time. Brenda clenched her fists. A year of internal browbeating over Jack’s suicide had left her easily irritated.
Brenda gripped the frail edges of her self-control. “I once again offer my apologies for the accident, by definition an unplanned event with lack of intent.” He looked down his sturdy, Grecian nose at her, so she stood and put her hands on her hips. “Shouldn’t you, as a writer, know that?”
Every line on his face tensed. “I could do without your sarcasm.” He leaned closer. “Thanks to you, I missed my meeting. Maybe tomorrow morning you could get room service.”
The brunette unleashed a tight smirk. CJ motioned for them to move on.
Brenda fumbled for a good retort. As he stepped away, the last word went with him. The same way Jack had the last word in their life together. A silent explosion went off inside Brenda’s head and propelled her anger forward.
“Mr. Morrison?” She raised her voice to be heard above the crowd.
He looked over his shoulder and arched a questioning eyebrow.
Brenda crossed her arms and fixed a phony smile as she nodded toward his companion. “It’s so nice of you to bring your daughter to the conference.”
Sharon’s Website: www.sharonstruth.com
For a trailer, excerpt or book group questions visit www.thehourglassnovel.com
Sharon Struth writes from her home in Bethel, Connecticut where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She's a graduate of Marist College and was raised in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Her debut novel, The Hourglass, is published by Etopia Press. Other writing credits include essays in several Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, the anthology A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers, Sasee Magazine and WritersWeekly.com. She is represented by Blue Ridge Literary Agency (http://www.blueridgeagency.com/)a Rafflecopter giveaway
Meet character CJ Morrison…
Meet character CJ Morrison…
Bestselling author. Screenwriter. Our Hero in The Hourglass
Q. So Mr. Morrison, how’d you end up in The Hourglass?
A. It all started at a writer’s conference at the New York City Hyatt. Between speaking engagements, I was rushing through the lobby with a cup of coffee, already late for an appointment. This woman appeared out of nowhere and slammed into me. Both my shirt and the important contract I held were drenched with hot coffee. *CJ’s face reddens. * Anyway, I had to cancel the meeting with a very important producer thanks to her.
Q. Doesn’t sound like a good start.
A. No. Look, I can be a little hot headed, especially when stressed. Later in the day, I saw the woman again. I was still irritated over my missed appointment. Guess I wasn’t nice the second time I saw her either. But her nasty remark about my date was…well, let’s say it was uncalled for.
Q. Hmmm, sounds like you two mix like oil and water. At least you’ll never have to see her again.
A. *CJ snorts* That’s what you think. Turns out my agent knew her and invited her to join our table at the conference dinner. Brenda McAllister’s her name. A relationship therapist. Wrote a bestselling self-help book. I never would have dreamed someone like her would walk into my world that day. The worse part was, by the end of dinner, I simply wanted her to go away.
A. *CJ’s voice softens* She reminded me of everything special I had lost.
Q. What had you lost?
A. *CJ studies his folded hands for a long silent moment then finally looks up.* It’s too painful to discuss.
Q. Well, at least after dinner you’d never have to see her again. Right?
A. Not a chance. Brenda turned out to be the psychologist my agent had hired to help me with a character profile. My back was against the wall. I had no good reason to tell my agent I didn’t want her. Imagine how pitiful I’d look if I told him she spilled coffee on me and then called my girlfriend my daughter.
Q. She called your girlfriend your daughter?
A. Yes. *CJ’s jaw tightens* Anyway, I agreed to work with her, but sure got more than I bargained for.
Q. What do you mean?
A. *CJ stands and his mouth curves into a grin as sly as Mona Lisa’s* Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out. *He turns and walks away*
Sharon's participating in the Fool for Love Contest from 3/1 - 3/31. Use this Rafflecopter link to enter.