Tag Archive | Starting Over

Survive and Thrive-the story unveils. . .

The book, When Double Becomes Single, begins on a sad note. Sharon Michaels is suddenly widowed and all alone, she hasn’t a clue as where to begin. Her husband of thirty five years steered their  life and she followed. What’s a woman to do, how does she begin again at age fifty six to learn how to drive at night. All she has are two dear rescue dogs who need her as much as she needs them.

This is a scene I like. A lot.

Work dragged on Monday. Sharon met with customers, made sales and by the end of the day, she didn’t know if working without a partner was the best thing to fill her life. Empty, she felt empty. A change of clothes and she piled the eager pets in the car for fun at the dog park. Spring brought out the best in people with canines. Tongues hung out the back window. They strained at the leashes until Sharon let Tommy and Gracie loose behind the fence. Before long, other folks showed up with different sized canines. Sharon had to laugh at a fierce Chihuahua barking at her large pets. The owner, a man dressed in a suit, joined her.
“Come here often?” His voice deep and musical.
“That’s a line from a bar, right?”
“Yes, it is. I used it a lot in the old days. It worked most of the time.”
“I never bar hopped. I married young and lost my husband a few months ago. How about you?”
“I’m married to this pip squeak pet of mine the past few years. Janis Joplin is her name. She can’t sing but man, can she bark in High C. I was divorced a couple of times before then. I just can’t seem to get it right.”
“Tommy, Gracie, NO!” Sharon’s dogs stopped harassing another canine. “They’ve been in the back yard too long without my attention. I’ll have to bring them here more often.”
The tall stranger smiled. “I hope you do. What’s your name, if you don’t mind.”
She searched his face for a clue as to his personality. How can you tell at first glance? She had so little experience with just about everything.
He touched her cheek rosy with the chilly spring breeze. “I’m Jack Torrance. I sing on Broadway right now in a revival of Chicago. Now it’s your turn and remember, I’m just asking for your name.”
“Sharon Michaels. My husband and I have a business, not very exciting. Now I sell kitchen cabinets and my oldest son and his wife joined the company to help me. Today, Jack,” she tested his name on her tongue, “I felt way out of sorts about visiting customers on my own so I packed up the pups we rescued a few years ago and here we are.”
“Good job, Sharon. We’re having a conversation. This isn’t too painful, is it?”
“No. It’s just different. Tell me about your career.”
He laughed. “It’s checkered, at best. I’ve been a song and dance man forever, sometimes scoring a good part, sometimes chorus. As long as I keep working, have union benefits, I’m good. I live in Tappan, not far from here in a small cottage where I can hit the Palisade Parkway and get to town fast.”
The wind picked up and Sharon shivered. “It’s time to head home.” She called to the dogs and turned to Jack. “Would you like to have dinner at my house now. Monday’s you’re off, right?”
“Why thank you, yes I’d love to. That’s brave of you.”
“Yes, it is. I need company and you’re just the one. Follow me.”
Jack tucked Janis in her little dog house and started up his Volkswagon.
Sharon rounded up her two rowdy pups and home she went with her new friend behind her. “Barry, what in the world did I just do? Is it weird to invite a relative stranger to our home? Yeah, it is. I’ll keep a knife handy. You’re the one in heaven. It’s lonely down here without you.”
Fast, she fed the dogs and sent them out to the yard while Jack waited in his car.
“Now what do we do with Janis?”
“She’ll sleep in her little house in the car while we have dinner.”
Into the house they went where he stopped to admire her taste. “Sharon, this is so cozy and comfortable. I’m guessing you’ve lived here many years.” He ran his long fingers over the piano. “Do you play?”
She blushed admitting the truth to a real performer. “Not often and not too well. Why?”
Color came to his cheeks. “I have an opportunity for the part of Amos who sings Cellophane in Chicago. I know the song so well and the dance but I’d love to have someone help me practice and critique what I’m doing.”
Sharon took a deep breath. “I haven’t played in a long time. Do you have sheet music? Maybe I’d be able to help. I always did for my boys.”
Jack swept her into a dance move and hugged her just right. “You’re a doll. I have music in the car. You fix something easy for dinner and I’ll get my portfolio.” He raced to the door and left her open mouthed surprised.
What a kick to meet an actor and bring him home for dinner. Am I having fun or what? In the fridge she found salad, deviled eggs Mia made with black olives on the side and avocado slices. Sherbet to cleanse the palate in the freezer and some left over crème brulee. Hmm. Just enough for a light meal.
By the time Jack hurried in, the table was set. Excited to show her the music and begin, Sharon told him to calm down and have a bite or two. Then they’d check out what else he carried in his portfolio.
Small eater, she thought, or too anxious to settle down but she enjoyed every bit of the light dinner. When they finished, he rushed to the piano and played while Sharon cleared the table. She joined him in the living room where he apologized for not helping. Eyes sparkling, he handed her the sheet music for Cellophane and stood up ready to sing.
“Hang on a minute, Jack. Let me bumble my way through first.”
To Sharon’s surprise, she caught on right away. Two or three times over the music and soon Jack sang as she played. His voice clear and touching as he sang the words about how nobody knows my name. Dance movement came with it. Obviously he’d worked on the audition for hours.
“So what do you think?”
“Poignant. I’d like to see you relax a bit more in the dance when you kind of shimmy, reach out to the audience; start softer with your voice and build on it. But Jack, what do I know? One thing for sure, you touched me with the way you sang as if it was the truth. Nobody knows your name. You made me want to cry. Sing as if this happens to you on a daily basis, make it believable. You’re not just a song and dance man anymore. You’re special. I mean it.”
“Sharon,” he kneeled at her feet, “you may be the best thing that ever happened to me in years.”
“Let me know what happens, my friend.”
“I’ll send you tickets.” He hugged Sharon and hurried out the door.
“What just happened, Barry? I took the pups to the dog park, met an actor, invited him home and played the piano for him so he’d audition plus I gave him critique on how to perform it better. All the years I spent in your dear shadow and here I am giving advice to an actor.” Sharon laughed and didn’t stop. Maybe she was Cellophane all this time.
Three days later, red roses arrived with two tickets to Chicago. Sharon called Kathy Chambers to invite her to the play.

Buy Links

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8/2/15 WEWRIWA

Someone posted only fifteen Fridays ’til Christmas. Oh, No. Please let us have a gentle winter this year. Meanwhile, here we are in August and my sweet hubs will stay home with three cats and work while daughter and grandest granddaughter take a short vacation at the beach, Long Beach Island, N J here we come.

Continuing with When Double Becomes Single, Sharon Michaels must break the sad news to her sons. The younger one lives in Denmark, the older one is in NJ.


1:30 a.m. in New York 7:30 a.m. Denmark Skype: “Mom, what’s up? You never call this early.”

Jeff, the youngest son, squinted at the screen to see his mother crying and said, “Oh God, Mom, It’s Dad. Last time we talked you said he had a bad cold and now he’s gone, right?”
He watched her cry without stop, heartbroken to know his dearest Dad died and through tears, Mom told the whole story. Inge, his beautiful wife, came running from somewhere in their house to hold each other as they listened to the worst news. Jeff’s father dead and they’re so far from his home in the states. Jeff felt a crack in his heart where solidity had always been.
“We’ll catch the next plane out, Mom, they are lenient with a death in the family.
“Mamse, what a terrible loss; Jeff will pull strings to get us to you as fast as possible.
“Inge, talk to me. You and Jeff are my lifeline right now.”

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1383259_10200724043359140_1842506079_nPaul and Eva on their wedding day in Denmark

6/28/15 WEWRIWA

Hi gang. Another Sunday and this one welcomes the month of July. Time do fly so let’s enjoy every moment.

This week I begin a WIP and I even have a title. Please let me know what you think. I so appreciate your comments. Some health issues have caused me to slow down. I’m not speeding through the way I usually do. Trying to fit a good story together as we all do. here goes. The Title is When Double becomes Single


The touch of her husband’s lips on hers warmed Sharon Michaels all the way home from the hospital. Remembering his whispered I love you before she left released a cascade of tears. She groped in her bag for a tissue, found none and used the sleeve of her good winter coat as a blotter. Mac would fix Barry. Their favorite doctor always knew the magical potion to apply. Even when Fred, their difficult teenager now in his thirties, started using marijuana and refused to stop, Mac knew what to do. Tough Love was the prescription. No driver’s license and other privileges allowed until he straightened out. So Barry’s bad cough should be easy, like the croup.

Just get home and go to sleep.

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SA Charmaine pic 2 resized

And Then She Said. . .

Daughter has P90. For those of you who don’t know what it is, we’re talking terrific exercise DVD’s. SO she finished with the first one weeks ago and I asked if I could take it home. :”Go Granny.” you can do it.

With a hip replacement, both shoulders had rotator surgery-YIKES and one knee surgery, the old gray mare ain’t what she used to be. No gray, folks. Roots taken care of by Dale at Pepe Ramon in New City, NY every three weeks so I’m a natural blond/brown.

But I couldn’t get the darn program to go where I wanted it to go so I asked, guess who? She’s seven, my grandest. A careful examination of the remote and she pointed to a circle with arrows pointing north, south, east and west. No biggie. And badabing, the first program appeared. She watched to see I did every move right and if it wasn’t perfect, her face was stern and she showed me what’s what. What a dynamite kid, so like her mom. And the rest of the day, taking care of her needs at home before she went to her various activities, this old lady could barely move. I’ll keep it up on a daily basis until my girlish figure returns.

This reminds me of a book I wrote, Starting Over after surgery.  I had uncomfortable time to write. One of my first Survive and thrive stories, here’s a blurb from the book.

Starting Over    

Each morning, Emily Kendrick runs on the hard-packed sand of St. Augustine Beach to clear her mind and heal her heart. From the widow’s walk of the house perched high on the dunes, a man trains his binoculars on Emily…

KINDLE SMASHWORDS MULTIFORMAT                                 9781935407799-SO

9/28/14 WEWRIWA

Welcome, dear readers and friends to another glorious fall day, toward the end of September. Weekend Writer Warriors are a community of writers who enjoy constructive critique and welcome newcomers.

I continue with my latest release Housebroken. Steve and Sally have had a major setback when the major corporation he worked for many years gave Steve him his walking papers. OUCH! Devastated , Sally sees her dreams of moving to the lovely town of River’s Edge fade away as she comforts her husband. The mood changes in this week’s eight and I do mean 8.as promised.

excerpt in eight:

“Hiro San firing me is an omen like an ill wind that sometimes blows good.” Steve sat up straight, resolution in his face and said,” I’m tired of traveling every week and since 9/11, air travel is complicated.  I’m sure we’ll manage the move to River’s Edge with some help from our new friend, Claudia.

With a sigh of relief, Sally said, “Oh, Steve, now what can I do to make you feel better if just for a little while?”

Steve got that gleam in his eyes as he tugged off her running bra and helped pull down her shorts after she kicked off her sneakers. “Lose the socks, Sally, while I peel off this damn suit ’cause  I sure hope my next job doesn’t require a tie.”

In the sweet afterglow, Steve revealed a secret he’d kept hidden from his wife and himself for a long time. “I have a confession to make, honey and I beg you please listen and don’t hate me.”

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Housebroken CVR front

SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices
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Housebroken CVR frontHi Gang, so I thought my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing, was still editing Housebroken and to my surprise, she already did the job and my book was  released as of a few days ago. My error, folks. Always underestimating how fast she works when she approves a manuscript. The only change I made was the sex. “Tone it down, girl,” she said and I did.

The first eight introduced Steve and Sally Atwood when their youngest son drove away with his bride and Sally cried. Empty nest syndrome they didn’t expect. With kindness and love Steve opened a bottle of champagne and offered her chocolate covered strawberries in the jacuzzi as one solution to love alone at last after thirty five years of marriage

excerpt in eight:

Chapter 2–One month later

Steve’s voice announcing he’d returned from work broke the silence and Sally felt a tinge of annoyance because she was in the midst of writing an article for the local paper and needed concentration and all he wanted was sex. Well, sex was good, uh, great but she needed a time-out. As a would-be journalist, getting clients, submitting articles, becoming a name turned out to be hard work and damn social media for taking over to create another challenge. Steve had a solid position with a large corporation as managing sales director of the entire country and had no idea how hard she worked in an attempt to reach the first rung of the ladder at her age.

“The weather forecast is grim with a big snowstorm coming.” He opened the fridge and said,  “We’re short on milk, butter, bread, and what did you plan for dinner?”

Dinner, who gives a flying. . .“I’m sorry, sweetheart; I’ve been in all day writing an article about a new restaurant in town and this time I not only get paid,” she gave him a big wet kiss with tongue, “I get a byline because the editor likes the personal angle.”

“Mmm, I like your personal angle with or without pay.”

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SMASHWORDS for All EReader Devices

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Housebroken Video CVR clip

Housebroken Sneak Peek Video



7/6/14 WEWRIWA

God Bless America. When I read the history of how our country came to be, I’m awed by the efforts put forth in creating our United States of America.

Welcome to Sunday at WEWRIWA. Today I continue with the reawakening of Beth Malone. Rising from the ashes of a disastrous marriage, she moves on. Beth reaches out to daughter Susie in today’s eight. Susie is a teacher who lives with her boy friend, Javier. She’s always been daddy’s best girl and just knows that her father is going through a mid-life crisis and will return to Beth before long. Susie is stopping by to have a sandwich and cookies before Parent’s night at her school.


excerpt in eight:

Susie kicked off her shoes and headed for the comfortable kitchen sniffing the air.
“Thanks for taking the time to bake my faves, Mom, I really appreciate the effort.” Chomping on a cookie, she said,“Javier thinks you’re very brave and mothers should be revered and taken care of, especially in time of need and that I better clean up my act.” Susie bit into another cookie, swallowed and started in on the toasted ham and Swiss cheese Beth prepared for her.
Beth thought for a moment and said,”That’s lovely of Javier for understanding this has been the worst time of my life and I’m virtually alone in dealing with my loss.”
But Susie, I’ve always loved you and felt left out when you and your father had secret jokes and special times together.”
“Mom,” Susie stood up ready to leave, “Unfortunately, I have to get back to school but you’re right and Javier is right and please don’t take all the blame for what’s happened in the past ’cause I’m old enough to admit I’ve been acting like a brat.”

Hopeful afaf06a-tbc_flat_front_to_work_with_copyter her daughter left, Beth prepared for tonight’s dinner with her only friend so far, the pool guy, Maverick.

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buy links for To Be Continued:

PRINT – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-Charmaine-Gordon/dp/1935407430

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-ebook/dp/B0030IM65G

AllRomance Ebooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobecontinued-395548-149.html

Smashwords for All Ereaders – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283


6/15/14 WEWRIWA

Hi Gang. It’s almost summer solstice. How did that happen so soon? One minute Spring arrives, you turn around and it’s Summer and the living is easy. Welcome to our happy constructive critique group where we write eight sentences and open ourselves to listen and learn.

Today I write a bit more about my heroine, Beth Malone’s first night since husband Frank left her. The book is titled To Be Continued and Beth learns before long, that’s exactly what she must do. Life goes on. Eventually she’ll become the winner she once was.

I appreciate your comments and learn more every week.

excerpt in eight:

She called her daughter; “I have something terrible to tell you.”
“Oh hi, Mom, if it’s about Dad, he told me he was going to leave and I think it’s a mid-life crisis so don’t take it too seriously. I
mean, I’ve heard about things like this and the husband always crawls home.”
Stunned, for a moment Beth couldn’t speak; “He told you before he sneaked out in the night?”
“Well, yeah, you know Dad and I have always been close but don’t worry, he’ll come back.”
 “And you didn’t warn me, Susie; first your father betrays me and now you.”
“Mother, calm down, I’m sorry your feelings are hurt, and yes, Dad leaving like this was a rotten thing to do.
Liz’s voice rose. “Hurt? You have no idea. . .” her daughter had hung up.
I thought I had a life,Beth glanced around the room with swollen eyes, and now I have nothing.

for more snippets from talented authors:

http://wewriwa.com                                                                                             af06a-tbc_flat_front_to_work_with_copy

Now Available in Audio

PRINT – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-Charmaine-Gordon/dp/1935407430

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/To-Be-Continued-ebook/dp/B0030IM65G

AllRomance Ebooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tobecontinued-395548-149.html

Smashwords for All Ereaders – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7283

Free Book Club Discussion Packet – http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=912108

Blogging at Romancing The Pen with Angela Kay Austin

This is from a post  running all week . Check it out and leave a comment for an opportunity to win an ecopy of my latest release She Didn’t Say No. You have to be in it to win it.

Charmaine Gordon

“Be careful what you say, you might end up in my book. “ I couldn’t resist buying the white sweatshirt with this written on it.

An author watches and listens always on the alert for an idea, a clue as to someone’s problem. Why the laughter; why the tears? As an author, I stalk the story and the other day at the supermarket, while shoppers scrambled to beat snow storm warnings, I saw two women talking and laughing at the end of the Mac and Cheese aisle. I stopped to buy a few single serve packs for my grandest granddaughter and listened, tuning in, interest piqued.

“Did you hear about Sheila? She found an old boyfriend from college on Facebook and friended him.”

The other woman laughed. “Of course he’d have to be an old boyfriend. She’s our age.”

I gave a furtive glance their way and made a mental note of the attractive appearances of these women. Groomed to perfection short hair, one gray, the other blond. Dressed well about seventy plus, wedding rings on both. All descriptions needed to flesh out characters when writing. Pushing the cart closer, I pulled more pasta goodies for my grandest and listened.

“Well, they got together and now they’re dating.” They continued talking, never dreaming the had planted a seed in this author’s mind.

I hurried through my grocery list, paid and drove home knowing I had to put away the frozen items and cold stuff, the heck with the rest. Oh, feed the cats and then begin to weave a story from threads of an idea.

So dear readers, if you’ve ever wondered where stories come from remember my sweatshirt and beware.

Introducing Charmaine’s latest release, She Didn’t Say No. Vanilla Heart Publishing.


She Didn't Say NoGrace didn’t say no to the Big Man On Campus, Scott Dwyer. And then her life changed…

Grace makes her way to a new town and with the kindness of strangers, establishes a business called The Pet Emporium where she grooms , what else? Dogs and cats.

Years later, a too-close encounter of an unpleasant kind with a skunk and Scott’s German Shepherd reunites the former lovers.

What happens in between are their stories of beginnings and endings and love lost, then found.


Coming Soon in Audio!

Buy links:

Amazon    All Romance eBooks    Smashwords

Charmaine Headshot for Author CentralCharmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive.  Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission, The Catch, and She Didn’t Say No, just released. A new series of Mature Romance/Suspense is available under the umbrella title of The Beginning. . .Not The End.

“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

You can reach Charmaine through her website, and on FaceBook


1/26/14 WEWRIWA

Reconstructing Charlie new eyesArctic weather outside:warm inside. Does anyone remember that old song, “Baby it’s cold outside?” A love song and so much fun. Welcome writers and friends to read and leave constructive critique for us to improve our craft. I appreciate every comment.

This week I continue with Reconstructing Charlie. Her mother packs a bag , Charlie tries unsuccessfully to scrub blood from her hands.

excerpt in eight:

She was in charge, this new mother, and I didn’t question her; icy cold inside myself as Mom dragged me along to my bedroom. I kept looking back expecting him to come after us.

Mom’s hands caressed a leather case I’d never seen and said in a soft voice, “I packed my clothes and ran away sixteen years ago, so wild and out-of-control.”

“Were you ever sorry, Mom?”

“I have you and Jimmy, and my little girls so take a shower ‘cause I have things to do.”

I heard Mom opening and closing drawers, knew she’d be too busy to worry about me for a while and crept back to the bloody mess to make sure he really was dead. Shivering, I ran for the bathroom but even a hot shower couldn’t warm me and blood refused to wash off; words spun around in my head: ‘Out, out, damned spot.’ I scrubbed ‘til it hurt, Lady Macbeth, that’s me.

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http://www.wewriwa.comReconstructing Charlie new eyes




I’ve opened a new FB page and need LIKES, my friends. In appreciation of your support all year, I’m opening a promo op to you from any Tuesday to Friday where you can post a pic plus blurb and links. No comments or critique. This has nothing to do with WEWRIWA. It’s just my way of giving back to our community of writers.