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Shattered Connections ~ Available July 10th


Kate wiggled her bare toes in the warm sand, letting the familiar scents and sounds of the beach wash over her. Waves rhythmically crashed against the rocks, a soothing symphony to her ears. Overhead, the seagulls squawked and circled, their wings slicing through the salty breeze. She clenched her fists, took a deep breath, and tried to lose herself in the sounds of the waves. She wanted to push the heaviness deep down and forget the pain for a little while. She’d turned up the music on the drive to Cape Cod, attempting to drown out the voices in her head. They reminded her of what she’d lost and goaded her into making decisions about how her future would play out.

The sea gulls pecked at the beach, scavenging for food along the waterline, then took off in flight when she came near. A gentle breeze tugged at her hat. She used her free hand to push it back down on her head. In the other hand, her sandals swung idly from her fingers.

She wished Chloe could be with her. The beach house didn’t feel the same. Kate bought it so they could have a place to get away from Manhattan. Bringing submissions with her, she would read as she watched Chloe splash in the water.

She could forget Michael for a while. There were so many reminders of him around the penthouse. From the room he’d occupied when he was sick to her room, where they’d spent their first night together. She loved the memories, but also needed to forget now and then for her own sanity.

After a little nudging, Gertrude began going to the beach with them for a week at a time. It was hard for her to get away from the foster home for very long. Kate had hoped that when Gertrude retired, she would spend more time with them. Instead, she passed away. Chloe wasn’t with her, and Gertrude would never be with her again. The sense of calm and happiness the place normally gave forth was hidden.

In late spring, the beach was a haven for only the most devoted beach lovers, their sparse figures dotting the shoreline as they slowly gathered their belongings. Kate wandered along the water’s edge, drawn to the lingering warmth of the day, postponing unpacking.

She, Chloe, and Gertrude had come here two summers ago after Michael’s passing, but there was no time for vacation last summer. Rosewood Publishing had kept her busy as she held the deciding vote on what new stories would be published. Gertrude’s death had thrown off her focus, and she needed to get away. The beach house may not have been the best choice. Memories she was trying to find peace with were everywhere.


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