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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Excerpt - After Love Leaves by Michelle Alstead


AFTER LOVE LEAVESWhen Brad Sorenson crossed paths with Zoe O’Loughlin at a high school graduation party, the connection was undeniable. He noticed her when no one else did; she inspired him to want more out of life. But it would be years before they’d meet again…and in the most unlikely of places. Brad was looking for a good time online, not love. But Zoe was so sweet, so kind. Everything about her was perfect—until she fell in love with him. Zoe doesn’t know why Brad left her standing in an airport; he won’t return her calls or texts. With her self-esteem and dreams shattered, she can’t imagine ever loving anyone else. A single phone call changes Brad’s life forever. Now he wants just one thing: to make amends with the only woman that’s ever mattered.

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Book Excerpt
She held the wrought iron railing, making her way down the front steps in heels that went with her funeral suit but were beyond her heel-walking mastery. Stepping out on the sidewalk, Zoe glanced in both directions. The rental car was parked up the block, but she wanted to walk. The air was crisp after a recent rainfall. Clear blue sky and a bright sun made the worst day ever; seem like just another spring day. It was perfect weather to talk a stroll along the waterfront.
Zoe headed down the hill toward the bay. The three-inch heels pinched her little toes. She took them off, holding them in one hand and the envelope in the other. Her bare feet were dirty by the time she reached the pier, but Zoe didn’t care. She walked to the end of it, watching the water for a long moment before ripping into the envelope.
Dear Zoe,
If you’re reading this, then I’m gone. I’m not much of a writer, so I’ll keep this short. My father left me money when he passed, and I never touched it. I knew in my heart he wanted my inheritance to go toward something meaningful, but I could never find a worthy cause until I met you.
I want you to take the money and do two things:
1)                        Take a trip to an Australian beach.
2)                        Fix up that crappy house I talked you into buying. Use the money to make it your dream home.
Wherever I am, Zoe, I’m thinking of you and missing the way you always made things better. You meant everything to me, which is why it has to be you that does this one last thing for me. Take my ashes and scatter them across Commencement Bay. After it’s done, visit me there and think of our first date knowing that’s where I fell in love with you.
My cousin Kade has a boat. Ask him to help. I know he will.
All my love,

Zoe stood alone on the pier, holding the note near her heart. Brad had written it before he came to Utah and before she told him when she came to love him. A sense of peace overtook her as a wind carrying the familiar scent of Old Spice breezed through her hair.
Brad may have left her, but he would never be truly gone.

MichelleMichelle Alstead is a single, divorced mom of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who tries to promote autism awareness and advocate for gender equality while raising Sheldon Cooper and searching for some semblance of a love life. Michelle has experienced a wide-range of reasons for being dumped by the opposite sex (her favorite reason of all time - "she wasn't crazy enough and crazy girls are so much fun"). She maintains that she is both Irish and Spanish and can bring the "crazy" just as good as the next woman. This author copes with the difficulties of raising her challenging child and failing at love, by eating copious amounts of chocolate, binge watching Netflix late at night, and writing novels about characters who find happy endings. Every great story has a grain of truth. Truth inspires freedom. Michelle has decided to free herself by acknowledging that life can be ugly, brutal, and wickedly unfair. Her stories aren't the typical romances or the standard young adult fare. She seeks to be honest in her storytelling rather than playing it safe. Blending in wasn't much fun anyway.


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