Thank you to owner David Hutchison for believing in my work and offering it for sale at his store.
If you live in the area and love to read, The Book Tavern is the place to go. David stocks new and used books and curates a most amazing selection of titles unavailable at the big box bookstores.
Support local artists and writers, and while you’re at it, support local businesses!
(P.S. Keep your eyes open…I will be signing copies of my book at The Book Tavern very soon. More to come as details are finalized!)
Please enjoy a snippet from Chapter Four of Velvet here:
Mercedes and I had a standing coffee date every weekday morning at 8:30. After last night it was fair to say I was more than a little apprehensive about approaching her. That fear subsided when I entered the shop. She seemed to be her normal, happy self this morning.
We took a table in the center of the room, our coffee piping hot and the icing on our orange scones dripping onto the paper plates before us.
The bookstore didn’t open for another half hour. I sipped my coffee while Mercedes looked at the headlines in the morning paper.
“So, amiga, have you given thought to the stuff that Mark sent you?”
“Mark? No. I threw away everything he sent and I have no interest in thinking about him anymore. He needs to find someone better suited to him and his needs. We were a mismatched pair from the start.”
“But you loved him at one time,” Mercedes said. She took a sip of coffee and looked radiant in her orange dress.
“Maybe I did at one time, but no. There’s no hope of me ever going back to him.”
“Do you miss him? At all?”
“I miss having someone in my life, if that’s what you’re getting at. Do I miss Mark? I’d rather be alone here, thank you very much.”
Mercedes put her paper down and studied me for a moment.
“If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you’re sitting there, wishing things could have been different. Hoping for a chance to make them right again. Did he ever make you feel loved?”
I considered her question.
“No. Well, yes, but only on those times he needed some physical relief. Other than that, I was a whipping post.”
“Oh, Velvet. I just can’t believe it.”
And with that, the conversation ended. Mercedes picked up her paper and it became a wall between us. This gave me a moment to think.
Did I still care for Mark? Would I ever go back to him?
I knew I didn’t and never would. The most important realization to me right then was that I hated living alone. It was about time I admitted it to myself.
Mercedes turned the page on her paper and I read the back of it. It’s a bad habit of mine, reading other people’s stuff. Mercedes looked up over the edge of the newsprint and laughed.
“You’re doing it again, you know.”
A strong feeling came over me. Someone was looking at me. I looked around the coffee shop. Several of the regulars were in, all busy with their faces in their phones or their own copies of the paper.
Steven, my former admirer, was tucked into a far corner with Catarina. She glowed with joy and when she caught me looking her way she gave me a coy thumbs-up. I returned the gesture.
My eyes continued to scan the shop until they landed on a target. Sitting by the window was someone new, someone I’d never seen before today. He sat tucked into the corner and oblivious to everyone else in the room.
I lost interest in my friend’s paper.
Here was a man sitting regal with one leg tucked under him, wearing a black leather jacket and holding a copy of the paper. I shook my head and looked back at Mercedes. She was engrossed in a story.
I snuck a quick glance back his way and caught him taking a sip. The way his lips pursed against the ceramic mug stirred something within me. The way he closed his eyes. His swallows took my breath with each swig he drank. I loved the way his grey hair fell into his eyes.
Mercedes put down her paper.
“What’s up chica? What’s wrong with you? You look like you’ve seen one of your spirits.”
I turned back to face her and brushed my cheek with my fingers.
“I may have. Who is that?”
Photo credit: http://www.booktavern.com