Because Romance Should Last Well Past Valentines

AN EXCERPT FROM MY 3rd NOVEL: ONCE UPON A CUPCAKE SHOP

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Eva took a deep breath followed by a long exhale. She was finished decorating the last of the lemon drop cupcakes when she spotted a flock of city pigeons flying past the apartment’s fire escape. She felt overwhelmed.  Overcome by a sudden sense of wander.

Eva rushed over and leaned out the window to follow them. She caught only a glimpse as they disappeared north of Middagh Street. Eva was certain they were going home.

Eva stopped to imagine how great it would feel to have a place to go home to. Home. She let the word roam along the alcoves of her heart. Her memory. She’d had a home once.

“Earth to Eva.” BFF Diana interrupted Evie’s trance and picked a red velvet cupcake to sample next. “You sure it’s the right move? Feels too soon.”

“No, Dee.” Eva exhaled. “I’m not sure at all. I haven’t been sure about anything since the accident.” It was an honest response—a kind of letting go that comes from accepting the reality of things. She took another sip of her latte. “Except for this.” She lifted her cup and they air-toasted Diana’s coffee-making skills across the counter. “This jolt of caffeine was just what I needed. Now please, promise me you’re gonna stop stressing. You’re my best friend. Your job is to lie to me and tell me everything’s gonna be okay but you’re more freaked out then I am.” Eva reached for the tangy sweetness of another lemon drop cupcake, a perfect complement to Diana’s strong coffee and one of her favorites—her father’s special recipe, with a splash of Italian limoncello liqueur instead of lemon juice.

“I’m freaked out because yours, my dear, is a freak-out-worthy situation. I just don’t think you guys are ready to be on your own yet.” Diana leaned on the counter to appear more supportive, more optimistic but nervous tapping fingers over her I’m-The-Boss mug gave her away. “It’s only been—”

“It’s time, Dee.” Eva put her cup down, rounded the island, stood behind her best friend and leaned in to hug her. “When you offered us your spare room, it was supposed to be for a few months. And you rescued us just when we needed it the most. But it’s been almost seven years. I’ve had time to mourn Andy. You helped me get out of bed and back to work. I’ve even managed to save a little money along the way. But Olivia’s turning seven. She’s growing up so fast. We need a home.” She whispered the last part. “I owe her that much.”