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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Excerpt: Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange



Title: Moon Over Alcatraz
Author: Patricia Yager Delagrange
Publisher: Ravenswood Publishing/Black Hawk
Pages: 308
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.

But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.

Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

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Book Excerpt:

While sipping my coffee, a gentleman dressed in an impeccable dark grey suit, red tie and baby-blue shirt approached my table. 
“This is the only unoccupied chair. Do you mind?” 
I looked over at the empty seat and nodded. “Go ahead,” I mumbled then continued reading. I turned the page and noticed his hand reach across the small round table, handing me my keys. 
“Oh, my God! I must have dropped them. Thank — ” I looked up at his face. “Edward? Edward Barnes?” My eyes widened. “Is that really you?” 
He pulled out the chair and sat down, his blue eyes snagging me with an intense stare. “Brandy Donovan?” 
“Brandy Chambers now. I don’t think I’ve seen you since high school graduation.” 
“I left for NYU two days later and — ” 
“Law school, right?” 
“You remembered.” He smiled, revealing beautiful straight teeth. “Then I came back here and I’ve been practicing law ever since.” 
“What type of law?” 
“Criminal. What about you, Mrs. Chambers?” he teased. 
“Well, I married Weston after I graduated from Cal. He works as a structural engineer on the San Francisco Bay Bridge project.” 
“And you? A mom? Two point five kids?” 
I looked down into my paper coffee cup, fiddled with the top. “No, no kids yet.” Feeling too raw to discuss it now, I changed the subject. “Do you work here in Alameda?” 
“Yeah, I do.” He glanced down at his wrist watch. “I’d love to continue our discussion but I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes. How about lunch soon? Remember how I was planning on becoming a chef some day?” 
I laughed, recalling his regaling me with the list of applications he’d received for culinary institutes all over the world. “I remember all right. And you were always demanding I taste your latest creation, asking if I thought it needed more spice or a little less olive oil.” 
He stood, pushing the chair back toward the table. “I’ll have to cook for you one of these days. Sometimes I think I’m a better chef than I am a lawyer.” 
“Well, most of the time you were a fantastic chef.” 
He grinned mischievously. “And you were always a bad liar. Some of the dishes I served you should never have made it onto the plate.” 
I laughed again. He’d always been nice looking but now he was older, he’d matured, no longer a gangly teenager. He’d filled out but was still slender with long legs and he appeared to be at least six foot five inches tall. He turned to leave. 
“Wait!” Grabbing the corner of his sleeve, I smiled up at him. “It was nice seeing you again, Edward.” 
He looked right through me with that blue-eyed stare. “It certainly was, Brandy. You take care now.” He tipped his head once in acknowledgement then wended his way through the crowd toward the door. 
“Edward Barnes,” I whispered to myself. “I’ll be darned.” 
I threw my cup in the recycling can and speed-walked out of Peet’s, jogging home in less than ten minutes. What a surprise, meeting Edward after so many years. I plopped down on the front room couch and gazed up at the ceiling. 
Edward Barnes in the flesh, I reflected. He looked so different than when we’d known each other in high school. He’d become a strikingly handsome man, a perfectly shaped nose widened a bit at the bottom, a dark mustache hovered over his now-straightened teeth, an impressively square jaw, crescent-shaped eyebrows, and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen without contact lenses. 
He reminded me of the guy who played a private detective in Magnum, P.I. — Tom Selleck — in his younger days! And he’d always had a fantastic personality, funnier than hell, joked around a lot. I’d enjoyed hanging around him in the classes we shared at St. Joseph’s Notre Dame High School. It would be fun to catch up on old times, along with playing guinea pig to one of his homemade meals. 


In some cases, bloggers ask us for first chapter reveals.  Please paste your first chapter here:

“Breathe, Brandy, breathe.”
Weston’s voice came from the side of the hospital bed where I lay propped up, knees bent to accommodate Dr. Farney checking to see how far my cervix had dilated.
Gritting my teeth, eyes shut, I inhaled through my nose. The pungent odor of sweat wafted through my nostrils. I imagined the crest of a deep-blue wave curling over, white foam churning, crashing down, wave after wave speeding toward the edge of a sandy beach.
But I couldn’t take in a full breath. I opened my mouth, tried sucking in air, lungs on fire, the pain like a serrated knife to my belly, hands flailing, slapping the sides of the bed to get Weston’s attention.
“She can’t breathe.” I could hear the panic in his voice. He was scared. So was I. Is this how a first delivery is supposed to go?
Dr. Farney’s voice tore through the delivery room. “The baby’s heart rate is slowing.”
A plastic mask lowered over my mouth and nose, and a steady flow of oxygen began pouring through. I shifted my gaze to the right. Weston’s eyes were riveted on my lower body, his brows dipped down, mouth set in a tight line.
“What’s wrong?” I shouted, my voice muffled beneath the mask.
Weston leaned down, his body blocking the glare of the overhead lights. “Take deep breaths. They’re using forceps to get the baby out.” He gripped my hand and squeezed then edged toward the foot of the bed. “Doctor, is the baby okay?”
“Umbilical cord’s wrapped around her neck. She’s twisted in the birth canal.” Dr. Farney’s voice sounded achingly calm.
Wrapped around her neck...Twisted in the birth canal... My baby girl had been due in early June, but she was being born three weeks early. However, Dr. Farney had urged us not to worry.
The pain was beyond bad. It was excruciating. Suddenly the pressure in my groin subsided. I inhaled one deep breath, then another, and my lower body deflated like a leaky tire.
“The baby’s not…she’s not breathing,” Weston whispered.
A deafening silence splintered through the room.
I tugged on Weston’s hand. He twisted his head in my direction, tears glistening along his lower lashes.
My mind registered the screams, but my ears heard only the wild thumping of my heart as flecks of black clouded my vision.


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