Today’s #TeaserTuesday is from my upcoming Dickens Holiday Romance SASHA’S SECRET SANTA ( Dorrit’s Diner).
The character of Amy Dorrit (Charles) is fascinating for so many reasons, but the main one for me is how she loves her 3 adoptive kids and how strongly she protects them. She also doesn’t suffer fools and calls it like she sees it, evident in this scene. She’s found a distraught Sasha crying in her apartment and after listening to the reason why, she…well, she acts like a mom who lays it on the line.
After several minutes of Amy rocking and cooing to her, Sasha shifted, her tears finally starting to abate.
“I won’t ask if you feel better,” Amy said as she cupped her daughter’s chin and rubbed her thumbs across her cheeks. “A cry like that one serves the purpose of emotionally cleansing and physically exhausting a body.”
“I think I’m more exhausted than cleansed,” Sasha said, swiping her sleeve under her nose. “And now I’ve got a headache to add to it, to boot.”
With a shake of her head, Amy leaned forward and kissed Sasha’s forehead.
“Why are you home so early? I thought you were going to take the entire day to shop.”
“Took most of it.” Amy lifted a shoulder and added, “When we were done, we were done.”
“Most of the day? What time is it?” Sasha asked.
“Oh, God. I told everyone I was only taking a few minutes and it’s been three hours. I need to get downstairs.” She tried to stand but Amy held her back.
“The diner’s fine, baby girl. The girls and Chet have been taking care of things just fine. You sit back down and tell me what got you to blubbering.”
“I need a glass of water, first.” Once Amy let her stand, Sasha filled a glass and downed it in one long draught. After that she ran cold water over her face, knowing she must look like a swollen, red-splotched mess.
Done, she plopped down next to her mother, dragged in several deep, weary breaths, and told her all about her relationship with Steve Caldwell, ending with the conversation she’d had with Kane.
“I should have trusted my instincts,” she said once she was done, the tears spent, and her voice tired. “They told me from the get-go he was only interested in me because he wanted me for the hospital.”
“I’m not sure that’s true,” Amy said.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve seen the way he looks at you every time he comes into the diner. The man is smitten.”
Sasha rubbed her nose, then shook her head. “If he’s smitten it’s with my skills as a nurse, not as,” she blushed, “a woman or anything else.”
“I don’t like repeating myself, but I’m really not sure that’s true, baby girl.”
On the end of a sigh sewn together with exhaustion and a strangled ache, Sasha said, “It’s true enough, mom. He didn’t deny it when I confronted him.”
“Did you give him a chance to? Or did you steamroll right over him like you always do when you want to make a point?
Surprised, Sasha said, “I don’t do that.”
Amy’s brows took a steady climb toward her hairline. When they arrived and settled, her eyes opened wide and she regarded her daughter with an expression Sasha had seen dozens of times during her childhood. A don’t even think about bullshitting me glower that made the person – or child – being glared at confess any and all infractions they’d committed
That the look could still make her crumble at the age of thirty-four like an unbalanced house of cards was worrisome.
“Really? I can give you chapter, book, and verse on any number of times you’ve done it in your life. You’ve always been like that, baby girl. Always need to have the last word in an argument; always need to get your point across before anyone else can make theirs.”
Amy’s words stung. So much so, tears started to swell in Sasha’s eyes again. Angrily, she batted them away with her lashes.
Her mother’s expression softened. “Look, sweetie. I’m not saying it to make you upset, just to point out that you have a…tendency we’ll say, not to listen to the other person during an argument when you think you’re in the right.”
“I am in the right about this, mom. Steve was just buttering me up before asking me to work for the hospital. Kane all but proved it.”
Amy’s thin-lipped glare told her daughter exactly what she thought about Kane Barclay and his declaration.
“I know you’ve never liked him,” Sasha said. Before she could continue, though, her mother cut her off.
“I don’t dislike him,” she said. “But he has a habit of embellishing any story he’s telling to garner more attention for himself. He was always that way as a kid and hasn’t changed much as an adult.”
Sasha waved a hand in the air with a careless flitter. “History aside, this time he didn’t embellish, just told me straight out what he’d overheard.”
“You should know better than to believe any info given to you second-hand like that, Sasha Charles.”
A sudden stab of unease speared through her. Was her mother right? Should she have regarded Kane’s declaration warily?
Intrigued? I hope so, LOL
You can preorder the book here and have it delivered to your Kindle on 11.7.2022 on release day. Or, the paperback version is available right now!
Happy pre-holidays, folks! Peg