The Paranormal Attractions Boxed set will be out on Monday, June 20. It'll be a wonderful collection of romantic tales, both light and dark. My novella in this set is Phantasm and I'm sharing an excerpt below:
Trina let her gaze slide sideways to where Mario sat a few tables away with another man.
"He's going to think you like him if you don't stop looking at him," Josette said.
Trina sipped from her glass and then chuckled. "Mario knows I only have the hots for Bruce, so you're barking up the wrong tree."
"You're the one who's been barking, trying to convince me to do what I don't want to, which by the way is in vain."
"What am I trying to get you to do again?" Trina asked, eyes pulled wide and guileless.
"You know very well what you're doing. Forcing something doesn't mean it's meant to happen."
Without her consent, Josette's gaze flitted to where Mario sat, close to the back of the restaurant. It was on the ground floor of Prime's shopping center, where Josette often met Trina for lunch.
At first, she'd been uncomfortable giving Trina a recap of her date with Mario, especially when she thought about that trip she'd taken to fantasy land at the end of their date. There was also that dream.
True to form, Trina insisted on knowing every last detail and almost glowed over their trip to the gallery. In Josette's mind, Trina needed a lot more excitement in her life is she was getting carried away over a day out and dinner.
"The trouble is, you don't want anyone to shake you out of the cocoon you've built over the past couple of years."
Josette forked up a slice of chocolate cake and mumbled around it, hoping Trina would leave things alone, but her sister-in-law never knew when to stop.
"You're probably going to hate me for saying this, but Dwayne isn't coming back and I know he wouldn't want you to be stuck in a time capsule." She squeezed Trina's arm and leaned closer. "What about kids and all that?"
Josette squished her napkin and looked away from Trina.
Across the room, Mario gazed at her, his brows pulled together in a question.
Her lips lifted in imitation of a smile, while she thought how awkward it was to have him looking at her that way, as if he could fix whatever was out of place with her.
Trina turned her head, following Josette's gaze. "The two of you would produce some nice kids."
She shrugged and picked up her glass of orange juice. "I'm just stating what's obvious to me."
"I don't know that I'm destined to have any kids."
"Even for you, that's a lame excuse."
Josette took another bite of chocolate cake and chewed slowly before responding. "It's not an excuse. I wanted that with Dwayne and it didn't happen, so … "
"You're going to pretend like you belong in the ground with Dwayne?"
That pulled Josette up short because Ma Estelle had said the same thing to her days ago. Was that what she was doing? It didn't feel that way. To her mind, it was practical not to waste time wishing for what she couldn't have.
Life was simpler if she didn't have the complications of a relationship, which brought all kinds of risk. She'd invested all of herself in her partnership with Dwayne and didn't see how she could do that a second time.
Paranormal Attractions on Amazon: http://ow.ly/qisj300r4Mt