In case you missed the excerpt last night on Facebook, here is another scene from the Dom & Kate novel, The Good Life.
On a side note, I know many of you are anxious for this novel, and I apologize for the slow-going nature. “Real life” responsibilities have an annoying way of interfering. I am still working on it, and hoping that I will catch up to where I wanted to be soon.
Thank you for your patience.
An excerpt from THE GOOD LIFE (subject to editing, all rights reserved, etc):
“Change of plans,” Kandace began.
Katelyn groaned. “Kandy, even with me being worried, I’m pretty sure whatever you’re going to say is a bad idea.”
“Forget about the cake, I’ve pretty much had it picked out for you since you announced the engagement,” Kandace plowed over her. “We are going to go on the offensive.”
“No, no we are not…” Kate’s heart plummeted. When would she learn? One went to Kandace for shopping and baking advice, not relationship advice.
“Caroline? Hold my calls,” Kandace said into the intercom.
There was silence for a few beats as Kandace grabbed her coat and purse then, “Sure thing,” Caroline’s voice finally responded, barely concealed laughter in her voice.
“Kandace, this is a bad idea,” Katelyn argued as Kandy dragged her out of the building.
“You don’t even know what the idea is yet.”
“I don’t need to. Besides I should get back to Lincoln and help Becky finish digitizing the new archives.”
“Perfect! We were headed to Lincoln anyway.”
“We—we were?” Katelyn’s heart started racing at the determined, slightly maniacal look in her sister’s eyes.
“You and I are going to Open Harvest.”
“Open—why? How is organic produce going to help us? Is this for the wedding?”
Kandace frowned intensely as she weaved through I-80 traffic westward, but she didn’t reply. They were past the Gretna outlet mall before Kandy finally responded.
“Phase one of my plan is we’re going to get some things to bribe her with. Then, while she’s distracted with that, we’ll research her weaknesses. By the time I’m done, Isabel will love you so much she’ll be more likely to try and steal you away from Dom rather than the other way around.”
“What? How?” Katelyn smacked her head at the absurdity.
“Well, you heard Kellie! Demetria and Isabel are apparently friends. And since hippies stick together, that means she must be one of those urban-apologists. You know, completely unaware of where their food comes from, but determined to judge us mid-westerners about it just the same. And how does one disarm a wanna-be-tree-hugger? Toss hard-to-find vegetables and hemp products at them. And if that doesn’t work, gift them with homemade herbal tinctures and salves that cause them uncontrolled itching.”
Katelyn snorted. “Truly you have a dizzying intellect,” she drawled.
“Nice. Princess Bride,” Kandace acknowledged with a grin, then continued in her Vizzini voice, “but never go in against an Anderson when marriage is on the line!”
“Ok, first flaw in your ‘logic’, for lack of a better word; Demetria is not a hippie. Liking non-GMO products has nothing to do with a social movement of the 1960s. And to assume that Isabel is a hippie by association is too ridiculous to even be addressed. And for Exhibit C, I present Dominic Valentini, who would never in a trillion years marry a hippie or urban apologist. From what I hear she’s a pediatrician who volunteers at women’s shelters. With mad cooking skills and a Master Gardener certificate.”
Kandace had her lip curled in disgust. “This is worse than I thought. She’s either a Stepford wife or a great con-artist,” she paused, tilted her head, and put up one finger in the air, “but the most salient point in our favor is Dom still left her for you.”
“Ooo, a big girl word. And used correctly even,” Kate mocked.
Kandace smacked Katelyn’s leg. “It was the word of the day on the Trophy Wife App on my iPhone,” she admitted.
The sisters met each other’s gaze and laughed in unison.
Kate grabbed Kandy’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “You’re the best, you know that?” her voice choked with emotion, “the way you always have my back…”
Kandace gave her a flummoxed side-eye. “Are you getting… weepy on me?”
Kate sighed and looked out the window. It had to be the stress of everything making her so emotional all of a sudden. She wished the wedding could just be done and over with already.
She frowned as Kandace took the Waverly exit without warning. “Thought you said we’re going to Open Harvest?”
“We’ll loop around on the south side. Gotta pick up the critters from school first.”
“How’re you and Steve doing?” Katelyn asked.
“Better than ever,” Kandy replied with a cheesy grin. “Proof you should never give up fighting for your man.”
Katelyn snorted and laughed heartily. “Kandy, I love you, but you have easily got to be the most un-self-aware person I know. If it weren’t for Kellie and Kyle, or me and Dom for that matter, you’d still be squatting at my house.”
“And if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be with Dom.”
“Uh, noooo,” Katelyn argued, “he told me he was going to go for it with me anyway.”
Kandace dramatically rolled her eyes and took the 84th street exit towards the south end of Lincoln. She hadn’t gone but a quarter mile past the gas station before she screeched to a halt. She put her arm out in front of Kate as the seatbelt locked in place. Kate looked down at the redundant restraint.
“Sorry. Mom reflex,” Kandace said sheepishly as she took her arm back.
“What the what?” was all Kate could say as Kandace actually backed the car up half on the side of the road, and half in her lane.
“What are you doing?” she squeaked in horror. She waved awkwardly at the furious drivers screeching around them, honking their horns and waving obscene gestures.
“Look over there!” Kandace pointed to the other side of the street.
“I see… a gas station?”
“No,” she pointed emphatically, “over,” she gritted with another furious jab in the air, “there!”
Katelyn’s eyes scanned the parking lot south of the gas station and finally caught the sight of a long legged, stylish looking woman with luxurious honey-colored hair laughing with a dark-haired, middle-aged man next to a silver and black Bugatti Veyron. The woman turned her head enough for Katelyn to get a full view and finally recognize her.
“Huh. Speak of the devil,” Katelyn whispered. She wondered if the high-end sports car was Isabel’s or belonged to the Italian guy she was flirting with.
“What are the odds?” Kandace whispered back.
“Fairly high,” Kate managed to reply drolly. “We’ve established she’s here for a long visit and Omaha and Lincoln are practically attached at the hip these days. It’s not like we ran across her in York or some place.”
“Actually, York would make more sense. I read an article once in one of Steve’s law journals that said it’s a huge crossroads for truckers and drug traffickers,” Kandace argued, nodding her head up and down, eyes bulging.
Kate’s mouth worked a few dumb-struck times, then she shook her head to clear it.
“Holy spurious conclusion, Batman! How did we correlate Isabel with truckers and drug runners?”
“Katelyn,” Kandace sneered, turning Kate’s head back towards the window, “that is a million dollar car. At the frickin’ Kum and Go. Do I have to spell this out to you?”
Kate moved her eyes left and right, then slowly pried Kandy’s fingers from her jaw.
“I guess you do. First of all, it’s a Phillips 66; there aren’t any Kum and Gos in Lincoln anymore.”
“Oh my God, who freakin’ cares what it’s—”
“And so what, she knows a rich guy,” Katelyn continued with shrug. “Or maybe it’s her who’s rich. Don’t you have to be at least a little bit flush in the pockets to get married at the Heinz chapel? That’s where she and Dom got married, remember?”
“It’s not hers,” Kandace nudged her head towards the window again. Kate watched the man get in the car on the driver’s side and Isabel on the passenger’s. The man pulled out of the parking lot and headed south on 84th.
“Her second day in Nebraska and she’s meeting a Mafia king pin,” Kandace clucked, shaking her head in derision as she pulled out after it.
Katelyn’s laughs filled Kandace’s mom-mobile. She laughed so hard that tears escaped and she actually had to gasp for breath.
“Kandy, that’s so stupid I don’t even know where to begin! First, there are no Mafia kingpins in Nebraska, and second, speaking as someone who is about to marry a man of Italian-American descent, it is extremely offensive that you assume he’s some sort of mobster just because he’s Italian.”
“Excuse me, I did no such thing! I assume he’s a criminal because he has a car that costs more than my wealthy husband’s house—”
“By a few thousand dollars…”
“A few hundred thousand dollars. At a gas station people only go to for Pick 5 tickets and drugs—”
“And gasoline and food.”
“And he’s hanging out with a woman half his age from where all the mobsters live in Pennsylvania.”
“She’s from Pittsburg, not Philly.”
“Yes, that’s why they put them right next to each other and named them the same thing,” Kate retorted sarcastically. “Besides, if he was a wealthy drug lord he wouldn’t actually be doing some drug deal at a gas station, you know that, right?”
“Why are you being so difficult?”
“Why are you being so insane?”
Kandace didn’t answer, instead she just kept following the Bugatti when it turned west on Havelock.
“I thought you had to pick up the kids?”
Kandy tapped an icon on the screen on the dash of her car. “Carm? Can you tell Steve I’ll be running late and he’ll have to take the boys to peewee football?”
“Sure thing, Mrs. Cheney.”
Katelyn smacked her forehead for what felt like the twentieth time this afternoon. “You are seriously going to make your lawyer husband take time off to pick up your kids when you’re a stay-at-home mom?”
“I am a business owner now. We share duties.”
“Translation: Steve is back to overindulging your whims and fancies. And you are not currently giving me whiplash and breaking traffic laws for business purposes,” Kate said, white-knuckling the Jesus-handle over her door.
“Carmela would have said something if he had a conflict. And Steve likes pampering me. You should consider letting your man do the same every once in a while or you’ll end up as puckered as Kel.”
“Uuuugh! How is it possible you can be so talented at baking and finances, yet be such a flighty idjit all at the same time? I’m telling you, Kellie was right, and I was worrying for nothing.”
“And I’m telling you she has a hidden agenda!”
“Please stop following them. Please.”
“If you get us arrested or killed I will seriously hurt you.”
“Exactly how could you hurt me if you’re—”
Katelyn’s phone belted “Ring of Fire” and she gave her sister the ‘talk to the hand’ gesture.
“Hey Dom,” she answered, still gripping the ceiling handle and closing her eyes so she wouldn’t have to watch the traffic.
“Whatsa happenin’ hotstuff,” Dom answered, Sixteen Candles style.
“My sister’s trying to kill me. What’s up with you?” she answered shakily.
Dom’s deep chuckles tickled her ear. “Speaking of Andersons with a death wish, your brother has invited us over to watch the game. That’s three date nights in a row, in case you’re counting. Don’t say I don’t know how to treat my laaaday,” he drawled in a comedical deep voice.
Kate laughed at his smug, yet goofy tone. “Which game?”
“Do you care?”
“No,” she admitted with a little shrug. “Who all’s coming?”
“Mmn, his partner for starters.”
“Wuuuut? No,” she whined. Tommy Gates was always so broody and quiet. Getting conversation out of him was like squeezing blood from a turnip. She far preferred the daring, brash extrovert type like Dom. Well, obviously.
“And who else?” she asked, thinking it was odd that Kyle would invite Tommy when he was inviting Dom. The two never hung out together.
“Well, Kyle said Izzy was going to stop by.”
“Yeah, so I said, hey why don’t you invite Tommy? To even things out,” Dom replied in a rush.
“How is that even? Three guys and two women who don’t know each other?”
“I just mean, you know, one of my exes, one of yours… maybe they’d hit it off…” he trailed off.
“I’m pretty sure Tommy’s involved with someone, and surely you would not be so clueless as to compare one chaste date with Tommy with a marriage to Isabel. In which sex was involved.”
There was pointed silence on the other end.
Kate plowed ahead to cement the point. “And did you consider maybe Kyle wanted Isabel to come over to spend time with him alone? Unlike Tommy, Isabel is not currently involved with someone.”
“I doubt that’s it,” Dom continued, tone still infuriatingly oblivious. “I mean, why would he?”
She wanted to argue the point, but she couldn’t very well admit that Kyle was supposed to be schmoozing Isabel because she asked him to.
“Besides,” Dom continued, “when Kyle first asked her, she said she’d be spending the whole day with her great aunt in Papillion baking for some charity thing, but when she heard I’d be there she insisted she could make time for the game. I guess she has something she wanted to give me.”
“Reaaally,” Kate drawled.
She opened her eyes to look over at a smirking Kandace. “Papillion?” Kandace mouthed.
“I mean we don’t have to go…” he said, his voice finally seeming to catch a clue something was wrong.
“Nope, it’s fine. Sounds like fun,” she chirped.
“Kaaay,” Dom replied doubtfully.
“Loveyoubye,” she said quickly and tapped ‘end’.
She tossed the phone in a drink hole on the console and met her sister’s grim and smug countenance with narrowed eyes.
“She’s going down.”
Kandace laughed and floored the gas pedal.
–“The Good Life”, Copyright 2014 by Genevieve Dewey.