I have a problem with secondary characters. Don't get me wrong, it s a good problem. Kind of. the problem? They have a way of trying their darndest to takeover my books!
In fact the one time I tried to write that had only the hero and heroine and not another soul, my editor asked me nicely to put some in because she loved my secondary characters so much. Lesson learned. Give them free reign. As they can be mighty fine at giving insights into the main characters.
SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON (out June 23rd and 99c on Amazon for the first 2 days!) is about JJ. After losing her job and finding herself on the verge of an existential crisis, she decides to take a cruise to let her hair down and just have some fun. A little sun, a little rum and, what the heck, maybe a summer fling while she's at it.
Here we have another problem. The cruise her best friend - and newly minted travel agent - books her on is a Second Honeymoon cruise, filled to capacity with marrieds, every one over sixty years of age.
And here we come to the secondary characters. How could a ship-full of septuagenarian party-animals not put in their 2 cents. Especially when they have themselves a solitary, unattached twentysomething in need of some life lessons.
Like magic the strongest appeared on the page as JJs dinner companions - ex vacuum cleaner salesman Bernie with his yoda-esque cadence and his dear sweet Myrtle, staid Samuel (or is he) and mousy Carol (oh she'll surprise you!), and best of all Hazel. Brash, bombastic Hazel with her uber-cleavage and her new husband Frank who'd rather stare at the menu all night than engage in the ship gossip.
Here's a little snippet of JJs first night with her regular dinner table, the beginning courtesy of JJ's fairy godmother the indomitable Hazel:
“Frank and I are on our honeymoon. Third marriage for
me, third cruise. Fifth marriage for him, first cruise. Between us we have
eight kids and seventeen grandkids. It counts.”
Bernie’s eyes opened wider with each confession while
Myrtle looked about nervously as if admitting as much might get them chucked
off the ship.
In order to ease the strain creaking at the table, JJ dove
in. “I’m Juliana, but you can call me JJ. I’m . . . between jobs. Sydneysider. I’m
not married, so you’re one up on me. Though I was. Once. Divorced actually. It
was all over less than a day after the wedding.”
So much for clearing the strain hanging over the
dinner table. JJ sat back in her chair blaming all the honeymoon talk.
“A day?” Myrtle asked, hand to her throat.
“What anniversary would that be, do you think?” Bernie
asked into the silence.
“One year is paper,” quiet Carol added helpfully.
“Shredded paper, then?” Hazel added.
JJ coughed out a laugh.
“Bark,” Bernie said, then bit back a smile. “From the
tree used to make the paper.”
“Wood shavings,” Frank added without looking up.
“Wood shavings,” Hazel said proudly, as if the case
was now closed. “There it is folks.”
While JJ laughed along with the rest of them, enough
that she had to hold her belly, she couldn’t help thinking that they’d not gone
back far enough. Dust, she thought. The dust left on the air when the tree is
cut down. It floats off into nothing, becoming nothing, disappearing as if it
had never really been there at all.
Sometimes, sitting alone in her dingy apartment she
wondered if she was that dust, all that remained of the dauntless girl she’d
“To the paths that brought us here and the journey
ahead,” Myrtle said, lifting her glass and beaming at Bernie’s words.
She nodded at the glass in front of JJ which Hazel was
filing to the brim with something red and shiny and delicious-looking.
“To getting up to no good,” Hazel joined in, clinking JJ’s
glass before placing it in her hand.
With vigor, and intent, feeling less like dust than
she had in a long time, JJ lifted her glass high. “To adventure.”
With a rousing cheer the table yelled, “Here, here!”
SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON is out now on Amazon.
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Labels: Holiday Books, honeymoon, Seond Chance Honeymoon, Tule Publishing