Today is a very special day. I am sharing my new love with my readers. It is important for writers to receive honest feedback on their work. As I promised last week, I will share my first chapter with you today.
The protagonist, Angie Rhodes and her constant companion, MR. Tubbs are introduced in the first chapter. Please use the comment area for your welcome feedback.
Angie Rhodes falls asleep, exhausted from her tears. Her husband Jonathan failed to come home again, and he forgot their eighth wedding anniversary. His drive to become a senior law partner claimed priority again.
In the past eight years Angie has forsaken a promising artistic career. Determined to establish her own identity and rekindle her artistic gifts, Angie departs for a month-long intensive study of her craft. She soon comes under the influence of Professor James Turner who has plans of his own.
Will she realize the threat Turner poses? Can her absence rekindle the romance she and Jonathan have lost and restore their marriage?
The Artist’s Paradise
From her third floor bedroom window, Angie Rhodes searched for Jonathan in the flurry of strangers below. The crowd packed streets hummed with commuters returning from work to experience life inthe world of Gold Coast, the little Manhattan of Chicago. As a blanket of dusk settled over the city, Gold Coast popped with life.
Angie smiled as she thought of the special evening she had planned for her husband Jonathan. She crossed the master bedroom and slid onto the gold velvet chair by her dressing table. A deep sigh escaped her lips as she gazed into the makeup mirror. She assessed her new look. She had fostered a more natural look all her life. She preferred lip gloss and a hint of blush. She now glowed with red carpet glamour. Would Jonathan approve of the change?
She had planned for over a month. Tonight must be perfect. She tingled as desire filled her. She would explode with passion. Tonight Jonathan would know how much she loved him.
Angie leaned closer to the mirror and took one last peek. As she ran her long slender fingers through her hair, she commented to her constant companion, “Do you like the new me, Mr. Tubbs? I’m told that with my classic oval face this is the perfect hair cut.
Her heart warmed as she spoke to her precious Toy Fox Terrier. Mr. Tubbs was her housewarming gift from her husband the day they moved into the Brownstone. Jonathan fulfilled his promise of a puppy with class and character. Mr. Tubbs was indeed a character.
“Did you notice the red highlights in my hair? That’s to help me look seductive. Not too bad for an old married lady of thirty-four. ”
His breed, clown like, and brought her hours of enjoyment. Mr. Tubbs’ tall bat ears turned like a periscope towards her as she spoke. She glanced down at him. His slightly rounded body was white with one rogue black spot on his left hip. His face, black and brown around his eyes and down his long pointed snout, created the look of a mask.
Mr. Tubbs, in his normal sweet manner, wagged his stubby tail and gave her a positive fanny wiggle.
“Yes, you’re right; the highlights compliment my deep brown eyes. Who would have thought I could be a woman of mystery for only one hundred and fifty dollars and three hours of time. Jonathan told me he liked red highlights, so I must look good.”
Angie, dressed in a new purple silk lounging set, stood up from her dressing table chair, stretched her willowy frame to her full five foot ten inch height and twirled towards the door leading from the bedroom. Mr. Tubbs jumped off his mistress’s bed and followed her down the stairs to the first floor kitchen, wagging his tail with increased tempo.
“Do you know it’s a very special day? Your daddy and I are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary. I’ve cooked his favorite Rachel Ray recipe, Smoky Salmon with Watercress. Can you feel the mood? What do you think?”
Mr. Tubbs raced over to the cookie jar and sat patiently staring up at the canister.
“Okay, just one.”
Angie stirred the couscous, then with three quick strides across the kitchen floor, opened the cookie jar and picked out the smallest dog biscuit inside. She leaned forward and offered her Toy Fox Terrier a bite. He rose up on his back legs to elevate the position of his eight – inch tall frame. Goal completed, he trotted off to the living room to enjoy his reward.
Angie sat at the kitchen bar, long graceful legs dangling from the stool, reviewing her mental check list. Wine chilled. Dining room table set with crystal and china. Low lights and lots of candles. Yes, the setting appeared perfect. Would it be enough to make a difference?
She stood up, wandered into the dining room and sat down at the head of the table. Her eyes moved around the room checking for anything missing. She furrowed her brow. Why must Jonathan work such long hours? She was nearing her thirty-fifth birthday and felt more single than married.
Although proud of his career, she missed him terribly. He’d risen quickly at the law firm of Jackson, Jackson, and Long. Now he aspired to be the next mayor of Chicago. Where did that leave her? Being a corporate lawyer’s wife was lonely enough. What would her life be like as the mayor’s wife?
Jonathan often spent the night in downtown Chicago at a hotel. Would he disappoint her tonight? No, he’d promised. But there were other broken promises. She sighed and then paced from the kitchen to the living room and back again. She watched the hands on the grandfather clock move from six-thirty to eight. Where was he?
Angie finally grabbed her cell phone and called his private number. If he was in the office, he’d pick up. No answer. She called his cell phone. Still no answer.
Not again, oh God, not again. Please, not on our anniversary.
Angie fought off the tears as long as she could, then the waterfall began. Once the sobbing started, it seemed impossible to stop.
Her marriage to Jonathan wasn’t perfect. He’d made it clear that his career was his number one priority. But there were good times, when he wasn’t the lead on a case. He could be fun. He was attentive to her. But once the pressure of work reappeared, he was distracted, indifferent, and distant. Those were the times he would spend nights at a hotel downtown.
She had broached the subject with him several times. His response was always the same. “Give me some space. I’m involved in an important trial and my career depends on me getting the not guilty verdict.
How could he keep hurting her this way?