Excerpt from “The Healing” (Flashback)

Welcome to the Boomer Lit Friday Blog Hop! Once again, authors are showcasing examples of this exciting new genre at http://boomerlitfriday.blogspot.com/ You should check them out. There’s some good stuff there.

Here’s my contribution…a flashback scene from my novel, “The Healing.” Enjoy!

On her way past the lifeguard’s chair, Karen glanced up and saw Mike Donnelly for the first time. He was silhouetted against the bright midday sun, his hair hanging in damp ringlets after a dip in the bay. If his face wasn’t so boyishly Irish and his eyes weren’t so intensely blue, he would’ve resembled some Roman god of the sea perched on his pedestal. Expecting that his gaze would be riveted on Anya’s tall, hourglass figure and melon-sized breasts bumping along in her shocking green bikini, Karen was embarrassed to find him looking down at her. Her. Why was he eyeing the boiled chicken wings when a gourmet feast was right in front of him?

“Hi,” he said, moving nothing but his straight, dark eyebrows.

Karen felt an immediate rush of heat to her cheeks. “Hi,” she echoed, ducking her head. Her heart knocked hard and fast against her breastbone. Idiot, she berated herself.

“How about right here?” Anya was saying to the group with her hand extended, indicating a clear patch of sand like a game show model offering Curtain Number Three. They were diagonally in front of the lifeguard’s chair. “Excuse me?” she called up to him brazenly.

Karen braved another glance upward because now her flirtatious cousin had diverted the lifeguard’s gaze.

“Yup?” he replied, moving only his head. His arms were still draped across the back of the chair and his long, well-muscled legs were stretched out and crossed at the ankles. He looked like he was lounging on a comfortable sofa watching a movie. Except he was wearing nothing but a red swimsuit that was about as wide as a headband.
“We won’t be in your way if we park ourselves here, will we?” Anya asked, peering up at him with her weight shifted onto one hip and a hand shading her eyes.

The lifeguard looked amused. A slow, attractive grin creased his face. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I can forge a path to the water if the deadly riptide tries to claim a life.”

“And the sharks,” Anya said. “Don’t forget the sharks.”

Everyone laughed. There were no man-eating sharks or dangerous currents in the waters off Founders’ Landing. The only time the lifeguard truly earned his pay was when a child capsized on an inner tube or got stung by a jellyfish. The rest of the time he was free to watch bikinis and daydream about the girl he wanted most on the beach.

Karen’s eyes remained riveted on the lifeguard’s face as he broke into that full smile. When his laughing blue eyes fell on her again, he caught her gawking at him, slack-mouthed and air-headed. Snapping her jaw shut, she unfurled her towel and hastily set it down on the sand. While her friends wriggled out of their shorts, oiled their young bodies, and stretched out in various poses to sunbathe, providing wholesome visual entertainment for their new prospect, Karen sat on her towel and hugged her knees, careful not to move or risk another glance for a long time. She stared out at the bay, conscious of every sound and movement behind her.

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From the Beginning of “The Healing” (Second Installment)

If you were born between 1945 and 1964, listen up!! There is a new literary genre out there just for you! It’s called “Boomer Lit,” and I recently joined a group on Goodreads for authors who have written books that would be of particular interest to the baby boomer generation. This group has put together a blog-hop called Boomer Lit Friday, and we are sharing excerpts to offer examples of this new genre. Check it out at http://boomerlitfriday.blogspot.com/

Here is the next installment from the very beginning of my novel The Healing…(you can skip to the boldface type if you read last week’s excerpt)…

Karen Donnelly stood on the grassy overlook and gazed out at Long Island’s Southold Bay. The beach at Founders’ Landing had always been a special place for her, but lately it gave her no comfort. While the gentle surf lapped at the shore below, anxiety pulsed through her—a tide with a force all its own. The roaring in her head drowned out the summer breeze rustling through the nearby trees. She was in a constant state of tension, and no curative setting, not even the place where her best memories were born, could bring her peace of mind.

She closed her eyes and took a deep, shaky breath. If she tried hard enough, she could slip into that other lifetime and ward off the melancholy that threatened to overwhelm her. It should have been easy to pretend it was thirty years ago. The same dense maple trees shaded the familiar spot where she stood. The same picnic tables still offered cool respite from the heat of the sun. The air smelled like it always had. But when Karen opened her eyes, she was still standing in her altered world. She looked around like a child lost in her own backyard. There was no sound of splashing water or laughing children rising from the beach like music from an old transistor radio. The picnic tables, once hidden amid the chaos of vacationing families and randomly parked station wagons, now sat like weathered sculptures on an abandoned landscape. There were no children playing, no dads barbecuing, no moms chatting over iced tea. It wasn’t peaceful or heartwarming. It was just sad.

Karen swallowed hard and walked down to the beach. Over the past few months, she had learned how to suppress the anguish. When it formed a lump in her throat and threatened to erupt in a raw scream, she swallowed it and kept moving.

She removed her sneakers and felt her bare feet sink into the warm sand. Every summer growing up, when school was over and she had come to the beach for the first time, Karen would cherish the moment her shoes came off, and they usually didn’t go back on until Labor Day. It was an annual ritual she had always associated with freedom. Did kids appreciate that kind of thing anymore?

Karen looked around. Only three families were enjoying the beach, and only six or seven children were in the water. A few yards away, two teenage girls were sitting on the swings and pushing the sand around with their toes, ignoring their surroundings as they muttered discontentedly to each other. Their heads were bowed, their loose hair hanging forward like curtains of rebellion. They reminded her of her own nineteen-year-old daughter, Lori, who had been battling depression since adolescence and who already had a jaded view of life.