Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Fifteen of Annie Crow Knoll: Moonrise!
Yes, Annie’s ex-husband Drew is back in this third book. I’m so glad I decided not to kill him off in Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise! Otherwise he couldn’t be back in Moonrise to stir the pot.
Annie had been selected to head the scholarship committee again. She had done so on and off for many years since she first founded the scholarship with some of her inheritance from her great-grandmother. She had put to good use the money Delia Witherspoon had misused to control and manipulate professors’ careers at Queen Anne, her ex-husband having been one of the victims. With that sad memory in her mind, Drew appeared at her porch door.
Annie closed her laptop. “Pretty sky after that great storm.”
“Can we talk?” His face was serious.
Drew stepped onto the porch but walked past Annie and into her cottage. “I don’t want to be interrupted by anyone wandering past.”
“But it’s such a nice night.”
“If you don’t mind.” He motioned for her to join him in the living room of Sunrise Cottage.
Annie reluctantly went in but halted just inside. She looked at the sofa and decided she’d feel better with a table between them. “Let’s sit in the dining room.”
Once they were seated, Drew became quiet. He gazed at Annie.
Annie tried not to fidget with the edge of the tablecloth, but her ex-husband was behaving oddly. “You said you had something to talk about, Drew. What is it?”
“Oh, I wanted to talk about Breezy. Don’t you think she’s depressed?”
“This again? She’s grieving and working on reinventing herself.”
“Are you sure?”
“It’s a process that takes time and patience. Although she’ll never be the same physically, she’s getting stronger.”
“But emotionally. I mean, she seems a lot like you did after Nate was born.”
Annie frowned. “What do you mean by that?”
“She’s shutting down.”
“At first she was, but now she’s isolating less. She’s taking on this wonderful new project with her photography.”
“That’s just a distraction from what she should be doing.”
“I understand that you’re desperate to make sense of what has happened to our granddaughter, Drew, but you’re grasping at straws.”
Drew didn’t seem to hear Annie. “She used to be passionate and competitive. Now, she’s just willing to give up. She’s lost her fight, like you did when you handed Nate over to me.”
Annie leapt to her feet but controlled the urge to slap Drew across the face. “I wish for one day you’d experience what depression is like.” She made fists with both her hands and strode away from her ex-husband. “It wasn’t a choice to let you take care of Nate the first few months of his life. I wasn’t capable.” Her voice broke. How did this man manage to dredge up pain that she resolved long ago?
“Annie, I’m not blaming you.”
Annie straightened up. “Let me clarify things for you. I’m not going to allow you to bring up the past in order to manipulate me. I’ve worked through all this. I’ve accepted the past. I’ve made peace with myself and with Nate. I have a wonderful, healthy relationship with him. Rehashing old guilt and blame in order to get what you want is mean-spirited, and it’s not going to work on me.”
Drew slumped deeper into the dining table chair. “I’ve screwed this all up. Forgive me for saying those things. I didn’t come here to start a fight. Please sit back down.”
Annie hesitantly returned to her chair. “Why did you come over here tonight?” *
ANNIE CROW KNOLL: MOONRISE is available for pre-order! Click the title to pre-order, and it will show up on your Kindle on August 9th!
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