Friday, April 12, 2013

In The Spotlight...Stephanie Michels and Patricia Kiyono

Today's In The Spotlight book is The Calico Heart by fellow Astraea Press authors Stephanie Michels and Patricia Kiyono.
On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she’s dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest child is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.

Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.

When Dave refuses, Sylvia decides to go alone. But it’s a decision that could cost them much more than money.
“I don’t want to go.”
Puzzled, Sylvia put down the travel section of the Sunday paper she’d been reading at the kitchen table and turned toward the breakfast bar where Dave was assembling sandwiches with studious care. “What do you mean, honey?”
“Just what I said, I don’t want to go.”
“But we’ve been planning this for ages –”
“No, Syl. You’ve been planning it.”
“Okay.” She nodded. “Granted, I’ve done most of the research, but it’s been based on the things we’ve talked about. Things you’ve always enjoyed: history, archaeology, and —” She laughed and drew air quotes with two fingers of each hand. “Plenty of photo ops.”
“I don’t need to travel hundreds of miles for those things. I can see them on TV and be a lot more comfortable, too.”
“Come on, honey, you know that’s not the same as being there in person.”
“Close enough,” he said, carefully spreading the mayo on a slice of bread so the condiment covered it from crust to crust.
Sylvia leaned back in the chair and stared at him. “Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?”
He frowned. The expression changed his pleasant features into a stern mask that suddenly reminded her of his late Grandfather Beaumont.
“Not funny,” he muttered in a tone that sounded eerily like his grandfather’s, too.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” she replied then busied herself gathering up the newspaper and folding it to control her irritation. She took a deep breath then tried again.
“Honey, when we were younger and the kids were small, you told me you’d always wanted to travel. That you’d never had the chance when you were young. We promised we’d see the world together one day. When the kids were grown, we were retired, and we had enough money saved.”
“That was then.” He picked up the slice of bread, checking to make sure it was properly coated. Apparently, it passed scrutiny. He set it down and picked up the next slice. “I’ve changed.”
“So have I. That’s evident every time I look in my mirror and see a new wrinkle or another gray hair,” she teased, trying to lighten her husband’s mood.
“That’s not what I mean.” He laid down the bread and knife and finally looked at her.
A chill crept up Sylvia’s spine, warning her she wasn’t going to like what her husband was about to say.
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Thanks for stopping by. Have a fantabulous day!


  1. Thanks for the feature! What a cheerful looking blog!

  2. wow, great scene. Very tense.
    Love the detail with the toast.