About the Author:
Angela was born and raised in Iowa, in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing.
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Chapter One Excerpt
Shoving back a curl that had fallen into her face, Arabella neatly folded tiny T-shirts to place into her son’s little red Avengers suitcase. Quiet footfalls stopped in the doorway, and she glanced over her shoulder to see her older sister leaning lightly against the doorframe of Liam’s room.a Rafflecopter giveaway
“How’s it going? Are you two almost packed?” Clara asked.
“Almost.” She replied. “I’m just finishing up a few last things for Liam. Are you all ready?”
Clara shrugged her shoulders, glancing around the room as if one of the pieces of furniture might have the answer. She blew out a breath and her voice cracked when she finally spoke. “Yeah, I packed … Then I unpacked and repacked different stuff. I couldn’t really decide what I should wear out there.”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.” Arabella smiled encouragingly.
Clara pursed her lips. “It’s an exciting opportunity.”
“Well, yeah. Not everyone gets their book turned into a movie.” A grin flashed across Arabella’s face. “So, they actually want Winnie to be there, too? Do they realize he really does eat everything? The studio will be empty before they know it.”
“They want to see the dog that inspired the book. The animal trainer asked if I could bring him.” Clara gave a slight shake of her head and a small smile. “I don’t even know why I have to be out there. I don’t know anything about movies.” She picked up a tiny pair of blue jeans, folded them, and handed them off to her sister.
“I’m sure they want to have your point of view. It makes sense. I read in some magazine that Kelly Martin was an on-set consultant when they made The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe into a movie. Besides, it’s just a month.” Arabella considered her sister who was now nibbling on her bottom lip. She was glad, for Clara’s sake, that the flight to California was tomorrow. She knew a lot of the stress of the trip was just waiting for it to arrive.
“That was a really good movie. Of course, the book was better.” Clara smiled and visibly relaxed, clearly choosing to move on to a different subject. “We should take the DVD with us. We can watch it on the plane.”
Arabella nodded, her mouth scrunching up. “Have you seen Liam? I don’t know where he put No Hop. If I don’t take that ratty thing he will cry for days.”
“He’s at the farm house getting spoiled. But, I think I saw No Hop on the couch down in the living room. ”
The two of them walked out of Liam’s bedroom and down the stairs. Arabella paused in the living room to collect Liam’s beloved bunny, turned back, and chucked it expertly up the stairs. It plopped on the ground directly in front of the bedroom doors. Clara raised her eyebrows.
“Just want to be sure not to forget it later.” Arabella laughed. “Did you drop off the flower garden quilt to Mrs. Johnson?”
Clara nodded, “She said it was perfect for her granddaughter’s bedroom.”
“Of course it’s perfect. Everyone loves your quilts. How many orders do you have to work on while we’re in California?”
“Only two. I figure if I hand stitch the pieces together during my free time, I can have both the quilts ready to be sewn together when we get home.” They stepped out into the hot, sticky July air and Clara groaned. “Do you think it’s this humid in California?”
“Isn’t it humid everywhere in July? I doubt California is much different than Iowa when it comes to that.” They walked across the gravel drive toward the large farmhouse, leaving their little cottage behind. An enormous white dog bounded up to them, jumping to put his muddy paws on Clara’s shoulders. “There’s our super star. Where’s your side kick, little man?” Clara asked, rubbing the big dog’s ears. Arabella looked at the wet muck on Clara’s shirt and rolled her eyes heavenward.
“I sincerely hope they were not playing together.” Her eyes searched across the large yard until they landed on a tiny, three-year-old little boy covered in mud. A very audible sigh escaped her.
“Good luck with that.” Clara grinned. Arabella watched her sister walk off toward the house while she continued on to her little mud monster.
“Momma, I made a mud castle!” Liam’s white teeth were brilliant against the mud covering his face, and his blue eyes shone triumphantly.
“I see that. We need to get you cleaned up for dinner. Where’s Mema? You were supposed to be with her.”
His muddy hand grasped hers.
“Getting carrots.” He bounced as they walked toward the house. “Mema says I get to go on an airplane.” His voice went a little shrill as he spoke, and his legs bounced a little higher. “That’s true. But, first, you need a bath,” she laughed.
Arabella smiled down at her son. He was the one good thing that she had done in her life.