Thursday, January 8, 2015
Tranquility by Laurie Gardiner Book Excerpts!
Tranquility belies its name. Behind the nursing home's serene exterior hides a sinister secret.
Soon after transferring to Tranquility's dementia unit, support worker Sarah Scott suspects a co-worker of abuse. Doing the right thing could mean losing her job, and unemployment is not an option for the young, single mom.
Meanwhile, Sarah questions whether her newest resident, Edie, belongs in the locked unit. The feisty, Scottish woman certainly doesn't act as though she has dementia. Sarah is determined to have Edie released, but her plans are thwarted when Edie risks her own freedom to help find the proof needed to stop the abuse.
I met Jay in the parking lot of the restaurant at seven sharp and we walked in together. He’d suggested the place, a cozy little bistro off the main street. The bar area and lobby were scattered with people waiting for tables. Luckily, Jay had thought to call ahead and make a reservation and we were seated quickly.
I’d never been there. I rarely went out for dinner and when I did I usually went to the The Queen’s. The bistro was higher end than the pub. The atmosphere was intimate and romantic, with private booths, dim lighting and jazz playing softly in the background.
I ordered a steak, medium-rare. Jay gave me a curious look and ordered the same. We talked over glasses of red wine while we waited for our food. We discussed my plans for school. He talked about his four years of university. He’d graduated with a degree in business and now worked for a medical company doing sales and marketing.
I watched Jay talk as I ate, so fascinated with his full, supple lips that I barely tasted the food. Just as I was wondering if his lips were as soft as they looked, he said my name. My eyes flew to his. “Pardon?”
His eyes sparkled with humor as he picked up his napkin and dabbed at his mouth. “I was asking if I had food on my face.”
“Uh, no.” I glanced at his mouth, saw the teasing curve of his lips and felt the heat of a blush climb my neck. When I looked up, his smile faded and heat flashed in his eyes. Breath, Sarah, I thought to myself as I laid my fork carefully on the side of my plate. “That was delicious.”
Jay looked at my plate and smiled. Only a dollop of mashed potatoes and a few vegetables remained. “I’m glad you actually eat when you go on a date.”
I gave him a perplexed look. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Some women don’t, especially on the first date. It drives me crazy. Of course, most women wouldn’t order a steak either.”
“Why not? I love steak.”
“Exactly!” A confused look came over his face. “But when my sister goes on a date, she orders a salad, eats half of it, goes home and orders pizza. I don’t get it.”
After dinner we ordered coffee and the conversation turned to family. It was the opening I needed. “Your niece is adorable. How old is she?”
It was clear from the tenderness in his voice that he was fond of his nieces. “Alisha? Yeah, she’s pretty special. They both are. She’s six. Her little sister, Amanda, is four.”
“My daughter, Kayla, is six too.”
Jay barely skipped a beat. “And adorable too, I bet, if she looks anything like her mom.”
“Actually, she has her dad’s smile and my Mom’s eyes. She really doesn’t look anything like me.”
“You’re still adorable. Especially when you blush.”
I felt my face get hotter and put my hands over my cheeks. “Stop,” I said with a short, flustered laugh.