On behalf of CBLS Promotions, please welcome Belinda G. Buchanan as she tours the book blogophere with her new novel
After All Is Said And Done
***Giveaway Details Below. READ ON!***
Nobody wakes up one morning and decides that today is the day they are going to cheat on their spouse. When the opportunity presents itself however, it is ultimately a choice. And that choice, whether good or bad, can have irrevocable consequences.
Ethan and Jessica Harrington are doctors who work alongside fellow doctors Gavin and Sarah Williams. After Jessica has an affair with Gavin, their lives are thrown into turmoil as they deal with the aftermath and subsequent fallout.
For the better part of a year the four of them have been working to piece their marriages back together. Sarah and Gavin are still reeling from a devastating miscarriage, while Jessica and Ethan are hesitantly looking forward to the birth of their first child.
Sarah’s hopes are immediately shattered when she learns how far Gavin’s infidelity has gone. Suddenly thrown into an unwanted independence she fights to find her way.
Jessica struggles to repair her marriage to Ethan as they become parents. But when Ethan, a borderline alcoholic, learns a dark secret, his world steadily begins to crumble. His drinking, fueled by this discovery slowly engulfs him. Jessica’s love for him is only matched by her fear of his temper. With his marriage now in pieces and his sanity questionable, Ethan struggles to come to terms with his alcoholism and face his past.
Theirs is a story of the tremendous amount of love some people have for one another, regardless of the pain that is sometimes inflicted.
Later in the evening, Jessica sat at the kitchen table biting her nails. Grace had gone to the grocery and Paul was having dinner with a client. The past hour she had done nothing but think about buying that house and all the responsibilities that came with it.
She was deep in thought when the doorbell rang. She stood up and glanced at her watch. It was almost six. Thinking it was Gavin, she opened the door.
Ethan stood on the other side.
Feelings of fear, surprise and hope came over her all at once, leaving her speechless.
"I'm sorry. I know I should have called first," he said softly. "But, you won't talk to me on the phone."
The wind blew around them sending a shiver up her spine.
"Can I come in for a moment?"
She widened the door and stepped back, allowing him to come in. She noticed he was carrying a rather large package under his arm along with a smaller one. He set them down and took off his coat.
"Have a seat," she said gesturing towards the chair as she sat down on the sofa next to it.
"Thanks," he said quietly.
An agonizing moment of silence dragged by.
"He's not here. He's out...with Gavin," she said hesitantly. There was no point in lying to him.
Ethan looked at the floor and nodded his head softly. The fact that Gavin had gotten his way seemed of little importance to him right now.
They sat in the hushed silence of the room for a long time, neither one knowing what to say.
Ethan wrestled with his emotions. “I'm sorry Jess."
A look of surprise came across him. "Yes."
She shook her head as if she didn't believe him.
He reached for her hand and held it tight. "I swear to God, it will never happen again!"
She looked deep into those beautiful eyes of his. They were the ones she had once fallen in love with.
He touched the side of her face.
"Don't, Ethan," she drew away from his hand.
"Jess…I gave you a second chance once,” his voice cracked.
She looked at him for the longest time before speaking. “No you didn’t. You held it over my head every chance you could. I know how badly I hurt you, Ethan…but I also know it’s something that you just can’t quite forgive me for.”
He cast his gaze on the floor.
“I see it in your eyes when you look at me sometimes, and I hear it in your voice when we argue. I’m tired of feeling guilty over something I can’t change.”
He leaned forward. “It won’t be like that anymore. I promise, I’ll never bring it up again.”
She wiped at the tears forming in her eyes.
“Things will be different this time. I’ll quit drinking,” he pleaded with her.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” She said quietly.
“I’ll stop. You have to believe me, I haven’t had a drink since that night.”
She stood up. "Do you think it's all just going to go away because you say it's going to be different?"
He stood up as well and gently grasped her shoulders. "What do I have to do to make you believe me?"
She tensed up at his touch.
He withdrew his hands.
She crossed her arms and swallowed hard. With all her soul she wanted to tell him she was pregnant. But she knew it would only bring more empty promises from him.
“I’ll do anything. Anything you say.”
She suddenly looked at him, feeling hopeful. “Will you go to an AA meeting?”
He locked onto her eyes. “No.”
Her eyes began to fill with tears as she pleaded with him. “I’ll go with you!”
“Haven’t you been listening to me? I have not had a drink since that night!"
"And just how long has that been, Ethan? Five whole days? Don’t you see what this has done to you? What it’s done to us? You need help! And you need to get it before it’s too late!”
“I am not an alcoholic!" He yelled, his fists clenched!
She took a step backwards.
He turned away and put his hands on his hips. “I’m not," he spoke quietly this time.
"Let's talk about your temper then.”
"We both know what a bad temper you have. And when you're drunk, you can't control it. What if next time, you take it out on Ryan?"
It was an emotional blow.
"How can you even think that? I would never...ever hit Ryan," he whispered.
Her chin began to tremble. "What would you have done to me if you had gotten my car door open?”
He looked away for a moment, not knowing how to answer.
She sat down on the couch and buried her face in her hands. Her shoulders shook. She couldn’t hold it in any longer. It was over. It was over and she had no idea what she was going to do.
Ethan watched her as she cried. He made no attempt to comfort her this time.
* * * *
That night Jessica finished giving Ryan his bottle and laid him in his playpen. He seemed to sleep better in it than on his mattress.
She picked up the present Ethan had given him today. It was a very large mechanical puppy that told nursery rhymes and bedtime stories. She picked out a disc and put it in the puppy's hidden compartment on his back. She set it down next to Ryan's head and turned it on. The puppy made a whirring noise and came to life. As he spoke, his tail wagged and his mouth opened and closed.
Ryan turned over on his stomach and watched intently. He was utterly fascinated, as he reached out and tried to catch the puppy’s eyes as they winked at him.
She sat down on the bed and smiled. Her hand brushed against something. She picked up the small present Ethan had left earlier. She placed it on the nightstand next to her as she got under the covers. She lay down, letting the soft hushed tone of the puppy's voice lull her to sleep.
* * * *
Ethan sat in the darkness on the sofa in his living room. The only light came from the fire that crackled softly in the fireplace. He rested his head on the back of the cushion and sighed. There was an unopened bottle of scotch on the table. He had been staring at it for some time. The fire reflected on the side of the bottle, seeming to give it a life of it's own. The orange flames danced wildly upon it.
He could faintly hear a shutter banging on the backside of the house as the wind howled. He listened to its haunting wail as he continued to stare at the amber colored liquid. Maybe, there were times that he drank too much, he thought to himself. But, he certainly wasn't an alcoholic. He leaned forward and unscrewed the cap off the bottle. Its aroma was strong as he brought it to his lips. He stopped and rested the bottle on his leg. He looked down and noticed that his left hand was trembling ever so slightly. How had he gotten to this point in his life? His whole world seemed to be crumbling. He took a long swallow from the bottle. His body quivered as the liquid fire went down his throat. After a moment, his hand stopped trembling.
Ethan cradled the bottle in his arms as he let the alcohol comfort him. It was a true friend indeed. It knew his sorrows, but never left him. It never betrayed him, or hurt him. It knew all his dark secrets that he had hidden in his soul, but never judged him. It knew his every fear, but never taunted him. It anticipated his pain and offered him solace. He never had to explain himself to it or hide his feelings from it. It just wanted to help him. And like a lover, it held out its arms to embrace him unconditionally. He turned the bottle up and drank until the darkness engulfed him.
I hope this is enough to pique your interest to check out my book.
It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
My website: https://sites.google.com/site/belindagbuchanan
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmM-Uf6yG4w
Thank you Mysti for allowing me the opportunity to be a guest here on Unwritten and thanks to Liz of CBLS Promotions.
Please be sure and leave a comment (WITH YOUR E-MAIL) to be entered in the giveaway for After All Is Said And Done. The winner will be selected at random after the tour is over.
I have been happily married to my husband for over 21 years now. I have two great sons, two persnickety cats, and 1 unconditionally loving dog who thinks he’s a person.
I am currently working on my second novel, The Monster of Silver Creek, which is due out in December. The follow up book to After All Is Said And Done will be published in 2012.
To learn more about Belinda and her work, please visit:
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Join Belinda on her next tour stop, Books Like Breathing at http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com/.