You know the old adage “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” Sandy, the heroine in my upcoming release Hidden Heat, ran all the way from Minnesota to D.C. to put space between her and her family. She loves them but can’t stand them all at the same time. Here’s a sneak preview into Sandy’s family.

Hidden Heat

Copyright © 2011 Leah Braemel
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

(unedited excerpt)

Their pizzas finished, Jazz grabbed the remote and muted the sound. “I’m bored sitting here. Let’s go down to Rusty’s and see who’s hanging around.”

“I don’t know. I just got comfortable. Going out means I’d have to get dressed again—” The phone rang. A quick check of the caller ID had her groaning as she answered. “Hi, mom.”

“Oh, Sandy honey, I’m so glad you’re home for once. I wanted to make sure you’re coming home for your sister’s anniversary party next weekend.”

“Uh, gee, mom, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it. Things have been pretty busy lately.” Fat chance she was going to fly all the way back to Minnesota to spend forty eight hours listening to how wonderful her boring brother-in-law was. He was a former prison guard who had been fired and become a salesman. Of cardboard, for criminy’s sake. When he wasn’t talking about his experiences in the jail, he waxed poetic on corrugation. Talk about yawnsville.

“You work too hard. You should find yourself a nice man and settle down. Are you seeing anyone, dear? You could bring him along. We’d love to meet him.”

Usually her mother waited until later in the conversation to get to the “who are you dating” questions.

“Mom, considering your history, I’m not talking about my dating life.” She rolled her eyes at Jazz while wondering just how many more times she’d have this conversation before her mother got a clue that she had no intention of getting married. Ever.

“If you come back for Jennifer’s party, you can meet Ernie’s cousin Donald. He’s a very nice young man who lives just outside of St. Charles. Wouldn’t that be nice? You could move back here and we could see each other every day.”

Nice? “Um, I like living in D.C., Mom.” I like having a life that doesn’t revolve around dishes and babies and diapers.

Her mother ignored her. “Donald sells used farm-equipment so he’s got a steady job. Not like that awful boy you brought home last time.”

She’d brought home Tank specifically to shock her mother. His tattoos and piercings had accomplished that the minute he’d walked in the door. That he’d had a respectable job as a paramedic hadn’t mattered one whit to her mother. “He sounds a lot like Glen and I’m not going through that again.”

“Oh honey, Glen wasn’t so bad, I still don’t know what your problem with him was. And no, Donald is a perfectly lovely young man. You should see how he worries about his mother. Gives her a part of his pay check every week like clockwork.” Her mother lowered her voice. “Now Donald’s little bit shorter than you are, I think. But he’s a lovely boy. So it’s best if you don’t wear heels when you meet him and it should be fine.”

Just shoot me now. “Mom, he really doesn’t sound like my type.”

Her mother sighed. “Dear, you’re nearly thirty. You can’t afford to be picky. It’s time you settled down. Got married and had babies. Like your sister and Cathy and Patti,” she named Sandy’s brother’s wives. “Seriously, dear, this isn’t something you can put off until you’re my age.”

Sandy thumped her head against the back of the couch. “Mom, I’m only twenty-eight. I’ve got lots of time.” As in the rest of my life.

“Sandra Elizabeth, when I was your age, I’d already been married ten years and had Eddie and Dwayne and was about to give birth to Frank. You’ve only got a few years left if you want to have a family without having to resort to medical intervention. And I want to be young enough to enjoy my grandbabies. I’m not getting any younger either, you know.”

God, sometimes she swore her mother had gotten stuck in the fifties.

Don’t forget to visit the other Snippet Saturday participants:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Lissa Matthews
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Louisa Edwards
TJ Michaels

Snippet Saturday: Family