Ah, the life of an author! Glamorous, exciting, esteem-building!
Never was this more to clear to me than when my husband Kevin donated two of my books to a silent auction that was being held by a local charity. I am fine with this–until he tells me we have to attend. I imagine a blank bid sheet next to my two lonely books and my utter mortification when they announce at the end of the live auction that there were no bidders for Denise Hunter’s books, so would the author please pick them up at the desk? It’s for a good cause. This is my mantra for the night, and it’s going to be okay, because only my husband and one person on the charity board know who I am.
We walk into the lobby and–woohoo!–no name tags. I am so in the clear. Kevin and I peruse the numerous silent auction items. We come to the end, and I can’t believe my luck. My books aren’t even here. I breathe a sigh of relief.
When the silent auction closes, we head into the ballroom for the live auction. Kevin has donated a large gift certificate from his home improvement company that will be given away. I am just the wife of a local businessman now. I smile. I am so in my comfort zone. The real-live auctioneer begins the auction.
That’s when I see them. My books. On the live auction table. I envision my babies being offered up to this large crowd of strangers while the auctioneer slowly lowers the starting bid to twenty cents. (Hey, they can sell them on e-bay when they get home.) I grab Kevin’s arm, pointing to my books, and I’m pretty sure there is crazed desperation in my eyes. He snickers. I mentally whack him upside the head then whisper that he is so dead if he in any way identifies me as the author. It’s for a good cause, it’s for a good cause. They will be twenty cents richer because of me.
The bathroom. I can go to the bathroom. I can get suddenly ill–I’m halfway there already.
“Denise Hunter! Stand up!” the auctioneer calls. Did I mention he has a microphone?
I force my trembling legs to support my weight. I stretch my lips across my face and hope it looks like a smile. The auctioneer is saying something about my autographed books. He starts the bidding, and I sink back into my chair. I pretend I’m an ostrich and close my eyes. It doesn’t work. Someone bids! Oh, praise the Lord, I will kiss her feet at the end of this torture. Some one else bids. Yes, they are pity-bids. I know this, but at least they won’t call me up to retrieve my orphaned books. The auctioneer keeps going. Enough already!
The bidding drags like a woman on sedatives. I begin to envy my smilie-woman.
And then, the bidding closes–at thirty dollars! Oh, thank the dear Lord for pity-bids! But wait. The auctioneer realizes the two books are the same. The bidder doesn’t want two copies of the same book. We must auction the second one off as well. Keeping my lips stretched, I turn slightly toward my husband and alter my eyes so that he will recognize that I have come unhinged. He covers his mouth with his hand. I want to hurt him.
The auctioneer mercifully opens the bidding where the last bidder dropped off. “Do I hear twenty-five (then a bunch of auctioneer mumbo-jumbo)” It’s quiet. I want to die. Then a woman raises her paddle. I think she’s on the charity board, but I don’t care. Sold, to the lady with the big heart.
So there you have it. My glamorous life as an author–not. But even though it’s not as exciting and—ahem—esteem-building as some think. I am learning a lot. That night I learned to steal all my books from Kevin’s office. But even as humiliating as the auction was, I did live to tell about it. And it was for a good cause.
When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down. Both are eager to put their marriage behind them and move on with their lives. But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade.
Old wounds surface and tempers flare—along with the chemistry that drew them together in the first place. Will Noah and Josephine find the courage to face the past and possibly discover a love deeper than they ever knew?