Where There's Hope(107)

By: Marianne Rice

“We’ve met.”

“Doubtful.” Alexis handed Grace a champagne glass. “You haven’t been back since Lily moved here. She owns the Sea Salt Spa. It’s heavenly. Knowing you, you’ll be there a lot. Lily, she’ll be your best customer.”

“Wonderful.” Lily set her glass down and picked up her coat. “I need to go. There’s...work. I...bye, ladies.” She hurried past them, leaving without her usual hugs all around.

“I hope she’s okay.” Hope wanted to follow her, but knew Lily liked her privacy. She’d check up on her in the morning.

Her cell phone chimed and she dug it out of her pocket, smiling when a picture of Cameron popped up.

Delaney’s spending the night at McKenna’s. House to ourselves. Hurry home. Now that I’m married, I’ve lost all my patience.

Hope snorted and typed a quick reply:

I’ve been drinking champagne. Mia is DD. I have to wait for her to bring me.

She waited for his response. When he didn’t reply, she tossed her phone into her purse and pretended to be engaged in the group conversation, which once again wasn’t about books. Mia had asked Grace about Europe while Alexis sat close by, seemingly intrigued by the conversation, but Hope knew from their girls’ nights out that she always felt like a number two when Grace was around.

At least she had Ben and Sophie. Jenna was engrossed asking questions about the museums and sculptures while Mia asked about the men. Typical.

Hope finished her glass of champagne, wishing she were cuddled with Cameron when the bell above the door chimed. She looked up and smiled wide as her husband walked through the door.

“You guys aren’t fighting, are you? Or are you here to write another chapter?” Mia rolled her eyes and kicked her feet up on the coffee table.

“Ladies.” Cameron tilted his head to the group. “I hate to steal my wife, but she’s needed at home.”

“Is Delaney okay?” Alexis asked.

“She’s at a friend’s.” Cameron’s eyes twinkled, and the group groaned.

“Get a room!” they hollered.

“That’s the plan.” He picked up Hope’s coat and held it out for her. “Have a lovely evening.”

“Who’s that?” Hope heard Grace ask.

“The latest book boyfriend come to life.”



Writing is a solo job. It can be hard to get motivated to write. My sprint girls, however, have given me so much inspiration and motivation to get the words down. Thank you to Natalina Reis, Alisha Vincent, and Sara Schoen for being my go-to girls. Whenever I need a boost, you’ve totally got my back.

Designing covers isn’t my specialty either which is why I’m extremely grateful for JM Walker at Just Write Creations. Seriously. I write you a narrative of what I think I like, what I sort of like, what I don’t like, and what I might want for a cover, and you patiently worked on countless drafts with me until we got it right. I absolutely love what you created for Where There’s Hope.

So we have a book and we have a cover, but some of the words and grammar and punctuation end up being a mess. Thank you to Silla Webb for her amazing editing skills. You helped turn some of my nonsense into a beautiful story.

And what would a book be without readers? To my Ricecakes, you ladies are invaluable. I appreciate you all so very, very much. Your encouragement, kind words, and dedication truly mean the world to me.

Of course, there’d be no book without the love and support of my family. Thank you for accepting and not questioning my need to retreat to write. I love you dearly. Without you, none of this would be possible.