Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer

Title: What We Do For Love
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Publication Date: May 21st 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Thirty-eight year old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. Instead, the single mother focuses on the things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year old son Justin, her friends, and her art.

When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a piece of her work, a large-scale installation, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner.

Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to live with them. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house, because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child. Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and, in so doing, is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family—a frightening world of deceit and violence.

Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.
What We Do for Love won the Chick Lit category of the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction!

After several days, Daniela’s parents have still not returned Nicole’s calls. Irate, she decides to make a surprise visit to their home at 9:00 on a Saturday morning.
I stared at the house. The word “ugly” applied, and yet seemed inadequate to the task of describing this house, puny in the face of the pure dread that it inspired in me. Not just dread, but fear, claustrophobia, and an intense need to be somewhere else.

The walls were a bubble-gum pink stucco, the heavily-textured kind that would cause abrasions if you brushed against it. A bunker-like building, essentially a giant shoe box, it had only a few small windows and a small door, trimmed in white. Even worse was the yard, which consisted of white-painted gravel that covered every available surface, from the base of the house to the curb, uninterrupted by anything green. The gravel, along with the darkened windows and a few dead bushes that clung to the house’s perimeter, all gave the impression that nothing living existed within twenty-five feet of this place, inside or out.

Nothing living, and yet the house itself almost shimmered with a strange life force. The giant pink shoe box seemed to hunker down, malevolent, squinting at me with its little window eyes, checking me out.

The hair on my arms rose. What had I thought to accomplish coming here alone? I should have waited for Mike to come home. A black belt in kung fu, aikido, and tae kwondo, he’d be handy to have beside me right now.

I wanted to be in a normal place, where I felt safe, surrounded by people I loved and trusted.

There were no cars parked curbside in front of the house or in the driveway. Where could these people be so early on a Saturday? Did I care? No. In fact, relief flooded me.

No one was home. I would have to leave. Immediately.

I pulled my car forward and completed a U turn just in time to see a black sedan weaving in my direction. I pulled over as far to the right as I could and parked across the street, as if I were visiting neighbors and not the Harrises. I pulled out my phone and busily pretended to text someone.

The black car hit the curb, went over it, then pulled crookedly into the Harrises’ driveway, coming to a rest an awkward twenty-five degrees off of normal. Hands trembling, I slid lower in my seat, feigning total absorption in my phone.

The driver’s door opened and a man half-fell into the driveway. Although his face was turned away, I caught a glimpse of dark-blond curls. He regained his footing, then fell again, sprawling into the gravel and swearing as he scraped his hands and knees. After a moment, he stood and, holding onto the car for stability, proceeded along its side.

With careful, wobbly steps, the man was trying to traverse the empty space between his car and the front door. He eventually made it and spent some time fishing for his key and fitting it into the door lock. He disappeared inside.

My jaw clenched as I tried to think of some reason why this man, totally polluted at nine in the morning, wasn’t who I thought he was, why he wasn’t Daniela’s father.

I couldn’t. He had a key to her house. But still… innocent until proven guilty, I told myself.

I started my car up and sped away. But as I passed the black sedan, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye— a bumper sticker. I slowed down a little and squinted. My stomach sinking, I realized I had seen it before—many times. In fact, I had an identical sticker on my back bumper.

It read: My kid is an honors student at Laurelmont High.

Hi! I grew up in the desert around Phoenix, Arizona, where I had a bay quarter horse named Dolly. If I wasn't riding, I was holed up somewhere reading Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Oz books or, later on, Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath. Horses eventually faded as an interest, but I ended up with a lifelong love of books and reading.

After college and eight years of living in cold places like Chicago and New York, I escaped back to the land of sunshine. I now live in California, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, with my dachshund Taco. I have worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, doing adoptions and guardianships for abandoned children.

As a writer, I'd always been interested in children's books, since they had meant so much to me as a kid. I've found I especially like writing books about teens and twenty-somethings, an age where you make so many decisions about who you are and how you want to spend your life.

I love hearing from readers, so please write to me any time at my website.

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