UPDATE: AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!
I like books where nothing happens.
I know, I can feel you rolling your eyes and thinking, “What on earth is she on about now? And where is that Acosta book she’s been promising forever?” But stay with me … Though I am as much a fan of books where there’s lots of action and surprises I especially love books (and movies) where there is the slow evolution of characters as they realize something about themselves, their lives and their relationships. That happens sometimes in the middle of a crisis, but sometimes it happens in slow stages, as they’re going about living their daily lives. Something small may happen to trigger big changes.
So recently, after reading a few books like that, I decided to write one. And I have to give credit where it’s due–this book happened because of women I know, because of experiences in my own life and in no small part because I read a book called. ‘The Reeducation of Aria Jackson’ by Angelia Vernon Menchan, and another called ‘A Natural Woman’ by Lori Johnson, and also because of something Aja Graves said in passing which she now tells me she has no recollection of.
I mention these inspirations because it’s not often that you know from whence you’re stealing your ideas as a writer, so when on the odd occasion I have that level of self-awareness, I like to holler it out. Anyways, ‘Ivy’s League’ is a mashup of ideas from all those people. It’s a book about a woman not unlike most of the women I know, and about a man, not unlike some of the men I know. And its about their slow coming together. Other than that, not much of anything happens. But I had fun writing it, and hope you’ll have fun reading it.
‘Ivy’s League’ will be on Amazon on Monday, September 21st and on Barnes & Noble shortly thereafter.
And yes, Miri Acosta and her education are still on the way. Soon.
About ‘Ivy’s League’
By any measure, she is a success. By any measure that is, except her own.
Ivy Livingstone has entrée into Washington DC’s political elite, lives in an exclusive neighborhood and sends her son to a sought-after private school. But her beautiful life is a gilded cage. She is independent, but alone. And unfortunately, very few men are confident enough to believe they are in Ivy’s league.
Eli Thomason has all the confidence in the world, except when it comes to his own judgment about women. And his attraction to Ivy Livingstone proves him right. She is everything he shouldn’t want: a woman above his station and beyond his means. He overreached once before and still lives with the heartbreaking consequences, so why does he find it so difficult to leave Ivy alone?
And if their own baggage isn’t enough, Ivy and Eli have to contend with that of everyone around them, hell-bent on confirming their worst fear: that the bond they’re beginning to build can’t possibly last.
From Ivy’s League:
“What’s going on, girl? You all alone finally?” Ryann answered her phone without greeting.
“Yup. Gavin and Jaden just left. Now I’m bored.”
“Call up your little Toolbelt Stud and tell him to come over,” Ryann laughed. “You don’t know when you might get another chance, since Gavin is only a seasonal father.”
“I’m sorry I mentioned him to you at all,” Ivy said, though she had been thinking along the same lines herself.
“Why? First time in months I heard you talk about a man!”
“Because now you’re going to pressure me to do something you know I’m not comfortable doing.”
“Look, the worst has already happened,” Ryann argued. “Your goofy ass fell out and showed your literal ass, so it can only get better from here.”
Ivy laughed and idly reached down, yanking up the leg of her sweats and running her fingertips over the scrape on her knee. “So you think I should just call him and … what? Ask him out on a date?”
“Why not? It’s the twenty-first century, Ivy. Women who wait around for a man to make the first move wind up … waiting around.”
“I don’t know,” Ivy said. “What if he has a girlfriend?”
“Then hopefully he’ll say so from jump and you won’t almost get cut up by some pissed-off chick from Southeast showing up in your driveway at two in the morning looking for her man.”
“You scare me sometimes, you know that? That sounded way too detailed to be made up on the spur of the moment.”
“Who said it was made up? I didn’t ever tell you about …. Oh crap. I have to go, girl. I see one of my targets walking through the lobby. Let me go see if I can talk to him. He should be good for at least two hundred grand for the Foundation.”
“Okay, I’ll call you later.”
“Don’t,” Ryann said. “Don’t call me until and unless you’ve called that man first. And you better have a good story to tell too, or I’ll hang up on you.” And then she did just that.
Ivy walked through kitchen, picking up the remains of her and Jaden’s early breakfast, dumping leftover food in the trash and the dishes in the sink. Looking around her, she admired her kitchen.
Large and sunny, the surfaces were all white granite, the cabinets, dark oak. She had paid a pretty penny to have it renovated when she moved in, proud of the accomplishment of buying her first home, and filled with a bursting sense of endless possibilities. She would entertain; friends would sit around the center island with long-stemmed glasses filled with the best chardonnay. She would serve goat cheese and Scottish smoked salmon on rosemary and basil crostini, and they would all have clever conversation about the Obama Administration.
But once she and Jaden had moved in, Ivy grew weary of the constant din of construction, and more than that, wary of the numbers being quoted to her by unscrupulous contractors for whom a single woman of means was like blood in the water to man-eating sharks.
She had gotten as far as the kitchen but still had the basement to go, and there was a stubborn recurring clog in her guest bathroom that made her have to steer overnight guests to her master bath instead. It hadn’t been a huge problem thus far because overnight guests were rare. Only her mother, her Aunt Gwen, and Ryann when she had too many glasses of pinot, ever needed to spend the night. One day, though, Ivy would have to get that bathroom fixed.
One day. Or ….
Ivy paused, leaning over her sink and biting into her lower lip.
It was what Ryann would call a “bitch-move”—calling Eli up and telling him she needed some work on her house just so she could see him again. But the fact of the matter was, she did need some work done on her house and the chance of him actually cheating her on the price was slim-to-none since they kind of knew each other. And he probably went to Woodmore Church and was in the Men’s Auxiliary or something. Guys like that didn’t cheat single mothers out of their hard-earned money did they?
Finding her purse, Ivy fished out the business card he’d handed her just before they parted. The card was simple and tasteful, with none of those superlatives (fast, excellent service!) that made her instantly suspicious. Instead it consisted of just six words, and a phone number in a simple, unadorned script.
Thomason Home Improvements
Repairs. Remodels. Restoration.
The card stock was expensive and dense though, so Eli Thomason clearly recognized that the simplicity of the words had to be offset by a subtle nod to quality of workmanship. She smiled, liking him more by the second.
At the school, even though she had a mission to get Jaden’s birthday stuff down to the Café and get to work, she had been almost excruciatingly aware of him walking just behind her, except for when he held the doors open for her—or standing just over her shoulder. It was ridiculous, but he just felt … solid. A strong reassuring presence that a woman could lean into, bury her face into his chest and just … cry.
Ivy shook her head. What a ridiculous thought! Why would she need to cry?
Her life was good. People probably envied her. She had a four-bedroom house in one of the best neighborhoods in the Washington DC suburbs, where the value of real estate only ever increased; her son was handsome and healthy and well taken care of; she had friends (a few anyway) and a career that gave her the chance to influence causes she cared deeply about. And on her best days, she felt pretty, didn’t carry an extra ounce of weight, was in good health and fairly young. Why on earth would she need to cry?
Shoving the question out of her mind, and pushing even further down the possible answers to the question, Ivy reached for the phone. She hadn’t given Eli her number because he didn’t ask, so there was a good chance he might not answer. Hesitating, she dialed the number but did not hit the ‘send’ button.