Q: Sunny, how do you like living in Pine Grove, instead of tony Greenwich, Ct?
Q: I understand you are planning to turn the spare room in the cabin into a nursery?
Sunny: “Who told you that? *looks directly at Mike with angry expression*
Mike: “What’s the big secret, Sunny? *shrugs his shoulders*
Q: So are you two planning to have a baby? Are you already pregnant?
S: “That’s pretty private…a very personal question.” *blushing*
M: “Trying is half the fun *snickers*…more than half the fun! *laughs*.”
S: “Mike!” *punches him in the arm*
Q: Whatever happened to Gavin? I understand he was interested in you, too, Sunny.
M: “I got rid of him, but it wasn’t easy.”
M: “I got him together with another woman, April. She came to visit, recover from an accident, actually. Gavin, hound that he is, was on her case in about three seconds.”
S: “That’s true. Mike brought them together, sort of. But Gavin doesn’t need anyone to do anything for him in the women department…”
M: “What does that mean?” *turns to look at her, scowling*
S: *blushing* “I just mean…well you know, he’s very attractive…women flock to Gavin.”
M: “Yeah, I know, but not you, right?”
S: “Of course not me. I have you *kisses him on the cheek*.”
M: “Gavin has his own story, being written as we speak. It’s called April in the Moonlight.”
S: “Yes, Jean couldn’t leave him by himself…too hunky. So he and April are trying to work things out between them.”
M: “I’ll be glad when he’s settled in with his own lady.”
Q: What about the boys in the band, Electricity?
M: “We’ve tried to fix them up, but they are hard core.”
Q: What do you mean?
S: “He means it hard to find a lady for such crazy guys. They aren’t hunky and sometimes they are disrespectful. Al…Al is a big problem. Al doesn’t talk to women.”
Q: Why is that?
M: “Al is an idiot, that’s why! He doesn’t know how to talk to women and always says something stupid or insulting by accident and ticks her off.”
S: “But he spoke to April.”
M:”Let’s see if he keeps that up.”
Q: What about the other band members?
S: “I don’t know. Doobie seems lonelier than Jack, but there aren’t many women who could put up with those two guys…set in their ways.”
M: “I haven’t given up on them yet. I’m still looking. If they have their own ladies, they can stop drooling over Sunny.”
S: “Mike! *hits him in the arm again* He’s not really as jealous as he seems.”
M: “Yes, I am”
BLURB FOR SUNNY DAYS, MOONLIT NIGHTS
Caroline Davis White is a well-known artist married to a philandering multi-millionaire. She has everything any woman could wish for except love. Brad refuses to give her the divorce she so desperately wants. With no money, family, or friends, she flees to the small community in Catskill Mountains where she spent her summers as a child.
Mike Foster, Caroline’s childhood crush grown up, achieved success and made more money than he could ever have dreamed, but it destroyed his marriage and cost him his son. He is wary of women who find his wallet more attractive than his good looks.
Caroline reconnects with the life she had and friends from long ago. Mike steps out of her teenage dreams into her life again, looking more handsome and tempting than ever. She knew who he was then…but who is he now?
BARNES AND NOBLE
“You’re running away, Miss?” Harry, the butler, asked her.
“Yes, I am. I’ve had enough. Thank you for all your kindness
over the past five years. You helped to make unbearable times
better,” she said, warmly, shaking his hand.
Harry, a non-descript, plump, fifty-year-old man blushed,
putting color in his sallow cheeks.
“Don’t know what’s wrong with Mr. White. When he has you
here, why would he…? Well, it’s not for me to understand, I guess.
But I wouldn’t be doin’ that if I were him.”
She was grateful for his sweetness, but it was time to get
started. She had a long trip ahead. Caroline Davis White dashed
into the sunroom to grab her sketchpad and her fawn pug when the
“It’s Stanton Cauley, Mrs. White,” Harry said, returning to
Caroline went to greet her visitor, a tall, slim, attractive man
with gray hair, dressed in casual pants and a button down shirt.
“Stan, nice to see you, but I was just going out. Is there a
problem with the collection?” she asked, smoothing down her long
“No, no, Caroline. My people have packed up your paintings
now that the show is over, and I wanted to deliver them to you
“That’s nice of you, but unnecessary,” she said, looking at her
“You’re looking ravishing as ever,” he said, his eyes roving
over her body, focusing too long on her cleavage, unconsciously
licking his lips before raising his eyes to hers.
“I’d love to invite you for coffee, Stan, but as I said, I’m on
my way out…” Caroline said, uneasy under his stare. She backed
away from him, crossing her arms over her chest defensively.
“Always working, Caroline, you’re such a gifted artist, but
even a driven one takes time off to…ah…play once in a while,” he
“Yes, well, today is not the day for that, I’m afraid,” she said,
moving toward the front door, hoping he would follow her.
“Come on, Caroline. Let’s stop beating around the bush. You
know why I’m here.”
“Honestly, Stan, I don’t have a clue. But whatever it is will
have to wait.”
“But love can’t wait.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t pretend, Caroline. You know I want to have an affair
with you. I’ve wanted it for a long time. Brad has his…other life…so
why shouldn’t you have yours?”
Caroline’s face flushed with anger and embarrassment.
“What happens between Brad and me is none of your
business. I’m married, Stan, and even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be
interested in sleeping with you. Never have been, never will be. I
suggest you leave.”
“Come, come, don’t be like that. I can show you a good time,
believe me. We can sail away for the weekend together on my yacht.
I’ll treat you well, just say the word.”
“No way. If Brad knew you were coming here with this…this
“But he does know. He thought if you had some diversion of
your own, you wouldn’t mind so much if he had his,” Stan said,
stepping closer and reaching for her hand.
Caroline moved back away from him.
“Come. Don’t be childish. You know you want this,” he said,
advancing toward her.
Anger from the past two years of pain and humiliation
pooled in her chest. Stan Cauley’s proposition was the last straw.
“Get out, Stan. Get out. You’re disgusting. Leave. Now! Get
out!” she screamed, her voice escalating in intensity.
She picked up an umbrella from the stand and threatened
him with it. His face turned purple with outrage and when Harry opened
the front door, Stan stormed out. Caroline put down the umbrella and took several deep breaths to calm herself. She blinked back tears.
“That’s the way, Miss,” Harry said, shutting the door quickly.
“Harry, did you get the paintings unloaded before you
escorted him out?”
“Of course,” he said, smiling.
Caroline sank down in a soft chair in the foyer. Trixie came
and sprawled out at her feet. Harry brought her a cup of coffee. The
foyer of the Riordan twenty-room house in Greenwich, Connecticut,
one of the richest towns in the country, was grand. Great art hung
on the walls, the floor was pink marble and the room was painted a
The foyer was elegant like all the rooms in this house.
Bradley Riordan White lived in the section of town zoned for fouracre
estates, a cut above the area zoned for a paltry two acres.
Caroline paused. She thought about how great life could have
been in this amazing home with an art studio and a greenhouse.
Life could have been wonderful with the right man. Instead, this
house had become world’s classiest prison with Caroline as the only
She had been planning to leave Brad for the past three
months. Her suitcases were packed, but the time never seemed
right. After Stan’s visit, if she had any thoughts about staying, they
were gone. Her relationship with Brad had deteriorated beyond
repair and she had to leave…immediately before she had to face
another degrading situation like the one with Stan. She finished her
coffee and called for Harry.
“Would you please help me load up my car?”
“Right away, Miss,” he said.
Caroline led him into her bedroom to get two suitcases and
several small oil paintings.
“Harry…don’t put the luggage and things in the Bentley,” she
“You’re not taking the Bentley?” he asked, raising his
eyebrows in surprise.
“No. Put everything in the Mazda, in the trunk. I don’t want
anything showing in the back seat,” she said, ready to be rid of the
trappings of wealth.
“Yes, Miss,” he said, picking up the two heavy suitcases.
He carried the luggage and artwork out to her car and loaded
it expertly into the trunk, fitting all the luggage, paintings and
sketches together snugly so nothing would get damaged.
“A long trip, Miss?” he asked her.
“Yes, Harry. A long, private trip. You’re not to tell anyone,”
“What should I say if Mr. White asks me where you’ve gone?”
“Tell him you don’t know. Because you won’t know.”
Harry packed up Trixie’s things and put on the dog’s harness
and fastened her safely in the car while Caroline paused again to
take one last look at the magnificent house, her home for the past
five years, a two-story structure of wood painted white with dark
blue shutters. The long, graceful circular driveway was paved with
gravel and the three acres of rich, green lawn behind the house
seemed to stretch to the next town. The grass was clipped to
perfection, thanks to a team of gardeners. The azaleas in the front of
the house, under the large windows of the living room were
blooming in pink and white. May was the most beautiful time of the
She thought for a moment about the fabulous parties they
threw there, especially the ones introducing her art shows. Brad
urged her to expand her art subjects, and he became her biggest
promoter. He threw elaborate parties to introduce his rich friends
to Caroline’s art. His money and influence got her work shown in
the toniest galleries in New York City and Connecticut. She became
a celebrity in the art world.
Brad saw her as his creation and took credit for her success.
Caroline, a shy twenty-eight-year-old woman when they married,
was uneasy in the spotlight but she kept painting and doing what
Brad directed in an effort to make him happy. She was born to
please but try as she might, she didn’t seem able to please Brad into
being faithful to her.
She felt sad to leave. This would be the first failed marriage
in the White family for one hundred years. Remaining married was
an important tradition for The Whites. They had all lived,
reproduced and prospered in this house, even the staff had been
there before Caroline arrived. Her day-to-day existence with plenty
of household help had been one of great comfort as well as her own
Caroline knew where she was going would not be nearly as
lavish, but still she had to leave. After a few years of a decent
marriage, Brad had cheated on her. In the last two years, the
cheating had become so blatant Caroline could barely endure it. Yet
when confronted, Brad told her he had been faithful to her for four
years, counting the year of their engagement, the longest he had
ever been faithful to anyone; she should be flattered and take this in
Gradually, the hurt and humiliation from his cheating
eroded her affection for him, which had never been overwhelming
to begin with. Her mother, Linda, wanted her to marry rich so she
would be well taken care of and not have to struggle, like the Davis’
did, so when Brad proposed, she did what her mother wanted and
Unbeknown to Caroline, Linda had been terminally ill when
Brad proposed. She worried about who would take care of her
daughter after she was gone. It never dawned on her Caroline could
take care of herself. They were married the next year and the year
after that, Linda died, content in the knowledge that her daughter
would be well provided for.
Now at thirty-three, Caroline was ready to shed the skin she
wore for her mother and strike out on her own.
“Will I see you again, Miss?” Harry asked as he closed the
door on the Mazda for her.
“I don’t know,” she said.
“Then I wish you well. Been a pleasure drivin’ you and all,”
he said, bowing, his limp brown hair falling in his eyes.
“Thank you,” she said, starting the engine and putting the car
Caroline was on the highway before long, heading toward
upstate New York, driving to The Birches, a co-op community of
summer cabins located on twenty-five acres of land in Pine Grove.
It was a tiny town about thirty miles south of Willow Falls. Her
mother and father owned a cabin there and Caroline spent her
summers in the community when she was growing up.
Linda Davis and other teachers escaped to The Birches for its
cooler weather in the summer, leaving behind the hot, stifling, and
Caroline inherited the cabin from her mother when Linda died and along with it, just enough money to continue paying the maintenance on the property that was run as a cooperative for several more years. Brad knew nothing about this place and although Caroline had not been there in ten years, she had fond memories of her summers, playing with friends,
swimming in Cedar Lake, drawing and painting.
Mid-May was early in the season; Caroline didn’t expect
anyone else to be there. She wouldn’t mind being alone. When she
pulled into the parking lot, she was right, hers was the only car
there. She got out and unfastened Trixie, who immediately jumped
out of the car and raced around in the thick grass, snorting and
“Come on, girl,” Caroline called as she walked down to the
The paint on the outside was peeling signaling the cabin
probably was in disrepair. The once carefully tended shrubs were
overgrown and unruly, like her hair in the morning when her
mother had tried to comb it. Her favorite pine tree for climbing had
been trimmed severely so the low-hanging branch she used to start
her climb had been cut off.
Caroline had a moment of panic when she realized she had
not considered the cabin might be uninhabitable. If so, she had no
place to live because she would not go back to Brad, no matter what.
Trixie followed her down the hill to cabin number fifteen,
her lucky number. She stopped to reach under the front step for the
key always left hanging there. It was still there! She stepped up on
the deck, carefully walking around two holes where rotting boards
had broken through.
She opened the screen door, then worked the old key into the lock on the wooden door and twisted. The door swung open and while she hesitated a moment, Trixie pushed ahead, trotting into the cabin, sniffing.
“Okay, I know you’re braver than I am, Trixie,” she said,
following the dog inside.
Stale, damp, musty air greeted Caroline, the same smell that
was always there after the cabin had been closed up for the winter.
She walked in, leaving the inner door open to air the place out and
looked around. The bungalow had not changed at all since she had
last been there. The faded red sofa and the mismatched plaid chairs
were still in the living room. The fine wood coffee table had a thick
layer of dust on it. She walked into the kitchen that also served as a
dining room. The big oak table was still there but there were only
four chairs instead of six. She turned on the sink and found the
water was still working.
Next she tried the lights, which also worked. Her old bedroom was off the kitchen and her parent’s room was off the living room. She went into her room and immediately felt transported back to when she was thirteen.
On the wall were her sketches and watercolors. One caught her eye right away. It was her favorite, a sketch of Mickey Foster, the eighteen-year-old boy she had a crush on when she was thirteen. Mickey was her protector when he was there. But she never saw him again after he went off to college. She touched the pencil sketch tracing his profile,
remembering how handsome and brave he was.
Caroline thought about the last time he “saved” her: when a
stranger trespassing on the community’s property approached her,
Mickey came to her rescue. The man told her he had a puppy that
needed help and would she come to his car to see it. Caroline had
been both afraid and curious, she backed away from him, but he
kept on creeping closer to her. Mickey showed up before the man
could touch her and told him he was her brother. The man left and
Mickey called the police. Who knows what would have happened if
Mickey had not been there. But he was always there bailing her out
of trouble, and she was grateful.
She went into her parents’ bedroom. Her father’s artwork
was all over the walls. He did many sketches of their friends in the
community and wild animals and birds in watercolors and oils plus
local landscapes. He was a talented artist who had never gotten the
recognition he deserved. He became an art teacher and a salesman
trying to support his family in style, but he never made much
money and died in a bus accident on the way to the cabin when she
Caroline missed him, his sense of fun, his guidance and
watching him paint. She learned much from her dad about
technique like light and shadow, how to pick a good landscape to
paint and mixing colors. He had been her hero.
She felt guilty she had so much more fame than her father
had, even though she considered him the better artist. But she knew
he would have been proud of her and admired her success.
Trixie barked at the screen door to go out and brought Caroline back to reality. She and the pug went to the car. She lugged each heavy
suitcase down to the cabin. Then it was time to clean.
She put music in the old CD player in the living room,
singing along while she dusted, swept, cleaned the kitchen and
changed the linens. The little cabin brightened up under her labor;
singing the old familiar tunes she used to sing with her mother
brought happiness to the old place once again. She had not sung
much in years and was happy she could still sing on key.
As she was taking out garbage, she spied a man on the
grounds. He was driving a small tractor down near the lake. It was a
relief to find she wasn’t totally alone; there was a maintenance man
Before grocery shopping, it was time to scrub the grime of
the old cabin off her body. She got in the shower and when she
twisted the hot water spigot to adjust it, it came off in her hand.
Scalding hot water shot across the shower, trapping Caroline
against the wall.
She opened the bathroom window, saw the figure
of a man walking toward the Baron’s cabin across the way and
screamed for help. She saw him stop and turn. She called out again,
and he came toward her cabin. A minute later, he entered the
bathroom where she was naked and confined by the hot water.
“Towel!” she hollered, covering herself as best she could with
her hands and arms. After studying her body briefly, he looked
away then threw her a towel, went over to the water controls and
turned off the hot and cold water. Caroline covered herself with the
skimpy towel and stared at the man.
He was in his thirties, handsome with dark brown hair, light brown eyes, a slightly square jaw, one day’s growth of beard and over six feet tall with a slim, strong build.
“You need a new spigot. There might be one in the shed good
enough to hold for today, but tomorrow you should stop by the
hardware store and pick up a new one,” he told her.
There was something about his voice, something she
recognized. Caroline stared at his face, peering into his eyes…those
eyes seemed familiar. She gasped.
“Mickey, is that you?”