Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
—old fortune-telling nursery rhyme, 1838
Roud Folksong Index, #19526
Tuesday’s Child is a romance but it’s also a bit of a thriller and a mystery. It’s a return to a town which was the setting for my novel, Jericho Road, a story set in the South in the Vietnam era. It’s now forty years later, and Temple, Georgia, is still filled with scandals…some of them surprisingly unknown to the inhabitants.
Grace McAllister has neither seen nor heard from her father since her mother left him twenty years before. Now, Benjamin Troup McAllister is dead and Grace is invited to return to Temple for the reading of his will. She’s in for more than the culture shock of a small Southern town, however, for not only does she inherit nothing, but her father’s will also denies his paternity. Grace now finds herself completely alone. Her only ally is Mayfield Donovan, whom she’d never considered a friend at all.
As a child, May was the bully who made Grace’s life a living Hell. He knocked her down, skinned her knees, took her for a bike ride and abanDoned her to walk home alone. As a man, he’s done an about-face. Tall, handsome, and apparently eager to help ease Grace’s pain—in any way possible—he’s there for her and ready to do whatever it takes to help her discover who her father really is.
As they sift through the facts of her mother’s life and the men who loved her, they uncover a tale of revenge, deception, and murder, and discover a truth neither wants to believe or accept. What they find will also shake the foundation of their newly-discovered love, for the prospective fathers are narrowed to two men, and one of them is also May’s father…
“Celebrating, are we?” The question, asked in that jovial tone, made me glare at the speaker. It was May, looking so bright and happy, I wanted to deck him. I remembered that thought I’d had about him upon my arrival. You know who your father is. I shouldn’t hold that against him but sudden rage buried my previous decision to let bygones be bygones.
“Not especially,” I managed to grate out, not daring to speak louder. If I did, I just might say something I’d regret. Though I intended to get drunk, I hadn’t accomplished that fact, so far. Not being much of a drinker to start with, I’d ordered my usual alcoholic fare—a Tom Collins—and proceeded to guzzle it and order a second. The bartender hadn’t blinked an eye at someone drinking at that time of morning, but either he deliberately made them weak or a Collins wasn’t that strong to start with, for so far, I barely had a buzz.
I went back to my drinking.
“So? How’d it go?” May tried again. “Am I talking to an heiress now, or what?”
“More of a what.” This time I didn’t look at him, just pulled the little plastic sword out of my drink and attacked the slice of orange skewered on it, pulling it off the tiny blade with my teeth. I chewed, swallowed, and dropped the sword on the table. Suddenly, I fell all the energy flow out of me, as if I’d been punctured. With it went my unreasonable anger at May.
“Isn’t it a little early in the day for that?” He nodded toward the empty frosted glass.
“As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t early enough,” I answered. I picked up the second glass and tilted it, slurping out the last of the gin and lemon juice. I held up the glass. “You know, they used to call this gin and sparkling lemonade. They should just leave out the lemonade and put in more gin. Hey!” I looked toward the bar, waving the glass and gesturing. The bartender nodded and reached for an empty Collins glass.
“Gracie, what the hell happened out there?” May pulled out the other chair, falling into it. He took the glass from me and set it down, then caught both my hands in his, leaning toward me. To anyone seeing us, we probably looked like lovers huddled together, whispering sweet nothings.
My nothings were anything but sweet.
“Oh, May…” It came out in a gush of tears and anger, and he just sat there, listening. He didn’t speak at all until I’d finished, and was crying silently. Then, he reached into a pocket and produced a handkerchief, offering it.
“My God! I knew Benjamin Troup was a son of a bitch,” he said as I blotted and honked. “But I didn’t realize he’d stoop that low. Gracie, I’m sorry.”
“Not as sorry as I am,” I snorted once more into the handkerchief, then folded it carefully. “Do you want this back?”
“Keep it until you’re sure you don’t need it.” He said it almost absently.
So he expected me to cry some more? A river, maybe? That wouldn’t work. People cried rivers over other people. People they loved. The bartender brought my fresh drink, setting it down and removing the other glasses without commenting on my current emotional state. I picked it up and took a long swig.
“Do you really need that?”
I was dismayed by the concern and disapproval in his voice.
“Maybe not, but I want it. I want to forget today completely. When I wake up in the morning, I want to know this specific date in time never existed.” I raised the glass higher, gulping. “The Lost Weekday…Wednesday.”
“Keep that up and Wednesday won’t be the only thing missing.” He caught my hand, forcing the glass to the table. The next instant, he was up and reaching for me. “Come on.”
“Wh-where are we going?”
He almost lifted me from my chair. As I jerked around to look at him, I felt dizzy. Briefly, my head seemed to spin. I blinked and caught at the back of the chair to steady myself.
“Away from here.” Arm around my waist, he steered me toward the door. “If you’re going to drink yourself pie-eyed, at least go somewhere not so public.”
“…can’t drive…” I protested.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there to make sure you get home safely.”
“In that case…” I leaned against him and caught his free hand. Suddenly, my legs felt very lax and wobbly. “I may need just a teensy bit of help getting to wherever we’re going.”
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://classactbooks.com/cat-romance/cat-contemporary/tuesday-s-child-pod-print-detail
Icy Snow Blackstone is the pseudonym of Toni V.Sweeney. Under that pen name, she is also the author of Jericho Road, Bargain with Lucifer, Brother Devil, and Gypsy Charm, romances all set in the South, as well as the paranormal romance The Irish Lady’s Spanish Lover.
POSTED FOR TONI SWEENEY AND FROM TONI ENJOY YOUR FRIDAY!!