Every Big & Little Wish by E.C. Moore
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: October 20th 2015
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
SYNOPSIS: E.C. Moore’s young adult novel, Every Big and Little Wish, opens in late spring 1970. Sixteen-year-old Jacy Wilbert’s Mom got promoted, so her parents sold their Victorian home in California and moved to a townhouse in Oregon.
Torn away from the only home she’s ever known, forced to leave her beloved German shepherd behind, Jacy feels misplaced. Exacerbating an already terrible situation, her dad runs off with the bombshell real estate agent who sold them their townhouse. And, just when it seems things can’t get any worse, her mom loses the stupid job they left California for in the first place and begins to drown her sorrows with pink wine, night after night. Jacy’s caught in the middle, struggling to maintain a relationship with her AWOL dad while tolerating his annoying, much-younger girlfriend.
Missing old friends back in California, and feeling like an outsider, Jacy needs to build a new social life in a new school. Not the sort of girl to wait around for what she wants to come her way, she sets her sights on Neil Wilder, the best-looking boy around.
Everything changes when Jacy Wilbert knocks on the wrong door.
EXCERPT: I was trying to decide whether I should I order a grilled cheese or a hamburger, when a girl’s voice cried out, “No stinking way!” I looked up from the menu to see a young woman holding a dumpling of a baby against her shapely hip. As she approached our booth it was impossible to determine whether the child was a boy or a girl.
“Neil Wilder what are you doing in town?” she wanted to know. She was good-looking, in a countrified sort of way.
“Hello, Renee. I’m here to visit Ray.” Neil’s cheeks turned pink. Was he blushing? He was. He was definitely blushing. I had never caused such a reaction.
Renee switched the baby from one hip to the other. “I heard he was placed with a family out in Amity. How old is Ray now?”
Neil’s neck muscles flexed. “Twelve.” “Kelly just had a birthday,” Renee gave the dumpling a playful jiggle, “didn’t you, Kelly?” The dumpling shyly tucked his-or-her adorable head into the crook of his-or-her mother’s slender neck.
“One year old last month,” Renee told Neil, “Doesn’t that blow your mind?” Kelly’s big eyes were heavily lashed. I admired them openly. Babies send me over the moon. I love everything about them.
I sensed Neil’s uneasiness. He avoided looking directly at Renee or the baby, mostly focusing on the menu. “Is that right?” he said, under his breath.
“And who might you be?” she asked, directing the phoniest of smiles in my direction. I can be perceptive when I want to be, and I could tell Renee wasn’t happy to see me. She tapped Neil’s shoulder before either one of us could answer. “Louise has moved on. I see you have too. Is this your Portland girlfriend?”
“This is Jacy. She’s from California.” “Nice to meet you,” she gushed, “Northern or Southern?”
“Southern. Your baby is sweet.”
Renee gave Kelly a quick squeeze, as if to acknowledge the truth in my remark. “You know,” she said, refocusing on Neil, I don’t think my little sister cares for Skip Mead the way she cared for you, but then you two were so perfect for each other in every way. I guess that’s to be expected.”
Neil was notably relieved when the waitress showed up to take our order and Renee said, “I’ll get out of your way now. Enjoy your lunch.”
I decided to go with a grilled cheese sandwich and a Coke. I didn’t ask about Renee. I didn’t ask whether Kelly was a boy or a girl. I didn’t bring up Renee’s sister Louise either. The last thing Neil needed was for me to badger him about the girlfriend he’d obviously been forced to leave behind. He didn’t say much during the meal. He didn’t finish his corn dog or his shake. And he didn’t order Ray’s pie. “Big Ray has a family now,” he said. “I bet his new mom bakes all the time. From what I can tell they take real good care of him.” He pushed his unfinished plate away. “We better pay up and get going now. I said we’d be there by one, and it’s at least a ten to fifteen minute drive to Amity.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When Elizabeth’s not writing feverishly, you will find her out walking or sightseeing. She’s crazy about coffee, books, cooking, good wine, cairn terriers, miniature ponies, historical houses, tapas, and witty people.
She resides in a fifties bungalow in Southern California, with her creative-director, hubba-hubba husband, a yappy blonde dog, and one feisty Chihuahua.
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