Thursday Sampler: Not Bound by Blood by Gay Ingram
May 26, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Thursday’s Sampler features an excerpt from Not Bound By Blood, a riveting new drama of love and loss and discovery by Gay Ingram.
About Gay Ingram
Gay Ingram writes from her cabin in the piney woods of East Texas. For over twenty-five years she has been entertaining and informing readers either through her novels or by way of articles published in magazines such as Writer’s Journal, BackHome and The Herb Companion.
Recently introduced to blogging, she now contributes a blog to www.calebandlindapirtle.com and posts twice-weekly on her own blog, Comparing Oranges and Apples, at www.gayingram.blogspot.com.
In a friendship forged in high school days, solemn athletic Miriam Meyer and flamboyant actress Blanche LaRue seem as different as apples and kumquats.
After winning an Olympic Gold Medal while still a teenager, a plane crash forces Miriam to give up her dream of a repeat performance. She marries and settles for small-town life as the wife of her banker husband, Brad Hammond.
Blanche disposes of anything that will come in the way of achieving her goal, even husband and child. Her career carries her into the European war scene. An enamored Count Romano Vicente comes to rescue her.
Although continents sometimes separate the friends, their strong bond of friendship remains.
Blanche shrugged. “I’m glad to be back but acting jobs are scarce right now. Everybody’s caught up in the war news.” She caught a flash of alarm flicker across Miriam’s face. “Oh Mare, I’m so sorry. The fact of Brad’s enlistment completely left my mind. Do you know where he’ll be going yet?’
“All we know right now is that he has to report on December 30th. We won’t know anything else until then. All we know right now is that he has to report on December 30th. We won’t know anything else until then.”
“Gee, Mare. That’s rough. Are you going to be all right? Of course, you do have your parents close by to help you out.”
“I haven’t tried to think about when he’ll be gone. We just want to have a happy Christmas and enjoy the days we have left before…” she swallowed hard.
Blanche leaped from her seat and rushed to Miriam’s side. She pulled her friend into a close embrace, rubbing her back until the sobbing ended. After a bit, Miriam pulled away and dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief she pulled from her pocket.
“Guess we never know what life is going to throw at us, do we? Look at me, one day married to a man willing to give me the moon and the next, back where it all began and all alone again. Well, not exactly alone.”
Miriam cocked her head and gave Blanche a puzzled look. Blanche remained with her head bowed. The ensuing silence between them grew heavier.
“Well? You are going to explain that last remark, aren’t you? Have you found a new somebody already?”
Blanche’s head jerked up, ready to deny whatever Miriam hinted at. Instead, she lunged to her feet and began to pace. “The fact of the matter is, I’m pregnant.” She stopped in the middle of the room and threw both arms out wide. “Can you believe it? Romano’s dead and I’m pregnant.”
Miriam started to rise and come to hug Blanche, but the woman stretched her arms forward, palms toward her friend. “Don’t congratulate me, Mare. I don’t want this baby. My life is too full to make room for a helpless baby right now. I don’t want anything or anyone making demands of me. So…that’s why I took a couple weeks away to take care of this problem.”
Miriam stared at her friend, eyes wide in shock. “You call having a baby a problem to be taken care of? I don’t believe it. How can you say such a thing? Do you have any idea what it’s like to lose a life you’ve yearned to bring into being?” She blinked rapidly, turned her head aside to hide the threatening tears. It took a moment for Miriam to realize Blanche had spoken. “What did you say?”
“Mare, I truly am sorry for your loss. I know how hard you and Brad tried to have children. But it’s different for me. I need to focus on getting my career back into full swing. If I went ahead and had this baby, it would be too much of a distraction.”
“Distraction? You call a living, breathing being you brought into this world a distraction? I can’t believe I’m hearing you say this.”
Blanche turned to face Miriam. “Why don’t you take my baby and raise it then? If you really want to raise another child, I’ll be perfectly content to turn over this he or she, whatever it turns out to be, and let you have full responsibility for it.”
Speechless, Miriam could only stare at Blanche, reading defiance written across her face. Only the crackle and thump of a log dropping in the fireplace broke a silence that went on and on. “Well? Don’t you have anything to say?”
Miriam shook her head as if to sweep away disruptive thoughts. “I don’t know what to say, Blanche. You’ve caught me completely off guard.”
Blanche took several steps away and then turned back. “I think that is just the perfect solution. I can be happy knowing my child will be well taken care of and you can add another little one to your cozy family. Oh, and by the way, I’ll set up a trust account so you won’t ever have to worry about money. In a way, Romano should be the one providing for this little package he left me with.”