Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review for Act Two for Three by Barbara Fox

Our Review: If you are looking for a story that is completely unique then you need to check this book out. This book features strong, female characters that inspire and delight readers throughout. Still not convinced that this is your next great read? Well the author has generously granted us permission to post the first chapter, so please enjoy this sample and then grab your copy from Amazon today!

A little book about the friendship between Jenna, the actress trying to adjust to life as a widow, Natalie, who chose a career instead of marriage and Liz, wife/mother/grandmother/volunteer/former cabaret singer. They think their lives are settled; they don't expect any drastic changes but they are in for some surprises. Travel, internet dating, family problems, new friends, computer classes, a career change, a romance and more give them a lot of things to discuss and plan at their weekly luncheons. They find that they can adapt to and even welcome and enjoy the life changes in spite of or because of their age; they are (shush, don't tell) over seventy!

Check out this excerpt from the book!



The alarm clock went off at 7:30. Jenna, as she had been doing for the last 40 years, rolled over to give her sleeping husband a good morning hug, but all her reaching arms found was a five-foot long body pillow.
When am I going to stop doing this? she asked herself as she brushed away tears that were leaking from her still unopened eyes. Phil’s gone; he’s been gone for six months, three weeks, five days….Stop it! she commanded.  Get up, stretch, laugh.  She was taking a yoga class and Donna, the petite, red haired instructor, told her students to start the day with laughter; deep-from-the-belly laughter. She said to do it every morning even if there was nothing to laugh about.
“Your body doesnt know the difference,” Donna told the students. “Laughing releases those happy little endorphins. Try it.
Jenna told herself jokes to try to bring on some laughter. Two peanuts were walking in an alley; one was assaulted.” She smiled. “Two cannibals were eating a clown; one said to the other, Does your food taste funny?’” She giggled.  Be alert, the world needs all the lerts it can get! She laughed harder. They’re such stupid jokes, she thought, but she kept laughing. They’re funny and look at me.  I’m laughing.
She brushed her teeth, pulled on a robe and went into the kitchen where the table was already set for breakfast, the coffee ready to turn on and an uncut grapefruit waiting on the counter to be sliced. Preparing everything the night before was a habit she started when the children were little and Phil had to leave the house at seven a.m. every morning. It seemed more efficient. Things seemed to take twice as long to do in the morning and, somehow, the habit stuck, even though there was no longer a reason for it.
I could sleep until noon and no one would know or care, she thought as she pulled on her bathing suit, grabbed a towel and went downstairs for a before breakfast swim, another habit she started when she and Phil moved to Florida. It still seemed an incredible luxury to have a swimming pool, a heated swimming pool, right downstairs and to be able to swim outside all year. Jenna took full advantage of it.
She swam for a half hour, ate breakfast, checked her email, and the day stretched in front of her, yawningly empty.  Once there weren’t enough hours in the day to do everything she had to do:  shopping, rehearsing or auditioning for a play or a commercial, calling agents to remind them that she was available or would be available soon, sending out resumes and head shots, driving Phil to one of his many doctors appointments, going to luncheons, talking to the kids on the phone, going to the beach, trying new restaurants and going to movies or the theater, playing bingo or having pot luck dinners with friends
“We were so busy, so happy,” she told Dr. Joan, the therapist she started seeing soon after Phil died. Then, Phil had that damn heart attack and the diabetes got worse, he had trouble walking and I became a caregiver. Me!  That’s the last thing I ever thought Id be.  I mean, I know the marriage vows say, ‘in sickness and in health,’ but who ever listens?  We were in our twenties when we got married.   I remember thinking, Yeah, yeah, I do, I do, now let’s get on with the dancing and the dinner and the toasts. I’m so mad, so mad at him for dying and leaving me all alone...
Dr. Joan listened and assured her that her feelings were natural and normal. She suggested that Jenna keep a journal to record her feelings. “Writing things down really helps.” She also said it was important to keep busy; to get back to doing things you like to do.”
“I guess I could go visit the kids; they’ve been asking me, but Id have to make plane reservations and pack and…Okay, I’ll do it. So she dutifully went to New York to visit Kara and Mark and two-year-old Allison.
Mom, this is so great! I’ll take time off from work; we’ll shop till we drop and you can help us look for a house. Kara was a guidance counselor, Mark a lawyer; they lived in a bursting at the seams one bedroom apartment in Soho and after five days of sleeping on a pull- out sofa in the living room, Jenna (and her aching back) was more than ready to fly to Arizona to see her son Tim, his wife Beth and their sons Carter and Hunter who were four and six.
“Such formal names for such little boys,” Phil used to complain.  “What happened to simple names like Joe or Mike or Tom”?  The little boys had adored their Grandpa and during Jenna’s visit, kept looking at her reproachfully and asking questions.
“Where exactly is Grampa?”
“How do you know for sure that he’s dead? Why couldnt you fix him?”
“If he’s dead, where are his clothes? It almost seemed to her that they blamed her for letting him die.  Tim and Beth tried hard to entertain her; they went to restaurants, movies and they even found a circus complete with trapeze artists and cotton candy. Jenna tried hard to be enthusiastic about all their plans, but she couldnt help breathing a sigh of relief when they dropped her off at the airport and waved good-bye.
“I couldn’t wait to come home,” Jenna told Dr. Joan at her next session. “I love Kara and Tim and the grandkids, but frankly, I don’t like visiting. It’s exhausting playing games, going out, being cheerful, feeling like I’m in the way, waiting for them to take me someplace.  I like my own home, my own bed. I like doing what I want to do when I want to do it.
Jenna’s friend Natalie, a singer, called to tell her about an open audition for a commercial she just saw in the Actors Association on-line newsletter.
Youd be perfect for the part; it sounds just like you. You know, Jenna,” as Jenna was explaining how she just didnt feel up to going, you cant keep on grieving for Phil; he wouldnt want you to.  Hed want you to get out and do things. Life goes on Jen, it goes on. Come on, I’ll go to the audition with you.  We’ll both audition.
“I can't go today,” Jenna insisted because, um, because I’m going to this meeting tonight. I found it on-line yesterday. She turned on the computer and searched for the listing as she was talking. “It’s a play reading group; it's pot luck and I already called and RSVPd and said I’d bring a salad.” She crossed her fingers as she said it and actually did RSVP the minute Natalie hung up.
I’m absolutely going to go, she said to herself.  Im going to go and I’m going to have a good time.
                                                  JENNA’S JOURNAL
Dr. Joan said to keep a journal so I’ll try it, but really, what for? Who cares?  How can it help me?  She said to write about my feelings, but really, the only way I feel is mad. Damn, damn mad.  How could Phil die?  How could he do this to me?  We were so careful, I took him to the doctors, made him take his medicine, cooked healthy meals (most of the time). He didn’t smoke or drink (much) and he exercised...well, he swam everyday and we went for walks and he came though the operation and I didn’t complain (much) about taking care of him.  I didn’t even wake him up when he snored because he needed his sleep. So how could he go and die right before our anniversary?  It isn’t fair, it isn’t fair, it isn’t fair! I miss him so much and he doesn’t even care because he’s dead!  He’s dead and he’s never, ever coming back.

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