Sneak Peek Week, Day 4

Well…I can’t lie. As an author there’s pretty much nothing as exciting as getting an email from an editor (usually after painfully long, brutally slow weeks of waiting) that says “I want to contract this book.” I swear those words can pull me out of the blackest mood and paint a smile on my face that doesn’t dim for days. I recently got just such an email from my new editor at Samhain. I proposed a new series and sent her a bit of the first book. She said YES!

So…Fix You, the first book in my new Second Chances series, should release some time this winter (hopefully December). The series is about 6 women who lives in the same townhouse complex. All of them are at crossroads in their lives and facing a decision: Stand still or chart a new path. In the first book, Zoey discovers she has breast cancer. Faced with her own mortality, she realizes she’s been letting life pass her by. That realization leads her to admit something else she’s never told anyone. She’s in love with her best friend, Robbie.

So how about a VERY rough sneak peek. This book isn’t even finished yet so I’ll repeat yesterday’s warning. There may be typos and this may not be exactly word for word what appears in the final story. The story is told in alternating scenes–moving between flashbacks of when Zoey and Robbie met and how their relationship evolved to present-day as Zoey fights breast cancer.

Fix You sneak peek:

Zoey opened her eyes, her gaze zeroing in on a previously unnoticed smudge on the ceiling.

She sighed. She hadn’t thought about her first summer in Ronney for years. The reappearance of the memory surprised her, though she supposed it shouldn’t. That first week in town had introduced her to the concept of being alone.

However, that emotion was nothing to the bone-wracking, terrifying loneliness that consumed her tonight. Robbie had saved her from an eternal summer when she was ten, but she wasn’t sure he could help her this time.

It didn’t matter if he could or not. She needed him. Wanted him here. Desperately.

She remembered her determination for a second chance on New Year’s Eve. She’d vowed this would be the year she told Robbie how she truly felt for him. So much for that. There was no way she could come clean now. No way she could heap her disaster on him. Not now when he was finally on the path to finding true happiness. How could she drag him away from that? Thrust him in to what was certain would be months of pain and misery.

She couldn’t.

The answer choked her. Jesus. She couldn’t, but how could she do this alone? She wasn’t strong enough. Her stomach clenched and the lonesomeness wafted over her again, the pain so overwhelming she felt lightheaded.

His voice. I just need to hear his voice.

Before she could think about her actions, she picked up her cell phone from the coffee table. When it began to rang, she considered disconnecting the call, but fear kept her hanging on.



“Zoey? What’s up?”

Zoey regretted dialing the number the moment she heard Robbie’s voice. “Not much,” she lied. “Just, um, wondering how things are going.”

Robbie was silent for a moment. She didn’t call him to chit chat thirty minutes before a show unless it was an emergency. And in twenty-five years of friendship, she’d never had that kind of an emergency.

“Everything is fine, Zoe. How are things there?”

Things were completely and utterly horrible. Instead, she said, “fine.”

“Are you sure?”

Tears clouded her vision. Shit. She’d been okay all damn day. Hadn’t cried a single tear. Hearing Robbie’s beautiful, concerned voice was exposing the cracks in the dam. “Yep.” The word came out loud, awkward.

“I have to go on stage in a few minutes.”

She knew that. Christ. Robbie was living his dream. His band was opening for one of the biggest rock bands in the country. She’d been selfish to call.

“I just wanted to say,” she paused, her mind filling in the real words, I have cancer. She cleared her throat. “I wanted to say break a leg.”

He chuckled. “I’ll do my best.”

“Okay. Bye.”

“Bye, Zoey.”

She dropped her phone to the carpeted floor and closed her eyes to avoid the onslaught. The action was useless. There was no stopping the inevitable. Tears escaped, flowing slowly and steadily for several minutes before giving way to huge, soul-wracking sobs.


So much for the run-of-the mill baseline mammogram.

Her baseline was fucked.

She was fucked.

Now…time for the contest question–The theme of the Second Chances books is all about changing your life, looking for what makes you happy. If you could do one thing to change or improve your life, what would it be?

27 Responses to “Sneak Peek Week, Day 4”

  1. Mary Preston Says:

    I’d like to have a do-over for some events in my life.

  2. One thing I would do is go back to college. I cheated myself when I dropped out of university and went to a community college just so I could get on with a career instead of staying in school. I knew I’d regret it at some point, and now, 15 years later, I wish I had. But I can always go back, and it’s a change that may come for me in the future. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great series.

  3. wolphcall Says:

    I would get rid of Autism. Both of my children have it and my biggest fear is how will they function in society when hubby & I are gone.

  4. tazfl001 Says:

    Wow. I felt the grief and regret. But you are THE Mari Carr. 🙂

    Finding work life balance sooner. Although the job keeps a roof over your head, food on the table and other luxuries, you cannot replace the time away from your loved ones or time for yourself.

  5. There are plenty of things I’d like to do over which would change my life now but I’d rather not look in the past with regrets but look forward with hope.

    So, if I could change something I’d like to get my PTSD better under control so I could travel without stress again. I hate that traffic gives me panic attacks.

  6. Well I’d love to be able to exercise pain free but I’d be happy with just liking myself more too


  7. Phuong Says:

    I would say to be less of a workaholic and have had more time to date and find love.

  8. There are many things I would love to yell, “Do Over!” in my life. I guess that is why we have the Mid life crisis. I am changing many of those things. Better late than never

  9. Patti P Says:

    I am currently trying to answer that question for myself right now. When I find an answer I will be sure to let you know! LOL
    I have lived my whole life for other people up until now. Now it’s time for me and I have no idea what I want/need to be happy. People are telling me to have fun with it and I am scared to death.
    Oh well here goes look out world.

  10. Monique Ito Says:

    First I have to say. What I read sound great. I can not wait to read the whole story. I am very happy with my life. I have a wonderful husband and two great kids. But there are days that I wish I would have done a little more with my life.
    If I could I would go to college and get my degree in Child Care or Special Education. That is something I wanted to do but for a couple of reason I did not go. We all can say what if I did this. My thing is if I took the path of going to college when I was younger would I have my husband now and my two kids. I will be 43 this year. I could go to college and get an degree but that would take away from my family. I do believe in second chances. I am living it now. I was married before and I did not think I would find someone that I wanted to spend my life with. I did and now I am very happy.

  11. Jessica canoto Says:

    I would do anything in this world and I mean anything for my four year daughter’s cancer to be cured its the hardest thing I have ever had to go through the chemo the sickness the hair loss its heartbreaking I had cervical cancer I survived and now this sickness is in my child I feel zoey’s pain this is my greatest desire cancer free for her to be healthy little girl

  12. flchen1 Says:

    Wow. Just wow, Mari.

    I’m pretty thankful to be in a good place right now–my main concern for now is living in a way that models what I want my kids to see and to grow up to be like. Which is such a huge challenge from day to day and moment to moment!

    This is going to be an incredible series!

  13. StacieD Says:

    I’ve already done it. Last year I divorced my controlling husband, moved across the country to a city I had never been and started a life on my own terms. I’ve met lots of great people since I relocated. It was terrifying to start over from scratch. I’m glad I did it though. 🙂

  14. I would like to go back to my class reunion and see all of my high school friends again. I had a good time and would like to keep up with everyone of them, especially an old boyfriend who is now single again. might be interesting.

  15. Janette Says:

    Mari I don’t know if this is what you want to hear but you capsulized the emotion I had upon hearing the words ” You have Cancer” Needless to say I am still crying, I am still waiting but One thing I am sure of This book will prove to be amazing! I cannot wait for the finished product as I too feel so alone some times and take refuge in your books. J

  16. mathlady68 Says:

    I wish I could help my husband retire early. His job is so demanding and I think he has earned so calm and peace. Maybe even give him the chance to pursue his dreams!

  17. Joanne B Says:

    I would finish college so I could get a better job. When I had to quit, I kept telling myself that one day I’d go back, but I just haven’t found the time or money to do it.

  18. sandie2 Says:

    After sitting behind a desk for way too long I need to get out and excersize, either walking or going back to the gym. Maybe both with the improving weather.


  19. MicheleAnn Oboyle Says:

    A calmer lifesatyle not in such a hurry to get things done

  20. caitymack Says:

    I am having some health issues this year, so I would love to get that behind me and get myself back to walking every day. Especially with all this lovely weather we are having.

    Thanks for the great sneak peek, Mari.

  21. Hi
    I would love to have enough money to just volunteer someplace instead of working for a living.

    Thanks for the chance

  22. elaing8 Says:

    What I would change? I’d have kids.
    Thanks for sharing the snippet sounds like its gonna be another great series.

  23. Ashley Says:

    I would accept my step-father into the family quicker. It took me about 10 years before I treated him like he was a part of the family.

    Thanks for the sneak peek. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  24. Cheryl S. Says:

    This seems like a really interesting series! I’d wish I would have found my passion in cake decorating a long time ago and turned it into a career.

  25. June M. Says:

    I would have worked harder to be healthy…and not have fallen and messed up my back & hip.

  26. Katherine Says:

    I’d go back and tell my twenty-something self to believe in myself and enjoy my sexuality. The angst, oh the angst!

  27. I’d go back to school! and wait to get married – while I love hub 18 was too young.

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