If you’ve been following the Vegan Vamp series, you know that someone has been a wayward daughter. Mallory, the heroine of the Vegan Vamp books, has been dodging her mom for some time now. That’s about to come to an end with this short story, publishing in November as a part of Spells and Jinglebells. 

***Raw and unedited, just for you! Excerpt Begins***

Sometimes a woman had to pressure her child. Sometimes apply guilt. Sometimes it simply took more than that. What was that saying? Walk softly but carry a big golf club?

My husband had always been the golfer in our family, though he certainly hadn’t walked softly. But he was gone, and though I could hardly celebrate the fact that he’d died—that would just be cruel—I could celebrate the fact that the cheating oaf had died before either our divorce was finalized or he’d changed his will.

But his absence meant that I was the golfing parent now. It wasn’t a role I felt suited me. I’d always been more of a tennis player. Suited or not, it was time to pull that club out. I dialed my daughter’s number.

Praise be, the child answered. At least we hadn’t come so far as her ducking my calls.

“Mother, how are you? I don’t have long to talk.”

“Mallory, darling, one should always have time for one’s mother.” I let a slight edge sharpen my voice. “And it has been—oh, let me see—how long has it been since I’ve set eyes on you, darling?”

A tense silence followed my question. Naturally. Tense silences would occur when one’s child hid from her mother—for months.

“Mallory? Are you still there? “ I tapped the phone. “The line’s gone all quiet.”

A beleaguered sigh followed. She must think I was going deaf in my dotage. Well, I was neither in my dotage nor going deaf. “Yes, Mother, I’m still here. And I know it’s been a little while since we’ve gotten together. Work has been…”

“What was that? Work’s been demanding? What is it that you do, now that you’ve changed careers? I’m not sure you’ve ever been clear on that point, sweetheart.”

Score one for the mother. Mallory had been rabidly avoiding dispensing any information about her mysterious new job. Not to imply that a mother-daughter relationship was a battle. Certainly not. It was more a protracted war in which two parties fought, sometimes together, sometimes apart, against the whole world.

“Ah, my job, I…um, I was doing some client work, and then—”

“Client work? What type of client work?” Pressure applied, check. And now for the walk back. “You know what darling, that’s all right. I’m in a bit of a rush myself. Maybe we can discuss your job later.” And then that big golf club swing. “At Christmas dinner. I know you wouldn’t miss Christmas dinner with your widowed mother.”

***End Excerpt***

In case you haven’t yet tried my Vegan Vamp series, I’m including the Amazon link to the first book below. Happy reading! ~Cate


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