It may be the last day of November, but The Fall Book Bash continues with another great excerpt, this time from author Paul Cwalina. Reviewers of Paul’s first novel, DROPPING STONES, have used the words gripping, emotional roller coaster, disturbing, and literary classic to convey their appreciation of his story. Many of them hoped for a sequel. Well here it is! Today Paul is sharing an excerpt with us from the second book in his Dropping Stones series, KINGMAKER.
~~After a man destroys his own life, where does he go from there? Lost and confused, the mayor starts over, his new life a delicate balance between mourning and moving forward. A second shot at a political career comes to him, so he pursues his dream of becoming part of the Washington, DC power scene. Just when he thinks he’s getting it together, the balance is threatened as a woman bearing the fruit of his sinful past confronts him and demands accountability. Her determination and uncompromising ways force him to choose between what he wants and what he needs. He thinks he’s finally got it right until another equally determined woman relentlessly pursues him. She may have the ability to deliver his dreams and more, but at what cost? He squandered his first chance at success and true love. Will the siren call of power politics be his down fall again? ~~
Born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, Paul Cwalina is the grandson of immigrant
Citing Ernest Hemingway’s “Farewell to Arms” as the spark that ignited his desire to write, the author is now turning his long-dormant passion and hobby into a way to tell a story to the world.
“I don’t write ‘comfortable’ stories. I want my readers to be affected and to think; to get out of their comfort zones just a bit. The biggest compliment I receive on ‘Dropping Stones’ is that the story stays with a person long after they’ve read it. To me, that says ‘mission accomplished’.”
Paul lives with his wife and children in Drums, Pennsylvania.
The doors to the elevator opened as soon as I got back and we stepped in. The doors closed and I was still processing what I had just seen in the restaurant when Jennifer stepped in front of me and poked her finger into my chest.
“Don’t you ever try to stop me from speaking my mind again. I’m not some accessory you’re going to wear to cocktail parties,” she said.
With the back of my left hand, I swept her finger away. “Don’t give me that I-am-woman-hear-me-roar garbage. Do you have any idea what you cost me in there?”
“What I cost you? Excuse me?” she said in a raised voice.
“There is no way he’s going to put someone on the White House staff who has a loose cannon for a spouse!” I yelled back.
She stopped and stared hard into my eyes. Her anger melted into disappointment and hurt. “White House staff? You lied to me. You’re still planning to work here. To live here. You’ve been lying to me this whole time.” She stopped me cold. I was so consumed with anger that I unwittingly revealed what I had to keep hidden from Jennifer: that I never gave up on moving to DC. I put my head down and exhaled hard. “I wasn’t lying. I was just hoping you would change your mind.”
Jennifer turned, stepped back to my side and leaned against the back wall of the elevator. When the doors opened, she practically bolted for the door and kept walking. With her pregnancy it was easy to catch up to her, but that clearly wasn’t what she wanted. We were silent for the entire walk back to the hotel and the elevator to our floor.
“I’m going to bed,” she said as soon as we entered the room. “Turn around so I can get undressed.”
I turned and stared at the wall. I heard her slip out of her clothes. “There’s a time and place for everything. That wasn’t the time or place,” I said.
“And when would be a good time? You keep telling me this guy is going to be president. Should I wait until then? Should I wait until he’s insulated and cut off from the real world and surrounded by a bunch of sycophants and yes-men? I had the chance to point out the error of his thinking and I took advantage of it.”
“You embarrassed him.”
“His lack of insight did that, not me. And if he can’t handle it, tough,” she said confidently. “And if you can’t handle it, you know where the door is.” I heard her slip into bed.
“I certainly do,” I said, frustrated. I got undressed in the dark and collapsed into my bed.
I spent two restless hours trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep. I thought about the dinner with Rick, but mostly about the tension between Jennifer and me. I couldn’t tell which was more frustrating—our differences or the fact that I was falling in love with someone who wasn’t impressed in the least with my success or what I did for a living.
Thanks for stopping! Leave a comment or question for Paul and make sure to pick up your FREE kindle copy of the the 1st book in The Dropping Stones series November 30th!