Stumble Stones: A Novel View larger

Stumble Stones: A Novel by Marilyn Baron

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  • Hallelujah Weiss, writer for the steamy sudser As the Planet Spins, gets a second chance at love when she flees to Italy to get over her recent divorce, courtesy of her cheating ex-husband’s credit card. A woman scorned, Hallelujah has sworn off men and is determined to reinvent herself. The new Hallelujah is eager to live life on the edge, more like Polly, a character she writes and idolizes.

    Lonely Berlin hedge fund manager Alexander Stone, a number cruncher who puts his faith in numerical data, still believes in destiny, despite the fact his fiancée just dumped him. Always a man with a plan, Alexander did not plan on Hallelujah.

    After a chance encounter on a flight to Rome, the unlikely pair faces danger when they team up to return to their rightful owner a stash of WW II vintage jewels. The hidden diamonds hold the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of love.

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 220
    Word Count: 50385
    978-1-5092-0911-8 Paperback
    978-1-5092-0912-5 Digital

    Excerpt

    Life was better in Business Class, especially when your cheating ex-husband was paying for it. Hallelujah couldn’t wait until Lloyd got the bill—for the airline ticket, the set of top-of-the-line TUMI luggage, the fashionable, Italian-worthy wardrobe, a two-week stay at a first-class hotel in Florence, an expensive day of pampering at the hotel spa, dinner in the city’s finest restaurant, and front row seats to the Il Volo concert. It’s not like Lloyd Evans couldn’t afford it. It would hardly make a dent in the bastard’s bank account.

    Her short-term plan was to spend as much of Lloyd’s money as she could before his skanky secretary/fiancée Olivia Brewster got her greedy little hands on it. Polly would be proud of me.

    But she wasn’t Polly. Polly lived life on the wild side, and she had a vindictive streak. Hallie Evans was practical. She believed in playing it safe and paying her own way. But she deserved this final fling. She had scraped together the last of her savings, and she would use those funds when Lloyd’s credit card was tapped out. Then she would go back to the single life and the single paycheck and try not to dwell on how much her ex had hurt and humiliated her. But right now, Polly was in the pilot’s seat. And, from now on, Hallie was determined to live life on the edge, just like Polly.

    Settling into her roomy Magnifica seat, she signaled the Alitalia flight attendant for another amaretto sour before the plane took off. Getting properly sloshed mid-air was a strategic and recent addendum to the plan. Oh, and part of her plan was to swear off men.

    Now that she was free and clear of Mr. Wrong, her long-term plan was to reinvent herself and revert back to her maiden name—Hallelujah Weiss. Lloyd was so cavalier he couldn’t be bothered to use her birth name; he had insisted on shortening her given name, Hallelujah, which she thought was distinctive, to Hallie. Like she wasn’t worth the effort. So naturally, while Parker was conducting his affair with his secretary, he had stopped calling his wife Pollyanna and shortened it to Polly.

    Hallelujah was expecting a nice settlement from her ex, but who knows what terms the lawyers would finally hammer out. She was convinced he’d hidden his assets, so her lawyer had hired an accountant to get to the bottom of that particular barrel, but she didn’t expect to get a fraction of what was coming to her. Already Lloyd had gotten custody of their condo, and she had nowhere to live at the moment.

    She’d always fantasized about living in Italy. She could write soap opera scripts from anywhere in the world. Have laptop—will travel. She’d taken two weeks off from her job as a writer for As the Planet Spins to get herself together, so she was free and clear to go wherever she wanted. When would she ever get a chance like this again? Her life was a blank slate—perfect for making a clean break. She didn’t relish living on the same continent as Lloyd and Livia. Cutler’s Ridge, California, was a small community, and she couldn’t face running into the newly happy couple every time she went to the grocery store to binge on gelato to drown her sorrows.

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Stumble Stones: A Novel

Stumble Stones: A Novel