Preacher Man excerpt

Regan Samuels shifted in her ridiculously high heels, berating herself for her inability to say no—especially to her best friend, Liz, who had a knack for roping her into her insane schemes. Regan shifted again to keep first one foot, then the other from becoming numb, then stuck one index finger between the folds of velvet curtain hanging heavily from the ceiling, and pulled just enough to peer out. Row after row of expectant spectators sat, waiting for the grand finale. Regan felt a ball of fire dive-bomb into her stomach.

The grand finale was her. Well, partially. How on earth did she allow herself to be talked into this?

The answer to that question materialized, in human form, that moment. Liz, sporting a big smile, sashayed over, her skirt swishing, heels clicking and her hair and makeup looking like she’d just stepped off a Hollywood movie set. Her perfume arrived a few seconds before she did.

“Ready?” The single word was an excited chirp.

“No,” Regan groaned. “These high heels are squeezing the life out of my feet.”

Liz’s smile faded as she glanced dubiously at Regan’s feet. “Honey, those barely even qualify as heels.”

Regan grimaced. Her left foot was pounding with discomfort and she didn’t know how she’d ever stroll across the stage. “Give me a break. Compared to the other shoes in my closet, they’re high.”

Liz executed a crisp runway saunter/turn, her own stilettoed feet looking like they hadn’t a care in the world. “Now these are high heels. See how they accentuate my legs?” Regan sighed and shook her head. “Forget it, Liz. You’ve heard of a Glamour Don’t? I’m a Glamour

Lost Cause.” She snapped her fingers. “In fact, I’ve just realized that I’ve completely lost my mind letting you talk me into this, and I’m leaving now before I make a total fool of myself.” She turned, determined to leave, but having lost some of the stealth she normally displayed in sneakers, she stumbled.

            Liz grabbed her arm, blocking her escape. “Be a sport. You know it’s for a good cause.”

            Regan considered that for a moment, and had to concede that the long list of charities that would benefit from this auction was impressive. Homeless shelters, orphanages, soup kitchens, programs for children and the elderly—all these and more were on the receiving end of funds from the hundreds of donated items that had been auctioned off all day. “You’re right. I forgot the real reason we’re doing this. To raise money for charity.”

            Liz darted her a glance and snickered. “Well, that too. I was talking about the chance at meeting Mr. Right.”

            Regan glared at her friend. “I don’t want or need a Mr. Right.” She’d already had one, and he’d turned out to be Mr. Couldn’t-Be-Wronger. Too bad it had taken fifteen years of marriage to figure that one out.

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