★★★★★ review for Circle in the Sand, an Amazon Bestseller
"Look Out, Nicholas Sparks…
If you enjoy Nicholas Sparks' works, pick up this book. Caveat, though, you'll want to take along with a handful of tissues if you tend to turn into an emotional mess by watching the lives of others and feeling the need to cheer and cry with them. This author has gone from an unknown quantity to one of my favorite authors in record time. Kudos, Lia, on a job well done. So glad to see you have other works out there - as soon as my emotions calm down from this journey you sent me on, I'll be picking up another one of your books. Keep writing!"
I’m sitting at a rickety, wrought-iron table sprinkled with white bird shit, staring across at an ex-con and seriously fantasizing about him fertilizing my frozen eggs. Yep, this is exactly how I’d pictured my future when a twelve-year-old me visited the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
Travis and I are on the patio at Juan’s, me with a large cup of black tar, him scarfing down a taco plate. He insisted on paying. He offers me a bite. I shake my head, and he continues eating. I watch his forearms and strong hands as he moves them around his space, wondering about all the beautiful things they’ve created before this new life of his took over. I examine his dark eyes, which don’t seem to be as sad as that first day we met. But they don’t hold the eagerness I’m used to seeing in men that look at me. I’m still trying to acclimate to this flirtationship that we’ve developed. Not quite dating, but something more than friends.
About two weeks ago I’d come to San Diego to meet with my new client. On the way home, my car took control and steered me right over to Jax’s house. I told myself it was probably best to clear the air with her, talk things over, and if Travis happened to be there, well, I’d just smile and say hi. Turned out Jax was at work. Travis answered the door, hair slightly damp, barefoot, wearing jeans, and again his shirt was AWOL. The cool breeze caused a chill on my skin. His face, dusted with black stubble, made my fingertips tingle. He didn’t invite me in after my reason for visiting was voided. Did I want to leave a message for Jax? Yeah, tell her the guy sleeping on her couch is an idiot.
“I’ll call her later,” I said then lingered a moment. That’s usually all it takes, but I could see he wasn’t biting. “I was going to grab some coffee before I head back, want to join me?” The words tasted awkward in my mouth. I wondered how they sounded to him. Please, sir, may I have another? He stared at me for a second, then shook his head. I hoped my face didn’t look as red as it felt. Suddenly I was hot, but not with embarrassment. Anger flushed over me. Not only had this guy turned me into the pursuer, but he’d stuffed me into self-realization mode, and I hate that. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying being pursued!
“You seem like a nice lady…”
Lady? What was I, seventy? I attempted to prepare myself for the brush off, but I wasn’t quite sure how.
Travis grabbed the side of the door with one hand. “Let me lay this all out on the line for you. I’m on probation for driving under the influence.” I folded my arms, attempting to look unaffected even though it had shocked me.
“My car hopped a curb and ran into a nineteen-year-old sign spinner dressed as Freddy Krueger for the local Halloween store.” My mouth fell open, and I quickly closed it as he continued. “He had his back turned, didn’t even see us coming. He’s fine—only a few cuts and bruises—but he was knocked out. It could have been worse, so much worse, but does that really matter?”
Was I supposed to answer that question? I opened my mouth again, hoping something would come out on its own.
“I got credit for time served, have to do community service, got my license taken away; shall I continue?”
I cocked my head. “There’s more?”
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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein