Title: Twice Loved
Author: D.M. Hamblin
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Twice Loved is the sequel to Once Broken but is a stand-alone novel.
Jackie Martin pulled herself up by her bootstraps to survive single parenthood and mend emotional wounds from childhood. She put herself through law school, while raising a strong, confident daughter, Gina Martin Baker. Through the power of forgiveness, Jackie and Tony, Gina’s father, reconciled by recalling the love they shared three decades before. Twice Loved, the sequel to Once Broken, picks up Jackie’s story as she and Tony become grandparents for the second time. Now, in her 50’s Jackie is enjoying the fruits of her labor. She is financially secure, is madly in love with Tony and basking in the love of her growing family. But, she is never without life’s challenges. Set in Metrowest Boston, Twice Loved is a tale about how the reality of aging effects our perspective and priorities.
After a light breakfast of poached eggs on toast, the couple headed up the oceanside cliffs, following the route they had strolled decades before. A half hour later, they reached Nubble Lighthouse and sat on the jetty. “Remember, last time we were here we sat at a window table at the Nubble Lighthouse Restaurant on the other side of the jetty?” Tony pointed.
“Like it was yesterday. And, yet like a million years ago.” Jackie wove her fingers between his.
His eyes caught hers. “Jack, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone. You’re my life.” He pulled out a sparkling emerald cut three-stone, two-karat diamond ring from his t-shirt pocket. Jackie covered her open mouth. “We don’t need to marry … but I want our grandchildren to see us the way we always should’ve been. Jackie Martin, since we already share a daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, the same address and a cuddly yellow lab, will you please, finally, make me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?”
A tear glided down Jackie’s cheek and onto her smiling lips. “Your argument is compelling … Yes, Tony, I will finally be your wife.”
A quick smile darted across his face. “It may seem cliché, but you’ve made me the happiest man on earth.” They kissed briefly. He raised his index finger. “Oh, I do have one condition.”
She raised an eyebrow. “A condition?”
“Yup, I’ll only marry you if we have the wedding of your dreams. I don’t care what it is. It can be small and intimate, spectacular, a destination. Don’t care, so long as it’s your dream wedding.”
She swiped a tear away with the back of her hand. “That’s sweet. But honey, I have no idea what my dream wedding would be at this point in my life.”
Tony shrugged a shoulder. “You’ll have to figure it out. Our wedding day needs to be the best day of our lives. We’ve waited a long time for this. So, if you suggest something lame like getting married at City Hall, I won’t show up.”
She chuckled. “Betcha you would.”
“Betcha I won’t. I want so much more for us.” He wrapped his hand around hers and stared at the massive waves crashing against the jetty below them. “You must have some idea of where you’d like to get married?”
“Honestly, I don’t. But, Gina will help. She loves this stuff.”
“She’ll make a perfect event planner. I can’t wait until you become Jackie Martin Salvucci.”
She cocked her head. “Wow, Jackie Martin Salvucci.”
“Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?”
“It sure does.” She splayed her hands under the sun, displaying the sparkling diamonds. “Hey, snap a pic to send to Gina and John.” They put their smiling faces together. Jackie raised her left hand between them. Tony sent it to Gina and John with a text, “She said YES!” They sat in silence for a moment. “How about an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon?”
“Perfect! It’s on my bucket list!”
“We are a perfect pair.” Tony pulled her to her feet. “Let’s head back. We’re stopping at Brown’s for a well-deserved ice cream.”
“Yum!” They roved arm-in-arm along the ocean cliff. “Do you know how unusual we are? Typically, when people marry later in life, complications arise because each spouse wants to protect their kids’ interests from the new marriage. For us, marriage will make things easier.”
“Good to know our crazy situation has some benefits. Plus, there are no ex-spouse issues.”
Jackie’s nose wrinkled. “No ex-spouses? How could you forget Carmella?”
He waved his hand. “Ah, she doesn’t count. She’s been confined for ten years.”
“Oh, she counts … you were married.”
“I’d rather forget that ugly memory. But I concede. Luckily, I had no kids with that psycho … Even though she wanted kids so badly, I knew we’d never have kids.”
“How’d you know?”
He nodded sideways. “Basic instinct. Same as I knew I never should’ve left you.”
If money were no object, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
I would veg out on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. On May 4 2015 at 6:15 a.m., I sat on the third-story deck of a $1.5M beach house with a cup of hot coffee in hand and my feet crossed on top of the railing. I faced a brilliant sunrise coming over the horizon and basked into the sounds of crashing waves, one after the other. It was the most peaceful moment of gratitude. I loved everything about that vacation. It was financially affordable. For me, time and method of travel is the issue. A fourteen-hour car ride is the best method of travel from Massachusetts to the Outer Banks. Someday, I hope to live there.
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
Nothing signifies renewal like Spring. Watching the earth come back to life excites. The warmth of the sun, getting stronger every day, soothes my skin. The smell of flowers wake my senses. The sense of renewal feeds my soul. There’s no better time of year.
Spring Break Bookapalooza Giveaway:
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Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
Since childhood, D.M. Hamblin always loved writing whether it was a paper for school or college, advocacy letters for herself or others, love letters, short stories or business communications. She was accepted to study communications at Boston University's School of Communications to major in public relations, in September 1980. However, life interrupted. She became a single mother the following year instead. While raising a delightful daughter, she went from a short stint on welfare to finish college, start a paralegal career, send her daughter through private schools, began and finished the first manuscript of Once Broken from 1995-1996, abandoned it as her paralegal career excelled, married the love of her life when her daughter was fourteen, blended two beautiful step daughters, built two businesses in the legal industry, fell madly in love with three amazing grandchildren, suffered Lyme disease for seven years, sold two businesses -and in 2015 was blessed to have found the time and resources to resume the dream of writing. After twenty years, she unearthed Once Broken, converted it from floppy disk, revised and edited several times, and launched her long awaited writing career with the self-publishing of her debut novel, Once Broken.
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