A marriage on the rocks.
Their little daughter caught in between.
And a woman who will stop at nothing.
Sylvia and Tommy Garland and their five-year-old daughter Grace have moved from the bright lights of New York City to the peaceful wilderness of the Wyoming countryside. But with the recession on their heels, Tommy leaves for LA for a job interview, and Ruth, an old friend of Sylvia's comes to stay.
In an unexpected turn of events, a family tragedy forces Sylvia to leave Ruth in charge of little Grace for just one day.
A decision that will tear their lives apart.
Stolen Grace is a roller coaster of emotions with twists and turns, a tale of lies and deception, of redemption and forgiveness.
And ultimately, a love story.
A story that will tug at your heart strings and make you think twice about who you leave your children with.
Sylvia's marriage has been crumbling for sometime now. An indiscretion by her husband has left her not knowing what will be next for them.
Her husband Tommy leave for a business trip and Sylvia couldn't have been more excited. His leaving and the arrival of a friend make her spirits rise, but that happiness is short lived.
A tragic family crisis forces Sylvia to leave her precious daughter with her friend Ruth. Ruth has no children, but that's not for lack of wanting any. So when an oppertunity presents itself, Ruth does look back.
Follow Tommy and Sylvia as they try and locate their daughter. How far would you go to get back your heart?
Meet the Author:
Arianne Richmonde is an American writer and artist who spent her formative years in both Britain and the US. She has also lived in Spain and France.
She has traveled to many corners of the globe and meeting people from all walks of life and different countries is a passion of hers. She speaks fluent Spanish and French. She lives in France in an old stone farmhouse amidst sunflower fields and vineyards, with her husband and coterie of animals.
Cruising Susan Book Reviews
Smut and Bonbons
Sylvia cradled the telephone to her ear and slipped out of the kitchen. She made her way through the large hallway of their log-lined house, and into the guest bathroom. She sat on the lid of the toilet seat and contemplated her reflection, sidelong in the mirror. Those telltale lines. She plucked a lone gray hair from her temple, while still hugging the telephone between her ear and shoulder.
Getting older was no picnic.
Melinda went on, “You can‟t milk this grudge forever. Marriage is about forgiveness. All he did was flirt, give the guy a break.” Trust Melinda to tell it how it is, Sylvia mused. No bullshit; straight to the point.
“It‟s . . . just . . . he‟s going off to LA so the whole thing is coming up all over again, you know . . . feelings. I‟ve been so insecure about myself lately.”
“Oh please, with your looks?”
“I guess I‟d never dwelled on our age difference before and...well...I just don‟t—trust him.” Sylvia relayed to her cousin the ramblings in her head that were still eating away at her, but admitted that it hadn‟t even been the young girl‟s fault (the “Bel Ange”). Sylvia—her mind working like a detective at the time—remembered how she had clicked on this Mystery Woman‟s Facebook page, after she had made her discovery that Tommy was in contact with her—this beautiful doe-eyed stranger. Sylvia sent the girl a friend request. To her surprise, the Bel Ange complied. Sylvia was in. They were Facebook “friends” (“Keep your enemies closer.”)
Her stomach churned again, recalling how it made her feel at the time. She remembered drawing her hands up to the edges of her eyes and feeling the faint ridges of her thirty-six year- old crow‟s feet, as she perused the girl‟s online photos.
Marie, she was called.
She was breathtakingly beautiful. Worse, she seemed aware of her power. Sylvia had pored over dozens and dozens of her profile pictures: the young woman looking off into the distance, her bedroom lids half-hidden by the sweep of thick, maney hair. Full lips slightly parted, a hint of sexual innuendo, coupled with a schoolgirl, “but you can‟t have me” innocence. Provocatively sweet.
Tommy hadn‟t been the only one to drool over her photos; she had reams of male fans. Beneath the lovely pictures there were comments—Tommy‟s the keenest of them all. Accompanied by hearts, his read:
Ravishing, Marie. You’re a real stunner, that’s for sure ♥ . . . and:
Yet another gorgeous photo, your charm and talent are beguiling ♥ and:
Amazing! Wow, Marie, that would make a fabulous album cover. Eat your heart out American Vogue! You really are superb, so classy, with a naturally profound look in your beautiful eyes - so rare, so unusual. Where can I buy the poster? LOL. ♥♥♥
“Profound?” Sylvia sniggered. “Talent?” As if being pretty was a “talent.” She remembered flicking desperately through more online photos, with messages that seemed like they‟d been written by a teenage boy, not Sylvia‟s thirty-two year-old husband.
Yes, yes and yes! ♥ And I have a fabulous idea for a project, Marie, can’t wait to tell you all about it.
The messages, Sylvia saw from the dates, had been piling up for over a year and a half. There were about thirty of them. These were not private messages but public—right there on Marie‟s main page for anyone who was her Facebook friend to see. The comments had begun around the same time Sylvia felt her marriage had started flaking apart. Like filo pastry. Crumbling into little morsels, still there to taste, but fragmented. Separate. No longer one whole.
“But Tommy loves you so much,” Melinda offered, her telephone voice irritatingly positive. “He‟s not going to jeopardize your marriage. Or Gracie. You should be more confident.”
Sylvia wet a sponge and started cleaning the bathroom sink. Cleaning, scrubbing. She used to be so glamorous, and now look. And yes, she had always been confident about Tommy. Then. He‟d been crazy about her. The Bel Ange had been a wake-up call, an alarm bell screeching in her ear. Sylvia smiled at Melinda‟s encouraging words but then caught sight of herself in the mirror and her smile faded. “I know I should be more forgiving, for Grace‟s sake if nothing else.”
It was true what Melinda said, though. Tommy hadn‟t slept with the girl, hadn‟t—as far as she knew—even kissed her. But the intention was there. The mental betrayal. Still, she needed to get over it.
Tommy, Sylvia and five-year-old Grace (Grace‟s POV).