Monday, February 22, 2016

Play It Again, Sam by Maryann Miller #EggcerptExchange #romancenovel

Today, I'm doing the Eggcerpt Exchange with Maryann Miller.

Play it Again, Sam is a romance featuring an older character who struggles to put her life back together after divorce.


Life as she knows it ceases to exist for Samantha Rutgers when her husband of twenty-plus years decides he no longer loves her. The challenges are myriad. Can she build a life without him? Will her daughter always blame her? Can she ever trust a man again?

And what is she going to do about sex?

Sam never suspected there was anything wrong between her and John. Sure, the sex was scarce, but they weren’t newlyweds anymore. And if communication was suffering, it was only because John was working so much. She never dreamed it would come to this. Which is why their daughter, Melissa, blames Sam for the split. If she’d paid more attention, she would have noticed that Daddy was unhappy. The estrangement with Melissa devastates Sam almost as much as the divorce. It seems her only allies are her son, Eric, and her long-time friend, Margaret, who encourages Sam to come to Dallas after the divorce is final.

With Margaret’s prodding, Sam returns to college to finish the art degree she put on hold so many years ago. She takes a job as a receptionist at a small ad agency that offers potential for a creative role when she finishes college. And she meets Frank Reynolds, the head of Marketing and Public Relations for J.C. Penny.

Definitely not enjoying the forced celibacy of the past six months, Sam has an immediate physical reaction to this charming man with silver hair, but needs battle with an older value system that took her to her wedding night as a virgin.


Sam’s breath caught in her throat and her voice broke, “John, you can’t be serious.”

“I’m sorry.”

“But a divorce! How can you...?”

He shifted his gaze, fingering the pages of a magazine on the counter. Watching the pages flutter with a soft whoosh, she saw life as she knew it slipping away.

“John! Talk to me.”

“Please. Don’t make this any harder-”“What?” She didn’t even try to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. “I should make it easy? You walk in here and end our marriage as casually as... as...” Emotion choked her and she took an angry swipe at the tears searing her cheeks.

“I didn’t want it to be this way.”

Sam took a deep breath. “Then why is it happening?”

A long, thin silence followed.

“Is there someone else?” she asked, barely having the courage to hear the answer.


The denial came quickly. Too quickly?

“Don’t lie, John. Whatever you do, don’t lie.”

“I’m not. I swear.” He shifted his weight and looked away.

“Then talk to me,” she implored. “Tell me how we reached this point and I didn’t even have a clue.”

“It just happened.” He glanced at her, then away again. “I don’t know. One day I just knew I wasn’t happy anymore.”

Sam stared in disbelief. He was having a mid-life crisis? They used to laugh at people who let their lives fall apart like this.

“That isn’t a reason. It’s an excuse,” she said. “There has to be something else.”

“I told you there isn’t.” John raised his head in defiance and their eyes locked until Sam felt her composure about to crumble. The deep brown eyes that used to melt her heart now chilled her. Everything about him seemed to be changing. The square jaw she used to find strong and attractive was now hard and unyielding. And when had his hair thinned to mere wisps?

Feeling like she’d entered some strange time-warp, Sam shook her head in an effort to bring back the real John. It didn’t work. A stranger still stood in front of her.

“It’s not your fault.”

His words focused her wandering mind.

“It’s me,” he continued. “I should have told you sooner. It was cruel to keep living a lie.”

Slowly, she sank into a nearby chair as a new wave of pain washed over her. Did he mean their whole life had been a lie? A game?

This didn’t happen to couples like them. It happened to people who had nothing in common. People who cheated. Argued. Screamed at each other. Not to people who’d lived over twenty-five years together in relative harmony.

Sam felt the pain burning inside, rising and swelling like some alien invader. She wondered if it would tear her apart and scatter her in little pieces across the freshly scrubbed floor.

SHORT  BIO Story-telling has been in Maryann’s blood for as long as she can remember. She won her first writing contest at age 12, with a story about a horse. She still has that story, and a horse, but she now writers about people, especially strong women who rise above the circumstances in their lives to find a better one. She is a best-selling, award-winning author of books, screenplays and stage plays. When not writing she likes to play on stage or stay home and play on her little piece of East Texas heaven.

BUY LINK – See all formats on Maryann’s Book Page on her website


AUTHOR LINKS – Amazon Author Page

Character Questions:

What would I do if I won the lottery? What a great question. We all fantasize about that, don’t we?  First, I’d endow the Winnsboro Center For the Arts where I have been the theatre director for many years. WCA offers live concerts, theatre, exhibits, classes and workshops in all areas of creativity, and it has brought so much cultural enrichment and joy to the people in this rural East Texas area where I live. Then I would gift my church and my children. And maybe I’d give some to Sam so she could start her own advertising agency. Lest I sound too altruistic, I would buy myself a bigger ranch and hire some people full-time to help with the animals.

What is my favorite place to visit? I find it interesting that that will change for me depending on the day and my mood. At the top of the list is visiting my family. The bonds I have with siblings, children, grandchildren are strong, and those bonds pull us together. We enjoy gathering for great meals, games and lively conversations. I also love to go to nearby lakes and sit quietly, just absorbing the beauty around me. Sounds sappy, I know. But, hey, I live in a place where Mother Nature has done some of her best work. I live in the Piney Woods, which is resplendent with trees, gentle hills and lots of small lakes. What about you, does your “favorite place” change?

Level of Education or self-taught? While I have gone to college, it was not for classes related to writing, although I did once audit a Master’s Class in creative writing. My area of study was psychology and sociology, which certainly has helped me in understanding human nature – as much as anyone can understand. I have taken many writing workshops, including a six-week class with Joe Camp on screenwriting. Things that I learned there helped with acting and directing, in addition to what I learned about writing. On stage, or on screen, you don’t always need words. Next time you watch a movie, focus on what an actor can convey with a look or a gesture. I find it challenging, and interesting, to try to translate that into narrative fiction.

Thanks for sharing MaryAnn,


1 comment:

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for having me on your amazing blog, Tina!
Hugs! ~Maryann