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The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball (Book Showcase)


Sometimes two wrongs are the only way to make it right.

Power-couple Angela and Mitchell Point wanted to build a family. Instead, they got torn apart and pieced together separately. Without warning, their old and new lives collide in a Castaway meets Hope Floats tale of love lost and life recovered.

When every choice breaks a heart, doing the right thing is impossible.

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He gave her a tour of his brother’s estate. They raided the refrigerator and hung out in his game room playing table football. 

“You’re good at this,” Nolan said after her second straight win.

“Every single group home Deidra and I lived in had at least one.”

From the interviews after the rescue, Nolan knew she had no other relatives, but she hadn’t spoken about it before now. “How many homes did you live in?”

“Six or seven. I don’t remember.” She moved over to Rob’s ping pong table. 

He followed her over and served first. “May I ask about your family?”

“You may.” She slammed the ball hard enough to make him stretch. “No clue about our dad, or dads. One day, our mother took us to social service. She sat us in a chair and said she was going to the restroom.” The ball bounced back and forth between them. “Or so we’ve been told. I wasn’t quite a year yet and Deidra was two. We were lucky. They kept us together. We don’t have any hard feelings or psychopathic tendencies I’m aware of. Just one of those unpleasant happenings in life.”

“You seem healthy. Not a psychopathic tendency in sight.” His serve whooshed past her.

She gave a girlish squeal that made him chuckle. “Healthy lungs too.”

“I’ll get you for that!”

The game ended when the last ping pong ball rolled under the sofa. “Do you want to move the couch, or move on to the next game?”

It was a three-piece reclining sectional. “No, thanks.” She laid her paddle down and pointed to the pool table. I have no clue how to play this game, but I’m going to brutalize you.”

“Brutalize me?” The idea wasn’t at all unpleasant to him.

“Oh yeah. I’m dangerous.”

It wasn’t long before he discovered how dangerous. She repeatedly knocked the balls off the table and once lost her grip on the pool stick.

“You’re not dangerous. You’re a menace.”

She laughed, agreeing with his assessment. “Mitch tried to teach me once. You can see how that turned out. That was before we stopped having fun.” She paused. Her wood-brown eyes, glossed over with unshed tears, took on a smoky hue. “I’m sorry. That was ungracious of me.” She laid her pool stick down and turned her back to him. “I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.”

Likewise, Nolan set his stick aside. He joined Angela on her side of the table, leaning against the rail. “You’re not ungracious. It’s all right to speak the truth.” He touched her shoulder. “Even about the dead.”

Angela glanced at him and then away.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

 She sighed. “I shouldn’t think negatively about him.”

“You can’t feel guilty about that. He was human and so are you.”

His compelling tone drew her in. “I had a great marriage. That can’t be denied but… but sometimes, it wasn’t good. I don’t remember precisely how I felt at the time, but I…I recall not liking some of it. We had money and jobs and freedom. We bought stuff and did stuff and people were always envious. Mitch loved that. People envying the illusion we created. When I let myself dwell on it, I can see that’s what it was: an illusion. He never forgot my birthday, but he couldn’t remember to stop at the dry cleaners. The big deal things that everyone talked about—no problem. The little things… hanging out in the kitchen while I put away the dishes, teaching me to shoot pool or keeping a dumb promise—that was always missing. Part of me feels stupid and selfish. He did so many great things, why should I care about doing the dishes together? If I wanted one, he’d have gotten me a housekeeper.” She shut up then. 

Her rigid stance, the way she hugged herself, and her too-tight control told him she needed to talk. He let her.

“We wanted a baby. I’m not sure why Mitchell did—probably because it fit our success story image. No. I’m being petty. Sorry.”

“Why did you want a baby?”

“Because I love children.”

Nolan sensed there was more. He waited.

“Because a baby would need me and love me for all the little reasons nobody can see. But I’m out of luck there too.” Now, the tears came. A soft trickle, rolling across her cheek. “I have what they call unexplained infertility. There’s no medical reason why I can’t conceive. No one can tell me how to fix it.” She hunched her shoulders. “Mitchell tried to fix it. We redecorated our condo. We bought a new Mercedes. He took me to Cancun. He booked the cruise home to extend our vacation because he was fixing it. But he couldn’t fix me. Half of the time he didn’t recognize me. And now, I can’t recall the few precious moments I did have.” She turned around again, agitated and sad. Very sad.

Nolan digested the information. She was as complicated as she was beautiful. He didn’t have any words of comfort to give her. She wouldn’t receive them anyway. He picked up the pool stick and offered it to her.

She took it on reflex. 

Positioning himself behind her, Nolan adjusted the stick properly in her hands. “You put your fingers like this…  Hold the back a little higher.”

“Like this?”

“Yes. You want to slide it through easy. Like this…” 

His arms were around her, their fingers entwined as he guided her movements. Her tension ebbed away as she relaxed into him. 

This was the comfort she needed.  

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Made entirely of rum and snacks—International Bestselling Author, Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and veteran West Virginian, whose family is a mashup of cultures. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial/generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.

Tracy engages with folks from every twist of fate and all manner of experience. She has hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why she needs the rum…and a nap.

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