Saturday Excerpt: A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery
Start your weekend off the right way, with the latest from the sensational Susan Mallery!
About A Million Little Things:
From the bestselling author of The Girls of Mischief Bay and The Friends We Keep comes a twisty tale of family dynamics that explores what can go terribly, hysterically wrong when the line between friendship and family blurs…
Zoe Saldivar is more than just single—she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.
Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated—her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.
Friendship isn’t just one thing—it’s a million little things, and no one writes them with more heart and humor than book club sensation Susan Mallery!
“My name is Zoe Saldivar and I just had stupid sex with my ex-boyfriend.”
As Zoe spoke, she carefully pulled on the rope dangling from the attic door in her ceiling. The mechanism was very stiff and if it snapped back in place too hard, the door would be stuck forever. Or so the building inspector had told her when she’d been in escrow for her house.
“Not that the sex was stupid,” she continued. “It was okay. I want to say I was drunk, but I wasn’t. I even knew better. And I do know better. I was weak. There. I’ve said it. I had stupid ex-boyfriend sex in a moment of weakness.”
The ladder lowered into place in the small hallway of her house. Zoe put her foot on the first step and then looked at Mason, her oversize marmalade cat.
“Nothing?” she asked. “You don’t want to offer any advice at all?”
“Is that disinterest or are you giving me a pass?”
“I can’t decide which is worse,” Zoe admitted. “The stupid sex or the fact that you’re the only one I have to talk to about it.”
She climbed the narrow, rickety steps up to the surprisingly spacious attic. So far she hadn’t put much up there—mostly because hauling anything large or heavy on those stairs was nearly impossible. But she had found a home for her luggage and the new seasonal flag collection she’d bought at a recent beach craft fair. Her mom had always loved celebrating every holiday and season. Now that Zoe had her own house, she wanted to follow suit.
She turned on the light and ignored the innate creepiness of being in an attic. This one was open and didn’t smell too musty. But hello, it was still an attic.
She moved the four-foot flagpole to the attic opening, then returned to pick out the “spring” flag she would hang. She held it up and smiled at the beautiful woven bouquet of brightly colored flowers.
Zoe turned in time to see Mason heading up the stairs. “No!” The last thing she needed was to have her cat disappear into some dusty corner for several hours while she tried to coax him out.
Mason gave her his best green-eyed “who me?” stare before jumping into the attic. He was a big boy. Eighteen pounds of muscle, and okay, maybe too many cat treats. Regardless, when he bounced, the stairs bounced, too. Then they rose with astonishing speed before snapping into place. The final thunk of the attic stairs coming to rest shook the house. Silence followed.
Zoe and Mason stared at each other before the cat strolled off to begin exploring, his tail held high. As if everything was fine. But she knew better.