Title: Weeping Angels
Author: Cristy Rey
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction
Four years ago, Frankie Rios walked away from her best friend and big sister, Iris. To Frankie, Iris died the day that she last rejected Frankie’s attempts at getting Iris alcohol and drug treatment. Rather than accept grief for her beloved sister’s loss, Frankie turned to her music. A renowned cellist, Frankie has managed to ignore the pain and suffering of losing the person she loved most in this world. With Iris out of her mind and out of her life, Frankie was able to move on…or so she thought. Until Iris really died.
Topher went to war in 2001 only to return two years later damaged and broken. Unable to reconcile the war vet with the boy he used to be, Topher gave up on life. When Iris Rios, his long-lost childhood best friend, dies from liver failure at thirty-two years-old, Topher is forced to confront his past. He must decide whether he deserves to heal. He must decide whether he will take that first step and then take another until he can recover what he lost: himself.
Weeping Angels is a story of grief carried and grief ignored. It’s about learning to love and moving on. Mourning someone once is hard enough, but mourning someone twice is unimaginably harder.
Cristy Rey is the author of the urban fantasy,She also writes unconventional, romantic women’s fiction. She’d say she writes the books Jane Austen would have written if Jane had been a . Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she spends most of her days in a library and most of her nights surrounded by cats.
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Excerpt – The Funeral
A woman hurls herself into the parking lot without even checking to see if a car is coming. Long blonde hair flies like a cape and she moves as though propelled by a rocket. Black, slinky heels flick off her feet, smacking into the asphalt with every rapid step. The scarf wrapped around her neck, despite this god-forsaken humidity, flaps over her shoulder. Any other day, I might have tried to stop her. If not, I might have fallen to the ground and covered my head with my hands, brought back to Afghanistan by some misapprehending synapse fire. But not tonight. Tonight, I merely stand by and watch her go.
She stops abruptly at the edge of the parking lot and just stands there. Her back to us, she drops her arms to her sides and her shoulders slump. I’m not sure what I’m looking at, but whatever it is unfurls as I watch. A woman like that doesn’t need to be crying at the end of the parking lot alone, and we’re watching like a couple of jackals who are just man enough to smoke outside a funeral, but not man enough to rescue her from herself. I’m not sure what it is about her, but I can’t stop staring, so I don’t even try.
I suck on my cigarette, taking the longest pull I can to give myself time to keep from engaging in conversation, when the woman slams her palms to her thighs. If she were any closer or if there was any less traffic on the highway, we might have heard the smacking sound echoing in the air. Even without sound, I feel it. A sonic wave crashes into my chest. My heart stops beating for a second in its wake.
Through a stream of white smoke, I jut my chin to the woman.
”Who’s that?” I ask Jose.
“That’s Frances.” He’s curt, and the sharpness when he says her name makes it sound like an offense. “I thought you knew her,” he adds, raising an eyebrow skeptically.
There’s a silence between us as we keep our eyes trained on Frankie. For the life of me, I would have never known it was her had he not just told me. I wonder now why no one makes his or her way toward her. If there’s a husband or a boyfriend standing about inside, someone needs to tell him that she’s out there alone, grieving.
“Frankie loved Iris. She’s probably taking this hard.”
As soon as the last word has fallen from my lips, Jose chuckles humorlessly and again my eyebrows furrow. I can feel the anger lining my forehead. Jose brings the cigarette to his lips and smoke pours from his nostrils as he inhales and exhales simultaneously like a fuming dragon. He shakes his head as his gaze wanders back to Frankie.
“Frankie loved Iris, that’s true, but Frankie also disappeared and refused to come when Iris got sick.”
“I don’t believe you.”
Shock slaps across Jose’s face when I declare him a liar. There is absolutely no way I can know if what Jose said is true or not.
An ephemeral summer breeze catches her hair. When it passes, she combs her fingers through her hair and twists it into a knot that she promptly releases. Even though she’s far away, I make out the shaking of her shoulders, as if she might burst.
I’ve never felt as intimate with Frankie as I do right now. Sharing in her private, raw space is wrong. I want is to throw a curtain between her and the rest of the world. I want to put my body between Frankie and all the smokers, spread my arms, puff my chest, and yell out, “There’s nothing to see here! Move along!” like some cop directing rubberneckers forward in traffic.
I take my first step off the curb so that I can go to her and do I don’t know what, when she turns around and hugs herself so tightly you’d think it was freezing, when it’s actually a humid ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Her head tilts forward and her blonde bangs sway, falling over her eyes.
She starts walking, slumped and dejected, in my direction. If a car whizzed by her, she might look up, but given by the way she ejected herself from the building, I’m not fully convinced she doesn’t have a death wish. So I do the only thing I can think of, I finish taking that first step and then take another.