Johnny and Karen Clark have spent the last twenty years buying a slice of the American dream. It would seem the Clarks have a blessed life, with three bright kids, and a lifestyle to be envied. Instead, their idyllic relationship has begun to unravel. After her bout with an illness and a few of Johnny’s indiscretions, all is in chaos. Karen wants Johnny gone but is in no position financially or physically to take care of herself and the children.
At the same time, Johnny desperately wants out but doesn’t feel right leaving Karen destitute in her moment of crisis. They need help and neither knows what to do. Where Johnny and Karen go from here will all depend on how much they’re willing to sacrifice and how much value they place on life, marriage, and faith in a God that neither seems to know personally.
Book Reviews for Patricia Haley-Glass
“No Regrets offered me a different way, a healthier way based in faith and hope, to look at trying situations.”
“Haley-Glass shared how God does choose the most unlikely person for ministry when we think there is no way. A must read…Highly recommended.”
—APOOO Book Club
“Phenomenal … Haley-Glass did an outstanding job on each person’s outlook and how, without forgiveness, no problem can truly be solved.”
— Urban Reviews
“The perfect blend of faith and romance.”
—Gospel Book Review
“Haley’s writing and visualization skills are to be reckoned with…This story is full-bodied…Great prose, excellent execution!”
—RAWSISTAZ™ on Still Waters
“Haley-Glass has hit the mark yet again! I couldn’t put this book down —the characters are believable and compelling.”
—Maurice M. Gray, Jr., author of All Things Work Together
“A deeply moving novel. The characters and the story line remind us that forgiveness and unconditional love are crucial to any relationship.”
—Good Girl Book Club
Excerpt: No Regrets by Patricia Haley-Glass
Karen steadied herself against the mahogany fireplace mantel lined with smiling faces captured at family gatherings. There was also a dusty Bible that had been received as a wedding gift eighteen years ago and a few other favorite trinkets collected from countless vacations including the annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
Head titled down and eyes closed, she started from the center of her forehead and repeatedly spread her thumb and index finger forcefully slow across her brow like a butterfly struggling to stay in flight.
“Oh, God. Please help me.”
Feeling a moment of relief, she stared into the evening wondering where the week had gone and how late her husband would get home this time.
Johnny could still turn the heads of women when he walked into a room. His six-foot-two silhouette stood in the doorway of the large banquet room. He’d been coming to this club for years, with more frequency recently. He kept his slightly graying hair short to draw attention away from his balding. He no longer had the trim body he sported in college. Over the years, extra pounds had taken up residency in his physique. His age had started showing, but his handsome demeanor was still winning out.
He eased into the room like a warm knife slicing butter.
Standing next to the bar was Johnny’s friend, Tyrone. The two leaned on the bar and Johnny scanned the room on full alert. His game worked best with a married woman or a pure party girl seeking fun without commitment. The ‘nice, goody-two-shoes type’ was too dangerous. Johnny didn’t want to kick-off a fatal attraction with a single, available, and searching woman. He wanted companionship without any strings attached. A shred of a good time away from his pressures was all he needed. He wasn’t looking for a wife seeing that he already had one of those at home. Isabelle was a red flag, but something about the game drew him in. Even though he was married, Johnny preferred women who knew he was unfaithful and liked him anyway.
Hours passed before Tyrone held up his wrist pointing to his watch. He didn’t mind meeting Johnny occasionally but always knew when to go home. Johnny got the message.
Heading for the door, Johnny helped Isabelle put on her jacket. Outside, he pulled the parking ticket from his pants pocket and handed it to the valet.
Isabelle’s eyes widened as the car approached.
He peeled a ten-dollar bill from his pocket as the valet attendant drove the new Cadillac up to the curb. He scurried to the passenger’s side and opened the door for Isabelle. He hadn’t opened the door for Karen in ten years, but she wasn’t someone he had to impress.
“Hi, Johnny,” a soft voice echoed from over his shoulder.
He turned to see who it was.
“Tina!” He went cold on the inside, but struggled to maintain his composure. Of all the people he could have run into, Johnny was wondering why it had to be Ms. Motor Mouth. Karen’s nosey friend was the last person he wanted to see.
Tina flashed a cunning smile, knowing Johnny was caught. She had him right where she wanted, squirming.
“How’s Karen?” Tina asked while getting a good look at the lady sitting in her girlfriend’s car.
He closed the door and walked towards the driver’s side of the car. “She’s fine.”
“Tell her I said hello.” Tina walked past the car and without looking back said, “No, better yet, I’ll just call her myself.”
Johnny hopped into the car driving away as quickly and with as little drama as possible.
The twenty-minute drive was filled with small talk and moments of complete silence. The unexpected run-in with Tina had put a damper on Johnny’s playboy routine.
As soon as Isabelle got out of the car, he pulled off without extending any extra courtesies. Three blocks down the road, he was back in husband mode.
Johnny sat at the stop sign, turned on his cell phone and dialed home to see if Karen still needed him to stop by the pharmacy and pick up anything. His best hope was that Tina hadn’t told Karen about his escapade at Floods.
Karen answered the phone to hear Johnny on the other end.
“Hey, I’m on my way home.”
“It’s about time!”
“I told you I was going to be out.”
“If I’d known you were going to take this long, I would have gotten the Tylenol myself.”
“Look, I’m tired and your nagging is getting on my nerves.”
“Well, I’m sorry Johnny, but I deserve a little more consideration.”
“I’ll be there when I get there. Bye.” Beep went the sound of the disconnecting cell phone.
Johnny was feeling the weight of running a plant and a household. He was doing the best he could. The only gratitude he got from Karen was suspicions and constant badgering. He thought more and more about what he’d been working for? He didn’t want to give up living the American dream, but Johnny felt the installments were becoming too difficult to keep up. Something was going to have to give and soon.
Karen heard the dial tone and put the receiver on the hook. When the phone rang again, she grabbed it.
“No, it’s not Johnny. This is Tina, Karen. We need to talk.”
( Continued… )
© 2017 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia Haley-Glass. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Books by Patricia Haley-Glass
PATRICIA HALEY-GLASS is the trailblazing, award-winning, #1 Essence, and Christian fiction bestselling author of numerous titles, including Mitchell Family and Relentless Drama Series. With two bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University (engineering and management) as well as an M.B.A in finance from University of Chicago, she’s a senior project manager supporting operations in N. America, Asia, Europe, S. America, and Australia. More importantly she’s a born-again believer, member of Delta Sigma Theta, and lives in the Chicago area with her family. Visit her on http://www.patriciahaley.com. Become a Facebook friend at Patricia Haley-Glass or join her fan page at Author Patricia Haley.