Ron Doades with Susan Sloate
Meet Robby Aihn, the newest star in the self-help universe and author of the runaway bestseller, Realizing You, now struggling with his first taste of fame. Though his five principles for good living are changing other people’s lives, his own life is starting to fall apart. When Robby stages a lavish self-help conference in Dallas, he attracts others with their own secrets: his estranged wife and unhappy teenage daughter; the businessman pursuing his own agenda; the all-star pitcher facing the end of his career; and the shy co-author Robby never acknowledged, who is searching for meaning in her own life. Join Robby and the others on their journey toward understanding and fulfillment, in this truly novel approach to changing YOUR life.
Liz had ordered forty cartons of shiny new hardcover copies of the book delivered for the signing, and guests had been told they were welcome to bring their own copies as well. Robby would sit in the ballroom where they’d had dinner and sign them. It was their opportunity to meet him personally, which for some people was the real reason they’d come, and the moment they’d been waiting for.
Liz, Robby, Marie, and Sophie waited until the ballroom cleared. Then the hotel staff assigned to the breakdown shut the doors and went to work. The staff had twenty minutes to clear the tables, roll them out of the way, and set up a signing table for Robby, who had done successful book signings all over the country. This would be a snap, even if all twelve hundred guests wanted their books autographed.
Liz watched the hotel staff efficiently clearing the tables and felt the tightly-wound spring inside her begin to loosen. “Just this one event left,” she said.
Robby beamed at her while avoiding Marie’s eyes. “It went well, didn’t it?”
“Perfect,” Liz told him, glancing from him to Marie. Marie wasn’t looking at him, either.
Liz sighed and looked discouraged.
Sophie noticed it, too. Her blue-eyed gaze traveled from her mother to her father and back again. Her smile dimmed and faded. She stared down at the ground, all her sparkle fizzled out.
“Excuse me,” said a shy voice coming from the slightly opened door behind them, and Liz turned to face what’s-her-name, the mousy woman who’d helped Robby—Maura? Jane?
“Hello, Ellen!” Marie’s greeting was extra-cordial and extra loud, as though to be sure Robby heard her. “Did you have fun at dinner?”
Ellen came toward them in a drab blue dress, but where yesterday her eyes had been wary, tonight they were bright, and she gave Marie a genuine smile.
“Oh, it was wonderful. I’ve never sat on a dais before.”
“I thought it was appropriate,” Marie said to Robby, not troubling to lower her voice, so the nearby hotel staff heard. “And Liz managed it all, even though we didn’t know Ellen was coming til yesterday. Liz took care of her hotel and tickets and everything. Thank you so much,” she said sweetly to Liz, who turned beet-red. Robby glared at Marie. “I only wish,” Marie went on, “that Ellen could sit next to you at the book signing.”
Everyone looked at Robby.
“Excuse me,” he said abruptly. “I forgot my—uh—gold pen—in my room. Better go get it before the signing.”
And he left, hardly glancing at Ellen, never acknowledging her presence, and pointedly ignoring Marie.
Sophie looked pleadingly at her mother. “Mom?”
“He’s impossible,” Marie said through her teeth. “I don’t know how we lasted this long.”
About the authors:
RON DOADES is president of Ronald Doades & Company, a consulting firm that, since 1977, has helped the people of large and mid-size energy companies improve their individual and corporate performance results by learning from the best-practice experiences of others. A popular speaker on the topic of managing change for optimal results, he holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MS in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Visit him at www.realizingyoubook.com
SUSAN SLOATE is the author of twenty published books, including STEALING FIRE, a #2 Amazon bestseller and Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, and FORWARD TO CAMELOT (authored with Kevin Finn), which in its first edition was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film by a Hollywood production company. She lives in Mount Pleasant, SC. Visit her online at http://susansloate.com.
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