Genre: Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 99,000
Ten years ago, Julie killed her best friend…unless she didn’t. The truth lies in a diary hidden in her Southern hometown, but finding it exposes scandalous secrets about the friend she thought she knew.
She only has lovers in wintertime.
In summer, the days stretch long like lazy animals and the sun’s rays reach like warm fingers down between buildings and slide across her face and arms, gentle. It’s harder, then, to think of dark things. But winter in New York is suffocating, and it is all she can do to breathe, to take in the icy air through her nose and mouth, to taste the cold on her tongue as it slides in and leaves her insides frostbitten and numb. It is all she can do to survive. Even Beck must feel it, or something similar, because those sweet smiles grow smaller and fade faster.
Maybe it is the skin in summertime. She can see it, everywhere, when warm weather finally, mercifully arrives. The skirts swishing and swaying around bare legs like a tribe of dancers, the bright exposed toes peeking, jubilant, from beneath stylish sandals. Even the almost-always covered arm muscles and elbows of businessmen in the Financial District when they wear short-sleeved Polo shirts on Fridays. Light cottons, a subtle summer breeze teasing ears, calves, shoulders. In summer months, skin finds freedom from the confines of layers. Walking to the subway, how easy it might be to brush, light as a kiss, a hand against the unsuspecting arm of another. A common electric accident, when so much skin is on parade.
It can’t happen in the cold. Bundled tightly in her scarf and parka, she is alone, insulated from the warmth of another.