Summer Changes, Winter Tears. (Meeting the family.) By Val Portelli

Meeting the family.

The invitation to the family party would finally give Zoe the opportunity to discover more about the enigmatic man who had stolen her heart. What would his relatives be like? Would they take to her? As they reached the hotel, he was assaulted by a host of young children, all vying to hold his hand. Relinquishing “Uncle Reno” to her younger competitors, she followed him to where tables were set for lunch.

There was no mistaking the grey-haired, older version of Reno, who he introduced as his father. His expensively dressed mother had the aura and rosy-cheeked face of a country lass, and in contrast to her husband, was short and stocky, but in her youth would have been a stunning natural beauty. It was obvious that despite her diminutive stature, she was the head of the family household, and her husband adored her.

When she was invited to sit beside Reno’s father, Zoe was embarrassed to discover the reason for the lunch was to celebrate his birthday.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know it was your birthday, or I’d have brought you a present, but thanks for letting me join you.’

‘No apology necessary,’ he smiled. ‘The greatest gift is the company of a beautiful lady. Now I’ve met you, I know my eldest son has inherited my own good taste in women.’

‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ Reno announced. ‘Thanks for coming today. It means a lot to the old man to have you here to celebrate his birthday.’

‘Not so much of the old,’ called a voice from the head of the table. ‘You might think you’re all grown up, but I can still give you a spanking if you get too lippy!’

‘Sorry, Pa,’ said Reno, amid the laughter. ‘Friends and family, please raise your glasses to wish the “young man” a very happy birthday. I won’t tell you how old he is in, but it’s got a nought on the end and his bus pass is ready.’

To a chorus of happy birthdays and the clink of raised glasses, Reno resumed his seat, and there was more laughter as his father made a mess of cutting the cake. Teasing about useless men who could build a hotel but were hopeless in the kitchen, his wife took over before it became, as she put it, an ancient crumbling ruin.

A little girl of three presented Reno’s mother with a huge bouquet. ‘You deserve it for looking after Grandpa,’ she said.

He immediately grabbed the youngster, and tickled her until she was giggling and had to give him a kiss as an apology.

‘If I give you some flowers, will I get a big kiss too?’ Reno whispered in Zoe’s ear.

‘Only if you’re a good boy, and eat your greens,’ Zoe teased.

A few minutes later she laughed out loud when Reno returned chewing a cabbage leaf, and presented her with a few bedraggled daisies. Keeping her promise, she too had to pay her forfeit.

Voinks Bio 

The author’s pen name Voinks began as a family joke, and was the obvious choice when her first book was published. Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy. The completion and publication of her first full length novel helped to save her sanity during those difficult times.

A second traditionally published book gave her the confidence and experience to self-publish, dropping her pen name along the way when she realised that, although unique, it was not particularly memorable.

Her work now includes six books, including one co-written, two contributions to anthologies, and three more in various stages of progress. She also writes weekly short stories for her web site and Facebook author page.

Although her novels tend towards modern fiction, her short stories cover various genres including her trademark twist of ‘Quirky.’ Emigrating to Venus, where a day is over a year long, is a possible option to allow time to write all the stories needing to be told.

She always appreciates reviews as they help spread the word, and sales bring in cash to pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

Summer Changes Blurb.

Escape to the sun and find the perfect man. What’s not to love?

A series of unexpected events encourage Zoe to adopt a new persona and leave dull and rainy London for an extended holiday in the sun. Life on the Mediterranean island of Malta is idyllic, especially when Reno appears on the scene. She determines to settle there permanently until a family emergency has her rushing back to her childhood home, and having to decide where her heart truly lies.


Summer Changes Book Links

Amazon Author Link.

Facebook author page.

Web site/blog.


One thought on “Summer Changes, Winter Tears. (Meeting the family.) By Val Portelli

  1. Pingback: Birthday bloggers – Summer Changes, Winter Tears – Voinks

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