Thursday, 10 December 2015



A Series of Imperfection

“Emma, where is Felix’s sweater?”

With a roll of my eyes, I peeked out into the hallway and yelled, “In his closet!” Where else would it be? Men. Honestly. I swear something could be right in front of Shane and he would have no idea.

Pulling myself back into the bathroom, I finished applying my makeup as I listened for the door to slam shut. Once it did, he called out to me. “Found it!”

I smiled to myself. Some things would never change

Christmas had always been my favorite time of year, but now with the kids around it had become even more special. I thought I knew what it would be like to be a mom, but I had no idea how amazing it would actually be. Plus I got to go through it all with my best friend, well friends, still at my side.

Felix and Penelope proudly walked into the bathroom. “Mommy, how do we look?”

I spun around and instantly laughed. Each of them had huge, bulky oversized knit sweaters adorned with brightly colored Christmas bulb ornaments. Both of them had the biggest smiles plastered on their faces. “You two look fantastic!” I bent down and wrapped my arms around both of them before covering them with kisses. The squealed in delight before scurrying off once I released them.

I directed my attention back to putting the finishing touches on my makeup when I heard a loud knock on the door. “Shane!” I called out

Heavy footsteps passed through the hallway, the kids running behind him. “I got it!” he answered back. I sprayed some perfume on myself just as I heard the door open.

“Party is here!”

Felix instantly starting chanting, “Uncle Rob! Uncle Rob!” And I knew that he was anxiously awaiting for Rob to pick him up and hang him upside down by his feet. Giggles filled the house and I knew that Felix was now being hung upside down. Voices boomed throughout the whole house and my heart instantly warmed. Some people wouldn’t care to have the chaos, but for me it reminded me how loved and lucky I truly was.

I walked out of the bathroom and down the hallway into the kitchen-slash-living area. Tyler and Elizabeth were holding hands on the couch while Emily ran around with Penelope and their American Girl dolls. Rob continued to torment Felix by treating him like a wild animal and hanging him up by his feet while Layla looked on adoringly. Each and every one of them sporting the ugliest sweaters I had ever laid eyes on. I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back against the doorframe, just wanting to savor the moment for a little while longer. Shane noticed me first. His eyes met mine, and I knew he was thinking the same thing I was. He winked and went back to mixing drinks at the bar.

“There she is!” Rob said loudly as he put Felix back down onto his feet. Felix scurried off with his sister and cousin, while Rob stalked toward me. He wrapped his arms around me, kissing me on the cheek. Every time I’m with him, I can’t help but think back to when I thought he was gone. Life seemed so much darker then. After our embrace he placed his hands on my shoulders and leaned back, looking me over. His forehead pinched together before he immediately leaned in for another hug. I giggled at his confusion while he leaned back and looked me all over, still seemingly pondering something.

“What the hell are you doing?” Tyler asked from across the room.

“Shut up, it doesn’t feel right.”

I looked across the room at Shane, his eyes dancing as he laughed.

Rob’s arms snaked around my waist, his hands traveled my curves before he attempted to violate my stomach. “Quit being so damn handsy!” I yelled as I slapped his hands away, he pulled back like he’d just been caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

Everyone was looking toward Rob and I at that point. “My Emma, how thick you’ve gotten...”

I reached out and slapped my hand against his shoulder. He flinched and laughed, while everyone else continued to look at us completely puzzled. Tyler stood up and with two long strides snuck up behind Rob and smacked him in the back of the head. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Rob rubbed his head like a wounded dog and looked up at Tyler. “I’m not being a dick, either Emma has to take a massive poop or she’s got a secret.”

I groaned. “Rob, you spoil everything.”

“I can’t help that I’m observant.”

“You two want to let us in on your secret conversation?” Tyler huffed in annoyance.

Shane cleared his throat. I looked at him, his eyebrows raised as he shrugged his shoulders. “Do you want to tell them or should I?” he asked, clearly amused with what had just taken place.

“I guess I will since Rob has already stole all our thunder.”

Elizabeth sighed. “Seriously, you guys are confusing me.”

“We were going to wait and tell you guys after we opened the presents, but since Rob seems to have a sixth sense about things, I’ll tell you now.” I looked at Shane, who was beaming with joy. In fact, he had been for the past month. This hadn’t been part of our plan, but if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last six years, it was that some of life’s greatest gifts happen when you’re least expecting them. I looked around the room, filled with all the people I loved most and took one final deep breath. “I’m pregnant.”

The silence was short-lived before everyone jumped up and began their congratulatory celebrations. Hugs and high-fives were shared, and the kids laughed at the excitement of it all. Elizabeth was the last to be able to wrap her arms around me. We pulled each other close and she nuzzled into the crook of my neck. “I have a secret too,” she whispered into my ear and immediately I knew. I leaned back, my eyes wide with shock. I looked to Tyler who was smiling in our direction while the others continued to celebrate loudly near the bar, oblivious to the moment the three of us were sharing. I looked back to Elizabeth. “Are you serious?”

With tears in her eyes, she nodded.

“I’m going to be an Auntie…” I hesitated for a moment, before realizing this wasn’t my first go around. “Again.” I didn’t mean that Emily was less of a niece, it was just that this time was going to be different. This time I was going to be an Auntie two-fold. I looked to Tyler and mouthed the words, ‘I love you.’ He winked before directing his attention to the rest of the group, leaving Elizabeth and I to our private moment.

I looked back to her again and she placed her hand on the slight roundness of my belly. “Everything I ever wanted, the love, the relationship between you and I and our kids, it’s all happening now Em.”

I pulled her close for another hug. The tears of happiness slid down my cheeks and fell onto her shoulder. “And I couldn’t possibly be any more happier.”

A.E. lives in Vacationland with her husband and two children. Between her real job and writing she finds little time to enjoy life's finer things. However in the free time she does manage to steal, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and reading. A.E. is the co-author of CAUGHT, and the author of Kismet, Working Girl and A Series of Imperfections: Imperfectly Perfect, Imperfectly Real, and Imperfectly Bad. Reprieve is her seventh novel.  

Visit AE Woodward on Facebook:

Purchase Links:

Imperfectly Perfect (A series of Imperfections #1):

Imperfectly Real (A series of Imperfections #2):

Imperfectly Bad (A series of Imperfections #3):

A series of Imperfections (3 book set):

Read GPI's Review of KISMET

Working Girl:


Caught (Heart On #1) co-authored with Erika Ashby:
Read GPI's Review of CAUGHT
Impact - A Caught Prequel (Heart On #2):

1. If money was no object what would take out the number one spot on your Christmas list?

Right now, a new house tops my Christmas list. If money wasn’t an object I could get whatever I wanted. And yes, it would be extravagant.

2. What was the first book you read that made you think “wow this is what I want to do, I want to be an author”?

I have always been an avid reader. However it never crossed my mind that I could write books until I read Jemima J by Jane Green. After I read that book, I started working in secret on my own little slice of heaven with the characters of my Imperfect series.

3. What does Christmas mean for you?

Christmas means many different things to me, but above all else it means time to spend with my family. No work, no schedules, nothing more than being together and enjoying every moment.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure, the one thing you hate admitting out loud?

I have tons of guilty pleasures, most of them I don’t mind talking about, however there is one that is so shameful I hate talking about it. I am addicted to make-up. It’s ridiculous and I would hate to know how much of my hard earned money I have spent on something as foolish.

5. What’s next for you in terms of writing?

I am currently working on a follow-up to Kismet. Those of you that read Kismet felt as though the story wasn’t really finished, and I mean, after an ending like that, I can’t say as though I disagree. So you’ll get a glimpse at life after Kismet through her brother Tommy’s eyes. Keep an eye out for Karma, it will be coming sometime in 2016. Then after that I’m going to try my hand at YA.

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