In Real Women Wear Red, you meet Cyn, Sandy, and Millie on a Caribbean cruise. But in the sequel, Real Women Sing the Blues, Robin joins the women in Hawaii. To receive news of this release, please fill out the Newsletter form.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, introducing Robin.

As The World Turns

I remember the exact moment when my world shifted. The air in my SoHo loft felt chilled and too hot at the same time when moments ago the gas fireplace had warmed the coolness of the black and white furnishings to the perfect temperature. The neon lights flashed the name of the latest theatre performance; one I’d seen two or three times and every time, wished that I was starring in it.

In that moment, I knew I could no longer continue to be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there the blues were calling my name.

My mother, Millie Evans, had just returned from a nonstop round of winter Caribbean cruises, followed by weeks of summer Bermuda cruises, and a short season of fall New England cruises. That was Millie for you—she always knew what to do when.

So, I was surprised when she called me and said that she was two blocks from my loft and asked that I meet with her. At first, fear landed in my belly as my mind immediately shifted to worry. But she reassured me it wasn’t serious. “Well, not serious like death or divorce,” she’d said. Why would she bring up death or divorce?

When I opened the door, she hugged me tightly, tighter than usual for her. I noticed the red outfit she was wearing with such panache, and smiled because I knew it was her favorite color. It was eight p.m. and I’d only been home briefly after sharing a couple of cocktails with friends downtown. I’d changed into my blue sweats and a t-shirt, because blue was my favorite color. It relaxed me, calmed me, chilled me to a more normal temperature that my heart rate preferred over the red-hot days of life on Wall Street.

After inviting her in, I offered her a glass of wine, and she turned it down, which surprised me. If it was one thing I knew about my mother was that she rarely turned down a glass of wine or cocktail. It was ubiquitous with Millie Evans. Had she been taking the doctor’s advice to give up smoking and drinking? Somehow, I doubted that. I was more convinced it had to do with the news she had to deliver and my spine stiffened, preparing me to hear the worst.

I poured myself a glass of red wine, and sat down on the white leather sofa, encouraging her to do the same. Instead, she started pacing the room, stopping to stare out the floor-to-ceiling windows. Suddenly, she turned toward me, her hands wringing like a nineteen fifties sitcom mother like Margaret in “Father Knows Best.” Although, in this case, the show in our house would be “Mother Knows Best.”

She cleared her throat and said, “Robin, dear, there’s something I must tell you.” I could have predicted that. Wasn’t that why she was here?

She sat down next to me and surrounded my hands with her hands, which were ice cold, unlike the usual warm, comforting hands I remembered all throughout my childhood. I’d always loved that about her, that no matter how crappy my day had been, she’d greet me with those warm, comforting hands and my whole life got better just by her touch. This was not happening now.

“Robin,” she began again, “your father…” Her voice trailed off and I wondered what she could possibly tell me about my father who had died a few years ago. What could be this upsetting? The family fortune was no more? Or a new surprise heir was claiming the family fortune?