PUYB …Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

Join Nicolette M. Dumke, author of the health/fitness book, Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss: Control Your Body Chemistry, Reduce Inflammation, and Improve Your Health (Allergy Adapt, Inc.), as she virtually tours the blogosphere  on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About Nicolette M. Dumke

Nicolette DumkeNickie Dumke enjoys helping people with food allergies and gluten intolerance find solutions to their health and weight problems. She began writing books to help others with multiple food allergies over 20 years ago and the process culminated in The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide. She says, “This book contains everything I know to help with food allergies,” and it has helped many people come back from near-starvation. Her other books address issues such as how to deal with time and money pressures on special diets, keeping allergic children happy on their diets, and more.

A few years ago, while listening to the struggles of an allergic friend on the Weight Watchers™ diet, she remembered her own weight struggles* many years ago and thought, “There has to be a better way.” This was the beginning of a new quest, and she is now helping those who are overweight due to inflammation (often due to unsuspected food allergies) or high-in-rice gluten-free diets, as well as those who are not food sensitive but want to lose weight permanently, healthily, and without feeling hungry and deprived. Her unique approach to weight and health presented in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss is based on body physiology and reveals why conventional weight-loss diets work against rather than with our bodies and therefore rarely result in permanent weight loss.

* (Nickie’s weight loss story, briefly, is that in her early 20s she could not lose on a calorie-counting diet in spite of repeatedly further reducing the number of calories she ate and swimming vigorously and often. Then she found a diet based on blood sugar control, lost weight without being hungry, and still weighs what she did in her mid-20s).

Nickie has had multiple food allergies for 30 years and has been cooking for special diets for family members and friends for even longer. Regardless of how complex your dietary needs are or how much or little cooking you have done, she has the books and recipes you need. Her books present the science behind multiple food allergies and weight control in an easily-understood manner. She has BS degrees in medical technology and microbiology. She and her husband live in Louisville, Colorado and have two grown sons.

You can visit Nickie’s websites at http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com and http://www.food-allergy.org.

About Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

Food AllergyFood Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss answers the question, “Why is it so hard to lose weight?” Because it’s hard to put a puzzle together if you’re missing some of the pieces. We’ve been missing or ignoring the most important pieces in the puzzle of how our bodies determine whether to store or burn fat. Those puzzle pieces are hormones such as insulin, cortisol, leptin, and others.

In addition, we’ve been given some puzzle pieces that don’t belong or fit in the weight-control puzzle. Much of what we’ve heard about dieting and exercise is incorrect and can cause loss of muscle mass instead of fat or even result in weight gain. The idea that weight is determined solely by “calories in minus calories out” is an assumption not based in reality. Most weight-loss diets require us to endure hunger much of the time, but hunger means that our blood sugar is falling or low and our insulin level may be rising. Prolonged hunger leads to the release of adrenal hormones, and the hormonal cascade which follows results in the inability to burn our own body fat as well as causing any fat we eat to be stored rather than burned to give us energy.

Another problem with most weight loss diets is that they strictly dictate food choices, lack the flexibility that those on special diets for food allergies or gluten-intolerance require, and deprive us of pleasure. Individuals with food allergies face additional weight-loss challenges such as inflammation due to allergies which can lead to our master weight control hormone, leptin, being unable to do its job of maintaining a healthy weight. Those with gluten intolerance often eat a diet too high rice. Rice is the only grain which is high on the glycemic index in its whole grain form; thus eating too much of it will raise insulin levels and cause the body to deposit fat. Although the recipes in this book were developed for those on special diets, non-sensitive people will enjoy them as well, and the weight loss principles in this book will help anyone lose weight. (A chapter of recipes made with wheat and other problematic foods is included for those on unrestricted diets).

The most frustrating deficiency of conventional weight loss diets is that they don’t work long-term. Low-calorie, low-fat diets can lead to loss of muscle mass, and with less muscle to burn calories, this type of diet effectively reduces metabolic rate so we need less food. Rare is the person who loses weight by counting calories and keeps it off after they liberalize their diet! However, continual dieting for the rest of your life is not the way you need to live, and you do not have to be deprived of pleasure in order to lose weight. Overweight is not due to a lack of willpower. Rather, it is due to a chemical imbalance in our bodies. Once we begin to correct that imbalance by applying the principles in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss, we can lose weight without hunger or deprivation and can maintain a healthy weight permanently and easily by regaining normal self-regulating hormonal control of our weight.

Book Excerpt:

Why have we cut calories, nearly eliminated fat, exercised strenuously, and yet not lost weight or kept it off? It’s because we were not working with our bodies. Instead, our efforts were based on the faulty assumption that “calories in minus calories out” is the major or only determiner of weight. We were ignoring the most important factors in our bodies’ decisions about whether to store or burn fat – hormones such as insulin, cortisol, leptin, and others…
The hormone insulin has a major influence on weight and hunger. High levels of insulin make us feel hungry and activate the enzyme lipoprotein lipase which takes fatty acids from the blood and stores them as triglycerides in fat cells. Therefore, by preventing insulin spikes, you avoid storing recently eaten fat and leave it in your bloodstream to be used for energy.
Low blood insulin levels allow the enzyme triglyceride lipase to be active. This enzyme promotes the breakdown of the triglycerides stored in fat cells and liberates the fatty acids from them into the bloodstream to be used for fuel. Thus, by keeping your insulin levels stable and low, you can flip your fat control switch from “store” to “burn.”…
The most important hormone for long-term maintenance of a healthy weight is leptin. However, it can be made ineffective by inflammation. You may be thinking, “I don’t have any major problems with inflammation.” Read the next few paragraphs and then decide whether this applies to you.
Sometimes inflammation is obvious – it causes redness, warmth, and/or pain. However, chronic inflammation can be silent. If you are overweight, you may not know it, but you are experiencing silent inflammation. As we gain weight, our bodies do not add more fat cells. The fat cells we already have become larger and are filled with more fat instead. They may leak as they are stretched more and more. Then immune cells called macrophages come in to clean up the mess. The macrophages release inflammatory chemicals in the fatty tissues as they are cleaning up…
Your body counteracts this silent inflammation by producing anti-inflammatory substances. Some of these interfere with the function of the hormone leptin. In optimally healthy people, leptin is responsible for automatically maintaining weight at the right level. Some people do not gain weight no matter what they eat. If they overeat, their well-functioning leptin control system boosts their metabolism and decreases their appetite to restore them to their best weight. When leptin is made ineffective by inflammation, the dysfunction is called leptin resistance, meaning that even though you have normal or high levels of leptin, your leptin does not work to suppress appetite and speed metabolism, thus maintaining a healthy weight.
This may sound like a depressing vicious cycle. Excess fat leads to inflammation and the substances that counteract inflammation (which are necessary to keep silent inflammation from causing symptoms) make it impossible for the body’s weight-control hormone, leptin, to function properly. Don’t despair though – there is a way to break this vicious cycle. There is also good news: As you slim down, leptin resistance abates and when you reach a healthy weight, you won’t have to struggle to maintain your weight. Your newly-functional leptin system will control your appetite and weight.

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My Thoughts on this book!

Wow what can I say except that this is an awesome book! I do not have a gluten intolerance but I still use this book a lot. And after a Dr. visit today telling me I needed to lose a few pounds to help my back, well, I will be using it more.

Something that floored me today, my Dr. advised me to try foods and stuff to reduce inflammation because of a pinched nerve in my side, since I am allergic to nsaids. As I was reading through this book again this afternoon, I found it interesting that this diet really helps reduce inflammation while controlling body chemistry and improving health, all the while losing weight. It looks like the Lord placed this book in my hands and had my review scheduled for today for a reason, how awesome is this!! So I need to say a huge THANK YOU to the author Nicolette Dumke for writing this book, and for Dorothy at PUYB for having this tour!

There is so much information here about gluten-free foods, your health and diet, teaching how to control body chemistry, about the things we put in our stomachs, and so much more. This is truly a book for everyone to have. It will guide you through everything you need to know and to do to choose better health for yourself and your family. I just can’t say enough about this wonderful book.

I highly encourage you to go out and purchase a copy for yourself, and join me and many others as we strive to lose weight, treat our bodies well, and feel better to boot!

This book was provided by the author through Dorothy at PUYB. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

 Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

FIRST WildCard Tour featuring Cara C. Putman, Lynette Sowell, Frances Devine, Gina Conroy in Cherry Blossom Capers

FIRST WildCard Tour featuring Cara C. Putman, Lynette Sowell, Frances Devine, Gina Conroy in Cherry Blossom Capers

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:


Featured Author:

Gina Conroy
Authors of the other novellas in the Cherry Blossom Capers are:
Cara C. Putman, Lynette Sowell, Frances Devine
and the book:
Cherry Blossom Capers
Barbour Books (January 1, 2012)
***Special thanks to Gina Conroy for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Gina Conroy:


Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she’s leaning on the Lord to show her the way. She is the founder of Writer…Interrupted where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God’s timing is perfect, even if she doesn’t agree with it! 😉 She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. On her blog Defying Gravity and twitter she chronicles her triumphs and trials as she pursues her dreams while encouraging her family and others to chase after their own passions. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Visit the author’s website.

Cara C. Putman:
Since the time I could read Nancy Drew, I have wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 I attended a book signing at my local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There I met Colleen Coble. With prompting from my husband, I shared my dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, I’ve been writing books.
My eleventh novel released in April 2011, and I have also written one non-fiction title (the Complete Idiots Guide to Business Law). Look for three more titles in spring 2012.
In addition to writing, I am an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband and my kids. I graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School.
Visit the author’s website.


Lynette Sowell:
Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of four novels and six novellas for Barbour Publishing. In 2009, Lynette was voted one of the favorite new authors by Heartsong Presents book club readers. Her historical romance, All That Glitters, was a finalist in ACFW’s 2010 Carol Awards. When Lynette’s not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born in Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained. She loves reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip.
You can find Lynette at her Facebook author page.
Visit the author’s website.

Frances Devine:
FRANCES DEVINE is first a Christian, second a Mom, grandmother and great grandmother. After that, the most important thing in her life is books. Like most authors, she can’t remember a time when she didn’t love to read. And right from the beginning, she was crazy about mysteries. When she was in her sixties, she decided it would be fun to write them and the Miss Aggie series was born. She has also written two historical romance series and several novellas. Frances grew up in Texas and still loves her home state, but when she moved to Missouri in 1984, she fell in love with the changing seasons, the trees and hills. The Misadventures of Miss Aggie series is set in the Missouri Ozarks. Frances loves to hear from her readers at fdevine1@gmail.com. She also welcomes comments on her blog .

Visit the author’s website.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Collection Summary, releasing January 2012


Four townhouse neighbors encounter romance and mystery near our nation’s capital. In State Secrets, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts. In Dying for Love, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice. In Buried Deception, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact. In Coffee, Tea and Danger, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martini find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents.

Featured Novella: Buried Deception by Gina Conroy


Mount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?

Product Details:

List Price: $7.99

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616266465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616266462

My Thoughts on this book!

This book is 4 short stories written by for wonderful authors, all new to me. So I am really thrilled to read and review this book. I enjoyed all four of these stories, and want to do a short review of each, since they were written by different authors.

State Secrets by Lynette Sowell

Old flames FBI agent Jack and White House Chef Tara meet again at a State dinner at the White House. Jack asks Tara for inside help trying to discover who wants to cause trouble at the dinner, which causes them to spend too much time together. Old feelings begin to spark, but can Tara trust Jack again after walking out on here years before? Can they trust God for their future?

Dying for Love by Cara C. Putman

Morning routine in court places Ciara in the wrong place at the wrong time, discovering the Judges’ body. Daniel Evans, a man she once clerked with wants Ciara’s help in tracking down the killer. The only thing, Ciara and Daniel’s world clashes because they do not see eye to eye on work ethics. And having once being attracted to Daniel, can Ciara ignore her feelings for Daniel if she works so closely with him on the case? Daniel knew he must trust God with his future, because his mentor, the Judge was a strong Christian and taught him to rely on the Lord.

Buried Deception by Gina Conroy

Archaeology intern Samantha Steele and Security guard Nick Porter’s first meeting just didn’t start too well. Finding a broken artifact in a museum is a fake, they had to rely on each other to find out what was going on, or it could be deadly. But Samantha just seemed to get on his nerves, as did her two children. Will they turn to the Lord for safety and guidance with the case, and with their lives?

Coffee, Tea and Danger by Frances Devine

Coffee shop owner Susan Holland loves running her little shop, and likes her calm lifestyle. That is until her uncle leaves her his run down mansion, turning her life into an uphill spend, and dangerous at that. With help from Vince Martini, she survives her difficulties but could she gain a husband in the process?

Living in the Cherry Blossom Estates, neighbors Tara, Susan, Samantha and Ciara are best friends and keep an eye on each other. You will enjoy reading each ladies story as you journey through this book. I enjoyed the romance and suspense as I followed these four ladies in their jobs and social lives with the men in their lives.

This is a great book if you want a fast quick read. Even though they stories have some of the same characters, they are completely different so you can read them separate. I encourage you to grab a copy for a nice and wonderful journey of romance, love and suspense.

 

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER OF “BURIED DECEPTION” OF CHERRY BLOSSOM CAPERS:

“Buried Deception” of Cherry Blossom Capers

Alex, come back!” Samantha Steele’s heart jolted, and she darted after her seven-year-old son. The little renegade ignored her pleas and ran full-throttle toward the dig site behind the slave quarters at Mount Vernon Estates. She glanced at Callie, her nine-year-old, who huffed after her. Why’d her sitter get sick the first day of her archaeology internship?

Samantha pursued Alex through the upper garden toward the archaeology pit where tourists gathered. Her chest tightened. Squatting in the dirt, her boss seemed oblivious to the runaway locomotive about to cause a train wreck.

Samantha prayed that her first encounter with her boss wouldn’t be her last, but two years earlier, God didn’t intervene.

Why would He now?

“Watch out!” Her warning came late as Alex crashed into a dark-headed man in a navy uniform. God’s answer to prayer wasn’t a surprise. The God she knew remained distant, often

turning up the heat when all she wanted was to escape the fire.

Something thumped against Nick Porter’s hip. His drink blew its top, spilling Coke on his security uniform as he dropped his sack. His double cheeseburger and fries tumbled out. “Hey,

watch it!”

The kid who’d plowed into him jumped back.

Two weeks on the job and he’d made a mess of things.

A petite brunette in khaki shorts scurried to his mangled meal. She stuffed it back in the sack, hunching as she offered it. “So sorry.”

Nick’s stomach growled. Just what he wanted. A side of dirt with his burger.

She nudged the freckle-faced kid forward.

The boy resisted. Nick’s frown softened. So much like—

She sighed. “My son is sorry, Officer.”

“It’s Nick Porter, and I’m just security.” Security. He hated the sound of it.

“What happened to the Mount Vernon police?”

“One of many cutbacks.”

She wrote on a business card and handed it to him. Samantha Steele.

“Send me the dry-cleaning bill.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

The blond girl waved her brochure. “This says there’s no food allowed except in the designated eating areas.”

“This one yours, too?” He pointed to the cherub-faced girl. “Charming kids, Mrs. Steele.” He couldn’t hide his sarcasm, the one emotion that remained.

“It’s Ms. Steele. My husband died two years ago.”

Nick spotted Samantha’s naked ring finger. Stupid. As a cop, he never missed a detail. “Sorry.” He paused. “I lost my wife, too.” Why was he confessing to a stranger?

Her eyes sympathized as if she understood his pain.

Impossible.

The kid dug into his pocket. “Here.” Tiny fingers tickled Nick’s palm as the boy released the coins. “I’m really sorry, mister.” The boy’s hazel eyes pierced Nick’s soul.

Nick fought the stirring as memories surfaced. A heaviness descended as they walked away. He should’ve thanked the kid, or at least refused his money. If he could rewind the last few moments, he would. But God didn’t give second chances.

If He did, they certainly weren’t free.

Gripping Alex’s hand, Samantha plodded toward the mansion to catch the tour before her orientation. She inhaled the magnolia breeze, her nerves calming. Something about that security guard unsettled her. Sure, he had Cary Grant looks, but minus the cleft chin and charm he was nothing to swoon over. Besides, she wouldn’t play anyone’s leading lady again. Oh boy.

Classic-movie night with her town house neighbors at Cherry Blossom Estates was getting to her.

The three of them followed the tour into the large mint-green dining room. Samantha admired the intricate white agricultural moldings and crystal dinnerware as the African-

American docent dressed in period attire shared the history.

Alex looked up. “This ceiling is huge.”

“They’re double the size of ceilings at the time.” Samantha studied the detailed carving. “Washington was a great innovator.”

“They had elevators?” Alex whipped his head around. “Can I ride?”

Callie rolled her eyes. “An innovator, not elevator.”

“May I have your attention?” The guide adjusted her head scarf. “Please don’t touch anything.” Her plump figure squeezed through the crowd.

“When my younguns misbehave, I take a switch to them.” The woman’s words grew thick as biscuit gravy. “Can’t have them disrespecting the president now, could I?”

Samantha withdrew from the woman. But Alex pointed to her name tag. Althea Washington. “Are you related to George Washington?”

“She can’t be related; she’s a slave, bozo.” Callie elbowed Alex.

Samantha’s face flushed. “She’s only playing a slave.”

“Next time I sees Masta Washington, I’ll introduce you so you can ask him yourself.” Althea returned to the front. “We’ll pass through the little parlor with the harpsichord President Washington bought for his stepdaughter, Nelly Custis.” Her Southern accent morphed to normal. She glared at Alex. “Please, keep your hands to yourself.”

Something seemed off about Ms. Washington’s role playing. “Stay close and act civilized.” Wouldn’t want to upset her if she had some screws loose underneath that head scarf.

Walking through the little parlor, Samantha squeezed Alex’s hand. Once inside the central passage, her grip relaxed. Marveling at the beautiful mahogany-grained walls, she imagined Washington entertaining guests with doors open as a summer breeze cooled the house.

Callie walked into the front parlor. Samantha followed, her arms swinging, carefree and—empty. Alex?

When did she let go? She spun. Surveyed the entryway. No Alex.

“Where’s your brother?”

Callie shrugged.

“Stay with the group.” Samantha hurried across the hall into the small dining room. Footsteps echoed. She peeked out, her heart beating a warning.

Just her luck Nick Porter’d be patrolling the mansion while Alex went AWOL.

Samantha waited until Nick disappeared; then she jogged up the staircase and surveyed the second floor. The sign on the first door said Closed for Renovations. She checked the

other rooms. All empty.

A door slammed. She turned. Alex scurried from the first room.

“Alex!” she whispered, following him downstairs and through the bedchamber. The study door closed. She raced in and gasped.

Perched on Washington’s chair, Alex reached toward the terrestrial globe.

“Stop!” She reached for him, holding her breath as if a tiny wind would send him falling onto the antique.

He froze.

She lowered her voice. “I’m not mad.” Yet. “Climb down.”

Alex eyed the globe, then jumped off and shuffled toward her like Sylvester with a mouthful of Tweety.

Heat exploded inside her. “Do I need to buy a leash?”

For the past two years she’d dealt with Alex’s unpredictable behavior. She understood he missed his father, so she’d been patient. “Let’s find Callie.”

Swinging around for the door, she slammed into a human wall. Her purse fell. Nick Porter retrieved it as she scrambled after her lipstick.

“Ma’am, you shouldn’t be in here.” He reached to help her up. Their eyes met. “You?”

“Sorry, we’re leaving.” But before Samantha grabbed Alex’s hand, he raced toward the presidential chair.

Climbed.

Reached.

Touched.

“Don’t!” Nick ran to him.

The globe went whirling.

Samantha gasped as the globe’s stand wobbled, her world teetering on the edge of destruction. She fought to breathe as she reached for the antique. It was too late. Like dominoes the globe toppled, knocking against the table by the window, which sent the brass telescope on top catapulting to the ground.

Nick snatched the telescope pieces from Samantha’s hands. It didn’t take a brain surgeon to see the antique was beyond repair.

He set the globe upright, examining it and the table that broke the globe’s fall. No scratches or nicks. Now he got his miracle?

“Sorry, Mommy. Are they still gonna let you work here?”

Nick stared at Samantha. “What’d he say?”

“I—I’m doing an archaeology internship. This summer.”

This wasn’t the last he’d see of her and Captain Chaos? “I’ll have to report this.”

“Wait. Maybe it can be fixed.”

As the kid crawled under the desk, remnants of Nick’s paternal heart wanted to comfort the boy. “You’d better come out.” Had he remembered to soften his tone?

The kid scooted from under the desk. Samantha stroked his hair. “I’ll make everything okay.” She took the eyepiece and barrel from him, tried to fit them together.

“What am I thinking? This isn’t a flea market item I can fix with glue. It’s Washington’s original brass telescope. It survived over two hundred years and millions of tourists, but it couldn’t survive my son.” Tears welled.

Nick shifted his weight, wishing she’d dam that river. He wasn’t heartless; he just never knew how to handle women’s emotions. “I’m calling this in now.”

“Isn’t there something we can do?” Her eyes locked on his like a deer caught in his headlights. He rushed to close the doors on either end of the room. He was insane to risk his job to help this stranger, no matter how much she needed rescuing.

There was something about her. . .needing him. Voices echoed outside the door. “Stay here.”

“My daughter—I need to get her.”

“She’ll be fine.” Nick stepped out. “Room’s closed.” He shut the door.

“Did you see Callie?”

“She’s fine.” His gut knotted. “She won’t try a stunt like young Knievel here or turn George’s bed into a trampoline, right?”

Color pinched Samantha’s cheeks. “Callie would never—just because Alex is curious and clumsy doesn’t make me a terrible mom.”

“I never said that.”

“You didn’t have to.” She crossed her arms.

He shook his head. “We’ll stay put until the tour is finished. Then you’ll find Callie, and we’ll figure this out together.” Together? He definitely needed his head examined. “They have

insurance. I’m sure they’ll understand when we explain.” He took the eyepiece and barrel from her.

Samantha gripped Nick’s arm. “There has to be another way.”

An unexpected longing panged. He couldn’t abandon her now.

With a sigh, he worked the eyepiece into the barrel and sighted toward the Potomac. What? He looked again, his pulse accelerating. A hearty laugh erupted.

“My life’s falling apart, and you’re laughing?” Samantha’s nostrils flared.

“It’s not what you think.”

“Then what’s so funny?”

“The telescope is a fake.”

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