Friday, April 26, 2019

Kaira Rouda, The Paper Airplane and The Favorite Daughter



In her new domestic thriller THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (Graydon House; May 21, 2019) USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda takes readers on a journey of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community.  

In THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, Rouda introduces to Delilah Jane—or just “Jane” as she’s known in her exclusive and lavish Orange County community—a mother stricken with grief in the aftermath of a tragic accident. 


Jane is a big fan of this paper airplane drink. She has fond memories of tossing things like paper airplanes as a child. Sometimes she still throws a few things when she’s angry, but who can help that?! 

Paper Airplane
Serves two

  • 4 oz. Rye 
  • 2 oz. Amaro 
  • 1 oz. Aperol 
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
Combine in an ice filled shaker and shake till frosty. Strain into coupes. Garnish with lemon peel.

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Excerpt from THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER

 
I’d worked hard since I’d moved to LA after high school. I’d lost my accent but I hadn’t lost my Southern charm. I could tell David was looking for someone like me, someone different, someone with big dreams, a charmed future: a diamond in the land of cubic zirconia. I slipped him my phone number, in the most old-fashioned way, written on a napkin placed under his beer, our fingers brushing as electricity surged between us.
 
Now, as David stands at the door to our bedroom, he laughs and shakes his head. “You shouldn’t yell, Jane. It’s not becoming.”
 
I walk to his side, my hands clenched. It’s part of our dance these days, this feigned politeness, this lingering something. Is it nostalgia or just an endurance test to the finish line on Thursday? I put my hand on his chest, imagine I’m touching his heart. “Sorry. Please stay.”
 
Instead of embracing me, he takes my hand from his chest and squeezes, an awkward gesture that presses my two-carat engagement ring into the knuckle of my middle finger. “I’m going to work out and grab dinner after at the club. Don’t wait up.”
 
Once he’s gone I sigh, trying to push my frustration aside. In the bathroom I pick up his bottle of cologne. When I unscrew the lid, I take a deep inhalation of his favorite scent, the smell of my husband. In our closet I see his silk ties hanging up in a neat little row. He’s so tidy. Likes his things under control, orderly. For David, and I suppose most husbands and fathers who are the “sole providers” for their families, their personal spaces at home provide the comfort they don’t find at the office. The sense of order, the semblance of routine. Home is so much more than a place; it’s your anchor, your retreat. I know it is especially important to him now that Mary is gone, his favorite daughter, his reflection. He finds peace in his color-coded closet. David is a cyclone of activity out in the world ever since the accident. He’s kept up a frenetic schedule this past year, but he always comes home to me, eventually.
I shake my head, knowing I don’t have the energy to straighten up the chaos on my side of the closet. I’ve learned to embrace my mess. And besides, I have other things to focus on. My husband deserves my thoughtfulness, my presence at the ceremony tomorrow, and I can’t wait to surprise him with everything else I have planned.
 
Each time he walks out our front door, he becomes someone different. At home, with me, he’s the grieving father of a dead daughter. Out in the world, he’s an ├╝ber-successful businessman with his sculptured chin held high, invincible. Out in the world, he doesn’t worry about his sad wife. I’m sure of that. Most of the time, it’s easier for him if he doesn’t think of me at all. But I’m always thinking about him.
 
For example, who wears cologne and Gucci loafers to the gym? No one. I swallow and try to control my shaking hands by shoving them into the pockets of my jeans. I hurry from the bathroom and climb into bed as my tears roll down my cheeks and I stare at the dark black glass of our huge flat-screen TV. David insisted on having a television in the bedroom, something I opposed. I know myself. I can get sucked into a show, a story, and always ended up staying up too late when the girls were little. I like to lose myself while I watch television, one of the things my mom and I had in common. She had the television on all day and night, making me watch her favorite shows with her when she was in a good mood. She taught me how to critique actresses, and to learn from them.
 
And I’ve learned a lot over the years. That’s why it’s time to pull myself out of my seemingly unshakable depression. After this week, I’m going to begin my career again. I’ve already lined up a photographer to shoot some head shots. David will be so pleased. He fell in love with me when I was acting in LA. He’ll be so surprised when the old me makes a comeback. I’m focusing on the future now.
 
Tomorrow’s ceremony will be the beginning of my second act. Us women, especially moms, we’re resilient. At times life just throws us knockout punches. But I’ve always been a fighter. Sometimes we have to take a stand for those we love protect them from bad choices, love them even when they don’t think they need it.
 
I know some women who are stuck in their relationships, in their lives, who don’t have choices. I know how lucky I am and I know how to fight to get what I deserve.
 
So, life, let’s get ready to rumble.

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