Sunset on Moonlight Beach - Sheila Roberts
You have a great life, Jenna Jones told herself as she took the glass of champagne her sister had given her. She was living proof that if you waited long enough and worked hard enough, you could turn a shipwreck into a new life.
She looked around the crowded living room of her great-aunt’s beach house. It was filled with friends and family, all celebrating the fact that Jenna was now a member of Moonlight Harbor’s city council, thanks to a special election in March to replace a councilman who’d resigned due to health problems. It had been a hard-fought battle, but she’d won and she had high hopes of accomplishing great things for the town, including getting support for building a convention center.
A town with a city council, it was a little odd. Moonlight Harbor didn’t really have the population to qualify as a city, but the powers that be thought they were close enough, so why split hairs?
“We’re all so proud of you,” said Jenna’s mother, Melody Jones, putting an arm around Jenna’s shoulders.
“Yes, we are,” put in Aunt Edie, the woman who had made Jenna’s new life possible.
“Yes, we are,” echoed Jolly Roger, the parrot, from his cage. “Give me whiskey.”
“We’re not serving whiskey, Roger,” said Jenna’s sister, Celeste. “You have to ask for champagne. Say, it Roger. Give me champagne, give me champagne.”
“Say it, Roger. Give me champagne,” said the bird, bobbing his head and stepping back and forth on his perch.
“Poor Roger. Nobody ever gives him anything to drink,” Celeste joked.
“Poor Roger,” said Jolly Roger, making several of the guests chuckle. “Give me champagne.”
Celeste and Brody Green, Jenna’s ardent admirer and campaign manager, circulated about the room, refilling glasses with champagne or sparkling cider. Jenna’s daughter, Sabrina, pouted when Brody poured more sparkling cider in her glass, and muttered, “I’m eighteen now.”
“Which is a long way from twenty-one,” Jenna reminded her, and she rolled her eyes.
Once everyone’s glass had been filled, Celeste performed the toast. “To Jenna Jones, the most successful woman I know. Moonlight Harbor is lucky to have you.”
“Hear, hear,” echoed Brody.
Ellis West, friend and fellow businessman, said, “I’ll drink to that.” Ellis owned the Seafood Shack, the popular fast food restaurant next to the Driftwood Inn.
“So will I,” Jenna said and smiled.
Successful. A few years ago she would have never used that word to describe herself. She’d come to Moonlight Harbor, newly divorced, with a wounded heart and an angry daughter, towing their worldly goods in a rented trailer. She hadn’t been sure how she was going to pay the spousal support the court had allotted her cheating ex, the starving artist, and keep a roof over her and her daughter’s heads until she’d gotten Aunt Edie’s invitation.
Aunt Edie had offered Jenna a home and a job running the Driftwood Inn along with the future security of knowing someday the vintage motel would be hers. It had been a run-down dump when she arrived, but she’d turned it into a charming bit of nostalgia and the motel was actually doing well.
So was her daughter. Sabrina had been anything but cooperative when the unwanted change had been dumped on her, but she’d eventually found her feet (along with the love of her young life) and, like her mother, had put down roots in the beachside town. There’d been plenty of room for them in Aunt Edie’s beach house, and the older woman enjoyed having them with her.
Jenna looked at the trio of women who were the pillars of her life. Her mother, Melody (Mel to her friends), in her early sixties and still slender and beautiful, was standing next to Ellis, whose eyes had lit up the moment he saw her. She was happily holding her two-month-old second grandchild. Next to her stood Jenna’s younger sister, Celeste, sneaking an appetizer to her dog, Nemo. She was curvy and cute, the life of the party, now married and responsible for that second grandchild. Then there was sweet Aunt Edie, still perky at almost eighty-six. She was proudly wearing an orange Elect Jenna Jones T-shirt that clashed horribly with her hair. It was a shade of bright cherry red that made her head look like a lost Christmas light, but she’d sported that shade for years and refused to be budged from it, in spite of the best efforts of her friend Pearl at Waves Salon to switch her to something slightly more subdued. Her coral lipstick added yet another interesting color to the palette that