“Sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently in the dark. But I’d discovered that if you stopped fighting against it and just stood still, sometimes something marvelous comes along.”
Artist Lexie McCain spends her days literally weaving the story of her life into a gorgeous tapestry. But on Monday nights, she walks to the Corner Bar, drinks a Killian’s, and answers the same question every week from Sam the bartender: “One thing?” She starts with her name, then her cottage, slowly moving on to the devastating tragedies that tore her life apart.
Sam Corner’s smile doesn’t seem to hide any pain. One night, Lexie turns the tables on him, asking Sam, “One thing?” To her surprise, Sam reveals his own tragic history. Together, Lexie and Sam learn that, with good beer and a trusted friend, sharing just “one thing” might lead to the one thing they both thought was lost forever: love.
From award-winning author Holly Jacobs comes the story of heartache, hope, and the power of sharing just one thing.
"JUST ONE THING is an emotionally compelling page-turner. I could not put it down." ~JoAnn Ross, NY Times Bestselling Author
"This is Holly's breakout piece, a masterful tale as deftly woven as the tapestry that forms a central part of the story. Perfect book for a bookckub book." ~Susan Gable, Award Winning Author
JUST ONE THING is a different kind of book from award-winning author Holly Jacobs. This book is a little more cathartic than her usual feel good writing and touches your very soul in a deep heart-wrenching way. Characters Lexie and Sam are hurting and struggling to endure their pain. With each other’s help, they may determine that just one thing is the answer. Be prepared to read JUST ONE THING in one sitting and keep the tissues handy because you will be smiling through your tears. Kudos, Holly Jacobs, for this wonderful novel and for always keeping your readers entertained and wanting more. Single Title Reviews
"This poignant story about new discoveries, hope and love is truly unforgettable. Readers will find themselves connecting with the characters' feelings right away. This novel is the perfect fit to share with a book club since it's guaranteed to stir emotions." ~RT Book Reviews
Sometimes healing begins with one step, with one friend . . . with just one thing.
It was a Monday. I finished my day’s work, fed Angus, and headed for the bar.
I went to The Corner Bar every Monday.
Well, Fridays and Saturdays were for dates and desperate people looking to “hook up” with others. I wasn’t dating nor was I interested in hooking up. Sundays were for church, and it seemed wrong to go to a bar that day, even though I wasn’t attending church anymore . . . God and I weren’t on speaking terms. Still, no bars for me on Sundays.
Midweek was filled with work around the cottage.
So, Mondays were my day.
I spared the briefest glimpse in the mirror as I left and couldn’t help but notice the grey hair that had started to weave its way through the darker strands. I fingered one particularly wiry piece, thought of plucking it, but in the end, I let it fall back in place.
I’d walk the mile down the long dirt road to Mackey Hill, a tarred and chipped country road, then down it another mile to Lapp Mill.
The people in town said that if you blinked as you drove through Lapp Mill, Pennsylvania, you could miss it entirely. Though it was home to a thriving Amish community, the northwestern Pennsylvanian town didn’t get the attention that its eastern cousin, Lancaster, did. It was a small, quiet community. It didn’t have a grocery store, though it did have a post office, two churches, and a bar.
I passed by the churches and the post office, then walked into The Corner Bar and sat down on my stool.
Sam, the bartender, served me a Killian’s in an iced glass. He was tall with dark, shaggy hair and light blue eyes. I’d only noticed his eyes on my last visit, but the hair—I’d wanted to tell him to trim it for weeks, but I’d refrained.
“Hey, why does she get special treatment?” a regular at the other end of the bar shouted as he eyed my iced glass.
“She’s prettier than you; that’s why,” Sam shouted back. Then he looked at me. “One thing.”
“One thing,” I agreed.
I’d been coming to the bar for about six months. Six months of Mondays.
The first four months I kept to myself and everyone pretty much let me be. But eight weeks ago, Sam had insisted I tell him one thing before he’d serve me my Killian’s.
What was different that week? What had made the taciturn bartender change our newly formed routine? I didn’t know, but I didn’t argue. Telling him one thing about myself seemed easier than arguing.
I started with my name that first week. Lexie McCain.
As I got older I thought about forgoing my nickname and using my more formal given name, Alexis. Lexie seemed like a younger woman’s name. A carefree woman. I wasn’t that. But in the end, I kept Lexie. It’s who I’d been my whole life and I couldn’t change that now.
The following Monday, Sam issued the same ultimatum—one thing in exchange for a Killian’s. I told him about the cottage I lived in. It was never intended as a long-term residence, but it was working out just fine.
The rest of that week I noticed things about the cottage I hadn’t noticed in a long time. I noticed that the creek that had tripped merrily in the spring had slowed to a mere trickle under the summer’s unrelenting sun. I noticed that there was a squeaky board on the porch. But mostly, I noticed how quiet it was at the cottage. That silence was like a balm. I reveled in it.
During the weeks that followed, I told him about Angus, my horribly ugly Irish wolfhound. I told him about the wood I’d split, preparing for the winter to come, even though it was still August. I told him about the spring at the edge of my eighteen acres. It gurgled along, even during the hottest, driest summer days and fed the small pond. I told him about the vegetables from my garden that I froze for winter, and explained I liked freezing much better than canning.
I told him that I liked crafts—I didn’t say art because I’d always thought it sounded pretentious to call what I do art. I taught art, but I’m more of a crafter. I brought Sam a small clay jar I’d made a few years ago. It wasn’t one of my best works, but it was sturdy and honest and in that respect it reminded me of Sam.
I told him that I liked Guinness more than Killian’s. He offered to stock a case, but I assured him bottled Guinness wasn’t the same. Only draught would do. I’d stick to Killian’s in a bottle.
Last week, I told him about the month I spent hiking through Ireland during the summer of my college freshman year.
And now, he waited for tonight’s one thing.
“I was twenty when I got married,” I told Sam . . .