I was devastated to hear that Stephen Colbert is moving on, because I've always been a huge fan of The Colbert Report. In case there is any doubt, check out this photo of me with Stephen’s portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s hard to say which one of us looks more fierce, but he probably wins because I have bangs in this picture and he does not.
When I started work on the sequel to Anabel Unraveled, I played around with the opening for a long time before I found one that I felt really worked for me. But in the initial draft, I had Anabel make a guest appearance on The Colbert Report. It seemed perfect for her—offbeat, snarky, and less high-profile than an interview with one of the bigger names. Plus, as she remarks to Jared, she doesn’t want to put herself in a situation where she gets, er, “Sarah Palin-ed.”
So from Jared’s perspective, here is Anabel’s national television debut:
The crowd was laughing, like they always did at Stephen Colbert’s jokes. “Nation, I just don’t think…” he began, but I was distracted.You can find out where Anabel and Jared wind up outside of DC in Anabel Divided.
Meghan sat down next to me, patting my arm reassuringly. “She’ll be fine.” But even her tone was doubtful.
I nodded, and glanced at the sleeping baby in the travel bassinet. She was still oblivious. Good.
“Jared,” Meghan said gently. “She knows what she’s doing.”
“Does she?” I murmured, bemused. She was a force to be reckoned with, sure. But Stephen Colbert?
“My guest tonight,” he was saying, as we watched him onscreen from the couch in the green room, “has been a social recluse for months, but has agreed to come on my show and give her own version of how she single-handedly brought down her brother’s presidency. Ladies and gentlemen, Anabel Martin!”
Colbert did his usual routine of sprinting over to the interview area, where Anabel was waiting for him. She shook his hand and smiled brightly at him, running a hand through the glossy waves that the stylist had created for her. If she was nervous, she didn’t give anything away.
He sat across the table from her. “Anabel Martin,” he began.
“Stephen Colbert,” she returned, cocking her head to one side. There were a few laughs from the crowd.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said with a smile.
“Likewise,” she said. “But Stephen, let’s clear the air here. I didn’t single-handedly bring down my brother’s presidency; I had a great deal of help in that department.”
She held her own well enough as he asked her questions about Sam. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled when the White House switched hands.”
“Yes, I figured that’s why the head of the RNC sent me that fruit basket,” she said drily.
“Now, Anabel, tell me,” he said. “You have shied away from interviews with all the major news outlets, with some very heavy hitters. Why did you take me up on my offer?”
She tossed her hair coquettishly. “Why, because you’re cute, Colbert!” she replied with a saucy grin.
I laughed out loud at the look on his face. Meghan grinned. “She’s perfect,” my sister said softly. “I wish I had that much poise.”
“But seriously, Anabel,” he said, recovering his composure.
Anabel grinned at him. “Not taking me at my word?” She sighed dramatically. “Well, when you have spent the bulk of your time Stateside worrying about every little word you say, you don’t want to do an interview with someone who you know has the power to verbally eviscerate you.”
“Oh, come now,” he said, adjusting his glasses. “I could do that to you.”
Wide-eyed, Anabel leaned forward and rested her head on her hands. “Oh, I know you could, Stephen.” She paused, and tilted her head again. “But you wouldn’t,” she said in a low voice.
“And why’s that?”
She grinned. “Because you think I’m cute.”
“Good girl,” whispered Meghan. “She has them eating right out of her hands, Jared. She did make the right choice.”
“She’s got to be careful,” I replied softly, watching Emma stir. “It’s not over yet.”
“How is your brother?” he was asking her.
Anabel’s smile faded. “All things considered,” she said ruefully, “he’s doing rather well. I mean, when you factor in the psycho ex-wife and the sister who ruined his political career. He’s a good man, my brother. Doesn’t blame me.” She looked down again. “He treats me like I’m his kid rather than his sister, which sometimes causes strife between us, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s no finer man than him.”
There was applause, and then Colbert said slyly, “Except maybe Jared Sorensen.”
My sister gasped, but Anabel met his gaze with a challenging one of her own. “Oh, do you want me to put in a good word for you? I am more than happy to, but I have to be honest, Stephen, I hardly think you’re his type.”
The audience laughed, and Stephen said, “Do you see him often?”
“Oh, yes,” she said blithely. “You can’t possibly think that I’d do solo diaper duty. Those things are disgusting.”
“Now what about your bodyguard?”
“The one sitting in the audience over there?” She gestured at Matt, and the camera panned to him. He definitely lacked Anabel’s ease, and he gave a quick wave. “Yeah, he’s still in the picture,” she said, as she came back on the screen. “He’s a keeper.”
I rolled my eyes, and Meg put her hand on my arm. “Don’t,” I said to her. She let go.
“Now what are you future plans?”
“Oh, I figured I’d pop over to the Middle East and see if there are any regimes over there that need toppling,” she said amiably. “But I’m actually leaving the DC area…”
About Anabel Divided: Anabel Martin thought that the resolution of her father's murder would bring a resolution to her problems. After all, she was starting life over in a new place, with new friends, and new adventures, focusing on attending college and raising her daughter free from the distractions of Washington, DC. She was ready to move on.
But a trip back to the District for Meghan's wedding stirs up old feelings and brings new life to old relationships. Matt is cold and distant, while Jared is caring and attentive. A woman from Matt's past, a bold public flirtation, and Anabel's desire to be truly loved lead her to a crossroads...and her final decision leaves her with more questions than answers.
Anabel Divided will be available October 7, 2014.
That gives you time to read Anabel Unraveled.
About the Author: Amanda Romine Lynch is a writer, editor, and blogger who grew up in Florida knowing she belonged somewhere else. She now lives in the DC Metro Area with her husband and three amazing little boys. She is the Eco-Friendly/Green Living Contributor over at the Prime Parents’ Club and strives to live earth friendly in a world of disposable diapers. When not writing about Anabel and Jared or chasing around a curly-haired boy, she cheers for the Gators (in all kinds of weather) and occasionally remembers to sleep.
Discover more at AmandaRomineLynch.com