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Hot Flashes and Cold Cream Paperback – November 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595540695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595540690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Diann Hunt writes heart-warming stories with a rose-colored view of the world. Author of 25 books, many of them award winners, Diann lives in Indiana with her husband Jim. Visit her website at diannhunt.com. Twitter: @DiannHunt

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

With one glance at my body in the bedroom mirror, my suspicions are confirmed. Everything has gone south--and I didn't make a reservation.

"Gordon!" I scream for my husband like a deprived woman at a sidewalk sale. "Come quick! I've been kidnapped!"

Without a moment to lose, I try to reverse the aging process by shooting determined arms into the air. I'm reaching for the ceiling as if my life depends on it, and jogging in place. Immediately thinking my waist needs it most of all, I clasp my fingers overhead and plunge sideways in one dramatic swoop. Denise Austin would be proud.

My husband dashes around the corner, heaving gulps of air, panic on his face. "Maggie, what the--"

Suddenly my hands wallop the side of Gordon's nightstand lamp and send it crashing against the wall, narrowly missing his head. The shade flies across the room, sparks scatter with bulb pieces, and the remains sizzle like a steak on the grill.

One look at Gordon's face, and I'm thinking my days of worrying about this age thing are over.

I may not live to see breakfast.

"I thought you screamed"--he's bending over now and gasping for breath--"that you were being kidnapped." Pulling a hand-kerchief from his pocket, he wipes his forehead. I feel bad that I've caused him to sweat when he's already dressed for work. He stuffs the hankie back in place. "Well?"

Okay, so my body wasn't kidnapped, but somehow this doesn't seem like the time to tell him that Grandma borrowed it. Can we say Freaky Friday moment here? I'm walking around in Grandma's skin, and somewhere in heaven Grandma is walking around in mine. No, that can't be right. Grandma now has a heavenly body, and I know my body is anything but heavenly.

"Maggie?"

I avoid the issue. "I'm sorry about the lamp, Gordon." We stoop down to pick up the broken pieces.

"That was a close one. If I didn't know better, I might think you were trying to get rid of me. What's going on, Maggie?"

Okay, I'm a klutz. So rub it in my face, why don't you. Next time, maybe I won't miss. Whoa, Maggie. Down, girl.

"I'm waiting." Gordon steps behind me, his heavy breathing sounding a lot like Darth Vader.

Scooping the last bit of bulb into the trash, I put the lamp back on the stand, hoping that if I stall long enough, he'll go away.

He doesn't.

I take a deep breath and turn to him.

"Well, see, I ran into Debra Stiffler--or whatever her married name is now--at the store yesterday . . ."

"What does that have to do with you screaming? I thought you hurt yourself or someone was hurting you." He doesn't bother to hide his irritation.

"Okay, so sometimes I overreact." A fact he still struggles with after almost thirty years of marriage, I might add.

"Sometimes?" He's peering over his glasses the way he used to do to our kids, Heather and Nick, when they were in trouble.

"Most times?"

"You ever heard of the 'Little Boy Who Cried Wolf'?"

With a lift of my chin, I walk over to the dresser, pick up my brush, and run it through my hair, all the while staring at Gordon through the mirror.

His breathing quiets and now his eyes turn soft as his reflection looks back at me. "Look, Maggie, you scared me, that's all." His Tommy scent soothes me. I put the brush down, and he wraps his arms around my waist. "I don't want anything to happen to you."

"I'm sorry, Gordon."

"Now, what about Debra whoever?" he asks, resting his chin on the top of my head.

"Stiffler. You remember her," I prompt, "the high-school cheerleader, homecoming queen, girl-that-every-guy-wanted-to-date, Debra Stiffler."

His face brightens. He lifts his head and stares at my reflection. "Oh, that Debra Stiffler."

I think I might have to hurt him.

"What is she doing in Charming? Indiana doesn't seem to fit her. Anyway, I thought she had moved to Colorado."

"Probably came home to visit her parents. Who knows?" My hand brushes the comment aside. "Anyway, we served on student council together for four years," I say, as if this should mean something to him.

"She married that football jock, Greg somebody, didn't she?"

"I don't remember who she married. Could we move on here?"

"That guy had an ego the size of Texas."

Staring at him a moment, I mentally shake myself. "Whatever. Look, Gordon, the point is--"

"Yeah?" He nuzzles his face in my neck. I have to wonder if he's paying attention.

"--I told her how good she looked, how great it was to see her, when it suddenly dawned on me that she didn't have a clue who I was." His breath is warm against my skin, and his whiskers tickle. At this point it becomes obvious to me that Gordon cannot nuzzle and listen at the same time, so I pull free from his grasp and turn around to face him.

He frowns.

"It's like this. I knew her at once with her upturned nose, crisp, snappy cheerleader walk, and size 6 body." Okay, so there's a bitter edge to my voice here. The only thing size 6 on me is my wedding ring.

I haven't been able to take it off in years.

"How could she not have recognized me, Gordon?"

"Honey, it has been, well--" I do not miss the fact that he backs away, slowly, "--over, um, thirty years," he says with great caution, as if we've had this discussion before. My eyebrow is raised, and he knows better than to finish.

"Have I changed that much?"

"You're beautiful as always, my love." And without so much as taking a breath, he adds, "How about some coffee?"

"Don't think I didn't notice how you changed the subject, Gordon Paul Hayden."

He winks, then darts down the hallway like a gangster in a getaway car, leaving me to the mercy of our mirror, which by now I'm thinking must have been previously owned by the wicked witch in Snow White.

Forcing myself to take another glimpse, it's as though I'm seeing myself for the first time in twenty--would you believe thirty?--years. Transfixed by the wrinkled, soon-to-be-fifty-year-old frowning back at me from the mirror, I pinch my cheeks to add some color. Pale and dry, my skin just sort of lies there like old leather. If I didn't smell coffee coming from the kitchen, I'd think I was dead.

Though not exactly homecoming queen material, I looked pretty good back in the day. Not that I want to be twenty again, but, well, being young has its merits.

My thoughts flit to Gordon's new paralegal who could pass for Paris Hilton's twin--maybe with a bit more meat on her bones. Maybe that's why I'm noticing the changes in me all of a sudden. Meeting her at our daughter Heather's wedding last weekend and then seeing Debra Stiffler at the store was obviously more than my sagging self could handle.

Daring another look at my reflection, I raise an eyebrow, suck my cheeks in with my teeth, and pull on a sexy look. With all the confidence of Pamela Anderson--well, her mother, anyway--I think to myself: Paris Paralegal can move those baby thighs right on over, 'cause a real woman is a-comin' through!

My husband enters the room again. "Are you okay?" he asks, looking at me strangely as he walks over to his dresser.

I let my cheeks fall back into place and sigh. "I'm fine," I say, thinking I'll break that mirror when he leaves.

Gordon continues to look at me for a moment, then shakes his head, shrugs, and roots around the top drawer for socks. I watch him through the mirror. What does he really think of me? He says all the right things, but what lurks in the hidden corners of his mind? When we gather for office parties, does he compare me to the younger women? Does he prefer their company to mine? Is that why he stays at work so late into the evenings?

Have I let myself go? There's no question that Gordon brightened at the memory of Debra Stiffler. Do I have that same effect on him?

A sock drops from his grasp, and he picks it up with his toes. What a guy. I call him Claw Foot. My toes just sort of stand there like chubby little soldiers, never really amounting to anything. Gordon, on the other hand, scrunches his toes together and, in one quick swoop, goes in for the kill. I tell you, the man is amazing.

I'm sure Gordon is surrounded by temptation. He is handsome, after all. True, his sandy-colored hair is starting to thin a bit, but his goatee makes up for it. All right, so there's a streak of gray in his facial hair, but men look more distinguished with gray. Why is that? I look at his body. The low-carb diet is kicking in big time, and his pounds are melting away as fast as my memory.

He puts on his socks and shoes, then turns to me. "Let's go have that coffee, Gorgeous."

I perk up. It doesn't matter if his glasses do need a change in prescription, he thinks I'm gorgeous. The thought warms me like an electric blanket--or is it just a hot flash?

Gordon walks over and pulls me into his arms. Sucking in my stomach, I throw out my chest. He looks down into my wrinkled face. "I love you," he says tenderly, and for that instant, all is right with my world.

"I love you too," I say, meaning it with my whole heart.

He releases his hold and walks out the door. Like a baby duck, I follow him into the kitchen where he pours the steaming brew into our cups.

"Here you go," he says in a chipper voice. He extends the mug toward me and all but skips to his chair.

How can anyone be that happy in the morning? Anytime for that matter? It isn't normal. I should have him committed.

Coffee in hand, I slip over to the sofa.

Gordon pulls open the newspaper and soon wanders into the world of finance. A place of fascination for lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors. A place of sheer boredom for me.

With a glance at the area around his chair, I'm reminded of Gordon's love for stacks. A stack of magazines, stack of laundry, stack of pancakes, it do... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


More About the Author

I've been happily married forever, love my family, chocolate, my friends, chocolate, my dog, and, well, chocolate. When my husband and I were faced with the empty nest, I rolled up my sleeves and started writing. I entered a dream world, and I'm still dreaming--so please don't wake me.

God is first place in my life with family and, okay, chocolate following closely behind.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book was funny and relaxing and I enjoyed reading it.
Connie Sheets
She did a great job in showing self control when she really wanted to let someone have it.
Donna S. Cass
This comedy by Diann Hunt is hilarious, same as 'Hot Tropics and Cold Feet'!
Pennie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Everroad on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
At last there's something for us boomers! Hot Flashes and Cold Cream has a heroine I could relate to. Think of the antics of a middle aged Lucy and Ethel. I totally related to everything Maggie was going through when she looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the girl she saw looking back. While the book is hilarios, it held a lot of subtle truth about image and self worth. Don't miss this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ane Mulligan on March 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Diann Hunt uses humor and zany situations to make us laugh at aging. Maggie Hayden gets herself into one scrape after another with her misguided caring. Hunt drew me into this story so well, Maggie became real. I cared about her. So much that there were times I wanted to slap her. She drove me nuts with her inability to get a grip, yet I laughed all the way.

Besides having a wonderfully intriguing title, Hot Flashes and Cold Cream is a page-turner of a book. You can't wait to see what Maggie gets herself into next. Thanks you, Diann, for this hilarious romp through aging.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Hauck on December 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Diann Hunt hits the mark for menopausal baby boomers with her first Lady Lit, Hot Flashes and Cold Cream.

Maggie Hayden is turning fifty and hormonal all at the same time. Her daughter recently married and her son is off to college. Meanwhile, the love of her life, Gordon, is working way too much over time at his law firm, conferring with his Paris Hilton-ish paralegal, Celine.

Like all of us, Maggie faces the realities and insecurities of growing older, watching stuff sag and wondering if our husbands really meant "to have and to hold... until death do us part," thirty years later.

Hunt weaves a light hearted, funny tale with Joan Rivers-like quips, "I'm thinking no here." Maggie is honest about her insecurities, but not whiney and does something about her life instead of expecting life to do something for her. She gets a job at her beloved coffee house and helps a young woman struggling with an eating disorder.

Hunt sprinkles the story with laugh-out-loud lines like, "Just call me the Hot Flash Queen. The good news is this is the first time in my life I've qualified as a "hottie." And, when her son-in-laws challenges husband Gordon about the safety of Gordon's beloved Corvair, Maggie panics, "Danger, Will Robinson. Warning! Warning!"

You will love this book. The inspirational theme reminds us that God is in control, He has a plan, even for the members of AARP.

Great job, Diann.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather on December 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This exceeded my expectations - Maggie is someone everyone can relate to. This is a great read for gals who are younger than menopausal age too (I am 28). If you want a good laugh, and to feel like you are escaping reality and entering into someone else's crazy world for a while - this is for you! I enjoyed it from cover to cover. Will look for more from this author. =)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Billerbeck on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Why are women such a mess of insecurities? Diann Hunt delves into this question with wit, pace and hilarious dialogue. I just LOVED Maggie, even though she could use a slap or two sometimes!

If you're considering paying $110 for a jar of miracle cream? Get this book first, so much fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Chick Lit for the mid-life woman? Of course! Diann Hunt's HOT FLASHES & COLD CREAM isn't about the angst of twenty-something gals over boyfriends, friendship, shopping, work, and a few extra pounds. Rather, it deals with a woman's mid-life issues such as husbands, friendship, shopping, work, and a few extra pounds.

"With one glance at my body in the bedroom mirror, my suspicions are confirmed. Everything has gone south --- and I didn't make a reservation," moans Maggie Hayden. She's on the cusp of turning 50, her daughter Heather has just tied the knot and flown the nest, her son has moved out, and Maggie is thinking about returning to work. "Who am I without the children? When did my body fall apart?" Maggie is a mess from the opening pages.

Her attorney-husband, Gordon, is looking handsome and thinner these days from his low-carb diet. After 30 years, they still SEEM to have a solid marriage ("He is the yin to my yang. The rhythm to my melody. His encouragement can lift me higher than a sale at Isabella's Boutique. Well, it's a close second, anyway.") But is their rock-solid Christian marriage on the way out? He's working long hours and late nights with a paralegal who could pass for Paris Hilton's twin, and it's not long before Maggie worries that Gordon is grazing in greener pastures.

To add insult to injury, Maggie's attractive high school classmate Debra Stiffler (who has had more nips and tucks than a wedding dress passed down three generations) returns to the little overly-cutesy-named Amish town of Charming, Indiana, and sees Maggie at the store but doesn't recognize her. Then, Debra hires Gordon as her attorney! More late nights. Could Gordon be having an affair with Debra, too?
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GalleyGirl on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was an absolute hoot! The only time I could put it down was to hold my sides when laughing out loud. I think we have a little Maggie in all of us. She just says the things I'm thinking. A definite must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise Hunter on December 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book's cover and title caught my attention. I mean "Hot Flashes and Cold Cream"; what's not to love about that? Fortunately, the inside of the book lived up to the outside. I laughed out loud too many times to count as I read about Maggie, who is adorably flawed, and her hilarious antics. The Christian theme is there also, nicely built into the plot and characters so that I could totally relate. Surprisingly convicting for such a funny book, which just goes to show what a talented author Diann Hunt is!
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