Zoie {The Norton Sisters series, Book 2}…Chapter 1

Today is a special day.  This hump day we bring you a teaser for the hot new release from author E.L.R. Jones.  Hope you enjoy the read:

Zoie

“Aaaah! Noooooooo! I WANT MY MOMMY! I NO WANT YOU! Aaaaaah!” little 24 month old Jacoby screamed at the top of his lungs.

“Come on, Jacoby,” Chloe, the newest edition to Mama Z’s Child Care Center requested. “Your mommy will be back later to pick you up.”

Yep, that was the total wrong thing to say. T-minus and Zoie knew the screaming would commence.

“No, no, NOOO! I want MOMMY NOW! NO LADER!” Jacoby screamed.

Zoie heard the one sound that clearly stated Chloe had lost control of the situation, Jacoby’s little feet pounding against the entrance’s hardwood flooring. The second came from the ever outgoing two year old, Penelope.

“I go too. Yay, I go too!” Penelope’s curls bounced as she bounded up from the colorful matt where the other leads and children were having morning snack.

Marcia, a petite little strawberry blonde 24 year old and the lead over the three year olds made a move as if she were going to go after Penelope, but paused when she saw the look Zoie gave her. Zoie’s policy had always been a “hands off” approach until she had to step in. Her sisters had regularly given her grief on her approach to her business and the women that aided her in running it. They all had stated on more than one occasion that she needed to have the same approach with them. She promptly ignored or disregarded their statements because each one of her lovely sisters came to her in their time of need. As to the women that ran the business, each of the seven young men and women that worked with her and the forty to sometimes forty-five six month to four year old children had to figure it out for themselves. Marcia knew the policy and knew that she needed to allow Chloe to figure this one out on her own. The tools were given in college and universities, but Zoie always said, “Education is fantastic, but nothing beats maternal or natural instinct.”

Zoie quietly pulled the door closed behind her. The cool blue room with walls that were plastered with Nick Jr. and Disney characters was where the six month to eighteen month olds slept until eight o’clock. She made sure all of her babies were on a strict schedule. It didn’t matter if she had a new child, which the sandy blonde haired Jacoby was, or not. They all eventually learned how things worked and once the routine was established then everything ran smoothly. Jacoby had just started two days prior. His mother stated that she and Jacoby had spent every waking moment together until last week when she realized that she was going to have to return to her managerial position. Her husband had fallen ill, gotten better then left them both. She spent six months trying to get things in order. During that time Jacoby was always with his mommy. The two were never apart at least until two days ago. Hence, the complete melt down happening at Zoie’s front door.

A parent came in the door and Jacoby turned to dart out the door. His head quickly turned back then his body came with him. His eyes were big and watery as he looked up to see Zoie staring at him. She shook her head in a chastening manner. Her meaning was clear and Jacoby quickly understood that he had been about to do something wrong. Chloe, oblivious to the exchange, knelt down in front of Jacoby and began to wipe his eyes with some tissue. His eyes kept darting from her face to Zoie’s. Chloe sat back on her heels, smoothed her platinum blonde bangs from her face then spoke softly to Jacoby.

“Now Jacoby, do you want to come and have a snack with me and some of the friends that you made yesterday? I know Ms. Jules, Samuel and Amber would really like it if you ate with them. Do you think you would like to have some bananas and cheerios and milk with us?” she asked as he tried to wipe away the tears and snot that continued to fall.

“I…hiccough…wanna…I…juice?” Jacoby’s brown eyes looked over Chloe’s shoulder towards the place Zoie was formerly standing then back to Chloe.

Zoie knew that 22 year old Chloe had him. Jacoby might have another meltdown after his nap, but she found that Jacoby loved playing with Amber and Samuel. He also really liked Honey Nut Cheerios. Zoie moved to the kitchenette that had cupboards painted in primary colors and pulled Jacoby’s bowl and cup from it. The cereal was already on the counter so she poured the bowl then went to the refrigerator as she listened to the rest of the conversation.

“…after you have juice then will you play a game with Ms. Chloe?” Chloe asked.

“Color box?” Jacoby inquired then sniffled.

“Yes, we can play with the color box and the froggy board too. Would you like that?”

“Yes, please,” Jacoby said. Ever the polite little gentleman, he always said “please” and “thank you.”

He couldn’t be a Mama Z’s kid without those little words being used.

“She cleaned that mess up pretty good. I think it helped that Jacoby senses that you aren’t one to mess with,” MiKayla teased as she walked over to the counter and poured some orange juice into Jacoby’s cup. “I’m surprised that you didn’t step in sooner. You did with Dana.”

Madison, a precious little three year old with strawberry blonde curls came over and tugged on Zoie’s skirt. She was very soft spoken and shy when there was something she wanted. Zoie squatted down and leaned her ear toward Madison. Madison’s fingers immediately began playing with one of Zoie’s loose curls as she whispered that she would like to sit with Ms. Kayla today. Zoie snickered and looked up at MiKayla. MiKayla, assistant manager and program director, was usually a floater unless there was a special request like Madison’s. Madison had grown fond of MiKayla ever since she patched up her knee after a bad scrape. Kayla loved the three year olds but enjoyed being with the four year olds and latch key kids more.

“Madison, honey, I think today Ms. Kayla needs to be with her class. Maybe you can visit that class before quiet time. Okay?” Zoie spoke softly to her but loud enough for MiKayla to hear her. “Let’s get your cup and some fruit then we can all of some fun playing learning games.”

Madison did a little dance in a circle, hugged Zoie then hopped, yes hopped, off to the mini dining area that had been set up for all of the older children. The “feeding” station was kitty corner to the dining area and housed labeled and color coordinated high chairs. It was sometimes a bitch to keep up with all of the different chairs. In the six years that she’d been running the center, she had yet to have an issue with a child getting confused about which chair was their own. They usually matched whatever dish and cubby or locker the child had. It made for a very colorful cabinet and area but these were children and they enjoyed bright and colorful things and places. Who was she to change the way things were?

“Now, Ms. Kayla, you owe me for getting you out of having Madison shadow you today. You can thank me by shutting down whatever little whimsical thought you had float across your mind. Keep your quips to yourself,” Zoie lowered her voice. “I didn’t step in with Chloe because I figured she would handle the situation. I knew once he saw that I hadn’t left the building then he would get himself together. Dana on the other hand freaked out because Casey tossed the food at her. Dana’s mistake was one, not looking at the jar of food and noticing that it was Turner’s food not Casey’s. The second thing she did wrong was wearing a silk shirt to work at a child care center. I mean, who does that?”

They both shared a laugh and heard a third little teetering behind them. When they looked they found Kolby’s big hazel eyes looking up at them. The one year old loved to laugh and usually did when she heard others doing so. She tended to get away from her class lead because she just started walking and Tonya hadn’t gotten used to having another busy child in the class. It was officially time for Miss Kolby to graduate.

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Available now!
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00KOQMFC6
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zoie-elr-jones/1119556145?ean=9781494381295
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/zoie
I-tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id877056818

~The “E” motioned News Team

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