Tag Archive | forgiveness

The Balm of Love ~ Only 99 Ct!

New Balm of Love 3There was maybe an hour of daylight left when Eleanor finally turned onto a stone and dirt road was like a car path through uncut forest.  Finally she pulled up to a guardhouse made of logs with ‘Welcome to Lewis Wilderness Park’ carved in a wooden plank that hung so that it greeted any arrival.

She hoped for her first meeting they didn’t ask her much about Lewis & Clark. She didn’t recall much history from her high school history class.  A tall light brown complected man with a short afro approached her car door.

She lowered her window.  “Hi, I’m Eleanor Lewis. I’m the new employee. I’m to meet with Mr. Murray in about thirty minutes.”

“Welcome to the Wilderness family. I’m Glen,” he said extending his hand through her window.

“Nice to meet you Glen.”

“So, you’re going to continue down this road and take a left where the road forks up ahead. Oh and no need to be nervous, Sean…well Mr. Murray is a cool guy. He will immediately put you at ease. See you later Eleanor.”

Eleanor now smiled a little easier. “Thanks Glen. I appreciate that.”

As he stepped back he smiled and waved her through and she smiled thinking of the friendly sparkle in his brown eyes. She eased the car forward and tried to follow his advice as she took deliberate slow breaths to attempt to calm her heart.

They’d done all the interviews by Skype, so this would be the first time they’d meet in person. They’d been desperate to fill the position and she’d been desperate to start a new life. Hiding out in some wilderness park seemed as different a life she could shoot for. Here, she was certain none of her old crowd would show up  forcing her to suffer sneers from those she’d alienated or looks of pity from those that once considered her a friend.

Soon she drove toward a group of buildings with log paneling on the outside sharing an extended porch embellished with tall rough rafters.  She grabbed only her purse, deciding to retrieve her luggage later.  As she walked up the steps of the porch she could see the first building was a restaurant and bakery with the next being an Outfitter store.

Moments later, she stood before the main lodge building.  She took a deep breath and pushed the door forward stepping into the main lobby, hearing a chirpy greeting which she searched out as her eyes adjusted to the cozy incandescent lighting.

The scent of fresh cut wood hung in the air and she was aware of the whirring sound of an electrical saw accompanied with hammering. Her gaze scanned the lobby which was beautifully decorated in leathers and faux fur textures.

Whatever construction was behind the scenes from where she stood, which was at the front desk before a bubbly, blond woman with a brass pin that read, Belinda who peered at her with clear blue eyes and a contagious smile looking to be no more than nineteen or twenty.

“Welcome to the Lewis Wilderness Park and Camping Lodge. Do you have reservations?” she repeated with no hint of it being the second time she’d asked.

“Hi Belinda. I’m Eleanor Lewis and I have an appointment with Mr. Murray.”

“Oh yes, I was expecting you. He should be ready to meet with you in about ten more minutes. Can I get you a beverage or cup of coffee in the meanwhile?”

“Some water would be great.”

“I’ll get that right away. Feel free to have a seat.”

Eleanor turned and after scanning the spacious lobby filled with various casual seating groups, decided to walk toward the chocolate colored leather club chairs beside one of the lit fireplaces. She was glad the lobby was empty. She didn’t want the added pressure of making small talk with a stranger.

Soon, she was sipping from a bottle of water trying to calm her frenzied mind and shrug off some of the traveling weariness. There was distraction in the quaint beauty of the room made cozy by warm colors and textile carpets that scattered across the stone tile floors and hung on some of the log paneled walls complimented by two huge stone fireplaces at opposite sides of the lobby.

“Mr. Murray will see you now,” Belinda said suddenly  beside her, startling her from her wandering thoughts.

Elaine stood up and took a deep breath as she followed the petite woman across the tiled floors to a discreet stairway tucked beneath a curved wall. Plush carpet met her foot fall and soon she was in a lavishly decorated office, reflecting a constrained passion for the Safari lifestyle.

She immediately recognized the aged Scottish man with shining dark eyes and plump cheeks that she’d been corresponding with over the past few weeks and smiled as she thrust her hand into his extended one. It felt like she was meeting an old friend.

“I’m so glad to finally meet you in person, Eleanor! Did you have a hard time traveling through the snow storm last night or were you already in town?”

Sean Murray had a slight trilling of his Rs despite the nearly thirty years of living in the States.  Eleanor had come to love hearing him speak.  “No, I was still a few hours away, but safely ensconced for the night.”

“Wonderful, wonderful well please have a seat. We are so happy you were available this weekend. There is a small investor group that will be arriving on Friday. They are interested in seeing some of the package tours that this lodge offers and as you can see there is a race to finish up the last of the construction projects on the main floor—only two days away mind you.”

“Well, as I’ve already expressed Mr. Murray, I am eager to jump in and get us completed by deadline if not before. I’ve been reassured even since arriving how kind you are, so I am thrilled to be working for you.”

She watched the once jovial expression on the man suddenly falter, his mouth now twisting to the side as his wiry eyebrows slash in lines pointing toward his nose.

“Did I say something wrong?” Eleanor inquired quickly.

“No, I think that somewhere along the line I have mis-communicated to you. I am not your boss. I merely handle the HR business. No my dear, your boss, well our boss… well here he is now.”

Eleanor watched as Sean Murray gestured with his hand even as he lifted his gaze beyond her.

She on the other hand was caught off guard by a subtle and yet familiar cologne that she’d only known one person to wear.  No! It couldn’t be. Could it?

“Mr. Lewis, I’m so glad that you will finally meet our new employee, Eleanor Lewis.  I thought it funny that you two shared the same last name. Don’t you?”

Eleanor turned so quick she thought her neck would suffer whiplash. “Oh no!”

“You.” He managed between gritted teeth.

Eleanor stood from the wing chair she’d been seated, even as she continued to grasp tightly to it for fear her jelly legs would collapse beneath her.

She stared into the clear brown eyes of the man who’d stolen her heart when she had only been a girl and dropped her gaze in haste.  She was too afraid to decipher what she might read there—most likely the truth about her, about the person she’d been but from whom she was trying to evolve. But he didn’t know that, nor would he believe it.

Still too afraid to meet his gaze, she instead took in his navy cashmere sweater and button-down striped shirt collar that revealed sparse hairs peeping from the top. His wide shoulders reminded her of how she once felt incredibly safe tucked within his strong arms.

Even standing still, his swagger was as she remembered, except somehow more charismatic.

Intensity bounced off him in waves and she knew she was the lightning rod for much of it.

He appeared calm, his hand casually tucked in the pant pocket of a pair of khaki pants, yet the tic in his jaw something only those who knew him well enough to look for, told the story.

Finally, her gaze lifted and she was slammed with his gaze, the ferocity of too many emotions, all focused directly at her. Sweat beaded on her forehead even as her heart did a frenzied canter within her chest.

“I can’t believe it,” she whispered. “It’s really you. This wasn’t the way I wanted us to meet again.”

The tension was thick as the HR manager’s eyes pivoted between the two of them. “Do you …know each other?”

“Actually Sean, you have managed to successfully hire my soon to be ex-wife, that is if the judge could ever sign and discharge the papers,” Terry said while he moved quickly, his long legs crossing the room in only a few strides.

In seconds he was a breath away from her. “Do you never do anything on the up and up? What are you doing here?”

______________

Can two people who’ve hurt one another manage to fall in love again? Check out my latest in the Serenity Inn Series. Tap into the joy, heartbreak and healing love of Lindsay, Chad, Eleanor and Terrance for only 99 ct for a short time!

The Balm of Love ~ Serenity Inn Series ~Book 3

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Excerpt from New Release, The Balm of Love!

This story opens with a more humbled Eleanor. She has lost much since the last the last Serenity Inn installment and this loss has humbled her quite a bit. In fact, her humility brings her to the door step of Serenity Inn to see Lindsay who has since married Chad and is expecting their first child.

What happens next sets the stage for some twists and turns in the lives of not only Eleanor and Terrance but Lindsay& Chad as well.

Put your seat-belts on and get ready to check into more drama as it unfolds in The Balm of Love~ Serenity Inn 3.

 

 

“Tell me, do you think the hike was too strenuous?”  His whiskey colored eyes pinned hers and Eleanor found swallowing her food  difficult.

“I don’t think I’m the best person to ask.  I haven’t hiked in years, so for me it was challenging. Could it have caused Barrett’s heart attack, probably not. These things are usually by-products of a lifestyle. I’m sure it could have happened at any time.”

“Why didn’t you say something when you needed to stop?”

Eleanor continued quietly as she moved food around her plate. Why didn’t she say something? Is he kidding?  Sighing she lowered her shoulders. “ I didn’t want to show weakness. I couldn’t appear as if I wasn’t up to it. I mean wasn’t this a test for me?”  She shook her head from side to side. “No I had to prove to you that I could do it. If I had complained—well I might as well have been prepared to resign.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’m dead serious,” she said leveling her gaze back at him.  “You should just admit it. You clearly said as much just after the helicopter left that I needed to finish this. Remember?”

“Yeah but—“

“But what? You said I had to decide here and now what I wanted. I mean Barrett had just been taken away. I was devastated with worry. But you were dead set on finishing this hike.” She shrugged. “So that’s what we did.”

Terry looked away.  He had said that. Had he been so bent on seeing what Eleanor was made of that he missed early signals of distress in Barrett?

“Do you think I might have missed something? Maybe I could have helped him sooner.”  Terry continued his voice low and flat.

Eleanor took a moment to study him. It was evident he was suffering. His eyes were on his plate.  But it didn’t take long for her to respond.

“No. He seemed fine right up to the time you asked him to sit down. In fact they’d been laughing and talking just before.”

Terry seemed to mull her words over. “It’s just that I’d hate to think—“

“Look you have to stop second guessing yourself. You know you’re always careful in everything you do. You’ve been careful your whole life. It’s why this Wildlife Park is so perfect.” Her hand reached across the table impulsively grasping his.  “Trust me, you did everything right.”   eleanor 2 good serenity 3b promo 2

Their eyes fused.  He searched hers wanting to believe the truth that shined back at him. He could almost trust what he was seeing.  Slowly he pulled his hand away just as he dropped his eyes. “Thanks Eleanor.”

He slid his chair back and gathered the dishes.  “You can leave your dishes.  I’ll get them. We have to get an early start in the morning so you probably should go ahead and turn in.”

He turned away from her and headed into the kitchen.

“No, I can help,” she insisted picking up the remaining dishes from the table.

Terry took a deep breath and faced her.  “The truth is I really would just like to do this alone. I need to think things over.”

Eleanor frowned as she opened the dishwasher and began to load it. “Terry why did you hire me when you’re going to insist on pushing me away. I mean it’s not exactly something you can do with someone in the position you hired me in.”

Terry turned away from her eyes that were full of questions. Questions she had no right to ask him. Questions he didn’t feel the need to answer—wasn’t ready to answer. Yet he could feel her still staring into his back. Waiting. It wasn’t like he could say he hired her to punish her. Besides it was so much more complicated than that.

“Let’s just drop it, Eleanor. Go to bed.”  He took a dishcloth and began to wipe down the counters and the stove listening for her departure.

“Listen, I’ve waited to say this for a long time, and I can’t wait any longer. I’m sorry Terry. I’m so sorry for everythingthat happened.”

Terry gripped the counter and closed his eyes. Why didn’t she just leave?

“There probably won’t be another opportunity for us to get this out in the open, Terry.”

Eleanor rushed around to stand in front of him and grasped his arms. “Please Terry open your eyes and look at me. Can’t you see that I’ve changed? I’m striving everyday to be a better person.”

Terry clenched his jaw and moved away from her. As he walked toward the kitchen entry he slammed his hand into the wall. “Why couldn’t you just for once do as I asked? Why did you insist on pulling the scab off the wound I spent the last couple of two years trying to heal?  You should have just let it be Eleanor.”

Eleanor dropped her head as tears gathered in her eyes.  Her lashes tried to hold them at bay but failed.

“I guess I just needed you to hear my apology outloud. I…I needed to say it Terry because the idea of you not knowing how much I regret betraying you—“

“I don’t want to hear it! Can’t you get that through your head?” He turned and stared at her with eyes she could only describe as haunted.  Fear clutched at her heart as she watched the contorted face of grief and something else she couldn’t quite grasp.  What had she done?  She backed up for every stalking step that he took toward her until the sink hindered her retreat.

“I don’t care how sorry you feel,” he growled. “It doesn’t matter that you’ve changed. You broke everything in me and there are no words you can say that can change that. You took everything inside me that was good and trusting. You destroyed it on a childish whim— just to see if you could! I can barely stand to look at you. Do you understand that?”

 

Get caught up in the rest of this second chance drama, The Balm of Love, the 3rd installment of the Serenity Inn Series!

Sample Sunday ~ The Balm of Love: Serenity Inn 3

Serenity Inn Desperate Measures

Lindsay left Eleanor in the great room in front of the crackling fireplace.  She walked toward the kitchen in a state of shock. Eleanor was here…in her house.  In the house that she shared with Chad and Cook….Eleanor. She shook her head to make herself focus and loaded a silver plated tray with lemon cookies while the teapot heated on the stove.  She added two cups, silverware, and napkins to the tray, and took a deep breath.

“Did I hear someone at the door?”

Lindsay jumped, startled by the sudden appearance of Cook behind her.

She turned to see her dear, short, elderly friend sporting her silver fox wig.  She hadn’t felt well earlier that evening so had retired to her room.

“Yes you did, but it’s no one…special.  You can go back and rest.”

Cook lifted her eyebrow and continued to stare at Lindsay.  “Who is it?  Is it someone that I know?”

Lindsay turned and busied herself with pouring the heated water and adding a small bowl that had a selection of sweetener packets.  Lindsay debated what to tell her. She knew Cook was liable to put Eleanor out in the cold or worst.

Lindsay on the other hand was curious to know what prompted her to show up at her home after all this time and all that had occurred. She was definitely the last person she’d ever expected to show up on her doorstep—actually to ever see again, especially since her and Terrance’s divorce finalized over a year ago. But here she was.

Lindsay turned and leaned forward to kiss Cook on the cheek. Cook had been the first employee Chad had hired while she’d been hospitalized. Cook’s first name was Shirley, but she insisted on being called Cook and so they did. She’d proved to be more than that to all of them at Serenity Inn.  It was as if she’d become their adopted mom—their source of wisdom in times of trouble.

She was deeply cherished and that was why Lindsay was adamant about her resting. If she never cooked another meal, she wanted her to be well so that she could be with them for many years to come.

“I told you it’s no one you need to be concerned with. Please go rest.  I’m worried about you, Cook. I need you to rest so that you can help me with this baby.  Besides, if anything is needed, Meredith is more than able to pitch in.”

Cook sighed resignedly. “I know.  She’s a sweet thing too.  I’m so glad she moved here.  Though with her, you probably don’t need me as much.” She sniffed.

“Cook, I’ll always need you.  If you didn’t lift a finger, you are needed because you are the backbone of this family.”

Lindsay smiled at her, hoping to convey the love she had for her within her heart. She rubbed her friend’s forearm.

“Please go rest, sweetie.  You know I have to make a report to Chad when he calls this evening and should I tell him that his patient isn’t listening? You know he’s a breath away from admitting you into the hospital.”

“Don’t you threaten me, young lady.” Cook sassed.

Lindsay’s eyes widened as she giggled.  “You got that, huh?  Well keep it in mind then and go lay yourself down.”

Cook did an about face and fussed the entire short distance to her room.

Lindsay picked up the tray and headed back into the great room.

She busied herself serving Eleanor’s tea and cookies.  It hadn’t occurred to her to offer her anything else, but then she didn’t expect her to stay long.

They each held a bone china cup, Lindsay looked across hers to the woman that had tormented her upon their very first meeting.  She bore very little resemblance to the diva that she’d once known.

This woman who sat across from her, though every bit as beautiful as she ever was, was different.  Lindsay took in the change in her hair color but realized it was more than that. This woman appeared hesitant and unsure—definitely not the woman she’d met nearly two years ago.

“So what brings you by, Eleanor?”

Eleanor took a cautious sip of tea and then returned the cup to it’s saucer. She wrung her fingers and glanced furtively at Lindsay but then quickly dropped her gaze.

“I came to do something that is overdue…I came to apologize for all the pain that I caused you and Chad.”

Lindsay coughed, spluttering tea out of her mouth.  She quickly sat her cup down on the table before her and reached for one of the napkins. She dabbed it on the front of her top to absorb the liquid that dampened it.

Eleanor jumped up to rub her back, a gesture meant to ensure she wasn’t choking.

Lindsay looked up and was surprised to see something resembling concern in her eyes.  Actually, she had nearly dismissed it, figuring she’d only imagined it. The Eleanor she’d once known wouldn’t have bothered.

“Are you okay?” Eleanor asked, as she stooped to gaze at Lindsay.

“I’m fine, truly.  Please, you make yourself comfortable again.”

Eleanor shook her head.  “Let’s not pretend that I could ever be comfortable in your presence, Lindsay.”

She looked away and then leveled her gaze again.  “What I did to you …it was inexcusable.  I could never apologize enough for what I did that evening to…Chad, you and most of all my …well, Terrance. None of you deserved that.  I’d like to drive by Terrance’s and apologize as well. It would mean a lot to me.”

Lindsay’s mouth opened but no words came out.  She wondered if she should agree or just nod.  In the end that was what she did—just nod.  Still, she couldn’t see herself giving Terrance’s address to this woman.

Despite what appeared to be a heartfelt confession, she didn’t trust her.  Was it possible that she could really change from the barracuda she’d once been?

Maybe so, but Lindsay didn’t want to be responsible in the event she really intended to cause Terry some harm. In fact she was really starting to worry for herself and all in the house with her.  Stranger things had happened with mental illness and she wasn’t completely sure she wasn’t staring such a case in the face right now.

“Eleanor, while I appreciate your words—well more than you will ever know, I’m not completely comfortable giving out that information to you without Terry’s permission. You two have been estranged for some time. I don’t think Terry or Chad would like me to disclose his address. I’m sure you understand.”

Eleanor fluttered her lashes in an attempt to hold back the tears that threatened to fall, but they streamed nonetheless.  “I guess I felt he would be able to see my sincerity better looking me in the face rather than over a phone call or a note in the mail. I put him through so much pain and he didn’t deserve it. All he ever did was love me and I betrayed him. It…it was just important to me to make amends in person is all.”

Lindsay knew if she opened her mouth, her tongue would roll out. She blinked her eyes a few times but still she could not bring a single word to mind. Still she couldn’t believe she was looking at the same woman who nearly terrorized her in Chad’s home. Her tummy began to squirm as the baby did somersaults within. Lindsay figured the baby was in shock too.

Finally, she leaned forward and grasped her tea-cup and took a few sips as she wrangled within her mind with what to do.  The grandfather clock chimed the six o’clock hour and she smiled.

“I think I should give this more thought. Why don’t you leave me your cell number and I’ll get back to you in the morning after some more consideration…and maybe prayer.” She flashed a small smile. “Besides, you probably want to get on the road now. You’ll have to ride a bit to find another hotel.”

“I don’t know why you just don’t let your first no mean no Linds. You’re too soft to say it, but I’m not.”

Cook’s body finally caught up with her voice and she now stood imposing as ever in the center of the room, her eyes glaring at Eleanor.  “The answer is no. There is no way we will ever give you Terrance’s address.  Are you kidding?”

Eleanor scrambled to stand and clear some distance between her and the imposing woman. “Please you have it all wrong.  I’ve changed—“

“Wait a minute. You think we’re supposed to believe you changed just because you said so?  Oh nooo missy.”

“Wait Cook,” Lindsay called out trying to grab her arm.  “I do think she has changed…some,” she added her gaze swinging to Eleanor then back to Cook.

Eleanor nodded.  “I don’t expect you to take my word for it. I just wanted to try…”She paused to take a breath. “Please forgive me, Lindsay.  I-I know that I don’t deserve it from you or Chad.  I don’t expect it from Terry, but I …” her voice trailed off in a whisper as she caught her bottom lip in between her teeth. But even that couldn’t keep the sobs from erupting. Her body seemed to collapse beneath her onto the sofa behind her.

For the second time that evening Lindsay was completely shocked, she moved toward her. Hesitantly, she placed a hand on her shoulder.  Her eyes shifted to Cook, who’d crossed her arms, silently watching the woman Lindsay sought to comfort.

As the sobs continued to rack Eleanor’s body, Lindsay tried to soothe her and gently rubbed her back.

Cook relented and sat in the chair across from them. Her expression was bland as aged, brown eyes settled on Eleanor. “Tears don’t tell the whole story Lindsay.  But so that you aren’t further distressed along with that baby I won’t keep fussing.”

Lindsay felt her eyes fill with tears over the sobbing woman and her plea for forgiveness.  “Cook wasn’t it you that showed me in the bible what James 4:6 says? Didn’t you tell me there are times we all feel we aren’t deserving of God’s forgiveness explaining that’s why it’s called undeserved? Wasn’t it you that helped me to appreciate that is what indeed makes it a gift?”

“Yes, Lindsay but…”

“She asked for our forgiveness, Cook. We don’t have to give her Terrance’s address, but we can give her that.”

“Really? You can easily forgive this woman who attempted to seduce your husband in the same house with her husband and while you, his then fiancé were visiting?”

Lindsay looked from Cook to Eleanor who was slowly managing to compose herself. Could she? Her heart thumped, her baby’s heartbeat echoed hers only in staccato. It was a reminder of her blessing and that’s when she knew. Slowly she smiled and looked at the woman beside her, “Yes. I can forgive you. It will take a while to forget for sure, Eleanor.  But I’ve decided to forgive you and I will pray for you because your future steps will be full of challenges, but if you persist, at the end of your journey you will find peace.  I’m sure of it.”

“Thank you Lindsay,” she said as she grasped both her hands between them.  “Having you forgive me from the heart means the world to me.”

Cook’s gaze settled on Eleanor and softened along with her tone, “If you indeed are sincere…then you did a good thing to come and apologize—in person.  But to ask anything more…well that’s too much, too soon. Repentance takes effort. If you want to find your ex, well you can pay for that information, you can search online for it.  You can do more than merely dropping by to ask for it from this woman who owes you nothing. You may have changed. You might be sincere—but asking something on the back of your apology, well it almost undermines it completely.”

Cook then walked to the door and looked pointedly at her.  “I think you should go.  It’s already started to sleet and as Lindsay said, it will take you a while to find lodging.”

Shakily Eleanor stood and walked toward her watching closely as Cook held out her coat toward her.

Cook’s shrewd eyes didn’t miss the woman tense in fear.  A couple of years ago she might have felt triumph over the arrogant woman. But now with despair crowning in this same woman’s eyes and bearing, she felt nothing but sympathy. “I mean you no harm, child. I too wish you well in  your journey.”

Eleanor’s lips lifted into a small smile. “Having you hesitate to forgive me only reminds me of how much pain I have caused.  I can come here and claim I am an apple tree but if all you see is an orange tree, the telling of it is in the fruitage.”

She now grasped her coat and slid into it. Her gaze took in the two ladies. “Thank you so much for your hospitality.” Lifting a trembly smile at them, she pulled the door toward her, gasping as the brutal cold seemed to steal her breath. A flurry of flakes danced beyond the threshold before the porch light, stippling her face with its hardened bits. Pulling her infinity scarf closer around her face and throat, she braved the harsh wind as she walked toward her car.

Love Embraced ~ Serenity Inn 2~ Free All Day Today!

lindsay and chadI loved the characters Lindsay and Chad, but I made the choice to extend their story in a sequel.  I think my readers will be satisfied with the continuation of their story-line as well as that of the feisty Cook, Elaine, Walter and a couple of others to really shake things up! 😉

Synopsis:

Lindsay and Chad reunite and consider if they have what it takes to continue to pursue their relationship. They each have grown since confessing their feelings, but now they wonder if there is room in their new lives for each other. They soon find out that success brings new challenges. Lindsay will also have to contend with Chad’s sister in law, Eleanor, who makes it abundantly clear how she feels about Lindsay. Cook also makes a reappearance and she is feisty as ever!

Elaine emerges from the background as one of the main characters. Suddenly her past is crashing with her present. She will need to figure out how to confront old issues while determining if those old scars will hinder her from new love.

Walter has held his own since stepping into Chad’s shoes. He continues to move forward in his growth from mistakes made in his past. Can he continue to be the backbone and support of everyone at Serenity Inn?

 

Serenity Inn Promo 3

 

 

Here’s an excerpt:

She’d just lifted her legs to the small ottoman before her when Eleanor returned.  She smelled her heavy parfum before she even looked up.  Eleanor moved behind the bar.  Lindsay could hear her drop ice into a glass and then the sound of the ice melting as she poured over it.  She decided to ignore the woman. She was buoyant with excitement and she thought maybe if she didn’t’ acknowledge her, that she wouldn’t bare her fangs and claws. She soon found that was only wishful thinking.

“I have to admit you clean up pretty good.”

Wait for it! Lindsay thought as she sipped from her glass.

“Target did a good job with that rendering of Beyoncé’s dress. Was it on sale?”

And there it is!  “I imagine that’s as close to a compliment as I’m going to get from you.” Lindsay murmured as she connected gazes with the haughty woman.

“I do believe you’ve given me more credit than I deserve,” Eleanor purred before winking.

“Ye–eaaah, it’s a bad habit of mine to give people the benefit of the doubt. Even you, Eleanor,” Lindsay quipped returning her wink before dropping her eyes back to her tablet.

“Well! I think you’re finally learning,” Eleanor said before she walked toward Lindsay and sat down beside her feet on the ottoman.  She sipped what Lindsay could see and smell was whiskey and remained silent.

Lindsay turned her attention back to her Kindle, though she had to admit her attention was waning as she wondered what next would be coming out her bag.

Suddenly Eleanor began tapping her turquoise nail against the glass she held. Almost as if signaling for an announcement.

“You know Lindsay, you’re a beautiful girl.  And you know how to make a good impression, but you need to face the fact that you’re never going to fit within Chad’s world. You see, he has obligations that not only affect his career but his family’s name. The functions he attends require a woman bred in the same background as his. Do you really think a girl from the ghetto will make an adequate woman on his arm?”

She laughed now to make her point. “My family has known Chad’s and Terrance’s family for years.  And I went to school with them.  So, I can tell you, women like you come a dime a dozen for Chad. I mean you have your role for sure, and I guess you’re pretty good at that,” she smirked.  “But its best that you remember you will only be the lady of a season…don’t think to plant your roots for a lifetime.”

Lindsay felt anger pulsate through her as never before. She’d had enough of Eleanor.

“And why is it any of your business, Eleanor?  You would think Chad was your husband and not Terrance. What goes on between Chad and I shouldn’t be your concern.  Besides, you presume wa-aaay too much.”

Lindsay slid to the edge of her seat and stared directly into Eleanor’s sea-glass viper blue eyes.  “I think you should take all that energy that you spend trying to insult me and others and devote it to your husband and your new marriage. And stay away from me!” she said as she pushed the ottoman away from her unintentionally causing the amber liquid in Eleanor’s glass to slosh out onto her red blouse.

“You! You….”

“What’s going on here?”  Chad asked as he entered the room.  He was frowning now as his gaze swung between Lindsay and Eleanor.

Lindsay took in his dark suit that fit him like it was made just for him. Then she realized it probably was.  His white shirt was crisp and open at the collar, revealing bronze skin and wisps of hair, which had her hand longing to touch.  Finally, she tuned back into his question.

“Oh nothing, just a little girl talk,” she said before smiling.  “Then the ottoman slid and spilled Eleanor’s drink all over her.”

“Do you want me to call Michael for you, Eleanor?” Lindsay softened her voice so that it purred just like Eleanor’s.  Then she turned her eyes up at Chad before she stood up and walked into his arms. She brushed her lips against his, completely ignoring Eleanor, who got up and all but stomped from the room.

“Mm, you smell good babe,” she said before she grasped the ends of his tie and began to expertly knot it.  “There you go. Are you ready, honey?”

Grab yours today!  Today it’s free!

 

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And be on the look out for the third installment in the Serenity Inn Series, The Balm of Love, coming soon!

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Thanks so much to all my readers!  Through your encouraging posts and inbox notes, you certainly make my writing rewarding! ❤

 

Finding You…When Love Called~ FREE All Day 4/15!

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The promises she made her mother sends her into flight. . . Scarred by her childhood, Lisa uses advice from her mother to dictate her life choices. After, “Never look back”, her mother told her to never let a man threaten her financial wellbeing.   Lisa does what she promised her mother- she runs, but finds along the way being vulnerable with the right person is not such a bad thing after all.

For Devin and Lana, their love story begins with a wrong phone number.  In an attempt to reach Lisa, Devin reaches Lana.  At his wit’s end, he vents to Lana who offers a compassionate ear.  Intrigued about the other, they begin a friendship that takes them on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Check out their story FOR FREE ALL DAY!  Then please be sure to leave a review!  Thanks a bunch!

What one reader said about Finding You…When Love Called:

“This is a story of love lost and love found. Normally when a couple does not survive a relationship its easy to root for one of the two. Ms Walker was able to create multi-dimensional and complex characters and I found myself rooting for them as an individual and as a couple. The story started out with despair by truly ended as a happily ever after.  This is the first time I read anything by Ms Walker and she nailed it.  She was able to create two storylines from one.  The story had a smooth flow and it was difficult to put down.  Whereas another writer may have created two books she pulled it together into one. Definitely wont be my last book from her.”