Summer is a fun time. To celebrate Monthly Smiles is excited to highlight Flawless (Woodlyn book 1) written by June Foster
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. Her characters find themselves in tough situations but overcome through God's power and the Word. She writes edgy topics wrapped in a good story. To date, she's seen seventeen contemporary romances and several short stories published. Find June online at junefoster.com.
Flawless, Woodlyn book #1
When man sees two broken lives, God sees them flawless.
When Jess Colton quit drinking to honor God, he discovered another addiction. Now he can't manage his weight and diabetes threatens to claim him. Jess is baffled when the beautiful Holly Harrison declares her love.
Holly Harrison lived to please herself. But everything caught up with her in one moment of time when a destructive motorcycle accident altered her life forever. She doesn’t plan on falling in love with the handsome Jess Colton seeing past his bulk to the godly, tender man within. When Jess drives a wedge between them, she loses hope of a future together.
Can Holly overcome her handicap? Can Jess find control over his eating and his life? Only God has the answer.
What a few readers have to say:
1. June Foster is a unique author. She has a way of looking at people and seeing what's on the inside and not the outside. She also loves to bring characters with unique personalities and problems to the written page. Flawless has characters with disabilities that some may want to look away from, but June brings them to light, and you fall in love with them--seeing the hero and the heroine the way they see each other. Flawless is a warm, fuzzy, "ah" read. You'll enjoy it tremendously, and you'll never forget this unique hero and heroine.
2. A chance encounter in an elevator leads to friendship, reconciliation to God for a number of people and acceptance of God's plan for lives instead of the devil's.
3. It was inspiring and the characters were realistic and likable. There wasn’t anything embarrassing in the romance portion (yay!). I can easily recommend these to other women of any age without being embarrassed about sex scenes or vulgarity. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series!
4. This book captivated my attention from page one. This story reminded me that none of us are perfect; some just hide their flaws better than others. If we trust in God, he will help us to overcome our imperfections. He truly sees us as Flawless.
Thank you June for giving us a glimpse into your new book. I'm sure it will a wonderful read.
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Flawless-Woodlyn-Book-June-Foster-ebook/dp/B07B7Y4PWN/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529197205&sr=1-1&keywords=Flawless+June+Foster
It's great to have Syndey Winthrop on June's Monthly Smiles. Here's a little about the author and her book, The P.I. and the Federal Marshal
Sydney Winthrop grew up reading Nancy Drew, Ellery Queen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, and Agatha Christie. Constantly writing in her head, Sydney decided putting words on paper would be healthier.
While raising two girls her writing filled notebooks with make-believe conversations between people she saw in restaurants, in cars, or walking down the street. A writing course at a library encouraged Sydney to start writing.
Sydney Winthrop is the author of Cocoa Capone, The Calico Cow Caper, Secret Society, Fibers of Freedom, The Face of Insanity, Aengus, Abba-daba and Fate, and The P.I. and the Federal Marshal.
She and her husband currently reside in Greenfield, Indiana along with Poirot – a kitten who is a teenager in cat years.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I enjoy plotting. In between novels, I try to commit the perfect murder, from the POV of the villain, then twist it to the POV of the protagonist. And then the usual – reading! At the moment, I’m stuck in a Rex Stout rut. And what a rut! When I feel like turning off my brain, I’ll sit in front of an episode of Chopped and work on a counted cross stitch.
What inspired you to write The PI and the Federal Marshal?
I have continuing characters. Cocoa Capone and Fibers of Faith are a daughter/mother dynamic featuring Suzette and Chloe.
The Calico Cow Caper is a historical – circa early 1900’s – where Daisy, the protagonist, starts her own P.I. agency. I carried that forward to present day in Secret Society. Nadine, Daisy’s great granddaughter, runs the agency now.
In The Face of Insanity, Nadine’s best friend, Kelsey – a forensic accountant – is kidnapped. I had fan mail wondering what happened to Kelsey after Face, so I answered that question in Aengus, Abba-daba, and Fate.
The PI and the Federal Marshal circles back to Nadine, Robert, and Nadine’s mother, Tessa – who we last saw in Secret Society.
How did you choose the title of your book?
Oh, there’s a page or two. I am HORRIBLE at picking titles.
This last one, The PI and the Federal Marshal was pretty straight forward, as the theme the publisher set up for the boxed set was Marrying My Best Friend.
The hardest title to come up with was the one for Aengus, Abba-daba and Fate. I wanted it to be Aengus, Abba-daba, and the Corpse, but as a mystery writer writing for a romance publisher – who graciously allows me to err on the side of the mystery – I thought I should dump the Corpse from the title. I wanted Kelsey’s love interest to be in the title, Aengus, and since the book went into a collection on two people falling in love over a cat, Abba-daba, the cat, needed to be in there. The third word in the title came from my husband.
He’s a sci-fi fan and has the television series Stargate practically memorized. There is an episode titled, “Fire and Water” where a very famous line is “What fate Omoroca?” (Which we, in sillier moments change to “What fate Almond Roca?”) My husband suggested I use “What Fate Abba-daba?”. I didn’t care for that.
One, nobody but a sci-fi fan would get it, and two, if they did get it, they would think the book was sci-fi. BUT, I liked the word “fate.”
Can you tell us a little about The PI and the Federal Marshal?
It’s a hot August in Houston, Texas – there’s a redundant phrase – and Nadine Debenheim is settling in to her role as CEO of the prestigious Williams Agency. Before she can get too complacent, a madman storms her office demanding her help in locating a female P.I. on the loose shooting up cheating spouses.
Robert Bellamy, U.S. Federal Marshal and Nadine’s best friend, has been keeping tabs on Tessa – Nadine’s mother. Tessa was arrested for murder but managed to beat the rap. Now she’s in Texas, working as a private investigator.
And do Robert and Nadine discover there is more between them than friendship?
Is there a message in this novel you want you want readers to grasp?
One of redemption. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a character that has a softening of the heart that only God can bring about.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about?
I’m working on a book with two other authors. The story follows a family Bible from one generation to the next – circa 1779 to present day. We looked at the timeline, split the story up, based on true events in history and wove our characters into it. I wrote one of my sections about two sisters that went to England before the start of WWI. One of them dies, (of course!) and the other meets Agatha Christie.
I’m writing a short story on spec using the Chloe and Suzette dynamic from Cocoa Capone and Fibers of Freedom.
And, I have another book due for Forget Me Not Romance the first part of next year.
Sydney, you're a busy lady. I can hear the wheels turning for more to come.
I'm sharing marketing and buy links so readers can learn more. Thank you.
Buy Link for Cocoa Capone: https://www.amazon.com/Cocoa-Capone-Christmas-novella/dp/1540851990/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1506886953&sr=8-4&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for The Calico Cow Caper: https://www.amazon.com/Calico-Cow-Caper-SydneyWinthrop/dp/1548308676/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506887089&sr=1-3&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for Secret Society: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Society-Sydney-Winthrop/dp/1974579409/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1506886953&sr=8-5&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for Fibers of Freedom: https://www.amazon.com/Fibers-Freedom-Sydney-Winthrop-ebook/dp/B0763YX79V/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1513947673&sr=8-9&keywords=fibers+of+freedom
Buy Link for The Face of Insanity: https://www.amazon.com/Face-Insanity-Sydney-Winthrop/dp/1980487332/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1527694966&sr=8-2&keywords=the+face+of+insanity
Buy Link for Aengus, Abba-daba, and Fate: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=aengus%2C+abba-daba%2C+and+fate
Buy Link for The PI and the Federal Marshal:
After a long, cold winter, spring is finally here. It’s a joy to watch all the feathered families in their birdhouses, prepare for their little ones.
I’m always amazed at the springtime beauty of new beginnings. As I look at the pretty flowers and budding trees, I thank the Lord for His masterful hand in painting a glorious tapestry of nature.
I'm sure spring has colored your yard with it's beauty. Isn’t God awesome!
As I write about new beginnings I think of my youngest grandson, Blake Leonard, he’s eleven. In 2017 he came to me with the inspiration for a novella. He says, “Nana, I have an idea for a book, and I know the title. Can we write it?”
I listened to his imaginary mind outline the plot and didn’t think much of it at the time. I’m under contract for a series, Celestial Investigation, so I’ve stayed busy writing book two and plotting book three.
I put off my grandson’s idea, too busy (I thought.)
One day he called me to the computer to show me some research he’d been doing for his book, that’s when my spirit stirred. I knew I had to help him on his project.
Days later, we began An Angel's Burden. Hopefully, it will be out, on Amazon sometime in May.
An Angel’s Burden
Deep in the forest, danger shadows two children.
Eleven-year-old Michael and his sister Caitlyn’s beloved pet Sparky, has went to Heaven.
Mom and Dad plan a camping trip to Indian Trails to lift their spirits.
An accident happens. The children have no choice but to find help.
A missed path has them lost. But that’s nothing compared to the lone cry of a white wolf stalking them.
Can the children face fear and continue on their journey to save Dad?
About the author
Blake Leonard is eleven years old. He an avid reader, likes science, animals and video games. He lives in North Carolina, close to his co-author grandmother, Mary L. Ball
Also, coming(late June) is Luna’s Treasure, Celestial Investigation, book two.
“Luna’s Treasure,” Celestial Investigation, book two. A Christian romantic suspense based on three sisters. Their P.I. skills come in handy in the quaint town of Mercy, North Carolina, a place where romance and mystery unite.
My infrequent newsletter will go out to subscribers soon, and is more in-depth with Blake's book idea.
It's titled, "When God has Another Plan."
I know Blake will appreciate any words of wisdom you can share with him.
The month of April fills us with a newness that refreshes our souls. Beautiful flowers are blooming everywhere. Each blossom has a vivid color to make us smile.
It's exciting to watch God's beauty unfold and Debra Rufini's new novel,
The Artist Page
fits well for Spring and new beginnings.
Welcome Debra. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in 1971 into a loving Christian family. My Father is a retired church Minister. However, I have always struggled with grasping the assurance of the love of God.
Although I was raised within the Christian faith, where the loving arms of Jesus Christ could not have been wrapped around me any tighter, my occasional doubts provide me with the ability to create such a story as ‘The Artist’s Page’ – inviting people like myself to seek evidence for The Artist
I'm sure we all want to know more about your book.
The Artist's Page is an inspirational short story brought to life through expressive illustration.
It tells of an Amazing Artist who has just completed a 'work of love' - a gift for any of the takers, but sadly many of the admirers of His Masterpiece only view the outcome of what lies upon His drawing board, while ignoring His wonderfully creative hands.
'The Artist's Page' sums up the truth behind the creation of all that has been designed before us, irrespective of whether we recognize or accept that truth.
This short story is ideal for those spiritually seeking, or spiritually skeptical.
What would your response be to a group of small people, overlooking you, to look at the masterpiece you'd lovingly made for them?
How would you feel by their admiration at your wonderful creation, as they ignore your wonderfully creative hands?
Would you feel sad? Frustrated? Angry?
Imagine your relief when they leave your invisible side. Picture your joy and your gratitude with their replacement - an appreciative group marveling at your masterpiece, undoubtedly produced by your love.
Would you feel glad, grateful, relieved, believed?
Would you feel the same way the Artist in this story felt?
Debra, thank you for showcasing The Artist's Page on Monthly Smiles.
Visit Debra Rufini's Face book Page:
Amazon (paperback) link;
Amazon Kindle link;
The Artist's Page
I'm delighted to introduce Marie McGaha. She's a talented author and an inspiration for all women.
Her newest book Shine His Light – Lessons In Life, is a must read
Marie McGaha is a counselor and ordained minister, as well as an author, editor and co-owner of Dancing With Bear Christian Publishing. She lives with her husband, Nathan, a variety of furbabies, and enjoys riding motorcycles, is a member of The Patriot Guard Riders, an avid fisherman, and NRA supporter. As Nana of 30, she spends her time making sure they are all well-loved and not spoiled, although their parents may disagree!
“Shine His Light – Lessons In Life” is a collection of devotionals that bring God’s truths to light. The book is arranged in Lessons on various subjects like marriage, sin, purity, and other matters we deal with every day. Most of what I wrote are actual lessons I have learned along the way in this thing called life. Some were learned prior to becoming a Christian but found new meaning in the light of God’s word. As a counselor and minister, it’s important for me to be able to share what God has shown me over the past 35+ years of being a Christian. Life is never easy but if you pay attention, you will learn some important lessons along the way!
Readers you can purchase a copy of Marie McGaha's life changing devotional at: https://www.amazon.com/Shine-His-Light-Daily-Devotional/dp/0692947817/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519944818&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=Shine+His+Light+%E2%80%93+Lessons+In+Life%2C
Monthly Smiles is happy to usher in February with Dan Salerno. He's the author of 20 Short Ones, a unique collection of inspiring short stories. Each story is told from a fun and faith-based (Judeo-Christian) perspective.
Dan Salerno has traveled to Northern Ireland five times and to Japan (once) on mission trips. This was before he lived in New York City for eight years, earning a master's degree in social research while working for the National Coalition for the Homeless. After that he worked and lived at the Catholic Worker's Joseph House near the Bowery, before moving back to the Midwest.
He eventually returned to New York and worked for a children's ministry in Brooklyn, NY for 16 months soon after 9/11.
20 Short Ones, his first book, was published by WestBow Press (a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing).
20 Short Ones is a fun, fresh, faith-filled collection of short stories about relationships, romantic and otherwise. Kirkus Reviews called it “an engaging and whimsical book about faith, love and friendship.” Nadine Kells of Prismatic Prospects wrote, “I especially liked the depictions of characters who are introverted or socially awkward; it can be easy to portray a character’s shyness or introversion as a “flaw” that he or she needs to grow out of instead of a human attribute that can be appreciated as much as another person’s outgoingness.”
Dan,what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
My main form of exercise is walking. So I go for a twenty minute walk every day, even in winter, around a beautiful park not far from my home. In summer months I garden and shoot hoops (basketball). I love reading outside on the patio and watching films. Volunteering is also a top priority - at my church, a neighborhood after-school program and for an anti-human trafficking coalition.
What inspired you to write 20 Short Ones?
Simply living long enough and being distanced enough from the past to see so many really good stories in it. Much of the material in 20 Short Ones is auto-biographical. Being recently retired, and having more free time also helped. During the year that most of 20 Short Ones was written, I read the Bible four times through, cover-to-cover, so my faith helped form the narrative.
How did you choose the title of your book?
A burst of inspiration? I’m not really sure. It’s partly a literal statement of what the book is, twenty short stories. With a little bit of wit added to it. (I’m 5’ 1” tall).
What is your favorite scene/chapter?
It’s hard to pick one. “For Emily” is one of my favorite stories in the book. It takes place in Northern Ireland and it was a lot of fun to write. Mainly because it was focused on the actual experience of going to Northern Ireland five times on (faith based) mission trips. One of those visits lasted four months. I met some exceptional folks there, mainly the couple who run Crossfire Trust and the volunteers who help them. But I also like “Agee,” because it deals with a friendship that develops under very unusual circumstances. But then a lot of the stories in 20 Short Ones are about relationships that are spontaneous and happen because of a person’s willingness to go with the flow and take a chance.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Hope. What I wrote in the Author’s Statement is: “Life can be so complicated. Relationships reflect life. It seems to me that it’s becoming more and more difficult to develop and sustain deep relationships. So much of everyday life makes it difficult to form solid friendships. But we need them. And we can choose to spend the time necessary towards developing them. It’s really our choice, so there’s hope.”
Are you working on a new project?
I’ve written another collection of short stories with a Christmas theme. And I’m in the middle of writing another collection centered around my Mom’s home town of Metropolis, Illinois. (Yes, there really is a Metropolis, with a statue of Superman in the town square). And I have an active blog, posting weekly, mainly on the topics of faith and social justice.
Dan, thank you. This has been a very interesting interview. And speaking of taking things literal. I have to wonder if the creator of Superman was inspired by Metropolis, Illinois.
Readers, you can visit Dan’s social sites here:
Dan’s blog: www.lifesomethings.blog.com
Dan’s website: www.dansalerno.com
Check out 20 Short Ones on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2qA7hK0’
It's my pleasure to begin 2018 with author Lorana Hoopes. I'm pleased that she is sharing her Heartbeat series with us and how it all came about.
Hello everyone, my name is Lorana Hoopes. I always wanted to be a writer, but had the hardest time finishing a book.
A few years ago, I started what I thought would be a sweet romance on my parent’s interesting love story, but like normal, I got about twenty pages in and didn’t know where to take it. A week or two later, my husband and I were attending a local 5k (he ran, but I always walked while pushing my youngest in the stroller). As I pulled my daughter out of the car seat, I saw a woman across the way holding a sign that said: “I love my reproductive rights.”
It broke my heart and got me thinking about what I could do to inform people about the truth of abortion. I had long been a pro-life advocate as my grandmother was told she needed to abort my mother or it would kill her. It didn’t, and my grandmother lived until I was ten.
That night when I got home, I put my kids to bed as normal and then climbed into bed. I thought about writing but had nothing on my mind, so after praying I turned off the light and went to sleep. The next morning, I had words about a story with a pro-life focus. I tried to ignore the words, but they kept coming, so I finally opened up my laptop and let the words flow.
A month later, my book The Power of Prayer (the first in the Heartbeats series) was finished. Where It All Began and When Hearts Collide followed shortly thereafter. These books, while Christian, do deal with people making poor life choices and having to recover from them. While writing the fourth book, A Father’s Love, I started a new Christian romance series with less of a pro-life focus.
Lorana, that's a wonderful reminded of how precious life is. We all, even Christians, sometimes make poor choices that hurt, but thank goodness, God is always waiting with open arms to help us get back on the right track. Tell us about your other writing ventures
When Love Returns is the first in the Star Lake series. This series is set in a small town with lovable, quirky characters. Once Upon a Star is the second book in the series and was just released on its own. It was part of our Under the Mistletoe anthology as well. I am currently working on Love Conquers All, which will be the third book in the series.
In addition to my adult romances, I also have a kids’ series. These books were inspired when my son started reading. There are three out currently in the Wishing Stone series: Dangerous Dinosaur, Dragon Dilemma, and Mesmerizing Mermaids. I am also finishing book 4.
Thanks for stopping in and letting me share my story with you.
You can find all of Lorana Hoopes wonderful books on her website authorloranahoopes.com
Links to Lorana's books and her social sites.
I can't believe it's December. As I get older, it seems the months get shorter. (Cheesy grin)
I want to take this time to thank each one of my online writing friends for the blog opportunities, the advice, and the kind words you so willingly offered when I was feeling down.
I’ve been sadden with the loss of a dear writing friend. Diane Dean White. I'll miss her encouragement and the times she lovingly corrected me, but I know she is with the Lord.
I’ve been broken-hearted with the passing of a family member. Also, watching my mom’s health decline can often distract me from other things. Still, through it all I embrace the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus Christ. He’s the strength that I rely on to keep walking in joy.
I know we’ve all had good times and a few upsetting days, but a new year is around the corner with amazing possibilities. As you enjoy the festivities, hold our savior close to your heart.
I pray that each one of you will look ahead to the uncharted opportunities of 2018 with the faith that through Him we can be whole.
As the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” No matter what, It’s the season to be grateful for all we have.
A very Merry Christmas to everyone
I turned around.
Summer faded into fall.
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. For me, it marks the beginning of the holiday season. This time of the year always makes me look back.
I praise the Lord for the good things about my life. I also thank Him for bringing me through the difficulties, and for my faith, which helps me to continue to have a heart filled with gratitude.
I hear people say that we should keep the spirit of giving that Christmas invokes in our heart all year long. I agree. I also believe we should make the thankfulness that we feel at Thanksgiving a tradition that will last through the good times, and the bad.
How do you keep a thankful heart in the times of despair?
Many face the same issues. Sickness and daily trials can get you down. Mother has Alzheimer. There are times when the cares of her disease will try to rob me of the joy I get from the Lord, and the satisfaction I get from writing Christian fiction.
I’ve found that having a thankful heart doesn’t come natural. It’s something I must practice.
If I let my guard down I may find myself giving in to the “poor me” syndrome.
Being grateful is a choice, not a feeling, nor a condition.
Each morning I get out of bed and spend some time thanking the Lord for the day. During the day when a dark cloud threatens to turn my smile upside down, I recall the praise that I hold dear for Jesus Christ, and keep a verse from one of God’s promises close to my heart.
James 1:12(KJV) “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
I pray that everyone will usher in Thanksgiving with a set mind, determined that the thankfulness will continue long after the memory of the turkey and pies are gone.
This year, while I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and treasure moments with Mom.
I’m also enjoying the release of my newest novel, Thanksgiving Secret.
A secret has a life of its own.
Matthew Blake left home in search of fame. Years later, writer’s block threatens his career. He returns to his roots hoping to rejuvenate his creative juices and meets Lucinda Wise. Unknown to Matt, he’s involved in a mystery, that is soon to be unearthed.
Lucinda rents her tiny house to Matt. Despite his self-centered ways, she finds herself enjoying his company and sharing her faith with him, but timing is everything. She’s dedicated her life to her five-year-old daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.
As Thanksgiving approaches, Matt discovers that Lucinda is the partaker of a secret that will change his life forever. Can he accept that God’s plan for his future is the right one?
Fall is here, there's a chill in the air and the hot cocoa is calling. And what goes well with a cup of cocoa? A good book.
Safe Harbor is book one of Kristen Terrette's new series.
It promises to be just the cure for that chilly day.
Kristen has a Master's degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children's Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She is also involved in the women's leadership team at her church, and writes for Wholly Loved ministry at WhollyLoved.com and crosswalk.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.
Eva Elliott is left with a jaded heart after the death of her boyfriend while she was pregnant. She pushed away the idea of God and love, focusing solely on her daughter, Willow.
She accepts an offer from her mom to move to Moanna Island, off the coast of Georgia. She hopes the move will help her tuck away the guilt for the role she thinks she played in her boyfriend’s death.
Thad Smith’s Pro-Football career came to a crashing and embarrassing halt, sending him running to Moanna Island. He enjoys living under the radar and finds a new purpose as he dedicates his life back to Jesus, but he feels guilty for the sting of loneliness that’s crept into his seemingly full life.
When he saves Willow from drowning in the ocean the first day Eva arrives on the island, he can’t deny the electricity between them. Eva stubbornly fights the stirring in her heart the moment Thad smiles, but since Thad coaches the football team where Eva teaches and lives down the street, God continues to intertwine their lives. When he tells Eva he’s not only falling for her, but Willow as well, she thinks maybe…just maybe, it would work between them.
She doesn’t expect Thad’s ex to throw a kink in the fragile plan, nor for Thad’s relationship with God to convict her own shame and brokenness. Just when she opens the door to God, finally ready to make things right, an accident occurs that could leave Willow an orphan and Thad all alone again.
Excerpt of Safe Harbor
The gurgling, panicked voice snapped me out of my stare on the horizon. I spun around to see a flash of tanned skin and muscles dive into the water after Willow.
“Willow!” I screamed as I took off into the water. I dove for her, but she was too far, and in between my strokes and pulls, I watched my baby roll and tumble, unable to gain her footing.
“Willow!” I screamed though the water hitting my face muffled the sound as I kicked harder, my adult body having to fight hard against the waves.
I will not lose anyone else!
In between the crashing waves, my vision cleared long enough to see the man snatch her up in his arms. I planted my feet as he gained his balance, stood up and hugged her to his chest.
“Baby! Is she alive?!” He rushed to shore, his giant frame unmoved by the powerful tugs and pulls of the ocean as I chased after him, horrified, terrified, and scrambling. When he was out of the reach of the waves, he laid her down and I heard her cough.
My knees hit the sand. “Willow! Are you breathing?!”
The guy sat back to give her some room, and I got down to her face. She tried to talk, but couldn’t through her coughing.
“Turn on your side so you can breathe better.” The guy pushed on her shoulders, prompting her to roll over. “That’s it. Take a deep, solid breath, and try to let it out slowly.”
His husky voice settled over us, and I found myself doing what he was telling Willow to do.
Willow recovered some, and locked her beautiful blue eyes on me. “Yeah, Mama,” she said softly, though a sob that was beginning to take over, “I’m…I’m breathing.”
She started coughing again, though this time it didn’t have so much force behind it. I pulled her to me and she gripped me tight around the neck. “Oh, Willow, my goodness, you scared me to death!” I closed my eyes attempting to ward off the tears, though it was useless. The utter vastness of the ocean had always unnerved me, and now my very worst fear had almost come true in it. I took a deep breath to compose myself. “I’m sorry honey. I didn’t mean to sound so mad. I was just scared, really scared. But I’m not mad at you, okay?”
She nodded into my neck. I looked up and locked eyes with Willow’s savior. His relief shown by the happy grin he wore. Through my range of emotions—panic, relief, and even anger—I now had to add giddy as his smile shot through my heart like an arrow.
“You know, I didn’t want us meet like this.” He laughed when I knitted my brow. “Never mind.” He was still showing off his killer smile, and now I noticed he had a rather country accent. It didn’t seem to fit this dark tanned, completely drool-worthy man.
Purchase Safe Harbor and visit Kristen's social links
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