Read all the way to the end for a chance to win. (Or what the heck, just skim down there, no one’s gonna have to take a quiz)
You know, this Indy pubbed thing is really interesting and REALLY SCARY. Because you have no editor saying, “Uh, what in the world does this mean?”
I did hire an editor and she was really good. But the whole thing just lands so firmly on MY shoulders.
Anyway, my buddies from Seekerville have put together our 3rd and 4th Indy novella collections and this pair is called, “With This Kiss Historical Collection“ by Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Cara Lynne James, Julie Lessman and ME, Mary Connealy and “With This Kiss Contemporary Collection. By Ruth Logan Herne, Sandra Leesmith, Tina Radcliff, Missy Tippens and Mary Connealy.”
So I’m in the contemporary one and that was fun but waaaaay outside my comfort zone, which I loved.
I’m posting exerpts from each book.
Here is Safe Shelter my contribution to ‘With This Kiss Contemporary Collection.’
A man stepped into the reception area and Janna MacCleod surged to her feet, then stopped herself before she ran.
It’s not him. It’s not Ned.
The man spoke to Alma, the lady who had interviewed Janna, then left the office. The flight reflex drove Janna toward the nearest room with a lock. Bolting the restroom door, her knees buckled and she sagged against the wall.
Coming out of hiding went against all Janna’s instincts. But she had to do it. She hadn’t heard from or seen Jed for nearly a year. And she needed a normal life. She needed to find a spine. She needed to begin again.
Pulling herself together, she straightened and rubbed her patchy cheeks proudly and checked her green suit. It did ghastly things to her complexion, bless it’s cheap, polyester heart.
She’d done some very good work on her appearance. No one would notice her. Men wouldn’t look twice.
God didn’t convict her of lying by dressing badly. Instead she took comfort that somehow God had inspired this. He wanted her here and He would get her past the only barrier—Prescott Chambers.
Hiding from Prescott Chambers and his seedy reputation, hiding from Ned and his obsession, had the benefit, thanks to clunky glasses and dense freckles, of letting her hide from all men.
She unlocked the restroom door and reentered the outer office of the Foundation, determined to reclaim her life. Whether it would be here rested in Chambers’ unsavory hands.
She returned to the shabby couch and sat down with her spine straight and her head held high. Anna might be a sniveling coward but Janna was competent, calm, capable. And homely as a basset hound.
Janna is who she’d be.
He’d hire a basset hound to replace Alma before he’d have another simpering, love sick female around him.
The chair sagged along with his spirits as Scott Chambers leaned back and brought the personnel file up to his face until it covered his closed eyes. He rubbed his forehead with the thin beige cardboard wishing the rhythm would soothe him.
He hated this. He still hadn’t gotten used to the shock of Alma’s announced retirement. No one could replace her. He pulled the folder away to study Alma’s scribbled note. “My first choice.” He knew what to expect. This highly trained young woman was too good and the money was too bad. She had applied for this job for one reason.
In anger he slapped down the file and watched a dozen sheets of paper skid silently across the huge oak desk left in here from his grandfather’s time. He dreaded the dozens of women who trooped through his office every time there was a job opening. He hated the endless stream of lies.
He rested his eyes again on “My first choice.” Fine, he’d trust Alma with this. He’d gotten so he trusted her with everything.
But Miss First Choice had to pass one simple test.
Picking up the file, Scott tapped it into order. He smoothed his hair, straightened his tie, tugged on his cuffs, the perfect polished exterior he’d learned from his mother.
For one second he longed to fling everything aside and go make his own life. But a last deep breath banished the impulse.
He snapped the paperwork flat on his desk, reached for the phone and tapped the intercom. “All right, Alma. Let’s get this over with.”