"This story is a quick read but a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening curled up with a good book that makes you sigh and fall in love with love again. It tells the story of two people still in love after many years of being together, each with their own reflections on the past and how they met and dated and finally fell in love. It's not a perfect "saw each other across the room and fell in love" story; it's a human story of imperfect people, falling in love imperfectly and how love can still triumph."
"This book tells the heartwarming love story of two people that has stood the test of time. It alternates between how they met and their dating and present day as they think back to those days. It isn't flashy, just talks of what makes things special for them then and now. If you have read Flight Risk by this author a few people from that story are mentioned. They are family of the woman. It was definitely worth my time to read."
I've been mostly working on book covers this week. I've added a new badge to all my YA books. When you see it, you'll know that book is Young Adult.
I have several new YA books on the horizon. One is a paranormal romance with a contemporary/allegorical feel to it. The other has no storyline and no character names, but I liked the image.
I am, of course, still working on several YA, all about half finished at this point. My next YA release will be ICHABOD & PENELOPE. I have offered 2 excerpts from this story on the blog before.
Today's excerpt comes from the second book in The Sanders Series, FOUND, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $2.99. I am in the process of releasing this story and the one leading up to it (from MISSING) as a Kindle or Epub download on their own. They should be available next week sometime.
This sweet historical romance tells the love story of The Old Man's son, Tad, and Beth Sanders.Here, Tad, is faced with a secret he's kept to himself - an inability to read.
It wasn’t somethin’ I ever talked about – my inability to read. Mama tried to teach me, but the letters looked all jumbled up like, so eventually, she stopped pressurin’. And until that day, I’d got along just fine without it.
It was an easy thing to forget about livin’ everyday life. Cows, horses, and chickens didn’t care if I could spell or not. I didn’t need to read to put up a fence or mend a harness. I did know Beth was a teacher, and that was fine for her. I also knew if she got married, she couldn’t stay a teacher. There were rules against it. However, I knew all this singly. We’d only talked for two days. I’d never thought about them all together.
Yet standin’ there with that paper in my hand, it all came rushin’ in. I was a fool. How could I chase after her? She was smart, and I was dumb.
I exited the crowd, escapin’ into the street. But I’d only gone a few feet when Beth’s voice called out behind me.
“Tad!” Her footsteps rushed across the wooden sidewalk, and I spun around to face her.
“No, don’t,” I insisted. “I’m sorry. I won’t bother you. I just can’t …” It was the most words I’d strung together in any of our conversations.
But her eyes grew soft, and grabbin’ my arm, she pulled me into an alleyway. I stared down at my feet. I couldn’t look her in the eye.
“Tad,” she said, “Speak to me.”
But standing there, my mouth dried up, and it was impossible. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled again. “I’m sorry I’m so dumb.”
Then she did something so kind. She placed a hand on either side of my face and tilted it upward, starin’ me straight in the eye. “Listen to me,” she said, her voice tender and sweet, “I don’t care if you can’t read. Ismelda Mott is a rude, hateful woman, and nothing she ever says will change my mind about you.”
A flutterin’ began in my stomach, and her hands seared to my skin.
“I don’t care either that it’s been two days either. Two days, two weeks, or two years won’t make a difference. I like you, Tad. I like you a lot. And you matter to me.”
Our hearts joined then. Tied by some invisible force, I couldn’t think of anythin’ but her. Couldn’t we stay there forever? Couldn’t it be just us? Openin’ my arms, I pulled her up against me and lay my cheek on the top of her head. Her heartbeat pulsed steady against my own. “Beth?” I said.
“Mmm?” she responded. Her body was so warm and so supple.
“I wanted to learn to read. The letters don’t make no sense though. Mama tried to teach me, but everything she said was backward.”
At those words, she froze. “Did you say backward?”
I nodded slowly.
Her eyes lit up, and she tugged at my arm, pulling me to a stop before a store window.
“Forget the letters,” she said, “Just look at the shapes. Tell me what you see on either end. Is the straight shape on the left or the right?”
I studied the window glass closely and gave the only answer I saw. “The right.”
Excited, she whirled around. Throwing her hands around my neck, she kissed me on the cheek. The whole earth fell away. My cheek burned, and hers colored pink. And we stood there, alone on an island of our emotions.
She buried her face in my chest. “I had a student once who complained of the same thing. I taught him to read, but I had to go about it differently. Are you willing to try?”
“Anything for you,” I said. Anything at all.
Her voice returned muffled through my shirt. “Good.”
We couldn’t stand there forever, hard as I wanted to. There was still the social to deal with and the damage done by Ismelda Mott. I wasn’t a kid anymore to run away. Dad taught me to face my troubles as he’d faced his. I always reckoned if he could live through the torture of the prison camps, then I could live through whatever came at me. And in this situation, that was Ismelda Mott. Beth was right. She was one hateful lady, and I had as much right to live in that town as anyone else.
With a reluctant sigh, we parted. However, she didn’t release my hand, but instead folded our fingers together. We walked out side-by-side. Neither one of us making any promises to the other, yet our relationship changed. Separated, we wouldn’t be any good anymore. I needed her, and she needed me.
When we got back to the crowd, she asked me only one question. “Are you ready?”
I squeezed her fingers in my own.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.