Posted in Book Reviews

FREE E-book: The Accident by A.M. Heath

Accident copy

Hockey season starts THIS week! 🏒
That may not mean anything to you, but it means a great deal to Chris and Ashlyn, so to celebrate I’m offering The Accident for FREE until Friday. 📚
Enjoy and share with a friend!

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“A sweet, thoughtful take on a different kind of romantic beginning.”
~ Laura; reviewer

Writing an epistolary had been on my bucket list, so this was such a treat for me to write. Not only did I try my hand at epistolaries, but I also weaved in some Predator Hockey love throughout the novella. Here’s my favorite hockey-inspired quote: 

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So whether you’ll be cheering on your favorite hockey team or not, I invite you to pick up this story full of heart, romance, honest trials, Godly wisdom, family love, and, yes, even a touch of hockey.
And if you’re a hockey fan, respond back and let me know which team you cheer for!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

410hV02ZerLAnne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging, and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but she runs after a disastrous first meeting.

Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.

Finding a monetary backer and sticking with a search that’s turning up nothing will take all their dedication–and every secret they’ve tried to hide. If they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world–love.

What I Loved: Liz Johnson is one of those authors who always surprises me when I pick up a new book. I forget how perfectly smooth and comfortable her writing style is. It’s not overdone or underdone, it’s JUST right.
A Glitter of Gold has been a highlight of my reading month. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why that is, and I think it’s because there’s so much working together so flawlessly.
Anne and Carter are delightfully, broken characters. Anne, in particular, is someone who I don’t relate to well, but she still comes across so real and relatable despite our differences. The setting comes across as authentic. I’m not a beach-going gal but it’s been refreshing to visit this coastal setting and to hear about these pirate legends, both real and fictional.
If you follow me for any time at all, you’d know that I’m a historian at heart. The only thing that equals a historical novel in my eyes is a time-slip novel. Although the setting is contemporary, we’re reading a journal written in the 1700s. And both storylines are very well done!
And she brings it all together with a solid message for the soul. I found myself highlighting sections toward the end dealing with grace.

Rating and Recommendation: I gladly give A Glitter of Gold 5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Fiction, coastal settings, pirate legends, and time-slip novels.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

Posted in About the Book

Cover Reveal: Project Scrooge by A.M. Heath

Scrooge Reveal

A Christmas Carol has always been a favorite of mine. It’s been on my author’s bucket list to write a retelling, so I’m beyond excited to present my take on this beloved classic.

 

Garland Collection Concept Release

Not only is Project Scrooge something I’m excited to publish, but it’s also the debut novella in a new Christmas collection. The goal is to release a new standalone Christmas novella each year. Each story will be set in Garland, Tennessee.  

 

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Can Scrooge find love from a friendship gone cold?
 
Sanford Stone cut ties with his best friend, Natalie, in favor of the love of his life … a woman who ended up walking out on him just before Christmas. Six years later, Sanford can’t bring himself to celebrate Christ’s birth with any joy. Little does he know, his grandmother and her companions have dubbed him the Scrooge and intend to help him overcome his bitterness and find happiness again.
 
The only thing that has hurt Natalie Dunivan more than Sanford cutting her out of his life has been watching his long-held grudges slowly destroy the man she has always loved. When Ms. Carol devises a plan to reach out to Sanford, Natalie eagerly agrees.
 
Sanford accepts his grandmother’s challenge to celebrate Christmas for 31 straight days, but he didn’t count on her plan involving Natalie. Can his family and friends help their Scrooge see the error of his ways, or will Natalie’s presence only make things worse?

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Stay tuned to hear the latest. Release date still to be announced. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

455Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

My Thoughts: There’s really a lot to love and adore in this book. Unfortunately, it took me a while to find it. I hate even saying that. But Katherine Reay is a solid storyteller, and I was well rewarded in the end. Reay’s gift is in telling stories that feature broken people and broken families. The Printed Letter Bookshop has 3 main characters, each with their own struggle … and with their own style of storytelling.
Madeline shares her story in the first person, past tense. While Claire shares hers in the third person, past tense. And Janet in the first person, present tense. I’ll be honest, this was a gutsy move for Reay and one that took some getting used to. But the creator in me can applaud her for thinking outside of the box.
I think what I enjoyed the most was the relationships. While there was a lot of true to life heartache for each of these characters, there was also true to life friendship and joy. This is definitely one that leaves you feeling warm with a satisfying ending.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 4 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Contemporary Fiction.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Not the Billionaire by Krista Noorman

451Will a case of mistaken identity lead to happily ever after or will a well-intentioned charade keep them apart?

All women ever want from Sebastian Schultz is his family’s money, which is why he’s avoided dating like the plague. Then Genevieve Willis walks into the Schultz building, ranting about her meeting with the cold fish head of the company, unaware that’s exactly who she’s speaking to. Immediately drawn to her beauty and sense of humor, Sebastian can’t resist this opportunity to finally get to know a woman without the stigma of the Schultz name. So he introduces himself as Kurtis from the Public Relations department, then implores his playboy younger brother to act as president in his place.

Genevieve can’t believe her luck landing her dream job, though she’s not looking forward to working with Sebastian, whose reputation as being distant and unapproachable precedes him. But she’s pleasantly surprised by the warm, welcoming man behind the desk. Yet as they develop an easy rapport and he turns on the charm, she can’t stop thinking about Kurtis, the sweet PR guy, who captured her attention just by being himself.

As “Kurtis” and Genevieve begin working together on the biggest charity event of the year, will it become impossible for him to conceal his real identity? And will she forgive him when she learns the truth?

This is a clean, sweet billionaire romance.

What I Loved: I loved the concept of this story and enjoyed waiting for the truth to come out and for the shoe to hit the fan. Noorman is a gifted writer. She has a way of making her characters feel like everyday people. And her families! She always brings out an endearing family, and the Shultz family was one of them. I’m looking forward to more from this series. And then there’s the romance. Sigh. Genevieve and Sebastian is another sweet couple with great chemistry.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and recommend you grab a box of chocolates while you read this one! It’s great for clean or Christian contemporary romance fans.

~I received a copy from the author and even helped to beta read this novel. All thoughts are my own. I wasn’t compensated or required to review this novel. I just wanted to pass along something I thought you’d enjoy. 🙂 

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Met Her Match by Susan L. Tuttle

450Get ready for ten weeks of romance in the Bahamas with a new series brought to you by some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres…

Ten delightful—and standalone—novellas linked by one matchmaking week. You’ll want to devour each one!

MET HER MATCH:
Two old friends. One unexpected reunion.

Parasailing captain Pemberley Truitt has almost grasped a sense of home after two years in the Bahamas. While she misses her family, she’s never felt like she fits in; especially when it comes to TruLove, their family’s matchmaking business. When her brother calls and begs her help with the now struggling company, she’s happy to oblige and obtain the chance to find her place with them. But then she discovers she’ll have to work with Tobias Bradshaw. The last time she saw him, he broke her heart.

Tobias Bradshaw is ready for his love life to be as successful as his winning record in the courtroom. Which is why he agrees to his friend’s two-fold plea: professionally research Joy Island’s matchmaking service and personally be matched himself. No objections there. Until Pemberley Truitt crosses his path again, and she looks about as happy to see him as someone chosen for jury duty. It’s fine. He’s faced hostile witnesses before. Except he soon realizes he wants more than a temporary working relationship. He’s taken on difficult opposition in court before, but this time he’ll need more than a persuasive argument if he hopes to win Pem’s heart.

What I Loved: Met Her Match is a great vacation read. And it’s even better if you’re stuck indoors during the winter because the setting feels authentic as if you’re there with the characters. I love this sort of second-chance story where the characters don’t exactly get along. I always find the friction to be a load of fun. This one surprised me when the spiritual message really came into focus toward the end. Tuttles wraps up this romantic tale with a solid message on letting go of past hurts and putting God first in your life.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and recommend it to those looking for a clean/Christian romance novella or a fun vacation read.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

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There’s a mega giveaway in progress. To learn more about it and enter right here. 

RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES:

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

BUY ALL TEN BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Available through Amazon or visit the author’s websites!

A Meddled Match by Jill Kemerer
A Messed-Up Match by Jessica R. Patch
Met Her Match by Susan L. Tuttle
Moonlight Match by Kristina Knight
Unexpected Match by Constance Phillips
Match Me If You Can by Krista Phillips
Mismatched Melody by Jodie Bailey
A Match for Mr. Write by Jennifer Shirk
Rematched by Julie Jarnagin
Match You Like Crazy by Johnnie Alexander

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

46Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives. 

As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature. 

Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance. 

Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch. 

Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

What I Loved: Harrel has a gift for plucking the reader out of their home and transporting them to a foreign country. She writes as an export. Beyond the fun travel details, there’s a beautiful soul-deep journey for the character and the reader. There’s a dual-timeline here, so the reader is treated to two contemporary storylines and one historical story. The history lover in me rejoices at Harrel’s decision to incorporate pages from a journal.
I will admit that this one took me a few pages longer to get fully wrapped up in, but the dramas of the heart tends to be a slower journey compared to war fiction, which I had been reading a great deal of lately. But I found the characters easy to relate to and the spiritual message comes in clearly near the end and left my heart warm and satisfied.

Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving The Secrets of Paper and Ink 5 stars and highly recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Fiction, dual timelines, women’s fiction, or those wanting to travel in the pages of a novel.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron

21A storied castle. A band of rebels.

A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom.

And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

My Thoughts: I’ve been looking forward to the next Lost Castle novel, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I found it a treat to revisit with book one’s couple, Ellie and Quinn, and I loved that the old couple wasn’t the main focus of the new story although we do get to see how their lives are progressing.
The vivid landscape described throughout the novel was certainly a high point. While my personal tastes are to have a little less description, Cambron’s talent here cannot be denied. She really does paint a pretty picture with words.
I only wish the spiritual content was as vivid. For me, that was the one area that I felt was lacking. The contemporary storyline, in particular, felt undone in terms of a spiritutal conclusion. But perhaps we’ll see more growth for Laine in the third book. And I do have to point out the many mentions of pubs and having a pint of Guinness. As a dry Baptist, this was a bit off-putting for me. But I will say that none of the characters were ever seen drunk. But the pub and the pub owners were prominent characters in two of the timelines.
Ahhh and the timelines!! I’m a historian at heart and I adore dual timelines. Cambron lovingly crafted three separate timelines around the same key locations and families. Both of the historical threads featured war or uprisings so they were often action packed. She gained my attention early on and kept it the whole way. Each moment in history felt authentic and rare. I didn’t know much Irish history, so I felt like the chosen eras were lesser known, but they quickly felt like home. For me, it’s the historical aspect that really made the story shine and why I gladly give it 5 stars.

Rating and Recommendation: I recommend it to those looking for Irish Historical novels, dual timelines, lovely castles, or Christian Historical fiction. And I’m giving it 5 stars and eagerly await the conclusion of the series.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Fiction Friday

The Accident’s Blog Tour and Giveaway

blog tour accidentI have a new blog tour in progress, and with a new blog tour comes a new giveaway! I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Accident, a blue infinity scarf as seen in the photo, and a journal. The journal and scarf tie into the story and to two of the lead characters. You can enter the giveaway here.
It closes on Feb 9, 2019, and is only open to continental U.S. residents only. Be sure to swing by the stops on the blog tour for more chances to enter!

grand prize copy

Tour Stops: 

Feb 1: Virginia @ Bigreadersite

Feb 4: Laura @ Blue Eye Books

Feb 5: Kaylee @ A. Kaylee’s Kind of Writes

Feb 6: Amanda @ With a Joyful Noise

Feb 7: Debbie @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations 

Feb 8: Deana @ Texas Book-aholic 

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The Accident is now available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.
You can also add it to your shelf on Goodreads. 

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But there’s more! Today starts our grand Valentines Countdown to Great Giveaways! Come to meet new romance authors, win gifts and prizes and…Enter To Win — $50 Amazon Gift Card. The fun starts today! My day is on Wednesday, so I’ll email you a special invite them, along with your special gift. Here’s the Valentine’s Countdown link so you can get started. Enjoy! 

Posted in About the Book

Now Available: The Accident: An Epistolary Novella by A.M. Heath

It’s here! It’s finally here! The Accident is my first published novella, my first epistolary, and my 6th publication, so there’s much to celebrate. I can’t wait to introduce you to Chris, Ashlyn, and Danielle. I think you’ll find someone you can relate to between the three of them. We’ve all gone through difficult seasons or have experienced troubled relationships. Ashlyn and Danielle bring a lot of honest feelings to light in this novella. And Chris is such a sound word of wisdom to them both. I hope you’ll grab yourself a copy soon and enjoy it! Keep scrolling for a sneak peek. 

Accident 1600x2400Can a wrong number bring true love or only heartache? 

Ashlyn Conner’s life is spiraling out of control. She’s already lost her father, and now that her mom is battling thyroid cancer, she fears being orphaned at fifteen. When a friendly stranger texts the wrong number, Ashlyn finds a confidant she didn’t realize she needed. The more Ashlyn gets to know Chris Knowles, the more she’s convinced he could be the caring husband and loving father the Conner women so desperately need.

If only she’d been honest and hadn’t made him believe he was texting her mother, Danielle.

When the truth comes out, will she lose her friendship with Chris and damage her relationship with her mother? Or can God make something beautiful out of her lie?

Told through text messages and Ashlyn’s journal entries, The Accident is a heartwarming, family-centered story.

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The Accident is available on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase on Amazon. Ebook copies are .99 and paperback is coming soon. You can also add it to your Goodreads shelf.
I’m looking for bloggers for the upcoming blog tour. If you’re interested in reading and reviewing The Accident on your blog, please fill out the form. *Form closes on Jan 22, 2019.
And if you’re curious how a story can be told through text messages and journal entries, please enjoy this sneak peek … 

Chapter One

May 18, 2017

Chris 6:03 pm:

I’ve been in a car accident. They say I’ll live, but I’ll be in some pain for a while yet. My car on the other hand …

Chris 6:05 pm:

Oh, I’m in room 321 at the hospital.

Chris 9:36 pm:

Sis?

Danielle 9:39 pm:

I’m very sorry to hear about your accident! But, ummm, you’ve texted me three times tonight by mistake. Your sister didn’t get your messages.

I hope you feel better soon.

Chris 9:45 pm:

I’m terribly sorry! I had no idea! Here I was wondering why my sister didn’t bother to respond, and it’s because I’m an idiot. I’ll blame it on the pain meds. LOL

Danielle 9:47 pm:

LOL It’s no problem, I promise. I hope you finally got ahold of your sister.

Chris 9:48 pm:

I did. She was properly concerned and insisted on seeing me first thing in the morning. She also got a big kick out of my blunder. I still can’t believe I did that.

Danielle 9:53 pm:

It’s ok, really. I’m not bothered, but I am curious about something. How did you text the wrong number? Isn’t your sister in your contacts?

Chris 9:54 pm:

That’s a mystery to me. Darn phone lost everything during the accident. It was like a factory reboot or something. It was so weird. But I’m just glad it still works.

Anyway, I was texting from my memory … which turns out is as dependable as my phone.

Danielle 9:54 pm:

Weird. LOL

Chris 9:55 pm:

Definitely. But nothing about this night has been normal.

Danielle 9:55 pm:

Sounds like it.

How are you feeling? What happened? … If you don’t mind me asking.

Chris 9:57 pm:

Someone pulled out in front of me. I tried to stop in time but couldn’t. Unfortunately, I flipped the car over, got a lump on the side of my head (which is why they’re keeping me overnight), severely bruised some ribs, and broke my wrist.

Oh, my name is Chris Knowles, by the way.

Danielle 10:02 pm:

YIKES! I’m so sorry. That sounds dreadful.

And I’m Danielle Conner.

Chris 10:04 pm:

Thanks for keeping me company, Danielle. I probably should leave you alone now. It’s getting late.

Danielle 10:06 pm:

It’s no biggie on my end. I’m not ready to sleep, and there’s nothing on TV anyway. But I’m sure you could use the rest.

Chris 10:07 pm:

Are you kidding?! I work a night shift, so I’m used to being up during this time. The nurse would feel better if I slept, but I’m a little too wired for that. The energy drink I had just before the accident may be part of the reason.

Danielle 10:07 pm:

Is that where you were going when you had the accident?

Chris 10:08 pm:

Yep. I’ve been at the pencil factory for the past two years. And this just happened to be my last week on night shift. What a way to go out.

What about you? Why aren’t you rushing to bed like normal folks?

Danielle 10:09 pm:

LOL The simple of it is this: Life for me hasn’t been normal in far too long. Plus, I’m a bit of a night owl.

Ashlyn Conner’s Diary:

I lied! I still can’t believe I did it! I was sitting here, thumbing through the channels — there really should be more cool stuff on TV! Where did all the good stuff go, anyways? Like I want to watch another home remodeling show! Or worse, some old guys picking through cluttered barns for some worthless “treasure!” — Anyways, mom’s phone kept going off. I didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t bother to answer it. There’s nothing worse than a wrong number who keeps texting you, so I finally answered it to set him straight. Turns out, it was someone trying to tell his sister that he was in the hospital!! What are the chances?! I felt bad for not answering him sooner, but how was I to know? We chatted for a bit. The guy says he’ll live and they’re only keeping him overnight for observation. Lucky! He said his name is Chris Knowles, but when it was my turn to give him my name, I panicked. I gave him Mom’s name instead. I really shouldn’t have done that! But, I mean, I know lying is a sin and all that, but Mom’s always on my case about not talking to strangers or giving out my name and stuff. Urg! I should have just stopped texting him … but I didn’t. I can’t explain it. He seemed … lonely. Don’t ask me how I know that. I just do.

Chapter Two

May 19, 2017

Chris 11:34 am:

You are not going to believe what just happened. I’m sitting here, waiting for my discharge papers, when this girl just walked into my room. LOL She just walked in as pretty as you please, then stopped in the middle of the room and stared at me. I asked her if I could do something for her, but she just stood there, then asked if this was Charlie’s room. When I told her it wasn’t, she apologized and took off like a rocket.

LOL Well, if I can dial the wrong number, then I suppose she can wander into the wrong room.

Danielle 11:41 am:

LOL That is so funny! Do these sorts of things always happen to you?

Chris 11:42 am:

Nope. But maybe I needed a little variety in my life. LOL

Danielle 11:45 am:

Maybe. LOL But I’ll stick to variety in my ice cream. I mean, variety in life isn’t always so pleasant.

Ashlyn’s Diary:

I saw him! I couldn’t help myself!! I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t resist. I was sitting here in Ms. Amber’s room. She had hip surgery this morning. Momma said that she had brought us too many tuna casseroles not to go visit her. So we just happened to be at the hospital when Chris texted to say he was about to be discharged. It was my one shot to actually SEE the man that I was texting last night. He’s perfect for Momma!! He was sitting on the edge of his bed when I walked in — And I did walk in. I can hardly believe it, but I just walked into his room and stood there, staring at him, — and I could tell by the way his legs stretched out onto the floor and continued out that he was tall. My legs barely touch the floor. His hair is a sandy color. And his eyes looked green. He’s so handsome!! And his smile is so soft and welcoming. I can hardly put into words how he made me feel when he smiled at me. It was like coming home. LOL It’s funny now because Chris texted me about it right after I walked out. He just thought I was a confused kid. But he was really cool about it. In person, I could tell that he was surprised, but he offered to help me. Over the phone, he just laughed it off. I know it was wrong of me to continue to lie to him about who I really am, but it was comforting to know that he wasn’t just being nice to my face, you know? He meant it.

Chris 4:15 pm:

Danielle, I’ve had something on my mind all afternoon. I’m sorry for not asking sooner. Are you alright? I don’t know. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but you mentioned twice that things weren’t so pleasant for you. I know I’m virtually a stranger to you and all, but I just want you to know that I can be a friend to you if you need. I can listen. And who knows, maybe talking to a stranger will be easier than talking to someone around you. Anyway, I don’t mean to scare you off or anything, but my offer stands. Take it or leave it; it’s your call.

Ashlyn’s Diary:

Chris asked me if everything was alright, and I didn’t know how to respond. I just sat there, curled up on the chair beside the window, and stared at the screen. Momma is asleep again. It’s one of her bad days, probably because she insisted on getting out today when she was already dragging. I hate seeing her like this.

People say that rest is a good thing, but it doesn’t feel good to watch her sleep this much. Seeing her so droopy all the time just reminds me of how sick she is and that she may never get better.

The doctor said her lack of energy is due to being off of her thyroid meds. He said she’ll feel much better after her treatment is over, but she has this long diet to endure first. He said it’s normal and that I shouldn’t panic, but he’s not standing by day in and day out, watching her fade away like this. It makes remission look impossible and death all the more certain.

Back to Chris, I don’t know what to do about him. I want to talk to him, but how much can I say? How trustworthy is this man? Then again, he doesn’t know me or anyone I know, so what’s the harm in being honest with him?

~~~

I took a break for lunch. Food has a way of bringing clarity.

I’m going to text Chris back. I’ve decided that much. I still don’t know what I’ll say, or how I’ll get around to telling him that I’m not Danielle, but her daughter, or maybe I never will. But I can’t keep writing in a journal that doesn’t answer. Or waiting for a God who doesn’t speak. Chris will answer back at least, and that’s something more than I have right now.