This Saturday and Sunday :)

This Saturday 10/1 and Sunday 10/2 our very first publication is FREE!! If you have a minute and love short, sweet, clean romance, check it out!

DON’T YOU THINK MY MOMMY IS PRETTY?

A SWEET, SHORT, MILITARY CHRISTIAN ROMANCE.

She swore she would never fall for a military man again. Then, he walked into her life.

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Intertested? Click here or the above image for the link to amazon.com.

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Christine

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From Pixabay

The air felt heavy as Christine stood there with her suitcase, waiting for the train. She glanced over at Reverend Regland as he stood straight as a ramrod with a stoic expression as he stared straight in front of him. Christine wasn’t sure if she felt pity for the man or herself at that moment. She felt judged in fact that she had been judged. Her parents had deserted her upon hearing the lie that viper Ethel Woods had spread. Reverend Regland had volunteered to take the matter into his own hands and here they stood waiting for the train.

Reverend Regland had come to her 3 months ago and plopped an advertisement in front of her. She obediently answered the ad. At the time she cried every day begging her parents to believe her. But as the days dragged on the continued shunning and ostracizing by her parents and small community turned her grief into anticipation of a reply.

Christine glanced down at her simple attire and remembered how it all fell apart. She had been sitting in the front room finishing a tablecloth she was embroidering for her upcoming wedding to Jonah Wilson when her father burst into the room. His face was red with anger as he walked up and stood glaring down at her.

“Papa, what is wrong?” she asked.

“You have shamed us. It is all over town. How could you!” he shouted.

Christine sat there stunned at his anger. “Papa what have I done?” she asked.

“You and that outsider Tom were seen down by the lake! Ethel has gone to the Elders in tears and told of your indiscretion,” he yelled.

“What? Papa I don’t know what you are talking about,” she replied. “When did she say this took place?”

“Monday afternoon,” he replied as he started pacing back and forth in front of her.

“But Papa please believe me when I tell you I did not meet up with this Tom. It was not Tom it was…” she abruptly stopped her pleading knowing what they had done was forbidden.

“You told your Mama you were going to pick wild berries with Sara that afternoon. Sara has confessed you two never went,” he said stopping in front of her as he glared at her.

“Papa, please,” she pleaded as she looked up at her Papa. She could see tears forming in his eyes.

“You have been shunned. Reverend Regland is looking into a resolution to this problem,” he whispered as he turned and walked away. “You are no longer my daughter.”

Christine lowered her head and began to cry, recalling that Monday afternoon. It was not Tom that she had stolen away to the lake with but Jonah. Ever since she could remember she had dreamed of being joined with Jonah. When the day came and she had been promised to him she was elated. She knew Jonah must have felt the same way or why would he of insisted on their secret meetings? She could feel herself blush remembering the Monday meeting as he pulled her to the ground and began feverishly pulling at her dress. She had been shocked at his behavior. The other two secret meetings were just stolen moments of hand holding.

She had quickly pushed him to the side and stood up. “Jonah what has come over you!” she hissed. Jonah laid there smirking as he looked up to her.

“What? You can fool around with another and deny me?” he said angrily.

“What? I don’t know what you are saying!” she said.

“I ran into Ethel on the way here and she told me all about your other secret meetings,” he murmured as he stood up brushing off his trousers.

“I do not know what you are speaking about,” she replied reaching out to him.

“Enough,” he said pulling away.

“Jonah, please believe me. I will speak to Ethel and clear this all up. I promise,” she said.

The next day she had gone to Ethel and confronted her. Ethel assured her that Jonah must have misunderstood what she had said and that she would talk to Jonah and clear things up.

Christine stood there recalling Jonah’s reaction when she approached him the afternoon her father disowned her. After her father had left she had set her embroidery to the side and gone in search of him. Walking down the street she watched as the people she passed quietly turned their backs on her. She burst into the shop owned by Jonah’s parents and walked directly up to him. He didn’t even look her in the face but quietly turned his back.

Two months passed before she got the reply along with a train ticket. The note simply stated “I look forward to meeting you. Sincerely, Joseph Turner.”

Not long after that Jonah and Ethel announced their engagement.

The train slowly stopped in front of her. Christine felt a gentle breeze from the west with a promise of spring as she leaned over, picked up her suitcase and without looking back boarded the train.

Hope you enjoyed the fourth short story in a series we call Four Mail Order Brides.

Here are the three previous stories and their links.

“The Pearl Necklace” 

“The Advertisement”

“Stacie”

Please let us know if you are enjoying this series so that we can make a decision if we should continue it or not. I am considering just taking the idea and turning it into a novella series. Thanks!

We’re busy busy!

So, everyone is back from their vacations, and we’re still not posting very often? What’s going on with this?

Well, dear blogging friends, don’t fret! We’re here, and we’re still busy at work with our writing/publishing dream. Currently, we’re working on finalizing our next project: “Shorts for Short Waits.”

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This will be a collection of shorts that will be perfect for those annoying waits at the dentist’s office or when you’re standing in line at the bank. They will be similar to the shorts we’ve been posting here.

We hope to have it out and available to the public in the next few days (we’re aiming for Monday or Tuesday). And, once we get that up and running, we’ll be back here on WordPress like usual, sharing our journey with all of you wonderful people.

Stacie

Stacie watched as the young lady two rows up flicked her blonde ringlets while smiling up at the ticket conductor “Ticket please”, he asked smiling back. “What takes you to Casper, Wyoming?”

“I’m meeting my fiancé there,” she replied.

“Lucky guy,” he replied handing her ticket back. Reaching Stacie’s seat he never even glanced at her. “Ticket please,” he mumbled.

Stacie handed him her ticket wishing he would smile at her the way he smiled at the blonde passenger. “Thank you,” he said continuing on.

Stacie felt the hurt and sadness begin to surface, bringing with it the memory of that day that changed her life–her sister Brittany’s wedding day.

Brittany was almost two years younger than her and quite beautiful. Everywhere they went people would stop and stare at Brittany. Stacie never was jealous of her baby sister and enjoyed people’s reaction to her beauty. Their relationship was close, so Stacie was, of course, in the wedding.

It was on a cool autumn day that had started out so beautifully. The ceremony was simple but elegant. Stacie and Brittany had just gotten their plates from the buffet table and were heading for the bridal table when they overheard James, Luke, and Sara–three of Brittany’s friends, talking. “I know, you would never know they were sisters,” she over heard Sara say.

“She is so plain looking. I don’t think she will ever marry,” replied Luke.

“Who would want to marry her?” said James.

Stacie had just stood there, too embarrassed to say a word. “Stacie, oh my, how cruel, please ignore them,” pleaded Brittany grabbing onto Stacies arm.

She couldn’t forget or ignore those comments. They had brought to reality what she knew was true. No one will ever want to marry her. She would never find true love.

It was two days before Christmas that she had read the advertisement: “Wife wanted. Christian. Under 25 years old.”

There were lots of advertisements for mail-order brides but this one just caught her eye. Rereading it for the third time she carefully cut it out and set it aside.

Every day for a week she thought about going west and being a bride. The thought of the adventure intrigued her, but the fear of being rejected because of her looks kept surfacing. Finally, exactly one week after she clipped the ad she stopped at the bank to check the account her father had set up on her birth. The amount was substantial as her father was a wealthy man. This made her decision easy, knowing she could provide for herself if she was rejected.

That day she replied and walked the letter to the post. It was a cold day with flurries of white snow falling that not only helped mask her tears as she walked but also gave her a feeling of being refreshed as excitement filled her. Picking up her pace she smiled to herself as dreams of adventure, a beautiful wedding, and love filled her thoughts.

Stacie gently folded the pale blue dress she had commissioned the seamstress to make. Visions of standing next to her groom as they exchanged vows of love danced in her head. Sighing, she gently placed it along with other items she had stored in a trunk at the foot of her bed. It had been almost two months since she had posted the letter.

She had told no one that she had replied to an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her parents would not have allowed her to do anything like that, even though she was approaching the age of twenty-three with no prospects of marriage. Stacie, glancing at her watch quickly, made her way downstairs to watch for the postman from the library window. Every day for the past week she stood quietly waiting and anticipating the arrival of a response.

Spotting the postman she quickly darted for the door. She stood there glancing down as the mail tumbled through the door slot. Gathering it swiftly she began to scan each piece. Catching her breath she stopped as she saw a letter posted in neat handwriting addressed to her. Setting the rest of the mail upon the side table she dashed to her room.

With shaking hands, she slowly opened the letter. Removing a one-way rail ticket and a note neatly written that stated: “I look forward to meeting you. Sincerely Joseph Turner.”

All of that had led her to where she was today–sitting on a train lumbering towards an unknown future. She swallowed back the tears, recalling how her parents had reacted and objected to her decision. The day she left they hugged and pleaded with her to change her mind without success. Sitting back with determination she listened to the clickety-clack of the train as it brought her closer to her dream of marriage and hopefully love.

Hope you enjoyed the third short story in a series we call Four Mail Order Brides. The first one we posted “The Pearl Necklace” inspired us to continue with the short story and start the series. The second short in the series we posted is called “The Advertisement”. Click on each title to read them. Please let us know what you think. We are really excited about this series and hope it will become one of your favorite fun reads.

The Advertisement

The Advertisement was simple and read:

“Wife Needed. Christian. Younger than 25.”

Joseph was beside himself as he shuffled through the multitude of letters. Yearning for the so-called women’s touch that was needed in their lives had driven him to place ads in city newspapers back east. The response was overwhelming. Joseph sat there trying to read each one, amazed at how they all held their own story. Narrowing it down to six candidates, he set the rest aside figuring he would narrow it down to the four he needed after dinner. Continue reading

The Pearl Necklace

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The rain was pattering off the metal roof. Katherine sat at the desk, answering an advertisement in her best penmanship. She was careful not to let her reply mirror her true emotions. Her hands shook, and her tear drops were leaving wet spots on the paper. Memories ran ramped in her mind.

It all started on a cold winter’s day almost two years ago, Continue reading

Daddy’s Little Girl

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With my daddy =)

Staring at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t help but let a tear roll down my cheek. It was happening–my wedding day. The day I had spent not just the last year and half planning for but my entire life dreaming of, was finally here. I was going to walk down the aisle and say “I do” to the man of my dreams.

Taking a deep breath, I turned slowly, observing my reflection. The white lace of my gown flowed around me, draping here, catching there, and hugging my frame perfectly. My hair was tied back, and my make-up was done perfectly, for the moment. Leaning back in, I dabbed the edge of my eye, trying to keep the tear from causing my mascara to run.

“You look beautiful,” I heard my dad say as he walked into the room. I saw his reflection in the mirror. His face was beaming with pride, joy, and a hint of sadness.

I didn’t want to turn to face him, because I knew as soon as I did, I wouldn’t be able to keep the tears from flowing. Looking from his reflection to my own in the mirror, I suddenly didn’t see the woman who was standing there just seconds before. I saw myself as a child.

I thought back on family vacations to Kentucky, remembering the times he taught me to drive the four-wheeler, letting me venture off on my own across the grassy fields, always under his watchful, concerned eye.

My mind rushed with memories of waving up to him as he watched me proudly from the stands in the ice rink. Even at 9:00 on a Saturday morning, he was always happy to watch me slide back and forth, tripping over my own feet and trying to make it look graceful.

One minute I was the little girl sitting next to him in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to his favorite Beatles songs. The next, my mind flooded with memories of Sunday afternoons, watching the football game together. Every time a touchdown was scored, I would run to his chair as fast as I could yelling, “catch me daddy! I’m the football!” And I always knew that no matter how high I jumped, or how fast I ran, he would always catch me.

I couldn’t help but let a tear run down my cheek as I remembered saying goodbye to him before my first semester away at college. Watching my parents drive away, I was filled with a sense of loneliness and fear. But walking back up to my dorm, and burying my face into my pillow to cry, I found a letter he had hidden there for me. He was proud of me. He knew I would do great, and he would always be there to support me if I ever needed him.

And now, I was going to be leaving him and the safe haven of a home he had worked so hard to give me. I was going to be starting a new life, one all my own, with my husband. But I knew I had chosen the best man I could, because I had my dad’s example to guide me. As a husband he had always loved my mother, he had worked hard to provide for our family, and he had given his all to ensure we would be safe and happy.

Inhaling deeply, I turned to face him. “Do you really think I look pretty?” I asked, tugging nervously at the sides of my dress.

“You look amazing,” he said, walking across the room and taking my hands in his. Placing a quick kiss on my forehead, he took a deep breath, trying to keep his own tears from falling. “I’m so proud of you,” he said to me quietly.

Stepping back and looking up at him, I couldn’t keep my emotions in check any longer. Letting the tears stream down my face, I reached out and hugged the man who had always been there for me. The man who had loved me through the achievements and the failures in my life–completely and utterly unconditionally.

“Let’s go get you married,” he said to me, smiling between the tears that were also flowing from his eyes.

As he took my hand and led me down the hall to the ceremony site, I felt my heart beating faster in my chest, and a lump formed in my throat. We stood, side by side, waiting for the doors to open. “I love you, daddy,” I said between quiet sobs.

“I love you too,” he replied. He squeezed my hand tightly, filling me once again with the reassurance that no matter what happened, I would always be his little girl, and he would always be there to love and support me.

Just a little “short” to celebrate Father’s Day. To all the dads out there, thank you for all you do! And to my dad, for whom this story was written, I LOVE YOU! 

Obaachan-Grandmother

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Photo by me


Kiko sat there quietly, silently trying to meditate; her attempts failing.  Taking a deep breath she tried to focus.  Her mind kept racing with thoughts of what lie ahead of her.  Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would be leaving Japan.

Today she was saying goodbye to her obaachan–her grandmother.  Continue reading

Kumi

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Picture from Visualhunt

She wasn’t sure how to take the news. It sounded exciting–being the first ones to venture out into space in search of the planet The World Council had come to call Utopia. While Kumi was always looking for adventure, she hadn’t thought that she would find it outside of her home town, nonetheless outside of Earth!

Still, part of her couldn’t understand it. Why did they have to leave? And why now of all times? Things were going really well for her. Great, in fact. She had gotten the lead in the district ballet, something she had dreamt of for as long as she could remember. But now, she’ll never get to step out onto the stage and into the spotlight. They were going to be leaving in only two weeks.

What about Hiroki? They had only just started their relationship. She didn’t want to leave him. Chances of his family also being selected were basically non-existent. The guidelines for The Solution were very strict–two parents homes, with at least two children -one between the ages of 3-12, and another between 13-18. Hiroki didn’t have any siblings. He wouldn’t be joining her on the trip to space.

The Solution stated that the reason for their mission was to colonize the new planets they had found which had atmospheres similar to Earth’s, hence making them sustainable. The World Council had long discussed the problems of over population and food shortages that threatened humanity’s existence. Kumi had seen news reports and learned about the problems in school, but she had never taken notice of them. Maybe it was because she grew up in a time that they had become such a normal part of daily life that the alternative would seem strange.

When she broke the news to her dance instructor and the others in her dance troop, the reality started to really set in. As they came up to her one by one to embrace her, she felt like her world shifted. A realization came over her. In just a few short weeks, she would have to leave everything she’s ever known. She would have to leave her friends, her home, her country… her planet.

She had these thoughts in her mind as she walked back to her apartment. She wanted to remember every detail of her life. As she walked down the street, she tried to see it–to see the problem. She saw the same thing she did everyday. People. Lots and lots of people. As they hurried past her, she suddenly became aware of how little space there actually was to move around in. She filed into the line of people going the same direction down the crowded sidewalk that she was. Was there a time when you didn’t have to line up to move around? Was there a time when you could walk side-by-side with someone down the street, and not get pushed over or bumped into?

Looking harder at the world around her, she slowly began to see it. She realized why they needed to leave. She saw the sad looks on the faces of the people as they swayed back and forth, being bounced around by the shoulders or elbows of others as they passed. She noticed the sunken eyes and the brittle skin that came with the lack of nutrition so common in their diets.

As she walked past the local grocery store, she peered inside. The shelves were sparsely stocked, the same way they always were. Two women were yelling something at each other, each holding on to one end of a loaf of bread. They pulled at the plastic wrapping and yelled, and pulled and yelled, until the packaging ripped, and bread went flying into the air. As it came falling down around them, two more women appeared, as if from nowhere, and began collecting the stray pieces as quickly as possible. She tried to stop to watch the encounter, but the man behind her nudged her forward, muttering something under his breath and forcing her to continue.

When was the last time she ate fresh fruit? She couldn’t remember. A day, two? Maybe a week? Was there ever a time when fresh fruit was common, and people didn’t come to blows over a loaf of bread? As far back in her mind as she could reach, Kumi couldn’t recall a time in which the norm wasn’t the norm; a moment in which the world wasn’t the way it was at that very instant.

When she finally returned home, she had decided how she felt about The Solution. She wasn’t sure how her life would be on the new planet, or how the journey would go, but she knew she was ready for it. Saying goodbye would be hard, but starting the adventure would be refreshing. She only had one option–to go. She might as well make the best of it.

This story has been inspired by the book we are currently working on called The Solution. We will post more information on the book soon!!