My helpers pictured at right: Pepper, Muldoone and Kryshnah
SPECIAL FEATURE-- First pages of new novel "Rainbows in the Moonlight"
Rainbows in the Moonlight
Koda Jacobs held a steaming coffee mug in one hand and a watering can in her other. She alternated between sprinkling water on the first daffodils and tulips tentatively peeking their yellow, white, orange, red and purple heads above the brown earth and sipping from her mug. The bold sea of colors encouraged her, reminding her of the faith and courage it sometimes took to just wake up and try.
In between those two actions, she paused, standing to simply watch the sun come up. Slowly rising beyond the trees, spearing the darkness with lavender and pink streaks, gradually turning to yellow as the golden orb crested. Finally, the show complete, the night gone and her coffee cooled, she heaved a sigh.
Today was going to be a good day. Now she was ready to face it
She just walked past her favorite painting when the sound of feet slapping the wooden floor reached her. Within seconds a soft weight slammed into her. Giggling happily, Ruthie curled her arms around Koda’s waist.
“Good morning, sunshine,” Koda greeted, swinging her daughter into a hug. She loved how Ruthie smelled in those first few moments of waking up, before she unleashed herself on the day. Settling herself in the chair, she waited as Ruthie wiggled into a comfortable position in her lap, the girl’s small hands curled into her blouse. Once Terry awoke, she’d make breakfast, they’d clean up and go to church. She still had time to think about tomorrow. And she still had no clue what she was going to do about it.
“Read me a story, Mommy,” Ruthie requested, breaking into Koda’s wandering thoughts. She picked up a picture book from the nearby stack and waved it at her mother expectantly, all smiles.
Koda took the book and opened it. “Why don’t you read it to me, sweetheart? Until your brother gets up.”
Delighted at the request, Ruthie placed her finger under the first work, cleared her throat and read, sliding her finger along under the sentences. Koda smiled, encouraging her along, and helping to sound out the tougher words. Ruthie made it to page three bfore the telltale thumps along the stairs made her stop, her face lighting up.
“Terry!” she exclaimed, flinging the book and scrambling down to greet her big brother. Koda set the book aside, dusted herself off and headed for the kitchen. Despite her concerns, the happy cries of her children lifted her spirits.
“Don’t worry,” she whispered to herself. “It’ll all be okay.”
* * *
Dalton Clayton returned to the Bronze Star Hotel, slowing his steps as he neared room number fifteen. As eager as he was to escape the scenes around him, he was also reluctant to enter the room. Honestly, he just couldn’t win.
He snickered, turning away from the couple entwined on the corner. What in the world made him return to his hometown now? Especially when he’d been so all-fired anxious to getaway. Well, that had been a long time ago and he’d foolishly started missing a few things.
Things like the smell of chicken frying and pies cooling on a Sunday. Hearing the wind blow through the tall pines. Spanish moss hanging like ghosts from the branches of the old live oaks. Getting his haircut at the barber shop where the local football game was dissected and argued all week. The snap of flags whipping from houses and passing truck beds. Where people were nosy but caring.
At least he used to think they were. That was before he returned home, a branded man. He thought he’d settled his debt to society. He was ready for a clean slate. That was why he came back. Instead, he found himself out in the cold, barred from each door he tried by his prison number.
Dalton surrendered and unlocked the door, entering his rented room, peeled off his jacket and checked the miniscule fridge for anything. Empty. He glanced at the clock on the battered dresser, over the chipped and marred mirror. He’d been in town for two days now, had made diligent searches for work and was getting kind of desperate. And dejected.
It wasn’t that he was picky either. He’d offered to wash dishes, wash cars, change oil, and sweep floors or stock shelves. Any hours would be appreciated. Any pay would be acceptable. Just something. Once he was forced to explain about his record, he watched the friendly smiles each change into negative headshakes and turned backs. Jamming his hands in the pockets of his jacket, he kept trying, each ending the same, and ultimately retreating to his dingy rented room, hungry and questioning what brought him back here to this seedy backward dot of a town.
He dropped to the bed, laced his hands behind his head and stared at the water stained ceiling. What chance did he have here? Now that he was a branded man.
* * *
Coming soon, a preview of my latest work in progress: time travel romance called "For this Moment"
Because.....here's the honest secret.....
Avery Faith, the unofficial writer's muse
New giveaways coming soon. "Upon the Tide" is now in paperback and I will have a super giveaway soon planned to celebrate. Just waiting to get copies to have on hand!
Also, I am putting a gift basket together for a giveaway on my blog in April in honor of the release of my short story "Coffeecake Chaos" in the Food & Romance Anthology Collection!
Plus updates on more personal matters & various blog hosts & stuff I just happen to find interesting.