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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Katie Lost and Found--Preview #3

Welcome to Walnut Lodge, luxury accommodations, fine dining, and a cast of characters sure to remind you of the people in your own world. I think everyone needs a friend like Cami, someone who loves you unconditionally, wants only what she believes is best for you, and refuses to let you alone until you get off your duff and reach for that brass ring of happiness. Cami is a relentless matchmaker, a softhearted meddler, and a girl in search of happily ever after for everyone including herself.
 “So, did we win?” Cami hid a yawn behind her hand.
 “We did. And of course Chad scored the winning goal. You look beat, kiddo. Go home. Cyril and I can take it from here.” Kneeling by the little basket in the corner, she stroked the dog’s soft coat. In response, Cyril licked her hand before curling into a tighter ball and resuming his nap.
“Jeff called a minute ago. He’ll be a little late. He has to put Miss Mary to bed.”
“That sitter didn’t show up again?” Jeff Anders had returned to Walnut Springs to care for his aging parent, leaving behind a successful career as a journalist in Chicago. The night clerk’s position paid a fraction of his former salary, but allowed him to spend his days keeping an eye on his mother, and continue to freelance during the quiet hours at the Lodge. Tess and Cami had volunteered to help screen sitters to stay with Miss Mary at night, learning the hard way that good help can be nearly impossible to find.
“He said she has a cold and doesn’t want to expose Miss Mary.”
“Benefit of the doubt? I think we need to find someone more reliable.” With a respectful nod to the fact that life, at least for everyone who worked at the Lodge, seemed to pose one challenge after another, Tess turned her focus to the room roster. “The parking lot sure looks good.”
“Yeah. The Mulveney’s have a brand new Lincoln this year. And the Caddy belongs to two-ten. Nice couple celebrating their anniversary.”
“And the vintage Mercedes rag top?”
“That belongs to our architect who, by the way, will be staying all weekend. One taste of Lucas’s fine cuisine and he stopped by the desk to extend.”
Taking a slow, calming breath, Tess murmured, “That’s nice.”
He’s nice. I wouldn’t mind having him around for a few months, if you know what I mean.” Not too tired to haul up her best Mae West impression, Cami winked broadly and rocked her hips.
Tess snorted a laugh. “What would Lucas think if he heard you say that?”
“I wouldn’t say it to Lucas. Seriously, honey, wait until you see this man. Wavy blond hair, tall as in well over six feet, and very nicely put together. He says he's into running. Throw in a classy continental accent—I thought German, but it turns out he’s Dutch—anyway, add that sweet little car—which by the way matches his eyes—and some lucky lady would be getting a nice deal.”
“How do you know some lucky lady hasn’t already got him?”
“No wedding ring. And I asked if he’d be alone. He’s single, Tess. Good looking, professional, very friendly. Right age. You could do a lot worse.”
Despite the trouble she was having just breathing, Tess managed to fake a scandalized gasp. “Cami! You know the rules about fraternizing with guests.”
“You might want to make an exception with this one. I mean it, Tess. You can’t go on posing as a nun forever.”
“I’m pretty sure I can. Now will you go home? I have some book work to do and as soon as Jeff gets here, I’m turning in. The van is full of bedding plants which I intend to put in the ground tomorrow morning. Now scoot!”
She stood at the desk for a good ten minutes, staring at the registration card but unwilling to pick it up. Now, added to the name and profession, she had Cami’s description to think about. There had to be plenty of men with all those characteristics. Surely, tall, blue-eyed joggers who happened to have been born in the Netherlands couldn’t be that uncommon in this part of the country. And vintage Mercedes convertibles were a dime a dozen, weren’t they? Cautiously she took the card from its slot and turned it over in her hands. The neat script didn’t look familiar. The St. Louis P.O. box was no help.
Returning the card to its space, she took a deep breath. Tomorrow morning she’d wake up to find that the guest in her carriage house was just another random stranger. She’d feel foolish and relieved, and ashamed that memories had overtaken reason even for a few agonizing hours. But tonight, she knew without a doubt, she would lie awake reliving every one of those memories, just in case.  

1 comment:

  1. Where do I make my reservation for Walnut Springs?