Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday's Blurbs feature Books by Adam Mann #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Asia #Africa

Love in the Air – blurb

Two passengers find some common ground on a flight to Taipei.
Charlie meets Sue-ling on trans-Pacific flight to Taipei after flight delays due to bad weather, and then further delays mean a long stop-over in the transit area at the airport.
Charlie decides to stay at the Airport Hotel where he can get a shower and rest a bit, and is helped by Sue-ling who joins him as she too is delayed by the weather. 
Their in-flight conversation becomes more than friendly, as they have to wait for their flight connections, and a mix-up in the hotel bathroom exposes more than just her skin as their relationship develops.

Travelling problems, development issues, attractive ladies, Asian concerns, flight delays, romance
Pages: 76

ISBN: 9781370610471

Love in the Boondocks – a novel by Adam Mann.

Kim has just been divorced by an uncaring husband who was more interested in her money than herself.  She finds work as a Primary School teacher in several remote villages, where she meets Dave who is working with farmer families in some of the same villages.  She finds him attractive and “sets her cap” at him.
Fortunately she speaks English so she manages to meet Dave in several locations before meeting him one evening in his small cottage, on the pretext of getting a lift to a village.
You, the reader, will have to find out what happens next…

The word originated as military slang used by American soldiers engaging guerrillas in the Philippines before World War II, from Tagalog bundok, mountain, from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *bunduk, elevated ground.  The word has since been used by many others to denote a remote and wild area in any country.

Available from Smashwords and/or Amazon KDP.

Twitter handles: @adammannauthor

ISBN:  9781370875634
Date:  16 Nov 2016.
73 pages on Amazon
 Words on Smashwords 21,210
Romance, seduction, explicit sex, success

Love in the Rain –

Nobody loves like an Irishman!

By a sheer stroke of bad luck Henry gets caught in a tropical storm whilst he’s swimming in the sea.  He sensibly gets out of the water and finds shelter in a beach house, and a few moments later is joined by an equally sodden rain drenched lady.
Felicity is cold and wet and she has nothing dry to wear so she asks Henry to hold her so that they can both benefit from their body warmth until the rain subsides.
The story is set in South East Asia, and culminates in modern day Singapore, but the short note above is only the start of a very long story…


Romance, Passion, Sex, Interracial love, Asian ladies, Irish man,
Pages:  71

Short Blurb:

Getting wet and cold in the rain results in two people warming to one another together!

ISBN:  9781370130917

Adam’s website:

Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday Adam Mann is visiting today and Talking about Who He Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Farming #Vietnam #Africa

1.                 What were you in life before you became a writer? Did this influence your choices as a writer?
I have spent my entire professional life working in developing economies with small scale and poor farmer families trying to improve their productivity.  Initially that was in West Africa, and then other African countries, but for the last thirty five years Asia.  A lot of this was working with the farmer families themselves but the practice has changed over the last 20 years.  Now people prefer that I work with the local government staff, they are called extension services, to train them to replicate the work with farmer families in their own villages, areas or districts.
In this way I have met and worked with many village families, both husbands and wives and their children.  But working in such remote areas was not good for my own family life.  I have been married four times; widowed, divorced, marriage annulled as she had forgotten to get divorced herself, and finally happily married for 22 years to a widow and now happily living in a provincial area in South East Asia.

2.       Are you genre specific or general?
My first books were based on Asian history, where I was working at the time, and the details in the book are basically true except that I have to invent the dialogue, and develop the characters, and occasionally invest people like a waiter or in one book a cabin boy, to make the story more appealing.  It struck me, as I was writing that history never recorded the personal life of the people – what did they like to eat, recreational activities, reading and writing, wives and girlfriends, or husbands and even boyfriends. 
Of course this led to questions like did they like romance and sex?  That meant that I had to introduce characters either as participants or observers that history had missed.

3.                 What is your latest release?
I have edited several novels for writers living in and writing about the parts of Africa in which they lived, and one was East Africa.  I had previously written my own eBook based in Kenya, but another was further south, and I settled on Mozambique.
The eBook is entitled “The Road to Beira”, and is basically a romance story about two people who met as students twenty years earlier, and in Monique’s case a recently divorced woman with two teenage children.

4.                 What am I working on now?
I’m editing a second novel for a writer who based his story in Rhodesia, Malawi and Mozambique, back in the 1930s.  It is hard work but the story is exciting, as his manuscript was typewritten!

5.                 Are you genre specific or general? I don’t mean major genres but sub divisions of romance, mystery, paranormal.
My historical novels were really a phase that I started about 25 years ago, writing only sporadically between projects, working and days off.
My romance novels I started about five years ago after I had retired as I had more time to develop the plot and characters.  I find that romance without sex is unrealistic.  I have used my own experience a lot to develop the plots and characters, but I have omitted pornography after careful consideration as my stories introduce romance before their sexual activities.

6.                 Did your reading influence your choice of a writing career?
Frankly No. I have had to travel a lot on airplanes, and tended to read novels by writers who wrote adventures, which would last for a ten or twelve hour flight.  As a schoolboy we had set books to read, mainly classics, but probably Lady Chatterley’s Lover had more influence than William Pitt the Younger!

7.                 Where can we find you?
I live and work in Vietnam, not in one of the big cities like Hanoi, but in a provincial area with easy access to fields and rivers.

Adam Mann has written 31 romance eBooks, and published 5 Box Sets of 3 or 4 eBooks each, which encompasses a total of 16 of his romance eBooks.


Twitter:       @adammannauthor:


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday's Fourth Scene Rekindled Dreams Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Books We Love #Romance #Police #Hospital Billing

Dana halted in the door way of the funeral home’s largest viewing room and fought an urge to leave. She’d thought arriving at dinner time would find just a few people. She faced a mob scene. Before she could retreat the crowd moved and she stepped forward. Had half the town decided to turn this into a social hour? From the bits of conversation she heard she didn’t think sympathy was on people’s tongues.
     Stay or leave? The debate continued as she was pushed forward. She nearly bucked the flow when her former sister-in-law grasped her arm and pulled her to the side.
     “You have a lot of nerve showing your face here, especially after what you did,” Patricia said.      “You’re not part of the family. You might have married him but you weren’t his friend.”
     “He was my former husband and I tried to make the marriage work.”
     “Just don’t push what you’re carrying and try to get more money than you already have.” Patricia poked Dana’s belly with her French-tipped nails. “Unless you want to give him into my custody.”
     “Him?” Dana searched for an escape. “There’s a better than even chance the baby’s a girl since more girls are born than boys. And you know we divorced because Randy didn’t want children.”
     “Of inferior stock.” Patricia glared. “You refused his demands and ended in the cold. Or was this a ploy for money. Really dumb of you.”
     Dana straightened her shoulders. “Or smart. During the two years we were married Randy was seeing other women. He was an alley cat.”
     “Don’t go spreading lies like that around.” Patricia’s hands fisted. “We’re from the richest and best family in town. My father owns most of the place. Keep your mouth shut or you’ll be sorry.”
     No sorrier than she was now. Dana drew a deep breath. Her desire for a family had kept her in a marriage that couldn’t survive. Also her decision never to return to work as a nurse had added to her inability to walk away.
     Gooseflesh covered Dana’s arms. She tensed as if expecting a knife in the back. The odor of alcohol on Patricia’s breath was one Dana recognized from living with Randy.
     Dana collided with someone who caught and steadied her. “Sorry. Just be careful around Patricia,”    
     Rob whispered. “She’s still furious about Randy’s marriage to you and about his latest engagement. She and Randy were close. She believes what was his must be hers.”
     Dana turned. “She won’t win.”
     “But she will make trouble.” Rob leaned closer. “Have you considered returning to the nursing home after the baby’s born? We need nurses.”
     Dana shook her head. “I’ve begun a business I believe will grow.”
     “Good luck.” He walked away.
     Dana’s forehead wrinkled. How dangerous was Patricia? For a moment she wanted to leave town. Not yet. Once the billing service had enough clients she could leave Fern Lane and work anywhere with internet service.
     Another thought occurred. Did Patricia understand the terms of the divorce settlement? Both Randy and his father had been adamant. Randy had given up any claim to the coming child boy or girl.
     She drew a deep breath that aggravated the pain in her back. She spotted May and walked toward the older woman.
     May hugged Dana. “You didn’t have to come. How are you feeling? You look exhausted.”
     “Ready to have this child.” She studied her former mother-in-law. “Are you all right?”
     “I’m fine.”
     “I’m sure you’re grieving.”
     May exhaled a deep breath. “No mother should lose a child but when a child refuses to listen all is lost. Randy, well, he should have gone for help.”
     Dana pressed the older woman’s hand. “Don’t blame yourself.”
     “I don’t but how I wish things had been different.”
     “You have my sympathy and my thanks for the beautiful clothes and the cradle you sent for the baby.”
     “Your child will be my grandchild no matter what Robert says. Let me know if you need anything.”
     “Thank you.” Dana stepped away.
     May touched Dana’s arm. “Simon’s here.”
     Dana’s stomach lurched. Did she need to see him now? She had to leave. She couldn’t talk to Simon. She had loved him. After he left she had waited but he’d never returned. Then two years ago, she had married Randy. No matter how much Simon had disliked his cousin, his anger toward her would be a thousand times hotter.
     What about her own anger? That night, Simon had demanded what she hadn’t been ready to give. He had left and she’d waited. Her anger had deepened. Finally she’d given up.
     Praying for a quick and successful escape she tried to weave between the clusters of people. Instead of forward she was pushed back toward the coffin. She stared at her ex-husband and saw something she had forgotten. Though Randy’s coloring was dark, facially he resembled Simon. She felt ill when she considered the meaning. Why hadn’t she noticed before?
     Her abdomen cramped. She drew a deep breath. Had labor begun? Of all the wrong times. She had to go home for the suitcase and the infant seat, call Madge, the doctor and a cab. With determination she threaded her way to the door.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday Moon Pool Janet Lane Walters and Jane Toombs #MFRWHooks #romance #paranormal

Moon Pool

Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here  for some great excerpts

In the center of the maze at an Adirondack resort lies a spring-fed pool. Legend says that if you look into the serene depths under a full moon, you’ll see the face of your true love. In this collection of four novellas, the magic of the Moon Pool touches the lives of eight people for whom love seems to be a dream that can never be reality:
Thea — who lost her one true love because she couldn’t bear the scorn of others.
Faith — who has given up on love in the face of responsibility.
Lynn— who settled for practicality when she yearned for poetry.
Cynthia — whose reputation for selfishness was no match for love.


July 1994

            The full moon dappled the shadows beneath the massive oak with patches of light.  Thea caught Luke’s hand.  He spun her to face him.  Their gazes locked.  His dark eyes mirrored her eagerness to be together, to make love.  Thea wanted to laugh at the joy flooding her spirits.
            His lips found hers.  He pulled her into a tight embrace.  She felt the hardness of his erection and opened her mouth to his questing tongue.  His touch, his taste, the aroma of his skin made her desire blossom.  There wasn’t time for what they craved.  With a sigh she broke the kiss.
            Luke slid his hands to her waist.  She sighed.  “I want to be like this with you forever.”
            He kissed the corner of her mouth.  “I’d rather be skin to skin.”
            “That, too.”
            He groaned.  “I’d better head back.  My turn to set the tables for tomorrow.”
            “And I’ve beds to turn down.”
            “Meet me at the reflecting pool in an hour.”
            “I’ll be there.”
            He tugged her closer.  Their mouths met in a searing kiss.  “You’re driving me crazy.”
            She nodded.  “An hour will seem like forever.”
            He released her and dashed toward the kitchen entrance of the sprawling inn.
            Thea leaned against the tree.  What a wonderful summer.  Until now she’d never thought she would find love.  Luke was wonderful and he was hers.  For longer than the summer, she prayed.
            She glanced at her watch.  The luminous dial showed she had a few minutes before she needed to be at her duties.  The moon gleamed like a golden coin.  She had time to test the legend of the reflecting pool.  The words the hostess had said to each group of arriving guests flowed into Thea’s thoughts. 
            Should a man or a woman come to the pool on a night when the moon is full, the face of their true love will be revealed.  Should they reject the vision, a life of lonely sadness will follow.  There is a second chance to find this love.  If the seeker returns to the pool when the moon is full and blue, true love will be recovered.
            Thea ran to the garden.  She paused beneath the trellis entrance and listened for voices.  When she heard none, a wave of relief made her smile.  She stepped into the boxwood maze and quickly made her way along the gravel path to the pool.  She knelt and stared at the water.  Dancing beams of moonlight coalesced.  Thea stared at the unfolding pattern.  When Luke’s face appeared, her laughter pierced the silent night.
            Holding the promise close, she hurried to the Lodge.  Wait until she saw Luke and told him.  Happiness threatened to erupt.  Thea, grind, nerd and all those other names her peers called her, had found her true love.  Thea who had never had a date until this summer had found her perfect mate.

My Places

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tuesday's Writer's Tip Awkward Time and Place Shifts Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Time #Place

Few books take place in just one place and in just a short span of time. As you revise, you can suddenly discover little things like having two very different actions taking place at the same time in your book. You can also wonder things like, I left the heroine in the kitchen, when did she travel to the barn. These and other little glitches make the time or place shifts on the book awkward for you and bring the reader to disbelief.

Let's look at the kind of times there can be.
Chronological time is objective. There are seconds, minutes, days, weeks months, years and so forth. In this kind of time, the characters move from event to event and from place to place.

Then there is subjective time and this is an emotional time. Remember how long it seemed when you were waiting for a special event in your life. Time seemed to drag. Then when you were experiencing that special time, time seemed to flow too fast.

The interesting thing about time is two people can experience the same block of time in different ways. He can think the time flies while she's thinking how the time drags.So keep this in mind while writing.

Both kind of time needs to be present in the story. More about how to use time in your story next time.

My Places

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Poem #Writing #Mercury Retrograde

Meander 1 Poem --Hidden Tears --

Surrounded by a sea of saline grief
A tear, or maybe two escape my eyes/
The iceberg tip of sorrow buried deep
Belies what lies beneath her smiling face.
Her other tears are thrust with forcefulness
To smooth another layer over pain,
And rause compassion in her watching eyes.
Now, weeping others' tears, she can forget
The massive ice floe hidden in her depths.

Meander 2 Mercury Retrograde.-- If mercury isn't retrograde, then the latest events in my life make little sense. Mercury rules travel, communication and a few other things. Over a week ago, I went to make a phone call and saw this message on my phone. Check Phone lines. Now this was attempted and on Sunday the phone company was to come. A phone is needed here because of my husband's chronic condition. They did not come on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. What they did was say they had to change my phone. I will no longer have a phone bill since it will be on my son's account. Saves a bit of money and hopefully we'll be able to get this phone number back. This is the one we've had since we moved into this house about forty-five years ago. If not I'll have to announce to the world my new phone number. What a mess.

Meander 3 Writing -- The rough draft of Lines of Fire Challenged has been completed and will be about 30,000 words when completed. There is a lot of work to do especially since the book will need to double in size. Should be fun. I also noted something when rough drafting, each chapter takes fewer and fewer words.

My Places

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday's Book Rekindled Dreams Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Contemporary romance #security #billing

Rekindled Dreams ebook by Janet Lane Walters

Returning to Fern Lake after ten years for the funeral of his cousin and teenage enemy, Simon Parker learns his high school sweetheart is nine months pregnant and seven months divorced from his cousin. Their meeting is complicated by her labor and driving her to the hospital. An attempted cheek kiss lands on her mouth and those old feelings resurface. Dana Collins responds to the kiss but Simon walked away ten years before when she refused to go all the way. In those ten years he has never tried to reach her. Her marriage to his cousin lasted less than two years and she knew she’d made a mistake. Can this pair put the past aside and let the embers of an old love be rekindled?

4 of 5 people found the following helpful
 A story of immature love, heartache, and heartbreak. January 4, 2014
Can Simon Parker right the wrong and pain he caused Dana Collins? When he drives her to the hospital to deliver her baby, the attraction is still there between them. Can Dana learn to trust Simon again? Will her ex husband’s twin sister complicate their lives? If I say more I’ll give away the entire book. Ms. Walters weaves a tale of a dysfunctional wealthy family, compassion, and love.
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
 Reunion romances are my favorite kind of stories July 23, 2014

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday's Blurbs feature Books by Linda Griffin #MFRWAuthor #Wild Rose Press #suspense #romance

The Rebound Effect

The Rebound Effect  The Wild Rose Press  2019

In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He's handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn't want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back.

And then there's the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

Seventeen Days  The Wild Rose Press   2018

Divorcee Jenna Scott moves to a quiet California fishing village during the first Gulf War to make a new life in a house inherited from her grandfather. Her next-door neighbor recommends widowed handyman Rick Alvarez to fix her leaky roof. Jenna is intimidated by his good looks and annoyed by his self-assurance, but disarmed by his affection for his young son. She is still hurting from her ex-husband's betrayal and resists the attraction between them.

Rick has lived in the village for only three years and is still an outsider, friendly but not sharing his past with anyone. When an attractive vacationer is murdered, local gossip says he is the killer, and rumors spread about his wife’s death as well.

Jenna is determined not to believe the gossip, but will she ever be able to trust Rick with her wounded heart?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday Linda Griffin is visiting and talking about Who She Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Writer #Librarian

1.       What were you in life before you became a writer? Did this influence your choices as a writer?

      I can’t really say I was a librarian before I was a writer, because I was a writer or “book maker” from the age of six. I was also a born librarian, but didn’t know it until I found out that looking things up could be a real job. I’ve always loved research, and the skills I learned as a reference librarian certainly help with that part of writing. I was also lucky enough to be in charge of maintaining and developing the large fiction collection in San Diego’s Central Library and initiating order lists for the entire system.  Reading book reviews was a major part of my job, and perhaps that influenced my thinking about what makes a good novel.

2.       Are you genre specific or general?
       I think categorizing books into specific genres is something publishers find useful, but as a writer I write the story I want to write and worry about the genre later. I’ve written literary short stories and novellas, romances, mysteries, suspense, even a few science fiction and paranormal tales.

3.       What is your latest release?


      The Rebound Effect from the Wild Rose Press. It’s categorized as romantic suspense, but one reviewer thought it wasn’t a romance because it didn’t have an HEA ending. I think it does, just not the one the reader might have expected. It’s a cautionary tale of love and betrayal, about a whirlwind romance between a small town single mother on the rebound and a hunky SWAT officer. And then there are the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

4.  What am I working on now?

 Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance. I’m not sure yet whether it will prove a good fit with the Wild Rose Press, but I hope it will. It’s written from the POV of a black male police detective and since I am none of the three, that was a particular challenge. I hope I rose to the occasion, but the readers will have to decide.

5. Are you genre specific or general? I don’t mean major genres but sub divisions of romance, mystery, paranormal.

My published novels are romantic suspense, but I think I’m open to anything if the story is compelling. I’ve written shorter stories that might be considered sweet romance. Seventeen Days, my first Wild Rose Press novel, was classified as “vintage” because it was set in 1991, but I’m not sure I would ever undertake a true historical, although I would enjoy the research.

6. Did your reading influence your choice of a writing career?

Absolutely! I knew I was going to be a writer as soon as I learned to read. That first book, a Dick and Jane primer, so enchanted me that I read it to everyone in the house. including a captive audience of kittens, and then I read it backward! The Rebound Effect is dedicated “To Dick and Jane, who first ignited my passion for the written word.”

7. Where can we find you?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday's Fourth Scene Divided Dreams Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Medical #Writer

Rob stared at Andi and Josh Patton. His hands clenched and he half-rose. She glanced toward him. Her glare pinned him in place. Though protests rumbled through his chest he clenched his teeth. He had no right to the emotions roiling through his head. Andi wasn’t his. He’d thrown away any chance by his blind obedience to a bully.
Seeing her again had fractured the concrete he’d mortared over his love and need for her. Being a coward had cost him a lifetime with the woman he loved.
Memories of evenings, of closeness, laughter, and of sharing visions of the future filled his thoughts. Months ago he’d achieved his dream of becoming an author. His excitement over the contract seemed flat now. Andi was the one he wanted to tell. He searched today’s unexpected meeting for a pinch of hope and failed to find even a grain.
Seeing Josh Patton embrace Andi had abraded his awakened feelings. The kiss had nearly caused him to react with a jealous explosion. A surge of possessiveness gripped him. Not possible. Andi wasn’t his to protect and love.
The closing door ended his vision of them. A knife twisted in his gut. The reaction though well deserved forced air from his lungs. He had no right. He’d thrown his chance away.
Rob straightened and stared at the television. Someone had changed the station from cooking to news.
Some time later the door leading to the treatment area opened. Andi and Josh stepped into the waiting room. They strode toward where he sat. Andi lifted the diaper bag and removed a bottle and a box. “Here’s the brand. I’ll take the bottle to the nurse.”
Rob’s gaze flowed along her long legs and followed the sway of her hips. He lowered his head hoping Josh hadn’t seen the lust in his eyes.
“Don’t,” Josh warned.
“Do a number on her again. She’s a good friend. I don’t like seeing a friend hurt.”
How good? Rob couldn’t halt the flow of envy. Was Josh hinting he and Andi were a couple? “I won’t step over the line she has drawn. Since I won’t be coming to town often we may not meet for months.”
“Are you leaving Fern Lake?”
Rob shrugged. “Who knows? I’m living outside town and will be a hermit.”
Josh crossed his arms. “What about the baby?”
“Baby? Andi handed me this diaper bag, but I know nothing about a baby.”
“The infant Andi pulled from your sister’s car. The child is Patricia’s, unless she’s added kidnapping to her other offenses.”
Rob gulped a breath. “No kidnapping. Patricia has done many wrong things, but I doubt she’d want someone else’s baby.”
“The infant will remain overnight for observation. You can take her home tomorrow or have her placed in foster care. A social worker will speak to you about your decision.”
Rob’s hand clenched. Trust Patricia to complicate his life. Add Andi’s returning to compound the problem. “Do I have to decide right now? I haven’t heard anything more about my sister’s condition.”
Before Josh responded Dr. Reed strode into the waiting room. “Rob, thought I’d find you in the surgical waiting room. Someone told me you were down here. The news isn’t good. Patricia died during surgery.”
“Had she been drinking?”
“Blood alcohol zero. I found signs she’d been beaten recently. Bruises are too well developed for the accident to have caused them. A rib fracture. I believe that contributed to her death.”
“Did she say anything?” The few words he’d heard only added to the puzzle.
“She died moments after we opened her.”
“Is the baby hers?”
The older man nodded. “I’d say she gave birth two months or more ago.” Dr. Reed grasped Rob’s hands. “Sorry.”
Rob supposed he should feel more than numbness. But gathering any emotion seemed impossible. “I have some calls to make.” He lifted the suitcases and the diaper bag.
He stepped into the warmth of the afternoon. After storing the luggage he pulled his phone from his shirt pocket. The first call went to Fern Lake Funeral Home to arrange for Patricia’s body to be prepared for the funeral. Then he called Florida.
“Hi, Mom.”
“Did something go wrong with the sale?”
“Went through without a hitch. Are you alone?”
“Why so mysterious? Hattie’s preparing lunch.”
He felt a surge of relief. Her cousin and companion would help with her grief. “Call her.”
“It’s about Patricia.” He heard a sharp intake of breath. He wished he was there. This was the third family death in a little more than a year.
“Hattie’s here. I have the phone on speaker so we can both hear. What has my daughter done this time?”
“She died following a car accident.”
“Was she drunk?’ His mother and Hattie spoke in unison.
“No. She must have lost control of the car. Dr. Reed said there were signs she’d been abused.”
“Who did that?”
“I don’t know. Mom, she had a baby. A little girl about two months old.”
“Did the child die?”
“She’s alive and fine.” He paused for a moment. “Would you like to have the baby with you?”
Silence hung until he feared she’d hung up. Finally she spoke. “I’m too old to raise a baby.”
“Then what should we do?”
“You can raise her. You need a family. You’re alone too much.”
He groaned. “What do I know about babies? I’m not sure I’m capable.”
“What about the child’s father?”
“Haven’t a clue. He might be the one who beat Patricia.”
“Find out.”
If he could. Was there a clue in her luggage? “The funeral is Wednesday morning.”
“Hattie and I will come for the day, but I can’t stay.”
Rob told her what he’d discussed with the funeral director. “Service begins at ten. Let me know your flight data. I’ll pick you up and give you and Hattie beds for the night.”
“Where are you living?”
“At the cabin.”
“You know how I feel about that place. I’ll book a suite at Sulley’s Bed and Breakfast. I’ll hire a limo for a trip from the airport. The trip there and back is too much for an infant.”
Rob released a breath. “I’ll pick you and Hattie up for dinner Tuesday evening at Fern House. You can meet your granddaughter. On Wednesday I’ll take you to the airport.”
“You’ll need someone to watch the baby,” she said.
“On my to-do list.”
After disconnecting Rob shoved the cell in his pocket and walked to Pediatrics. A nurse at the desk directed him to the nursery. Three cribs jutted from the side wall. A table held diapers and some plastic bottles and boxes. He noticed a rocking chair near the window. He walked to the only occupied crib. He stroked his niece’s light brown hair. She curled her fingers around his thumb. He felt a connection that surprised him.
“You’re a sweet child.”
A woman wearing a white lab coat entered. “Dr. Grantlan, I’m Mrs. Ryder, social worker. Sorry about your sister? Will you take the baby home tomorrow of should I arrange for foster care?”
“Unless I can locate her father, I’ll be asking for guardianship.” Though he knew nothing about child care, the baby was family.
“I’m glad.”
Rob thought of how his life had changed. The edits for his first book were due to arrive any day. He wanted to finish the second. Now he had a baby under his care. “Do you know of anyone who could work as a nanny five days a week? She would have weekends off.”
“I don’t, but if I hear of someone I’ll call you. You might consider calling one of the home care agencies. What is the little girl’s name?”
Rob shrugged. “I haven’t spoken to my sister for almost a year. She had drinking problems and left an alcohol rehab facility and vanished.”
“You should look for a birth certificate.”
“Once I go home I’ll look through my sister’s luggage.” He left the room.
As he rode the elevator to the first floor he listed the things he needed to buy. Though today was Sunday he hoped the children’s shop in town was one of the stores that remained open. Otherwise, he had to head to the mall twenty miles away. He started the car and drove to Main Street.
Not only was the store open, but a sale was in progress. Businesses along the street had sidewalk displays. He skirted racks of children’s clothes and entered the shop. The mental list he’d composed vanished. What did he need?
A clerk approached. “Can I help you?”
Rob looked around. Cribs, high chairs, swings, and items he had no idea of their purpose filled one section of the massive room.
“Rob, what are you doing here?”
He turned and saw his cousin’s wife. “Shopping. I’ve become a parent who has no idea what is needed.” He explained the situation.
Dana chuckled. “Do you have a budget?”
“I’m good unless we hit a hundred grand.”
“We won’t go that high. How old is your niece? What’s her name?”
“Around two months and I have no idea what Patricia called her. Hopefully, there will be answers in the luggage I stowed in the trunk of my car.”
“We’ll start with the things you can take home.”
Before long the counter was piled with items Dana considered necessary. Rob felt like he’d morphed into Santa.
Dana grinned. “People usually buy these a few at a time rather than in bulk.”
Rob laughed. “The unexpected rules. What now?”
She led him to the section where cribs, dressers and changing tables stood. Rob fell in love with a swing and added that to the selection. He spotted a car seat that boasted he would never need to buy another. Dana added a stroller to the grouping.
When the clerk rang up the sale he gasped at the total. He slid a credit card through the reader and signed. He turned to Dana. “I need some place for her to sleep until the furniture arrives.”
“I’ve the perfect thing. Before Jenny was born your mother gave me a cradle. My daughter has outgrown it and the thing is gathering dust. I’ll have Simon drop it off tomorrow. We can make this a family heirloom.”
“I’d like that.” He drew a deep breath. “If I twist his arm would he help with the furniture assembly?”
“I’m sure he would. He likes tinkering.”
“Next step is to find a nanny. Revisions are due soon.”
“I know several women who might be interested, and I’ll ask among my friends. Simon and I will be at the funeral. I’ll have some numbers for you.”
Rob grasped her hand. “You’re great.”
She grabbed several bags. “Do you have a release date yet? Can’t wait to read the book.”
He gathered the remaining bags and the box with the car seat. “You might find yourself in the pages, but carefully disguised.” She and Simon were among the few people who knew about the contract.
They stuffed the items including the new car seat in his sports car.
“Spending your money was fun.” Dana winked. “You’d better think about a new car.”
“Once I arrive home, I’ll make a call to the owner of the dealership.” He turned the key in the ignition and waved. He drove to the cabin located five miles from town and turned into the tree-lined lane.
The log building had been used by the family as a summer retreat and a winter refuge. Over the years his father had added a stone wing with six bedrooms and five baths.
He grabbed the first of the bundles and carried them inside. A half-dozen trips unloaded the car, including the suitcases and the diaper bag. He dropped those on the long leather covered couch. He dialed the car dealership and spoke to the owner.
“Yes. You heard me. I’ll need a luxury four door and I’m not giving up the Jag.” He gave the reason for the need. “Just pick the best one you have. I’ll be by tomorrow to sign the papers and leave the car seat to be installed.”
His stomach growled. While a steak sizzled on the indoor grill he opened a beer and examined the diaper bag. He found a handful of papers. One was the birth certificate. Tamara was the baby’s name. Then he spotted the father’s name and laughed. Shame he had to wait until tomorrow morning to share the news.