Shannon here: Bonnie Leon shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Women’s Fiction title, To Dance with Dolphins. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated August 12 – 17 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: August 22nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Bonnie:
Excerpt – To Dance with Dolphins by Bonnie Leon:
A few moments later the path became two, and Claire had no idea which one to take. “Do you know the way?”
Sean grabbed her hand. “Yeah. I think so. We’ll figure it out.”
A tiny bit of warmth came through her glove, but the temperature had dropped more and fear crept inside.
They kept moving but visibility shrank to only a few feet in front of them. Another fork in the trail emerged from behind the white veil.
Sean pulled the ties of his hoodie closed. “I’m not sure which one to take here.”
Panic flashed through Claire. Where was the rest area? How far had they walked, caught up in their conversation?
Sean checked his phone. “And we don’t have a signal.”
Could they find their way back to the motor home, or would they be moving farther away, into the wilderness?
As dramatic as it sounded, they could die if they’d wandered too far,
She leaned on her cane to keep upright on her shaky legs. “What should we do?”
“Stay put. If we keep moving we might become even more lost. The storm will likely break up soon. Someone will find us. The gang will call for help.”
“But it’s so cold.” Would someone find them I time?
Sean looked around. “If we get out of the wind, it’ll help.”
He steered Claire toward a stubby evergreen with a broad trunk and a hollow center with one side partially rotted away, creating a natural barrier.
“This should help.” He took a large pocket knife and cut several evergreen boughs and spread them out on the floor of the hollow tree.
“But it’s not big enough for both of us. What will you do?”
“I’ll be all right.” Sean set her cane against the outside of the tree, then helped ease Clair down.
She huddled inside, pressing against the rotted wood.
Sean sat in front with his back to her, his hoodie pulled down over his head.
What if he froze to death? They both could. Claire opened her coat and stretched out her arms. “Lean back against me.”
Sean didn’t argue with her. He rested against her chest and she put her arms around him.
They stayed like that huddled against the storm, freshly cut boughs enveloping them in a sharp, tangy fragrance.
“I should never have decided on a walk, especially not this far,” Claire said. “I didn’t think it would get so bad. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault.”
Claire had been careless, wanting time with Sean, wanting to be close to him, rather than paying attention to staying safe.
Now they were close—so close they might die together.
Clair’s shivers grew and her hope faded.
“Someone will find us. We’ll be fine.” Sean drew his legs up close to his chest
Claire should ask for God’s help, but she couldn’t hold the truth back. God, how can I believe in your mercy? You haven’t protected me from this disease. My sister is sick … and missing. Sean’s brother died a horrible death. Why shouldn’t I think that it might be your plan for us to die under this tree today?
Wouldn’t it be I ironic if her illness had nothing to do with the way she died? What if she could have been living differently not letting her sickness restrain her?
“Are you all right?” Sean asked.
Other than regrets and life questions pummeling her? “Just cold. How long does it take for hypothermia to set in?”
“Someone will find us before that. Or the storm will blow through.”
Claire rested her cheek against his back.
“Just don’t sleep. Okay?”
The minutes passed and the world was only wind and snow. Claire’s eyelids began to fall.
What if no one came?
It seemed unfair to die like this—arms around the first man she thought she might be able to love.
And he didn’t even know how she felt.
About Bonnie: Bonnie Leon is the author of more than twenty novels, including the recently released To Dance With Dolphins and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons.
June 11, 1991 a log truck hit the van she was driving, and her world changed. The accident left her unable to work, and after months of rehabilitation she was told by physicians that she would never return to a normal life. Facing a daunting fight to reclaim her life and in search of personal value, she discovered writing. She has been creating stories ever since.
Bonnie is familiar with the challenges of disability beyond her personal experience. Her sister endured the debilitating illnesses of lupus, MS, and Bi-polar disorder. And her daughter is grappling with the chronic progressive disorder of syringomyelia.
Through chronic pain and disability Bonnie found new purpose. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups, teaching at writing seminars, and mentoring young writers. She also administers an online support group for those living with chronic pain and disability and is a participating member of the Syringomyelia and Chiari Network.
She is married to her teen-age sweetheart, the mother of three grown children, and grandmother of eight. Bonnie and her husband Greg live in the mountains of Southern Oregon. Learn more and connect: http://www.bonnieleon.com, https://www.facebook.com/BonnieLeonAuthor?fref=ts,
About the book – To Dance with Dolphins:
Twenty-two-year-old Claire Murray has suffered from a mysterious disease for years. Her social circle has shrunk to a small support group for people with chronic illness and disability. But what if life could be about more than doctors, pain, and medications?
Claire and three others—old grouch Tom, hippy-holdout Willow, and moody Taylor—hatch plans for a cross-country trip to swim with the dolphins in Florida. Only a day into the trip, they unexpectedly need help. And who happens to be hitchhiking along the highway but a young, good-looking loner named Sean Sullivan? However, the last thing he wants is to be harnessed to a bunch of ailing travelers.
Though the journey proves difficult, following God’s plan might be even harder. Will they find the courage to follow their dreams and dare to live again?
Purhase Link: http://amzn.to/1SqHoqK
Question for readers: Do you like snow?
Come back August 19th for Valerie Comer!