Shannon here: My awesome critique partner, Brenda S. Anderson shares how she met her husband, how her characters met, & an excerpt from her latest Women’s Fiction, Hungry for Home. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a Kindle or Nook e-copy. Deadline: Oct 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Brenda:
How I Met My Husband:
When I met my husband, Marvin, I was working temporary office jobs while putting myself through college. One of my assignments was a two-week stint at the City of Plymouth, Minnesota, where I did data entry. The only available computer was in Marvin’s cubicle, so he had to work elsewhere. Over the course of the two weeks, I learned important details about him: he was a believer, he loved following Minnesota professional sports teams, and he liked Star Trek. Well, it doesn’t get better than that, right?
But we didn’t go out until after my assignment was completed. I talked about Marvin with my landlady and she made me call him at work. She actually dialed the number and handed the phone to me. So I asked him out, he said yes, and the rest is history!
How My Hero and Heroine Met:
Richard Brooks and Sheila Peterson also met at work. Richard was a former Manhattan businessman-turned-Janitor and Sheila was a sales executive in the Minneapolis area. At that time, Richard had denied his faith for many years, and Sheila was an unbeliever. Anyway, Sheila was rushing down a hallway to a meeting, she turned a corner, and nearly collided with a ladder in the middle of the hallway. She looked up to hurl a biting remark, but bit her tongue when she saw the gorgeous man with dark hair and intense blue eyes. She had just suffered through a nasty break up, and decided a no-strings-attached relationship was just what she needed. Richard was the perfect target. The executive did not expect to fall for a janitor!
Richard and Sheila’s origin story happened two books ago in Chain of Mercy (Coming Home series book one). In my new release, Hungry for Home (Coming Home series book three), the two are now happily married and attempting to begin a family of their own. That family comes in an unexpected package when they take in a homeless teen.
Note: This excerpt takes place right after Sheila was mugged by a homeless teen, the very teen she and Richard end up taking into their home:
Excerpt from Hungry for Home:
SHIVERING, SHEILA CUFFED GLOVED hands around her mouth and called again. “Help!”
No response, just the sound of cars whizzing past a block away on Main Street. She’d never be heard above them, so she dragged herself up off the icy ground and pain shot up through her leg. Shrieking, she fell back down, landing on a patch of ice. Ouch! With tears freezing to her cheeks, she rubbed her swelling ankle with gloved fingers. She wiggled her toes. Movement meant it wasn’t broken. She hoped so, anyway.
How could she have been so stupid to walk this quiet alley in her state of mind? And without telling Richard which way she was going? Working in Minneapolis had taught her to always be aware of her surroundings. Just because she wasn’t in the big city, that didn’t mean she could let down her guard. She massaged her ankle. This was going to be one painful lesson.
But for now, she had to find a way out of here, even if it meant crawling. She studied the area, looking for anything that would serve as a crutch. Garbage and litter, but nothing that would support her weight.
If she waited here, she’d freeze to death, so she rose to her knees, angling her sprained ankle in the air. Wincing and scraping her linen trousers on the ice-covered road, she crawled forward, her body trembling more with each inch. God, please help me.
She jerked her head up. Richard? She cleared her throat. “Richard!” His name barely made it past her lips. Even her vocal cords were frozen. She swallowed, hoping to moisten them up as he called her name again. She sat and directed all her energy to her voice. “Richard! Over here!”
“Sheila?” He appeared around the corner of the building, looked to his right, then left.
She waved. “Richard.”
“Oh, thank God!” He ran to her, skidding on the ice, but maintaining his balance. He dropped to his knees and circled warm arms around her. “You’re freezing.”
She buried her numb cheeks into his jacket, melding tears with leather, and drank in his woodsy cologne mixed with the sweat of fear. She clung to his trembling frame, at last feeling safe, protected. Loved.
“Where are you hurt?” He whispered into her hair.
“My ankle. I think it’s sprained.”
“Let’s get you to the doctor.” He swooped her up in his arms and carried her back toward Main Street. “But first, there’s a police officer who needs to know I found you.” He looked down at her. “He found your purse too.”
“I didn’t look. It didn’t seem important. I just needed to find you.”
She rubbed her throbbing, swollen ankle. She wouldn’t be walking on it anytime soon. There went the plans she had for today. If that thug had emptied her purse, she could deal with it, but he had robbed her of something irreplaceable: a romantic evening with Richard. She nuzzled her face into his jacket.
He tightened his grip on her, and she felt his heart pumping, even through his winter coat. “The officer also stopped some kid who claims to be a good Samaritan, but I trust him about as far as I can throw him.”
“A young man?” She hadn’t gotten a look at his face, but the way he ran, he had to be young. And she wouldn’t forget that too-small, lightweight black jacket he wore in these freezing temps or that he had no hat covering greasy looking hair.
“Yeah.” Richard growled.
Oh, she wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of Richard’s fury. She’d seen him angry before, but not like this. Honestly, the thug deserved whatever Richard gave him.
They rounded the corner, and Richard pointed up the alley, past a dumpster, toward Main Street. “That’s the kid.”
An oily-haired boy wearing a tight, black jacket turned toward her, and his eyes widened. He startled, but the officer’s grip kept him there.
She rubbed her ankle and winced from pain. That kid was going to pay.
About Brenda: Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
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About the book – Hungry for Home:
After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks is mugged and left for dead in the freezing Minnesota winter. Her husband Richard launches a frantic search and comes to her rescue. Police quickly nab the mugger …
… A hungry, homeless teen. The brother of the pregnant teen …
The girl pleads for her brother who’s aged out of foster care. Sheila and Richard refuse to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them everything …
Along with their hearts …
And, in the process, they learn the true meaning of home.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1VtIb8h
Question for Readers: Do you like snow? Do you get much in your region?
Come back Sept 25th for Lisa Phillips!