Shannon here: Teresa Pollard shares a romantic excerpt from her cozy mystery, Not Ashamed. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated July 6 – 8 to enter the drawing. Deadline: July 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Teresa:
Excerpt from Not Ashamed – Charity meets Ben Chase:
The cafeteria was nice enough. There were lots of vending machines for times when the hot food areas weren’t open, and there were pre-made salads, drinks, ice cream treats, and sandwiches for those in a hurry, but the smell of bacon, sausages, biscuits and gravy drew her over to the line of doctors, nurses, and relatives of patients waiting for the cooks to dish out their selections. The eggs looked good, but she had eaten powdered eggs before and couldn’t stand the taste.
When it came her turn, she [Charity] said, “Could I have a bagel with cream cheese, a strawberry yogurt, and a diet cola to go, please? And I’d like biscuits and gravy and fried apples and a glass of milk for here.”
“Wow, that’s some breakfast for a pretty gal like you! How are you going to keep that delightful figure with all those carbs?”
Charity swung around, ready to deck the rude stranger. But her breath caught at the handsome blond-haired and dimpled man behind her, who too closely resembled Brad Pitt to be quite real. His windswept hair and scruffy movie star-like good looks almost took her breath away. One could melt into those ocean blue eyes, so intoxicating in their depth. And that strong, steely jawline that he held slightly offset to his upper lip…Wow!, who is he? It can’t be…
She stammered. “The bagels, yogurt and cola are for my grandma, and I don’t usually eat biscuits and gravy but they smelled so good, I couldn’t help it. I’ll make up for it tomorrow.”
He laughed. “Hold on. I’m sorry. I’m not the food police. You can eat whatever you want. I was just complimenting you. You’re Charity Wright, aren’t you? My sister told me you were home, but she didn’t tell me how lovely you were.”
Charity’ cheeks burned. “How did you know who I was?”
“Well, unless I stepped into Doctor Who’s T.A.R.D.I.S. instead of the elevator, there’s no one else you could be. But even then, the space-time continuum must have stretched you by at least six inches.”
“What? Who’s Dr. Who? And what’s a space-time continuum? What are you talking about? Who are you anyway?” The cook handed her the order and she moved toward the cashier, not quite turning her back on the charming and handsome blond.
He got his food and followed her. In spite of what he had said, he also had the biscuits and gravy. He led her to a table. “I’m Ben Chase. I guess if things had been different, I might’ve been your father.”
“What? I thought my mom had never had another boyfriend besides my dad.”
He grinned, and there was the resemblance to Brad Pitt again. If he was her mom’s age, he sure wore it well. She would have put his age nearer thirty than forty.
“Well, that’s not exactly true, but I do have to admit your dad was the only serious boyfriend your mom had. We only went out a couple of times. I would have liked for it to have been a lot more, but before I could make my move, I got drafted to Vietnam and spent the next four years in a God-forsaken place fighting a God-forsaken war. Then I spent another two years in a Viet Cong prison camp. By the time I got back, your mom and dad were in Africa.”
“So you don’t know about…about…?”
“The rape? Sure I do. I was in Vietnam. Not on the moon.”
About Teresa: Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. She is the co-author of Not Guilty and Not Ashamed (due July 7), and the author of Tokens of Promise and Woman of Light, (also due out from HopeSprings Books in October).
Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. She blogs every Tuesday at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com. Follow her on Facebook at Teresa Pollard, Author.
About the book – Not Ashamed: Charity Wright is ashamed of who she is. She just found out she was born of a brutal rape. Now, everyone tells her that her biological father has changed. They say he’s a good man who only helps people. They say she must forgive him. But do people really change? Especially when they’ve done something so heinous? Is forgiveness even possible?
Before she can confront her father with his crime, she almost literally stumbles onto another crime. In the same place. Has the rapist also become a murderer? Can Charity discover the truth before the killer strikes again? Or will her fury destroy her?
Question for readers: What is your favorite breakfast food?
Come back July 10th for Misty M. Beller!