Blog-a-Book-Scene is a monthly themed blogging endeavor from a group of authors who love to share excerpts from their stories. Find us on Twitter with the hashtag #blogabookscene and #PrairieRosePub.
February’s theme is All You Need is Love. The excerpt is from my western romance novelette, Mail-Order Mix-Up. The main characters in this story are older, and through the mail-order matchmaking manipulations of grandchildren, they have a second chance at love. This story is included in the Prairie Rose Publications’ anthology Lariats, Letters, and Lace.
While another minute of exchanging weather observations ensued, Irene made a sweeping perusal of the house, or what she could see from the foyer at the foot of a wide staircase with hallways along both sides. The hardwood floor glistened in all directions. Framed pictures hung on the walls. A full-length cheval mirror stood opposite the coat tree. Coming in from the chill, the warmth from an unseen source touched her face, and the mixed aromas of baked bread, cinnamon apple pie, and roast chicken lingered in the air, which reminded her stomach she hadn’t eaten since last evening. The foyer was crowded with adults and children busy donning winter clothing or assisting with buttoning and mittening.
“And who is this?” Mrs. Perlman asked as she looked between Eloy and Irene, a cheery, welcoming smile on her face.
Eloy removed his hat and held it in his gloved hands. “This is Irene Maxon recently of St. Louis.”
All talking stopped; every head turned to Irene. Eloy painstakingly introduced each member of the Perlman and Driscoll families as well as Joe and Ginny Forbes. Irene acknowledged everyone with a nod and friendly Hello.
Ginny welcomed Irene into her home with a polite, “We’re so pleased to meet you, but I don’t believe we’ve ever met. What brings you to our home?”
“Forgive me for intruding unannounced, especially during your festivities. I’m here to return—”
“Oh, there you are, Dale, Violet,” Eloy broke in. “This is Irene Maxon from St. Louis.”
Irene followed Eloy’s wave and recognized the man and the girl coming along the hallway from the photograph she’d received with the letter. She also noted with more than passing interest that the photograph had not adequately captured Dale’s handsome maturity, strong chin, and fine, broad-shouldered physique. Before she could greet them, movement at the top of the stairs drew her attention, and she looked up to see a girl descending one slow stair at a time, her hand trailing lightly along the bannister. The girl stopped midway down and looked right at Irene, the little satisfied smirk on her lips as pleasant as the sparkle in her eyes. So this was Meredith—the instigator of the marriage invitation.
Then a wisp of a child with braids flying burst through the midst of the group with a shriek of squealing delight. When she leaped, Irene instinctively caught her, staggering backwards a few steps under the child’s momentum. The girl clamped her arms around Irene’s neck with a grip so tight Irene couldn’t turn her head.
“Grandma! You’re here. You’re really here. I knew you’d come. I just knew it!”
Lydia’s face broke into a bright smile. Clara Jean clapped her hands and blurted, “It worked! She really got Meredith’s letter!”
All attention swung to Clara Jean who realized too late what she’d said as she ducked for cover behind the coat tree.
The few seconds of solemn, stunned silence shattered into echoes when Dale’s booming voice rebounded off the walls. “Meredith Margaret Forbes! What have you been up to now?”
But Meredith was nowhere in sight.
Mail-Order Mix-Up is set in the fictional town of Platte River City, Colorado, which is loosely based on my hometown of Fort Morgan.
Lariats, Letters, and Lace anthology is available on Amazon.com
Print | eBook | KindleUnlimited
The March Blog-a-Book-Scene theme is Beware the Ides of March.
Instagram – kayespencer
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/kayespencer
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kayespencer
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kayespencer23
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/author/kayespencer
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayespence
Prairie Rose Publications – http://prairierosepublications.com/
YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/kayespencer0203