Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

CAROLINA GRACE
2/22/2019 1:00:00 AM by: REGINA MERRICK

 

PLEASE WELCOME

REGINA MERRICK

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

EXCERPT FROM: CAROLINA GRACE

Chapter One, Scene One

Charlotte Livingston’s head shot up when the elevator opened. The hollow sound echoed in the hallway of the hospital adjacent to the Emergency Services waiting room.

The breath she held left her in a sigh when she saw the doors close behind two nurses with a cart. The late hour meant no visitors, but for those waiting for word, the wide-open lobby felt cold and claustrophobic in its loneliness.

“How many times, Lord, will I have to sit here and wait to find out if the ones I love are okay?” She got up and stretched, walking around the familiar room, her heels tapping on the shiny tiles. Not much to see that she hadn’t seen before: three-month-old hunting and decorating magazines, various health-related pamphlets for conditions she hoped she never had to face, and a Gideon Bible. When she sat back down, she leaned forward, covering her face with her hands.

Her nerves were taut, the long day taking its toll on her as she worried and waited for word. Magazines exhausted, phone almost dead and charging at an outlet, she began to pray silently. Maybe that would hurry things along.

Her phone buzzed: Anything?? Her best friend, Lydia, was chomping at the bit, which was typical.

Charly sighed and tapped her reply. Nope. I’ll keep you posted.

As she was settling in to repeat the Lord’s Prayer as a last resort to keep her mind busy, the elevator doors opened and she heard footsteps rushing toward her.

“Finally. I thought you would never get here.” She stood and put her hands on her hips in frustration.

“Sorry, it takes longer to get out of the house these days.” Jared Benton carried a portable car seat holding a newborn, setting it gently on a coffee table and covering the sleeping infant carefully with a soft blanket.

Sarah Benton went straight to Charly and hugged her. “Charly. Where’s your mom? Have you heard anything?”

“She’s in with them, and no, nothing. I’m going crazy out here.”

“I’ll go to the nurses’ station and see if we can get a little info.” Sarah looked at her husband and motioned for him to stay with Charly.

Jared nodded. “Since you recently had the prettiest baby in the county in this hospital, I think you should have a little pull.” He grabbed her hand for a second, before letting go.

“Handsomest. I’ll be right back. Don’t worry.”

“Do you think they’re okay?” She covered her face with her hands and closed her eyes. “I will never forgive myself if something happens.”

Jared sighed. “Charly, don’t beat yourself up about this.” He looked up. “Here’s Sarah.”

She looked up to see a worried frown on her face. “Sarah? What’s wrong?”

Sarah cleared her expression. “I’m not sure. They’re going to let me go back there.”

“Are you sure you’re up to it?” Jared looked concerned.

“Lucy asked for me.”

Charly shook her head in frustration. “Something’s wrong. I just know it.”

“We don’t know anything.” Sarah checked on the baby, still sleeping. “Keep an eye on Beau Alexander.”

“You know we will.” When she rushed toward the swinging doors, Jared shook his head and looked at his best friend’s little sister. “Like we can’t be trusted.”

Sarah paused. “I heard that. I’ll be back as soon as I know anything.”

Sarah went back to the nurses’ station and a nurse came out from behind the counter to escort her to the double doors.

A tiny squeak emanated from the baby and both Jared and Charly jumped.

“He makes that little noise all the time.”

“What?”

“Squeak in his sleep. Don’t know if he’s dreaming or what. Must be carrying on lots of conversations in those dreams.”

Charly grinned slightly. “Do you guys sit and watch him all the time?”

Jared’s smile grew. “Pretty much.”

“He’s a keeper, for sure.” Charly looked in wonder at the baby, his tiny hand held up in sleep as if propped up, holding his fingers out reminiscent of a high-five.

ABOUT CAROLINA GRACE (BOOK 3 in the SOUTHERN BREEZE SERIES)

She knows about God’s grace for her life, but pushes it away. He hasn’t experienced it, but finds grace in a way he never expected.

First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies to happen to her family.

Rance Beaumont is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things can only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy life seems to disintegrate.

Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment can quickly turn to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace.

ABOUT REGINA MERRICK

Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming in Feb. 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series.

 

AUTHOR’S LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Regina-R-Merrick-512257938964888/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/trmerrick64

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reginamerrick/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rmerrick/

Website: https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com

Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/

 

Sales Links: My author page - https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Rudd-Merrick/e/B072JMWPWD/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1544132482&sr=8-1

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