Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

Match Made in Heaven: A Novella
Friday, September 6, 2019 by JULIE ARDUINI

PLEASE WELCOME

JULIE ARDUINI

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN: A NOVELLA

 

CHAPTER ONE

The automatic main entrance doors squealed as Beth Prescott failed to make a discreet arrival. With a groan, she searched for her office door key and click-clacked past the Hammondsport Senior Complex front desk.

Activities Director Wendy Bass chuckled as Beth scurried by. “Did you hit the snooze button too many times?”

Beth kept her stride. “I mixed up AM and PM.”

Wendy shook her head and held up a folder. “I found these near the copier. I think they belong to you.”

Beth stopped and turned. Sure enough, her handwriting was on the front. Intake papers she needed for her outreach appointment. The first of many throughout her day. “What would I do without you? You’ve rescued me so many times since I started this job.”

Wendy reached across the front desk and passed the folder off. “No worries. I had a lot of help when I began here. It’s a lot to learn.”

Beth balanced the folder as she maneuvered her purse and steadied the office key in her right hand. Her venti mocha still hadn’t kicked in with the energy level she needed to leave on time for Katy McGlen’s home visit. Although the senior citizen was as sweet as the caramel Beth added to her morning drink, Beth hated being behind schedule.

She turned the corner and found her colleague, Ray Jenkins, at their shared office door, his key already in the lock, twisting it to the unlocked position. “How's the weather out there, Beth?”

Beth tossed her office lanyard back in her purse. “Humid. My last visit is at the Grapevine Nursing Home outside of town. I probably should've scheduled that earlier. The circulation in that place isn't the best.”

Ray nudged the door open and gestured her inside. “No, you were right. You always want to make the nursing home visits the last of the day.”

Beth took a tentative step before turning toward Ray. “Why?”

He sighed, etches of his seventy years tightened across his face. “Those visits are the hardest. The residents don’t have a lot of visitors and they get lonely. Or, dementia has them believing you’re their daughter or granddaughter and they want you to stay.”

The information zoomed from her brain to what felt like a heavy brick that sank to the bottom of her stomach. “Thanks for the heads up. I definitely want those meetings at the end of the day so I can process it at home.”

The older man shuffled toward his desk, about to turn on the lights. “By the way, you have a visitor. He’s waiting in the billiard room.”

Beth bit her lip, certain she hadn't scheduled anyone. “Do you know who?”

Ray's crystal blue eyes twinkled. “Another grandson.”

Beth sighed, unloaded her purse and folder on her desk, and glanced at the wall clock. Seriously, I don’t have time for this. She bolted out her office door and swung around the corner to the billiard room.

A young man who looked college age, if that, stood as soon as he noticed Beth.

“I’m Beth Prescott. You’re here to see me?” Beth knew the drill after six months of these kinds of visits from her clients’ grandsons.

His voice cracked as he cleared the distance between them and stretched out his hand. “I'm Chase. My nana, Rita Clark, told me to come here. I'm new in town and she thought you could show me around.”

Of course, she did.

Beth nibbled at her lip as she shook his moist hand. “I apologize. I’m fairly new on the job. Visiting senior citizens like Rita and matching them up with volunteer opportunities throughout the county keep me pretty busy.”

He cleared his throat. “Oh. Well, we didn’t mean during work hours. We thought maybe it could be a date.”

And there it was. Over the months the men had different hair colors and personalities, but they basically all stated the same thing. This is really getting old.

“Oh, Chase. That's so sweet, really. But I'm a little older than you think, and I really want to focus on the job.” She mustered a smile despite the growing stress that she was late to see the recently widowed Mrs. McGlen.

Chase nodded and gazed at the gray carpet. “Okay. It was worth a try. Nana said you were single and you’d be lucky to have dinner with me.”

Beth stifled a giggle as she walked him to the door. “Say hello to your Nana.”

ABOUT JULIE ARDUINI

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novella, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her latest release, YOU’RE AMAZING, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 2 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.

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Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG

 

ABOUT MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN: A NOVELLA

Beth Prescott wants to make a difference with the senior citizens she serves as a volunteer coordinator, but their matchmaking efforts leave her guarded. She’s experienced too much pain to make that leap again.

Dean Kellerman returns to the Finger Lakes area to help his grandfather and heal his own broken heart. He’s recommitted his life to Christ and doesn’t want any distractions.

When his grandfather needs assistance with a senior program, it places Dean right in Beth’s path. Can these two surrender their pasts to Christ and have faith in each other and their future?

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Match-Made-Heaven-Julie-Arduini-ebook/dp/B07QR29X51

 

 

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Julie Arduini From OH At 9/7/2019 11:15:31 AM

Thank you, Linda, for letting me share a piece of Match Made in Heaven.

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