Where it All Began
by Lorana Hoopes
GENRE: Christian Fiction
Sandra Baker thought her life was going in the right direction until she ended up pregnant. Not ready for a baby, her boyfriend pushes her to have an abortion. After the procedure, Sandra spirals into depression losing her relationship and turning to alcohol. Then she meets Henry, a strong Christian man, who shows her God's love. Will she accept God's forgiveness and more importantly, will she forgive herself?
The delicate paper menu held only a few choices, and my eyes widened at the prices. I should have thought to ask where we were going before I agreed. I didn’t have the money to spend so much on dinner, especially since Peter had moved out and money was much tighter. My heart thudded in my chest as I quickly scanned for the cheapest item on the menu; even the side salad was nearly fifteen dollars. How do people afford this? Well, the salad comes with bread and a bowl of soup, so at least it should be enough to fill me up.
The waiter, clad in a white dress shirt and perfectly pressed black pants, appeared just as I laid the menu down. “Have we had enough time?” he asked politely, glancing at each of us before focusing his attention on Philip, who took the lead in ordering.
“Yes, we’ll have two glasses of your finest red wine and two plates of the steak and lobster, grilled medium well.” He handed his and Raquel’s menus to the waiter.
“Very well,” the waiter nodded and turned his attention to me.
I swallowed. “Um, I’ll have the side salad and the tomato soup.”
The waiter cocked his head. “Will that be all miss?”
My face flushed, and just as I was about to answer, Henry jumped in. “Yes, and the same for me please.” He handed our menus to the waiter.
The waiter nodded. “Yes, sir, and anything further to drink?”
Henry glanced at me; I shook my head. “No, water will be adequate for now, thank you.”
As the waiter turned away, I regarded Henry. Who was this man, and why was he being so nice to me? He caught me staring and shot me a small wink as he picked up a piece of bread.
I arrived at work just a few minutes before shift; Raquel was already there dressed in her scrubs and putting her purse in her locker.
“Well, you look happy,” she said, closing the door.
“I do?” I tilted my head and smiled. “Well it might have to do with the fact that I received flowers on my doorstep this morning.”
Raquel’s eyes lit up, and she clapped her hands together. “Ooh do tell.”
I laughed at her childlike display. “Not much to tell yet. I was making coffee, and I heard a knock at my door. By the time I got there, no one was there, but a bouquet of pink carnations and white daisies was on my doorstep. There was a card from Henry saying he had a nice time and he hopes we can get together again soon.”
“He likes you,” Raquel teased, “I knew he did. You could tell just from the way he looked at you.”
A blush colored my face. “It’s still early; I think he was just being nice.”
Raquel raised an eyebrow. “Uh huh, sure, nice. I don’t think Philip has even bought me flowers yet.”
“What? That’s terrible.”
“Well, he’s handsome and rich, so flowers aren’t that big of a deal.” Raquel flicked her hand in dismissal. “Oh, we better get going,” she said, glancing at her watch.
I finished shoving my purse inside and closed my locker door. As I followed Raquel out, I couldn’t help wondering if money was really more important to her than simple gestures?
I pulled four festively colored mugs down from the cabinet and filled them each with the creamy liquid. Handing two to Raquel, I picked up the other two, and we returned to the living room where we chatted idly as Christmas music played in the background.
When I could contain my joy and curiosity no longer, I clapped my hands and surveyed my friends. “Okay, who’s ready for gifts?”
They smiled, laughing at my exuberance, and I handed out a gift for each person. The little red box from Henry I picked for myself, holding it like a cherished toy. “Open yours first,” I nudged him.
He smiled and unwrapped the gift I had gotten for him. As he pulled out the book he had wanted, his smile deepened. “You remembered.”
“Of course I remembered.” I swatted him playfully on the arm. “You didn’t already buy it for yourself, did you?”
“No, I was hoping my very attentive girlfriend would cover that base.” He laughed and kissed my nose. “Okay, now you.” He stared at me as I began to unwrap the little box.
Beneath the red paper was a small black jewelry box. A lump formed in my throat, and I raised silent eyes on him.
“Go ahead,” he teased. “Open it.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lorana Hoopes is currently an English teacher in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing, she can be seen kickboxing in her local gym, singing at her church, or performing on stage. The Heartbeats series is her first full length novel series. She has also just released the first book in her early reader chapter book, The Wishing Stone.
You can follow her blog at https://twoheartbeats.org
Get a free novella or audio reading of The Wishing Stone by filling out the contact form at http://authorloranahoopes.site123.me/
The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour:
Where It All Began is available at Amazon: http://bit.ly/HeartbeatsWIAB
Barnes and Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-it-all-began-lorana-l-hoopes/1124598788
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
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