is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
Love Unexpected, Chapter 1:
Sebastian Carter stretched out his muscles then flexed in the gym mirror. “What’s cooking, good looking?” he asked his reflection.
“Aren’t you tired of talking to yourself?” Someone snapped a towel against Sebastian’s chiseled arms. “Get a girlfriend!”
Sebastian flashed a grin to his gym buddy, Hannah Sutton. “You busy Saturday night?”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I’m busy all right.” She flashed her ring finger in the mirror, and the glare of a diamond blinded him for a second.
“What?” He shielded his eyes. “When did this happen?”
“Yesterday,” Hannah replied with a sigh.
“Congratulations. Who’s the lucky man?”
A deep blush colored Hannah’s face.
“Oh,” Sebastian teased, “so he makes you blush! Must be somebody special.”
A male voice sounded behind Sebastian. “Hey, what are you doing talking to my fiancée, Sebastian?”
Sebastian turned to see Hannah’s personal trainer, Jacob Richards, standing beside him. Sebastian laughed. “Naw, naw! You two are a couple now?”
Jacob walked past him and encircled Hannah in his arms. The deep blush on Hannah’s face was replaced with a beautiful glow as she and Jacob shared a look and then a kiss.
“Aww, no, man,” Sebastian cried. “Save the PDA for another place and time.”
But Hannah and Jacob were oblivious to his pleas. He shielded his eyes from the newly engaged couple and made his way toward the locker room. First his sister got married. Sebastian glanced over his shoulder at Hannah and Jacob, walking arm-in-arm toward the treadmills. And now his best gym buddy. What was going on?
“There must be something in the water,” he mused then paused. “In that case, I’m showering at home.”
Love Unexpected, Chapter 2:
Esmeralda Rodriguez looked up from her desk to see the intern, Chandra McIntire, run into her corner office and pause to gather her breath. “Yes, Chandra?” she asked.
Chandra was one of Esmeralda’s favorite workers. Five years ago, Chandra had secured an internship with Boulevard Fashions and now worked exclusively with Esmeralda.
Chandra was five feet four, very petite, and personable. Everyone at the fashion agency liked her, but sometimes her dramatic panic attacks, generated by the daily deadlines, frazzled her colleagues.
“What is it, Chandra?”
Chandra held up her hand as if to say, “Wait a minute,” and sat down in the chair in front of Esmeralda’s desk. “You won’t believe it.”
Esmeralda grew calm, preparing herself for any news of a crisis or another wave of Chandra’s dramatic flairs.
“Prima and Primo wants to stop by the office and see you!”
Esmeralda felt her eyes grow wide. “Shut up.”
Chandra shook her head. “I’m serious.” Prima and Primo was a premier design firm based in Southern California and were quickly gaining nationwide publicity with their cutting edge, fancy, but affordable fashions.
Esmeralda nearly dropped the folder she held. Quickly, she placed it on her desk and took out her Blackberry. “When?” I’ve got to make room for this, she thought as she checked her phone agenda.
Esmeralda dropped everything. “Stop lying!”
Chandra shook her thick, dark brown curls to say she wasn’t lying and smiled.
“What time? Where? Why? Oh my—I’ve got to fix my hair!” Esmeralda cried as she adjusted her messy-style hair bun while looking in the mirror attached to her wall.
“I told them that you would be free this afternoon.”
“Time, Chandra. What time?”
“All right, I think I can be ready by then.” Esmeralda picked up her Blackberry again to pencil in the meeting. “Why so late?” she asked, looking up at Chandra.
“They want to take us out to dinner.”
“Us?” Esmeralda questioned. “As in who?”
“Me and you,” Chandra replied then gave her boss a more serious look. “Honestly now, do you think I would let an opportunity like this pass me by?”
Esmeralda laughed. “Okay then. We’ll be ready. Did they share the meeting’s agenda with you?”
Chandra shrugged. “They said they would like to discuss the nature of this meeting over a meal.”
“Did they let you pick the restaurant?”
“And you chose . . . ”
“Sunset Boulevard Grill.”
“All right. Sounds good.”
As Chandra exited, Esmeralda finished entering the business dinner date into her Blackberry. Prima and Primo . . . she couldn’t wait to find out what they wanted with her company.
Alexis A. Goring is a college graduate with a degree in print journalism from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. Writing is her passion. She hopes that her stories will touch hearts, bring smiles to faces, and inspire minds to seek God whose love for humanity is unfailing.
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Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart