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Show Me the Way (eBook)

Show Me the Way (eBook)

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When two lost souls meet by chance, their worlds collide in an explosive tale of romance and suspense.

Excerpt

Presley waits in her parked rental car across from the address she found on the torn envelope in her adoption folder. When she discovered the file in her mother’s desk drawer late yesterday afternoon, she booked the next available flight to Virginia. What is she even doing here? She’s not interested in medical history. A genetic testing website could determine if she possesses the dreaded breast cancer gene or whether she’s at risk for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. But Presley’s test kit, purchased over a year ago from 23andMe, remains unopened in her bedside table drawer back in Nashville.

Kids on bikes and young mothers pushing baby strollers pass by, seemingly oblivious to the stranger in their midst. The neighborhood is Norman Rockwell picturesque, like one might expect in a small town called Hope Springs. Maple trees with brilliant orange leaves line the street. Pansies in yellows and purples border sidewalks leading to small front porches bearing displays of pumpkins and gourds and mums. Most of the houses are two-story brick colonials with well-tended lawns. But the whitewashed brick and Wedgewood-blue front door make number 237 stand out from the rest on Hillside Drive.

Presley drums her fingers against the steering wheel. She’s been here two hours. Should she leave and come back later? She checks the time on the dash. Five forty-three. She’ll stay until six.

What does she want from the people she’s waiting for? Another family? Because her mother . . . her adoptive mother, Renee, died two months ago and left her all alone in the world. That’s not it. Presley isn’t afraid of being alone. She has no siblings. She lost her beloved father to cancer when she was a young child. This inner sense of disconnect has nothing to do with Renee’s death. Presley feels a calling, like there’s someone else in the universe searching for her. She’s not looking to disrupt anyone’s life. She simply wants to know who her people are. To look into the faces of others and see something of herself.

All her life, Presley has been a square peg trying to fit into Renee’s round hole. Renee was an overachiever, a producer with one of Nashville’s top country music record labels. Renee prided herself on being a hard-ass and faulted Presley for being soft. Presley prefers to think of herself as easygoing and good-natured. Renee’s death was permission granted for her to find her round hole.

When a burgundy minivan rounds the corner at the far end of the street, Presley sits up straight in her seat. She glimpses the attractive middle-aged blonde behind the wheel when the van pulls into the driveway at 237. A pair of teenage girls, dressed in athletic shorts and tank tops with field hockey sticks tucked under their arms and backpacks over their shoulders, emerge from the van. Tall and lean with blonde ponytails, they look enough alike to be twins. Could these girls be her half sisters? Their mother, an older version of her daughters, is slower to get out of the car. She holds a phone to her ear and wears a scowl on her face, either angry or upset with the person on the other end.

From a distance, Presley sees no physical resemblance between the three blondes across the street and her own auburn hair and gray eyes. There’s always a chance the torn envelope got stuffed in her adoption folder by accident. But not likely, since her mother’s other files were in meticulous order. According to Zillow, number 237 was last sold seventy years ago. Presley assumes to this woman’s parents. The official website for the town of Hope Springs identifies the owners of said property as Samuel M. and Carolyn H. Townsend. For what it’s worth, the free online background check Presley conducted lists additional occupants of the home as Anna and Rita Townsend, presumably Sam and Carolyn’s daughters. But this woman must be Rita because, according to Facebook, Anna Townsend—originally from Hope Springs and a graduate of Hope Springs High School—currently lives in Washington state.

This woman appears in her upper forties. No older than fifty. Presley is thirty years old. Which makes the timing right for that woman to have had an unwanted pregnancy in her late teens or early twenties.

Where are Sam and Carolyn? Do they still reside in the house? And what about this woman’s husband? Is he late coming home from work? Or is she divorced?

The woman ends her call and drops her phone into her purse. Removing the mail from the black box to the right of the blue door, she sits down on the front steps and sorts through a stack of envelopes. She’s smiling now, her phone conversation apparently forgotten. Presley is tempted to introduce herself. But what would she say? “Hey. You don’t know me, but I think I may be your daughter.”

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Synopsis

Presley Ingram has often wondered about her birth parents. Yet her 23andMe test kit remains unopened in her bedside table drawer. When she finds an address on a torn envelope in her adoption file upon her adoptive mother’s death, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to the mountains of Virginia in search of answers. In the charming town of Hope Springs, she discovers her dream job as event planner at the prestigious Inn at Hope Springs Farms and the potential for romance with a ruggedly handsome bartender. Presley has an uncanny knack for reading people. While she suspects Everett has a genuine heart, she’s convinced he’s hiding something from his previous life.

Everett Baldwin is running from his past. He’s hiding out under an assumed name and working as a bartender while his dreams of becoming a country music star slip away. When opportunity knocks, Everett is forced to face his demons in order to move on with his life. Secrets are revealed and chaos ensues. Will Everett be able to salvage his relationship with the woman of his dreams?

Other Books in the Series

Book Trailer . . .

About the books . . .

Dream Big, Stella!—Stella's life takes an unexpected turn when she inherits a historic inn from her sperm donor father. With only a flaky boyfriend and dead-end job keeping her in New York, she catches the next train to the Virginia mountains. She as unprepared for the inn’s dilapidated state as she is
for the hostile welcome she receives by the inn’s manager. Why does Naomi resent her? What is she hiding? And who was she to Stella’s father?

Show Me the Way—Presley Ingram has often wondered about her birth parents. Yet her 23andMe test kit remains unopened in her bedside table drawer. When she finds an address on a torn envelope in her adoption file upon her adoptive mother’s death, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to the mountains of Virginia in search of answers. In the charming town of Hope Springs, she discovers her dream job as event planner at the prestigious Inn at Hope Springs Farms and the potential for romance with a ruggedly handsome bartender.

Mistletoe and Wedding Bells—Stella is ready to marry the love of her life and
live in the home of her dreams. Yet her dreams are overshadowed by a battle for
custody of her spirited six-year-old half-sister. Meanwhile,
Presley juggles a secret of her own: orchestrating a surprise Christmas wedding
for Stella and Jack, all while wrestling with her own newfound passion. And
Cecily confronts doubt as her Christmas Eve wedding approaches, torn between a
career she's fought for and a marriage marked by her fiancé's sudden
recklessness. In a tale of love, family, and the search for stability, these
women must navigate the complexities of their hearts to secure a future filled
with hope.

Matters of the Heart— The genie is out of the bottle. After decades of secrecy, Stella has finally made her resort’s natural hot springs available to guests. Little does she know, the waters have magical healing powers. Not only do the springs cure physical ailments, but matters of the heart as well. When word gets out, she has a riot of opportunity seekers on her hands.

Road to New Beginnings—The staffers at Hope Springs Farm greet guests with smiles. But trouble brews beneath their calm demeanors. Stella faces her first crisis as an adoptive mom when a second-grade bully wreaks havoc on Jazz’s life. Ollie experiences crippling panic attacks as she struggles to cope with her parents’ death. Cecily is falling in love with Parker. But she’s worried it’s too soon after breaking off her engagement. Presley’s baby is due in a few short weeks. But she’s heard nothing from her country music star husband in months.