Journey into the deep woods and remote corners of rural America where life is simple but love can be complicated.
The Light at Corriveau Crossing - Book #1
Excerpt from The Light at Corriveau Crossing: Levi took a gulp of coffee and put the mug on the counter, then followed his nephew to the stairs. “It’s me and you against Mom and Carissa,” Jake said while leading the way down to the basement. “We’ll definitely win. But you gotta watch Carissa. Grampa thinks she cheats.” By the time they finished the game, he was sure of it. The way she scratched on her last shot was the real giveaway, but if he hadn’t been forewarned, he might not have noticed; she was that good. “Told you we’d win!” Jake crowed, oblivious to her game within a game, a proud grin stretching from one side of his face to the other until he was all oversized teeth and sparkling blue eyes. “You did.” Levi held his hand out for Jake’s cue and put both their sticks on the wall rack while Jake collected the chalk cubes. Savannah hung the triangle and bridge from nails on a rafter. Carissa pulled the protective cover over the felt. Pretending to help her with the corners on one end, he said just low enough so the others wouldn’t hear, “Didn’t know you were a hustler.” The way her freckles stood out even more when she blushed was fascinating, but she didn’t have a comeback. Surprising, since she had so much to say the night before. He wasn’t about to thank her for that. Still, he could admit she wasn’t all wrong, and not wanting to strangle her with her stethoscope was a big improvement over yesterday.
Copyright 2018 Amber Cross
Books Two and Three-In Progress Meet Rita's cousin, Noah, who comes to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to start a business and move on again, if only he can walk away from Eden. Follow Caleb home to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom where he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to charm the independent Jane. ------------------------- These stories are being co-written because they are about two women who develop a friendship they need as much as the love they find when both think there's no room in their lives for relationships.
Enjoy this excerpt from Eden's Story Eden Glover emerged from a grove of balsams in the Peltier Tree Farm and noticed a tall, slim woman on the path ahead of her. Jane Brown, Mandy Peltier’s other best friend from childhood, probably cutting through the trees from the main road as she had done. Parking her car there made for an easier escape if the wedding reception got too raucous. When Jane came to a sudden stop, Eden slowed her pace. Remi Peltier slipped out from behind a six-foot tree with a mug of beer in his hand. “Well, if it isn't Plain Jane, as I live and breathe,” he sing-songed, legs braced wide in the middle of the lane, a smirk on his pock marked face. Eden wondered if he was a masochist. That was the only explanation, because her one-time rival would never put up with his petty bullying. As if to prove that point, when Remi slid into Jane's personal space, she elbowed him in the ribs. He folded over like a cheap deck of cards. “I was only trying to be friendly.” Jane flipped him off and kept walking. Eden was a little awe-struck. She wished she had that kind of nerve. Instead, she cut a diagonal path through the Canadian spruce to the tree shack to avoid a confrontation with him. “There you are!” Mandy squealed when she emerged into the clearing. Grabbing Jane’s elbow, she dragged her over to Eden and pulled them both into a tight hug before standing back to look them over. “Well, call me impressed. I haven’t seen you in a dress since our last middle school dance.” Jane was the tomboy, so Eden knew the comment wasn’t directed at her, but Mandy’s next observation was. “And you look like a million bucks, as usual.” “Look who’s talking,” Eden deflected. Mandy twirled and held her hands out so they could admire her cream tuxedo, pink vest and tie. “What do you think?” “You look hot as hell,” Jane said, giving voice to Eden’s thoughts, while privately she calculated how much Mandy had invested in today’s appearance; bleached teeth, spray-on tan, sculpted brows, and platinum streaks in her blond hair. Any money saved on traditional bridal wear had been swallowed up by those services. “I told Ryan I’ll keep the tie on later tonight, but only the tie.” Eden wrinkled her nose in mock disgust. “Too much information.” “Don’t be a prude. Sex is supposed to be fun.” “I certainly hope so,” Jane interjected. “I plan to have some of that before the night is out.” Mandy stood on her toes and scanned the crowd. “Did you see my mom?” Random subject changes were Mandy’s forte. “She was just asking about the two of you.” Ryan Chaisson joined them and threw an arm around Mandy’s shoulders. He must have heard her question. “Your mom’s over by the keg. Looks like Remi the genius broke the coupler.” “How does anyone do that?” Ryan shrugged, fingering the big pink tie at Mandy’s neck. When he leaned in and whispered something that made her giggle, Eden decided to move along. “I’m going to find your parents and say hi.” Separately, since they were divorced now. “See you two in a bit?” “You’ll all see us at sundown.” By the time they gathered around the shack for the ceremony an hour later, Eden questioned why she was here. She could have sent a gift and her excuses to Mandy. Until last week’s bachelorette party, they hadn’t seen one another in over six years. No one would have missed her, and if she had stayed home, she wouldn’t be feeling so old and out of place now. Across the loose circle of guests, she noticed Jane standing alone with a bottle of water and a look of disappointment on her face. Maybe they had something in common besides Mandy.
Enjoy this same event from Jane's point of view: Peltier’s Christmas tree farm was lit up like a runway, little white lights lining the long gravel drive from the highway to the tree shack. Jane Brown drove past the entrance and parked on the shoulder of the road. She checked her appearance in the rearview mirror, not out of vanity, but because she didn’t want to embarrass her childhood friend by showing up at her wedding with cockeyed buttons or half her braid falling loose. Satisfied that she wouldn’t end up on anyone’s What was she thinking? list, she tossed her car keys into the glove compartment and stepped out of the minivan. Few people locked their cars in Canaan, Vermont, but even if they did, no thief would be desperate enough to steal a fifteen-year-old handicap-accessible vehicle with poor mileage and rusty rocker panels. There was no oncoming traffic. She crossed the road and cut through a grove of Scotch pine. She knew every species of tree here, having spent hours riding her bike through them with Mandy when they were younger. Scotch pine gave way to blue spruce, which gave way to balsams. She had reached a section of Canadian spruce when Remi Peltier slipped out from behind a six-foot tree. He stood between her and the main drive, legs braced wide as if to prevent her passing, a smirk on his pock marked face. “Well, if it isn't Plain Jane." He lifted his mug of beer in a mock salute. “As I live and breathe." Ugh. She had promised herself she’d be nice to the slimeball, since he owned the tree farm now that Mandy’s parents had divorced and was letting his cousin get married here for free, but when he sidled up close enough for her to choke on his aftershave, she jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow. “I was only trying to be friendly,” he wheezed, bending over and cradling his side. Jane flipped him off and kept walking. She didn’t have time for his petty bullying. A Saturday night to herself was a rare thing, and her goal for this one was simple: Hook up with some random guest she didn’t know and wouldn’t have to see again. A thirtieth birthday present to herself, two days early. “That’s not very ladylike,” her mother would say. True, but after their argument this afternoon, Jane didn’t really care for her parent’s opinion. “We’ll get more money for the bigger bedroom, and you know it,” her mother had rationalized, explaining after the fact that she had placed an ad in the paper for a lodger and described Jane’s room as the space for rent. “We don’t need a boarder. I can get more hours when fall sports begin,” Jane had argued. “You can’t do that and be here, too. Besides, there is no point in you working yourself to death when I can get some rent money for the room.” Jane wanted to say they didn’t need the income, but that was a lie and they both knew it. An excited squeal pierced through her gloomy thoughts. “There you are!” Mandy broke free from the crowd of people around the tree shack, grabbed Jane and dragged her over to where Eden Glover was just emerging from the grove of Colorado spruce. Mandy pulled them into a crushing three-way hug. Then, stepping back, she eyed the two of them. “Well, call me impressed. I haven’t seen you in a dress since our last middle school dance.” Jane was tempted to reply to that observation with the same message she had given Remi, but Mandy had turned her focus on Eden. “And you look like a million bucks, as usual.” Right. The gorgeous redhead had probably never had a bad hair day in her charmed life. “Look who’s talking,” Eden said. Mandy twirled and held her hands out for them to admire the cream tuxedo, pink vest and tie she wore. “What do you think?” If Jane was into women, Mandy would top the list. “You look hot as hell.” “I told Ryan I’ll keep the tie on later tonight, but only the tie.” Eden wrinkled her nose. “Too much information.” “Don’t be a prude. Sex is supposed to be fun.” “I certainly hope so,” Jane said, “I plan to have some of that before the night is out.” Already distracted, Mandy stood on her toes and scanned the crowd. “Did you see my mom? She was just asking about the two of you.” Ryan Chaisson strode across the yard and slung an arm around Mandy’s shoulders. obviously having overheard her comment. “Your mom’s over by the keg. Looks like Remi the genius broke the coupler.” “How does anyone do that?” Ryan shrugged, his fingers playing with the big pink tie at Mandy’s neck. When he leaned in and whispered something that made her giggle, Eden excused herself. “I’m going to find your parents and say hi. See you two in a bit?” “You’ll all see us at sundown.” Mandy giggled and gave her attention to Ryan. Eden waved to Jane, probably the friendliest gesture she was capable of since the two of them had always been more frenemies than friends, but Jane followed her lead and left the almost newlyweds, in search of her one-night stand. By the time everyone was gathered around the shack an hour later, she calculated the odds of getting laid tonight as slim to none. Ryan’s friends were good looking enough, but a lot of them were already coupled up, and those who weren’t acted like frat boys. They probably couldn’t hold a serious discussion if they tried, not that she wanted to converse with them, but she was afraid they’d say something stupid during sex and ruin it.