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Authors: SANDY LOYD

Winter Interlude

BOOK: Winter Interlude
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Published
by Sandy
Loyd

Copyright 2012 Sandy
Loyd

Cover design by Inspire Creative Services

Interior layout:
www.formatting4U.com

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from the author at
[email protected] This book is a work of fiction. The characters, events, and places portrayed in this book are products of the author’s imagination and are either fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or
dead,
is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

For more information on the author and her works, please
see
www.SandyLoyd.com

 

 

This book is also available in print from some online retailers.

 

Dedication

 

Winter Interlude
is dedicated to everyone who helped me on my journey.

 

To my sister, Jeannette
Antry
and my husband Bill – both loved the rough ‘first draft’

and
have been m
y ardent supporters ever since.

 

To my critique partners, Leslie Lynch, Caroline Fyffe and Lisa
Tapp
,

who helped smooth out those rough edges
.

 

And finally, to Pam
Berehulke
, my copy editor who took a
good story

and made it better.
Thank you all!

Chapter 1

 

K
ate
Winters winced and resisted the urge to say

Careful!

as the big burly guy hit a bump on his way down the truck’s ramp, jarring
the
Victorian-era rolltop desk
.
The second the wheels hit even ground, she released the breath she’d been holding
and followed him inside her shop, Yesterday’s Treasures.

Her cell phone rang
.
Glancing down, she frowned
.
She had a strong urge to ignore the caller and concentrate on her delivery
.
Instead, she sighed,
pressed Answer
,
and said, “Hey, Mom
.
What’s up?”

“Hi,
s
weetie
.
Chrissie just texted
you the
pictures of the bridesmaids’ dresses she picked out
.
Y
ou’re maid of honor,
so
she wants
you
r
approv
al
.
Will you take a look so we can order them today
?”

“Sure
.
Hold on a minute
.”
She tamped
down the bit of envy that sprang free every time she thought of her sister’s engagement
,
and
brought up the text message
to scroll through the photos
.
After all, Chrissie deserved to be happy
.
It’s just that she
always figured
she
woul
d beat her
younger sister
to the altar
.
That she
obviously wasn’t going to
had been a wake-up call.

“So,” her mother said, interrupting her thoughts. “What do you think?”

Kate
refocus
ed
on the dress
and
smiled at the color
.
Rose,
Chrissie’s
favorite
.
“I love the style
,
a
nd that shade of pink should enhance everyone’s complexion
s
.”
Even hers, she added mentally
, while
her mother ch
atted about the
wedding
plans
.
Thankfully, Tippy Winters didn’t
mention her true opinion
regarding her
older daughter’s
still
-
single status

that
after dating the same man since college,
it
was
well past time for
marriage
.

She
glanced back at the truck
.
Peter,
whose
name
was embroidered
above
the
pocket
of his work shirt
, had
already
unloaded several
pieces
.
“Look, Mom, I’ve got a deliveryman here and I need to
tell
him where to put my pieces
.”
Tippy never tired of voicing her disapproval
,
and
Kate
didn’t have time for the same old lecture about not getting any younger
.

“Okay, dear
.
We’ll talk later
.”

Kate
disconnected
.
It was bad enough to hear her mom’s voice inside her head saying her eggs wouldn’t stay fresh forever
.

Like
I
don’t already
have enough to worry about,

she
grumbled
as she
head
ed
out to
the
truck.

Peter
loaded up the last piece and scuttled down the ramp like he was going to a fire
.
Once inside, he angled the
hand truck
in the opposite corner of where she’d asked him to
unload
the furniture.

“Wait,” she said in her firmest voice
.

He slowed his forward momentum and
spared her a glance
.

She smiled
sweetly, going for the ‘poor little ol
d
me’ routine, batted her eyes and pointed
.
“Would you mind placing it in that corner like
I wanted
?”

“I’m a delivery guy, not a mover,” he said, his tone snide,
and turned
the
hand truck
containing the heavy eighteenth-century armoire toward the chest and other items he’d unloaded.

“Y
ou’re also a jerk,

she
said under her breath
.
She counted to ten, but it did little good to ease her annoyance.
“Back up,
b
ucko
.”
D
etermined he would honor her request
, she squared her shoulders
.
“I suggest you put the armoire over there
.”

After throwing
her a
nother
brief glance
,
he stopped, none too pleased with the interruption.

This time her expression said
,
D
on’t mess with me
.
“Otherwise, I’m calling your supervisor
.”
It was an empty threat, but he didn’t have to know that
.
A complaint
to his boss would generate bad
k
arma
.
She wasn’t into causing anyone to lose a source of income in this economy
.
It was
simply
that moving the furniture to where she’d indicated would be far easier for him than
for
her
.
S
he
was five f
oo
t two and weighed a hundred pounds
, soaking wet
.
This guy had to be at least a hundred and fifty pounds heavier
,
and
towered
over her by
nearly a foot
.

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