It’s day four of A Blizzard Wedding!
Today’s author is Carlene Havel, whose recent release, Daughter of the King, just came out in December. Daughter of the King, co-written with author Sharon Faucheux, is biblical fiction, rich in historical details, telling the intense and complicated love story of King David, and his first wife, Michal. This untraditional romance is one to sweep you away, to another era, a different world, and make your heart thud as you root for the characters to make it.
Congrats to reader Josie L., who won the two free downloads yesterday! I’ll be in touch.
Today Carlene is generously giving away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon to one winner who emails with the name of her other Prism Book Group title (not Daughter of the King). The answer can be found on www.prismbookgroup.com. Contest entries may be sent to CONTACT@PRISMBOOKGROUP.COM. Entries must be emailed before 2/15/13. The winner will be notified by email by 2/17 and announced 2/19/13. Good luck!
For those of you who are just joining us, A Blizzard Wedding is a continuation—and the grand finale—of After the Storm and Lightning Strikes. You can read the first three segments of A Blizzard Wedding right here on our blog.
If you haven’t read Lightning Strikes or After the Storm yet, download them for FREE on our website. They are also available through most of the popular eBook retailers.
* * *
A Blizzard Wedding
Segment # 4 By Carlene Havel
“Excuse me,” Rachel said, grabbing her ringing phone and retreating to the lobby.
“Hello, darling. I can’t wait to see you.”
“Luke! Are you all right? Has something else happened? Have they decided it’s worse than a concussion? Do you want me to come—”
“Hold on, one question at a time.” The sound of Luke’s laughter warmed her heart. “I’m fine. I promise, just a little banged up. Has Joshua arrived yet?”
“Yes, he’s here. His flight came in just after mine. As a matter of fact, my cousin Ivy and I are about to have dinner with him.”
“That’s a relief. He’s not answering his cell phone. I’d like to talk to him.”
“Just a minute,” Rachel said as she returned to the hotel restaurant. Handing her phone to Joshua, she said, “It’s Luke.”
“Hey, Buddy,” Joshua said. “Hang on while I go someplace where I can talk.”
Ivy’s eyes followed Joshua out of the restaurant. “I suppose he has to get away from us to have a conversation.”
“Would you prefer for him to stay here and disrupt the other patrons?” Rachel asked.
Ivy shrugged. “No. Since you ask, I’d like to see him perform a magic trick and make himself disappear.”
“Did he say something to upset you while I was gone?” Rachel asked.
“Not exactly.” Ivy buried her nose in the menu. “I may change my mind about the ribs.”
Rachel pulled Ivy’s menu down enough to see her cousin’s eyes. “What then?”
“Maybe the steak.”
“You know as well as I do that my question has nothing to do with food.”
“He’s just so self-assured. So…I don’t know what to call it.”
Rachel withdrew her hand and took a sip of water. “So much like Barry?”
“Shhh. Here he comes.” Ivy folded her menu.
“Thank you,” Joshua said as he handed Rachel’s phone to her.
Not able to hide her disappointment, Rachel said, “You hung up. I wanted to talk to Luke again.”
“I’m sorry, but—”
The waiter cleared his throat. “Would you like a few more minutes?”
“No. We’re ready, and we’ll need separate checks,” Ivy answered. “I’ll have the ribs. Baked potato, house salad, and Italian dressing on the side.”
“Exactly the same for me,” Rachel said.
Joshua folded and re-folded his napkin. “I’ve decided not to have dinner,” he said. “I have an errand to run. Would you excuse me?”
“Just a minute.” Rachel put her hand firmly on Joshua’s arm. “My investigative reporter’s instincts are kicking in. You and Luke had a phone conversation, and you’ve suddenly decided to opt out of dinner. Then you make a lame excuse about an errand in the middle of a blizzard. Something’s going on, and I want to know what it is.”
Joshua looked at Ivy. “Don’t expect any help from me,” she said. “Sounds like you’re busted.”
Putting his hand on top of Rachel’s, he said, “Luke doesn’t want you to know. Yet.”
“Know what?” Rachel asked, feeling weak with fear.
“I warned him I’m no good at keeping secrets,” Joshua said, brushing the hair back from his forehead. “The results came back on Luke’s x-rays. The doctor said his wrist is broken.”
“Oh, no!” Rachel realized her outburst attracted the attention of the people at nearby tables. Lowering her voice, she said, “I’m going to the hospital right now.”
“No, no. That’s the last thing Luke wants, for you to be out on the roads in this weather. He made me promise to keep you here.”
“And how do you expect to accomplish that feat?” Ivy asked.
“A little cooperation from Luke’s prospective in-laws would be a good start,” Joshua answered. Turning back to Rachel, he continued. “The doctor told Luke he needs surgery, nothing major, merely a procedure to put a pin in his wrist. They can’t operate until the swelling goes down. So Luke told them to patch him up as best they can for now, and he’ll have the repair work done when he gets home next week.”
Rachel closed her eyes and tried to stay calm. “What’s your role in this scheme?”
“First to keep you from worrying,” Joshua said.
“Strike one!” Ivy muttered.
Joshua shot Ivy an irritated look. “Second, to arrange transportation for Luke from the hospital to the hotel. They said he can come home now, as long as someone is keeping an eye on him through the night, but he told me he couldn’t convince the local taxi drivers to drive up the mountain in this weather for any amount of money.”
“Stepping into the batter’s box for strike two,” Ivy said.
“Luke is determined nothing is going to spoil this wedding,” Joshua said. Turning toward Ivy, he added, “No matter what anyone else has in mind.”
“You may as well have dinner,” Rachel said. She nodded toward the window. “Nothing is moving out there.”
When the waiter delivered salads to Rachel and Ivy, Joshua said, “I’ve changed my mind about dinner. I’ll have what they’re having.” While the women ate their salads, Joshua sifted through a litany of possibilities. “Luke has already tried taxis. I tried to get a rental car at the airport this afternoon—no dice. I don’t suppose a helicopter could get off the ground until the weather clears.”
“Helicopter?” Ivy put down her fork. “You can’t be serious.”
“Flexibility is the key to air superiority,” Joshua answered with a smile.
Rachel did a double take. “What?”
“Something I learned in the Air Force. Never allow your thinking to be limited by past experience.” The waiter brought Joshua’s salad, only to hear, “Thank you. There’s no need to bring my entrée. I’ve changed my mind again about dinner.” Joshua rose and tossed two twenty dollar bills on the table. “Excuse me, ladies. A possible solution is calling to me.”
“The guy is nuts,” Ivy said.
Rachel peered through the restaurant window, watching Joshua dash toward a snowplow scraping the road in front of the lodge. “Maybe not,” she said.
Will Joshua make it to rescue Luke? Or will the attempt only bring on further disaster? And where is Rachel’s family? Will they make it to the wedding?
* * *
STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT! We’ll be taking a brief break from the story this weekend join other authors in the Heart’s Home Blog Hop. Join us right here to read about where many of our book’s characters consider home and what it means to them. One lucky reader will win free downloads and $5 gift certificate to Amazon!
Then follow the blog hop along to be entered to win lots of other great prizes, including a swag pack, and two grand prizes of $40 gift certificates to your bookseller of choice!
A Blizzard Wedding will return on Tuesday, February 19th!
And don’t forget to check out Carlene and Sharon’s book, Daughter of the King!
Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem. As recounted in the Bible, Michal helped David escape from her insanely jealous father. King Saul punished his daughter with forced marriage to a distant war lord. Princess Michal unexpectedly returns from seven years of exile to find a changed world. Most of her relatives are dead. David has become King of Judea. He has acquired six additional wives, one of whom is a princess from Geshur. Michal longs to have a son to reign over Israel and reestablish the rule of King Saul’s heirs. But each royal wife has hopes of placing her own son on the throne. Can Princess Michal’s love for King David survive war, madness, infidelity, and betrayal?