Welcome to Havenport

WTHavenport FINALThis past year has brought about a new direction for the Timeless anthologies. We enjoyed writing the short stories but during the course of the collaboration, we created Havenport. It’s a lovely place nestled along the New England coast and home to townspeople that we know you’ll love.

Welcome to Havenport takes place during the Fourth of July week-long festivities and the reopening of the local bookstore.

It tells the tales of romance, women’s fiction, and bit of mystery. A place where old meets new, dreams become reality, and there’s always something good to eat.

Excerpt from New Beginnings

 

“You’re shaking.”

“I’m cold.”

He didn’t believe her. Max grasped her arms and stood back from her. “Are you kidding? It’s nearly one hundred degrees outside.”

She laughed. “No, it’s not.”

He favored the cold over the humid air. Give him a snowstorm and he’s fine. Sweat running down his body made him uncomfortable. And this was the first time he’d been subjected to sweltering heat.

Even though the heat of the day was draining in his hometown, the nights were cool. Without buildings upon buildings of concrete around to soak up the sun all day and store the heat like a radiator, he could bear the heat in the daytime. They didn’t even have air-conditioning in the house. No need. Jump in the pond to cool off and go about your business.

“How are you going to live here if you don’t like the heat?”

“Come on. I have an idea.”

Yep, she was dressed for the heat. Khaki shorts and a tank top to keep her cool.

“I’ll be out in a minute. Wait for me,” Olivia said.

He ran outside and grabbed a duffel bag from the trunk of his car, then went upstairs to her apartment. He found the bathroom and ripped off his jeans and T-shirt in favor of cutoff jeans and a sleeveless undershirt. He rolled his discarded clothes in a ball and stuffed them into the duffel bag. He pulled two towels from the closet and ran downstairs.

“Come on.” He wrapped his hand around her elbow.

“But I have…”

“Come on. All work makes you a boring girl, or something like that.”

He walked fast, but she kept up.

“Ooh, look.” She stopped at a poster for Wags and Walks on the telephone pole.

“Come on.”

“But look. They’re going to have adoptions during the celebration.”

“That’s nice. You can check it out later.” He wasn’t going to let her natural curiosity break his focus.

“Are you running a marathon?” She lagged behind.

“Might as well. I’m already sweating.” He tugged a little harder to get her ass moving.

They ran up the ramp. Ocean mist showered his face. The crash of the waves invited them to jump into the sea. A choice—ocean or mountains? Maybe one day he’d have enough money to do both. He planned to stay put. At least for a year. He had banked his money, and the severance would help. And he’d get a local job. Even if it meant he had to cut fish for a living. His search for his biological parents had brought him here and he needed to exhaust all options before giving up.

His adoptive parents worried they would lose him if he found his biological parents, but understood this was something he needed to do.

The guilt surged ahead. None of them had come to terms with the death of his brother. Two days before Chris shipped home from Iraq, he was killed.

Chris didn’t come home and walk through the door as they’d expected. Damn war. He’d watch his mother sift through his brother’s clothes to give them away to someone who needed them.

His obligation to carry on the family kicked into gear, yet the desire to find his birth parents pulled at him.

Would he be doing the same to his mother if he left? Would she think she’d lost another son if he found his birth parents?

He grabbed Olivia’s hand tighter and they ran down the marina ramp. The beach wasn’t as crowded as he’d expected. He guided her around a flock of seagulls feeding on clams washed ashore.

They stopped at the breaking waves.

“It’s too nice a day to stay cooped inside. Take advantage of the beach before the tourists crowd the coastline this weekend.”

She kicked off her wet sandals and held them to his face. “You may owe me a pair.”

“Don’t you have another pair of shoes?”

“Yes, but these are my favorite sandals.” She wrinkled her nose.

His chest sank. He couldn’t tell if she was upset or not. He’d been so caught up in being with her that he didn’t think before rushing into the sea. Not the first time he’d been in trouble for not thinking. Plenty of notes had been sent home from his teacher explaining he’d caused a disturbance in class. Being the class clown as a teen had its disadvantages. The worst incident took place when he let the guinea pigs loose in science class. A lot changed in ten years.

“I’m sure they’ll be okay.” He normally wouldn’t care so much, but he liked her. “Any way I can make it up to you?”

She flung her sandals over her shoulder onto the beach behind her and slid her hands behind his neck.

He smiled and put his forehead to hers. “I didn’t mean to—”

“Sssh.” She pulled him into her and kissed him hard. Waves washed over her feet and sand gave way, digging her heels deeper into the earth.

He grabbed her tight around the waist to steady them. The rush of the ocean and low cries of seagulls flew above while she filled his heart.

She gently broke away. “I think I’ll survive if these sandals don’t.”

“I’m really sorry,” he whispered like a little kid who did something wrong.

“Don’t be,” she whispered back. Then in one swift swing of her leg around his ankle, he crashed into the breaking surf. “I think we’re even.”

She went to get up and he pulled her back.

“Not so fast.” He rolled her onto her back. And held her. His tongue slipped into her mouth.

Her breathing quickened.

His shorts got tight and—

“This isn’t right.” He pulled back. “I’m sorry.”

She pushed rogue strands of hair away from her face. “Wow. I wasn’t expecting that.”

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