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The Sand Dollar
SERIES: The Oregon Coast Series, Book 1
GENRE: Family Saga, Second Chance/Divorced/Widows
ENDING: HEA (They’re a couple and live Happily Ever After)
WORD COUNT: 75,000 to 99,999 (large book)
HERO’S AGE: Over 50
HEROINE’S AGE: Over 50
HEAT LEVEL: Mostly Sweet (Shut The Door, Honey)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: None (as in zero, or no more than 1)
What if you discover everything you believed to be true about yourself has been a lie?
Stunned by news of an impending redundancy, and impelled by the magic of a long-forgotten sand dollar, widow Jenny Sullivan retreats to her godmother in Oregon to consider her future. What she doesn’t bargain for is to uncover the secret of her adoption at birth and her Native American heritage. This revelation sees her embark on a journey of self-discovery such as she’d never envisaged.
Moving between Australia’s Sunshine Coast and the Oregon Coast, The Sand Dollar is a story of new beginnings, of a woman whose life is suddenly turned upside down, and the reclusive man who helps her solve the puzzle of her past
READ AN EXCERPT
Now why had he done that? Mike metaphorically scratched his head as he walked up the track. He wasn’t in the habit of kissing women, especially ones who clearly didn’t want to be kissed. But, darn it, Jenny got under his skin, and he couldn’t resist taking a chance to ruffle her feathers. Her skin had felt nice, soft to the touch of his lips. She’d smelt nice too; a fresh flowery aroma. But no, there was no excuse. She was going through a difficult time, and he shouldn’t have taken advantage of her like that. It was only a peck, he thought, not a full-blown kiss. He shuddered at the thought. What had got into him? What had happened to the hardened misogynist he’d forced himself to become during the years of Mary’s illness?
“Hi there, Ben,” he called, as he stepped into a now cooling house. “I should stick to dogs,” he told the panting animal. “Less complicated all round. And you’re always pleased to see me, eh?” Ben lay down at Mike’s feet and rolled over on his back as if to agree, asking to have his stomach tickled. His master made haste to oblige, then gave the dog a rough pat. “Need to get the fire going, buddy. It’s going to be a cold night.”
Dinner over, Mike found it hard to settle down to his writing. Jenny’s face and her large violet eyes kept coming between him and his computer screen. Finally, he gave up and turned it off, returning to the fireside where Ben took up his favorite spot at his master’s feet. Mike leaned back in his chair and considered the tale Jenny had related to him. It was difficult to believe, but then, a lot of strange things had happened back then, and the class system would have been very strong amongst the wealthy after the war. They were intent on rebuilding their fortunes, and anything that smacked of fortune hunting, or threatened their status, was to be immediately suspect, he figured.
But, he wondered, how come nothing of this had surfaced until now? What about the boy’s folks? Surely they’d kicked up a fuss, or had they been paid off? Jenny hadn’t mentioned her father’s name or expressed any interest in him or his family. But he’d bet his boots she would, as soon as she took time to give it some consideration. That really would upset her. He pulled himself up short again. What was with him tonight? Why was he so bothered about Jenny’s story and how she was feeling? He stepped over to the drinks cabinet to pour himself a large measure of his favorite Jack Daniels. He was getting soft in his old age. Not enough to do. He needed to follow up on the visits Ron and Ellen were arranging for him. That would give him something more tangible to focus on.
Jenny was having trouble falling asleep. It had been an eventful day and she had a lot to digest. None of it seemed quite real to her. Thea was more like a young girl in a story who had met her prince, only to have him snatched from her before joining him in death. She couldn’t think of Thea as her mother. She couldn’t believe her grandparents had cut all memory of Thea, or that her own mother had denied her existence by silence.
Then there was Mike. She’d found his presence on the beach comforting, even her hand in his had helped her come to grips with retelling Thea’s story, as she now thought of it. But that kiss, well, peck, really. Jenny wasn’t sure what to think.
Eventually, she must have drifted off, because the next thing she knew it was morning, time to rise and check on Maddy.
“How are you this morning?” she greeted her godmother as she went in and opened the bedroom curtains. “Did you sleep well?”
“Like a log,” responded Maddy, “How about you? You were very quiet last night. You didn’t say much about your walk with Mike. How was it?”
Darn the woman. Not much escaped her eagle eyes, regardless of her age. “So so,” she muttered, adding under her breath, “you really don’t want to know.” In a more audible tone she asked, “Breakfast in bed this morning?”
Meet Maggie Christensen
After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her frequent visits to family in Oregon, USA, her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast.
From her native Glasgow, Scotland, Maggie was lured by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ to Australia, where she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!
She continues her love of books as a volunteer with her local library where she selects and delivers books to the housebound.
A member of Queensland Writer’s Centre, RWA, ALLi, and a local critique group, Maggie enjoys meeting her readers at book signings and library talks.