Welcome to Fiction Friday, my opportunity each week to post an excerpt from one of my books or those of my friends and colleagues.
Two weeks ago I introduced The Christmas Wedding Quilt, an anthology with three novellas by Janice Kay Johnson, Sarah Mayberry and me. The Christmas Wedding Quilt will be at your favorite bookstore on November 5th or you can order it online, with links below.
If you missed the introduction, which sets up the story behind the three individual novellas, you can find it here. Last week I gave you a peek at the first novella, Let It Snow which features Jo Miller, who is bound and determined to fulfill the last wish of a beloved aunt.
Today let’s peek at the the second novella, You Better Watch Out by Janice Kay Johnson.
Ella, Jo’s cousin, has finished the second border for a round robin quilt that will be a sentimental wedding gift for her cousin Olivia. It’s now her turn to pass it on to cousin Rachel in faraway Australia, and she’s all ready to mail it, but first she has a stop to make. Leaving the quilt in the car she heads to a local gallery. When she finishes her errand and heads back, the action really begins. Maybe this exact scenario has never happened to you, but I bet you’ll be able to relate. Poor Ella.
Enjoy a snippet from You Better Watch Out.
Even in early afternoon, traffic was stop-and-go on First Avenue, becoming yet more snarled when a parking place opened up and a driver had to maneuver to squeeze into it. The sidewalks were busy, too, with shoppers coming in and out of galleries and boutiques. The occasional homeless person – mostly men – clogged the sidewalk further, begging for spare change.
At the corner, Ella had to wait for the light to change, then dodged a cyclist illegally using the sidewalk.
Relieved to finally cross, she looked to where she’d left her aging red Subaru station wagon, only to notice that it seemed to be poking out into traffic.
She hadn’t parked that badly, Ella thought indignantly. Had it been rear-ended and pushed forward into the single southbound lane? That might have happened if she’s left the wheels turned out. Oh, God – how much damage…?
At that moment, to her shock, the Subaru moved, pulling out into a gap in the line of traffic and starting forward. Already running, she frantically scanned the line of parked cars in case – please God – there was another red Subaru there, and it wasn’t hers that she was watching drive away.
No, no, no…!
Tearing along the crowded sidewalk, she was blind to anything but her car, braking for a red light at the next corner. She could catch it. . .
She plowed into something–somebody–and went sprawling painfully onto the pavement.
Quilt gone, car gone, Ella on the sidewalk. Just remember, like I said last week, a lot can happen in a few minutes. Entire lives can change.
Don’t forget to come back next week for a preview of Rachel’s story, Nine Ladies Dancing, by Sarah Mayberry.