Fiction Friday: Nine Ladies Dancing

Christmas Wedding QuiltWelcome to Fiction Friday, my chance each week to post an excerpt from one of my books or those of my friends and colleagues.

Three 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.

Two weeks ago I shared a peek at my novella, Let It Snow, and a week ago I shared another of the second novella, by Janice Kay Johnson, You Better Watch Out.

Now it’s time for the third and final novella by Sarah Mayberry, Nine Ladies Dancing.

Rachel, cousin to Jo, Ella and Olivia, has been given the task of finishing the round robin quilt top with a final border. Problem is, she doesn’t remember how to quilt, and she does remember she wasn’t very good at it. So Rachel, logical and organized, decides to take a few lessons from Gabby, an acquaintance and accomplished quilter. She doesn’t realized she’s gotten more than she bargained for, though, until she finds that her new teacher’s son is someone from her past.

But I’ll let Sarah introduce Leo.  Enjoy.


By the time Gabby served the cake, Rachel was feeling a little flushed and very content. Relaxing into her chair, she glanced back and forth between the two pattern options they had narrowed it down to. She was well and truly torn. Option number one was a white border that seemed deceptively simple at first blush, but was in fact richly decorated with a white-on-white applique of scrolling vines. The second option was a simple repeating block pattern in varied dark tones.

“I feel as though I’m being asked to choose between the Dark Side and the Light Side,” Rachel said as Gabby handed her some cake. She sucked on her teeth and did her best Darth Vader heavy-breathing impersonation.

Gabby laughed, then her gaze shifted over Rachel’s shoulder and her eyebrows rose in susprise. “You’re up.  I wasn’t sure if you were interested in lunch or not, but I saved you a sandwich and Rachel has brought us a gorgeous banana cake.”

All the little hairs on the back of Rachel’s arms stood on end. She glanced down at them, bemused, before twisting in her seat so she could greet Gabby’s son.

And stopped breathing.

The man standing the doorway wore nothing but a pair of raggedy old track pants, a sling and a five o’clock shadow. His dark brown hair was mussed, and from the cut of his muscles he must have spent the last century or so working out in the gym.

Leo Bennett.

Gabby’s son was Leo Bennett.

Instantly everything she’d just eaten turned to lead in her stomach.


And why, you might ask? I’ll let you read Sarah’s story to find the answer. Just remember, a lot can happen in a few minutes, or a few weeks. Lives can change.

You can order The Christmas Wedding Quilt online at AmazonB&N, and BAM

Thanks for reading along with the three of us these past weeks. I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpts and I hope you’ll enjoy the anthology, which will be at bookstores this week.

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