Blogiversary | Meredith Out of Darkness by Amanda Gale – Excerpt

EXCERPT | MEREDITH OUT OF DARKNESS

10344842_460430044103828_7156636535076939955_nTITLE: Meredith Out of Darkness (The Meredith Series Book One)

PUBLISHER: Brenda & Cobena Books

PUBLICATION DATE: July 3, 2014

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Nick and Meredith stood there looking at each other.

“What is it?” she asked, growing uncomfortable in his intense gaze.

“Nothing,” he said.

She glanced around the house nervously. “Well, it’s too early for dinner.”

“Let’s go for a walk.”

She stared at him. “In the snow?”

He shrugged. “Why not?”

She couldn’t think of a reason.

They put their winter things back on and went outside. At the bottom of the steps, he looked at her expectantly.

She pointed toward the left. “Let’s go this way,” she said. There was a walking park with a little playground a few streets down.

They walked in silence for a minute, the only sound that of the snow crunching under their boots. Across the street, two children were pulling each other in a sled. A bird flew by. Meredith wondered how he had missed the message that it was time to fly south.

“So,” she began, trying to make conversation, “how do you think you’ll like the job here?”

Nick considered. “It’s pretty much the same job I do everywhere. I’m largely left alone. I have lots of time to think. I’m good at it.” He shrugged. “I’m sure I’ll like it well enough.”

They continued walking along in silence.

“And you?” he said after some time, turning to her. He smiled pleasantly. Her heart lurched as his eyes met hers. “I gather you’re a teacher. A very noble profession.”

Meredith laughed. “Thank you,” she said. “I like my job. I enjoy being in front of the classroom talking about books I love. Plus, seeing the improvement in my students’ writing is very rewarding. It makes me feel like I’m making a contribution somehow.”

“You are.”

She turned to him and smiled. “Thanks.”

He took her hand. They walked in silence for another minute, then turned down a street toward the park. Meredith shivered in the cold, and Nick put his arm around her shoulder. Taking a chance, she wrapped hers around his waist, and they pulled each other close. Melting, she lay her head on the side of his chest. He kissed the top of her head.

They walked like this for a couple of blocks until they reached the park. Here the snow looked like a shimmery blanket, for no one had ventured to come here since the snow had begun falling. They entered the park and walked along the trail for several minutes, still holding each other in silence.

“Are you originally from Maine?” she asked.

“No, I was born in Vermont. I grew up there.”

“What brought you to Maine?”

Nick said nothing for a moment. “I guess I just like the memories I have there. My father used to take me fishing there. I still like to fish whenever I can.”

Meredith was delighted by this response. “Does your father still live in Vermont?”

“Yes.” They took a few more steps before he spoke again. “He lives in an assisted living there.”

Meredith turned toward him; he was watching the ground as he walked.

“Is he ill?” she asked, her voice soft with hesitation.

“He had a stroke a number of years ago.”

Meredith felt a deep ache in her chest. “I’m sorry.”

She listened to the steady sound of their footsteps in the snow as she waited for him to respond.

“He’s also been fighting depression. He has a lot of regrets about his life.”

“What kind of regrets?”

“Regrets about leaving my mother,” he answered, but then said no more.

They walked on in silence. Worried that she was prying, Meredith decided not to ask any more questions. She was surprised when he continued.

“He went back to her right around the time she got sick, and they were together until she died. I wanted to move home to take care of him after his stroke, but he wouldn’t hear of it. So I stayed in Maine.” He furrowed his brow with thought. “I don’t see him as often as I’d like. But at least I get to live somewhere that reminds me of happy times.”

Meredith felt a sudden rush of an emotion she couldn’t identify. She didn’t know what to say next. She directed her eyes downward toward the snow.

“It snowed a lot last night,” she said. “I imagine even more so in Maine.”

“It’s one of the things I love most about Maine,” Nick said, and instantly his face brightened. “Some people complain about the winters, but I never mind them. There’s nothing as beautiful as the rocky shoreline when it’s covered in snow. I don’t know what looks whiter, the snow or the waves.”

Meredith watched him as he spoke. The simplicity of this comment warmed her, and she couldn’t help but smile.

“My town always has winter walks and wildlife watches,” he went on. “Some nights people gather to stargaze. The stars always seem brighter during winter.”

“It sounds like a very peaceful place,” she said, and paused to imagine this. She faced forward once more. “I like the winter, too. I love being snowed in, just sitting in front of the fire with a good book and a cup of tea.”

“That’s the best thing about winter.”

They continued walking, the snow heavy under their feet.

Finally he withdrew his arm and bent down to the ground to scoop up some snow with his gloved hand. Continuing to walk, he patted it into a ball. “I wonder where Vince went,” he said.

Meredith snickered. “I think I can guess.”

Nick did not respond. He was packing his snowball tightly.

Meredith said, “Does he cavort like this with women in Maine?”

Nick’s mouth contorted into a crooked grin. “You could say that.”

“My darling brother,” Meredith said pleasantly. “A new girl every week. That’s how he’s always been.”

They continued walking, Nick moving the snowball from hand to hand. Meredith said tentatively, with her heart in her throat, “What about you? I’m sure women fall all over you.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, look at you.” Without looking at him herself, she said, trying to assume a lighthearted, joking tone, “You can’t tell me you don’t know what women see when they look at you.”

“What do you see?”

The question caught her off guard. After a brief moment of thought, she said, “I see a man whose quiet voice seems to reflect the quietude of his soul.”

He chuckled once, silently. “That’s poetry. You must be a writer, too.”

Neither of them spoke. Then she said, “So? Do they?”

“Does who what?”

“Do women knock down your door.” And do you answer, she thought but did not say.

He said nothing for a moment, then said flatly, looking at the snowball in his hand, “I’ve had one or two women.”

Meredith didn’t know how to interpret this comment, but she let it lie. She didn’t really want to talk about past relationships, neither his nor hers.

Abruptly his face grew mischievous, his eyes narrowing and his lips curving into a subtle grin. “Hey,” he said, affecting a serious tone. “What’s that up there?”

“What?” she asked, looking straight ahead.

Suddenly she felt cold snow in her face. It fell down into her scarf, chilling her neck and chin. She stared at him, shocked and aghast. He was attempting to keep his face expressionless but was failing miserably. He opened his eyes wide with pretend surprise.

“I’m sorry,” he said innocently. “My hand slipped.”

“Oh, it did, did it?” she said, simultaneously irritated and delighted. She bent over and grabbed some snow.

Before she could straighten, he tackled her, falling with her into the snow so she fell on her side. He kneeled next to her.

“I’m sorry,” he said again. “I don’t know what came over me.”

Leaning on her arm to sit up, she said, “I’ll tell you what’s coming over you.” With that, she pushed him into the snowy ground and lay on top of him. They stared at each other, neither knowing what to do next. Suddenly he kissed her. Meredith kissed him back, her pulse racing. She brought her hands to his face and tilted her chin; his hands drifted to her back, and he sighed softly. She pulled away, rubbing his cold nose with hers.

Breathless, they didn’t say anything for a few moments. Then he said, “You know, it’s cold here in the snow.”

“I’m sure it is,” she said, and stood. She held out her hand. “Let’s go back home and warm up.”

THE MEREDITH SERIES BUY LINKS:

AMAZON | B&N

ABOUT AMANDA

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WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

A graduate of Vassar College and Boston University, Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing women’s fiction. She loves history, classic literature, and quiet nights at home. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family. (Photo Credit: Lisa Schaffer Photography)

AMANDA GALE GIVEAWAY

Amanda has generously provided an e-book copy of the entire series. Her giveaway is running from March 22nd-29th.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

STORIES UNFOLDED BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY

Don’t forget to enter the Stories Unfolded Blogiversary Giveaway that’s running from March 1st – March 31st.

(1) Grand Prize Winner

  • $25 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) Signed physical copy of The End of Feeling by Cindy C Bennett
  • (1) Audiobook of The End of Feeling by Cindy C Bennett
  • (1) Signed physical copy of Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Signed physical copy of From a Grieving Mother’s Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Signed physical copy of For a Grieving Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Physical copy of Finding Zoe by Brandi Rarus and Gail Harris
  • (1) E-Book copy of the Off The Map Series by Lia Riley (Upside Down, Sideswiped, & Inside Out)
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith
  • (1) E-Book copies of three children’s books by Alva Sachs (Circus Fever, I’m 5, & On Your Mark, Get Set,Go!)

(1) Prize Winner

  • $10 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Pub copy of Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Pub copy of From a Grieving Mother’s Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Pub copy of For a Grieving Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith

(1) Prize Winner

  • $5 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) E-Book copy of The End of Feeling by Cindy C. Bennett
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith

(1) Prize Winner

  • $5 Amazon Kindle Gift Card

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amanda Gale week continues tomorrow with an excerpt from Meredith Against the Wind.

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One thought on “Blogiversary | Meredith Out of Darkness by Amanda Gale – Excerpt

  1. A Well Read Woman March 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm Reply

    LOVED the snowball fight scene! (and what happens after it… *wink* *wink*)

    Like

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