A Past Love, an Inn, and a Ghost

Christmas at the Granger Inn. Sydney and Cole’s journey can be found in a five book set—Christmas at the Inn on Main Street amzn.to/2f5eyd9

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Christmas at the Granger Inn is set on Main Street in the fictitious town of Raddwell, Virginia, where the people are kind and take care of each other. Sydney left behind her dreams and took over her mother’s flower shop after her mother had passed away. She’d promised to keep the shop up and running, and there was no way she would break the promise to her mother. Her word was honor. Old secrets and old money lives here to keep the town going. As a newcomer, Sydney discovers there is one mysterious secret that will shatter one woman’s trust.

A high school misunderstanding could continue to keep Sydney and Cole apart forever. Pick up a copy to see if the two of them can forgive each other.

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Sydney unpacked what little she’d brought with her, then stretched out on the bed. She closed her eyes but couldn’t manage to relax. She had time on her hands before Friday night’s dinner, so she thought some exercise would benefit her body and mind.

She followed a path down a short slanted hill toward the lake, settled on a wooden bench, pulled her scarf snug around her neck, then slid off the lid from a cup of hot chocolate. Her breath floated in the cold winter air, then disappeared as a light gust of wind surrounded her. While she observed a squirrel scamper over the light dusting of snow that had fallen in the late afternoon, she smiled to herself and expected that he was still stockpiling enough food for the winter.

The sound of shoes crunched lightly over the snow, and prompted her to glance up to see who she’d be required to deal with. She’d wandered down the path for privacy and wasn’t in the mood yet to engage with another attendee in empty conversation. In spite of her desire for time alone when she could manage it, it didn’t look as though now was going to be one of those times.

As she turned around, her heart hammered at the sight of the man who stood before her. She inwardly groaned and experienced a flash of regret for attending the reunion this weekend. Tension gathered around her shoulders and neck. She had thought she was prepared, but suddenly realized she simply wasn’t ready to greet the man who’d broken her heart. That knowledge cemented her to the cold bench, and a bitter breeze crawled under her coat collar.

She grabbed at her collar and pressed it to her skin. Of all the luck. Still, she’d known seeing him at the reunion was bound to happen. Time to face the music.

“Hi, Sydney. I thought I recognized you walking down here.”

Even though he was only twenty-eight by now, streaks of gray had blended through his beard, around his temples and in his curly, black hair. She was reminded of that description “salt and pepper.” The gray added a distinguished—“in his prime”—appearance. Despite a momentary struggle to hold back those old familiar feelings toward Cole, her heart fluttered. When she dared to look into his eyes, her breath caught.

This…not now…not now. Please, God. Don’t let me be caught in his clutches again.

She wondered if he’d grown better looking than he’d been in high school. And he had.

Get a grip, Sydney. You’ve gotten over Cole. Right? She sighed at the realization. Consciously or not, it would seem I’m not over you as much as I thought.

She pasted on a smile while the notion of wishing the ground would open up and swallow her, flashed through her head. Fat chance of that happening.

Just when she’d made progress in dealing with Will’s death and had slowly moved on, this new trouble showed up. Cole. Now she was certain she shouldn’t have agreed to come to the Inn. Nothing like faking a smile, but she could do it. She did do it.

“Cole Meyers. What a surprise, but good to see you. How long has it been?”

Cole grinned that famous smile at her and when he did, smile lines crinkled around his eyes. “Maybe nine, ten years I think? I was eighteen, so it would’ve been 2006. Too long.”

“It has been a long time.”

He shuffled from one foot to the other. “Mind if I sit?”

“Not at all.”

Liar. This…I do not need.

Sydney fleetingly wondered if he’d ever had second doubts about how innocent that hug and kiss on Ron’s cheek was, and that he’d thrown away the future they might have had for no reason. “Not at all,” she repeated and patted the bench. “How are you?”

“Good. You look well and haven’t changed a bit. You’re still as lovely as I remembered.”

He’s married and coming on to me? What’s up with that?

“Thanks, Cole. I’m good.” Her lips tightened at his intent, or what she perceived was his intent. “I’ve never been better.”

Do I need to remind him he has a wife? Evidently so.

“I hope your wife enjoys the reunion. It’s a bit hard sometimes for the spouses to have a pleasant time at these gatherings. You know, not much in common, not knowing anyone.”

“Well…” Cole dragged in a deep breath and gazed at her. “I guess you haven’t heard.”

On alert, Sydney waited with bated breath for Cole to explain his comment. “I don’t suppose I have. I have no inkling what you’re talking about. Why don’t you give me a hint?”

I wish you Butterflies, Music and Love…

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About Carol

Carol falls in love with every character she writes in her books. She loves basing them on the good and the bad personalities that make up life. That's what makes them real. Carol feels as though she’s in a movie when visualizing characters and she jumps right onto the page with them. Often the theme of her books is forgiveness. Whether planned or not, forgiveness sneaks its way into her stories. That's okay, because Carol believes forgiving others is essential. She favors a great story, with slices of twists that cause her to reflect on the problems life throws at us and how we react. Carol believes in happy endings. Humor is a big part of her stories and daily routine, and yes, she laughs a lot! Travel is one of her favorite things to do. She dabbles in art, always has popcorn and hot chocolate on hand. Carol is a small-town girl at heart and her stories are peppered with a dose of humor, based on Southern roots. She currently resides in Georgia with her husband and family.
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12 Responses to A Past Love, an Inn, and a Ghost

  1. susanrhughes says:

    High school reunions are the worst. But this one promises to be interesting!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. jmichelemaurer says:

    What a pretty cover, Carol! I love having a visual of the Inn. I haven’t gone home to any of my reunions. I should probably put that on my bucket list. Having one at an Inn sounds fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carol says:

      Thank you, Jackie! It’s my favorite cover of all my books. You’d probably enjoy your reunion. We’ve been to several of hubby’s reunions. Lots of fun and catching up. Love those bucket lists! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. E. Ayers says:

    I’ve started this book but I haven’t finished it! So far, I’m loving it! Secrets have a way of creating trouble.

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Carol says:

    Thank you, E! Happy you’re enjoying Sydney and Cole’s story.

    Like

  5. Jill James says:

    What a tease!! Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol says:

    Thanks so much, Jill. Enjoy!

    Like

  7. ginaarditoauthor says:

    Love it! Way to make readers run to buy the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leighmorgan1 says:

    That instant, unwanted yet undeniable, spark you feel when you see an old flame again can be painful. Nailed it, Carol! Great excerpt!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    Thank you, Leigh! Hard to convey those feelings sometimes. I’m happy it worked. 🙂

    Like

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