dreamstime_59872Woman’s World magazine, the number-one-selling national women’s publication on newsstands, has published four of my short romances. Click the titles below to view a PDF copy of each story (they’re only 800 words each, so it’s a quick read!). And stay tuned for updates on new stories!

Lean on Me – “This time, it was the firefighter who needed help–and Kendyl was more than happy to come to his rescue …”

Out with the Old – “Erin’s classified ad helped her get rid of something she’d held onto for too long–and find something she hadn’t even known she was looking for!”

Love Is in the Air  “The world looked beautiful to Daphne and Rick as they floated over it in the hot air balloon …”

Something Old, Something New – “When Amy met Jesse, she knew she was ready to move on …”

 

Unfortunately, Woman’s World passed on the most recent story I submitted. Here it is for you to read. (Maybe the part about Michael was a little too sad for WW.)

Back to School

“How’s the math coming?” Nora loaded the last plate into the dishwasher and turned to Sophia.

“Okay,” Sophia said, hunched over her worksheet at the kitchen table. “Sixth grade math isn’t much harder than fifth grade math. The fifth grade teachers were just trying to scare us.”

Nora smiled. Sophia was doing so well in these first weeks of middle school. It amazed Nora that, only eighteen months after facing the unimaginable, Sophia was just a normal kid most of the time.

“Oh, Mom, you know how Courtney said she wasn’t sure she could come to my birthday party? She can because she’s with her dad this weekend, and he can bring her.”

“Good, I can’t wait to meet her.”

Sophia pulled a crumpled sheet of paper from her pink backpack and handed it to Nora. “Here’s a reminder about Back-to-School Night.” It was this Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

“I wonder why it’s two hours long?” Nora said.

“Because you go through our schedule. See?” Sophia turned the paper over to show Nora the schedule, which included fifteen minutes in each class.

Nora thought of elementary school, when Back-to-School Night meant half an hour spent nibbling on a cookie and picking out Sophia’s mobile from among all the others. If Michael were here, they would have rolled their eyes at each other, sharing the same thought. Two hours? But together they would have made it fun. Things had always been fun with Michael.

As it was, Nora would do this, like everything else now, without him. She said, “It’ll be nice to have you show me around your school.”

“Kids don’t go,” Sophia said. “It’s just for parents.”

“Oh, okay.” This was worse yet, but Nora was determined. “I’m sure I’ll learn a lot.”

On Wednesday night at Salford Middle School, Nora made her way through the maze of brightly painted, parent-crowded hallways to Sophia’s homeroom. She found Sophia’s desk and dutifully took her seat. She noticed that the desk across the aisle was labeled “Courtney” and wondered it if belonged to Sophia’s new friend.

Sorting through the Hello Kitty pencils Sophia had accrued, Nora sensed someone looking at her. At Courtney’s desk, an attractive man with dark blond hair was giving her a friendly smile. Nora barely had time to register his blue eyes and to return a tentative smile before the homeroom teacher began her welcome.

Fifteen minutes later, armed with Sophia’s schedule and a school map, Nora made her way to Room 207 for English class. Ms. Kendall was reviewing the year’s reading list when the man who had smiled at her in homeroom came in, looking sheepish. He slid into the empty seat next to Nora, leaned toward her, and murmured, “Got lost in the band room. Those sousaphones are scary in the dark!”

Nora stifled a laugh.

After class, the latecomer extended his hand to Nora. “Hi. Tom Williams. Courtney’s dad. Are you Sophia’s mother?”

“Yes, I’m Nora. Hope you’re okay after the band room ordeal.”

He laughed. Those blue eyes really registered this time. “Where are you headed next?”

Nora checked her schedule. “Next door. Room 209, math.”

“Me too.”

In 209, Nora and Tom found seats next to each other. “So,” Nora said, “Sophia is thrilled that Courtney can come to her party. They’ve become fast friends, haven’t they?”

“Courtney thinks Sophia is the best.”

Nora smiled. “I’m crazy about Sophia myself. She’s been doing so great since—well, we’ve had a tough time, and she’s a trooper.” Nora surprised herself by saying so much—it just slipped out.

“I didn’t want to ask, but . . . Courtney did say something about Sophia’s father being . . . gone?”

“Her dad was killed in a car accident a year and a half ago,” Nora said.

“I am so sorry.” She saw kindness in his eyes.

“Thanks. It’s been hard, but . . . Sophia and I, we’re doing okay.”

When the math teacher finished her presentation, Nora and Tom compared schedules and saw that they were in different classrooms for the rest of the evening. Nora’s heart sank a little.

“Well,” Tom said, “it was nice to meet you, Nora. I’ll see you Saturday when I drop Courtney off for the party. Oh, wait—this is for you.” He handed Nora a folded piece of paper and headed down the hall.

Nora unfolded the paper. She smiled as she read: “Coffee sometime? Yes/No – Check One.” She tucked the note into her purse, keeping it safe for Saturday.

The next morning, Nora was buttering toast as Sophia stuffed books into her backpack. “Mom,” she said, “can my cake be an ice cream cake?”

“Sure!”

“My party is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait!”

Nora said, “Neither can I.”