Title: Burning Bridges
Author: Anne Krist
Letters delivered decades late send shock waves through Sara Richards’s world. Nothing is the same, especially her memories of Paul, a man to whom she'd given her heart years before. Now, sharing her secrets and mending her mistakes of the past means putting her life back together while crossing burning bridges. It will be the hardest thing Sara’s ever done.
Virginia Beach, Virginia - January, 1970
“Of all days to debate about whether to wear the short skirt or the shorter one,” Sara wailed to her best friend, Cindy. “We’ll be lucky if we aren’t late.”
The blue Volkswagen Beetle sped down the highway. Or as fast as it could speed, with the tiny engine pushing from the rear, and Sara having to shift gears so often because of traffic and lights. She huffed in frustration.
“Oh, we have plenty of time. I had to make sure I looked just right. You never know who we’ll see,” Cindy replied with her usual assurance.
“I hope you’re right.”
“You worry, Sara, and things always turn out okay. Just keep your mind on driving and we’ll be fine.” Cindy clasped her hands and shrieked with excitement. “I can’t believe our parents bought us tickets to see Michael Wales!”
That brought a real smile to Sara’s face. “I know! Our parents are the best.”
She flicked a knob on the radio as she veered into the parking lot, silencing Neil Diamond’s “Holly Holy.”
“See? I told you. You worry too much. We’re here with a good ten minutes to spare.” Cindy flipped her straight blonde hair over her shoulder. She turned the rearview mirror toward her and applied a fresh coating of lip gloss.
“We’re only ‘here’ if I can find a place to park.” Sara maneuvered her little car up one aisle and down another, until finally, “Good! There’s one.” Before she could get to the space, a sleek, red Corvette swung in.
“Oh, no! That was our space,” Cindy cried.
Two men unfolded themselves from the little sports car, the driver with olive skin and hair as dark as the passenger’s was golden. The men started toward the building. Suddenly, the passenger looked at Sara and then back at the space.
The low-hanging sun framed him, a fair giant with short hair and the physique of a warrior. For a brief moment, Sara pictured him with sword and shield at the helm of a Norse sailing vessel. Her heart fluttered and her breath caught. Then she brought herself under control.
The girls watched as he talked to the dark-haired man and gestured to them. The driver looked around then shook his head before continuing toward the building. The blond shrugged apologetically at Sara and followed his friend.
“Shoot! I thought maybe he would have a heart.” Sara eased off the clutch and started forward again.
“They were cute.” Cindy swerved in her seat to watch the men as they picked their way through the parked cars. “I wonder what the chances are of seeing them–”
A piercing whistle cut through Cindy’s words. “Stop, Sara! The blond guy is waving at us.”
Sara turned to look behind them. The blond man was indeed waving, gesturing for her to come toward him. “What does he want?” she muttered. Deciding to ignore him, she drove on, turning to the right.
He whistled again.
“He wants you to pull around there. He’s still waving.”
“Oh, all right,” Sara grumbled. “But make sure your door is locked, Cindy. And don’t roll your window down.”
Cindy laughed. “You sound like my mother. What do you think is going to happen right here in the parking lot?”
Sara managed a U-turn and drove to where the man stood. Rolling her window down an inch, she said loudly, “What is it?”
He bent down to peer through the glass at her, a lopsided grin on his face. Good Lord, he was cute. Muscled shoulders and arms, angular, strong features, hair a rich blond, and dark, sapphire-blue eyes.
“Oh, my heavens,” she heard Cindy say under her breath.
For once, Sara understood her friend’s meaning. His grin made her stomach do flip-flops and her palms sweat.
“I don’t bite,” he said around a chuckle, motioning to the almost closed window. “I just wanted to tell you, there’s a place right over there. I think you can squeeze your Bug into it.” He turned and pointed at a half space at the end of the aisle, a couple of cars away.
Flashing him a look of gratitude, she put the little car in gear and pulled into the spot. The tall, handsome stranger followed.
When Sara turned off the engine, the guy opened the door for Cindy and held out his hand to assist her. Out of nowhere, a sharp pang of jealousy struck Sara. Its intensity and suddenness disturbed her. After all, she didn’t know this man; what difference did it make if he and Cindy hit it off?
By the time she collected her purse, stepped out and made sure the doors were locked, Cindy and the mystery man were like old friends. Again she felt the Green Monster strike, and gave a mental shake to rid herself of its clutches.
“Sara,” Cindy said, smiling dreamily at the tall man, “this is Paul Steinert. Wasn’t he just wonderful, finding us this space?” She tittered.
It was all Sara could manage, not to gape. Cindy always flirted but tittering was something new.
“Paul, this is my best friend, Sara Noland.”
Paul smiled and held out his hand. “Hello, Sara. I’m sorry about the other space. This one is closer to the door, though.”
She locked gazes with him and her tongue twisted in her mouth. Surges of heat flew through her body. If his smile had that effect, what would his touch do to her? Something wonderful.
No, something forbidden.
Free to read on Kindle Unlimited
Universal link: mybook.to/BurningBridges
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Of course, reading can take you wherever you want to go, and to whatever season. So if I’m cold and the snow is flying out the window, I can pick up Under the Tuscan Sun and immediately feel the warmth! And I like to cook. Nothing perks up the happy sensors like the aroma of a simmering soup or bread baking. I like to make things that it’s too hot to do in the summer.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
While Burning Bridges takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year, it’s located in the Beaufort, South Carolina lowcountry, where the wind off the water might carry a bite but it’s nowhere near the frigid temperatures that can hit the northern part of the country at the same time. Most days, a good jacket is enough. You can’t hit the beaches, but you can certainly be outdoors, doing things.
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A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website. Also, once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.
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