top of page

A Peek Into

A Very Present Help

AVeryPresentHelp--9x6--FullCover--to pos

Chapter One


September 11, 2001

Des Plaines, Illinois


Shannon Collins sat at her desk, twirling a silky black lock of shoulder-length hair around her thumb as she made final notes on her lesson plan. Colorful fall drawings from her second-grade students filled the wall behind her.


Rapid footsteps echoed in the corridor just outside the classroom. Her head shot up and she stared at the door. Who could that be running through the halls? The students had all filed into their rooms and taken their seats more than an hour earlier. Maybe someone who came in late?


She hurried into the hallway to catch the perpetrator in action. To her surprise, it was an adult, halfway to the far end of the hall. Probably a parent.


She couldn’t very well reprimand a grown woman, but she could ask her to slow down so as not to disturb the classes in progress. Shannon opened her mouth to call out. Too late. The woman had rounded the corner into the next hall.


The principal’s voice came over the PA system. “Teachers, there’s been an emergency—an—ah, incident. Please gather your students and report to the auditorium at once.”


Mr. Hawkins’s voice had wavered. She’d never heard him sound like that before. What could involve the whole school? Would the students and staff all fit into the auditorium at the same time? Shannon’s mind whirled as she recalled news reports of Columbine. That couldn’t happen here. Could it?


Shannon stepped back into her classroom. “Children, please form two straight lines at the front of the room. We’re taking a walk to the auditorium.”


Chairs screeched as children left their desks and made their way forward. Shannon rubbed the prickled hair on the back of her neck as she led the children into the hallway and through the corridor.


At the end of the hall, one little girl came to a halt and gazed up at her. “What’s wrong, Miss Collins? You look scared.” The other children stopped and stared at her.


“I’m sure everything’s fine.” She put on her best assuring smile.


By the time they reached the auditorium, the atmosphere dripped with tension. What had happened?


(Scene 1 from Chapter 1)

scene dividers.jpg
scene dividers.jpg
00Adv vph 8 GIF.gif

Watch the book trailer here

Paths of Righteousness

Paths of Righteousness Full Book Cover.j

Chapter One

Pensacola, Florida

Butterflies filled Kathryn Kendall’s stomach. She sucked in a deep breath as she gazed up at the two-story stucco building. With a degree in business management and having finished at the top of her class, an administrative assistant position was nothing to worry about. But, her stomach continued to churn as she closed her eyes and reached for the bronze door handle. She could do this.


Kathryn smiled as the door closed softly behind her. She’d made quite a life for herself already. A mere two weeks after graduation, she had her own apartment and a job in a prestigious medical office, Kenner Family Medicine. Her adoptive family in Des Plaines, Illinois would finally realize she could take care of herself.


As she passed the lab area, a handsome man in forest green scrubs and sandy blond hair breezed by her with a cell phone glued to his ear. Her heart jumped as she caught a whiff of his woodsy cologne.


A few steps further, Kathryn glanced back. Mr. Gorgeous had spun around. He winked, raised his brows, and blew a soft whistle through his lips. She chuckled. Would the rest of the staff be as friendly?


The tall, bleached-blonde office manager named Grace met her in the hallway and led her to the front office. “Kathy, this will be your desk. I have new-employee paperwork for you to complete, and then we’ll have you dive right into the medical records.”


Kathryn took a seat at the desk. “Thank you.”


After Grace placed a pile of papers on the desk, she gave a warm smile and retraced her steps to the hallway.


As Kathryn filled out the forms, the man she’d seen in the hall approached. She glanced up into pale blue eyes, which pierced her heart.


A crooked smile formed on his lips. “I think Grace neglected to introduce us. I’m Mathew Pierce, the PA. You must be the new hire. Love that long, wavy blonde hair of yours. Reminds me of the color of honey.”


He held out his hand and Kathryn placed hers in it. As he squeezed, a twinge ran up her arm. Maybe this guy was too friendly. “I’m Kathryn Kendall.”


Mathew stood upright and darted out of the front office when Grace reappeared.


Kathryn finished the paperwork and followed her supervisor to the medical records room.


When lunchtime came, she sat alone in the lunchroom, her head buried in a book. Mathew blew into the room and, without a word, swung his leg over the back of a chair next to her. He smirked. She smiled and continued eating her sandwich.


“Kate, right?” He bent his head to the right and again raised his eyebrows.


She swallowed and took a drink from her water bottle. “Kathryn Kendall. We met this morning—twice.”


Mathew laughed. “Ahhh…a girl with a sense of humor. I like that. We’ll have to get to know one another. I like spunky.”


Had he really called her “spunky”?


“I’ll call you Katy.”


“I’d prefer Kathy, if you don’t like Kathryn.”


“No. Katy suits you better. Katy-bird.”


Her Irish temper rose up the back of her neck. She took in a deep breath and narrowed her eyes. She’d heard that every office had its annoying character. Mathew must be the one assigned here. “No. I’m afraid it’s not okay.”


She stood and left the room.


Mathew followed her to her desk. “Oh, come on, Kathy. I didn’t mean to offend you. You’re definitely one of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen. Can’t blame a guy for trying to score some flirtatious points, can you?”


His lips pulled to one side as he raised his shoulders, palms up in front of him. Was this his way of apologizing? Then again, she’d probably been rude to him too.


She’d better make her disinterest clear right away, no matter what he did to her insides when he looked at her with those icy blue eyes and chiseled features. There were sure to be rules about employees getting involved. Why did she have to be attracted to a rogue like him anyway? “I didn’t mean to be rude and the flattery is— Look, we have to work in the same building, and I don’t want to cause any problems for either of us.”


His tongue traced the inside edge of his lower lip as he gazed at her and smiled.

Kathryn lowered her brows. Nervous habit of his, maybe?

Then he grinned. “Okay, Katy-bird.” He turned on his heels and swaggered off.

00POR Adv3 GIF.gif

Watch the Book Trailer here

bottom of page