Last year, my family suffered two big losses – my sister-in-law lost her battle to cancer, and our 15-year old Lab’s body finally gave out. We had been prepping for grief in both cases. We’d been told by friends that they found comfort in associating “found” dimes and pennies with lost loved ones.
Immediately after each loss I noticed two things – dimes and pennies were everywhere. On my morning jogs. In the parking lot where I was running errands. Once at the foot of my bed. My husband, who collects wheat pennies, also started finding coins. He was thinking about his sister as he drove through Taco Bell. One of the coins he received in change was a wheat penny. And then a few months later, when the grief wasn’t so sharp, the coins tapered off.
I was driving to the airport and thinking about my sister-in-law and how I hadn’t “heard from her” via coin in some time. When I landed in Denver, I saw a penny on the carpet. I picked it up (part of the healing process is you pick up the coin) and thanked Carrie in my mind, then told her if she would have left a dime in the airport bathroom I wouldn’t have picked it up. When I landed in SFO a few days later, I stopped at the restroom and wouldn’t you know it? I found a dime at the base of a toilet. Much as I love Carrie, I didn’t pick it up.
Coins have a prominent role in my latest book, Summer Kisses. Two widows from different generations find solace in their dimes and pennies. And as with Carrie, there is humor in healing and the story of the coins. It’s not by any means a religious story, but there’s a little bit of Carrie there that brought me joy in the writing and, I hope, warms readers’ hearts as well.
Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.” Melinda is married to her college sweetheart, and has three kids in college. She follows the NFL because one young quarterback is from her hometown, and follows Duke basketball because Mr. Curtis has a man crush on Coach K. Her latest release, Summer Kisses, is part of the Harmony Valley series and set in a small town winery. You can learn more about her books at http://www.MelindaCurtis.net.
Rebecca MacKenzie’s career as a caregiver for the elderly suited her perfectly. Ease their suffering, hop back in the motor home and move on. Caring without commitment. It was ideal for someone trying to outrun her memories…and mistakes. Someone determined to stay detached. Flynn Harris, her new patient’s grandson, is weakening her resolve in every way. His scrutiny, his suspicion—and worst of all, his kisses—are more than distracting. They’re dangerous. Because she’s teetering on the edge of caring. And revealing her secrets. And…staying.
The truth pressed at Becca’s throat.
She swallowed it back.
Took a breath.
Risked looking toward Flynn.
Beneath his black ball cap, his reddish-brown hair glinted in the afternoon sunlight, almost as blinding as the rippling river. His jaw was a hard line. She couldn’t look him in the eye.
The truth pressed on her once more.
Becca swallowed it again.
She and the truth had an odd track record. Like the time her father walked out after learning Becca’s mother had Stage Four cancer. Or the first time Terry asked her to marry him. He’d walked out when she said she was scared and needed time to think.
“You have two choices if you want the job.” Flynn’s voice was as unflappable as his jaw line. “You can tell me what you’re hiding, or I can do a background check.”
Tell him the truth? Which version? No one ever really wanted to hear the unvarnished truth. They wanted a massaged answer tailored to their expectations. Telling Flynn about the lawsuit placed her odds of landing the job near zero. But it was a definite zero if she walked away without saying anything.
“I want this job.” She swallowed and rephrased. “I need this job.” To repair her reputation before it fell from somewhere near barely employable to no-way-in-Hades employable.
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