A Humorous Contemporary Romantic Fantasy
Some people call it Heaven. The residents know it as Everlasting. When you arrive, adjustments have to be made, especially if you were meant to live and the person you saved... slated to die.
What kind of guardian angel gets knocked back to earth?
The kind who falls in love with one of his wards.
Chance Godricson is heaven-sent. He's Kenya Kilmartin’s guardian, and when, on arrival, he's hired to get her through a difficult time in her life, he just might fall prey to earthly temptation.
Chance Godricson did not understand why he survived. If he survived. The next tremor or aftershock might give him his answer.
After walking the mall, searching the rubble, and shouting for anyone to answer, he faced facts. Some kind of structural collapse above the exclusive underground shopping center blocked all exits, paralyzed elevators, and cut the lights.
While lingering in the Yellow Brick Mall shortly after the stores closed, to await his appointment in the office building above, he had, for all intents and purposes, been buried alive. But not for long. He would find a way out or die trying.
A gold and yellow scarf floated across the mall floor like tumbleweed to land at his feet. He grabbed it to bandage the gash in his right hand while seeking the airflow that propelled it.
Ah. A hole in the ceiling near a wall. A structurally sound place to end up.
He began gathering and rolling heavy chunks of broken concrete to build a makeshift stairway. Good enough, he hoped, for one risky climb. Hours later, he thought—examining his work and flexing his aching hand—the unwieldy monster just might get him out.
Yes, those steps could collapse... hopefully behind him... if he moved fast enough.
“Are you lost, too?” The voice shocked him. Chance shouted as he faced it.
Not a ghost. An angel. Small, breakable looking, but evidently not.
He had not heard her approach. The young woman appeared to have been dipped in honey, and rolled in a thick layer of concrete dust. He probably looked the same. Tear trails marked her cheeks that bore a few small cuts, and still she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
“What have you been doing all this time?” he asked.
“Hiding. Expecting another explosion? Waiting to die?” She shrugged. “Except, I didn’t.”
“Why didn’t you answer when I called?” he asked.
“Hands over my ears.” She shuddered and eyed his creation. “Is that supposed to be a stairway?”
“Yes.” It gave him hope, her recognizing it.
She tilted her head. “Why?”
“For our escape.”
She moved the dirt on her face as she swiped at her eyes with the backs of her hands. “From now on, I’m only shopping online.”
“Well, let’s get you home so you can,” he said. “The ‘stairs’ can only take one of us at a time. No hesitating, no looking down or back. Once you take that first step, it’s a sprint. Pretend you have wings and can’t stop. Promise.”
She threw her arms around his neck, her legs around his waist. “I’m not good at leading the way. Not at all good. You go first.”
“I can’t. I’m heavier. I might wreck it. You’re light as a cloud. You go.” With difficulty, he pried her off him. “Go. Now.”
She hesitated, shuddered, and swallowed hard three times. “Once I get there, you’ll follow?”
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Kenya,” she said.
“So are you ready to live, Kenya?”
“Now, there’s a question.” She kissed his filthy cheek.
He didn’t remember ever feeling both honored and unworthy.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Nobody,” he said. “Just an unremarkable lawyer.”
“See you at the top, Mr. Nobody.”
She whined as she started but followed his instructions to the letter, a sprint like no other... and still, she proved the weakness in his creation. Her inner strength put him to shame as he held the beam nearest the wall, below the highest point of the makeshift stairs. He couldn’t let go until she made it.
“Please let her make it,” he whispered.
He borrowed some of her strength when the beam beneath his hands began to shudder.
As Kenya left the stairs behind her, the last one seeming to disappear from beneath her shoe, she crouched, cradled by crossed steel beams in the darkness between floors, her heart racing as another tremor seemed to wreak havoc in the mall below.
Panic filled her with worry for the man who shared his stairs, until a hand wrapped in a yellow and gold scarf reached for her.
“Hey?” she called, taking that hand with both of hers. “How did you get here before me?”
He pulled her through the darkness to the safety of the outdoors and the dim light of dusk, somehow telling her to live for both of them.
When she thanked him, he was gone.
People surrounded her and wrapped her in blankets, gave her a bottle of water, brought her to the medics.
She never spotted her rescuer among them.
Some people called it Heaven.
The residents knew it as Everlasting.
When you arrived, adjustments needed to be made; it’s not always an easy task, especially when you were meant to live and the person you saved... slated to die.
Chance became Kenya’s guardian angel.
Or a punishment?
An adventurer and storyteller at heart, Annette Blair has explored nineteenth-century Amish America and Regency England. She's fallen for madcap, modern Salem Mass, where bold women follow the Celtic faith with heart. There, she fought dragons, and fell in love with an angel. More recently, she’s taken to solving mysteries beside Connecticut’s Mystic River. And with her newest series, she's be revisiting her "roots" in Salem in a small town north of the Witch City that you won't find on any map. Welcome to Wishing Well, where there's something Magic in the water...
She topped the NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists concurrently last month (ranking at #4 & #12 respectively) with Scandalous Brides, a joint venture box set of four full-length Regency Historicals by Annette, Lucinda Brant, Brenda Hiatt & Cheryl Bolen. Annette is honored to have shared the career-changing event with such amazing and multi-talented writers. The four are all members of the Jewels of Historical Romance, a group of 12 top flight authors who have banded together to better serve their careers, their readers, and each other through this new publishing paradigm.
Earlier in her career, Annette's work garnered multiple Romantic Times TOP PICKS, Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and HOLT Medallion nominations. A triple Golden Heart Finalist, she's also finaled in the Golden Leaf, the Lauries, the Golden Quill, and National Readers' Choice Awards. She’s won multiple Booksellers Best Awards, LORIES Awards, Laurel Wreath, Blue Boa, Aspen Gold, RIO, Southern Magic, More than Magic, Orange Rose, Winter Rose, PRISM, Beacon, Colorado Awards of Excellence, Write Touch Readers' Choice Awards and an Orange County Book Buyer's Best Award. With Sex and the Psychic Witch, Annette took home three Anne-Bonney Readers’ Choice Awards out of four. Cloaked in Malice her 5th Vintage Magic Mystery, became her first NY Times Bestseller. Jacob's Return, a rule-breaking Amish Historical became her first USA Today Bestseller.
Her E-books include The Rogues Club & Scoundrels Series, four full Regency Historicals each. Her Sexy Amish Historical E-books are Jacob's Return, Butterfly Garden, and A Winter Heart. Anthologies include Sisters of Spirit, the Jewels of Historical Romance, Fabulous Firsts, and Scandalous Brides NY Times #4 & USA Today #12.