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Pure romance...everlasting love...







A Saint Comes Stumbling In

By Bonnie McCune

Contemporary

$.99 eBook

ISBN: 978-0-9858941-7-7


Can a rejected wife conquer self-doubt, trap a criminal, and win love?  A patron saint might help...

Thirty-something Joan Nelson has more to contend with than a biological clock or an identity crisis. Despite her ardent belief in a conventional marriage, she finds herself deserted for a younger, slimmer woman. Lacking any skills or education, she's thrust unprepared into the nightmare challenge of making a living for the first time in her sheltered existence. 

A job as a receptionist in a law firm is the first rung on the ladder to her independence.  Yet the taste of success sours when Joan considers the emptiness of her personal life.  How can she reconstruct her damaged life and heal her bruised ego?  Ill-equipped for the singles scene, she embarks on a confusing, sometimes frightening, new lifestyle.

When Joan stumbles on a crime perpetuated by a charming cad, she must defy her boss, jeopardize her newly won stability, and reject her friends.  Her namesake, Joan of Arc, provides a model of courage and insight.  If she risks danger and uncertainty, will she discover that independence and adulthood can be both enjoyable and fulfilling?  Does optimism beat pessimism?  Who would have dreamed her final victory could solve a childhood puzzle while it brings her true love?


 

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EXCERPT

Copyright 2012 © Bonnie McCune

“Kevin!” I throw the door open. “What are you doing here?"

No slob he, Kevin wears an impeccable business suit, pale blue shirt and paisley tie. Even more impressive are his freshly combed hair and congenial greeting. At the end of a long, grueling work day, Kevin bears no signs of fatigue or defeat. Unlike paranoid and depressed me, whose rumpled, dingy sweatsuit, faded from grey into a streaked greige, matches my attitude.

“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d drop by to discuss several informal offers on the house,” he says.

“In the neighborhood? Get serious. This is miles from your place. You’re a sweetheart to worry about me after I wailed on your shoulder the other day. Come in and have some coffee.”

Turning to go back to the kitchen, I catch just a glimpse of a flush that mounts Kevin’s face. As I move from cupboard to sink to counter, chattering about the computer incident and my fears, I also notice his unusual reticence.

“So you see I’m working off nervous energy as well as preparing to move,” I say with a gesture at the open cupboards and the cups teetering in stacks on the table where Kevin sits. “If I get fired, I couldn’t bear having to pound the pavement again. My ego was totally destroyed. I don’t know which type of rejection I preferred—the unanswering void of some potential employers who didn’t bother to respond to an application or the politely worded rebuffs.”

As if unfolding a letter, I pretend to quote. “We sincerely thank you for applying. Although you met the requirements for the position, we regret to inform you that other candidates were better qualified. Therefore we are unable to offer you the position of ‘you-fill-in-the-blank’. We wish you good luck in your job search.”

Kevin shakes his head so emphatically he destroys his combing job. “You can’t let rejection discourage you. I get dozens of rejections every day. How could I ever close a sale if I allowed the no’s to slow me down?”

I return to my cupboard. “Easy for you to say. I was desperate for a job. James had walked out and I had no income when my mother alerted me to the opening at the law firm. I was grateful for her assistance. Pride prevented me from asking James or my family for financial help. I found pride was the last quality I needed after seven weeks of hopeless, fruitless inquiry. I couldn’t bear to go through the process again.”

Three shelves in the cupboards are clear. I look at the stack of miscellaneous mugs heaped on the top shelf and decide to discard them. An array of assorted colors and sizes, they proclaim cute sayings on their sides such as, “If you think today was bad, wait until tomorrow,” and, “Keep your paws off!” or “Mondays are God’s punishment for weekends.”

I shudder as I climb on a stool for a better look. James and I used to exchange the mugs regularly on birthdays, a kind of contest to see which one could find the ugliest or rudest. Until two years before the break-up, I suddenly realize. Another subtle sign of the disintegration of my marriage. I don’t need them as reminders.

Kevin’s voice breaks into my thoughts. “You won’t have to worry for long.”

I poke into another assortment that has been hidden at the very rear of the cupboard. “What do you mean?” I ask.

“About supporting yourself. Surely you have a very good friend waiting in the wings.”

Whirling around on the stool where I stand, I nearly fall over. I hook five or six mugs firmly over my fingers, clamber down, and advance on Kevin while brandishing the dishware.

“Listen, mister, James is the charmer, the con man, the one with the sweetie-pie, not me. Was that way in school, remember? Every time I turned around, I had to pry him out of the hold of some adoring females, after a basketball game when he’d made a winning basket, hanging out in the park during the summers. Evidently, no difference after he finished college and started in business either. Don’t ask, don’t tell was my philosophy. I didn’t probe or spy. And I never was unfaithful to him, before or during marriage, and I resent your implication.”

Kevin recoils and leans back as far as possible in his chair. “Sorry. I’m the best one to know you weren’t. I don’t know why I said that.”

“What do you mean, you’re the best one to know?”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Bonnie McCune credits her tenacity for the successes in her life, and A Saint Comes Stumbling In is proof.  Since fifth grade, she has been determined to be a writer.  This is her first published novel, but her interest in writing led to her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing.  She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization and managed Denver's beautification program. Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features.  Her main interest now is fiction writing, and her pieces have won several awards.  Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers' and arts' groups, and children's literacy.

For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Cook Off.  A special love is live theater.  Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.  For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes that one person can make a difference in this world.  McCune lives in Denver, Colorado, where she’s been married to the same man forever, has two children and three grandchildren, and is working on a humorous novel about aging.

Read more about Bonnie at www.BonnieMcCune.com.  

 

 



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