(This book is part of a series called New Beginnings. Each book is a standalone with new characters but with the recurring theme of new beginnings. Enjoy them in any order!)
When Shannon Harris's husband of 18 years dies, she is left a widow. But, she is glad he is dead after he emotionally abused her for all of those years. Now, she worries that she will never be able to open up her heart to any man again. With her daughter leaving for college, the 39 year old widow is forced to move to the Georgia mountains due to her deceased husband's legal antics.
There she meets Tanner and her world is turned upside down. Can she trust him? Should she? When her worst nightmare happens, she has to make a decision - move forward on blind faith or run away.
After I hung up the phone, I realized that I hadn’t eaten lunch or dinner, and my stomach was growling like a bear. I walked into the kitchen to see if there was anything in there that might suit my fancy. When you’re hungry, just about anything edible will work.
Thankfully, there was some food in the fridge which was weird since no one had been living there for awhile. I found a frozen TV dinner with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans in it. The date was still good, so I figured the former owner may have been there recently and stayed overnight or something.
I fired up the microwave and started cooking the meal. Then, I noticed a radio hanging on the wall. I also saw a bottle of red wine sitting in a wine rack on the counter. I found a wine glass in one of my boxes and poured myself a glass.
I decided a little music was in order, so I turned it on my favorite station but it was full of static because I was so far outside of the range.
I found another station that was playing Southern classic rock and Sweet Home Alabama was on. I love that song, so I turned up the volume in an effort to wake myself up.
As the food cooked, I started swaying and singing to the music. I felt a sense of freedom wash over me for the first time in almost two decades. Sweet Home Alabama had never sounded so good!
I closed my eyes and started dancing around on the hardwood floors. Without thinking, I bumped into the counter and spilled the red wine all over my white lace sundress.
“Dang it!” I said as I pulled the sundress over my head. Realizing I was standing there in just my bra and panties, I had a momentary freak out wondering who could see me through the kitchen windows. Then, I realized that I was so far outside of the city, I could run naked through the front yard if I wanted. Freedom washed over me again.
The song changed to one of my favorites of all time - Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. My newfound freedom kicked into high gear as my exhaustion wore away and my feet began dancing again. Here I was, in my bra and panties wearing nothing but a pair of designer cowboy boots, dancing around this large country farmhouse.
My, how life had suddenly changed”�
I danced and danced, eyes closed, singing at the top of my lungs. I never even heard the microwave bell “ding” when my food was done cooking. Instead, I swigged a little wine and kept dancing.
Suddenly, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. You know that feeling you get when someone is watching you? I opened my eyes and turned around to see a man standing in the arched doorway between the kitchen and the living room.
Without missing a beat, I grabbed a butcher knife from one of the kitchen boxes, held it up and said “I’ve got a knife!”
“Well, ma’m, you might have a knife but the blade seems to be missing”� And your clothes are missing too, I might add,” he said with a smirk that made me want to smack him.
“Crap,” I muttered as I dropped the knife handle which had broken away from the blade. I quickly grabbed my wine stained dress from the floor and