I’m locked in my writing cave these days, so I’m offering you the first scene of Team Bride, the autumn Riverbend romance novella, which is expected to release in mid-late September. (No page or cover to show off yet!)
Enjoy! And remember that, although this isn’t in its final form, it’s still copyright Valerie Comer 2015.
Wedding rehearsal was about to start without Sarah Jamieson.
Thankfully, it wasn’t her wedding, but that didn’t mean her best friend wasn’t going to kill her. As maid of honor, she had responsibilities. Sarah tapped her fingers on the car’s steering wheel and tried to see why traffic was stopped on the bridge across the Sandon River.
She’d counted on twelve minutes to get from her apartment to the River of Life Church. That’s all it ever took. The small town of Riverbend didn’t have rush hour and, besides, all but the last few blocks were on the highway through town. Two stoplights never added more than a minute apiece. So she should have allowed fourteen to be safe.
She opened the car door and crossed to the sidewalk on the other side of the bridge along with several other drivers. Oh, no. A semi had flipped on the bridge’s access, blocking both lanes. This could take a while.
Sarah slid back into her car and tapped the Bluetooth on her dashboard, selecting Lindsey’s cell. It went straight to voice mail. A bride too busy to answer her phone at two minutes to rehearsal? That would be Lindsey. Maybe the groom was carrying his. Worth a try. She scrolled through the list and found Nick’s number. It rang three times.
“Corbin Morrissey of Team Groom. How may I direct your call?”
She rolled her eyes as she craned to see if there was any action getting the semi moved yet. A few sirens wailed in the distance. “This is Sarah. I’m stranded in the middle of the bridge because a semi-truck flipped over, blocking both lanes. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Sarah from Team Bride?”
She narrowed her gaze and stared at the Bluetooth display. “Lindsey’s maid of honor.”
“Team Bride affirmative. Expected time of arrival?” He chuckled. “Besides late.”
Where had Nick found this guy, anyway?
Sarah leaned out her open car window as sirens approached. “Sounds like the RCMP are here. Tow trucks. And a woman in a safety vest coming this way stopping at every car.”
“So you’ll know what’s up in a minute. We might as well keep talking until she gets there. Tell me about yourself, Sarah. Have you known Lindsey long?”
She shook her head as she settled back in her seat. Some guys had all the confidence. She preferred them quiet, herself. Not like… Corbin, he’d said his name was? “I’ve known her most of my life, really. We’ve been best friends since third grade then lost touch until she came back to Riverbend last year.”
“A true Riverbender then. Just like Nick.”
Yeah, she had memories of the groom in high school she’d rather forget. Good thing he’d changed. “How about you? Where did you meet Nick?”
“Bible school, actually. I’ve been in Riverbend for a couple of years now.”
The woman in the safety vest was still a few cars away. “What do you do?” There were other churches in town. Maybe he worked for one of them.
“I’m a farmer.”
Seriously? He said it with some kind of pride. “You went to Bible school to become a farmer?” Now there was a waste of four years of one’s life.
Corbin laughed. “Not exactly. But God had His reasons.”
The woman approached as Sarah glanced out the window. “They expect to open single-lane traffic in about twenty minutes.”
“Whoa, Team Bride is losing this competition. Huzzah, Team Groom is rocking it.”
Did that require a reply? “It sounds like I’ll get there when I get there.”
“Try the bridge down by Arrowsmith?”
“That’s another thirty miles south. Besides, I don’t think the car behind me left enough room to turn around. No, I’d better stay put.”
“Your call. So you know, the pizza just arrived, and it smells awesome.”
Sarah’s stomach growled as she glared at the Bluetooth.
Corbin chuckled. “I heard that. What’s your favorite kind?”
“If it’s Panago, the correct answer is Mediterranean with olives and extra feta.”
The sound of other voices and laughter became louder. A few glasses clinked. “Yup, there’s one of those. You must have an in with the bride. Want me to save you a piece?”
How about saving half a pizza? She hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
He lowered his voice. “We could sit out on the fire escape later and share it. Get to know each other.”
Um, right. Nick should have left this bozo out in the chicken yard where he found him.
“Who are you talking to, Cor?” Nick’s voice. “Is that my phone?”
“Yup, it rang, so I picked it up. Talking to Sarah from Team Bride.”
“Well, give it here already.” The phone switched hands. “Sarah? Where are you? The food’s here.”
“Stuck on the bridge. A semi turned over just a few vehicles in front of me. The tow truck is trying to clear it enough for one-lane traffic now.”
Like she didn’t know.
“Right. Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you to get here as soon as you can, eh?”
She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. “I have that part figured out, Nick. There’s not much I can do at the moment.”
“I’ll tell Lindsey you called.”
“Thanks. I tried her cell first but she didn’t answer.” Neither had anyone else. She could wish no one had answered Nick’s, either.
“Okay. See you soon, I hope.”
“Hey, pass the phone back here.”
Corbin? Like she wanted to sit and chat with him any longer? Not a chance. She reached over and tapped the screen to end the call. That’d fix him.