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A Precious Jewel
Sherry Derr-Wille
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When Julie Weston asks Devan Yates to spend the night with her on New Years Eve, she doesn’t realize that within a matter of hours her life will be turned upside down.

Devan never thought that his best friend from high school would become his lover. When fate tears them apart, he knows he has lost more than someone he casually went to be with, he has lost the only woman he really loved. Getting her back will be a challenge.

"Happy New Year, Mom," Jill’s cheery voice came over the receiver. "Where have you been? I’ve been calling for over an hour."

"I went to Meg and Jim’s party."

"Did you have a good time?"

"I have to admit, I did. How about you? Did you and Karl go out?"

"We’re at the party now, but I want to hear about your party. Did they have a man for you?"

"Jill! What a thing to ask. If you must know, they arranged for a dinner companion for me."

"Was he a hunk? Did you let him kiss you?"

Julie wondered why everyone was so concerned about Devan being a hunk. To her, he was just Devan, an old friend from high school, someone comfortable to be with and nothing else. "To everyone’s surprise, including mine, he turned out to be an old friend from high school. He just brought me home and I’m making coffee."

Jill laughed out loud. "Then I won’t keep you. I’m just glad you met someone nice."

Jill’s words, ‘someone nice,’ rang in Julie’s ears while she wiped out her crystal mugs. Devan certainly could be called nice, nice and comfortable, unlike the other ‘dates’ she’d endured.

"Do you take your coffee black or with cream and sugar?" she called to Devan.

"Black," he said, joining her in the kitchen. "You shouldn’t fuss."

"Please, Devan, let me fuss, I enjoy it. I hope you like flavored coffee. I only drink hazelnut when I’m at home."

Before she could pour the coffee, the phone again rang. "That has to be Lance," she said, before picking up the receiver. On the other end of the line sounds of a party full of young blood and life blared.

"Happy New Year, Mom," Lance shouted above the din. "I’m sorry to be calling so late, but we just got in from a midnight ski run."

"It’s okay, honey. I just got home myself. I went to the party next door. It sounds like everyone is having a good time there."

"We sure are, Mom. I just wanted to talk to you. Are you all right?"

"I’m fine. You get back to your party. Love you lots."

"Your kids?" Devan asked, once she hung up the phone.

"Yes, they do worry about me. I guess I’ve given them cause this past year."

She finished pouring the coffee and handed Devan the first cup, adding cream to hers before leading the way to the living room.

"You’re lucky," he said. "My boys won’t call me, they’ll just wait for the old man to call on his dime."

Julie sat down on the couch and Devan seated himself next to her. "I almost didn’t go to that party tonight," he commented.

"It’s strange to hear you say such a thing. I felt the same way myself. I knew Meg would be setting me up. I’m glad I didn’t go with my first instinct. I had a good time tonight."

"I did, too. I’d forgotten how nice it was to be with you. I’ve always been comfortable around you."

Comfortable. Julie contemplated the word she’d thought of earlier when she was talking to Jill. Devan made her feel comfortable as well. Talking to him reminded her of old tennis shoes, a comfortable change from the tight pinch of her daily routine. At the same time, she felt a sense of excitement, of adventure, just sitting next to him and remembering their friendship.

"What about you?" he asked, holding her hand a little tighter. "Has it been terribly hard?"

Julie pondered her answer. Of course, it had been hard. Steve was her husband, her companion, for almost thirty years. In the blink of an eye he disappeared from her life, leaving her alone.

She eased her hand from Devan’s, put her mug on the coffee table, and went to the patio door. In one movement, she drew open the heavy drapes and switched on the patio light. For a moment, she stood watching the snow accumulating in the back yard. To her surprise, she no longer saw a replay of last New Year’s Eve, only the heavy snowfall.

"Hard, very hard," she finally said, "but I’m learning to live with it. Steve’s gone and he’s not coming back. I’ve accepted it. Now it’s only me."

"And you’ll make it alone?"

Mild Mannered receptionist, wife, mother and grandmother by day, Sherry Derr-Wille spends her nights writing and writing and writing. Having been inspired by an English assignment in her sophomore year of high school, she had never quite finished the assignment. New stories pop into her head every day with never enough time to write them all.

A Wisconsin native, she grew up a country girl, but enjoys her “city” home. She and her husband of over 40 years, Bob, live in a mid-sized town close to the Illinois border, where she works as a receptionist for an insurance office and he is retired. Deeming Bob “A Saint” for putting up with her, she has never regretted marrying her high school sweetheart just two days after graduation in 1964.

Becky's Rebel: Ms. Derr-Wille brings the spirit of understanding the plight of the Civil War survivors. Becky Larson and her Rebel, Joe Kemmerman, reminds us that love and faith overcome all obstacles. A must read for those who still need to understand there is no different in the hearts of people, North or South. Becky’s Rebel will make you laugh, shed a tear or two and have you falling in love, once again, with a time and it’s people that is uniquely America’s ... the Civil War era. -- Debbie Fritter – The Perfect Match – Whippoorwill Press

Hello Do You Know Me is a wonderful heart-warming love story. It touches your heart from the very beginning. It has everything that makes you turn the pages. Matt Bratzman has lived another man’s life for thirty-five years. Betsy Connor is a widow again. Now out of the blue her first love is back from the grave. But it can't be. Jerry Fellows was killed in Viet Nam. Sherry Derr Wille’s characters are real and you find yourself cheering for them and wanting them to find a happy-ever-after. If you like stories that grab a hold of your heart and don’t let go. You'll love this one. Along the way there is some humor and tears and love that survived through time. There were many tragedies out of the Viet Nam War but thanks to Ms. Wille this one had a happy ending.-- Judy Leigh Peters, A Father’s Hope, Joshua’s Faith, http://www.judyleighpeters.com

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1590887700
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590887707
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 356
Paper Weight (lb): 14.8

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