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Lynette hall Hampton
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Twenty-six old Shelly Wakefield discovers she’s sole heir to Uncle Stetson Varner’s fortune, including his injection molding business. An offer of half a million dollars for the company raises suspicions. Despite the temptation to sell, Shelly decides to become company President.
Threats, sabotage, a potential strike, and the possibility that her uncle's death was murder, force Shelly to choose her allies at Stetson Mold, Inc. with caution, including trusting her handsome molding manager, Slone Merridith. Through it all, she never gives up her faith that she will get through this nightmare and find real love.
A strand of hair dislodged itself from the French braid I put it in this morning, and I twiddled it between my thumb and forefinger as I stared at the papers in front of me, trying to appear busy. I was too nervous to concentrate on the charts spread across my desk. I glanced at my watch. It was ten past noon. In a few minutes I’d leave to meet with the lawyer from Charlotte to find out why I’d been named in my late uncle’s will.
I barely knew Stetson Varner and though I called him uncle, he was actually my great-uncle on my mother's side of the family. I remembered visiting him a few times with my grandfather when I was a little girl. Those visits often left me feeling afraid. Uncle Stetson was thin with a full beard, which in my childish mind made him mysterious and a little frightening, though I was intrigued by him. During our visits, I’d sit quietly and listen to his conversations with Grandpa Varner and conjure up all kinds of ideas about him. Sometimes I wondered if he weren’t Abraham or Moses come back to life, if that were possible, which I doubted. Uncle Stetson always chewed a cigar, and even at my young age I didn’t think they had cigars when Abraham and Moses were alive. As for me, I didn’t like the smell, but there was one thing I did like about his smoking. Every so often, he’d pause in the conversation and blow a smoke ring at me. I’d smile and he’d wink at me, then I’d hear his deep chuckle.
“Well, Shelly, are you excited about becoming an heiress?” A voice brought me back to the present.
“I guess I am a little.” I smiled at my best friend, Leah Keene. “But I'm sure it'll only be a token bequest. Maybe one of his antiques. He knew how much I liked them because we talked about them the last time I saw him.”
“And that was?”
“Almost two years ago at grandfather’s funeral. He was Stetson’s older brother. We spent a little time discussing business in general, but I never figured out his particular business enterprise. We spent an even longer time discussing politics. Uncle Stetson was an opinionated man, but fair. He listened to my idealistic points of view, then patiently explained why I was wrong. I never understood how I ended up agreeing with him on almost every point. He said I reminded him of himself when he first got out of college, and he thought I’d be a good business woman someday.”
Leah giggled. “Maybe he left you a wad of money and you can start your own business.”
“Don’t be silly. As I said, it’ll probably be an antique. It feels good to be remembered, though.”
“You’re probably right, but I have to admit, I’m curious about what you’re getting.” Leah smiled. Her short brown hair bounced as she shook her head. “It's twelve twenty-five. Shouldn't you get started? The traffic might be heavy on Stratford.”
“I guess I do need to go.” I stood and straightened the front of my blue denim skirt. “Do I look okay? Do I need to redo my hair?”
“Let me tuck that strand back in your braid and you’ll be ready to wow the lawyer.”
I tried to smile away my nervousness. “I'll see you in an hour or so.”
“Let me know the minute you return.”
~ * ~
Red Lobster was crowded when I made my way to the hostess. “I'm meeting a Mr. Eppery.”
“He's already here. I'll show you to his table.”
Aaron Eppery stood as I approached. He was nothing like I’d imagined. He was tall, with blond hair and the most attractive gray-green eyes I'd ever looked into. He was so tanned I wondered if he moonlighted as a lifeguard.
My hand shook a little as I held it out to him. “I'm Michelle Wakefield, Shelly for short.” I wasn’t sure if the shaking was from nerves or his good looks.
“I remember you from the funeral, Ms. Wakefield.” We shook hands.
I dropped his hand and slid into the booth in front of him wondering how I’d missed seeing him at the service. “I don't recall meeting you.”
Lynette Hall Hampton’s love of books and reading was instilled in her when she was a little girl. Her mother read everything from Shakespeare to Grace Livingston Hill. Her father was a devoted western and fan.
Through the years, Lynette’s day jobs have varied from a clerk in a department store to a Human Resource Manager for a large manufacturing company. She says these have been jobs to pay the bills and writing has always been her career. She began writing and selling short stories and articles to magazines and newspapers. She turned to writing novels in 2001. Since that time she has published 3 novels and 3 non-fiction books.
Lynette lives in North Carolina.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 346
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