So I said in a previous post I’d give you a preview of the new adult fiction book I’m working on. “A Valley Fog” (title to be reconsidered about a thousand times before I finally settle on it), follows Alana Maxwell, a women who has let her dreams of running a large horse stable fall by the wayside. Alana struggles with merely surviving after a devastating divorce, and her plans to turn her small boarding operation into a large scale training, boarding, and clinic venue have become fallen flat. Until, one of her boarders suffers her own setback in life and comes to Alana with a proposition; a partnership to get BOTH of their lives back on track. Here’s a bit from the first chapter, which I certainly have not edited a million times yet. Enjoy!
It was a dusky fall morning in the valley, a fog creeping out among the trees and spilling into the brown and orange flatlands. Alana Maxwell stood on the old wooden porch of the cabin, sipping her coffee and peering out over her vast fields. Horses grazed quietly in the dewy pastures, swishing tails and slowly working their way through the last of the summer grass. Soon, the dew would turn to frost, and then one day Alana would wake to a world of white; snow covering the pastures and the barn that made up her farm and stables. For today though, the last wisp of the summer sun still warmed the earth, and the crispness in the morning air was nothing more than a whisper of things to come.
As she turned to head inside the cabin, a distant noise alerted Alana to an arriving vehicle. Alana watched as an expensive black SUV slowly pulled up the driveway, gravel crunching under the tires and dust circling the shiny car. Even from a distance she could tell it was one of her boarders, Melissa. Alana knew she’d pull up to the barn, parking in the same spot Melissa always chose. She’d walk quickly inside to change into her riding gear, and then work her way out to the fields, lead rope slung over her shoulder, pockets filled with carrots for her large warmblood Maximus. Melissa was predictable, a creature of habit, and Alana found comfort in that. Alana also had her routines, and as long as that remained unchanged, the two got along just fine.
But the SUV only hesitated at the barn, pausing just a moment at the parking lot, then continued it’s slow lumbering journey towards the cabin. “What in the world…” Alana muttered under her breath. The morning feeding had gone fine, she had seen nothing unusual in the fields. Maximus had greeted her with his usual overbearing personality, eager for his grain. The barn was quiet when she left it, clean and tidy. Alana wondered what business her boarder could possibly have up here at her home. It wasn’t as if Melissa was in the habit of making social calls. The vehicle came to a stop in outside the garden fence and Melissa climbed out, looking anxious. She looked up at Alana standing on the porch and gave a tentative wave.
“Good morning! Got a minute to talk?” Melissa inquired. Alana’s heart dropped at those words. They were never followed by anything positive, Alana knew this from experience. Telling someone you needed to talk was always followed by something sudden and something sad; a breakup, a disappointment, a heartbreak. The events in Alana’s life had proven this time and time again. Alana was already suspicious about this conversation and it hadn’t even begun.
“Sure.” Alana said. “Why don’t you come in for a cup of coffee?” She gestured inside. Melissa nodded her head and followed Alana across the creaky wooden porch, through the old door, and into the cabin.
So there it is, the first portion of the first chapter. Let me know what you think in the comments!