“Maybe we live our lives constantly becoming and rebecoming. Maybe we’re always in the process of metamorphosing into something new."
In her journal, writer Piper George notes the change of seasons. Each entry marks the passage of time since she became a teen mother and put her baby up for adoption. Her words flow together, painting a picture of loss, hope, and enduring love. But one autumn, a new presence appears in its pages and in her life: her neighbor, Edward “Ned” Chesterfield.
As winter thaws to spring, Piper and Ned develop a friendship that could be something more if only Piper will let it. But the loss of her daughter has shaped her life. And having given so much of herself away, she’s not sure if she can give Ned all that he deserves. But with him at her side, Piper just might learn that a heart’s love is never truly lost!
"I don't usually start a review out by addressing the author, but I'm making an exception here. Darn you, Holly Jacobs. I cried throughout the last quarter of Carry Her Heart. Cats climbed into my lap because I was crying. It's all your fault...Carry Her Heartis a beautiful story of love and friendship. And, Holly Jacobs' message of love is strong and touching. Darn you, Holly." Lesa's Book Critiques
I sat on my front porch and took a sip from a bone china teacup with tiny forget-me-nots painted on the side.
It was a civilized, proper cup.
I looked down at my laptop, which was balanced on the holey jeans that covered my outstretched legs. My legs were propped on the porch railing.
There was nothing particularly proper looking about me.
I didn’t need a mirror to know that my carrot-red hair had gone Medusa again and was breaking free of its twisty. As for my jeans, I swear my knees must be knobbier than the average woman’s, or maybe because I worked at home and wore them daily, they just gave up more rapidly. Either way, my three favorite pair of jeans all had holes in the knees . . . again.
I’d have to go shopping.
I hate going shopping.
I could buy most of what I needed online and avoid the stores, but jeans were an item of clothing that must be tried on.
I stared at my blank screen and took another sip of my tea.
I liked working on the porch.
I watched all the cars that stopped in front of the school across the street. Passenger doors opened and children were disgorged from them at regular intervals. Tall, skinny kids, short, roundish ones. Loud ones who started shrieking friends’ names before their feet hit the pavement. Quiet ones, who could seem alone even in the midst of the morning chaos.
Boys. Girls. Nerds. Jocks. Happy. Sullen.
They were all my inspiration.
They were also my audience.
In a sea of young adult books that dealt with paranormal elements, from wizards to vampires, I currently wrote reality-based books for preteens. I’d written books for much younger children in the past, but as my audience aged, so did my writing.
Maybe it was time to move my books from elementary and middle schools to high schools?
I tried to concentrate on the scene in front of me. I only had a few more weeks before the Erie, Pennsylvania weather got too cold to work outside. I always hated moving inside for work. This porch was where I found Julie and Auggie, Terry the Terrible, and Beautiful Belle.
This porch was also where I tried to imagine Amanda.
A girl with auburn-brown braids that thumped up and down on her back as she walked to a group of girls and joined in the talk. She was new. I know I’d have remembered her. She was talking to a group of bigger kids. Probably eighth graders, the oldest class at this school. She was animated as she spoke. She’d work as a character. I . . .
I was distracted from the scene playing out across the street by a moving van that pulled into the driveway next door. The Morrisons had moved out three weeks ago. The For Sale sign on the front yard had a Sold sticker plastered across it for a few weeks longer than that. But after the Morrisons moved out, no one else had moved in.
The door of the van opened and a man got out.
I only needed that first quick glance to know he was cute.
I tried to study him circumspectly. And I immediately thought of him as a fictional character. If I were writing him in a book, I’d make him a . . . coach. He had that every-man sort of look to him. He was good-looking, but not intimidatingly so. Still, he was good-looking enough that there was a spark of attraction.
I’ll confess, I don’t go out a lot and don’t meet a ton of eligible, single men. I meet even fewer who give me that zing of awareness. The sort of feeling that reminded me I was a woman in her prime.
I took another glance at the man I was zinging over. His hair was . . . neat. Not too short but not long by any stretch of the imagination. And it was brown. Not dark brown bordering on black and definitely not punctuated with blond highlights. No, this man’s hair was a straight-up, use-a-Crayola-brown-crayon-if-you-were-coloring-him sort of brown.
He was tan. Not in a lies-out-in-the-sun sort of way, but rather he had a skin tone that came from ancestors who came from sunnier climes than mine. I made people who were pale look swarthy.
Judging from the van, he was not overly tall, nor was he overly short. Average.
I tried to ignore my zing and concentrate on my book. This man would make a perfect coach. Put a baseball cap on him and give him a whistle and a glove . . .
At some point I’d started typing.
“Couch,” Felicity called. “Your name’s funny.”
“Coach,” Coach Divan responded, correcting her pronunciation.
“Couch Divan. I bet people pick on you. My grandma calls her couch a divan. So you’re really Couch Couch.”
“Coach,” he repeated.
“I like Couch better. Couch Divan. Yep. Couch Couch. Yeah, I like it—”
That one syllable pulled me from my story and I realized the man who had reminded me I was a woman and was my potential new neighbor as well as an inspiration for a new character was standing at my porch railing.
“Sorry. I got caught up in . . .” I wasn’t going to tell him what I’d been caught up in. It’s better not to scare new acquaintances with my profession. Some worry they’d become fodder for my fiction.
Frankly, some did.
I started again. “Hi. Are you my new neighbor?”
He nodded. “Edward Chesterfield. Ned, to my friends.”
I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. Really, it was more of a giggle than a full-out laugh.
I’d written an article years ago about the evolution of the modern sofa for a historical magazine, which was the only reason I know that a variety of couches are known asChesterfields.
Given what I’d been writing, it was funny. Well, maybe not in a standup routine sort of comedy way, but to a woman who spent a lot of her time entertaining herself, it was hysterical.
My new neighbor, Ned, looked at me like I was nuts.
“Sorry. Really. It’s just that . . .” Man, I was making a muck of this. I’m pretty sure that telling a man you were amused that there was a type of couch that bore his family name wasn’t going to convince him of your sanity...