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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Beyond the Book: Purple Heart

Welcome to Beyond the Book. Today we'll continue with out excerpts from Purple Heart, my Wild Rose Press release. 


Jenna West has no idea what she might have done to her new tenant Mike Hightower. He's surly and hateful every single time they meet, and he looks at her as though he despises her.

He does despise her. She's from the Middle East, and people like her killed his friend Ramirez when the army sent them to Iraq.

Will the power of love work its magic to soften Mike's bitter hatred, or will he ignore his growing attraction for his pretty landlady?

Last Week:
Martha remembered Mike. “Hi. Welcome home.” 

“Thanks. You don’t know how good it is to be back.”

“I can imagine.”

“I hope you still make those great cheeseburgers.”

“If I tried to change them I think I’d get run out of 

Mike just laughed; everyone liked those burgers.

He finished his lunch and placed his call to Jenna 
West. It took her a minute to answer, and her voice sounded husky, kind of like she had just woken up. “Hello?”

“Hi, Ms. West, my name is Mike Hightower. I went to work for Taylor-Lord today, and I heard you have a place for rent. Is it still available?”

“Yes, it is. I’d love to show it to you if you don’t mind risking a virus. I’ve come down with something which is the reason I’m not at work today.”

“I’ll risk it.”

This week: Mike meets Jenna West.

Ms. West gave him directions to an older part of town close to the factory. It would be nice to live close to Taylor- Lord. A tank of gas cost the earth, so he hoped he’d like the place. He said goodbye to Martha and left.

As he drove across town, he thought about his attitude toward the people who lived in the Middle East. Well, maybe prejudice might be a better word. Had he always been prejudiced against people of other races and religions? No, he didn’t think so, and it really burned him up that the Iraqi people had taught him to hate. He didn’t like feeling hard and angry inside, but even though his head told him not to make a blanket judgment about any group of people, his heart just wouldn’t cooperate.

He found the rental without any trouble. The small, rectangular shaped house had two front doors on one of the short sides. It looked to Mike as if Ms. West had recently painted. He wouldn’t have thought of painting the house a bright, cheery yellow, but he liked it very much.

He didn’t see a doorbell so he knocked on the right hand door. Ms. West opened it almost immediately, giving Mike the shock of his life. In spite of her all American accent and name, Jenna West was Middle Eastern! He had seen women just like her every day of his life when he served in the army. The only difference was that in the Middle East people like her spent a lot of time throwing rocks and yelling obscenities.

“Are you Jenna West?” he asked.

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