|RELEASED FEB. 2008
Published by Avalon Books.
Read an excerpt below.
|Love, Always. . .
Norma Davis Stoyenoff
|Copyright 2008 by Norma Davis Stoyenoff. All rights reserved.
Web design by Jennifer Stoyenoff.
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Although it was actually her lunch hour, Amanda Lewis – or Mandy, as everyone
always seemed to end up calling her – was sitting there at the desk in her cubicle at
Pyramid Publishing, staring at the blank screen of the computer. There were supposed to
be words marching across the screen – words that should have been making up sentences
and paragraphs – but Mandy, her chin resting in one hand, had stopped typing for so
long that even her screen saver had disappeared. Instead, she had been thinking. And
wondering. About all sorts of things.
Right now she was wondering just how long it was going to be before she was finally
going to meet the one – the man of her dreams – who was wealthy and sophisticated and
handsome. The man who would always call her Amanda.
All her life she’d been Mandy. When she left her small hometown of Coopersville,
Illinois, and went away to college for four years, she thought that would fix the problem.
It didn’t. And coming all the way up to Chicago hadn’t helped, either. Here she was,
still Mandy, even in the Windy City.
Sometimes, she thought, it was almost as if she had two different people inside her.
Mandy might trip over her own feet, make dumb remarks, and stare up at the Chicago
skyscrapers, but Amanda never would. Mandy might go back home to Coopersville and
marry the boy next door, and for her big day she’d probably be wearing a wedding gown
made by her mother or one she’d grabbed from the half-off rack at the local resale shop.
Amanda, on the other hand, would slip into a fabulously beautiful designer wedding
gown – created, perhaps, by someone like Vera Wang – and walk down the aisle of a
large Chicago church filled with not only family but also invited celebrities. And best of
all, at the altar her groom would be waiting. An extremely successful business tycoon, he
would be tall, dark, and so handsome, her heart would skip a beat at the sight of him.
She would smile seductively up at him as he reached out to her and they joined hands to
begin their vows.
The reception would be held in the largest ballroom of one of Chicago’s finest hotels,
with crystal chandeliers blazing and waiters hurrying about carrying trays laden with rare
And as for the honeymoon afterward, it would be, of course, on the groom’s own
private yacht, moored off some tropical island, with moonlight flooding the deck.
Mandy felt as if she could almost hear the soft, romantic music that would be drifting
across the water, could almost feel the warm breeze gently touch her cheek as he took her
passionately into his strong arms, their lips meeting in a fiery kiss, and then –
“Mandy! Hey, Man!”
Startled, Mandy opened her eyes and looked up. It was Joe. Joe Parker, from
“Earth to Mandy!” he teased, waving a hand in front of her face. “Hey, don’t you
realize it’s lunchtime?” He gave her his funny-cute, lopsided grin. “I was hoping we
could grab lunch. Hoping we could explore together the wonderful cuisine of the
downstairs cafeteria. How about it?”
Mandy sighed. “Joe, I’m not going anywhere for lunch.”
“Again? You’re still working on that book of yours?”
“But your screen’s blank.”
“No, it isn’t,” she answered as she moved her mouse and the words reappeared. “I
just quit typing for a while. To think.”
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