Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freebits--Excerpt from A House Divided, inspirational romance

Deep in thought, Rebecca strolled through the backyard of her new, though temporary, home. Ribbons of waning sunlight slanted through the massive maples, casting mottled patterns against the lush lawn. The air was cool, pungent with the fragrance of the white nicotiana that grew in the flowerbeds behind the latticed gazebo.

She wondered if Mark’s practice included weekend hours at the hospital or whether he was fortunate enough to have weekends off, leaving time for regular church attendance. Their brief conversation had alerted her to the fact that he was probably one of those churchgoers who liked to get involved. The thought of seeing him again both intrigued and terrified her. How could she allow herself to become attracted to a man who was so openly everything she was not? A man who'd apparently become so entrenched in his church work, he deemed it necessary to change everything the grand old home had represented for nearly a decade? And, yes, a much too appealing man who was also unknowingly trying to destroy her very dreams?

The house and yard were empty, now, and one full hour remained . . . Ah, one precious hour. One hour of solitude to indulge in her memories, allow herself to slip away again into that secret haven deep inside her. She stooped to breathe in the fragrance of a pale yellow rose and sighed in contentment. The wind rustled through the maples, their gray scaly trunks partially obstructing the view of the shoreline and harbor below. She closed her eyes. Yes, she could hear the wind through the trees—perhaps, even, the winds of time. Soft as a goose-down coverlet, they wrapped around her, caressed her, carried her back to nine years earlier.

It was that precious day in May again. She and August were standing beneath these very trees, inside the white gazebo, repeating their marriage vows. Pastor Vandehey, the minister from Grace Community, faced them, smiling, while nearly three hundred guests looked on: her dear parents, her beloved grandmother on her dad’s side, various members of August’s family, her friends from church and school, plus the folks from her mother’s garden club. Rebecca breathed in deeply. She caught the scent of lilacs, heard the caw-caw of a crow overhead, and felt the unseasonably warm breeze envelope her.

“And I, Rebecca, take thee, August, to be my lawfully wedded husband . . .” She gazed up into August’s blue, blue eyes and drank in the adoration she saw reflected there. Could she ever love any man more than the one standing right here before her? No, never. They were meant to spend a lifetime together, and they would . . . always. “To have and to hold . . .” Yes, she could hardly wait to have him. To hold him, to be his completely, in the truest sense. “From this day forward, for better or for—”


She gave a start. Snapping back to reality, she jerked her head to the side. Mark! Mark Simons! How dare he intrude on my precious memories, my quiet hour alone?

To read excerpts from other participants in Friday Freebits, check out


  1. My bad in getting my list posted. For some reason, Gremlins changed my 2:00 am scheduled time to draft and I supposed the link was up. Mental note to be more careful in the future. :) Great six, Sydell, and thanks for being part of the group. Love your writing.

  2. Not to feel bad about the gremlins. As you can see, I'm just getting used to Blogspot, so you're way ahead of me. I'm embarrassed I had comments awaiting moderation for nearly a week before I realized that and acted on it.

  3. Very dreamy reflections until last paragraph which changes everything and indicates a very different reality. Nice!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rhobin. I remember reading this passage aloud to my critique group some time ago, and after I read the concluding sentence, the room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. (Sorry for the cliche!) That was the "wow" effect I'd hoped to achieve. I'm glad you felt it as well.

  4. Sydell, I love your writing "voice"- the words play out so beautiful in my mind and pulls me right into the scene. I sense a deep sorrow though within Rebecca- how sad because I feel she lost her August and is struggling to find a way to move forward, even though she doesn't want to.

    Great six!

  5. I appreciate your stopping by again, Taryn! Thanks for your comments about the scene feeling real to you. I'm so glad it did. Your comments are much appreciated.