During the Fall
Steady as You Go
I was sixteen years old when I fell in love with Alex Murphy. Yes, I was young, but even then I recognized the depth of our love. We have been through a lot in our years together, and we have built a lasting connection on love and respect. I wouldn’t be me without him in my life. I try to hold onto the faith my grandmother taught me and to believe everything will turn out right. But some problems seem impossible, and faith—well, it seems to slip past me, no matter how hard I try to hold on. As a teenager, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I stayed away from trouble, but lacked the direction and drive many of my friends shared. From a young age, I knew I wanted to have a strong marriage and a family. I’d had a few boyfriends, but no one was special enough to keep around, so I focused my attention on schoolwork, community service, and my friends. I spent weekends helping out at the community center, where my church organized community service opportunities for teens. On Saturdays, I went to the center and worked with children who needed help with schoolwork. When that was done, we drew colorful pictures and created arts and crafts like personalized buttons or glass suncatchers. All the while, thoughts of motherhood floated in my mind. The time I spent with the kids in the community center reinforced my desire to have a family of my own. After leaving the center for the day, I would meet up with my friends. Our town was so small it took less than ten minutes to drive from one end to other. After driving around, looking for a place to park and hang out without being bothered, we always seemed to end up at someone’s house to watch a movie and eat all the junk food we could stuff in before getting sick. Being a teenager was great, and I enjoyed the freedoms my parents gave me, but a feeling of emptiness haunted my soul. The high school I went to included students from two adjacent towns. There were more than thirteen hundred students, and it seemed every day you could meet someone new. I will never forget the first time I met Alex. Alex Murphy was the star athlete in hockey and baseball, so I knew his name—everyone knew his name—but I was involved in my own life, often lost in the many books I read. I wasn’t an athlete and didn’t follow the school sports teams, so there was no reason for me to realize how good-looking he was or anything more about the super-star athlete. But that all changed one afternoon when I saw him in the school cafeteria with his friends. Carrying my books, I came around the corner of the cafeteria. Roars of laughter filled the air, mixed with humming chatter, moving like a cloud above the heads of the lunch crowd. The sound of pure joy drew my attention. I scanned the room for the source of the electrifying amusement and saw a group of students gathered around a table. I felt my stomach flip when I saw him standing above the kids at the table. They all looked up at Alex. His presence commanded their attention. All eyes were on him, and they were clearly mesmerized. He stood with his hands in his pockets, telling them something that caused fits of laughter. He was tall, with brown wavy hair that fell over his ears. His jeans revealed the tightness of his butt. I got lost staring at it and had to blink, hoping no one saw me gawking. His black t-shirt fit him perfectly. I could tell he worked out because his muscles flexed every time he laughed. I was not shy, and as I stood staring at the group, I decided I had waited long enough. A yearning drew me toward him, I was hyperaware of my senses and of my surroundings, and suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to be near him. I was intrigued. I took a deep breath and walked over to the group. “Hi, I’m Jenny.” I stood next to the table, slightly in front of him, waiting to hear him speak. He turned and met my gaze. My palms started to sweat and my heart raced. I thought to myself that I was in love. He seemed struck by my presence, too. As we stood face to face, he stared into my eyes, and the strong energy between us radiated through me powerfully. His cologne wafted over me, the smell of beach sand mixed with a woody masculine fragrance. I felt comfortable standing next to him, but my body was tingling and my hearing became muffled. It was as if the crowd was moving in slow motion and the only people in real time were me and Alex. My heart didn’t stop racing, and my palms were still moist. I stared at him, waiting to hear his voice, hoping it would calm me down. “I’m Alex.”
Author Cheryl murnane introduces you to the debut of her romance novels. Jenny and Alex are high school sweethearts intertwined in an idyllic romance that spans several decades. Their journey carries them through unexpected trials that challenge the security and the very foundation of their relationship. Jenny’s fears of losing the only man she’s ever loved quickly become overshadowed by a tragedy she couldn't have imagined.
This is an emotional tale about how life can force you to grow when you least expect it. This provocative story will fill your heart with the belief that you can survive the most unforeseen and intense moments when you learn to trust.
Enjoy this debut novel of love and faith by Cheryl Murnane.
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New release May 2015
Three lives are forever changed when fate intervenes.
As a young girl, Maggie’s world was shattered by the unexpected death of her father. When she meets Tim in college, Maggie realizes that his cautious lifestyle was exactly what she is seeking.
Tim loves protecting his wife and sheltering her from life's pains, but he soon finds that life has a tendency to disrupt even the best intentions when their carefully planned future is turned upside down after they receive startling news.
Will is mending a broken heart after the woman he loved leaves him. When a chance encounter with Tim develops into a treasured friendship, Will finds himself drawn into the struggles of Tim’s life, as Tim and Maggie grapple with the realization that their life will never be the same.
As time slips away for Tim, he knows Will is his only chance to keep Maggie safe and provide her with the security she craves, but Maggie is torn about letting her guard down with the type of man who yearns for adventure. Could it be in Will’s destiny to open his heart to love one more time?