In the spotlight today is Flowers for Maddy by Patricia Kiyono. This sweet romance is part of Second Chances: A Love Anthology. All proceeds from the anthology go to charity, so be sure to pick up a copy.
When a couple falls in love, sometimes their relationship doesn’t work out and they part ways. One day they may meet up again. The sparks fly. The hurtful memories rise to the surface. Is it possible for them to heal the rift between them and start all over again? Can they have a second chance at love? Or is it too late? Find out in this feel-good anthology of five unique, sweet romances. All proceeds go to charity: HIC Children’s Home, Newcastle, South Africa.
Authors include Kathy Bosman, Patricia Kiyono, Pravina Maharaj, Leenna Naidoo, and E.A. West.
Flowers for Maddy
Maddy Benning’s life has been full of missed opportunities. She’s had to settle for commuting to local colleges rather than attending the school she and her high school boyfriend had chosen, and spend all her time either working or taking care of her mother. She’s resigned herself to a life void of excitement and love. Meeting Jake again opens new hurts—but can it lead to new joys?
Jake Warner gave up his teaching position to return to his Lake Michigan hometown and care for his father. But it looks like the job is more than he can handle on his own. While looking for appropriate care, he runs into a girl from his past. Years ago, their parting had been painful. But was there more to the story than he’d realized?
Jake nearly stumbled. He’d just been thinking about needing someone who’d understand, and now Maddy was here, going through the same struggles. Someone had been listening.
She turned her soft gaze to him. “What about you? I heard you and your choirs have been winning all sorts of awards. I even saw you and your group perform on one of the morning news shows.” She frowned. “Is your school on break now, or did you retire already?”
“I resigned. Dad’s got health problems, and someone had to take care of him, now that both Mom and Sarah are gone. In fact, he’s in Rest Haven, too.”
Those expressive eyes glistened. “I’m so sorry, Jake. That had to be so hard, losing half your family in an instant.”
He nodded. “Dad hasn’t been the same since then. I didn’t realize until I came back how much it affected him. It’s like he has no will to live and sees no reason to care for anyone, including himself.”
“I’m so sorry. Your dad was always such a strong man.”
“Yes. I used to hate that about him. Now I miss that strength.”
She opened her mouth, and Jake expected she would say something about her mother, but she clamped her mouth shut and nodded. He decided to change the subject away from parents. “How’s Jeff?”
She frowned then, and he wondered why the question would bother her. “Jeff died eighteen years ago,” she told him.
He stopped in his tracks. “I-I’m so sorry. What happened?”
“Cancer. We were going through fertility tests when they found it. He was gone two months later.”
“Maddy, I’m so sorry.” She’d been a widow all this time?
She nodded her acceptance of his sympathy, and they continued their walk. “Thanks. It was rough, but he made me promise I’d get my degree. He knew how much I’d wanted to go, and he made that possible.”
Jake digested that. “I always thought you’d changed your mind and didn’t want to go to school.”
“Never! I cried for days each time mom told me I hadn’t been accepted.”
“Each time? How many schools did you apply to?”
“U of M, Eastern, and MSU, as well as several private schools. Actually, I was accepted at a few of them, but I couldn’t get any financial help, so I couldn’t afford it. That’s why I went to Community College, and then commuted to Grand Valley.”
He walked in silence for a few moments. What she said didn’t match with his memory of events, but he wasn’t about to argue. “Why didn’t you tell me about any of this?”
Her eyes narrowed. “I did. I wrote to you.”
“I never got any letters from you.”
“Never? I wrote almost every day. Mom said we couldn’t afford that much postage, so I’d put a week’s worth of letters in an envelope. I wrote for weeks before I finally gave up. “
He ran his free hand through his hair. “I swear I never got those letters. If I had, I would have called you. I could have transferred or taken some time off until we could find a place to go together.”
She pursed her lips together. Did she doubt his sincerity? “I guess it doesn’t matter now. We can’t change what happened, and eventually we both got what we wanted.”
Maybe you did. I settled, and my poor wife knew it.
Flowers for Maddy is available in Second Chances: A Love Anothology. You can purchase it exclusively from Amazon.
About the Author
During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level.
She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.