CrossReads Short Takes: A Work in Progress & A Little Piece of Heaven 5/4/2022

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

A Work in Progress

A New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

(The Faith Series, Book 1)

by Staci Stallings

A Work in Progress

Rebecca Avery has never been one of “them”—the popular kids, the beautiful people. With less than fashion-plate looks and an off-beat, quirky style to living life, she has been relegated to finding “alone” activities to fill her time throughout high school. Unfortunately, college hasn’t changed that. Then she meets Eric Barnett, a nice guy who seems a little quirky himself. The only problem is, he’s in love with her roommate—one of the truly beautiful people. When Rebecca finds herself falling for him, she must find a way to break out of her shell or risk losing him forever. Who will win out in this mixed up jumble of feelings and loyalties?

Eric Barnett is drifting through college. Unlike his friends, he doesn’t have a path to relentlessly pursue. In fact, he often feels like the tag-along in a life that’s unfolding without him. Then he meets Rebecca Avery’s roommate who seems like she will finally give him what he most wants—credibility with his friends. However, when the roommate proves to be less-than-into-him, can Eric see past the outward appearance to find love with Rebecca?

A new adult college romance novel, “A Work in Progress,” gives new adult meaning to the genre of Contemporary Christian Romance. So many college students see only the world’s options presented in their romance novels, “A Work in Progress” shows an alternative—good, clean romance that makes you think about life differently. This is new adult fiction that will inspire readers to reach for more than what the world says is possible!

“Staci Stallings is Christian Romance at its best!”

“No, man, I didn’t blow you off,” Eric said as he approached the desk behind Rebecca. “I had a lot of stuff to get done.”

“Like what? More studying?” spike-haired guy asked.

“Is that so hard to believe?”

“From you? Yeah.” Spike-haired guy laughed in a way that made Rebecca want to turn around and knock his head off his shoulders. How dare he make fun of Eric.

“I needed to meet with Diane,” Eric said. “She was going to help me with sign language.”

“At ten o’clock on a Saturday night?”

“It was the only time she could meet.”

Rebecca’s eyes narrowed in confusion. Saturday night?

“Well, the party was just getting started. You could’ve invited her over.”

“We studied at the Student Union it was quieter there.”

Saturday night he was playing pool—alone, Rebecca thought as she listened.

“Sign language?” spike-headed guy asked as if that was akin to cleaning cesspools.

“Yeah.”

“Well, what time did she go home?”

Clinging to every word, Rebecca pressed back against the chair, waiting to hear the answer.

“About 11:15. The place was a madhouse.”

“I thought you said it was quieter.”

“Oh, yeah. Well…”

Rebecca heard the stumble.

“It was, but then a ton of people showed up, so we decided to pack it in for the night.”

“Uh-huh,” spike-haired guy said. “And where did you go after that?”

“She went home, and I went home.” Eric’s story paused. “I know. Wonderful night, but she’s not my type anyway. She’s all interested in her studies. Glasses, books, notebooks—you know the type. Not the kind of girl I’m looking for.”

Unconsciously Rebecca pushed her glasses up as her heart dropped.

“Yeah,” spike-haired guy said. “Seems like I remember that.”

Rebecca’s attention never wavered from the seat behind her. Eric was obviously lying. Yes, he was at the Student Union, but there was no girl. Was there? Fighting with her brain to recall every last detail of the non-encounter, Rebecca examined the clock in her mind. Although she couldn’t clearly remember the time they had left, it was 11:25 when she and Holly got back to their room.

How far was it from the Student Union to her dorm? Five minutes? Ten? But even so, his line about studying the rest of the time was totally bogus. And although she knew she shouldn’t care, one thought kept working its way into her brain. Why was he lying?

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A Little Piece of Heaven

A New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

(The Faith Series, Book 2)

by Staci Stallings

A Little Piece of Heaven

Jeremy Stratton thought he had it all figured out—great apartment, live-in fiancée, soon-to-be degree, and favored son status in a well-heeled family. But when it all came crashing down, he nearly drove his friends away as well. Starting over now, his life is about to change in ways he never could have foreseen and would never have chosen on his own. Can Jeremy find “A Little Piece of Heaven” he never even knew existed?

Emily Vasquez has found one thing to hold onto in the swirls of life—God, and she has no desire to let Him go in pursuit of some guy. But when Jeremy keeps coming around despite his on-again, off-again aversion to all things Christian, Emily finds it’s not so easy to shut her feelings off as she thought it would be. Even worse, falling for him would mean never getting the chance to set things right back home. Choices, mistakes and consequences battle it out as the two of them search for A Little Piece of Heaven.

A New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel, A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN, asks the question what if everything you’ve learned in life turns out to mean something you never expected? These two friends must battle old demons, new life issues, and each other to realize that love can be found in some very unexpected places. Set in a college, A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN picks up where the new adult romance A WORK IN PROGRESS left off, taking you through twists and turns in a heart-stopping ride that ultimately leads right where these two were always meant to be.

*~* EXCERPT *~*

“Oh, man! Tell me we’re almost there.” At the threshold Emily resorted to turning around and pushing the box with her back.

“Over here by the wall,” Jeremy said, guiding it the final ten feet. “And. We’re. There.”

The moment he stopped, she gave up and slid all the way down the box to the floor. “Hallelujah! Oh, man. I should have asked for hazard pay.”

“What’re you doing sitting around?” Rebecca asked as she breezed in the door with a box the size two pairs of shoes would fit into. She walked over to the counter in the kitchen and set it down with a clank.

“You’re kidding, right?” Emily was exhausted. She put her hand to her head to get it to stop swimming from the over-exertion. The thought of the fifteen other boxes of stuff not to mention some of the furniture still sitting back in the other apartment threatened to dissolve the last of her will. “You told me this wasn’t going to be hard.”

Rebecca shrugged. “It’s moving. It’s always hard.” With that she breezed back out.

“Come on.” Jeremy reached down for her hand and pulled her to her feet. “I promise, I’ll give you the light one this time.”

“Oh that you would be so kind.” Emily reached down and pulled her purple jersey shirt over her jeans where it had come up. The high ponytail on her head swung in time with her feet as she followed him down the hall. “How in the world can two bachelors have so much stuff? I thought bachelors like ate off of paper plates and slept on the couch.”

Jeremy glanced at her with a look of horror at the very suggestion. “I’m a bachelor. I’m not poor.”

“Oh,” she said, taking the statement to mean poor was like being a leper. Instinctively her arms twisted around her. “Well, I for one wish you were a little poorer.”

The gaze he trained on her held complete derision, but she smiled at him teasingly. “Not so much stuff to move that way.”

“Ah.” He lifted his chin in understanding although he still didn’t look very happy.

Sensing she’d just sent the train flying off the track, Emily followed him into the old apartment and planted her hands on her hips. “Okay, gang. What’s next?” The sooner they got this done, the sooner she could get back to normal.

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