When not writing about her imaginary friends, Carol Moncado is hanging out with her husband, four kids, and a dog who weighs less than most hard cover books. She prefers watching NCIS to almost anything, except maybe watching Girl Meets World. She believes peanut butter M&Ms are the perfect food, and Dr. Pepper should come in an IV. When not sitting at the pool or watching her kids – and the dog – race around her big backyard in Southwest Missouri, she’s teaching at a local community college. She’s a founding member and President of MozArks ACFW and blogger at InspyRomance.
Excerpt from The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard
by Carol Moncado
I’d known I wanted to write a story for Lifeguard Adam since last year! His heroine was completely new to me, but when she started protesting about the little kids “just not drowning” on swim team, I knew Adam would have to show her – and the kids – that they could do it on their own. All they needed was a little practice and encouragement.
Adam stripped his shirt off and jumped into the still-frigid water, but this was part of his job now. He turned. “Okay, Izzy. Your turn. I’ll be right here with you, okay?”
Day one of swim team. Time to see if these little kids had a prayer of making it all the way across on meet day. The four-year-old jumped in, though it didn’t resemble a dive in the slightest. She half doggy-paddled, half flailed semi-frantically, but she made it almost all the way to the other end. Adam grabbed her hand as she seemed to hit a metaphorical wall and helped her to the real one. “Stay right here, okay, Izzy-girl? You did great. I’m very proud of you.”
She nodded, breathing heavily, and clung to the grate over the gutter.
Adam cut easily through the water until he neared the other end. “Audra? Your turn, kiddo.”
With wide eyes, Audra jumped holding her nose. They’d get to non-nose-holding dives when they were a bit older. Much the same as her twin, Audra made it to the other end of the pool with Isabella and Katie yelling encouragement the whole time.
Katie did even better, but she was a bit older than the twins. Alyssa surpassed them because she had the benefit of an indoor pool at home and Alivia as her nanny. Her swim resembled actual freestyle more so than any of the others. One more. Lorelai had arrived with Gwendolyn and Alyssa. What was that about?
Lorelai, though, looked more scared than the others had been.
“You ready?” he asked her.
She shook her head.
Adam half front-crawled to the wall. It was a lazy version of freestyle, but it worked. “Listen up, kiddo. Remember I was your teacher last year?”
“Did I ask you to do hard stuff?”
“Was I always right there if you needed me?”
One more nod.
“Could you do the stuff I asked you to?”
“Yeah.” Finally a voice.
“This is just like that.” He pushed off from the wall and glided back a few feet. “Ready?”
Lorelai took a deep breath and held her hands out in front of her. She attempted to dive, but failed miserably. Adam stayed closer to her than he had the other girls, his arms propelling himself backwards a couple feet in front of her. “You’ve got this, Lorelai.”
“I can’t do it,” she protested, looking over at the side. “I can’t.”
“Look right here,” Adam told her, firmly. “Look at me, not the wall. You can do this. I know you can. I wouldn’t ask you to if you couldn’t, remember?”
“Yeah.” She paddled along for a few more yards. “I can’t, Mr. Adam.”
“Keep going.” He glanced behind him. About two-thirds done. “You can do this”
Her head dipped part way under water for the first time since she “dove” in.
“Keep swimming. Just like Dory,” he encouraged.
“I can…” She dipped under again, this time getting a mouthful of water.
He reached for her and pulled her to him as she coughed a bit. “You did fantastic, kiddo.”
Her eyes were wide with fear. “I did?”
“Yep. Were you scared?”
“Did you do it anyway?”
“You said you wouldn’t let me get hurt.”
Her trust in him humbled Adam. He didn’t really deserve it. Not like her mom did. He hoped Lorelai realized that. “And…” He turned with her. “Look how close you came to making it all the way.”
He could see the realization come over her, just how close that other wall was. “I almost did?”
“Yep. You almost did.”
I love this version of Adam here. So like God. Keep our eyes on Him and not how far away the wall is and He’ll help us get there. The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard will be available June 28 in the Whispers of Love boxed set!
More about The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard:
Adam Wilkerson is a lifeguard at the Serenity Landing Aquatic Center, and looking forward to a summer of fun and freedom before settling into adult life. The sudden appearance of a young woman with secrets, but who somehow manages to stir in Adam emotions long dormant, threatens to change his summer plans.
Gwendolyn Cranston-Schmidt is looking for a fresh start, and her one hope at help – her cousin – is unavailable. Time to find a job and a place to live. For a girl who’s never worked a day in her life, the struggle is real. Plus, her secrets are going to find her out, sooner rather than later. What she didn’t plan on was a cute guy who easily finds his way past her protective barriers.
Adam and Gwendolyn find themselves spending more and more time together – and sharing their secrets. Can they find a way to get beyond both of their pasts – or will their pasts come back to haunt them before they can move forward together?
Available in the boxed set Whispers of Love.
I had the privilege of pre-reading this story and loved it. I think you will, too.