Wading Through Shallow Water
by Toni Morrow Wyatt Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Bookstore owner, Dee Dee Montgomery, was born with a gift. Not only does she possess magical powers, she is able to tell the history of an object by touching it. Fiercely independent, the last thing Dee Dee is looking for is love.
When author, Alex Winter, loses his wife to cancer shortly after the birth of their son, writing becomes his therapy. His book, Moving Past the Hurt, spurs a book signing tour, which leads him to Dee Dee's bookstore.
Just when Dee Dee's world is about to turn into a fairy tale, a tragic accident rips it all away.
Kate Waterhouse, Alex's ex-sister-in-law, pops into town as things are falling apart, bringing her handsome, arrogant brother, Blake.
Determined to claim what she believes is rightfully hers, Kate must locate her family's Book of Shadows. As Kate's evil plot unfolds, leaving lives on the line, Dee Dee must face the Waterhouse siblings or risk losing everyone she loves.
Alex Winter buttered toast while his son Billy sang him a song about bugs. A consistent morning routine saved a lot of trouble. Mary would have been proud of them, or so he liked to think. The hole she had left in their lives could never be filled, but they did the best they could. She had been gone for five years. During the first three, there were times Alex didn’t know how they would ever get past the pain. He found writing about his experiences as a widowed father helped more than therapy ever could.
Recently, he had been getting letters from the readers of his book. Some were from women looking for something he wasn’t ready to give. Others were from single parents in the same situation. The latter meant more to him than he had ever thought possible. Going on his upcoming book tour would test everything he had written. He had one local book signing on Wednesday, his first, and then he was scheduled for Houston. If all went well, he would travel the country. The decision to take Billy had been a no brainer. However, the logistics of taking him were a bit more complicated than he had envisioned.
After Mary died, he had gathered the names of nannies from his friends with children. He had spent months interviewing candidates within an inch of their lives, leaving nothing unasked. Finally, he had settled on an older woman named Ada Nelson. Mrs. Nelson was also widowed, and her children were grown. Each had moved off with their families to various parts of the country. She saw them around the holidays, but not much more. Her credentials were impeccable. She had accepted the position with only one request—Fluffy, her cat, must come along. She had moved into a spare bedroom, and soon, she and Fluffy had become happy members of the Winter family. The way she ran the household and took care of Billy was nothing less than magical in Alex’s opinion. He hadn’t dreamed he would find such a perfect match.
“Why does the toast always have black on it?” Billy asked, turning up his nose.
“Because Daddy doesn’t know how to operate a toaster.”
“That’s a good question. Would you like some cereal?”
“Yes, please. Daddy, are you going to have some cereal?”
“Not this morning. I need to finish some last minute things. Guess what we’re going to do this week?” Alex asked as he put a bowl of cereal filled with too much milk in front of his son.
“We’re going to go shopping for new clothes and new shoes for our trip.”
“Where are we going again?” Billy asked, milk ran down his chin and dripped onto his pajama shirt.
“We’re going to a big city called Houston. Do you remember me showing it to you on the map?”
Billy nodded, crunching and trying to swallow.
Both turned as Mrs. Nelson came in the back door carrying two sacks of groceries. Alex took them from her and set them on the island.
“It’s a beautiful morning out there, boys,” she said, putting her handbag on the counter. She began putting away the shopping and pulled a newspaper out of one of the bags.
“Did you remember to get some chocolate milk?” Billy asked.
“Of course, how could I forget? We put it number one on the list. Would you like me to pour you some?”
“Yes, please. Can I play with Fluffy after breakfast?”
“Not today. She’s at the beauty parlor getting her fur done for our big trip next week.”
She set the frothy milk next to Billy’s cereal bowl.
“Sure. She takes great pride in her fur. That’s why I named her Fluffy.”
“Are you finished with your cereal?” she asked.
“Finish your chocolate milk, hop on down, and go wash up. I’ll set out your clothes. Don’t forget to brush your teeth. I think today would be a good day to go to the park.”
“Yippee,” he yelled, running down the hall toward the bathroom.
She smiled at Alex. “He’s a good boy.”
“He’s great. I can’t imagine my life without him.” He took some canned goods out of a sack and put them on a high shelf.
“I thought maybe you would need some alone time so you can get things done for your book signing and our trip. After the park, I thought I’d take Billy with me to pick up Fluffy from her day at the spa.”
“I do have some loose ends to tie up before we leave. Thanks, Ada. If you need me for any reason, you can reach me on my cell phone. I need to run some errands, go to the bank, and drop some stuff off at the post office, but it shouldn’t take long. I’ll be here most of the afternoon.”
He picked up the newspaper and took his coffee into his home office.
Once he was out of sight, Mrs. Nelson pointed at a sponge next to the sink. Soaring through the air, it landed on the island. The cereal bowl and empty glass of milk rose and floated to the sink as the sponge wiped the area clean. With one swoop of her arm, the rest of the groceries found their proper homes, and the kitchen was as tidy as she had left it before leaving that morning.
Sitting at his desk, Alex flipped through the pages of the newspaper. He stopped when he came to an advertisement for his upcoming book signing. Come meet Alex Winter, author of ‘Moving Past the Hurt,’ this Wednesday at Montgomery’s Bookstore in downtown San Antonio, just one block from the Alamo.
He picked up a pen and drew a circle around the ad. On his desk calendar, he made a notation for the next day: Drive into San Antonio and check out Montgomery’s Bookstore.
Toni Morrow Wyatt grew up in a small town in Illinois. Her love of reading and writing was the greatest gift her mother gave her. In later years, she opened her own independent book business named, Kindred Books. In 2006, she folded the business and moved to the San Antonio/Boerne, Texas area, where she lived for three years. Her newest novel, Wading Through Shallow Water is set there.
Her flash fiction piece, “A Knock of Chance” was published in From the Depths literary journal in 2012. Her first novel, Return to Rocky Gap quickly followed. Her award winning short story, Spuds Dawson Has His Day was published in the Belle Reve Literary Journal. Her young adult suspense/mystery, A Killing Among Friends, was released in 2015. You can also find it in Twisted: A Thriller Collection. Last year, she released A Walk Between the Winds, which was co-authored with her mother, Margaret Chism Morrow.
When not writing, she devotes her time to her family, reading as much as she possibly can, and research. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two sons.