Preview: More Than Memories

I recently shared the new cover to More Than Memories but didn’t share a preview. So…here you go!

 

Chapter One:

“Maybe this is the one,” Molly whispered, hoping against the odds that people in this town would know her. She’d stopped by three towns already and asked if they remembered her living there, as her parents had told her. But no one had.

She drove her Honda Civic north on I-5 through the softly falling rain, watching for the Ridge City sign. She thought about the dangers of triggering her memory to return, but she had to do something to figure out what happened to her parents. Regaining her memory might give her those answers, plus she didn’t want to spend her life without a memory of her first twenty years.

The exit came and she veered to the right. A few miles later, the road ran along the top of a hill, giving her a view of the town below. A sign announced Entering Ridge City. The rain was just a mist now, letting the sunshine through for a minute.

The town’s houses crowded together until they reached the top of the hill, overlooking the generous farm land below. Molly had read as much as she could find on the place, which wasn’t much. The town sign said population five thousand. She saw a long main drag, a mill, the usual fast food and family restaurants, and a touristy section with billboards advertising Oregon gifts. If only she could remember this quaint little place. Had she been happy here? Would anyone recognize her?

She followed the main drag and parked in a free parking lot close to the police department, where she planned to go first. As she opened her car’s door, she felt pummeled by Oregon spring weather: fat rain drops and a cool wind. In like a lamb, out like a lion. This March, however, seemed to be starting like a lion. Molly pulled her raincoat’s hood up to protect her hair from falling flat. The weather wasn’t style-friendly at all, and her hair was curled and pulled up except for a few curls she left loose. Her black hair might draw some attention. If anyone here knew her, she didn’t think they’d miss seeing her today. Both her parents were a mix of American Indian and English, so Molly had light brownish red tone to her skin. Maybe someone here could tell her why she’d ended up in California without a memory or any family besides her parents.

The weather cleared and the wind died down to a gentle breeze that teased the curls by her temples. A few brave trees had blossomed, but the wind blew their petals all over the pavement like snow.

Seeing the police department sign, she slowed, hesitated, and then pushed herself to quickly walk inside. At the desk, an older and kind looking blonde smiled. “How can I help you?”

Molly liked her soft blue eyes and motherly appearance.

“My name is Molly Anderson,” she started with a shake in her voice. She cleared her throat and straightened herself, trying for confidence. “I might have lived here about five years ago, before I was hurt and lost my memory.”

The woman’s smile remained, but her brows pulled together and her eyes gained this intense focus. “Did you say Molly Anderson?”

Even while Molly nodded, the woman grabbed her phone. “Trent, get up here.”

Molly’s heart jumped into double time while her stomach squeezed into a ball. She crossed her fingers behind her back but also wanted to run right back outside.

A door opened to her right and a man stepped out, actually a broad shouldered cowboy about six feet tall, built like a bulldog, with deep brown eyes that lit up all shiny and bright when he spotted her. He looked genuinely happy to see her, but his size and posture startled her.

“Molly?”

She jerked, jumped out of her skin really, upon hearing the rugged voice. “Uh…”

The excitement faded. “Mol?”

Now that someone actually recognized her, she didn’t know what to say. This man didn’t speak either, but stared right back at her. He was clean-shaven and neat with dark hair and eyes, a strong face that fit this build.

He glanced at the receptionist and back at her as if he didn’t believe what he was seeing in front of him.

Flip—flop went her stomach. Those eyes … wow. Molly didn’t remember ever feeling a burning and tingling excitement like this, but she knew what it was.

His chocolate-brown eyes gazed into hers like he was looking at Elvis back from the dead. Suddenly aware that her lips were parted in surprise, she pulled them shut, trying to pull her desperate hope back inside her before he saw. She saw a million emotions swirl in his eyes as he took her in.

“Molly, why don’t you come with me so we can talk?”

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