Skip to main content

Excerpt - SECOND CHANCE FAMILY by Margaret Daley

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.06.2009

Second Chance Family
by
Margaret Daley


Dedicated teacher Whitney Maxwell gave up her dream of a family years ago. But she's about to get a lesson in faith and family from an unexpected source—a brave little boy named Jason. Jason and his dad are dealing with his autism the best they can, but Dr. Shane McCoy can't put his tragic past behind him. As Whitney and Shane work together to help his son, could these two lost souls open their hearts to love again and become a lasting family?




Excerpt of chapter one:

"This is not negotiable. My son will attend your school, starting this Thursday." After dealing with a suicidal teenage girl most of the night, Dr. Shane McCoy didn't need this.

"We aren't equipped to deal with him. Jason should go to Eisenhower Elementary where there's a class for children like him," the principal said in a tight, highly controlled voice.

The woman's last sentence shredded what composure he had. Pacing his bedroom, Shane plowed his fingers through his hair and tried to remain calm. He gripped the phone. "You've known he would attend for months."

The rumble of thunder in the distance drew him toward an upstairs window at the front of his house. Jason didn't do well in thunderstorms. Please, Lord, don't let it rain— not today. He drew back the drapes and searched the sky. Dark clouds raced toward the east, away from his house.

"We've tried to find the right staff to handle your son, but…" The woman paused, taking a deep breath.

Jason appeared on the sidewalk leading from his house.

What was he doing out front? Going to get the newspaper for Aunt Louise?

"But there aren't—" the woman continued on the other line.

When his son ignored the paper lying in the grass, concern shot through Shane. He hurried toward his door. "I'll be there for the meeting this afternoon. I've got to go," he said, and clicked off the cell phone.

Am I making a mistake?

As the question intruded into Whitney Maxwell's mind, her long hair whipped across her face, momentarily obstructing her view of the street she drove down.

"Jason! Stop!"

To the right of her someone's frantic tone pierced the early morning air. Whitney fought the wayward strand, finally managing to hook it behind her ear at the same time her gaze riveted to a sudden movement. A child disappeared between two parked vehicles ahead of her, a second later reappearing in the path of her car as he raced across the road.

Clenching the steering wheel of her convertible Volkswagen vehicle, she jerked to full attention and slammed on the brakes. Not soon enough.

Without thought Whitney swerved her VW to the right. Into a big SUV. The sound of crunching metal drowned out the thundering of her heartbeat in her ears. When she was thrown forward, her seat belt halted her progress. The strap cut into her chest, disrupting her shallow breaths.

Almost to the other side of the street near a yellow trash can, the little boy stopped, pivoted and came straight toward her. When he reached the crash, he slid his hand over the smashed hood of her car, his gaze glued to it.

"Jason! Jason!" the woman screamed, her view blocked by the big SUV.

The little boy looked up, cocked his head, then whirled around and ran back the way he came—straight into the arms of the older woman who rushed between the parked vehicles. Whitney stared into the lady's pale face as she quaked and hugged the child to her.

Everything happened so fast—only seconds—that Whitney's head spun. Her hands shaking, she fumbled for the handle. She shoved the door open, swung her legs to the pavement and stood.

The thought of the near miss shuddered through her. Her legs weak, she started to sink and clutched the car to steady herself. She needed to check on the little boy and the older woman, but her whole body quaked. Drawing in several stabilizing breaths, she made her way to the pair now on the grass between the sidewalk and the street.

The older woman, tears in her eyes, held the child away from her. "Jason, you cannot run out into the street."

"Like yellow."

Yellow? What's the child talking about?

"Wanted to touch. So pretty."

Whitney glanced toward the trash can then at her yellow Volkswagen car. Her steps faltered at the implication of what could have happened. Thankfully she'd only been going twenty-five miles per hour because the child had been oblivious to the danger involved, and yet he appeared to be at least six or seven years old.

The sounds of a slamming door and pounding footsteps nearby drew Whitney's focus toward the house in front of her. A large man, over six feet tall, jogged across the lawn toward them. His intense gaze first took in the child and woman, then slipped to Whitney hovering a few feet from the pair. It skimmed down her length before moving away. When his appraisal connected with her Volkswagen bug, a frown carved hard lines into his face.

"Aunt Louise, what happened?"

"Jason—" the older woman whimpered the name, tears streaking down her face as she clung to the child. "He— he…"

After patting the woman and whispering, "It's okay. I'll deal with this," the man fixed his gaze on Whitney and strode toward her. "What happened?"

His question frosted the air between them. She straightened, her hands clenched at her sides. "The little boy ran out into the street from between these two parked cars." She gestured toward the vehicles. "I had to swerve to avoid hitting him."

His color drained from his face. He glanced over his shoulder at the boy and the older woman. The child tried to pull from her embrace, his arm outstretched toward Whitney's VW "Aunt Louise, can you take Jason inside? I'll be there in a minute." When the pair was on the porch, the man turned back to Whitney. "I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" His cultured voice held a smooth, calmer tone, meant to put a person at ease. Concern—directed totally toward her— darkened his green eyes.

"Better than my car." She flipped her quivering hand toward her convertible. "I ran into someone's SUV. I—"

"Don't worry about that. It's mine. Cars can be fixed much easier than people." He walked toward the back of his vehicle and examined the damage. When he looked at hers, he whistled. "Yours will be more involved."

"Yeah. It's sorta like a beetle slamming into a wall." Where was she going to get the money to pay for this?

Even if the man could take care of his SUV, her car repairs would cost a lot and with a five-hundred-dollar deductible—money she didn't have—she had no answer. She would not accept any more help from her older brother. She'd always managed to make her way in the world by herself. She wasn't going to let this change that. She would figure out something.

After rounding the back of her vehicle and inspecting the crash from all angles, the man came back to her side. "I see what you mean. I'll take care of your car."

"No, I crashed into your SUV."

"But if you hadn't reacted quickly, my son would have been hit. I owe you. I'll take care of it." He stuck his hand out for her to shake. "Shane McCoy."

"I'm Whitney Maxwell." His warm, firm clasp conveyed a man who took charge of situations and solved problems. Her defenses quickly went up.

"Noah's sister?"

"Yes, you know my brother?"

"I've been working with Stone's Refuge ever since it began. And since he's on its board, we've gotten to know each other these past few years."

Now that she was thinking somewhat rationally, she remembered Noah talking about a Dr. McCoy seeing some of the kids who lived at Stone's Refuge, a place for foster children who needed help. "You're the child psychologist." Then she recalled her brother mentioning how much Dr. McCoy had helped his adopted son. "The one who worked with Rusty."

"Your brother was the best thing that happened to Rusty."

"I think my nephew would agree. Noah's taken to being a dad." Although she had discovered she loved children since returning to Cimarron City, she never saw herself as a mother. She never wanted to disappoint a child like she had been.

"Come in and I'll call a wrecker to take your car to a shop I know that does excellent work for a fair price."

Shane McCoy had everything figured out. She fortified her defenses. "I'll drive my car to school and come up with something."

He shook his head. "That car isn't going anywhere without a wrecker."

Whitney did her own examination of her VW and noticed the front hood was crumpled into her right tire. He was correct. Although the school was about two miles away, maybe she could walk and still make it on time. She glanced down at her watch and winced. That wasn't an option if she wanted to be on time or at least only a few minutes late.

"You mentioned driving to school—the university?"

"No, Will Rogers Elementary School."

"You're a teacher there?"

"A teacher's assistant." If all her plans worked out, she would be a teacher in three years.

"My son starts kindergarten there on Thursday. We've been marking off the days until school starts. So since I was going there this morning anyway to show Jason around before the meeting there this afternoon, I can take you. That's the least I can do."

She looked down at the damaged hood. "Fine, but I need to call a wrecker then the school to let them know I'll be a few minutes late." She hated being late her first day on the job, but there was just so much help she would accept from Shane McCoy.

"Are you sure I can't arrange for a wrecker to take your car to Carl's Body Shop?"

"I'm sure." If she had been paying better attention instead of looking for Zoey Crandell's house, maybe she would have seen the child racing across the lawn toward the street. But ever since she'd made the decision to move out of her brother's guesthouse, her attention had been focused on finding an apartment, and Zoey's sounded perfect for her.

"You can call inside while I prepare Jason to leave now."

"Prepare?" slipped out before Whitney could stop it. Jason didn't act like a normal kindergartner. What was wrong with him?

"It won't take long. I just have to prepare my son for something a little different. He already knew he was going to the school today." Shane started for the large Victorian house, stopped and said, "My aunt makes a great cup of coffee. Would you like some?"

"That sounds good." Whitney reached into her VW and grabbed her purse and the classified section of the newspaper she'd brought with her. Peering at a circled ad, she noted the address she'd been searching for and the reason she was on this particular street. "Do you know Zoey Crandell?" she called out to Shane.

He paused a few steps away from her and swung back around. "Yes, she lives at the end of this block." He pointed toward another Victorian house five away from his on the other side of the street.

Whitney noticed he wore a wedding ring and wondered where his wife was since it wasn't much after seven. "I wanted to get a peek at the garage apartment she had advertised for rent," she said when she saw the question in his eyes.

"That's right. She does rent that out. I didn't realize her tenant left."

"Have you ever seen it?"

"No, but she's a good neighbor. She goes to my church." Shane started again for his front door.

As Whitney ambled toward the house, she thought about the little boy she'd almost hit. Her earlier question crept again into her mind. Was she making a mistake? Maybe her wanting to be a teacher wasn't what she should do with her life. Before coming back to Cimarron City nine months ago, she would never have dreamed of becoming a teacher and not all children were like her niece and nephews. Ones like Jason would be a challenge. Could she deal with that?

She couldn't get the image out of her mind of the child coming out between the parked vehicles so suddenly, then after she had crashed, walking over to her car and touching it. In her education classes she took at night at the university, she hadn't had the Exceptional Child course yet, but it was obvious something wasn't right with Shane McCoy's son.

But wasn't that why she had decided to be a teacher's assistant? To see if she could handle the job?

Inside his house Shane immediately headed toward the kitchen, which flowed into a den. Whitney followed. His son sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the television, watching Animal Planet and rocking back and forth, while he clutched a yellow cloth.

"Aunt Louise, this is Whitney Maxwell, Noah's sister. I'm going to drive her to Will Rogers Elementary School where she works."

His aunt smiled at Whitney then turned to Shane and said, "Are you taking Jason?"

"Yeah, since later this afternoon I have that meeting at the school and I don't know how long it will last." He handed Whitney a cordless phone and the telephone book.

While she placed a call to a wrecker service and the school, he poured coffee into a mug sitting on the counter then took a new one down from a cabinet and filled it for Whitney. He handed it to her as she wrapped up her second call.

After taking a large sip of the brew, Shane strode toward the den area and knelt next to his son. He placed his hand on the boy's arm before he said his name. Pressing a yellow cloth to his chest, Jason slowly looked up at his dad. Shane's lowered voice didn't carry to Whitney.

"He has the patience of Job."

Surprised by the comment, Whitney turned on her heel and faced the older woman, slim, medium height, her gray hair pulled back in a bun at the base of her head. "Shane?" She picked up her mug and drew in a deep breath of the coffee-laced air.

"Yes. It's been hard since his wife died."

"Oh, she died recently?" Whitney asked, remembering the ring on his hand.

"Five years ago so he's been mostly the one responsible for raising Jason. He does a wonderful job with his son. If anyone can prepare Jason for a change, it's my nephew."

What happens if you don't prepare Jason? Whitney wanted to ask the question, but it was a private affair, and if anyone understood the need for privacy, it was she. That thought prompted a decision to call Zoey Crandell and set up an appointment this week to see the apartment because at Noah's estate—as large as it was—she never had much alone time.

Louise released a deep sigh. When she brushed back a stray strand of hair, her hand shook. "I'm not nearly as good as Shane, hence the runaway this morning. Jason didn't like the breakfast I fixed him. We'd run out of his favorite cereal so I made him pancakes, his second favorite. I don't move as fast as I once did. He was out the front door before I could stop him. I'm so sorry for what happened. Are you all right?"


Buy from Christianbook.com
Buy from Amazon.com

Popular Posts

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduce

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

A new tier in my Patreon

I started my Patreon for my fans and for people who didn’t want to buy my books on Kindle. My patrons get each new ebook 2-3 weeks early for only $3 (which is usually the newsletter-only price), and they only get charged when I release a book, not every month. At the moment, I’m releasing my Christian historical romantic suspense series, Lady Wynwood’s Spies. But after I finish that series, I’ll be releasing my Christian contemporary romantic suspense series, the Warubozu Spa Chronicles, and those in my Patreon will be able to get those books early, too. I just added a new $1.00 tier for fans who would prefer to read my books in Kindle Unlimited or buy the Kindle ebook, but just want to support me. Click here to read more about my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading my books!

Follow Camy on BookBub

Follow my author profile on BookBub! You’ll get an email from BookBub whenever I have a new ebook release and when my books are ever featured there. Click here to go to my Camille Elliot page on BookBub.

ひとり寿司第28章パート2

「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** キッチンテーブルの上にごちゃごちゃと置かれている食べ物を見つけた。フルーツが入ったお皿は、すでに子供たちがめちゃくちゃにしていたが、新鮮なマグロの刺身は、巻き寿司の隣にきれいに並んでいた。天ぷら鍋から取り出したばかりのもち粉チキンは、まだ湯気が立っていて、祖母の自家製たくあんが、その隣の小皿に置かれている。 「わあ、叔母さんか誰かが、エビの天ぷら作ったんだわ」トリッシュはエビの天ぷらを紙皿に取った。 レックスはお皿をつかんだ。ここに来た唯一の理由。祖母ですら、美味しい日本食を食べていると

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

A List of my Free Blog Reads

Curious about what my writing is like? Here’s a list of all my free books and the free short stories, novellas, and novels that you can read here on my blog. I’ll update this post as I add more free reads. Christian Humorous Romantic Suspense: Year of the Dog (Warubozu Spa Chronicles series, Prequel novel) (Currently being posted monthly on my blog as a serial novel) Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, finally has a chance to buy a facility for her business, but her world is upended when she must move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate. When she stumbles upon a three-year-old missing persons case, security expert Ashwin Keitou, whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier, is tasked with protecting her. However, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows? Christian Romantic Suspense: Necessary Proof (Sonoma series #4.1, n

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 9

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Lady Wynwood's Spies 4 vignette - Lady Stoude

This is a really random scene I wrote that occurs in Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer right after chapter 23, after Keriah returns home and before Phoebe comes to pick her up later that night. The team has finished making all preparations for the trade for Michael at Vauxhall Gardens. *** “Oh! I have no wish to go to the ball tonight!” Lady Stoude stood in the open doorway to the drawing room of her husband’s townhouse, hands on hips, with a disgruntled expression that looked faintly like a drowned cat. Her husband, Jeremy, Lord Stoude, glanced up at her from where he was leaning against the mantle of the fireplace, drinking something amber-colored and peaty-smelling. He merely gave her a mild, inquiring look. “Why not, my dear?” “I have just heard from my maid, who heard from Mrs. Butterworth’s maid, who heard from Miss Farrimond’s maid, that Miss Farrimond will not attend the ball tonight, because an unfortunate accident with hair dye caused her to now sport a gia

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th