Welcome to February!
It’s going to be a great month. For lots of reasons, I’m sure. One of those reasons, though, is that the Easter in Gilead series is launching. Woot! Woot! His Runaway Crush is book three in the series, and it’ll be out March 28th – but book one (see Valerie Comer’s post) comes out February 28th.
I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at my hero. Dawson Bauer has a lot going for him, but he’s also an example of what happens when we fail to read the fine print. Thankfully, God is at the heart of Dawson’s story. Otherwise, this whole mess could have ended up very differently…
“Absolutely not.” Dawson Bauer held onto his self-control with an iron grip. Only his metaphorical palms must have been sweaty because his hold was starting to slip.
The man across from him — whatever his name was — blinked before running a hand over his sparse white combover. “It’s in your contract.”
“You’re mistaken. I would have seen it, and I wouldn’t have accepted the position here if that was the case.”
The head of human resources at the Gilead Bible College patted the pockets of his tweed jacket before pulling out a pair of reading glasses and slipping them on. How they stayed there, balanced precariously as they were on the tip of the man’s nose, was anybody’s guess. He thumbed through the papers in the crisp manilla folder he’d been wielding when he’d walked into Dawson’s office.
With a grunt, the older man set a copy of Dawson’s employment contract on the desk and jabbed his finger at the section labeled Special Events. “It’s right there.”
Dawson was familiar with the section. It was his employment contract, after all. He’d read it before signing. Still, he could at least humor the HR guy. He scanned the section before looking up again. “See, it’s exactly as I remember. There’s nothing about…”
Wait a second. Dawson dropped his gaze back to the page. What was that…?
The Head of the College’s Audio/Visual Department will oversee lighting and sound for the school’s annual Passion play. This includes but is not limited to all auditions, full dress rehearsals, and performances, and 80% of other (not full dress) rehearsals.
The force of the words pushed Dawson back in his chair. He looked up, stricken, his eyes searching out the watery grey ones peering at him over the top of those barely-holding-on reading glasses. “I don’t remember seeing this.”
“I never would have taken the job.”
“Well, it’s too late for that. You’ve signed a contract, and auditions start this afternoon, so you need to be there.”
Dawson bit back the words he wanted to say. Though his grip was more aluminum than iron at the moment, he maintained enough self-control not to shout about just how much he hated Easter. Barely. Hating Easter wasn’t the sort of thing that one ought to yell, especially when sitting in an office in the heart of Gilead Bible College.
The school produced a passion play each year. Auditions started in a few hours, and he had to be there.
Best first day on the job ever. Not.
“You don’t want to be in breach of your contract.” The older man’s words weren’t harsh, but his stare was one that probably had most grown men shaking in their boots.
Dawson wasn’t most men, though, and his antipathy for Easter outweighed his sense of self-preservation. “What happens if I refuse?”
“You might never get a job at a Christian college or university again.”
The air whistled in its rush to leave his lungs. “You can’t do that.”
The man tidied the copy of Dawson’s contract and slipped it back into his manilla folder. “I can. I’m not sure if I would, but I absolutely can. Do not mistake my advanced years for weakness.”
Helplessness morphed into a ball of smoldering rage in Damien’s gut. “Why not just cut me loose?”
An age-spotted hand patted down the combover again. “You’re a man of your word, Dawson Bauer, and you gave us your word. Besides…” He rapped his knuckles against Dawson’s gargantuan wooden desk. “God has plans for you here. Letting you off the hook would be going against Him, and I try not to do that.”
On that cryptic note, the man slipped out the door, and Dawson was left staring at nothing as he contemplated the colossal mess into which he’d landed himself.
He hated Easter. Hated it. With the fire of a thousand burning suns.
Or, at least, he’d hated it for the first few years after…
Maybe he didn’t hate it so much anymore. It was more like indifference with a side of loathing. Enough loathing to make him avoid all things Easter.
He was a believer, and he was faithful, but…
Easter had too many ugly memories tangled up with it. He’d never been able to separate the darkness of those memories from the joy he was supposed to feel each year as all of Christendom celebrated the resurrection.
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! You can preorder His Runaway Crush here.
Get it now before the price goes up. 😊
And let me know in the comments if there are any particular holidays that you don’t like – or that you particularly love. If you don’t mind, tell me why, too. One commenter will be randomly selected to receive a $5 Amazon gift card.
May the rest of your February be filled with fun reading and fabulous books!