It’s Finally Spring! – Love in Bloom
Even after a mild winter, spring comes slowly here in the northland. Regardless of the snow (or lack thereof), we have to wait for the sun to rise high enough in the sky to bring real warmth. While one of my sisters harvests kumquats in early March in Los Angeles, I sit in my kitchen in Minnesota contemplating my barren yard. When April brings tulips and daffodils to my other sister’s garden in Kansas City, our grass is still lichen-gray, matted from the retreating snow, holding its breath for the magic of May.
The first signs of spring are the drips, slow at first then gurgling down the downspout outside my bedroom window. But I don’t mind the noise. It’s a reminder that winter is dissolving all around me. Early spring in the north is a time of recession.
Then the real thaw begins, and every day brings a little more color. People appear everywhere, some dressed incongruously in shorts. Fifty degrees never felt so good.
I’m a gardener – a northern gardener – so I take great joy in the first signs of renewed life in the garden. I’m always hesitant to remove the mulch from my roses, afraid one last fearsome freeze is just around the corner. But when I do, I always find new shoots of life sprouting from the protected heart of the plant. I don’t get flowers in May, (I can’t plant bulbs due to an ongoing battle with the bunnies) but the burgeoning flush of green is enough at first. I know the flowers won’t be far behind.
One of the lessons of living in the North is perfecting the art of delayed gratification. Every year the frustration with winter begins to burn in February; but we learn we can make it, we will make it, and spring will be all the sweeter when it finally arrives. Happy spring!
My Western historical, Harvest of Dreams, has a gorgeous cover dripping with apple blossoms to celebrate the promise of spring. The flowers represent the heroine’s hope for a new life. I invite you to stop by my website at www.alisonhenderson.com and check it out.
Harvest of Dreams Blurb
Weston, Missouri, 1865
Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child. Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun. Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law. Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost.
Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. Against his better judgment, his feelings of protectiveness toward Lisa and her baby turn to something deeper, and he is tempted by the possibility of a family of his own. Can their tender new love survive when an act of ultimate violence threatens to tear them apart?
Jared was the first to speak. “I’m not sorry.”
She remained silent.
“This doesn’t change anything,” he said.
Lisa pulled back and looked up, shaking her head. “It changes everything.”
“No, it doesn’t. The feelings were there before, and they’ll still be there whether we act on them or not.”
She didn’t try to deny it. “But we can’t, and it will be so much harder now.”
“That’s true. Now you know how much I want you, and I know you want me, too. I don’t know where this is going, but we have to find out.”
“I don’t want to find out.” But a small voice inside denied the words. Part of her had to know.
“I think you do, and I know I do. I’m not going to offer to leave, even though it might make some things easier, not unless you can convince me you really want me to go.” He cupped her face in both hands and searched her eyes. “Do you?”
Lisa knew she should say yes and remove the unbearable
temptation of his presence, but she couldn’t bring herself to speak the lie. She shook her head. “No.”
Jared’s lips moved in a tiny smile, then his serious expression returned. “I can’t tell you I’ll never kiss you again, or touch you, or that I won’t want to get even closer to you, but I promise I won’t press you for anything you don’t want to give. I’d never do anything to hurt you. You know that, don’t you?”
“Good. Now it’s time for you to get some sleep.” He led her to the bed and tucked her in, his hands lingering as he smoothed the quilt across her. Then he leaned over her, his expression rigid and deadly serious. “I want you to know leaving you tonight is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But I want more from you than one night in your bed.”