Friday Feature: A Promise to Keep

Today’s featured book:

A number of years ago, my husband and I took our two children at the time and went to Niagara Falls. I’d seen pictures of them, but it was my first visit. The majesty of the falls, the spray of the water as we rode the boat, and the sound of rushing water all made it a memorable experience.

Right now in Michigan, we are stuck in the middle of winter. There hasn’t been much snow where I live, but with the pandemic and cold temperatures, we’re spending most of our time indoors. For me, that means a lot more reading.

I like to travel to adventurous locations between the pages of a book. That’s why I enjoyed Melony Teague’s, A Promise to Keep, so much. The characters are high school friends who meet up again at their class reunion. They embark on an adventure together and visit Niagara Falls in Canada.

Take time to pick up the book today, or download it onto Kindle. Go on an imaginary vacation with Michael and Savannah, and enjoy a heartwarming story.

About the Book:

A Promise. A High School Reunion. And a pact that proves harder to keep.

Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.

Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.

Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?

Excerpt:

Second half of Chapter 10 of A Promise to Keep. This takes place in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side:

Savannah had never seen anything so amazing or felt such a surge of power. Her squeal earned her some pointed looks from the sea of red-poncho-wearing passengers on the lower deck of their vessel, as if they could hear her over the squawking seagulls flying above them. Spray from the cascading water hung in the air. The misty colors reminded her of God’s promise after the Flood.

She turned to Michael, cupping her hand around her mouth. “Look at the rainbow!” The shuddering roar of the engine working against the surge of emerald water almost drowned out her voice.

Michael nodded. He pulled his poncho hood back over his head, then tucked the wild strands of his hair into it. She was beginning to like the longer hair on him—as long as he didn’t put it into a man bun. Drops of water slid down the few uncovered strands and dripped onto her face. She blinked; then Michael swiped the drops away with his fingertips, smoothed back a lock of hair that had stuck to her face, and tucked it into her hood. His body heat warmed her, and his presence steadied her in a way she couldn’t explain. That she didn’t want to explain.

“How much closer do we get?”

His face was inches from her ear. “As close as you like.” The look on his face earned him a swat. Was he flirting?

“I meant, how close do we get to the falls?” All this yelling made her throat hoarse. “I don’t know. I’ve never been on this boat before.”

“What?”

“I said, I’ve never been on this—”

Savannah held up her hand. “I heard you, but I’m surprised.”

Michael leaned in. Their slick ponchos stuck together. “I thought you’d like it, so…here we are.”

She grinned up at him like a kid with a chocolate-dipped ice-cream cone—with sprinkles. He was entirely too good to her. She really was going to have to think of a way to repay his kindness.

“Do you think we can get to the railing?” Any more yelling, and she was going to lose her voice for sure. She craned her neck to see around the stocky man holding a toddler in front of her.

“Give me your hand.” She put her hand in his and relished the feel of his warmth and strength.

Michael slid past and pulled her behind him. His bulk cleared the way like a snowplow in January. He politely weaseled their way to the perfect spot on the pointed bow of the boat because she’d asked him to. He knew just how to make her feel treasured. The air currents whipped at their faces as the boat strained to get closer to the raging cascade. Her cold fingers curled around the slippery railing, and she held on. Frigid waves of spray lashed the river ferry and took her breath away. The rolling waters beneath them pushed the boat around like a cork bobbing under the stream of a faucet in a bathtub. Except the steadying presence of Michael beside her allowed her to enjoy the moment and not be automatically on high alert. Maybe if she trusted God in the same way, she’d begin to live unafraid once again.

An average tourist on the deck above them may consider this merely a thrilling ride, but to her, it was a victory. She’d done something brave. She’d put aside her fear of the boat sinking—except for that little thought concerning how many people could get to the life jackets in time if this thing sank. She’d left her overanalyzing neurotic thoughts on the bank with the onlookers. And she’d taken a risk and made a memory. One small step for her, one giant step for her self-confidence.

Michael’s reassuring hand in hers didn’t hurt things, either, nor the way he’d tucked her dripping hair behind her ear with such tenderness earlier. The vibrations from the mechanical bowels of the boat sent tremors of excitement and anxiety through her. She was coming to life again.

The sound of the boat’s engine changed as they drifted away from the falls and back toward the dock. Something had shifted deep inside her. An odd feeling of coming home when she was miles from her home—and from Point, her high school hometown. The whole way back to the riverbank, Michael’s hand in hers warmed her right to the core. She lifted a silent prayer of thanks for this man who’d donned a red plastic poncho just to bring her a few moments of happiness. Was her heavenly Father using Michael to win her back?

They followed the stream of people off the boat, removed their ponchos, and deposited them in the bin. Savannah wiped her hands on her jeans. “We should have taken a photo on deck.”

“What? And keep evidence of our drowned-rat look?”

“Are you saying I look like a drowned rodent?”

“Not at all. I was speaking for myself.” A pair of dimples appeared along with his innocent smile. “Everyone else looked like drowned rats.” His grin supported his argument. “You looked like a…a…”

“Come on. Think fast, McCann.”

“A sea nymph.

“Impressive. That’s some fast thinking. And where have you seen a sea nymph?”

“In movies.” She almost cracked up at the smug look on his face.

“Not a book person?”

“Yeah, if they have pictures.”

“As a librarian, I insist you read a proper book.” She poked him. Keeping her serious face on was getting harder.

As an adventurer, I insist that you live some of those experiences in your books.” His voice held a measure of teasing, but his face, inches away, had lost its smile and gained a raised eyebrow.

“You don’t get wet reading about sea nymphs.” She held his gaze. She would not back down. The adventures she’d embarked on via the pages of hundreds of books took her to places she wouldn’t have dared go in real life.

“You also don’t feel as alive as you did just now.”

“True.” Their gazes held, an unspoken understanding passing between them. What adventures lay in store for them for the rest of the week? This boat trip cost her a measure of courage—all the bravery she was likely to muster—but Michael could have other ideas. Maybe he’d be happy with the wax museum and a wine tour? As long as it posed no risk to her person, she was game. Maybe by the end of the week, she’d have him reading. What sort of book would he—

“What are you cooking up in that smart brain of yours?”

“Why, nothing at all, McCann. Nothing at all.” Nose in the air, she stalked past him, squeezing the water from her damp ponytail. After humming all the way along the walkway back to the elevator, she broke into a tone-deaf version of a song from a musical about washing men out of one’s hair when Michael caught up with her.

After the second time around, she laughed at his dejected look. “I’m kidding!”

“Don’t scare me like that, little sea nymph. Now, let’s get some dinner.”

She shook her head. “Do you ever think about anything else?”

“I’m not answering that. And since I’m buying, let’s go fancy.”

Changing the subject, was he? “How fancy?”

“Did you pack a dress?”

A million butterflies had invaded her stomach. “A girl always packs a dress.” Aside from the reunion, she hadn’t dressed up in a long time. “Maybe I’ll even add lipstick to the mix.”

Michael’s eyebrows danced. His eyes sparkled with mischief, the laugh lines around his eyes more pronounced. “You’re really living it up, huh?”

“Wait and see. Now, come on. It’s a long walk to the car.” A girl had to keep some surprises up her sleeve.

She hoped that wherever Michael had chosen for them to stay had a large tub in which she could soak before dinner. They were only halfway back to the car by the time they went by the copper-roofed buildings they’d passed earlier and her feet hurt. The roofs were once shiny copper, now tarnished to a greenish gray—they reminded her of her life. Once happy, now tarnished with sadness. Yet Michael walked by her side, at the ready to help her buff it up once again.

Gratitude filled her wounded heart. The first day of their escapade to Canada had already exceeded her expectations, but maybe the best was yet to come?

About the Author:

Melony Teague writes contemporary romance with a dash of humor, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words, and she believes everyone has a story to tell. Melony is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and The Word Guild. She is the co-author of As the Ink Flows, a devotional for authors. Her fiction debut, A Promise to Keep released, Jan 21, 2020. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her handsome husband, their two teenagers, and does the bidding of her two adorable cats.

Author media links:

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/nyNaD

A Promise to Keep Purchase links: https://www.melonyteague.com/home-2/books/fiction/

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | BookBub | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon| Goodreads  

https://www.melonyteague.com/book-birthday-bash-and-giveaway/

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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