Authors: Diane Darcy
Tags: #Romance, #Historical, #Western, #Family, #Contemporary Romance, #Paranormal, #Time Travel, #Humor, #wild west, #back in time
a Blue Moon © 2011 Diane Darcy
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This book is a work of
fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products
of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are
not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or
dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely
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art and design by Kaylee Young
Kristin Holt who loves westerns, sewing, and romance. This one’s
also for Brent, even though he says time travel is impossible.
Description: Once in a Blue Moon
Nostalgia isn’t what
it used to be...
businesswoman, Melissa Kendal, has it all. Two kids, a gorgeous,
albeit difficult-to-manage husband, her dream house, and a
thriving, exciting career as an L.A. fashion designer. So what if
her home life is falling apart. It’s her career that’s important
and makes her feel alive.
But when a science
fair project goes awry, and a Blue Moon transports their family
back in time to the Wild West, Melissa suddenly has to live a much
simpler life. She doesn’t have a job, the kids can’t play Xbox, and
the locals find her hilarious.
Meanwhile, her husband
Richard is determined to keep their family together, no matter what
the century. Can they find a lost treasure, solve a Civil War
mystery, and save their family before the next blue moon? They have
three months to find out.
dress was good.
Anger burned in Melissa
Kendal’s chest as she forced her fingers to unclench the silken
material; forced herself to relax.
held up the evening gown again, easily able to discern at a glance
it was a size four, tall.
size. As the high-quality black silk slid through
her fingers she cynically wondered if Kari had sized it that way on
purpose. At the same time, she reluctantly acknowledged the silk
charmeuse was an excellent choice of material for the cut of the
had Kari gotten so good
Melissa could feel the
young girl waiting anxiously, fidgeting, the delay obviously
driving her mad--as it was meant to do. Melissa let her wait a
while longer, then sighed and tossed the dress on the oversized
Kari stepped forward,
her hands clutched together. “So, what do you think?”
Melissa breathed in
slowly and forced herself to calm, to look normal, relaxed. She
didn’t answer right away; didn’t trust her voice.
“Hold on.” Adopting a
pensive expression, she turned her attention to the television in
the corner of the office and pretended to listen to the news for a
moment. The television was always on and that particular habit had
paid off more than once. It gave her a chance to think. Besides, it
was always a good idea to stay tuned to world events and to know
what was going on in case it affected the fashion industry.
She needed to be in
control; on top; the best.
Melissa glanced at the dress again. She
the best. She’d worked hard to
be and at thirty-five she was young, had a great figure, and a
career that was skyrocketing. No barely-out-of-college assistant
was going to intimidate her with good work.
Picking up the dress,
she flipped it over the back of a nearby chair. “No, it won’t do.”
Her voice came out cool, controlled, with no hint of emotion;
precisely the way she liked it.
Kari remained silent a
moment, then stepped forward. “But, why?” Her voice cracked on the
Melissa met her gaze
and stared her down. Because the creation was a little too good and
she didn’t need competition from her own staff. “We’re moving away
from slinky. The trend in formal wear is cotton and linen, so I
can’t use this. You really need to keep up with the industry, Kari.
Now, why isn’t my office cleaned? What if an important client
stopped by? Let’s get back to work.”
Tears in her eyes, Kari
picked up the dress, her long blonde hair falling forward to hide
her expression as she stumbled toward the door on imitation
Melissa pushed back a
twinge of sympathy and sighed in exasperation. When was Kari going
to learn to play the game better? Did she really think Melissa
would ever give her a break? What Kari was getting was an education
in the fine art of staying on top. A hard lesson Melissa had
learned; one everyone in the business needed to learn if they were
to succeed. Melissa was doing Kari a favor by teaching her how to
be a player. If Kari had brains, someday she’d appreciate it.
Melissa plucked a thumb
drive from her desk. “Take this to Xavier. It contains a new design
for the winter line; and try and pull yourself together before you
Kari stopped; came back
for the thumb drive. When her trembling fingers closed over it,
Melissa didn’t let go and Kari was forced to meet her gaze.
“Kari, make sure
nothing happens to this.”
understanding filled Kari’s eyes. “I wouldn’t do that to you,” she
Meaning, of course, that while Kari wouldn’t stab Melissa in the
back, the reverse wasn’t true. “See that you don’t. Leave the
dress. If it’s that important to you I’ll think about it some
Melissa saw the
distrust in Kari’s expression before she lowered her gaze, set the
dress down, and slipped from the room.
The dress would, of
Melissa gazed around
her office feeling intense satisfaction. She was at the top,
literally. Penthouse office, exclusive furnishings and an enviable
view. A fashionable desk and chairs, computer, assorted plants and
worktable graced one corner. Several dress mannequins stood in a
half-circle around a walnut cabinet holding an assortment of
scissors, bolts of material, and sewing paraphernalia. And, of
course, her treasured sewing machines. It might be a working
environment, but it was all very elegant, client friendly and
expensive; just like her.
Melissa was one of the
few designers not in the general work area. She’d served her time
not only in this design house, but in three others; two of them in
She walked over to the
huge glass windows. Twenty floors up, she had a wonderful view that
overlooked some of L.A.’s best real estate. Yes, she was at the top
of her game and she planned to stay.
She picked up the
phone. “Stacy? Please hold my calls. You know the ones I mean.”
“Of course; I’ll tell
your family you’re still busy when they call again.”
Melissa heard the
disapproval in the secretary’s voice and, refusing to feel guilty,
simply placed the phone back in the cradle.
She inserted a new
thumb drive into the computer. She had hours of work ahead of her
and needed to come up with several ideas for an important client.
She wouldn’t go home until it was finished. Having a strong work
ethic got you ahead in this game. She wasn’t going to be displaced
by anyone. Especially not by Kari.
Moments later there was
a knock on the door. Annoyed, Melissa considered not answering,
then sighed. “Come in.”
Bernie Sparks poked his
head around the corner, bright orange hair sticking out in all
directions. “Is it safe? Or are you going to make me cry too?”
genuinely glad to see Bernie. ‘I think you’re safe; nothing could
make you cry.”
As he stepped into the
room, he placed a cowboy hat on his head and she got a good look at
what he was wearing: a tasteless western outfit and his traditional
huge grin. He walked across the room and twirled his lean frame
around on one boot heel. “So, what do you think?”
Melissa groaned in
genuine distress. “No, stop.” She raised a hand into the air as if
to ward him off. “Don’t go there.”
Laughing, Bernie turned
again, this time walking slowly in a circle so she could get the
full effect. He wore a tailored cashmere shirt with banded collar
and pearl buttons, a broche silk vest, and a string tie with an
alamar knot. The black hat sat jauntily on his head, a belt with a
huge silver buckle circled his waist, and faux snake-skin boots
made her shudder. From head to toe he was hideous.
“You know you love it;
check out the boots.” He lifted one foot so she could see the
pattern of the snake skin.
She sighed. “I hate
western but if you tell anyone I said so, I’ll deny it.” In the
apparel design business there wasn’t a choice; yes, they set
fashion, but they also followed the newest trends or found
themselves out in the cold.
herself had recently come up with a few western designs but only
because a couple of clients had specifically requested it. “What I
don’t understand is
it’s making a comeback.”
Amused, Bernie lifted
both hands in the air. “Don’t sound so self-righteous. You made an
outfit for,” he snapped his fingers, “that country music star.
What’s his name?”
She didn’t name him.
Sharing her client list with Bernie would be extremely stupid.
“Against my will and against my better judgement I assure you.”
“Your husband likes
Richard would be happy when he realized the direction
one very small segment of
, was headed. Finally, he would fit
in again with his denim jeans and snap button shirts. He was so
stubborn in his choice of apparel. “I’m working on him.”
“You’ve had him for
what? Fourteen years now? It ain’t gonna happen, honey. If anything
he’s working on you; he’s got you living out in the sticks, doesn’t
the reminder Melissa’s fists clenched. She
living in the sticks, and Bernie
was right; Richard
always go his own way where fashion was
Bernie perched on her
desk and she quickly closed the program she’d just opened. They
both smiled. Bernie was an equal and a competitor; and while she
might count him as one of her few friends, they still didn’t trust
“I need to get back to
Bernie swung a leg back
and forth. “Heard the latest?”