Rescuing Ladybugs: A Christian Romance

Rescuing Ladybugs: A Christian Romance

by Diane Lil Adams

ISBN: 9781481990226

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Romance/Clean & Wholesome, Religion & Spirituality/Fiction, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Romance, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Maura hasn't spoken to her dad for 17 years. When she inherits her grandparents' cabin in the mountains, she persuades Paige, her mother, that they should see it before they list it for sale. Jason is a carpenter by trade, but he comes to exterminate Maura’s house as a favor to a friend. Paige can’t discourage the budding romance, so she flies home and leaves Maura behind. When Maura's father shows up, and the story he tells doesn't match the one Maura’s been hearing all her life, she decides neither of her parents deserve her forgiveness. According to Jason, that's why it's called grace ...

Sample Chapter

"Look at that!" Maura Blaine dropped her suitcase to the porch floor as she stared into the distance. Through a gap in the trees, she had an incredible view of the Smoky Mountains. "It's breathtaking! I'll bet you can see a hundred miles!"

"A hundred miles?" her mother repeated scornfully, tugging on the handle of the ancient wooden screen door. "I doubt if it's even ten."

"Even so," Maura said, hugging herself as she studied her surroundings. "A good view adds to the real estate value."

"We'll soon find out," Paige promised, battering the door with her shoulder, "if we can figure out how to get inside this stupid house."

Maura wasn't quite so anxious to get rid of the cabin, now that they had arrived. She knew she couldn't afford to keep it, but she thought she'd like to enjoy it for awhile, before it went on the market.

The door suddenly gave way and Paige stumbled into the kitchen, catching her balance on the edge of the sink.

"I remember this kitchen!" Maura chortled, dancing into the room behind her. "Grand Maria used to let me sit on the counter and peel potatoes and snap beans and clean corn."

"I'd be more than happy to let you do those things at home. Get the suitcases , before they're full of bugs." She frowned as her daughter wandered further into the house instead. "Look at all these dead bugs!" The floor was littered with dead lady bugs that crunched, every time she took a step. "Maura, I cannot stay here."

Maura pressed her nose against the picture window in the living room. She could see all the way down the mountain to the town itself. Smoky Valley was aptly named, she decided, noting the blanket of fog that looked like grey clouds. It had the look of a storybook village where anything might happen - adventure, romance ... "You promised we could stay four nights. I want to check out the town and sit on the porch and admire the view."

"What will you sit on? A garbage bag filled with trash?"

Maura had learned, over the years, that silence won more arguments than angry words - at least when it came to her mother.

"Alright," Paige gave in with exhaustion. "Four nights, but not a moment longer."

Maura woke up, sat up, and listened. Something was rustling the leaves outside her bedroom window. A chipmunk? Birds were chirping, an insect was buzzing ... she loved the sounds of nature. She got up and put on a yellow Polo, her faded overalls and a mismatched pair of Converse tennis shoes and ventured out of her room. Her mother had obviously gone out without her, and she wondered where.

Some sort of vehicle, in need of a muffler, strained its way up the steep incline to the cabin. A look out the picture window revealed a white mini-van parked in the asphalt drive, BUGBY GONE inscribed on its side. Now Maura knew where her mother had gone. A man in blue coveralls climbed from the van and began unloading equipment. Hurrying to the back porch, Maura watched as he balanced a metal cylinder on the rumpled sidewalk and began measuring chemicals. She assumed he would start by circling the house, wetting the foundation near the ground. Then he would knock on the door and ask to come inside and spray along the baseboards.

Briefly, she imagined the ladybugs lined up dead in the broom tray, their tiny feet in the air, their polka-dot dresses fanned out at the sleeves. She wondered what she could say to dissuade the man - he wasn't likely to share her affection for ladybugs. "Hello!" she called. "Have you come to annihilate the ladybugs?"

He looked startled as he gazed upward to find the owner of the voice. "Roaches and water bugs and thousand-leggers," he said with a smile. "Jason Lancaster," he introduced himself, as he began the arduous climb up the stairs with the heavy tank.

Maura saw that he was tall with brown hair, near her age, and good looking. His brown eyes sparkled, giving her the impression that he was good-natured. She could tell that he was assessing her looks too, and wished she had dressed in something with more style - a thought her mother would be delighted to overhear.

"Maura Blaine," she said. "Did my mother call you?"

"Not me." He arrived at the porch and lodged the heavy canister on the floor, between his brown boots. "She might be the one called my friend, Don Bugby. He's the one owns the company. Did you say 'Maura'?"

"Maura," she repeated. "The spray you use, will it hurt the ladybugs?"

"If it'll kill one bug, I imagine it'll kill them all. I hope you're not bitter?"


"The name 'Maura' ... Isn't that what it means?"

Maura frowned at him. She was bitter about a few things, but she didn't like to think it showed. "I'll pay you double not to spray," she said. "It will be our secret - I won't tell my mother if you don't tell your friend."

"I can't do that," he said with an unhappy frown. "It would be dishonest. Besides, don't you think your mom would notice if the bugs didn't stop bugging her?"

"Please?" She tilted her head to one side, hoping he had a weakness for redheads. "There must be some way I could persuade you not to spray. Ladybugs don't bother anybody. They eat aphids, only aphids. They don't bite, they don't sting. Why should anyone want to kill them?"

"They do bite," he argued amiably. "And they stink when they get scared."

"I guess I don't scare them," Maura said primly. "And they don't scare me either. I like ladybugs. They're sweet. And entertaining."

It looked as if Jason was fighting to subdue a grin. "Especially when they go swimming in your soup."

"So what?" she replied. "It's not as if they carry some dreaded disease." She had looked it up on the Internet, to be sure.

"A person can waste a lot of time rescuing ladybugs," he warned with a chuckle. "Want to know how come there's so many of them? 'Bout thirty years ago, aphids were destroying the foliage of the hardwood trees. Since ladybugs are known to eat aphids, the federal government released 88,000 of them. Sounded like an easy solution, but now we've got millions of displaced ladybugs who can't find their way back home."

Maura contemplated what he'd said. "Maybe they don't want to find their way home," she reasoned, thinking of her own desire to stay on in Smoky Valley for awhile. "Maybe they like it here."

"Maybe they do," he agreed. "Don't know why anyone would want to leave Smoky Valley, since it's the most beautiful place in the entire Universe. Some folks say this is where God goes on vacation."


Excerpted from "Rescuing Ladybugs: A Christian Romance" by Diane Lil Adams. Copyright © 2013 by Diane Lil Adams. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Diane Lil Adams

Diane Lil Adams

I have been writing since fifth grade, anytime I could find a quiet corner and prop a notebook on my knees. Even if I couldn't find the time or place, I always-always-always kept writing in my head. I tried to give it up more than once, even shredding a knee-high stack of poems and story starts. In time, I always go back to it because it brings me a unique sort of joy - the kind that springs from deep inside. Over the years, I've had a few nice responses from traditional publishers and a semi promise twice ... though I now know those aren't worth the paper they're not printed on. I was feeling pretty discouraged when a friend sent me an ad for self publishing on the Internet. Since I had quit my job to write full time (in spite of the fact that we were ranked with the working poor even while I was working) the 'no cost' factor caught my eye! I thought about it for awhile ... I had written more than 20 books and it looked as if they would all disappear when I did. Why not introduce all those characters via the Internet and give them a chance to survive? So here I am - Christian, wife, mother, grandma, author! I'm working hard to edit those books in the hope that readers will find a message that inspires them to delve into the best Book of all. I don't know you, but I know He loves you, and that's what my books are about. Blessings!

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