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Saturday Morning

Cover of Saturday Morning

Saturday Morning

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Broken by life's disappointments, four women forge a friendship that leads in unexpected directions.

Hope Benson is determined to do all she can for the broken souls who come to Casa de Jesus, a women's shelter in the heart of San Francisco. When a difficult pregnancy forces her to relinquish control, she draws support and strength from an unlikely group of women, each struggling with her own heartbreak.

Andy Taylor, a reluctant transplant to California, was compelled to leave behind her lavender-growing business and her home of twenty-some years to support her workaholic husband's pursuit of career success. Attorney Julia Collins is searching for her teenage granddaughter, believed to be living on the streets. And Clarice Van Dam's life has been shattered by the disappearance of her husband, who appears to have relieved her of all earthly possessions except a fur coat and her overnight bag.

Drawn together at the weekend market held in the shelter's parking lot, the women pool their resources to fend off an unscrupulous conglomerate that threatens to replace the facility with a commercial development. As they fight to retain this haven for women in need, they find their own longings for home answered by the solace of faith and friendship.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Broken by life's disappointments, four women forge a friendship that leads in unexpected directions.

Hope Benson is determined to do all she can for the broken souls who come to Casa de Jesus, a women's shelter in the heart of San Francisco. When a difficult pregnancy forces her to relinquish control, she draws support and strength from an unlikely group of women, each struggling with her own heartbreak.

Andy Taylor, a reluctant transplant to California, was compelled to leave behind her lavender-growing business and her home of twenty-some years to support her workaholic husband's pursuit of career success. Attorney Julia Collins is searching for her teenage granddaughter, believed to be living on the streets. And Clarice Van Dam's life has been shattered by the disappearance of her husband, who appears to have relieved her of all earthly possessions except a fur coat and her overnight bag.

Drawn together at the weekend market held in the shelter's parking lot, the women pool their resources to fend off an unscrupulous conglomerate that threatens to replace the facility with a commercial development. As they fight to retain this haven for women in need, they find their own longings for home answered by the solace of faith and friendship.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    "We did it! We did it!"Andy Taylor threw the purchase order in the air, leaped from her chair, and whirlwind dance-stepped around the workshop barn of Lavender Meadows. "We finally made it." She switched from shouting to singing, making up words as she went. "We're in the money. From now on every day will be sunny. Give lavender sachets to your honey. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

    After two turns around the twenty-by-twenty workspace, Andy stopped, caught her breath, then retrieved the purchase order from the plank floor where it had landed. Her hands trembled as she read it again, this time committing each word to memory, beginning with the Nordstrom store letterhead. When she got to the signature, she squealed in delight. She hadn't imagined it. It was real. Mike Johnson, the head buyer, wanted the entire line of lavender-based products: soaps, hand and body lotions, sachets, tea--even the cookbook--for all his California stores.

    Andy sank into the closest chair and stared at the paper. She felt tears gather in her eyes. All the hard work was finally starting to pay off. It had been a long, hard transition from the apple and pear orchards, which had been her parents' livelihood until the competition had beaten them out, to the fields of lavender, which had no competition at all because nobody thought it was a crop worth growing.

    She focused her eyes on the quantity column and whistled. This was just the beginning. She knew how retail worked. Once the products were in the store and the other chains got wind of them, there would be calls from other buyers and more orders. Now that was the kind of competition she welcomed.

    She tried to mentally calculate the profit on this first order. Numbers flashed in front of her eyes like a calculator gone berserk. She would have to put pencil to paper, but she was sure there would be enough profit to stash a few thousand into her parents' retirement account as well as to buy the equipment she needed to produce essential oil of lavender.

    Andy wrapped her arms around her middle and squeezed herself. She could hardly wait to give her parents the good news.

    From the day she'd begged them to become her business partners, telling them that she really needed their experience and help, they had been behind her with encouragement and support. If they had ever seen through her intentions, they never let on.

    She wished her husband was half as encouraging and supportive as her parents. He loved her and admired her, of that she had no doubt. He often told her she had many "fine qualities." But as far as he was concerned, Lavender Meadows was and always would be just a nice "little hobby." Why last year's balance sheet hadn't made him see Lavender Meadows' potential, she didn't know, but surely this order would wake him up, make him see now what the rest of them saw.

    Andy's thoughts raced. Martin. How would she tell him? What would she say? "Dear, I have something to tell you." She shook her head. Not enough punch. "Martin, I think you should sit down." Scratch that. Too dramatic. "Martin, you know how you've always called Lavender Meadows my little hobby? She mentally handed him the purchase order and imagined his eyes widening and the corners of his mouth teasing into a smile.

    "Andy, dear, where are you?" Her mother's voice came from the walk between the house and the barn.

    Martin's stunned face faded into nothingness. While the idea of flaunting the order in his face was fun to think about, she would never do it. Not in a million years. Instead, she would tell him the news via e-mail, with words carefully chosen so they wouldn't sound like she was saying, "I told you...

About the Author-
  • Lauraine Snelling has written numerous best-selling books, including The Way of Women, The Healing Quilt, the Red River of the North historical series, and the award-winning novels An Untamed Land and Song of Laughter. Lauraine leads writer's workshops in her home and at numerous conferences around the country. She and her husband, Wayne, make their home in California's Tehachapi Mountains.

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Saturday Morning
Lauraine Snelling
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