Thursday, June 12, 2014

All For A Good Cause (a romantic comedy) by Barbara Phinney Excerpt

All For A Good Cause (a romantic comedy) by Barbara Phinney

"All for a Good Cause is a great book to enjoy after a hectic day at work. It's a lighthearted romantic comedy that will leave women swooning at the end. I highly recommend it!" - A Girl and Her Kindle

Once upon a time...a former beauty queen belonged to a Medieval Society...but raising money for charity required more of her than a smile and a sash draped over her ample bosom. It required that she marry the hunky philanthropist. But just for the weekend, of course, because it is for a good cause, you know.

Chapter One

JANET JEMSEG hauled out a thick row of Cinderella styled gowns from the back seat of her car. They sparkled in the bright summer sun, jewels encased in dry cleaners’ plastic.
"I have a bad feeling about all of this," she announced to the hot tarmac of her sister's driveway.
Her sister, Maggie-Ann, snatched the gowns just a bit too quickly. "Relax, you act as if you don’t trust me," she said.
Janet flicked the hems up and draped them over Maggie-Ann’s free arm. She’d had her suspicions, while traveling all the way down here, but her sister had asked her to come home for the summer and frankly, she needed to get away from Ottawa. Besides, there was no place like Eastern Canada if a person wanted to escape the heat of Ontario. "So what Shakespearean play did you say you were doing?"
"Twelfth Night," Maggie-Ann called over her shoulder as she whisked the gowns into her house.
Janet narrowed her eyes. "On the phone you said it was ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’."
Maggie-Ann flicked the side screen door open with her foot. "So what? They’re both comedies."
Janet remained on the hot driveway, suspicion gnawing at her again as she watched her sister disappear into the house. Sure Maggie-Ann’s third husband, Tom, was Assistant Professor of Classical Literature at the university here in Sackville, New Brunswick, but that didn’t include tackling Shakespearean plays in the summer, did it?
Against her better judgment, she pulled her small suitcase out of the trunk of her car. Since she couldn’t afford a real vacation, either here or in Ottawa, where she’d made her home for the last ten years, she may as well stay. It was just that she couldn’t shake this wary feeling she wouldn’t have the quiet little holiday she deserved.
"Hi, Auntie Janet!" A duo of squeaky voices called out. She turned, grinning. Her fraternal twin nephews, the only good thing Maggie-Ann’s second marriage had produced, as her first marriage had produced nothing but ill will, rode up the driveway on battered mountain bikes.  
"Well, aren’t you two growing fast!" Janet planted a kiss on both their cheeks, not before giving them a quick scan to locate a clean spot. "What have you guys been into? Why do you have green stuff on your faces?"
Richie threw his bike onto the lawn and raced up to the house. "Dad gave us some money for ice cream. I had ‘Dinosaur Meteorites’," he yelled.
"And I had ‘Rainforest Rebellion’! It’s the last for the whole weekend!" Robbie answered, also dropping his bike.
She shook her head. "What happened to 'Heavenly Hash'?"
Stopping, Robbie gave her a blank stare. "Huh? Is that what Mom’s making for the weekend thing?"
She followed her nephew up the side door steps, just as Maggie-Ann returned to the back door. "Forget it," she said, turning to her sister. "What weekend thing?"
Robbie wiped his face with his shirt. "You know," he piped up, "the medieval fundraiser thing Mom’s volunteered us for."
Maggie-Ann pivoted quickly on the top step, but not quickly enough. Janet grabbed her younger sister by the waistband of her shorts. "What medieval fundraiser?"
Pressing away from Janet, Maggie-Ann cleared her throat. "Go into the gazebo, boys. Lunch is on the table."
Janet jerked her sister. "What medieval fundraiser?"
"Give me your suitcase. Is this all you brought?"
Janet swung it behind her back. "What play are you doing?"
"‘Much Ado About Nothing’," Maggie-Ann said.
"I thought it was ‘Twelfth Night’?" Janet asked.
"You’ve got me all mixed up. Let me call Tom."
Janet yanked her sister down onto the last step, glaring into her round face. "What are you up to?"
"Don’t growl, Janet. It’s just one weekend to help a boy from Prince Edward Island. He needs an operation..."
"A fundraiser!"
"Keep your voice down. It gets squeaky when you yell. The operation’s in Ontario-"
"So there’s no play and you wanted to wear my gowns to your Society for Creative Anarchy-"
"Anachronism," Maggie-Ann corrected smoothly. "You’ll look lovely as usual and a lot of people are counting on you and your gowns and all those titles you won..."
A strangled noise and the death grip on her sister's shorts were all Janet could manage.
"Let me go, Janet. You’re wrinkling my new shorts."
    Trying to regain her control, she released her sister. "I’m not coming." How could Maggie-Ann do this?

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