Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Full Circle by Mona Ingram Excerpt

Full Circle by Mona Ingram
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Bella Thompson has news: she's pregnant. But before she can tell her boyfriend Jeffrey, he shatters her with the news that he's going to marry someone else. Bella is given a choice: Go to Atlanta and give up her child for adoption, or leave town and raise her child on her own. The choice is clear, and she travels to California, where she settles in Santa Monica.

Determined to make her own way in the world and return to Willow Bend on her own terms, Bella puts all her energies into building a successful business with her partner Rafael Vargas. But at what cost?

Follow Bella as she struggles to balance her passion for business with the ultimate


The private jet had been descending for several minutes. Bella shuffled the papers she’d been holding and put them away in her briefcase. Attempting to study the reports had been a waste of time...a futile attempt to divert her thoughts. She looked across the low table and into the eyes of the man who had been her partner for the past fifteen years. Sometimes it angered her that he could read her so well whereas she rarely knew what he was thinking. Those dark eyes studied her now, and she thought she caught a hint of sadness behind the sweeping black lashes.
The cabin attendant paused between their chairs. “The captain has asked me to inform you that we’ll be landing in ten minutes.”
Bella glanced up at the young woman. “Thank you, Laura. Would you ask the captain if he could circle Willow Bend before we land? I’d like to see it from the air.” The flight would land at a nearby airport, the Willow Bend facility having been closed long since.
Certainly, Miss Thompson.” The attendant nodded and went forward.
Bella looked out the window. “I’ve never seen Willow Bend from the air,” she murmured. “I wonder if I’ll be able to see any changes since the last time I was here.”
Rafael watched her closely but he remained silent; she hadn’t really expected him to answer.
The aircraft made a slight change of course, then dropped one wing and commenced a slow circle around the town. Sun glinted off the river and an invisible hand tightened around Bella’s heart. There were times when it seemed like yesterday that she’d confronted Jeffrey beside that river. She forced herself to continue looking and spotted the high school with its adjoining football field and bleachers. A few blocks beyond that was the section of town where she’d grown up but she couldn’t spot her parents’ home among the jumble of roofs. On the gentle rise across the river the homes were statelier; here and there swimming pools flashed brilliant blue in the late afternoon sun.
And there it was. The old Lambert textile mill. Silent these past ten years. She didn’t know what she’d expected to feel when she saw it. After all, her father had worked there most of his life and had lost his job along with hundreds of others in the town. She edged forward on her seat to get a closer look. The heavy wire fence that had once encircled the mill was gone. In its place, strategically placed trees and shrubs lifted their leaves to the sunshine. A few cars and several pickup trucks were parked between the bright yellow lines in the newly paved lot. For the first time since leaving California earlier today, Bella experienced a surge of excitement. Excitement mixed with apprehension.
You’re sure we’re doing the right thing?” she asked, uncharacteristically nervous. “It’s such a big step, opening a new production facility.”
Bella.” She loved the way he said her name. “We’ve been over this many times.” He looked at her and his gaze softened for a moment. “What you’re doing is a wonderful thing. You’re giving this town a chance to get back on its feet.” He didn’t need to look down at the mill; he’d been here half a dozen times already. “Besides, it’s too late now.”

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