And if you're anything like me, you took one look at it and expect to be entertained, perhaps tickled...and I was, tickled that is.
Here, take a peek:
College senior and not-so-ex-ballerina Jane Trumbull is home for Christmas break. She welcomes the joyful chaos of a happy family holiday – then the rollercoaster of emotions begins.
Veterinarian Dr. Noah Barron hopes his return to Texas and his new clinic will help him forget about his dark days in California. But he can’t outrun unresolved issues and doesn’t know how lonely he really is – until he meets slightly clumsy Un-Plain Jane.
Can Jane and Noah learn to share who they really are and what they really want? And can they allow God to send joy after sorrow, hope for hidden dreams, and healing for past wounds?
“Hang in there, Monsieur Snowball. Do not, I repeat, do not go toward the light.”
She rolled through a stop sign. The sickly feline let out a deep but weak mewl as if to disapprove.
She reached out to steady his carrier. “Sh... Don’t worry about it. It’s two AM and there’s no one around.” She poked her finger through a square in the metal cage door. The cat’s pink nose and breath were hot against her skin. “You’re burning up. We’re almost there.”
Her gaze darted from road to cat to signage until the beacon of hope that flashed “animal” and “emergency” came into view. She sped across the nearly vacant parking lot towards the only lit business in the cluster of shops and offices.
She burst through the glass double doors and headed for the receptionist.
“Jane? Is that you?”
“Mrs. Salmons?” Jane placed the carrier on the counter and slung her silver metallic hobo bag beside it. “Oh, Mrs. Salmons, is Dr. Salmons here too? Because that would be a blessing straight from Heaven if Monsieur Snowball could see his own doctor.”
“Oh no, honey, he’s not here. I’m just helping out the new guy. His tech had a family emergency.”
Jane’s heart fluttered and sank.
“Don’t worry. Dr. Barron is very good.”
“OK, well, Snowball has been kinda listless today and wouldn’t eat much. His face is a little swollen, and I think he has a fever. I couldn’t get any water in him and that worried me.”
Mrs. Salmons pushed a clipboard toward Jane and plucked the carrier off the counter. “Sign this consent form and have a seat. I’ll pull up Snowball’s records, and Dr. Barron will take a look.”
Jane could barely focus on the page as she checked the box for do whatever necessary and scribbled her signature. “Wait. Can’t I come with him?”
The middle-aged woman nodded toward the coffee pot. “Grab a cup and give us a minute. We’ll come and get you in a bit.” She pulled the carrier to her nose and dissolved into cooing baby-slash-animal talk. “Isn’t that right, Monsieur Snowball? We’re gonna have a little triage time together.” Her voice trailed off as she disappeared through the private clinic door.
Jane ignored the coffee pot and dropped into a plastic seat in the corner. The place was empty except for her. She shed her wool, US Navy pea coat and killed about twenty minutes arranging and rearranging her red Christmas scarf in her mass of long, pale blonde hair.
Nearing an hour, no amount of mind-numbing magazine rifling could take her thoughts far from her cat. She stared a while at the blank space where a television used to be, then resorted to stacking the scattered brochures strewn about the two scratched up tables on either end of a row of connected chairs. There were seven copies of Does Your Cat Have Allergies? and only two of Does Your Dog Have Worms? Somehow, she felt that didn’t bode well for the dogs of Austin. There was a reason people took those brochures.
She checked her phone repeatedly, but didn’t really expect to hear from anyone in the middle of the night. Finally, she pulled her New Testament from the pocket in her bag and started thumbing through Galatians and other books written by Paul. Something about that brave apostle and his struggles always made her feel stronger, more determined, and better able to face difficult situations. So amidst the glow of a loosely hung strand of Christmas twinkle lights, she leaned her head against the cool glass front window and prayed. Lord, please take care of Snowball. I don’t know what I’ll do if he dies.
She jumped straight up. “Yes?”
Mrs. Salmons’s serene smile was classically non-committal. There was no way to read good news or bad. “C’mon back.”
“How is he?”
There was that poker-face smile again. “Dr. Barron will fill you in. There’s no one else here, so he said you could come back to the treatment room.”
Jane entered the area lined with built-in cages and filled with sterile looking stainless steel tables and counters covered with supplies. She rushed to Snowball’s cage and grabbed the door with both hands in hopes that some part of her fingers would be able to stroke his short, winter white fur.
“How ya doin’, buddy? I was so worried.”
The cat squinted and offered a half-hearted stretch before he closed his eyes and yawned. He lay nestled among a blue bath towel and a piece of flannel bed sheet with cartoon characters all over it. Somewhere stuck in his body was a tube, but she couldn’t see where. She only knew about it because of the I.V. bag hanging to the side and away from the front of his little cat prison.
“That’s a beautiful cat.”
The masculine voice was attached to a tall lean man who came through the door behind her. He gave his hands one final pat with a wad of paper towels and tossed them away.
Was this Dr. Barron? She’d been expecting someone short and fluffy like Dr. Salmons. Instead, she saw shaggy-haired surfer guy with brown leather hiking boots and a red hibiscus-covered Hawaiian shirt peeking out from his open lab coat.
Kinda yummy in an off-beat, messy way.
“Thank you.” She flashed him her best up-all-night-and-worried smile. “You don’t see too many cats that are so completely white. Well, I guess you do because you’re a vet and all, but normal people might not. Not that you’re not normal.” She stammered to a stop and took a breath. “Anyway. How is he?”
I love it! Mr. Snowball! Can't you just picture the ball of white fur? I think we've all known a cat like that, or at least seen one.
On to the main characters, she was expecting someone "short and fluffy". LOL Dr. Barron, Noah, is far from that! And Jane's clumsy, flightiness is just what he might have expected if he knew she had been the Sugar Plum Fairy.
And if that's not enough, then we have dear old Grandpa. What a hoot!
You'll just have to read it for yourself. I guarantee you're gonna love it!
Buy links: http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/dr-noah-and-the-sugar-plum-fairy
Barnes & Noble: