Desperate, Jamie will do almost anything to save her house, her dogs, and her life but will she sell her soul?
Jamie's desperate. If her 401K emergency distribution isn't disbursed in time, she'll be a victim of the Florida foreclosures. If that's not bad enough, she's also in danger of losing her job and her beloved dogs.
Worse yet she hits Max with her car. Luckily, Max is better than fine and ready to jump into her life and her bed. Unluckily, he's afraid to tell her that he buys distressed properties and he was in her yard to check out her house.
General Release Date: 5th October 2009
Jamie Covais would sell her soul to the devil to keep her house. She’d even sell her mother.
She did her best to keep her lips from trembling, from turning into a blathering blob of jelly at her attorney’s feet. She blinked back tears and shook her head. “I didn’t get any notices about a lawsuit. Doesn’t there have to be a summons or something? I didn’t sign anything…”
Carl Johnson, her attorney, levelled an asking stare at her. “Are you sure you received no summons? No one came to your door with a paper to sign?”
She thought hard until her mind began to melt, but there was no enlightenment. Her brains rattled when she shook her head. They were a perfect match to her broken heart. “No.”
Then a horrid thought struck her, and she couldn’t breathe. Wishing she didn’t have to admit this wouldn’t change the truth. “Sometimes Mom forgets to tell me things. She visited a couple times this year.” Carl pursed his lips, shook his grey head and hitched up his pant legs as he sank into his chair. He folded his hands in his lap as he leant back in his chair and regarded her with something akin to pity.
“She’s forgetful.” And irresponsible. And flighty. Unfortunately, the list of adjectives stretched beyond the horizon. Carl’s secretary, Nina, rapped on the door, and with an apologetic look, she carried papers to her boss. “Here’s what you asked for.”
After Nina handed them to him, she smiled shyly at Jamie and returned to her desk. Within seconds, rapid typing tickled Jamie’s ears. Carl perused the papers for several moments. The longer he read, the deeper his scowl etched into his forehead. Muttered oaths tumbled off his lips. Then he pushed his glasses down to the tip of his nose and gave her a penetrating look. “Is your mother Penelope Covais?”
Her breath hitched in her throat, and it was several moments before she could speak. What had dear old mom done this time? “Yes.”
“Is she a resident of this property? Or an owner?”
Again she squeaked out a ‘yes’ as the stars fell out her heaven. Nervous and scared to death, she pleated the folds of her skirt. God, she didn’t want to be another victim of the Florida housing crash, but she knew she was on the list.
Carl sighed heavily and leant back in his chair. He linked his hands behind his head and stared at the ceiling. “Lordy. This is a royal mess.”
She closed her eyes and tried to drag in breath, but it was ragged and painful. All her dreams became dust in the wind. Everything crumbled before her eyes. Then Carl leant forward and hope lit his clear blue eyes, much like those in the picture of his deceased son in the spot of honour on his desk.
“Is your mother suffering from dementia?”
Jamie blinked. God, she hoped not. Penelope had been erratic and eccentric even at twenty, but she hadn’t lost her mind. “Not that I know of, at least. It’s not been diagnosed.”
“Do you have any money? Anybody who can loan it to you? Your mom? You said she’s an owner, too.”
She’d been over it so often her head was going to explode. “Only in my 401K. But doesn’t it take a couple months to get the money out?”
Light flickered in the lawyer’s eyes, and he leant forward. “I don’t think so. Talk to your HR 401K administrator right away. Take these papers with you and show him.” Jamie accepted back her death decree. If she’d had this notification earlier when her mother had first signed, she could have raided her retirement account then filed bankruptcy or something. Now, with two weeks to the fateful day, she was out of time.
Acid ate at her stomach, and she wondered if she’d rather die than be homeless. Where would she live? Where would she go? Wouldn’t she have to file bankruptcy anyway? No way could she come up with the money to pay rent and whatever hefty penalties were assessed for reneging on her loan after the new buyer waltzed away with her house.
Most of all what would happen to Peter and Tinkerbell, her huskies?
Trying to at least look positive even though she was dying inside, she gave her lawyer her best smile and rolled up the letter. “I’ll let you know what I find out.”
“Please do. I sure hope you can get this worked out.”
God, she did, too.
Word Count: 17,381
Book Length: NOVELLA
Genres: CHICK LIT
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.
She's been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
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