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Cindy A Christiansen

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Publisher:  Secret Cravings Publishing Type: 

Copyright:  04/11/2012 ISBN-13:  9781618852434

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Sweet Cravings
Author Cindy A. Christiansen

Can a zany hospice aide keep her chakras in balance long enough to save the seniors of Silver Sunset? Is the mysterious new doctor the guilty party, or is he only guilty of giving her a terminal case of love?
A sweet romantic suspense

Therapy dog trainer and hospice aide Harmony Hastings takes a much needed Zen vacation only to return to sheer chaos at the Silver Sunset Senior Community.  Who is the new gorgeous, young doctor and why has old Doc Barlow disappeared?  Why are residents being harmed? Can Harmony keep her chakras in balance long enough to figure out the mystery before one of the baby boomers ends up dead? Is the mysterious doctor the guilty party, or is he only guilty of giving Harmony a terminal case of love?

Harmony Hastings signaled a left-hand turn and waited for the oncoming cars, her windshield wipers drumming the same tempo as the classic Dean Martin song on her radio. Back to work and raining buckets. Her mood exactly. She didn’t hate her job at the exclusive Silver Sunset Retirement Community by any means, but she’d just finished a peaceful two-week Zen vacation in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Nothing could compare to the tranquility and oneness with the universe she’d experienced. Her mind felt renewed and clear, her body oozed with health and strength, and she’d gained tons of knowledge about Zazen meditation and the practice of Jikoji. She inhaled a deep cleansing breath.
A metallic sapphire SUV slowed at the yellow light. Harmony inched her Toyota Prius Hybrid forward. The driver of the SUV decided to run the red light at the last minute, charging forward like a goaded bull. Harmony tromped on her brakes, sliding on the wet pavement. The guy in the emerald sports car behind her slammed on his brakes and leaned on his horn. Despite her rain-splattered rear window, she could see him give her a one-fingered salute.
She took another cleansing breath and then popped a couple of the organic raw almonds she’d purchased in California into her mouth. Gee willikers. What a start to her day!
She chomped and focused on the new personal affirmation she’d adopted since returning from the retreat: Live today on purpose.
She finished her left-hand turn on the red light. Oh, the joys of being back in the rat race, although her work at the retirement community in Pearly, Utah, could hardly be compared to corporate America. Her job certainly couldn’t compare to a stockbroker’s taxing job or even a doctor’s or nurse’s stressful job at a major city hospital. The community wasn’t even a nursing home for the severely ill. True, the residents couldn’t live on their own, but the place seemed almost like a spa resort for the elderly. Everyone had fairly decent health and tons of fun activities occupied the residents’ time, including a number of events Harmony had contributed to the agenda like exercise therapy using dogs and making quilts, afghans and toys to donate to animal shelters.
Living with Gramps couldn’t be considered nerve-racking either. He had an easy-going, fun-loving personality, and he’d taken her in and raised her since she was twelve. So why did Harmony still have so much trouble dealing with stress?
She knew. She just didn’t want to face the reasons. Life certainly hadn’t been easy or calm to say the least.
The jacked-up Chevy truck in front of her screeched and slid to a stop. Harmony’s seatbelt locked, and her heart raced erratically as she swerved to the curb and came to a neck-jerking stop. Her baggie of almonds slid off the seat and spilled. Luckily, she missed the man’s bumper by a few inches. Whew!
She sighed, but then her body flew forward. Her bumper crumpled, and she heard plastic shatter. Her car inched up over the curb, but the airbag didn’t deploy. Stunned, she didn’t move. She watched in her rearview mirror as sweet old Mr. Perkins exited his 1940s Cadillac, opened his umbrella and, using his cane, hobbled toward her.
“Are you okay, missy?” he called to her.
Harmony studied his confused expression through the rain-streaked window and then opened her car door with a moan. “I’m fine, Mr. Perkins. Are you all right?”
He nodded, the extra skin on his sagging face jiggling. “It’s you, Harmony. How’s your grandpa? I haven’t been able to make it to poker night for a couple of weeks. Essie’s been under the weather.”
“Sorry to hear that. Give her my best.”
The truck driver’s cursing interrupted their chit-chat. The man slammed his door and hit his head with the palm of his hand. His sky-blue shirt turned to a dark liquid blue as large droplets of rain pelted down on him. His spiked hair drooped.
Harmony expected the man to come back and check on them. Instead, he raced toward the front of his truck. Curiosity got the better of her. She put on her emergency lights, grabbed her umbrella, and took Mr. Perkins’ arm to follow the fellow.
“I didn’t see it,” he wailed into his cell phone. “It came from nowhere. What do I do?” He whirled around and looked at Harmony and Mr. Perkins for answers.
Harmony stared at the Belgian Sheepdog sprawled near the right front tire of his truck. Patches of hair and skin littered the pavement and blood gushed from the three severe cuts she could see. The dog’s right front leg lay in a peculiar position.
“We have to get him to a vet,” she stated.
However, she knew the nearest veterinarian clinic was in Park City and not even open at this hour. Even if it had been, the dog wouldn’t make it there in time.

Professional Reviews

Fun, Fast-paced and Very Entertaining!
This is a fun, fast-paced book, very entertaining. The characters are believable, and the dogs almost steal the show. However, the sense of place is lost inside the facility. Ms. Christiansen has cobbled her medical disciplines together to serve the plot, and the logistics inside the assisted living, nursing home, hospital and hospice are jumbled together in too small a space. The doctor in residence, if such a thing were to happen, would have to be in a hospital. The therapy dogs would not be permitted to run loose where more sterile conditions are required. But all in all a fun read.
4 Stars
Coffee Time Romance

Heart Pounding Romance!
Heart pounding romance and nail biting mystery comes together to make one of the most entertaining and fun books you will ever read!
The romance itself was sweet and who wouldn't love a handsome doctor, but the mystery gives this story the spice that will have readers anxiously turning the pages to find out what happens next.
The characters were the kind you love to learn about and have you thinking about them long after the story is over. Harmony is a sweet woman, but also knows how to take care of herself. She is a strong independent woman that I think many readers such as myself can relate to. The doctor is charmingly mysterious and adds to the mystery and suspense of the story while giving it just the right amount of romance.
I highly recommend this fun new read that will bring you hours of enjoyment.
5 Stars
Katie Cody

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