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Beverly J Scott

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Ruth Fever
by Beverly J Scott   


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Books by Beverly J Scott - View all
· White Nigger
· Righteous Revenge
· Jena's Choice


Category: 

Romance

Publisher:  PublishAmerica ISBN-10:  1591296455
Pages: 

220

Copyright:  Jan 1 2003


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Since the tragic death of her parents, grief is Ruth Dennison’s constant companion. Only her relationships with and concerns for her second grade students and her interaction with Horse, the family cat, keep her from loneliness and depression. Choosing ‘Spring Break’ to dispose of her parents’ belongings, she cleans closets, basement and even the garage.
Ruth’s ‘Edsel for Sale’ advertisement brings about a meeting with Wyndom Winters, the widowed father of her one troubled student. His purchase of the Edsel wagon and Ruth’s concern for Jason, his son, unites the two of them in a campaign to discover the cause of the young boy’s dramatic change in behavior. Their quest links them, leads them on an adventure filled with laughter, sorrow, secrets and ultimately, understanding. Ruth Fever is a romance with enough twists to keep readers entertained.
Since the tragic death of her parents, grief is Ruth Dennison’s constant companion. Only her relationships with and concerns for her second grade students and her interaction with Horse, the family cat, keep her from loneliness and depression. Choosing ‘Spring Break’ to dispose of her parents’ belongings, she cleans closets, basement and even the garage.
Ruth’s ‘Edsel for Sale’ advertisement brings about a meeting with Wyndom Winters, the widowed father of her one troubled student. His purchase of the Edsel wagon and Ruth’s concern for Jason, his son, unites the two of them in a campaign to discover the cause of the young boy’s dramatic change in behavior. Their quest links them, leads them on an adventure filled with laughter, sorrow, secrets and ultimately, understanding. Ruth Fever is a romance with enough twists to keep readers entertained.

Squealing tires and screeching too-late-used brakes preceded the explosive collision that ripped away the twilight-quiet of the area and left a twisted, smoldering mass of sheet metal and shattered glass. Loud snaps, angry popping, mini salvos igniting tiny individual fires in grassy areas, created a disaster that washed the neighborhood with dissension and vibration. The mangled mass of material that had once been two vehicles lay now in an unidentifiable heap. Within minutes the sound of sirens reverberated through the streets heralding the arrival of police, ambulance, paramedic’s and the fire squad. Police quickly determined that there was no need for rescue. There were no survivors. Still-bodies were hastily pulled from the burning wreckage before a major explosion sent rescuers scurrying for cover. Later, news people would disclose the presence of alcohol at the scene; attest to the fact that the young couple was obviously inebriated. That fact was the single item ever released about the young couple. Only two obituaries appeared in print, notices that detailed the pertinent facts about Mr. and Mrs. Dennison and Ruth Dennison, their one surviving heir. All other details of the accident, including the names of the other couple involved, were mysteriously squelched. CHAPTER ONE “Good Morning, Horse,” Ruth said to the large black tomcat sniffing suspiciously at the edges of the new rug she’d placed between the kitchen and the family room. Horse paced back and forth as if contemplating a deep problem then he moved away from the rug’s edge and gracefully leaped over it to land with ease at Ruth’s feet, his disdain for the new floor decoration evident in his actions. “Meo-o-ow,” Horse rumbled, stretching his neck to stare up at her, his nose twitching with feline arrogance. Ruth’s mouth curved in a grin, her eyes twinkled briefly with laughter. She watched him hump his back before extending himself into a full body stretch. Horse’s pink tongue slid out to lick around his mouth; he squinted and looked up at her, his eyes aglow with mischief. “I have work to do this morning,” she chided. Horse playfully nudged her leg for attention. She ignored him. The cat’s purring motor seemed to stall and Ruth knew he was disappointed. “Go play,” She instructed, turning back to her task and momentarily dismissing the distracting tomcat from her mind. Ruth deliberated over the words for the newspaper advertisement. Clenching the end of the pen with her teeth, she scrutinized her writing. Today was the first day of ‘Spring Break,’ her day to tackle the list of tasks she penned last night and planned to accomplish this week. Horse continued to rub against her. His soft cat fur tickled the inside of her calves as he dove between her legs to weave circles through her feet. She was reaching for the phone book to look up the number for the daily newspaper when Horse nipped at her big toe. “Stop that,” she cried, moving her foot away from the cat’s sandpapery wet tongue. Refusing to let his antics interrupt her task, she jotted the necessary phone number on the note pad in front of her and returned the book to its proper place. Laughter erupted from deep in her chest when Horse tried to push his face up the leg of her Hydrangea blue slacks. Giving in to his demand for a little attention, Ruth reached down to scratch him behind the ears. Horse’s body rumbled contentedly and he rolled over pawing the air. Humor flashed momentarily in the depth of Ruth’s eyes as she watched the cat. Life would be unbearably lonely these days without this conceited tomcat, she thought. Ruth leaned over to scratch the tom’s belly, “you’re a very demanding and arrogant roommate, Horse, pleasant but a definite distraction.” She was humming by the time Horse tired of her attention and she could return to her task. Satisfied, at last, with the wording of the advertisement, Ruth called the Des Moines Tribune. After checking rates, she decided to run the “For Sale, Edsel Station Wagon,” advertisement for five days. She repeated her address and telephone number to the sunny voice emanating from the phone then settled the receiver back in its cradle. Sun streaming through the window splashed a wild riot of color across the desk distributing swirling dust motes around the area but Ruth seemed oblivious to the golden ripples, her mind held captive by memories of her parents and the last time they had driven the old station wagon. It was a winter picnic; a treat for her students when they had eagerly surpassed their semester’s reading goal and that of several other classrooms. Her parents had helped to transport the second grade class for the November affair. Everyone had enjoyed her mom’s chili, her mini sandwiches. Ruth could still picture the student’s eager faces as they devoured every morsel. Later, she tried to organize games and competitions for the class but the boys were more interested in the old Edsel station wagon and her dad’s stories. The day had been surprisingly warm for November and the park teemed with the sound of migrating birds and furry critters preparing for winter. A flock of geese held the second graders mesmerized when they glided in to rest and feed on the park’s pond. Everyone gazed in silent wonder until, in a single glorious moment, the large birds lifted their wings and, flapping gracefully, they flew away. It was one of the best memories Ruth had of her parents. Listening intently she could almost hear the echo of their laughter as they interacted with her students. She sighed audibly. She missed them, them and that wonderful feeling that they radiated that all-was-right-with-the-world. Today the mantle of grief she’d been wearing since her parent’s death seemed overpoweringly heavy. Even the warm sun splashing red highlights in Ruth’s dark brown hair failed to suppress the shiver that overtook her small frame when she thought of the tragedy that had snatched away their life. Ruth understood that other people had troubles but still she could not seem to overcome her despair at their death. They had always been her support system. When others teased or bullied her during her growing-up years, she always knew that she was loved unconditionally by God and by her parents. Now, she felt only abandonment. Her common sense kept reminding her that she was being ridiculous, she was an adult after all. It might help if she’d had a brother or sister to share her pain but that was not the case. Ruth’s emotions fluctuated between depression, sadness and anger. Thinking about it set her heart pacing like the heartbeat of a tiny rabbit that you’d just rescued from the neighbor’s dog. She fervently hoped she would soon learn to forgive the drunken couple who had caused her parents’ death. Maybe with forgiveness would come a measure of relief from her relentless hostility. “God, help me to forgive,” she prayed out loud. Knowing that the driver and her mate had paid with their lives did little to stem Ruth’s anger and she wondered if she would always be haunted by the needless loss of the two most important people in her life. She understood that there was no answer to the why-now of their death and until she could find a way to forgive she was certain that her pain would not diminish. “I’m twenty-nine-years old, God,” Ruth murmured, “I still feel like a lost lonely child. Help me to release my anger, help me to heal.” Ruth brushed a tear from her cheek, mentally reviewed the last few years of her life. Her decision to move back to Des Moines two years ago to help care for her arthritic mother suddenly seemed provident, almost insightful. Now, in such a short period of time she’d lost both of her parents to a senseless accident. A picture flooded Ruth’s mind; it was the image of her parents framed in the open front door. Her six-foot father dwarfing her seated-in-a-wheelchair five-foot mother. Her father stood behind the wheelchair, his hands were resting lovingly on her mother’s shoulders. They were wishing her a good day and waving good-bye as she left for school. Their smiling faces, bathed in the glow of early morning sun, were permanently etched in her brain bank of memories. She silently thanked God for the time that they shared and for her joyous memories. She would never regret returning home or having had the opportunity to spend time with them. Her fingers curled around the coffee mug. Her past, her life rose up to block out the present. Boston and the five years that she spent there teaching second grade, now seemed wasted years and she wondered why it had taken her so long to grasp that she missed Iowa, her family, her home. Ruth enjoyed teaching and usually her interaction with the students served to distract her from loneliness and grief, still, every day she thanked God for the wonderful months she shared with her parents before their deaths. “Stop, feeling sorry for yourself girl,” she chided. “You have work to do.” Ruth checked her to-do list, crossed off item number one before looking up the phone number of a local shelter. “Hello. I have several boxes of good clothing, can you use them?” The positive answer did little to ease the turmoil of disposing of her parent's things. “You have pick-up service.” Ruth said, surprised yet pleased. “I’ll have them ready for you by tomorrow.” Ruth lifted her cup for another sip of coffee and grimaced at the coldness of the liquid. She scanned through her to-do list once more and decided only two items posed any real problem. Number seven: solve the mystery of Jason Winters’ behavior, and number eight: make new friends. Where would she start? She already knew most of her neighbors. All were older and had been friends of her parents. They were good people but she needed friends of her own. Lifting her eyes she murmured “God, help me with both of these problems.” Sun streaming in through the colored glass of the window finally caught Ruth’s attention and she let the warm ray’s splash across her face, content to put off her unpleasant tasks for a few more minutes. She loved sunshine. Loved the way it painted all it touched with a hint of gold. With a sigh she pushed to her feet; stepped over a napping cat, and moved into the elevator where she pushed the down button. A faint hum sounded as the small, wheelchair size elevator glided down to the lower level. Her jaw set in determination; she began the distasteful chore. She found several large boxes in the basement perfect for closet cleaning and piled them by the elevator. Ruth discovered several boxes filled with her mother’s paperback books. Three bookcases upstairs were also overloaded with paperbacks. Apparently in the past her mother had boxed up the overflow and sent it down to the storeroom. Ruth wondered if the shelter might also be interested in the books and made a mental note to call them back and inquire. Car parts, models, and Edsel memorabilia filled every available space along the walls and again, Ruth smiled. Her mother had continuously teased her husband that he had an unassembled Edsel stored in the basement. After touring the area, Ruth believed the statement was true. What will I ever do with all of these things? She gave herself a mental shake, one thing at a time, slow and easy. Ruth grabbed a few more empty boxes, dragged them to the elevator and pushed the open button. While she loaded the boxes into the elevator she looked around the room. Except for an accumulation of dust it would be a great place to entertain. Not that she had anyone to entertain she thought as she surveyed her surroundings. Her parents had used the room many times since they built the house seven years ago. The walls were covered with automobile memorabilia, including her father’s miniature car collection, which was displayed in various glass cases set side by side along the walls. She knew many of the models were worth hundreds of dollars but she had no idea how or where to advertise them properly. Maybe one of the men from the Edsel club could help her with that project. One more item to add to her to-do list, she thought with a sigh. She stacked the boxes in the elevator, rode up and forced herself to begin closet cleaning. Now that the house belonged to Ruth, she was not sure she could handle staying here surrounded by so much that reminded her of her parents and their times together. Living in this beautiful place without them was almost as difficult as moving some place else would be. Seven years ago the Dennison’s constructed their dream home, nestling it on twenty-two park-like acres of grass, trees and fresh air. Although built far enough from Des Moines to be considered out in the country, the home was convenient for shopping and entertainment. Constructed of natural wood and a great deal of glass, the house melted into the scenery so well it was almost invisible to passersby. Created with three bedrooms, each sporting its own bath, plus a master suite that had its own sitting room and a bath designed with a double walk-in shower, benched along one wall for convenience, made the house overlarge for one person. The large eat-in kitchen was designed with a four-foot wide counter separating it from the adjoining family room. Indian-pictures, plates and dolls covered the walls and shelves in a multi-purpose room always filled with sunshine. It was her mother’s favorite place to read or visit with friends. The living room seemed new and was the least used room in the house. There was a main bathroom just down the hall from the small den where Ruth had set up her computer and where she spent hours preparing class work. Ruth hummed along with the music drifting from her C D player. She carried one full box after another out and stacked them in the breezeway. I need a break and a cup of herbal tea, she thought, after dragging the three heavy boxes of books out with the other cartons she’d set out for the shelter. Exhaustion left her almost too weary to prepare her favorite berry spice tea, but the aroma of raspberries and cinnamon released by the addition of hot water drifted upward tantalizing her nostrils and giving her a needed lift. She moved slowly toward the patio door, careful of Horse who was playfully weaving between her legs with each step she took. Trying not to splash the hot tea on her purring companion, she stopped in the doorway then followed him out onto the deck. Fresh-scented air, rich with the sweet smell of spring, wafted across the deck. Ready-to-bloom Daffodils danced in the breeze, their yellow tipped green shoots, along with a multitude of tulips and crocus, added color to the view. A rabbit darted around the grape arbor sniffing at its base until he flushed another rabbit, then they played tag through the yard cavorting in the joyous sunshine. Movement, quick and shadowy, afforded her a brief glimpse of her resident chipmunk. “It’s beautiful here, Horse,” Ruth said to the cat sitting on the rail at her elbow. Absentmindedly she stroked Horse’s soft fur. She understood the pleasure her parents had found in their home. Nature’s beauty was evident everywhere she looked. Deer often grazed in the back yard alongside the rabbits and the squirrels. There was a family of chipmunks nested in the bushes behind the attached garage. Ruth delighted in their antics whenever she was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them as they scurried playfully under the Lilac bushes. She stood listening to God’s music drift around her on the light breeze, music created by a myriad of different species of birds flirting and flitting among the budding trees. Ruth sighed. “I like it here, Horse. It is peaceful.” The cat cocked his head and looked up at her, seeming to understand. He lifted a paw to swipe at the smiley face on her cup; she grinned at his playfulness and backed away from his quick movements. Savoring the spring-scented air a moment longer, Ruth prayed that she would be able to adjust to living here without her parents, prayed that she might someday feel comfortable living here all alone. She settled in one of the padded loungers rimming the edge of the deck and let the brilliance of the sun drive her to hide her eyes behind their lids. Soon the empty teacup slipped from her fingers, nestled in her lap. She napped. Whirling mists invaded Ruth’s sleep, haunting her with dreams of a tall handsome man, an elusive stranger with an invisible face. At times she could almost make out his features then the foggy mist would enfold him and she would once again be alone. Air, cooled by the setting of the sun, pushed Ruth to wakefulness and indoor. Back in the kitchen a subdued Ruth faced a lone supper in front of the darkened screen of her television set. A best-selling novel, a paperback worn with many readings, had been rescued from one of the boxes awaiting pick up and she sat curled in the corner of the sofa, book in hand, content to read until she realized how hard she was fighting to stay awake. She slipped a bookmark between the pages and turned out the lamp. Ruth opened the French doors and walked out on to the deck, her chores and reading completed for the evening. Looking up she spotted a brilliant winking star. A smile skirted her mouth. Childhood memories surfaced and she recalled all the times she, as a child, had wished on just such a star. Thoughts of her parents, and the wondrous love they shared, left her feeling lost and alone. A tear meandered down her cheek, hung at the edge of her jaw briefly then dropped to the deck. She dried her face with the back of her hand and whispered, “God, will there ever be, someone special just for me?" 




Excerpt

Through out our country, but most especially in the Midwest, glorious summer
Days, bring out classic car hobbyists who gather at some favorite attraction, historical celebration or the local drive-in restaurant to brag, glorify and swap tall tales while celebrating their enjoyment of cars built in an era when Fords, Buick’s, Cadillac’s and Chevrolets were distinguishable.
With luck we will pass this unique and joyous preservation of our automotive history on to our children and our grandchildren.

Professional Reviews
Romance
Ruth Fever

by Beverly J. Scott

ISBN 1-59129-645-5

220 pages at 19.95 paperback

www.publishamerica.com



As was her first book Righteous Revenge, this author's second book, Ruth Fever, is a well written and entertaining read. In fact, I'll go on record here and state that anything this author writes deserves a devoted following. Each book is different, well plotted, with strong characters.



Ruth Dennison is 29 years old, a school teacher still grieving over the loss of her parents to a car accident. She prays every day to forgive the drunken driver who killed her parents and filled her days with sorrow. She treasures fond memories of her parents and the home they cherished. There has never been a special man in Ruth's life. She's lonely and depressed, but fills that empty void by devoting herself to the children in her classroom. One of her students troubles Ruth. Eight year old Jason Winters has swiftly gone from excellent happy student to pensive and withdrawn child. She suspects trouble on the home front and hopes to learn more from Jason's father.



Wyndom Winters is a 34 year old widower whose marriage was a heart breaking sham long before his ex wife died in a car accident. He and his son live with his alcoholic mother-in-law so Jason will have supervision while Wyndom works. When he meets Jason's teacher, Ruth Dennison, he's impressed by her sweetness. What follows is a gracefully written story of a troubled frightened child and the adults who try to bring joy back to his life.



Yes, before too many weeks pass, Wyndom has "Ruth Fever." He struggles with desire and hopes to establish a strong relationship that will lead to marriage. Theirs is a tender and passionate love story, but there are some tough obstacles standing in the way of happiness. Jason's cruel, alcoholic grandmother has plans for Wyndom and Jason that do not include Ruth. And the truth of how her parents died in the same accident as Wyndom's wife is a bitter pill for Ruth to swallow.



Ruth Fever is a satisfying read, a heart warming tale of two decent, lonely people drawn together by their love for Jason and each other. It gets my highest recommendation.



Laurel Johnson

Midwest Book Review


Another Winner
May 20, 2003
Reviewer: Christy Tillery French (see more about me) from TN, author of "Chasing Horses"
Once more author Beverly Scott has given the reading audience a wonderful book. I read her first book, "Righteous Revenge", and was impressed. After reading "Ruth Fever", I am in awe.

"Ruth Fever" is a beautiful love story which centers around a 7-year-old troubled boy named Jason. Jason's teacher, Ruth, has noticed he has become withdrawn and wants to understand the reason why. Through her love of Edsels, Ruth meets Jason's father, Wyndom, and together they try to understand why Jason is not the happy, jubilant boy he used to be. While trying to figure out what is going on with Jason, Ruth and Wyndom fall in love with one another.

The author's love and knowledge of Edsels is evident and she weaves this into the story in a fun and informative way. The cat named Horse is a great character and Ms. Scott seems to have an inner knowledge about cats and the way their minds work!

Ms. Scott has the unique ability to write within a confluence of genres: mystery, romance, and inspirational, and do it well. Her narrative is wonderful, her descriptive beautifully delivered, her dialogue simply the best. She is without a doubt one of my favorite authors to read and I recommend this book, as well as "Righteous Revenge" to all.

This is a lovely book by a lovely writer and one I know we'll be seeing on the "New York Times" the best-seller list.




Reader Reviews for "Ruth Fever"


Reviewed by Evelyn Horan 5/21/2003
Charming, Delightful Romance!
A caring school teacher, a troubled student, and a confused father are drawn together in a series of interesting events centering around the sale of a classic Edsel car. The story could be one that occurs in our neighborhood for the characters are so alive and real we identify with them immediately. At unexpected times, we are charmed by the clarity and flow of the lyrical narrative of the novel. Ruth Fever is a heartwarming story sure to hold attention to the last satisfying page! Beverly J. Scott, is a wonderful new talent! Her books are sure winners with an appeal to a wide readership. Evelyn Horan - author Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl, Books One-Three
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 5/20/2003
interesting book excerpt, would like to see cover
Reviewed by Victoria Murray 5/9/2003
I am such a huge fan of this gifted writer! Beverly, is such a wonderful, sweet, and kind person, and a fabulous writer to boot! If you have not had a chance to read any of her books then "Ruth Fever" is the perfect book to start with. If you enjoy page turning excitment with the perfect touch of romance then you are going to love this story. The characters are entertaining, and the dialogue lively, and the plot is a real crowd pleaser to be sure! You will also find Beverly's first novel, "Righteous Revenge," a real treat to read as well! I highly recommend both of Beverly's books! (Take "10" Beverly, you've earned it!)

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Books by
Beverly J Scott



White Nigger

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Righteous Revenge

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Ruth Fever

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Jena's Choice

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