||Apr 19 1990
Josh Wagner and Ellen Pike were the two most popular students in high school. A weekend visit home from college brings a chance meeting between the two who spend a memorable weekend in New Orleans. After several weekend visits, Ellen disappears.
At a party, a pregnant girl uses Josh’s advanced state of inebriation to maneuver him into thinking she is pregnant with his child. After enduring years of a loveless marriage, Josh and his wife divorce. The twins make a new friend at school who will inadvertently solve the continuing mystery of Ellen's disappearance, bringing the story to an end.
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No one was watching the twins, who were too independent to be held, and had insisted on sitting in a chair alone. While all eyes were focused on the stage, the twins slipped down from their chairs and were gone. They were not missed until the two of them were on the top step of the stairs at the end of the stage.
Kristin's hand went to her mouth in disbelief. The grandparents quickly checked, only to find the two empty seats. They immediately knew the two on the stage were indeed their own grandchildren.
Every eye shifted from Josh to the two girls who had reached the stage. It was too late for anyone to react, only to hold their breaths and watch and wonder what the twins would do next. Although the twins were only three years old, they already had minds of their own, and everyone who was even vaguely familiar with them realized they had something definite in mind.
Everyone on the stage saw the girls at the same moment, as did their father. Josh stopped and stared at them momentarily. When the twins saw a smile of love burst across his face, they immediately started running across the stage. They sounded like twin Claxton’s as first one, and then the other began screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!”
As they approached, Josh stuffed his diploma under his arm, went down on one knee, and held his arms straight out to them. When they jumped into the air at the same instant, he swept them both up, and carried a twin in each arm while completing his walk across the stage. One of the girls reached under his arm and pulled out his diploma. Josh allowed her to hold it between her hands. So the other one wouldn't cause a scene, he took his mortar board off his head and placed it on her head. Since it was too big and threatened to fall off, she held it on top of her head with both her tiny hands.
Upon seeing such a touching scene between a father and his beautiful twin daughters, the somber mood of the ceremony was immediately broken. Bedlam broke loose as the audience stood up and began to shout and applaud thunderously.
By the time they cleared the steps, Kristin was waiting with the intention of relieving him of his burden. But when she approached him with outstretched arms, the girls put their arms around their father's neck and buried their faces in his shoulders.
Josh knew what their reaction would be like if their mother tried to remove them forcibly, so he shook the lead and started up the aisle toward his designated seat. As he did, the twins peered up at him, their tiny faces filled with adoration.
Once they had finally taken their seat, it still took a period of time for everything to return to normal so the two final graduates could walk across the stage and receive their own diplomas which were also richly deserved. Even then, most of the spectator’s covetous attention was directed to the father who shared a remarkable relationship with two incredible young girls.
Betsie's Literay Reviews
Author: Morris L. Striplin
Publisher: Crystal Dreams Publishing
Rating: Highly Recommended
Backwater is an intriguing romance novel about a young law student, Josh Wagner, who during a visit home bumps into an old school mate, Ellen Pike. Josh and Ellen reminisce about old times and discover that they were made for each other. They spend a passionate weekend together and fall hopelessly in love.
As their time together dwindles, they are saddened. Neither wants to end this glorious time. They decide that this is a great deal more than just a romp in the hay. However, Josh is from a traditional, wealthy family and Ellen, is a poor working girl struggling to save money for nursing school. Realizing that they must soon part, they brand themselves with a symbol of their love. Josh and Ellen say their bittersweet good-byes with promises of when next they meet. Those promises are short lived when Ellen disappears. Josh is forced to face the reality that Ellen left of her accord and he ends up in a sour marriage.
The author, Morris L. Striplin manages to simultaneously keep the reader in suspense regarding Ellens disappearance, while Joshs unfortunate story unfolds.
I truly enjoyed this intricately written fiction, because it reflects on true-life circumstances in which many marry for the wrong reasons. In addition, I was amazed at how well this male author penned romance. I highly recommend this steamy novel full of raw emotions the ending will surprise you!
HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS
Author: Morris L. Striplin
Title - Backwater
Young Josh Wagner and Ellen Lebouef had been totally in love. After a few romantic days in New Orleans, they decided to get a tattoo on their upper, inner thigh so they would always remember it. Josh's family had money and Ellen's did not. Ellen had hopes of going to nursing school someday though and making something of herself. Josh was in college and would follow his father's footsteps. The two planned to marry someday soon. However, Josh's father, Matt, took it upon himself to step in. Matt did not care for Ellen's family, even though Ellen was a perfect young lady. Believing he was doing something his son would thank him for someday, Matt and his best friend, Jim Coriell, interfered.
When Josh learned that Ellen had disappeared and did not want Josh to know why or where she went, he immediately confronted his father. But Matt and Jim convinced Josh that they had nothing to do with it. Heartbroken, Josh entered the willing arms of Jim's daughter, Kristin. When they wed, Matt and Jim were thrilled! The two best friends and business partners were now brother-in-laws. Better still, Josh's best friend was Blake who was Kristin's brother. So those two best friends also became brothers! (Sounds like a juicy soap opera doesn't it?)
Now to make the plot even better. Only Kristin and her mother knew the deep secret concerning the twins. Kristin had purposely let Josh think she was pregnant by him, thus the marriage. However, someone else fathered the twin girls. That secret would hold until the girls were almost adults. From there on, things get even more interesting! Do not think that Ellen is out of the picture for good and expect quite a few more surprises. But that is all the synopsis that I dare give.
**** Author Morris L. Striplin has done and excellent job in creating a fascinating story set in Backwater, Louisiana. Men, do not go thinking this is soap opera junk. It just has a lot of twists and turns like a good soap or drama movie has. But no rednecks, no kissing cousins, no JUNK. Both men and women will LOVE this tale. The ending is especially satisfying! Morris L. Striplin has made a fan with me and I look forward to his next stunning release. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch.
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Morris L. Striplin