The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.
In an innocent 1958 American suburb, Shelly doesn’t know the power of a kiss. Or how it will change her entire life.
At sixteen years old, she falls in love with a young man. One night—just one night—they go too far. Months later, pregnant and shamed, Shelly’s parents banish her.
Alone and heavily pregnant, circumstances force Shelly to cross the country in an old pickup.
A mistaken turn leaves her lost in a forest amidst a severe snow storm and in labor.
In the dark of night. Shelly must get help for her new-born baby before they both perish. A light in the distance gives her the slimmest glimmer of hope.
After Shelly wraps the infant in her father’s old jacket, she trudges through the snow to a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Snow half buries the squat stone building.
Will Shelly find shelter, or is it the beginning of the end?
Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the high desert of Arizona, where she writes, gardens, and travels with her husband.
Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.
When Gwen is not writing, she’s often in the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, where she finds inspiration.
Excerpt from The Gift
Lighthouse Cottage in Harbor Pointe
Jesse rocks the newborn and slips in and out of sleep. Nuzzled on his chest, the baby snorts softly while he snoozes. The warmth from the fireplace has lured them both into dreams. But only for a short time.
“Jesse.” Alarmed, Mary shakes his arm. “We need to get help.”
“The young girl needs a doctor. She’s not responding well, and she’s in and out of awareness. If she can’t feed the baby, what will we do?”
“You don’t have milk? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Correct. I planned to buy more today, but we couldn’t get through the roadblocks. This is serious, Jes. We need to get help.”
Jesse looks down at the baby resting on his chest and back to his wife. “I’m not sure what we can do in this blizzard, but we must find a way. We must.”
“What about the lighthouse? Can you send a signal?”
“I could try. Maybe a local will spot the SOS and send assistance.”
“How? Who could drive through this storm? And at this time of the night?” “Someone with a front loader or tractor.” Mary nods and stares at the baby. “What about the storage room at the inn? Maybe they have a box of baby items. Perhaps some milk?”
“Good thought. They might have basics like diapers, but there’s also a lost-and-found. I’ll check it out after I go to the lighthouse.”
“You have the keys?”
“Yeah. I’ll get my gear on.” Jes kisses the sleeping infant and hands him to Mary. A few minutes later, he reappears, donned in his snow gear. The windowpane rattles, and the two turn and face each other with worried looks. “You’ll be careful, Jes? I can’t lose you.”
Jesse grabs his flashlight. “I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry.” Mary keeps her eyes focused on the baby and shudders when the door slams shut. The tiny one doesn’t seem to hear the howling winds or the throbbing of her heartbeat. Instead, he sleeps undisturbed in her arms.
Mary stares at the little angel, brushes away a tear, and swallows her apprehension. More composed now, she walks with the baby to the back room to check on Shelly. At the end of the cot, Mary realizes nothing has changed since she left the room several minutes prior. Shelly hasn’t moved. Other than the slight rising and lowering of the blanket over her chest, she discerns no other no signs of life.
Mary sits in a chair near the young woman and lays the little one beside his mother. Never opening his eyes, he snuggles into the space. Unaware of his presence, Shelly doesn’t move at all. Afraid of what lies ahead, Mary bows her head and prays—for Shelly, the baby, all of them.
The Gift is a story of loss, loneliness, and longing, and how even the most rejected and abandoned can find hope in the remotest of places…
Alone and lost in the forest in the middle of a snow storm, a pregnant sixteen year old girl’s baby decides to be born.
A tragedy waiting to happen…
A light in the darkness keeps her moving, trying desperately to save her baby all she can think of. Will Shelly and her baby find safety before they both freeze to death?
There are many stories in Harbour Pointe, and I have the feeling I will enjoy them all!