Author bio: Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).
Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
Excerpt from Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories written by Alexis A. Goring
Story: Peace and Love
Elle Brighton drove her black BMW coupe into the guest parking lot of the Four Seasons Hotel.
“Look, baby,” she said, talking to her car, “there’s your cousin, the BMW convertible. I think you’re a lot cuter, but we’re going to park next to your kin, okay?”
Elle laughed at her own attempt at humor. Talking to herself—and her BMW—was one of her quirks. People either thought she was crazy or gifted as an actress. Elle, who lived off of freelance work as an artist, believed that to be successful in the world of arts, a person
had to be a combination of both crazy and gifted.
Elle exited her car and locked the doors. She then opened the trunk and tugged out her oversized purple Traveler’s suitcase. Elle turned her eyes heavenward and sent up a silent prayer for success in her job hunt.
The holiday season is going to be beautiful, she thought. I just know it.
Kristine Amanda Thompson paused in the photo frame aisle at Target. Her gaze fixed on a beautiful silver frame with the words Mother and Daughter engraved across the bottom. Tears welled up in her eyes as she picked up the lovely design.
Maybe this year will be different, she thought, gently placing the frame into the shopping cart.
Kristine worked as a senior sales associate at Stylish Comfort—an upscale women’s apparel store in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. With her reliability, natural kindness, and demand for excellence, everyone—including Kristine—believed she’d be first choice for the manager position this holiday season. But the promotion was the furthest thing on Kristine’s wish list. She only wanted one thing—to be reunited with her birth mom.
After graduating from college and moving back into her adoptive parents’ house, she told them what she’d been thinking for years—she wanted to know who her birth mother was. Now, as an adult engaged to marry her college sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, Kristine
very much wanted to find her birth mother. It was tough for her to do all the planning for the wedding with her adoptive parents and fiancé Derek, but not with the woman who gave her life.
Kristine picked up the empty picture frame and gazed at it once more. Please, Lord, if it is Your will, bless my search for my birth mother. You’ve blessed me with adoptive parents who love me, and I am forever grateful. But You understand that there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled with the love of my birth mom. Please, Lord, help me find her. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Eric Stewart sighed out of exasperation. Not again. Not this Christmas.
He was looking at the brief for his latest family law case—what looked like a very nasty divorce. While Eric enjoyed his job, there was a bit of irony to it. There was Eric, a family law attorney who prosecuted everything from divorce cases to custody battles, yet he couldn’t get his own life straight in the category of romance.
He blamed it all on his parents who suffered a bitter divorce when he was only fifteen. Life had not been the same since. Despite being a twenty-eight-year-old man, Eric still harbored resentment over his parents’ failed marriage. Now, years later, Eric was more resentful than ever, and the holiday season just made him more of a Scrooge.
“Why did you have to do it?” Eric, who rarely talked to himself, said aloud.
“Why did who have to do what?” a feminine voice inquired.
Eric turned his attention from his memories to his paralegal Rebecca Heart. “It’s nothing, Rebecca. How may I help you?”
“Are you okay?” she asked. “Should I get you a latte?”
All the lattes in the world aren’t going to help me. He smiled at Rebecca’s thoughtfulness.
“That’s very sweet of you, but no, I don’t need coffee.”
Rebecca smiled. “Okay. Well, have a happy holiday season.”
Eric managed a small smile. “Thanks Rebecca.” He turned his attention to the case briefing on his desk.
“Hey, have you talked to Bridget Andersen?”
“Yes, she calls every day asking for you.”
“Thank you for not telling me.”
Rebecca tried not to show frustration. “But you told me that you always call your clients first.”
“Rebecca, it’s okay,” Eric said. “I have to phone both parties tomorrow morning. If Mrs. Andersen calls before then, let her know I will be in touch with her soon.”
“Okay. Have a good night,” Rebecca said before leaving for her desk.
Eric looked at his wall clock. Seven o’clock. Wasn’t there something I had to do at seven?
“Rebecca!” Eric called.
She rushed into the inner office with her agenda book in hand.
“Don’t I have something planned for tonight? Check the calendar.”
She quickly flipped through the book to December first. Her face fell.
“Nothing,” she said, looking up at him and trying to hide her disappointment. “You have a date with Mariana Santiago tonight, and you’re supposed to pick her up right now.”
Eric began to pack his briefcase and grabbed his coat. He handed his office keys to her.
“Lock up the office when you leave, would you?”
“And don’t stay here too late.”
Rebecca nodded again.
As Eric rushed out of the door for the elevator, his Blackberry to his ear, Rebecca locked the door and settled into her chair. She took a look at the clock and then at the remaining stack of work due tomorrow morning.
Another late night, she thought, spent working.
Quietly, Rebecca began to type.
Social media links:
Author page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexisAGoring
Blog, “God is Love” – http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com
Twitter handle, @pennedbyalex