Annie Crow Knoll-Sunrise is the story of a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives.
Annie is a determined young woman who is left to run her family’s property after the death of her parents. Managing fourteen summer cottages with only the help of a family friend, she struggles to survive on her own. When she meets Drew, a young college professor, Annie thinks she’s finally found a love she can trust.
Excerpt from the book
Drew stayed in the car. Then he started it again, pulled out of the Knoll and drove to Chester Landing. When his stomach growled, he checked his watch. Two in the afternoon, and he hadn’t eaten lunch. He passed the college and parked around the corner from Randi’s, a casual pub on College Avenue . He wanted a cheeseburger and a beer in the worst way. He figured there was very little chance of running into students, who frequented the Blue Crab closer to campus.
Randi’s was pretty quiet since the lunch rush was over, but a group of faculty members was breaking up from a luncheon meeting when he entered. In order to avoid them, Drew went to a secluded booth in the back. He had canceled all of today’s classes because of Bo’s funeral, and it was no one’s business why he was here drinking a beer instead of lecturing in Adams Hall.
Suddenly he realized someone was slipping into the other side of his booth.
Dr. Susan Palmer set a cold, brimming beer in front of him. Then she unwrapped her straw, dropped it into her Diet Pepsi and placed her lips around it to suck the soda up into her mouth. Drew forgot his beer and watched her every move. She looked up at him and smiled.
“I want us to be friends, Drew.”
“You’re my boss, Dr. Palmer.”
“Susan. Please call me Susan. I know you applied for my job and were passed over.”
“I’m sure you are fully qualified.”
“Look, I’d like to make it up to you,” she said and pulled a pen out of her shoulder bag and wrote her phone number on a cocktail napkin. Then she stood and leaned over the table.
“It’d just be sex, Drew. Great sex. That’s all. No strings,” she whispered into his ear.
He didn’t look up as she stepped out of the booth and walked toward the door. Drew did, however, slip the napkin into his pocket. Then he drained the beer mug and ordered another.
Too unsteady to drive safely, Drew walked the four blocks over to his office on campus. No one noticed him, and he was able to sneak in the door, leave the lights off and collapse on the broken down sofa across from his desk where he fell asleep.
He awoke with a start, unsure where he was or what time it had gotten to be. As he began to focus, recalling how he’d found his way to the closest and safest place to crash after drinking too much at Randi’s, he noticed the time. Drew was late for his weekly chess game with Packard.
He pulled on his coat and trudged back down College Avenue to retrieve his car. The air had grown colder since the sun had set some time ago. He hunched his shoulders against the wind and jammed his hands into his coat pockets. Where was the cocktail napkin? He checked his pants pocket. It was there.
A strong gust blew dirt into Drew’s eyes when he rounded the corner toward his car. Turning his back on the wind, he took off his glasses and dabbed at his eyes with the napkin. There was a trash receptacle steps away, but he shoved the napkin back into his coat pocket.