Fighting for his country is something Cord takes great pride in, though being single and away from family is starting to take a toll on him.
One fateful day, Cord receives a thoughtful gift of a simple cup of coffee from a stranger through the Java for a Joe program. After reaching out to the sender, an unlikely friendship is formed.
As time passes, Maloree and Cord’s friendship progresses across the miles and feelings blossom.
When granted leave for the holidays, Cord decides to seek Maloree out.
Will two people who found each other through the words of a simple gesture, sent from a world away, have a real chance at love once they’re face to face? Or will their romance be tucked away as a beautiful memory along with the letters signed… With Gratitude and Love…
Dear Service Member,
I hope that this message finds you well. It’s such a small token of my appreciation for all that you and those who serve beside you do, but it’s all I can send from the home front.
I’m writing to you from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I’m an author and while it seems like such a meaningless task to some, to me it’s so fulfilling. I create elaborate romance stories for readers around the world who pick up my books. The fact that I can create a brief respite for those who read my written words and involve them in my stories and characters is very rewarding.
Though not nearly as rewarding as what you do.
I’m sorry, I’m rambling.
I simply wanted to send you this cup of coffee (or tea, hot chocolate, iced coffee, etc.) to show that I’m thinking of all of you back home. You’re service and sacrifice is noted and appreciated. At least by me.
I sincerely appreciate your sacrifice in leaving those you love behind to serve and protect our country and our freedoms. It’s because of you and those who came before you that I am able to chase my dreams and live my life free in the country I love.
I’ll send this off now, but again, thank you for your service.
With Gratitude and Love,
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Just as I’m hitting “Send” on the message and sending another Java for a Joe, my personal assistant, Beth, pops her head into my office. “Mal, do you have those chapters done? I can get started on reading through them if you have them ready.” Her reminder is not really needed, but I do appreciate the way she keeps me on task.
I nod as she asks, “Do you think you’ll make your deadline?”
Turning in my chair to face her, I pop my back and stretch my arms high above my head. Moaning as it alleviates some of the tension residing there, I grunt at her. “I have chapters one through twelve done. They’re not edited, so they’ll be rough, but I did finish twelve just now.” She looks at me and sees my laptop behind my chair.
Her brows raise and she smiles. “That’s not the book. You just sent more coffee to the troops?”
I grin. “I did. It’s something I can do and the thankful messages I get every week, show me that the gesture is appreciated. Most of them thank me for the coffees and really it’s me who’s thanking them.” I spin back around as my computer makes a whooshing sound to show the transaction has gone through. “It’s a two buck cup of coffee. It’s nothing for me to send that, yet, they thank me as if I’m sending them boxes of chocolate molten lava cake. It’s a great feeling and I’m happy to do it.”
Beth leans over my shoulder to glance at my screen. “Send me the link again. I keep saying I need to do this, and then I get caught up in working for you and forget. You slave driver.”
I laugh and wave my hand behind me. “Yeah, I’m so harsh. I’ll send you the link and then I need to get back to work.
This book is not going to write itself. Shoo.”
She chuckles as I hear her head for the door. “Hey, do you need a top off on your coffee or are you still good?”
Looking down, I see my empty mug. “I need more. You know java fuels my soul and keeps the words flowing. I’m only at about six cups so far today. You’re slacking.”
She swoops in and grabs my cup as I once again start to type. “Uh huh. You drink too much coffee, boss.”
When she’s not chained to her laptop pounding out sexy stories she can usually be found playing ‘Supermom’, reading, gardening (playing in the dirt), listening to music and dancing like a fool, cooking, baking, crafting, or spending time with those most important to her.
She loves to incorporate pieces of her home state of Louisiana into her writing.