Red and the Wolf<br/>

Author: June Foster
Publisher: June Foster
Published: 2014-03-20
ISBN(s) 1496164032 978-1496164032
Editor: June Foster
Illustrator: Vanessa Riley
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Inspirational, Romance, Contemporary Read Excerpt >


Chapter One



Lilly tossed a strand of curly hair from her face. The unruly red locks, like her rebellious mind, refused to behave—especially under pressure. It made a woman want to scream. She blinked, trying to draw her attention back to the task in front of her. Her assignment on the computer screen glared. The Ten Most Popular Banana Bread Recipes among dessert lovers.

The comfort of her cushy swivel chair tempted her. Twirling herself around twice, she kicked her legs out. Uh, oh. I hope nobody saw that. Why was it so hard to remember? She was an adult, not a kid. The "Whee!" that had almost escaped remained lodged in her throat. Whirling in a spinning chair might appease ADD symptoms, but the shenanigans had to stop.

Once again the screen's blinking cursor reminded her of the pressing truth—the story needed to be finished and a deadline loomed. A glance at the clock the editor had installed on the office wall broadcasted the warning. Forty-five more minutes.

Oh, she'd never make it. Another disobedient lock of hair took revenge, falling onto her cheek, and she blew through the side of her mouth to shoo it away. More determined than ever, her fingers pounded harder. The keyboard might not survive.

Admit it. Mr. Grimm made her downright mad. Why would he assign such a mundane topic? Banana bread recipes? To her of all people? She didn't even know how to cook. But since he was the boss, she wanted to comply and work toward her childhood dream of becoming a successful reporter.

Mom's admonition still rang in her head—work as to please God, not man. Lilly firmed her lips, more determined than ever to do a good job—for both the Lord and her boss.

The clock inched around. Another five minutes gone. At least the first part of the story listed the ten recipes. Now she needed to make life-changing decisions such as which qualified as the tastiest, the most economical to prepare, the oldest, even which fell into the gourmet category. Gourmet banana nut bread?

Lilly glimpsed at her notes again then glanced up at the clock. Thirty-five more minutes. If she pulled her hair, she'd probably rip it all out by its red roots. Was her job at The Daily Scoop worth going bald over?

Just once she'd like to prove Mr. Grimm wrong and submit a story ahead of time. Maybe he'd stop making all those remarks questioning her punctuality.

She jumped as her cell phone sang. Why couldn't she remember the name of the tune? A slow stream of air fled her nostrils. Something by Amanda Seyfried. Thirty minutes to the deadline. "Hello." She hadn't meant to sound so gruff.

"Lilly, this is Hunter. Where are you?"

Deadline. Deadline. "Oh, Hunter. I can't talk right now. Unless you can tell me a good reason why banana bread is one of the most popular recipes in the south."

"What? Lilly, I've been waiting over fifteen minutes."

Lilly flinched at his curt voice.

"The Wild Game Grill stays open late in case you finally decide to show up. The guy at the next table is eating venison stew, and I'm drooling. Did you forget—"

Deadline. "Hunter, I don't have time for this. Mr. Grimm's expecting a good story in less than thirty minutes. I'll call you later, sweetie." Lilly powered off. Her own mental lapses were interruption enough. She couldn't have anyone else monopolizing her brain.

Okay, let's see. If the article didn't get finished in the next twenty-five minutes, she'd no longer be a reporter at the best newspaper in Fairwilde. Lilly scanned the story from the beginning to her blinking curser. Only three more paragraphs. She rubbed her hands together and positioned her fingertips on the keyboard.

Five minutes and two paragraphs were done. Now the article would end with a lie—which recipe she'd be more likely to bake in her own kitchen. Number three would be a good answer because it had the least ingredients. A lie because she'd never bake banana bread in her kitchen. Frozen waffles on occasion, but never, never banana bread.

With a flourish, she waved her hand in the air then clicked save and send. Finally. Whew. Gainful employment for another twenty-four hours.

Lilly leaned back in the chair, closed her eyes, and allowed a sigh to escape. What a relief to be finished. Though this job fulfilled a longtime ambition, Mr. Grimm's field assignments were more fun than sitting at a desk drumming computer keys. Working off-site stimulated her creativity.

Face it. She'd always had trouble concentrating for long periods. Without writing things down, she wouldn't remember. One of the many downsides of Attention Deficit Disorder. Mom always said Lilly would grow out of it. Hadn't happened yet.

"Hey, Red. What 'cha doing?"

Lilly opened her eyes. A fellow reporter, Wolf Skinner, hovered over her cube. Tall, with dark thick hair. She stretched her arms. "Just made deadline".

"Good for you, Red."

Lilly opened her eyes. Nobody but Wolf called her that. He'd mentioned his real name once—Wilford, but now it sounded funny. "I thought I was going to miss the deadline. You know how Mr. Grimm is."

Wolf gave a low chuckle that sounded more like a growl. "He doesn't scare me. But he definitely wants his reporters to know he's boss. I have to confess. One time I had the urge to bite his ear off. He brings out the worst in me."

"Wolf, you crazy guy. I don't know where you get those strange ideas. Well, I guess we newspaper people need a good imagination, not to speak of creativity, determination, and thick skin."

Wolf emitted another low, rolling chuckle. "Hey, Red. Now that you're finished, let me take you to dinner. I've been wanting to try that new grill."

"Oh, you mean The Wild Game Grill on East Carnivora Avenue downtown?"

"Yeah, that's the one." Wolf tugged on her arm. "Come on. You know you're hungry. I'm starved."

She'd welcome the chance to go to a new restaurant—but with Wolf? After sitting next to him at the banquet last Christmas, she wasn't so sure. His table manners left a lot to be desired. Anybody who could scarf down the roasted rabbit with bleu cheese and mustard sauce as if he were starving to death, and with that menacing face—the thought made her sick. But then he was right. She was hungry. Hopefully his manners had changed since then. "Okay. Let's go."


Red and the Wolf   by   June Foster   |   See Bio >
Some Redheads Attract More Than Wolves

Newspaper reporter Lilly Hood didn't ask for ADD that's plagued her since childhood. Never mind she can't remember where she puts things, but when she forgets dates with her handsome boyfriend, Hunter Woods, well, that's inexcusable.


Though Hunter has known Lilly from the time she was a scrawny kid scurrying up trees and gallivanting through Alabama forests, will he understand when she doesn't keep her promises? Or will he suspect Lilly's falling for her tall, dark, and handsome co-worker?


Fellow reporter Wolf Skinner has designs on Lilly and would like to take Hunter's place as Lilly's boyfriend. But his reasons are less than honorable. When Lilly gets lost in the forest and must climb a tree to escape a ferocious bear, which of these gentlemen will be her hero?


Red and the Wolf is a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Sometimes red heads attract more than Wolves.


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