A Child’s Heart on First Sight Saturday

A Child’s Heart on First Sight Saturday

Every week on First Sight Saturday, a guest shares a first meeting between two characters. This week, E. Ayers visits with her contemporary romance A Child’s Heart, which also has strong mainstream elements.  This book is Trent and Cassie’s story and is a River City Novel.


Trent Callahan intended to fill the day with a few pleasant memories of his four-year-old son, and he was not about to have this day ruined over false advertising. He brought his son to see dinosaurs, and the child was going to see them.
He strode into the room to have a word with the museum curator, but what he saw made him want to gag. Mummified remains of small animals seemed to be everywhere, and in the middle of all of it was an Oshkosh-clad young woman with white-blonde hair. Trying not to stare at the dead creature next to him, he held his son’s hand a little tighter as he cleared his throat. “Excuse me. I was told I’d find the curator in here. It’s quite obvious that no one in this place seems to know anything.”
The young woman rose from her crouched position and smiled. Her eye color matched the denim blue of her overalls. Pulling a pair of gloves off and extending her hand to him, she politely answered, “I’m Cassandra Jones, the curator. How may I help you?”
Taken aback, he hesitated, then took her hand. Standing there without a trace of makeup, she looked very young, except for the crinkles around her eyes. He stammered, “You’re the curator?”
“Yes. Again, how may I help you?”
“We came to see the dinosaur exhibit, and I’m being told we can’t go into those rooms.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. The exhibit officially opens to the public tomorrow. Tonight is the Dino Tread.”
“I can’t afford to come back tomorrow. I took today off from work to bring my son. According to the billboard, the exhibit opens today.”
Tears were brimming in the child’s eyes.
“I understand the confusion. The posters are more accurate than that billboard. Give me a moment to finish,” she replied with a broader smile, which made the lines around her eyes more noticeable.
He watched as she returned to what she was doing when he walked into the room. It was as if she were ignoring him, and his blood boiled. He looked down at Shawn, whose eyes were washed in tears that were starting to spill. “Don’t cry, Shawn,” he whispered. “I didn’t pay all this money for you to miss seeing the dinosaurs. You’re going to see them.”
“Daddy, I don’t like these ugly things.” Shawn pointed to a blacken figure. “I don’t want to stay here.”
Trent scooped his son into his arms. “It’s okay, they aren’t going to hurt you.”
The woman stood and then grabbed her keys off a shelf. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.” She reached up and touched the boy’s arm. “What’s your name?”
“Shawn,” the boy replied shyly.
“That’s a wonderful name for a handsome young man.” She gazed up at Trent and blushed. “He’s as handsome as his father. Follow me.” They walked out of her office and down the hallway. “What’s your favorite dinosaur, Shawn?”
“Tyrannosaurus.” The boy bared his teeth and held out his hands to claw at the air.
She laughed. “That was a mean one, but not the meanest.” At the end of the hall, she ushered them through a door marked for employees only. The office was small, and there was an older women sitting behind the desk. “I need two guest passes for tonight’s event. Seat them at my table.” Thanking the woman for the tickets, she set out on another trek through the museum. She inserted a key into a door. “Please return tonight as my special guests.” She handed Trent the two passes. “I’m sure Shawn will enjoy the evening. It’s geared for children and their family.”
Trent could feel the anger slipping away as she smiled at him. Those tickets were worth almost as much as he made in a week, and her bright, friendly smile seemed genuine. Suddenly, he felt as if he were being asked on a date, and he knew he had to respond. He lowered his son to the floor, as she opened the door and flipped on some overhead lights. He swallowed and then answered, “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
Shawn’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Wow! Real dinosaurs!”
“You’ll see the whole exhibit tonight. There will be an hour tour of the exhibit and then dinner. Afterwards, we have several special educational events with lots of hands-on fun crafts. It’s all in the brochure with your tickets. If Shawn is allowed to stay up extra late, he can view the dinosaur movie. It starts at eight fifteen and runs for an hour and twenty minutes.”
Trent smiled at the curator and nodded, but suddenly his stomach filled with butterflies. It seemed as though he was back in junior high, and Cassandra Jones was the prettiest girl in class. He got a grip on his waning confidence and shoved his shoulders back, as he stood a little straighter. “I’ll be here at…” He looked at the brochure in his hands. “Five.”
“Come a few minutes early. And you never gave me your name.”
“Trent…Trent Callahan.”
The woman’s eyes grew wide. “Shawn Callahan? This is the famous Shawn Callahan?”
“I wouldn’t say famous.”
“It’s your son who is in need of heart surgery, right?”
“Yes. It’s scheduled for June first.” He could feel the broad smile as it crossed his face. “Riverton Chemicals and Petroleum raised the rest of the money he needed.”
“He looks perfectly healthy.”
“It’s a tough battle to keep him that way. The surgery will give him the opportunity to live a normal life.”
“Do you know Tate Bia?”
He nodded. “Yes. She’s been very active in helping to raise the money for Shawn.”
“She’ll be here tonight.”
“I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for what she’s done. She’s a friend of one of my neighbors, and her father is part of the team of doctors who will be doing the surgery.”
Shawn tugged on his dad’s pants and, in a panicked whisper, said, “I need to tinkle.”
The lovely blonde gazed at the little boy. “Follow me.”
“Sorry. One of his meds creates an urgency.”
“The mens room is right there. I’ll see you this evening.”
What a great Dad! I’ll bet he will also make a wonderful man for Cassandra to fall in love with.  You can find A Child’s Heart at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
If you’d like to find E. Ayers on the web, here are some links.

Twitter: @ayersbooks
Email: e.ayers@ayersbooks.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B005AYJ0XE
And here is a list of other books by E. Ayers that are available at most retailers. * indicates books that are sweeter romances.
Wanting Mac and Amanda’s Story (A River City Novel)
A New Beginning Rick and Dallas’ Story (A River City Novel)
A Challenge Ari and Tate’s Story (A River City Novel)
Forever Jeffery and Letitzia’s Story (A River City Novel)
A Son Gerald and Katie’s Story (A River City Novel)
Coming Out of Hiding (a novel)
A Fine Line (a novella) *
Mariners Cove (a novella)
Ask Me Again (a novella)
A Skeleton at Her Door (a novella)
A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming(a novella) *
A Cowboy’s Kiss in Wyoming(a novella) *
A Love Song in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Calling in Wyoming (a novella) *
Thanks so much for visiting today! I am sure our author welcomes any questions or comments.  Like many of us, she is traveling this week so be patient if she doesn’t reply to you right away. Fill your time with a good book.  Happy reading!

25 Responses to A Child’s Heart on First Sight Saturday

    • It’s always a pleasure to stop by and visit with friends.

      And for those who are wondering what the heck is going on…well, someone broke into my car (in my driveway) as I was getting ready to leave to visit a friend in another state. They got my checkbook and enough info to steal my identity. Some of the things they took were crazy – a small container of dental floss and a package of mini, disposable toothbrush thingies. Really?

      It hadn’t rained all evening but about five minutes before the police showed, we got a gully washers that didn’t end until after they left. Naturally we were all soaked! But we got to laughing about the criminal with the bright smile and healthy gums who drinks diet, decaf cola!

      So there I was shaking with anger because some jerk ruined my weekend, and our wonderful men in blue had me laughing. (And those boys had just come from a serious crime situation.) In spite of the low priority, the guys were wonderful and took the whole thing very seriously. They gave me a long list of things to do to protect myself because of the information stolen. And they went over what they will do if a check is cashed. After they left, I was on the Internet contacting a dozen places and agencies. Then several author friends have rallied and given me even more information. Oh my! (I have to tell the IRS because people will file false returns in my name!)

      So I thank everyone who has wished me luck and for those who have contacted me with additional information. It’s all minor in the grand scheme of life. I’m not facing nor have I ever faced a delicate surgery on one of my children. My heart go out to those parents who have sat for hours in surgical waiting rooms and to those who are dealing with so much more! But I am willing to bet that one day one of my heroines will have her car broken into. It’s life!

  1. Thanks Jill. Waving hello to all your readers.

    Trent is a good dad – his mom made sure of it! LOL I love writing realistic stories. And Trent is one of my favorite characters! Being a single father is tough but being a widower at nineteen made it even tougher.

    I’ll be popping in and out so if anyone has any questions or comments, jump in!

  2. I love the River City series. I think it’s fun to recognize town features and former characters from book to book. And they’re so natural, you feel like these characters just stopped by for a cup of coffee. Very real portrayals you have there E. Very enjoyable reading. Best luck!


    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Rose, and for the kind words.

      I like making the characters come alive and I love when people tell me how much they enjoy reading my River City novels. They never need to be read in order. Each will stand alone, but weaving people through them is fun!

    • Thanks so much, Jane, for stopping by Jill’s blog.

      Shawn is a little sweetie with that Hello-World personality that makes you want to love and cheer for him. And he’s everything to his daddy!

      Men who connect with their children are so special.

  3. Oh I picked up this book last week and I’m loving it. I think I love that the hero is named Trent (I have a son named Trent). Great read and we love to showcase E. Ayer books on StoryFinds.com. So sorry to hear about your break-in E. Wishing you the best – Renee

    • Oh, Renee, thank you for your kind words and I’m thrilled that you’re loving it. I love StoryFinds.com as it’s a great place for readers to find books on sale and free reads! And thanks for stopping by Jill’s blog. She’s a great author and a wonderful friend.

      I think I’ll be cleaning up the mess of the break-in for a while. The worst thing they got was my identity. I’m still coping with trying to reach various agencies. Some must wait until Monday! Ugh!

    • Thank you, Kay, for stopping by Jill’s blog. You might need a a box of tissues in a few places, but I promise it is a happy book with a wonderful HEA. I don’t think there’s a man out there who could face his son’s heart surgery without a few tears. It takes a real man to be a true daddy!

      I just hope whoever did it is stupid enough to try to pass one of my checks at Wal-Mart. They have great cameras! The police in my area are great. The tangible property is minor, but my identity, credit rating, etc. is worth much more! I’m so furious!

  4. E, the excerpt was exciting! Trent is such a wonderful father to Shawn. I can’t wait to read this story! Here’s hoping you’re feeling better now.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment on Jill’s blog and stopping by my website, Carol.

      Yes, I’m doing better, but oh the hassles! I was taught if it wasn’t yours, don’t touch it! Guess that isn’t taught anymore.

    • Love having you at EQ and then dropping over here to visit Jill’s blog. I hope I’ve enticed you to pick up a copy. River City novels do not need to be read in any order. Each stands alone. The glue holding them together is the city.

    • Look who popped in from across the pond! It’s Jenny! I know you’ve read my others so I think you’ll enjoy this one. Cassie is such a little coquette.

  5. I’m a day late, but you know the old cliche. Loved the excerpt, and like many of the rest, Trent and Shawn’s story sounds like another great read.

    So sorry to hear about the break-in. I’m glad to hear you took care of all the important things. It had to be scary after-the-fact and you had time to think about it. Best of luck with A Child’s Heart.

    • Thanks for stopping, Mary. My kids say I’ll be late for my own funeral. I keep telling them that means they’ll have to put up with for a little while longer. LOL

      Shawn is such a good child, but very much a little boy, and full of enthusiasm.

  6. That’s a great excerpt, E. I really felt the shock when you mentioned the child’s heart problem. Sorry about the car break-in and the muscle problem. You did have a bad day.

    • Thanks for stopping by Jill’s blog. You know I write happily ever after, but you’re going to have to route very hard for Shawn, Trent, and Cassie!

    • Hello, Sara. Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by, and I do hope you’re going to love this story. We all have complicated lives and that shows in this story.

  7. So sorry about your resent misfortune. Know it must be hard to focus on writing right now. As a fellow author, I send my sincere wishes for you.
    Roberta Hoffer / author of The Silent Vampire Trilogy: Silentheart
    Silent Madness
    Silent Blood
    by Eternal Press

    • Thank you so much, Roberta, and thank you for stopping by. Life is never linear. And I won’t write it. Especially in today’s world with all that goes on. Jobs and dreams often don’t fit together. We have to keep pushing if we want our dreams to come true.