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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Inherited Love by Katie Mettner

The last thing Cinnamon Mabel Dalton thought she would inherit from her grandmother was two-hundred-pounds of slobbering Saint Bernard. At twenty-seven, Cinn was an experienced jazz artist, but an inexperienced pet owner. 

Dr. Foster Kern, the veterinarian and director of the Little Ivywood Humane Society, was regaled with stories of the infamous Cinn Dalton for years. None of them prepared him to meet her face-to-face. Smitten by Cinn’s exotic looks, Foster jumps at the chance to answer her questions about caring for her new charge.

When her grandmother’s legacy comes under attack, Foster and Cinn team up to find out who’s behind the vandalism. Determined to protect her heart, Cinn hides her secrets from the man she’s falling fast for, until fate unwittingly reveals the truth. Now she has two choices; trust her heart to Foster or run away from her true inheritance, the love of a lifetime.

Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989, Katie became an amputee in 2011, giving her the time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story, Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines. As the author of over two dozen romance novels, her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities.
Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married in April. Almost seventeen years later her love story is a true case of instalove. She and her husband share their lives with their three children, and one very special leopard gecko. When not busy being a band mom, Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.
Find all of Katie’s books on Amazon
Read about more of Katie's adventures as an amputee writer at
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Are you a Pinner? Pin with Katie at Sugarsballroom

I bowed my head and pretended to pray, which was ridiculous considering where I sat. I had my butt planted in the third pew of a funeral home in the small town of Little Ivywood, California, emphasis on little. It would be romantic to say we’re cool like Little Italy, but we’re not. We’re a small town near the border of Oregon, and have nothing especially wonderful to claim about our fair city, unless you count our annual chicken throwing contest. Yes, you read it right, but back to why I’m pretending to pray while sitting in a pew at a funeral. My grandmother, Mabel “Trigger Finger” Dalton, passed away a few days ago, much to the pleasure of almost everyone who knew her. To say Mabel died with lots of friends and her loving family by her side would be an outright lie. She was a cantankerous old woman who gained her nickname from her first line of work, being an assassin for the US Government. I’m not even kidding. She had at least two hundred assassinations under her belt by the time she left the military. She claims the number could be higher, because she was notorious for killing two people with one bullet. Gruesome, right? Believe me, you’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.
She didn’t put a lot of stock in religion and spent a good amount of time postulating about the pointlessness of our existence on Earth. I’m telling you, Mabel was about as loved as a tarantula in your slipper. Why she had my father, I will never know. She had no time for children, their antics, or the messes they made. My dad swears my grandfather was an honest to goodness saint, but then again, he died when my dad turned eighteen. Now, thirty years since his death, his wife finally joins him. Though it’s possible, for those who believe in a higher power when you leave this plane of existence, she may have gone to a different place than he did.
I tried not to snort as I listened to the minister tell us she was in a better place now. She suffered a heart attack while doing the horizontal mambo with a gentleman we had never met. He wasn’t a robber, or any other nefarious character, only a guy she picked up at the bowling alley to do her a few ‘favors’. Don’t worry I almost threw up in my mouth thinking about it, too, when my father told me. No, he did the world a favor, and spared us any further negativity and discord from Mabel. Even my father felt it was time for her to disappear to a village with no electricity, internet, or telephones. That doesn’t say much about the woman who raised him, does it? I can report Mabel chilled a little over the last few years. When I was thirteen, she decided maybe she should get to know her grandchildren. I was the only one of the three who put any effort into the relationship at all. I think I was the only one born with the guilt gene, or it’s possible I felt compelled to do it because I’m the middle child. But whatever the reason, I spent more time with Mabel than anyone I know, ever. During those dozen years, I discovered there was a lot more to Mabel Dalton than meets the eye. She carried negativity like a candle, lighting up the room with it wherever she went. The more time I spent with her the more I decided she used negativity as a shield, so she didn’t have to deal with her past. As we both got older, she opened up more to me about her fears concerning her afterlife. She knew she had broken the sixth commandment hundreds of times, and the older she got, the more her actions tortured her. At first I tried to convince her she had killed bad people who wanted nothing more than to kill her, but my logic didn’t seem to help. Eventually, all I could do was tell her to ask for forgiveness and accept He has forgiven her for her transgressions.
I checked my watch and then sat on my hands, anxiously waiting for the ‘service’ to be over, so we could leave. The best part was there would be no burial. She donated her body to science. I figure they would probably look for the mean bone, kind of like the funny bone, but it has been elusive thus far. We planned a short service for the five of us, and then they were reading the will at the lawyer’s office. I think the rest of the family would have been happy to skip the service and cut straight to the reading of the will, but she was my father’s mother, and I wanted to at least say my last goodbyes.
Mabel was mean, but she was also rich. I suspect we will all end up with nothing and her assets and money will go to a charity. Then again, she didn’t like those either. The only charity she had any time for was the humane society, so chances are it would all go to them and we’d be on our way. I think the reason we were all anxious to be there was curiosity lined our hearts when it came to this woman who few could love. Mabel had dug me out of some deep holes over the years, not because I asked, however. The woman could surprise you sometimes. She paid the remaining balance at the hospital after they admitted me and my dad’s insurance didn’t cover it all. It was during those times, the hard times, when you got to see the real Mabel Dalton. You had to look quickly though, because she was fast at shoving all her emotions back inside herself and wielding her sharp tongue again.
I’m sure you’re thinking she would at least leave something to her son, but I doubt it. Our family is small, one smaller now that she was gone. When my dad married Marguerite Sanchez, Mabel threw words around like disappointed and disowning at my father for marrying outside his race. My dad told her he wasn’t marrying outside his race. They were both human. Mabel didn’t appreciate his smart aleckness, either. Did I forget to mention she was also a bigot? She boycotted the wedding and when they introduced the new couple as Mr. and Mrs. Bennie Dalton, Mabel was not there to see it. Such a shame, the Hispanic culture knows how to put on a wedding.
From the union three children were born, my oldest sister Tabitha, who is a bit of a drama queen, currently sniffling as though Mabel was her favorite person on earth and her heart was broken in two. My brother, Lorenzo, the baby of the family, was almost twenty-one, but everyone still treated him as if he was one. Then there’s me, Cinnamon Mabel Dalton, the middle child of the family. In my childhood, I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes at my name, my siblings, and my grandmother. If there were such a thing as eye rolling contests, I would win. I suppose you noticed my name is a bit…unusual. Apparently, my parents couldn’t decide if I should be a stripper or a cat lady when I grew up, so they gave me both names, so I could choose.
All joking aside, my parents thought naming me after Mabel would soften her prejudices and bring her around to see the grandchildren. I would have to say to a degree it did; at least she started talking to my father again, and asked him to bring the children for Sunday dinner once a month.
My mother came with us, but our standing dinner arrangement only lasted for a short two-hour span on a Sunday in July, when I was four months old. Once I was old enough to figure Mabel out, I insisted she and I begin those Sunday dinners again, just the two of us, once a month. Begrudgingly she allowed it, and I think she even started to enjoy our time together. When I was thirteen she even came around to deciding maybe my mother wasn’t so bad, if she was raising a girl like me. To say she mended fences might be going too far, but she stopped ignoring my mother, and started inviting the rest of the family to Sunday dinner.
I looked up at my father who stood over me. “Cinn, the service is over.”
I stood, somewhat surprised I had been lost in thought for so long, and smoothed my dress. “I know,” I said, nodding as though I hadn’t been staring off into space for at least ten minutes.
“Do you want to ride with us to the lawyer’s office?” he asked, slinging his arm around my shoulder. Maḿa had hers slung around Tabitha’s shoulder to comfort her, but her sniffles were a beacon of fakeness in the room. Most likely she was hoping Mabel had left her fistfuls of cash and she would never have to work again. At almost twenty-nine Tabby was still single, likely due to her penchant for drama and unwillingness to work.
I needed a little drama free time before the will reading, so I declined. “I’ll drive over, since I brought my car. I need to stop and pick something up.”
He looked at his watch. “Okay, but don’t be late. We won’t wait for you because the line was too long at Dunkin’ Donuts.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and then laughed, waving as I pushed through the door of the tiny funeral home and jogged to my car. There was a cup of tea waiting somewhere with my name on it.

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