Thursday, August 26, 2010

Prodigal, Robin Bayne

Romance/Contemporary/Short Story (Novella)
Daniel Gardner is making a grand entrance at his brother’s wedding. The problem is, no one has seen him in years. Unsure of his welcome, this prodigal son needs the years and the hearts of his family to miraculously melt for a fresh start…but he may not be the only one needing to make amends.

Lane Taylor doesn’t realize how much she still loves Daniel until she’s standing face-to-face with him after so many years apart. Once upon a time, they’d dreamed of a life together. Now, when it seems they might get a second chance, she has to decide whether to divulge the secret she’s sure will shatter their happily-ever-after.

This was it. Showtime.

Drawing in one long, deep breath, Daniel stepped over the threshold of the Martin’s Mansion catering hall, his heart pounding to the beat of the keys he jingled in his pocket. His mouth felt full of cotton balls. The place hadn’t changed since he’d last been here—when was it, his high school prom or something? In fact nothing in town seemed to have changed much in nearly ten years. Men and women in fancy clothes entered around him, ignoring him and checking their coats before heading into the reception hall. As they passed, strains of music flowed into the lobby. He tried to move his feet forward but felt glued to the spot on the marble tile floor. A waiter walked by and stared at him openly.

Cold air rushed past his ears as the glass doors behind him swooshed open again and again. It amazed him that the blood pounding behind his eyes wasn’t sufficient to warm him.

Someone lightly touched his shoulder, and he turned to see that his escort had arrived.

“Daniel, are you ready?” Liza smiled, probably meaning it to look encouraging.
She wasn’t good at encouraging.

He nodded but answered, “No.”

“Yes, you are. You’ve been anticipating this moment for how many years?” Liza patted his arm. “Look at it this way: your reception here will be much warmer than mine will be.”

Daniel glanced down at her. “That’s probably true. Are you sure you want to go in here?
I can make the grand appearance on my own.”

Her hand still on his arm, she nodded slowly. “It’s something I need to do. Let’s pray first.” She bowed her head, her long neck stretching from the white sweater she wore.

He wondered briefly if she’d worn white to look pure and innocent.

“We’re like lambs going in for slaughter.” An uneasy laugh belied her confidence, and she tugged at him. “Let’s go.”

With head held high, Daniel situated Liza at an open table, and then strode toward the head table. His heart pounded above the noise of the band’s quick beat. The wedding guests chattered as they do, and Daniel strode right into the middle of the hubbub, glasses clinking around him.

And then all was quiet.

The band stopped.

The chatter fizzled, and a good fifty well-groomed heads turned in unison to stare holes into Daniel’s head.

Or so it felt.
He said nothing, but moved to stand directly in front of his parents. They had aged, he realized with pangs of regret. It was as if the ventilation system was pouring tension into the room. Long moments passed, and Daniel stepped back, preparing to leave.

And then Mom smiled.

She rushed for Daniel, wrapping him in warm arms and soggy tears of welcome. His father followed, letting loose a swarm of various relatives who joined them in a huddle to greet the long lost son. The breath he hadn’t known he held eased out and his gut unclenched in relief. He knew the questions would come eventually, but for now, knowing his family still wanted him was all he needed.

“Dance with me?” His mother smiled and held out one hand. They moved to the dance floor and began to sway to the classic, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” a song Daniel thought very appropriate.

Mom moved closer so he could hear her. “Are you staying?”

He nodded, and her eyes lit up, and they finished the dance in a comfortable silence. As they turned he spied Liza, grinning at him with that “I told you so” look, and she winked.

Ms. Robin Bayne has written an incredibly poignant book about the power of love and how God can change hearts and lives. The acceptance and devotion certainly mimicked the story of the prodigal son in the Bible. The other son (Tim) even reacted much as the Bible’s story. I applaud her development of the characters, both the strong main ones as well as those supporting. Each was believable and likeable. This sweet storyline was a fast-paced, quick read. I could not put it down. However, there is a big surprise in the book. It definitely is not a cookie-cutter type manuscript. It got better with each passing page. I highly recommend that anyone read this book. It has a great plot, impressive characters, and an emotional ending. Kudos, Ms. Bayne! -- The Romance Studio.—5 Stars

In a word, WONDERFUL. Okay, two words MORE. I didn't want this story to end. I wasn't prepared for the zinger Ms. Bayne tossed into this short story. Without a doubt a five star read. If you're looking for laughter, love, drama and as an added bonus some really great sounding food don't pass on this one. -- Donna L. Bolk Author/Reviewer for Romance Magazine.

Why Robin Wrote this Book:
I developed the story idea for “Prodigal” as a sequel to my earlier release, “The Good Samaritan.” I love to take characters from my stories and make them into better, more heroic personalities in sequels. While Daniel wasn’t quite a villain in “Good Sam,” he definitely needed to redeem himself. And he has help in “Prodigal.” Thanks for reading my thoughts here and thank you for this opportunity.

Author Bio:
Robin Bayne is the award-winning author of six novels and four novellas, along with a variety of short stories. She has contributed to collections including God’s Way for Teens, God’s Way for Fathers and Cup of Comfort Devotionals; and published articles in Writer’s Journal and Christian Communicator. She has given workshops at regional and online romance writing conferences and the Writer’s Digest World’s Largest Writing Workshop. She lives in Maryland with her husband of twenty years. Robin recently compiled a book of devotionals for writers titled “Words to Write By.” Visit her at
Friday already! Well, you guys know what to do; leave a comment and Wednesday of next week I'll be contacting one of you with the three books featured this week.
Happy Reading!


  1. I hate walking into a room and the conversation just stops dead. I always wonder what I forgot to put on lol.

    The book sounds wonderful

  2. I've read and LOVED the Prodigal. Robin did a wonderful job with this story. I'm a fan! :-) Highly recommend!

  3. Thanks for the nice comments! I'm so pleased to be here : )

  4. This sounds like a beautiful and touching story. And we need more of them! Very nice post.

  5. Well, the excerpt definitely piqued my interest! Sounds SOOO good!

  6. I have a soft spot for reunion stories. And I like the idea of bringing biblical stories into the here and now.

  7. Excellent excerpt, I'd love to read this!

  8. Thanks everyone. I think reunion stories are my favorite : )

  9. Sorry I'm so late to join in on your post. (We've had company all day.) This was a fun story and I enjoyed it very much.

  10. Definitely a wonderful story. This was a great read. The reviewers absolutely nailed it! This deserves 5 starss!

  11. This sounds like a great story!
    I would love to read it.
    You have got to love those awkward moments!:-)

  12. Posting this for Sarah--who visited but couldn't post:

    I would like to be in the drawing for books.

    Sarah Ellen Coiner

  13. Another reader asked me to post--

    Michelle Hawks Brown

  14. I have to read this book and the previous book too.


  15. This sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it.