A Pudding Predicament: An Excerpt from Hope Unashamed

From Chapter One of Hope Unashamed, a Coming of Age Romance

On this first Friday of my sophomore year, I barely looked up to receive an open bag of cheese puffs from Dennis, who’d been my main sidekick since he and I met each other back in middle school. I wouldn’t have looked up again after the Freshman Day commotion that went tearing in and out of the commons at that moment if the noise hadn’t been accompanied by the muffled sound of a female yelp.

My eyes jumped upward to peer into the crowd of students milling around, some of them apparently laughing about the stampede that had flown past, others just talking and laughing in general. Scanning toward the direction I thought I’d heard the yelp from, it took me a minute to identify who must’ve been its issuer: a girl standing alone, pushing herself away from the wall she’d likely been shoved against. She had an open cup of chocolate pudding in her hand, and some pudding was smeared over her mouth and cheek.

I sucked my teeth. “Idiots,” I muttered, handing the cheese puffs back to Dennis.

“What?” Dennis inquired, adjusting the glasses on his face as he looked up from his own reading.

“They pushed her” was the only explanation I gave as I shut my book, hoisted my backpack by the straps over my shoulders, and made my way through the throng over to the girl in the pudding predicament.

“Good morning. I’m sorry,” I greeted her with an apology to get her attention, and her eyes widened when she turned and realized I was talking to her. “I’m sorry.”

Her eyes whipped up and down over me, perhaps to determine if I’d been a part of the passing commotion or not. “Sorry for what?” she asked.

I recognized her, a girl new to the school who was the only other sophomore in my chemistry class, a class that was otherwise full of juniors. “Sorry they ran into you like that,” I clarified, briefly bending to the floor to pick up the plastic spoon I assumed she’d been about to use. “Folks need to watch where they’re going.”

She held up her cup of pudding with an embarrassed but droll look. “My fault for trying to lick the lid. Wasn’t paying attention,” she declared, the lid in question sticking straight up where it was still partially attached to the cup.

“Here,” I said, stowing my book under my arm and digging into a pocket of my jeans, finding it empty, and then digging into the opposite pocket. I pulled out a folded handkerchief, extending it to her.

She gazed down at the handkerchief before looking back up at me. “Guys really carry those things around?”

One of my shoulders rose and dropped. “I do.”

She appeared skeptical, her eyes narrowing in thought. “I know I’ve seen you somewhere.”

“Third period chemistry. I’m Arthur Simmons. You’ll have to remind me of your name, Miss…?”

Her skepticism clearly deepened. “Miss?”

I nodded. “Certainly not ‘Mrs.’ already,” I answered, then stopped to check, “Are you?”

For every love, there is a season.
And they’ll know it…
When It’s Time


Hope Unashamed Release Day!

He’s never been so mesmerized by a girl before. Can’t help getting his hopes up…

It’s officially Release Day!
The sequel to Love Unfeigned, Hope Unashamed, is now available.

Find Hope Unashamed at your Amazon store (in paperback and for Kindle), and as an ebook at Barnes and NobleApple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

And if you’ve not read Love Unfeigned yet, you’ll want to do that first!


When It’s Time, a coming of age romance series


Hope Unashamed

Hope Unashamed
A Novella
Sequel to Love Unfeigned
(Coming of Age Romance)

“I have adored both Love Unfeigned and Hope Unashamed. I can highly recommend these wonderful tales of hope and friendship.” ~Christian Bookaholic
“I am a huge fan of author Nadine Keels. [She has] a talent for developing a deep and entire story within a novella…” ~Savurbks


He’s never been so mesmerized by a girl before. Can’t help getting his hopes up…

Arthur is a studious, “all or nothing” kind of guy with his life planned out. Even before he’s old enough to drive a car, he knows he wants a career in computers. Since he sees no need for romance until he’s ready for marriage, Arthur keeps his focus on his education.

Then, a new school year brings a stunning young lady into Arthur’s path, blindsiding his ideas on romance. As a result, his transition from boyhood to manhood includes the pursuit of the woman he wishes to make his wife. But when his pursuit falls through, Arthur must realize when it’s time to give up the shame of a broken dream—and learn what it truly means to hope for more.


Find Hope Unashamed at your Amazon store (in paperback and for Kindle), and as an ebook at Barnes and NobleApple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

When It’s Time, a coming of age romance series

There are a few ways you can stay updated on Nadine’s books. Find them here!


Unbounded by Time: An Excerpt from Love Unfeigned

From the beginning of Love Unfeigned, a Coming of Age Romance


Sight was no longer physical. She paused, her dark, questioning eyes now on an unmoving search for something unseen and meagerly remembered. What was it, and what had triggered its arousal? She had the sudden urge to call out a name, to get something’s—someone’s—attention, but she wasn’t clear on what name it was that she should be calling.

She might have stood there for an instant too long if her own attention hadn’t, at that moment, been seized by a vehement shout somewhere behind her, issued by an identifiable, masculine voice she hadn’t heard in years.


Her head inclined toward the shout just prior to her looking up in time to see a car coming at her, apparently braking but still approaching too fast.

Mercy. She was in the street.

A panicked blaring of the car’s horn sounded before she felt a hand grab her arm, and she was yanked back onto the sidewalk. Her footing was precariously shaken, due to the vigor of the pull on her arm and the narrow heels of her ankle boots, and so began the quick, awkward shuffling of hers and another person’s feet, in lieu of a fall, until she was stilled with her back pushed up against a department store window, one of her shopping bags on the ground and both her arms now tightly gripped as she looked into the close, alarmed gape of sepia eyes facing her. Sepia eyes that she knew.

She didn’t hear the frantically irate expletive yelled at her through the window of the passing car that had nearly hit her, nor did she notice when she dropped another bag as she stared at the young man holding her against the department store glass, the mists of their equally short and heavy breathing against the wintry air mingling between their faces. Her eyes moved almost wildly down to the man’s full lips and smoothly bearded jaw and then flew back up to meet his gaze, which she did not know had taken an especial note of the contour of her nose.

“James,” she declared in a winded murmur.

His anxious grip on her arms slackened while he eased her off of the window, but he did not let go of her. His hands slid up to her shoulders, giving them a slight squeeze, enhancing the warmth that was already enclosed inside of her wool coat and scarf, and then his hold eased downward, stopping at her wrists. She was the only one near enough to see that he jolted when the space between the end of one of her gloves and the sleeve of her coat came into view.

An unbidden sigh escaped her mouth. Recollection, unbounded by time, ensued.


For every love, there is a season.
And they’ll know it…
When It’s Time