Constance Phillips: All That’s Unclaimed

About All That’s Unclaimed

Ben Crawford is forced to face the ghosts of his past after his mother’s accident and Anna Jenkins’s announcement she’s starting her own stables. Only then does he find the strength to hold on to all he’s left unclaimed.

Ben Crawford has always believed the professional respect and acceptance he desired couldn’t be found at Sunnydale Farms. There were just too many ghosts residing in his broken home. Only when Anna Jenkins, the one constant at his mother’s therapeutic riding facility, announces she is leaving to start her own stables is Ben forced to grasp hold of all he’s left unclaimed.

Release Date: January 13, 2015

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Excerpt

Anna pulled the car into the parking spot and shut down the engine. Pushing the keys into her pocket, she reached for the door handle but paused instead, leaning back in the seat.

She arched her neck and closed her eyes tight as guilt bubbled up in her stomach.

I should have been more insistent and made Betty listen to me about that horse.

AllThatsUnclaimed-Cphillips-md copyBut that mare had been all Betty could talk about since seeing it advertised on the Dreamhorse website six weeks prior. She’d driven over a hundred miles three times to try to make a decision. Anna had gone with her twice. Twice, she had told Betty the horse was a lot to handle and a big liability for her facility.

Still, when her boss decided to do something, very little stopped her.

Betty wasn’t looking for another mount to add to their stable of schooling horses. She wanted something to train. To step back into her youth, maybe?

She claimed she would ultimately sell the horse for a huge profit to benefit the program, but Anna never really believed it. Something about the mare had caused Betty to fall in love. Once she owned it, Anna doubted she’d ever let it go.

Despite Betty’s excitement, Anna feared something just like this would happen.

How can I think about leaving now?

Eighteen months prior, Betty had fired Anna over a horse’s death. Anna hadn’t been responsible, and her now sister-in-law Hailey—a lawyer—had talked to all parties involved, convincing Betty to rehire Anna.

Ever since, she’d lived in uncertainty, felt no security at the barn, and had been listening more and more to her brother. Nate encouraged her to start her own facility and program. They had even looked at a piece of property with a house and small barn the night before. This afternoon, they had an appointment at the bank to talk about a mortgage.

Nate believed in her so deeply, he offered to cosign for her, even get a loan against the diner to help with a down payment.

She never wished the Crawfords harm. Only wanted to have a bigger role in her own destiny. But now, how could she leave when Betty—and Ben—needed her most?

Did they really need her?

Sunnydale Farms might have been Betty’s pet project, but Ben spent years bringing a professional legitimacy to the barn. He didn’t stop with his degrees and internships in occupational and physical therapy. This certification from the NARHA she and Betty had acquired was only a first step for him.

Ben had sunk even more time and money into earning the top certification from the American Hippotherapy Association.

He was more qualified than she to be Sunnydale’s stable manager, and he was Betty’s son.

They would be fine without her.

About the Author

New_CMP_3_web copyConstance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, two kitties, and four canine kids.

When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance is counting down the days until her son and daughter-in-law make her a grandma and planning a cross-country motorcycle trip with her husband for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

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