The Text God: Text and You Shall Receive …
Melanie Summers & Whitney Dineen
(An Accidentally in Love Story #2)
Publication date: April 1, 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Text and you shall receive…
Jen Flanders moved to New York to be an artist. This translates into walking dogs for money, practicing yoga for sanity, and hitting up her friends at a local bakery to supplement her diet. Rent is due and she’s running out of cash. After begging the universe for a sign that help is on the way, her phone pings with an incoming text. GOD: You can do it; I believe in you!
Gabriel Oliver Daly agreed to mentor a friend’s younger sister. Unbeknownst to him, after losing her phone, said sister uses her dog walker’s phone to text him about a job offer. He responds enthusiastically.
Jen can’t believe GOD is actually texting her! But who is she to question the ways of the universe? On the first day of texting, GOD gets her a job that will keep her afloat. On the second and third days he offers even more help.
Gabriel starts to think his friend’s sister might be too flighty to make it in the legal jungle of New York. Why exactly does she need a survival job? Wasn’t she supposed to be interviewing for a position as a junior lawyer? And why is she texting him random (not to mention very personal) stuff all the time?
When they finally meet, Jen realizes GOD isn’t a deity but a divinely handsome lawyer. A complete stranger has answered all her prayers. After all, God does move in mysterious ways.
Bending over in Downward Dog, I release the whoosh of breath I’ve been holding for what feels like the last three days. Then I have a stern talk with myself. It goes like this:
Jennifer Flanders, you’re an artist. You are a highly evolved soul who is temporarily off track. While dog walking isn’t your dream job and picking up copious amounts of poop is not fulfilling in and of itself, you’re lucky to have a job. And with such cute furry love nuggets who worship you unconditionally. With the exception of Brutus, of course, who loves nobody.
Then, as I do, I answer myself.
You haven’t sold one painting since you moved to New York. Not. One. Therefore, you can claim to be as advanced a soul as you want, but you are no artist.
Back to Positive Me: Screw you. I went to art school for three years and apprenticed with Peony Parks. That’s Peony. Parks. Second only to Georgia O’Keeffe in matters of all things flowers and possibly girly bits. Those lilies do bring to mind something of a non-botanical nature. I am an artist no matter what you say.
Negative Me: Nope. Not. Lalalalalalala, I can’t hear you!
I’m as tense as the rubber bands that hold a tennis ball together. I gradually retreat out of my current yoga pose and move into a headstand. As the blood rushes to my frontal lobe, I pray to the Universe for peace, strength, creativity, and either more clients or a better-paying survival job. I can’t even afford new art supplies right now, and I’ve been told by every gallery that I’ve walked into that they don’t want me coming back until I have something new to show them.
For some reason my mind drifts off to the morning of Gram’s funeral. I remember Pops telling me that I need to ask for miracles and not to turn away from them when they happen. “Dear God, send me a sign,” I plead. “Just a little something to give me the strength to carry on.”
Not a minute later, maybe not even thirty seconds later, my phone pings. Gently tucking and rolling out of my headstand, I strike a quick warrior pose and namaste my goldfish Frank before checking to see who texted.
The yoga gods would probably prefer all electronics be banned during times of spiritual mind/body goings-on, but they aren’t worried about eviction like I am.
When I see who the text is from, I have to stop and rub my eyes before reading it again. Same result. I read:
GOD: Word on the street is you need a little career guidance. Just wanted to let you know I’m here for you.
What the … God is texting me? Is this some new Verizon service? Because if it is, what in the heck am I paying for it?
A knock on the door startles me out of my concerns. Looking through the peephole, I see my neighbor and good friend Zay Lopez standing there. Well, I see the top of his head, anyway. He’s only four foot eleven. Opening the door, I usher him into my apartment. “Hey, Zay! Wait until you hear what happened today.”
I met Zay when I moved into my building. He lives right across the hall from me and is a computer programmer. He’s a bit of a hermit who works from home because he’s too shy to go into an office. I think he’s embarrassed by his diminutive stature, which was the result of some glandular thing he was born with.
Plopping down on my sofa, my friend says, “I hope it’s good news because I could really use some.”
“Oh, no. Bad day?” I don’t want to jump right into the whole “texting with God” thing before he has a chance to unburden himself.
“Not a good one,” he says, making a grabby motion toward the Oreos in my hand. I toss them over and watch while he dumps several onto his lap. “You know that cow Shelby that I work with?”
Shelby, the cow, is Zay’s nemesis who always mentions in company email threads that Zay should be working in the office and not from home. “What’s she done now?”
“She’s convinced my boss that I need to start coming into the office at least twice a week.” He explains, “I ran downstairs to get my mail the other day and didn’t respond to her text immediately. She’s taken my transgression to a higher power.”
Sitting down next to my friend, I snatch a cookie off his lap. “Oh, no. What are you going to do?”
He shakes his head mournfully. “Unless I want to leave the apartment to stand in the unemployment line, I guess I’m going to have to go into work.”
“That sucks, but maybe it’ll be good for you,” I tell him, trying to sound confident. I’m always trying to get Zay to walk the dogs with me, but he’s not interested. I’m not sure he’s even left his apartment in the past year.
“Good for me like a live grenade to the head,” he grumbles. “What happened to you today that has you so excited?”
“Wait until you hear!” I pause long enough to know I have his full attention before saying, “God texted me this morning.”
Zay looks side to side like he’s searching for a hidden camera before asking, “God? Like ‘the’ God?”
As I nod my head wildly, he says, “Jen, I know you’re a little out there sometimes, and to be honest, it’s one of the many things I like about you, but”—he reaches over to take my hand—“I don’t think you’re getting enough protein.”
“What does protein have to do with anything?”
“Protein,” he starts to enunciate his words much slower and louder, like I’ve aged eighty years in the last minute and won’t be able to understand him otherwise, “Keeps the brain from atrophying.”
Jumping to my feet, I yell, “You don’t believe me!” Then I grab my phone off the counter and find my God thread before handing it over. “He texted me this morning while I was doing a headstand—which, I’ll have you know, is just as good for the brain as protein.”
Zay reads through the texts, muttering things like “His name is Gabe?” and “Come on, his mom says hi?” Finally, he looks up from the screen. “Who is this, really?”
“I know this sounds nuts, but I think it could really be the Big Guy.” I lower my voice out of reverence and point at the water stain on my ceiling. “I didn’t program that name into my phone, and his first text showed up right after I asked the Universe for a sign that things would work out for me. Like immediately after. I told him I needed a job, and …” I snap my fingers. “He got me one at The Asher Hotel. Just like that. I didn’t even have to fill in an application. The manager said if I was a friend of Gabe’s, I was hired.”
“Oh, Jen, you poor naïve thing. You’re being scammed.”
“What could possibly be the motive for someone to pretend to be God just so he or she could help me out?”
Zay does not look convinced. Instead, he starts typing.
JFlan: Hey GOD, this is Zay, but I’m assuming you already know that. Can you please tell me why you’ve taken an interest in my friend?
GOD: Hi, Zay. Um, I’m helping because, you know, it’s good to help people.
JFlan: I could use a little help.
JFlan: I need to grow four inches by Monday. Any chance you can make that happen?
GOD: That’s not really my specialty, but have you looked into elevated shoes?
Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.
Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.
She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.
Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.
Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.
Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017
Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017
Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.
Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.
In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).
Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.
She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.
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