Marianne Arkins

No matter the decade, always Happily Ever After

Don't Fence Me In from The Wild Rose Press




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It's June, 1953 and Lizzie Scott recently lost her brother, Seb, in the Korean War.  When his friend and unit buddy, Jeremy McMasters, brings her Seb's "goodbye" letter, little does she know her life is about to change forever.

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          Lizzie walked down to the place where the boy leaned against the bar.

          “Hello.” She stopped a foot away and smiled. “I hear you asked about me. Do I know you?”

          He turned his head, chocolate-brown eyes so sad she nearly cried for him. “No, ma'am. But I know about you from Seb.”

          Her knees wobbled at the sound of her brother's name, and the airman's hand shot out to keep her from falling. The warmth and strength of his touch helped her to straighten and stand steady. She hadn't realized that just the sound of her brother's name could make her so weak.

          “You knew Seb?” she whispered and sank onto a stool beside him. “Who are you?”

          “I'm Jeremy McMasters, Miss Scott. I served with Seb until the day he died.” His gaze lowered for a moment before he looked at her again, an intensity burning in his eyes. “He was a good man.”

          “Yes.” She smiled though her heart ached from missing her brother something fierce. “He was a very good man. He spoke of you in his letters, said there was no one better to guard his back.”

          Jeremy's mouth tightened. “Didn't do too good a job of that, now. Did I?”

          “Oh.” She grabbed his forearm, squeezed it tightly. “Seb's dying wasn't your fault. You didn't blow up his Jeep.”

          Jeremy stared at her hand for a long moment before shrugging off her touch. He reached inside his uniform pocket and pulled out a folded envelope. “I have two weeks before I'm redeployed, ma'am. I had to come here to see you. He gave me his letter to deliver.”

          Lizzie shivered at the sight of that worn white envelope. The letter. The one all servicemen wrote to be delivered in the event of their death. She couldn't reach for it. Didn't want it.

          “Keep it.” She jumped to her feet and took a step back. “I can't…I can't read it. Not now. Not yet.”


          “No!” She turned and ran away to the powder room. When she'd composed herself enough to return, he was no longer there. She flopped down at the bar, distressed that the last bit of Seb, his last words, last thoughts, had vanished along with his friend.

Reviews (click the link for the complete review)

Marianne Arkins does a superb job of weaving historical references into a well crafted plot. Lizzie is eighteen and as sweet and silly as an eighteen year old should be. Although not much older, the dour Jeremy has been prematurely aged by horrors of war. These two lonely souls are destined for each other. The deceased brother Seb gives them a little push. Don't Fence Me In was as sweet as the cherry cokes Lizzie sips on. -- Kimber at Fallen Angels Reviews -- Rated:  5 Angels

Marianne Arkins tugs at the heartstrings of anyone who has known someone in the service. Well researched, the setting is a sign of the times in the early 1950’s. Don’t Fence Me In is a good solid short story well worth reading. -- Gail at Night Owl Reviews


DON’T FENCE ME IN is a sweet and poignant story of those left behind.   It sends a valuable message of the heartache we undergo when we lose someone we love, and the healing power of love.  I look forward to reading more by Marianne Arkins; she certainly made an emotional connection through her characters. - Scarlet - Romance Junkies

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