Crazy about Writing: Beaver Pond Newspaper

Lifestyle, May 1, 2015
Meet Tate and Shelby Malone, owners of Beaver Pond’s newest and funkiest art boutique, From Junk to Treasure
By James Collins

Recently, I met with Tate and Shelby in the most eclectic art boutique Beaver Pond has ever seen. What most people would consider junk or toss in the trash, Shelby Malone revives and repurposes into unusual art pieces. Clothes, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, pallets, you name it. They’re all here.

Shelby and Tate sat across from me, practically sharing the same space on a revitalized couch. His arm was draped across the back of the couch and his fingers toyed with the tips of her apricot hair. Newlyweds of just a few weeks. Meet Tate and Shelby Malone…

“So tell me. Where did you two first connect?”

A slow grin slides across Tate’s face, and Shelby’s face sports a bright pink hue.

This I can’t wait to hear.

“The men’s restroom,” Tate replies.

OK. That was rather unexpected.

“I tend to be rather clumsy. Tate came to my rescue that time—”

He laughs.

“Well, lots of times actually,” she amends. “Growing up, my parents joked that their insurance company always required extra coverage for me.”

“You both work at Beaver Pond High School, right?”

“Yes. Shelby decided to keep teaching full-time, and I’m a guidance counselor.”

“Did you grow up wanting to be a counselor?”

“Not exactly,” Tate’s jaw clenches.

“He had a wonderful role model. Just like he is to the students in Beaver Pond.” Shelby casts an adoring look at her husband.

“You rose above the homeless statistics to graduate from a top-rate college.” I skim my research notes for the counselor’s name. “Mr. Harris, wasn’t it?”

Tate stiffens. His thick eyebrows narrow. “Yes.”

Shelby pats his thigh in a comforting gesture, and he visibly relaxes back against the couch.

“Was it love at first sight?”

“Yes!” Shelby nodded, as if her ‘yes’ wasn’t emphatic enough. “But, not so for Tate. He took a little convincing.”

“That’s not quite—”

“How so?” I ask, interrupting Tate.

“For starters, he’d given up dating.”

“Not into the bar scene?”

Grimacing, he shakes his head.

“It’s tough when the ones who are supposed to love us let us down, isn’t it?” Compassion warms her face. She turns to her husband, her knuckles skimming his whiskered jaw. “His parents’ abandonment created this emotional barricade. He worried about losing the people he loved, and he mistakenly assumed his disadvantaged upbringing would keep me from loving him. As if I cared about material things.”

“That seems rather obvious.” I glance rather pointedly around the space filled with recycled treasures.

“Her parents actually bought a store for her! How could I compete with that?” Tate asks, brandishing a palm.

“I could see how that might present a problem. So what happened with that?”

“They only put down a deposit to hold it. They didn’t actually buy it. Besides, it was in Promise Lake. I told them my heart was here, in Beaver Pond. With Tate.”

“You did?” Tate’s words come out soft, as if only meant for her, but his deep voice carries.

She nods. “I had to show him that I wasn’t going anywhere and that thingsweren’t important. He was.” Although her words indicate she’s speaking to me, her head is turned towards Tate.

Tate smiles, kisses the top of Shelby’s head.

Thick lashes shutter over ivory cheeks, but only for a few seconds before she focuses on me. “He lived through horror, but he never gave up. He’s the kind of man teenagers can look up to because he gives 100%. He taught me that dreams don’t always come wrapped in shiny packages like we expect. Sometimes you just need to let them go, and then they come back to you, a hundred times better than what you imagined. He’ll make a wonderful daddy someday.”

Tate’s chest puffs up, and a clump travels down his throat. “And Shelby…she saw into my soul and reinvigorated my wounded spirit much like she does with her art. Where everybody else sees junk, she sees treasure.”

And there you have it, folks. The real deal. Tate and Shelby Malone, owners of From Junk to Treasure.

Available 5/1 by Subscription
to Pure Amore

Did you enjoy meeting Tate and Shelby? Friends, I’m so excited to share May’s Pure Amore release, When Hope Rises, with you!

Art teacher Shelby Coltman transforms junk into treasure and longs for a place to showcase her creations. She’s thrilled when her friend volunteers to room with her. Shelby can finally buy a storefront. Unfortunately, Kennedi’s brother can’t seem to let go.

Abandoned as a teenager, guidance counselor Tate Malone has become surrogate and over-protective father to his sister. Life is great until Shelby Coltman wheedles his impressionable sister into sharing an apartment. Raised in wealth, the beautiful Shelby could never understand poverty or rejection, and Tate doesn’t appreciate her uprooting his sister.

When Shelby hands over her savings to a homeless student, will God obliterate Tate’s fears and deliver all of Shelby’s dreams…when hope rises?

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