In downtown Merchantsville, the wind was whipping through the bare branches of the dogwood trees. The antiquated furnace in the storefront office of The Magnolia County Weekly Messenger was not up to the challenge of real winter weather. Even with two electric space heaters going full blast, the three women working there were bundled up in warm clothes.
Hunter Jones, the managing editor, who usually preferred dresses and high heels, was wearing a red wool cape over jeans and a sweater. She had on fuzzy striped socks inside her boots and had pulled a knitted cap over her blonde curls.
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