Tag Archives: small-town contemporary

A Valentine’s Title Featuring Mature Characters

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Tagline

Can online dating entice a divorced woman and a rancher to reveal the secrets of their lonely hearts?

As I’ve grown and developed along my writing path, I’ve also matured in years. Funny, how that happens. When I started plotting When Lonely Hearts Meet, I was aiming at a specific publisher call for submissions that dealt with the topic of online dating. Having a couple in their twenties involved in the plot seemed too easy. Going online, establishing a profile, and providing clever and intriguing answers would be normal for the tech-savvy generation.

But add twenty years to their ages and the characters are from a different generation. Individuals who are more hesitant about being open and accessible online. Ta, da–may I introduce Clover Damone and Wade Pallaton? Adults in their forties who have lived through contentious divorces and are a bit wary this time when they recognize they’re attracted to each other.

I loved writing this short novella set in Dorado, Texas as a companion to Gingerbread Wishes, the launch book in the Sugar & Spice Bakery series. If you’d like to add this story to your Want To Read list on Goodreads, here’s the link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20927146-when-lonely-hearts-meet?ac=1

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO Books

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away one ecopy of this story with the name chosen from those who leave comments on the following question by Sunday, February 8. For a small town romance, do you prefer a graphic cover (like the one above) or one containing a couple?

EXCERPT

The older woman’s voice was pitched low but the throaty tone carried. What caught his eye was the sight of shapely calves encased in skinny jeans. The trio of brass bracelets and the long sweater that almost reached her knees clued him in that the lady was new in town. Not normal attire for this rural Texas town. He’d automatically registered that her left hand was ring-free.

The sight of the key making station meant he’d walked halfway down the aisle in his perusal of the interesting stranger. Wade glanced up and jerked when he spotted a narrowed gaze shooting daggers from the thin face of a woman close to his younger son’s age. Busted.

“Eavesdrop much?” The younger woman jammed a hand onto her angled hip.

Tread lightly around this suspicious one. “Beg pardon, miss.” Wade tipped a forefinger against the brim of his Stetson as he dipped his chin. “Ma’am, I heard the call for assistance and thought I’d see if I could answer a question.”

“You work here?” Eyebrow raised, she gave him the once-over. “Dressed like that?”

“Hayley.” The older woman gave a sharp wave, glanced at his length then stepped closer. “Do you know about paints?”

“Done my share of painting. And I’m a fair-to-middlin’ handyman.” He gazed at her, recording the details of her easy smile, her hazel eyes, and the waves of light brown hair framing her face. The combination piqued his interest, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time. “I’m not an employee here…” he shifted his gaze to the young lady and again, dipped his chin, “but I can be neighborly and try to answer your questions.”

“I’m clearing out my great-aunt’s house and it needs a bit of work.”

Just visiting. A niggle of disappointment ran through him. But he still intended to see if he could offer assistance, and maybe even volunteer to help. “First things first. Name’s Wade Pallaton, ma’am.” He extended his hand in a friendly greeting.

A moment passed as she glanced at his hand and then back at his face before sliding hers into his. The edges of her lips flashed a brief smile. “Of course, I’m sorry.”

Warmth built between their palms and he tightened his fingers. Ten years had passed since his divorce, and this was the first honest-to-goodness spark of attraction he’d felt. Her skin was soft and her bones delicate within his grasp.

“I-I’m Clover Damone.” She stared down at their clasped hands, sucked in her lower lip and then jerked her gaze back to his, eyes widening.

A raspy throat clearing sounded from just a few feet away.

“Oh.” Clover broke the connection, wiggled her fingers and then pointed over her shoulder. “And this is my daughter, Hayley.”

“Do you live around here?” Hayley tilted her head and a ponytail a shade darker than her mother’s hair swung to the side.

“Sure do. Got a ranch twenty miles outside of Dorado.”

“So, you’d know if mold is a problem in ancient houses. Cuz the smell that rolled out of that old farmhouse made me wonder about that ugly black stuff.” She shuddered and moved her hands through the air as she talked. “Like maybe we’ll get sick if we stay there.”

Shaking her head, Clover frowned and pressed her lips into a straight line. “I told you, the house just needs airing. We’re staying.”

“Fine.” Hayley jerked her head and pushed an ear bud into each ear, tapping the screen of her phone. “Pick me up in the magazine section when you’re done.” She flashed a glare his way, then spun and headed toward the front of the store.

Unsure of the conversation’s undercurrent, Wade just waited, giving him a few more moments to enjoy the sight of this intriguing woman. Not having raised a daughter, he’d always admired people who maintained a rational tone around sassy attitudes.

“I apologize. She’s really not a rude person. Hayley’s between terms at college, at least I hope she is, and I convinced her this Texas trip would be a fun getaway.” Clover braced her hands on her hips and stared at the floor for a second before meeting his gaze again and crinkling her nose. “I might have exaggerated the “fun” part of packing up family heirlooms, especially to my ultra-modern, social media-fixated child.” She let out a sigh then ran a hand through her hair. “And I have no idea why I’m revealing all this to a complete stranger. This is twice I’ve acted like this in two days. Just ignore me.”

Impossible. Seemed that from the moment he heard her voice, Wade wanted to hear everything she could tell him. He let his gaze follow the flow of her wheat-colored hair as it spilled between her splayed fingers. “Don’t know that I’ve heard the name Damone in these parts.”

My Sexy Saturday excerpt–When Lonely Hearts Meet

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Here are 7 paragraphs from my February release, When Lonely Hearts Meet. A sweet romance novella, this is book 2 in the Sugar & Spice Bakery series which is set in small-town Texas.

The older woman’s voice was pitched low but the throaty tone carried. What caught his eye was the sight of shapely calves encased in skinny jeans. The trio of brass bracelets and the long sweater that almost reached her knees clued him in that the lady was new in town. Not normal attire for this rural Texas town. He’d automatically registered that her left hand was ring-free.

The sight of the key making station meant he’d walked halfway down the aisle in his perusal of the interesting stranger. Wade glanced up and jerked when he spotted a narrowed gaze shooting daggers from the thin face of a woman close to his younger son’s age. Busted.

“Eavesdrop much?” The younger woman jammed a hand onto her angled hip.

Tread lightly around this suspicious one. “Beg pardon, miss.” Wade tipped a forefinger against the brim of his Stetson as he dipped his chin. “Ma’am, I heard the call for assistance and thought I’d see if I could answer a question.”

“You work here?” Eyebrow raised, she gave him the once-over. “Dressed like that?”

“Hayley.” The older woman gave a sharp wave, glanced at his length then stepped closer. “Do you know about paints?”

“Done my share of painting. And I’m a fair-to-middlin’ handyman.” He gazed at her, recording the details of her easy smile, her hazel eyes, and the waves of light brown hair framing her face. The combination piqued his interest, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time. “I’m not an employee here…” he shifted his gaze to the young lady and again, dipped his chin, “but I can be neighborly and try to answer your questions.”

BUY LINKS

AMAZON

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Be sure to click over to the other blogs involved in today’s sharing of sexy excerpts.

Guest Interview–Jennifer DeCuir

Welcome to Crimson Romance author Jennifer DeCuir who is my guest today and has lots of share.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Visit Scallop Shores – Fall in love in a small town. Small town contemporary… that’s me.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I love to crochet and I have the yarn hoard to prove it. Baby items are my favorite to make and give as shower gifts. My kids’ teachers get crocheted gifts every year.

 If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I concentrate best if there are no words. I prefer movie soundtracks. I love “Concerning Hobbits” from Lord of the Rings, the Game of Thrones opening theme song, Last of the Mohicans music – I even have some from Frozen (just not “Let it Go”). I’ve tried Enya and Loreena McKinnett but it just throws off my focus, no matter how beautiful the music.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

I hit the shower. Seriously, there is something about the water drumming down that brings me my best “aha” moments. I have an Aqua Notes notepad and pencil in the shower stall to make sure I can write it all down as soon as it pops into my head.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I’ve never had the nerve to write anything but contemporary romance, but I have a nugget of an idea for a series of paranormal books, each focusing on a different mythological creature. It’s percolating.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Ahhh… Ireland. Anywhere in Ireland, really. And for as long as I can stay. Have I ever been? Nope. It’s still just a dream.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Yes! Pinterest is invaluable in helping me picture my characters, my town, everything I need. When I was writing Five of Hearts and was picturing a young Chris Hemsworth as Dean Patterson, my husband went out and bought me a large Thor action figure. He stood on my desk every day while I wrote that book. I have a drawing of a fairy that my daughter made when she was five years old, that was the start of Drawn to Jonah.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I LOVE pets! Currently we have two cats and a rescue pup named Luna.

 What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

The warm fuzzies. Seriously, I’m not trying to solve world issues or presume to teach lessons. I just want my readers to have a chance to check out for a little while… leave their troubles behind and just relax and enjoy a fun story with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

Those are the questions Linda has graciously provided. I welcome any others you’d love answered. Leave your questions in the comment section and I will answer them asap. Thanks so much!

Praise from a 5-star review…

“I set out for a relaxing afternoon of reading and ended up on a rollercoaster of emotion. I feel as if I now have a motley crew of friends, that range from open and vulnerable to cantankerous. Taking the step outside of Scallop Shores made me miss it more than I thought I would.”

Wynter's Journey

BLURB:

A childhood promise brings Wynter and Sam together again after tragedy ripped them apart over ten years earlier.  Fate has given him a second chance to tell her how he feels.  This time he’s not going to run.

EXCERPT:

Now came the hard part. Sam wasn’t expecting her. More to the point, he’d been avoiding her for the last twelve years. She knew the reception she’d get wouldn’t be a welcome one. But that was okay. She had her trump card—a promise Sam had made years ago. Her baby’s future depended on him honoring that promise. Her means of escape having driven away, Wynter took a deep breath and knocked at the big red door.

She shuffled her feet, wishing she’d had enough money to purchase a thick pair of winter boots for her impromptu cross-country adventure. Okay, to be fair, there really hadn’t been much time. One minute she held a one-way ticket to Florida, purchased by her parents, the next she had changed her destination, and hopefully, the overall direction of her life.

At one time, too long ago for her taste, Sam had been her rock, one of her closest friends and someone she could go to in a moment of crisis. Now Wynter was newly widowed, about to raise a baby on her own. She could no longer afford the apartment she had shared with her husband in California. And, at thirty years old, she was forced to consider moving back in with her parents—an option she’d desperately like to avoid. If ever there was a moment of crisis, this was it.

Why wasn’t Sam answering the door? Wynter’s eyes flew to the curtain-covered window beside the door, looking for movement. Did he know who was out there? Had he seen the ugly green and orange cab pull up and dump out the last person on Earth that he expected to see? Was he hiding on the other side of the door, willing her to turn around and walk the five miles or so to town?

Well, it wasn’t going to happen. Wynter swallowed hard, past the lump forming in her throat. Her Sam wouldn’t leave her out on his doorstep to freeze. His mom had raised him right. Even if he didn’t want her there, he’d invite her in to warm up and rest. She rubbed her arms and stamped her sneakered feet. He wasn’t here. She hadn’t even considered that option.

A little bit wildly now, she paid closer attention to her surroundings. The next house over was barely visible through the spindly winter-bare trees on the other side of the road. Sam’s covered porch offered little in the way of protection from the wind. Fear clawing at her throat, Wynter eyed the glass windows and pondered how she might break in. But any rocks were buried beneath at least a foot of snow, and the only furniture on the porch was a swing, attached to the shingled roof with thick chains.

She crumpled onto the swing, defeat sapping the rest of her strength. Making herself as small as possible, she huddled against the cold wood, tears stinging the backs of her eyelids. Her idea had been to ask Sam for a place to stay, temporarily. She knew, through his sister, that he lived alone. She’d intended to look for a job, something she could walk to until she saved up enough for a beater car. Choking on a sob, Wynter realized the futility of her hastily made plans.

She hadn’t counted on Sam living in the boonies. She wasn’t sure where the actual town was, or if there was even the possibility of a job. Wynter was so desperate to stay independent, to keep her domineering parents from taking over her life and the raising of her child that she’d run to the one person she could think of.

“Where are you, Sam? I need you.” And the tears that had threatened from the moment the cab started to creep deeper and deeper into no-man’s land finally caught up with her.

Hunching into her thick parka and pulling her knees up as best she could, Wynter tucked herself into the swing and gave in to the hopelessness that she could no longer hold at bay. Wrapping her arms protectively around the life that grew inside her, she started to cry.

 

BUY LINKS:

Buy links for Wynter’s Journey:

Crimson Romance: http://www.adamsmediastore.com/wynters-journey

Amazon: http://amzn.to/Qlv4cG

B & N: http://bit.ly/1m2yOxy

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wynters-journey/id841057559?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/wynter-s-journey

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jennifer_DeCuir_Wynter_s_Journey?id=SlsXAwAAQBAJ

Jennifer DeCuir

BIO:

Jennifer DeCuir lives in the Pacific Northwest where sunshine is at a premium and coffee is a must. Her crazy family keeps her hopping and provides an endless supply of writing ideas. Chocolate keeps her sane.

Author web contact links:

Website: www.jenniferdecuir.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/HdgQXi

Twitter: http://bit.ly/160UYHt

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1aE8XBg

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1k35SPl