Friday, December 20, 2013

What Happens Next?

What Happens Next?

So I’m thinking that everyone’s excited about Christmas and then New Year’s, right? And then along comes January 2nd…and the big let-down. But it doesn’t have to be that way. No. Because I’ve decided to send two of you a copy of my new book Nearest Thing to Heaven to lift that mood again. Once you meet Sophie, Ty, and the four-year-old triplets, I seriously believe you’re going to be smiling again.

Leave me a comment, and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing. You can choose between digital—Nook or Kindle—or a printed ARC. I’d love to hear from you.   I'll draw for the winners on January 2, 2014. 

Nearest Thing to Heaven is the second book in my Maverick Junction series, and we get to spend more time with all the gang we met first in Somebody Like You. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, the third book in the series, will be released February 4, 2014.

With the holiday season fast approaching. Sophie London finds herself back in Maverick Junction, Texas, for her cousin’s wedding to Cash Hardeman and runs headlong into Ty Rawlins, the widowed father of rambunctious triplets. Sophie, owner of Stardust Productions, believes in fairies and magic. Long-horned cattle, wide-open spaces, and three-year-olds with fishing worms dangling from their poles are enough to make any city girl run all the way back to Illinois in her Jimmy Choos. Ty, busy with the day-to-day duties as single daddy and owner of the Burnt Fork Ranch, has no time for romance. He’s had love and lost it. Yet he finds himself thinking of Sophie night and day. Can Ty convince both himself and Sophie that Maverick Junction is where she belongs, right beside him and his boys?

Here’s a little excerpt you might relate to right about now. Ty, Sophie, and the boys are out searching for that special Christmas tree:
An hour later, Sophie still hadn’t lost her silly grin. They’d found the tree. All of them circled it, studying it from every angle. The pine was beautiful, its shape and size absolutely perfect.

Even the horse ride had been enjoyable. She’d felt safe on Molly today. Comfortable.

Sophie scuffed her booted foot over the ground. The snow wasn’t deep, and random bare spots stuck out. It wasn’t Chicago snow by any means. But it lay over the earth like a thin layer of icing. The air was cold, but a long way from frigid.

Ty moved back to his horse to retrieve the ax he’d brought along. Sophie had a momentary pang at the idea of actually murdering the tree. When she whispered that to Ty, he stared at her, incredulous.
“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Not really.” She wrung her hands.

He shifted the ax to his other hand. “Sophie, I can’t—”
“I know. The kids will get such a kick out it, and it’ll bring far more enjoyment in your home than out here. Blah, blah, blah. Go ahead. I just won’t watch.” She put a hand over her eyes. “And I’m being silly, aren’t I?”

“You’re being you.” He kissed her forehead.
“Daddy kissed Sophie!”

The shrill pronouncement brought echoes from the other two, who picked it up as a chant. “Daddy kissed Sophie, Daddy kissed Sophie.”
The triplets danced around in the snow, their noses red.

“Uh-oh,” Sophie muttered. “Now you’ve done it.”

“You think?” Grin devilish, Ty turned to the boys. “Want me to do it again?”

“Uh-huh! Do it again!”

Before she realized what he was up to, Ty wrapped an arm around her waist and drew her in. His lips covered hers in a not-quite-chaste kiss.
She laughed and pushed at his chest. “Bad Daddy!” she said, low enough for only him to hear.

“Mmmm.” He smacked his lips together. “Good Sophie. Sweet as sugar.”

“Go cut down that tree, Paul Bunyan.” She ran over to the boys. “Have you ever made snow angels?”

Ty swung the ax, but his attention wasn’t on his work. Sophie and the boys lay in the snow, waving their arms and legs, making angels. One by one, his sons gave it up to throw themselves over Sophie, who drew each one in with little tickles.

He looked at the angels they’d created and thought of Julia. Blinking snow from his eyes, Ty lifted his gaze Heavenward. Imagined her up there watching their boys playing with Sophie. Was she smiling or shedding tears?

Pressure built in his chest. Conflicted? Oh, yeah. Talk about a tug of war. He felt trapped somewhere between the past and the present, unable to reach toward a future.

Damned if he knew whether he and his boys were headed for something wonderful or standing in the path of a tsunami-force heartbreak. He swung again, his ax biting deeply into the pine.

Question: Do you have any special rituals that take some of the hurt away when it’s time to take down that beautiful tree? Leave me a comment and share—anything you want about anything—and I’ll enter you into the drawing for one of the two copies of Nearest Thing to Heaven!

Hope you can join Ty, Sophie, and me in Maverick Junction, Texas, for Nearest Thing to Heaven, book two of my series.  Come visit me at my website