Welcome to the XOXO Publishing Spring Is In The Air Blog Hop!
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Grand Prize – An eBook prize package including from XOXO Publishing’s authors
My Prize – An eBook copy of my January release, Gambling On A Secret, a contemporary western romantic suspense set in Texas..
Hard to believe only two days ago my back yard garden looked like this. I live in South Central Pennsylvania and we got a surprise snow storm on March 18. Guess we didn’t make St. Patrick very happy with us. Or that stupid groundhog lied to us. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow—that’s supposed to mean an early spring. I’m with Bill Murray from the movie Groundhog Day on this one—drag him out of his hole and let’s eat that rodent. Okay, let’s not. I’ve never been into eating groundhog (also known as a woodchuck), or any other rodents for that matter. But I digress. Let’s talk one of my favorite things about spring—flowers..
I can’t wait until my garden looks more like this.
Spring is my favorite season for many reasons, but mostly I love it because of the flowers. Most of my favorite flowers bloom from April to June. Daffodils, tulips, irises, peonies, lupine, bleeding hearts and roses. Not to mention all the flowering trees—cherry, crabapple and plum..
From February to November, something is always in bloom in my garden. These are commonly called snowdrops, the botanical name is Galanthus. Although they are not as gorgeous as tulips and daffodils, when I see them every late winter—sometimes even peeking their white flowers out of the snow—I know Spring Is in the Air and really isn’t that far away.
I also have tons of crocuses, too. These heralds of spring usually bloom in March and help bring a cheery reminder on bleak Pennsylvania days nothing will stop spring, and soon, I’ll be enjoying my garden again.
I’m more anxious for this spring than most because my second contemporary western romance releases on April 1!
He’s determined to set things right, no matter the cost.
The last person Abby Crawford wants to face down is country music superstar Seth Kendall. Last time she did, she flat-out lied so he’d go to Nashville without her. She’s never understood why their mutual best friend proposed, but she went with it so her baby wouldn’t be fatherless. Now she’s a divorced mother of a teenager, and secretly Seth’s biggest fan.
Seth is home in McAllister, Texas for his father’s funeral…and a chance to meet the daughter he’s never known. He’s willing to face the music of his own making and admit he’s known about his little girl all along. For fifteen years he’s kept his distance because Abby told him to follow his dreams without her, insisting she didn’t love him. But now he won’t leave until he knows his daughter and she knows him, even if it means facing the woman who broke his heart for good.
Confessing she’s lied about her daughter’s paternity all these years won’t be easy for Abby, especially with her ex blackmailing her to keep the secret. And Seth doesn’t know the hardest truth of all: Every love song he plays on his guitar still plucks her heartstrings.
CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex.
Never Before Seen Excerpt:
His voice was husky, and he readjusted his guitar strap around his neck. “When I was seventeen, Jimmy Gatlin asked me to sing on this stage. All I had was my mother’s old acoustic guitar. It was enough, I guess, because Jimmy kept telling me to come back.” He paused and bowed his head as the audience erupted with applause and whistles. When he looked up, he smiled and winked at Abby. “So, here I am again with my biggest fan from then in the audience.”
Although the passion of the crowd swept her away, she didn’t miss the play of emotions on his face. She understood what he hadn’t said, that there was as much pain in the memories as there was joy of those early years. John Kendall’s lack of pride in his talent had hurt Seth deeply.
John had come to every single football game in which Seth had played quarterback and every fairground rodeo in which he’d roped calves, but his father had never wanted to hear him sing. As far as she knew, John hadn’t seen his son sing before an audience.
When he strummed the opening to one of his early hit songs, she was as captivated as everyone else in the honky-tonk.
Seth’s soulful voice spoke of love and loss, and she got lost in the words.
He seduced the entire room with his whiskey-smooth voice, and he pulled at the part of her soul that had always belonged to him. He couldn’t be more than a memory, but she sniffed at the burn in her sinuses as she wished Seth Kendall could be more.
Only a Memory wound down to the mournful accompaniment of the steel guitar, and he captured her gaze over the distance, singing only to her.
He’d written that song about her! Being thrown at full gallop couldn’t have jolted her harder. She gasped and leaned back in her chair.
Still dazed by the revelation, she couldn’t concentrate on the final four songs he performed. How many of his other songs were about her? The thought rattled her. She ordered another beer, and still her throat burned. Her mouth was dry.
Why hadn’t she figured it out sooner?
Only a Memory was one of her favorite songs. Probably because it resonated with her about him too.
The set finished, and he thanked the band for their backup. He walked off the stage to another standing ovation, rowdy applause, whistles and catcalls. Seth regained his chair beside her and took a long draw on a glass of water a waitress had brought him.
Mischief glimmered in his green eyes as he grinned. “So you just now figured it out?”
“I never realized that song was about me.”
He sipped his water and watched her. “A few of my songs are about you.”
She didn’t want to consider the possibility she’d inspired any of his songs. Most of his love songs were about lost or unrequited love. What did he really want from her?
She had to get away from him. Had to escape or she’d do something stupid and destroy her family. There was no doubt she wanted him, missed him, was lonely, and she was drunk. An extremely dangerous combination.
“I need to go home.” She wobbled to her feet and took off through the crowd toward the exit.
She didn’t stop, but rushed out the swinging doors.
At the door of her Silverado, he caught up and took her arm. “You aren’t in any condition to drive. Where’s your friend?”
She shook her head. “She’s going home with–with her boyfriend.” He was right; she was too drunk to drive home. Tears threatened to fall, and she swallowed her pride as she fell into his arms. “Please, take me home.”
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Heartstrings will be available at retailers April 1, 2013. Lyrical Press
Photo credits © Sara Walter Ellwood. (all photos except for movie still were taken from my garden)
© movie still from Groundhog Day, 1993, Sony Pictures.