Christmas in July

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Who doesn’t love thinking about snuggling in a warm blanket, drinking a hot beverage, staring at a roaring fire, and reading a sweet, romantic Christmas tale?

Okay, may be hard to contemplate while wiping the sweat off your brow in July, but imagine us writers conjuring up winter tales while perspiring in front of our laptop screens. LOL In July, we are working on our Christmas tales for the Authors of Main Street boxed set to come.

So, while you are waiting for Christmas Heroes on Main Street to become a reality, why don’t you enjoy our other boxed sets, all available in KindleUnlimited on Amazon.

Christmas at the Inn on Main Street

 

Christmas Babies on Main Street

 

Christmas Cookies on Main Street

 

Christmas Wishes on Main Street

 


Jill James, author of My Mistletoe Hero, coming in the Christmas Heroes of Main Street boxed set this Christmas!!

You like to read – What?

Second Chance stories intrigue me. I love reading stories of lost and found relationships. So much can happen in the in-between years.

I’m familiar with a couple who, in their younger years, double dated and each went on to marry other loves. Life rocked on. They each had children, both lost their partners to passing away. Both in their sixties, they found each other again through friends. After dating a few months, they fell in love and married.

The rest is history. True love won out. I’m so happy for them.

Christmas at the Granger Inn develops around a teen couple who lost each other due to a misunderstanding and unwillingness to forgive.

A class reunion brings them together again after they’d each married and lost their spouses.

Old feelings arise in both of them, but only one is willing to grant their forgotten love another chance.

Christmas at the Granger Inn Available at Amazon http://a.co/4RfM9hc
A Sweet Christmas Romance.
A reunion, a ghost and second chance at love.

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When a ten-year high school reunion tosses two-year grieving widow, Sydney Hall, and her first love, a widower, Cole Meyers, back together, the weekend turns into a fiasco. Seeing Cole again leaves Sydney with a strong reservation of what she wants, but refuses to acknowledge those feelings.

Cole vows nothing will stand in the way of winning Sydney back. The Inn’s matchmaker ghost conspires to get them together, along with a request to solve the mystery surrounding the ghost’s death.

To risk facing what tore them apart could promise a new place they can both call home.

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Our latest Anthology is Christmas Babies on Main Street. We offer wonderful warm stories within.  http://amzn.to/2xQ5Lsj

Please check out these links to my books, available at Amazon

http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html

Thank you…and please enjoy!  I wish you Love, Butterflies and Music…

 

Happy Holidays, and Size Does Count

We hope that no matter what you celebrate that the season has been kind to you.

I think the Authors of Main Street took a few days off from posting this month.  The holidays sort of all come together in December. Except we on Main Street forgot to warn each other and to warn you, our faithful blog readers, that we were going to be busy. Like wayward children we hope in the spirit of the holidays that we’re forgiven.

This Christmas came a day early for me. My youngest daughter couldn’t be with the family this year. She spent most of the day in the hospital’s ER. Don’t feel sorry for her; she’s ducky fine. She’s one of people who gave up a day at home with family to be there for others who need her more. She’s an RN. She was on her regular work schedule.

As a family, we had to celebrate without her. But we didn’t forget about her.  Like so many people, we lacked one of our loved ones. At least we knew she was alive and well, and only a few miles away providing comfort and care to those who needed it. Many families aren’t that lucky.

Christmas Eve was our family dinner. Just immediate family, my oldest daughter, the men that my girls love and my two granddaughters plus, one granddaughter’s boyfriend were at my oldest daughter’s house. (My granddaughter is allowed to have a boyfriend, she’s over 21. The question is – am I allowed to call him a boyfriend?)  Dinner was delicious! And I didn’t have to cook any of it!

My gift from the family was a beautiful computer monitor that is huge! Just in time for another set of edits! I  love the monitor and I love my girls for giving it to me! Even the granddaughters chipped into it. Don’t ask if it’s HD or any variety of letter combinations.  I’m the least techno-oriented author you know. It’s BIG! That’s all that matters.

See, size does count! I learned that when I was little. The bigger the tires, the easier it was to get through the snow. The larger the bank account, the better. And now it’s the large flash drives that count. And let’s not forget the large hard drives. It’s large and hard – oh yeah!

There’s a lot of things I can laugh about as this year comes to a close. It hasn’t been a bad year, if you stack it all together. There’s been worse years and there’s been better. I lost a good friend this year.  He was a few years older than I am. He taught me things about a camera that I never knew. After seeing my granddaughter’s photography when she was four years old, he taught my granddaughter even more about using a camera and encouraged her to continue with her photography. He called me one day and said he had something for me. I thought he was joking when he asked me to stop by his house. When I got there and he handed me one of his cameras and a super-duper lens, I broke into tears. I’d used that camera so many times when we worked on projects together, and he knew I couldn’t afford one for myself. He had bought a new one and decided that owning what he did was a bit much.  So he gave me one.  It seems like every year the grim reaper claims another friend a little too soon.

But on the brighter side, I have a book getting ready to release this spring. It’s undergoing some scrutiny within the Deaf community. It’s contemporary and a wee bit different from my other contemporary romances. The romance (love) is never in question, the relationship has a long path to travel. Why? He’s Deaf. She has her hearing and doesn’t know sign language. Her mother is dead-set against her marrying a disabled man. And like most Deaf, he doesn’t consider himself disabled. He thinks those with hearing have the problem because we don’t understand him. He understands us, so why can’t we understand him.

I’ve not created a super hero, I’ve merely presented a man who is Deaf, Deaf of Deaf, an average, young Deaf man. That might come as a shock. Most are well educated, underpaid but educated, many with advanced degrees.

Being deaf is considered legally a disability. It is difficult especially for those who have lost their hearing. But the Deaf of Deaf, those born deaf with deaf parents don’t consider themselves disabled at all unless they do have another problem. But deafness alone, no. That is not a disability. But if a person has lost their hearing, it is disabling.

I don’t know more than a few words in ASL, American Sign Language, and I can barely do the alphabet. I keep plugging away at it.  So it took lots of help to write this book and I’ve gotten involved with the Deaf community here in Tidewater, Virginia. Some look at me with suspicion because I seriously need to learn their language. Others are so friendly and welcoming. But every time I’ve gone to an event with them, I’ve had fun and learned something new.

So watch for my book Silent Journey to be published this Spring.  And yes, I’ll be back here on New Year’s Day.  May the year 2018 bring us all lots of wonderful things. And here on Main Street, we are planning a very exciting year for our readers. How about another boxed set this summer, plus our usual Xmas holiday one? That’s two in one year!

Here’s a little something for everyone.  Click on it for the link to download a full-sized version from Freepik. I use this company all the time! Mine is getting printed by month for my desk.  Yes, I have a calendar in my mobile phone. I just transfer all those appointments to the calendar by my computer. All I have to do is look up!

 

Calendar 2018. Vintage decorative elements Oriental pattern, vector illustration Vector       FREEPIX

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

Small Town Christmas Baby – An Excerpt

Small Town Christmas Baby Cover Twins Bow-2I’m very excited for the upcoming Authors of Main Street Christmas box set! It’s scheduled to be released in October and we’ll keep you posted. We’ll have over ten novellas about the warmth of Christmas, romance and BABIES!

My story in the anthology is set in the small (quasi) fictional town of Hamlin, New Hampshire. This is the fourth book in my Small Town Romance series.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s an excerpt from Small Town Christmas Baby:

Chapter 1

Lumberjacks adore New Hampshire. Trees grow faster here than Usain Bolt runs the 40-meter sprint. Julie, not being a lumberjack, had little appreciation for the giant trees with their enormous branches overhanging the Stillwater Inn. They’d need to call the tree chopper guy in again and it would cost thousands. Again.

She turned away from the window and vowed there was no way she would ask her husband for the money this time. She’d find it in the Inn’s budget if she had to make beds herself to save money.

Running her hand over her disappointingly small rounded belly, she turned her attention back to the cupcake frosting. One way to get a bunch of cash quick would be to win the Bake-off in Boston next month. She shoved aside the thought of rumblings from Jack about her needing to take care of herself and concentrate on the arrival of their first baby in a few months. Surely she could do two—maybe three or four—things at once. Lots of women did.

But as of today, Julie officially hated cupcakes. It was a shame because she was starving and she was staring at racks filled with all kinds of gems. But even the smell of her fresh-baked specials didn’t tempt her any more. These days she craved chocolate covered potato chips and hot dogs.

As she squeezed the bursts of frosting on the hundred and twelfth cupcake, the back door slammed and she looked up. It had to be Tammy. Only her oldest and best friend slammed the door open like that. It had always been Tam’s way to announce her arrival.

“You’re in time to help me.”

“You must be desperate. You know how I am with cake and icing—“

Julie waved her tube of icing.

“Not with that. I wouldn’t want your drool to contaminate the cake-lets. I need help with something far more important.”

“What the heck could that possibly be?”

Shoving aside the issue of tree-chopping money—because she knew deep down Jack would talk Uncle Billy into letting him pay on the grounds that Jack was part owner of the family Inn now since he was part of the family—she lasered in on the real gut-twister.

“I need to come up with a show-stopper of a Christmas gift for Jack.” She paused a beat while Tammy predictably rolled her eyes.

“Something I can afford on my own.”

* * * *

More to come when the entire set of Christmas Babies on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street will be available in a few short weeks.

In the meantime, look for the cover reveal soon!

Once Upon a Time…in Serendipity

Happy_Birthday_Taylor_smSince last time I wrote a blog here, a “book birthday” has come and gone.

Taylor Kincaid’s story, Once Upon a Time, released on June 8th. Most of this year’s deadlines have been related to group projects, and Taylor’s story got sidelined several times. So I was super excited to get this book out into the world for readers.

Taylor and her twin sister, Hannah, were introduced in Serendipity, Indiana Book Two–Emily’s Dreams. Emily wasn’t the most lovable chick on the planet at the beginning of that story, but her teenage sisters were beyond obnoxious!

A few years later (in Serendipity time), Taylor and Hannah have grown up a little bit. In fact, they’re out of college! But as you might expect, Taylor has some emotional growing up to do.

OnceUponaTime-MagdalenaScott-MediumHere’s the blurb for Once Upon a Time:

From the USA Today Bestselling author of Small Town Christmas, another heartwarming romance set in the beautiful, rolling hills of Southern Indiana. Follow your heart, and believe in the powerful magic of Love…

Taylor Kincaid has big plans for her life. Falling in love with the mysterious new shop owner in town isn’t one of them.

Taylor and her twin, Hannah, have graduated from college and are ready to leave Serendipity forever. The only problem is an absence of jobs in their fields.

They decide to move back home temporarily, living with their parents again, and taking a little sabbatical from all the hard work (and partying) of college.

But Marcus Kincaid has different expectations of his daughters. The free ride is at an end, and they have to find work in Serendipity if they expect to live at home.

Hannah accidentally volunteers to work at the Standish Family Christmas Tree Farm with their sister Emily (Kincaid) Standish. But Taylor will float resumes in the little town, and find a job that will pad her bank account, and be easy to leave when the right employment opportunity comes along.

It’s a great plan, until she steps into the antiques shop on the town square, and meets its handsome, enigmatic new owner. Now leaving may be more complicated than staying.

Sweet romance, “coincidences” that might be more than that, and a love that survives the unthinkable come together in this new Serendipity, Indiana tale.

***

Writing Once Upon a Time was a joyful experience, and I hope that reading it is, too.

Hannah will get her own romance this autumn. In Once Upon a Time, you’ll get some hints as to where Hannah finds her guy. But if you’ve read any of the Serendipity books, you know there are surprises in store for her.

A reviewer touched my heart recently when she said that reading the Serendipity, Indiana series makes her happy. These days, that’s some pretty awesome validation.

Happy summer reading to you!

Magdalena

What is a “Sweet or “Clean” Romance?

Lately I’ve been asked by a number of readers, and some authors too, to define a “sweet” or “clean” romance. While there seems to be some discrepancy within the publishing industry around these terms, the general consensus is that sweet romances emphasize the emotional intimacy between the hero and the heroine. Although these stories may contain sexual tension, they do not contain sex scenes—think of G to PG rated movies. It is possible for the hero and heroine to have had a sexual history, but it’s not shown on the page. Kissing is okay. Everything else is frowned upon. The same thing applies to offensive language.

These stories have internal and external conflicts, like any romance, but the sweet romance doesn’t contain violence. While the characters struggle and eventually find their happily-ever-after, it’s done with an underlying sweet theme.

Sweet romance is often confused with Inspirational romance. However, the two are different. Faith may play a role, but if it does, it’s not a key factor in a sweet romance, as it is in an Inspirational.

Because I follow the principles above, most of my books are sweet romances, even though I write in a variety of genres.

If you’ve been confused by the term “sweet” or clean” romance, I hope I’ve helped to define this very popular genre.

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USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist.

A New Author of Main Street: Magdalena Scott

 

Hello! I’m thrilled to be a new member here on Authors of Main Street. When I was invited to write a guest post for February, I immediately felt at home. Imagine my pleasure at being asked to become part of this wonderful group of writers!

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Since you may not have “met” me before, I thought I should do a little intro today. I’m a lifelong “small town girl,” having grown up in a corner of the Midwest that most people have never heard of, let alone visited. I’m also a USA Today Bestselling author of small town sweet romance and women’s fiction.

If each of our lives is a book, I’m in the second chapter of mine.

In the first chapter, I grew up in a loving family, made lifelong friendships starting at age one year, two months, and three days old–when the next girl cousin was born. I fell in love with writing stories as soon as I learned cursive. My first publishing credit was in second grade–a haiku in a national Sunday school magazine.

I was blessed to live my own small town love story, and during 30 years of marriage to the smartest, most unique man I’ve ever met, became Mom to a wonderful son. The end of chapter one was becoming a widow when my husband died from a brain tumor.

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Add Minimalist-in-Training to my Resume

My second chapter has included downsizing from the big family home to a studio apartment, writing full-time,  and becoming mother-in-law to an amazing young woman. I also found a second chance romance. (Good to know those don’t just happen in novels!)

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I love to travel, and in autumn 2015 took an unexpected, dream-come-true trip to Ireland with one of those lifelong friends I mentioned. But my fulltime residence is still in small town America, where life in the slow lane includes plenty of heartwarming, simple pleasures–concerts, plays, festivals, street fairs, and old-fashioned family recipes shared at reunions or backyard barbecues. I’ve seen my town be at its best when family, friends, and often the entire community pull together as life’s challenges threaten.

I currently have two small town contemporary romance series available for readers. All the books are wholesome romance (also known as clean, or sweet).

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The heartwarming stories of SERENDIPITY, INDIANA: This series is set in, and around, the Standish family Christmas tree farm. Each Serendipity story includes one or more instances of the life-changing magic of Love. (More concrete thinkers may see these as random coincidences.) The Serendipity series contains sweet romance, and also romantic women’s fiction (Emily’s Dreams, The Blank Book). The Blank Book and A Piece of Her Soul also have a light paranormal element. Seven books are available now, with the eighth scheduled to release on June 1st.

The McClains of Legend, Tennesee

The small town charm of THE McCLAINS OF LEGEND, TENNESSEE: This series invites readers into the lives and loves of the large, sometimes exasperating, and always entertaining McClain family, to whom Legend has been home for generations.

If you want to learn more about me, please visit my blog and/or my website. To get all the latest news, and the occasional nifty perk, sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter.

Until we meet again–happy reading!

Magdalena

A New Novella ~ Raine English

I tend to get more writing done in winter than any other time of year. And this year has been no exception. Living in New England where it’s cold and snowy, who wants to go outside? Even my dogs want to stay snuggled up in their beds. Most of my time is spent in my office working on my books, and even though I feel like a hermit, I love what I do.

I recently finished FROM NOW ON, a sweet contemporary romance set in Atlanta. It’s available for pre-order and will release on April 24th.

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Who says love’s sweeter the second time around?

When Whitney Adams discovers her first love is back in Atlanta, she can’t help but wonder if they might have a second chance at love. But after she learns there’s more to his kisses than wanting to rekindle their romance, she isn’t about to let her heart rule.

Cash Galloway has never forgotten his high school sweetheart, so when he might have another chance with her, he’s elated. However, his happiness is short lived once he discovers his new dream job involves acquiring Atlanta Belles—Whitney’s popular salon and spa. Will Cash lose the perfect woman a second time, or will love prevail?

Preorder FROM NOW ON today at the following retailers for just $0.99:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTFXQ2N

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from-now-on-raine-english/1125582062

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/from-now-on-11

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1200596315

~*~

 USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist.

Love on the Pony Express Trail

Please welcome

Lizzi Tremayne

Hello everyone!

I love this blog because I come from a real small town…with ONLY a Main Street, a little place in the Santa Cruz Mountains called La Honda, California! I moved halfway across the world to New Zealand…and guess what?  I found another Main Street town!  I now live out of the little Main Street mining town of Waihi, New Zealand, in an even smaller road 10 km out of town…it’s not even a main one. Just a lot of cows.

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hills-of-gold-6x9-ebook-coversm-fileThe Main Street in my first novel, A Long Trail Rolling, and at the start of The Hills of Gold Unchanging ( just released last week!), is…well, it’s actually a trail. A wagon trail, and the Pony Express Trail, in the 1860’s in Utah.

The stories in my first fiction series, The Long Trails, are historical romantic thrillers, with plenty of horses and action! I’m a horse vet, so you guessed it, there’s plenty of that in there too!

The scene…

My heroes Aleksandra and Xavier have just met…just after Aleksandra’s life has fallen apart at the seams. She’s just taken offense at something Xavier said, and he’s headed out the door, while she stayed inside to talk with Scotty, the trading post keeper….

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Xavier was harnessing Dzień to the wagon when Aleksandra came outside.

‘I can do that,’ she snapped, rushing to the side of the pony, her blue eyes icy and cheeks flushed pink. Xavier smiled at her back as she hurried around to the pony’s other side to finish.

‘I’m sure you can, Querida, but I’m happy to help,’ he said, wrapping a breeching strap around the shaft and buckling it snugly.

‘Thanks,’ she said, tight-lipped, looking away as her hands slid down Dzień’s rump towards the crupper.

‘Any possibility you might tell me just why you went loco on me back there?’ Xavier watched her brows drop as she stared at a strap she’d just buckled too tightly. Her lips tightened further as she readjusted it.

‘I want nothing to do with people who insult my friends.’

Como, what?’ He shook his head and blinked at her.

‘My friends, the Shoshone. The only friends I have left alive, other than Scotty,‘ she said from between clenched teeth, and then slumped, sobbing, against Dzień.

Cautious of her all-too-effective looking sword, Xavier slowly approached her. He slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against him, watchful for any fast moves on her part, not caring if her tears soaked his shirt. How long they stayed like this, he neither knew nor cared. Once her sobs quieted, he slipped his fingers under her chin, lifting her face to stare into the watery depths of her blue eyes.

‘Okay now, Querida?’

‘As okay as possible, I guess.’ She dropped her head again. ‘The Shoshone have been family to me, especially since Mama died,’ she murmured into his shirt.

‘Are you sure you won’t stay here? I’ll sleep in the stable, if it would make you happier.’

She closed her eyes and was still.

‘No, it’s okay. I’m sorry, Xavier. I’m upset, but that’s no excuse for my rudeness. Thank you for this.’ She nodded her head at his tear stained chest.

De nada. It is nothing.’ He smiled. ‘May I accompany you to your home, at least?’

‘No, really, I’m fine, thank you again. I’d better go farewell Scotty. It’s getting late.’

‘If you’re sure…’ Xavier shook his head and followed Aleksandra back inside.

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Buy A Long Trail Rolling, and The Hills of Gold Unchanging at:

Amazon

Visit Lizzi at her website

See you there!

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Lizzi Tremayne

Lizzi Tremayne

Lizzi and I met several years ago online and although I’ve never met her in person, we have talked by phone. Lizzi stays busy! She is a veterinarian who specializes in horses, and she’s very active with New Zealand’s Romance Writers. She writes and she rides! So how does she do her research when she lives so far from her childhood home? Lizzi never does anything ordinary. She spent her vacation on horseback, riding the historic trails of our west! Her stories are fast paced and suitable for any horse lover in the house who loves history, a little romance, and a whole lot of intrigue, mixed with action.  There’s a reason why her books win awards.

Small Town Romance

Guest Author – Magdalena Scott

Hello! I’m so excited to be with you here today. I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author of small town sweet romance and women’s fiction. I have two series so far–one set in Legend, Tennessee, and the other in Serendipity, Indiana.

The excerpt below is from WHERE HER HEART IS, book 3 of the McClains of Legend, Tennessee series. During the month of February, you can buy WHERE HER HEART IS for only 99 cents. And book 1, MIDNIGHT IN LEGEND, TN, is free!

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WHERE HER HEART IS

Betsy McClain left Legend, Tennessee two years ago, with a broken heart, a baby to care for, and precious little else. She’s done well in the city, and so has daughter LizBeth Ann. A heartfelt request from Dorothy McClain is the only thing that could bring them back to Legend, even temporarily.

Mike McClain wants to get to know his only child, but Betsy isn’t cutting him any slack. Good looks and the old McClain charm seem to be failing him. Betsy is not the same love-struck girl he married, nor the girl who left Legend in a flurry of anger and tears. But he’s changed too. Can’t she see that?

Mike is renovating the house where Betsy and LizBeth Ann are staying. Everyone in Legend would like to see them get back together. The only thing standing in the way is Betsy’s stubbornness…or is it Mike’s?

Set-up for the excerpt:

Mike is driving Betsy and LizBeth Ann back to the house in Betsy’s car. They’ve been to see Old Doc Parker because Betsy fell at the house. She’s on crutches with a badly sprained ankle.

Excerpt:

Betsy swatted at him gently, and smiled. It could have been a moment from a few years ago, when they’d been carefree.

“I hope you didn’t have other plans for the morning that all this has ruined, Mike.”

“Nope. Not really. Hey, why not have an early lunch while we’re out? You’re not gonna be walking around in the kitchen right away.”

“Well. I’d hate to make a fool of myself with these crutches in a restaurant.”

“We could have a picnic,” said LizBeth Ann.

“Sure,” Mike said, smiling. He caught her eye in the rear view mirror. “We like picnics, don’t we, Princess?”

“We love picnics!”

He drove to The Pig—the Piggly Wiggly grocery—and took LizBeth Ann in with him to choose their lunch. Then they went to Lake Legend, where he parked the Bug under a big maple tree.

“You feel like hobbling over to the picnic table, Betsy, or you want me to drag it over to you?”

“Drag it here, slave.” She threw her head back, closed her eyes, and gestured royally for the table to come hither.

In a moment she heard the scrape of wood on pavement and opened her eyes to see the picnic table six inches from where she sat. He hadn’t dragged it, of course. She could see the grass was fine. He had picked it up and carried it to her. Big strong guy, this Mike McClain. She looked up at him, noticing his goofy grin. Handsome too, for an almost-ex-husband.

“I can get to the table okay, I think.”

“All right. You get settled on the bench, and I’ll carry it back over in the grass.”

“Yay!” LizBeth Ann clapped her hands.

“No he won’t, honey. He’s just kidding.” She looked up at Mike. “You’re kidding, right?”

“I could do it.”

Well. Maybe he could. But what was brute strength without… She forgot what it was that Mike lacked. Not consideration for others. He definitely had shown that. Not responsibility. He’d made a very noisy point of that every morning since she’d come back to town.

His faults didn’t bear thinking about, of course. It was just a matter of time before they’d get the divorce papers signed.

The sandwiches, chips, apples, and bottled drinks made for a simple picnic, but somehow the mood was festive.

“Can I go on a boat?”

“What?” Betsy came out of the blurry reverie she’d been enjoying, watching the pedal boats move around on the lake.

“Can I go on a boat, Mommy?” She looked over at Mike then and batted her eyelashes. “Daddy?”

Lord help us. Where had the child learned eyelash-batting? She wasn’t even three years old for goodness’ sake!

Amazon link: http://a.co/5paVGnq