Make sure you scroll down for an excerpt from Hometown Hero, my contribution to this wonderful anthology.
It feels like a homecoming to me to see this boxed set come out. Hometown Hero was my first novella for Tule and I really didn't know what I was getting into when I wrote it last year. But I tell you! Tule, and the Montana Born imprint, is a wonderful community of welcoming authors who are tremendously supportive of each other. I'm so very, very pleased to have found a publishing home here.
And super delighted this boxed set is such a deal (99c through November!) Are there new-to-you authors here? Because this is a great way to enjoy a low-risk sample.
Here are your quick links, then I have an excerpt to further entice you if you're still not convinced.
Excerpt - Hometown Hero
Skye had a crush on Chase in high school and he has come back to help his kid brother. Last night they were at a school dance, he accidentally said something stupid, she went off like Fourth Of July Rockets, and one of the kids caught the scene on his cellphone.
Since Chase is a professional baseball player, the video has gone viral, creating a huge embarrassment for shy, small-town Skye (both of them, really.) Chase has just showed up at the school, where she works.
~ * ~
If he had come to apologize, she was going to tell him where to shove it.
This had been the worst day of her life, worse even than when Terry came out. Then, at least, she’d been the wronged party. Today people were asking, What were you thinking? Even Terry had defended stupid Chase Goodwin. He’s not a homophobe, Skye. I, uh, think he always knew I had a bit of a crush on him. He was really decent about it.
She had not needed to know her ex-husband had shared her crush on the town treasure.
“I’m not interested in talking to you,” she said to Chase, glancing anxiously toward the open door of the counselor’s office, where Brenda had left to fetch a student, then the firmly closed door of the principal’s office, where he was meeting with the VP and one of the trustees.
She didn’t know which was worse, having witnesses to this confrontation or not.
Chase leaned on the counter exactly the way the students did, like they wanted to order ice cream or a beer. “Maybe you can ask someone else to help me, then,” he said without emotion.
He looked insanely attractive, freshly shaved, lightly tanned, his dark brows stern above his intent green eyes, his mouth a sexy male pout that would make any female swoon.
“I need the parent volunteer forms so I can drive students and help with school events."
Take that, Skye. As if he’d come here special to see you. Like he owed you an apology.
Her throat stung and she feared she might be blushing. Rising, she turned away to open a drawer in the filing cabinet behind her, willing her composure back into place as she took her time fingering through and tugging out the forms. When she turned back, Chase’s eyes swiftly lifted to clash into hers.
Her butt tingled and her stomach swooped. Don’t, she thought. The last thing she needed was to start imagining he’d been checking her out. Hot and hating herself for it, she set the forms on the counter near his elbow.
“I need a copy of your driver’s license,” she told him.
He reached into his back pocket, the move drawing her eye to the way his T-shirt strained across his shoulders and pecs. Dear Lord, he was beautifully built. Were men allowed to have lean muscles like that without carrying a license for them as deadly weapons?
He offered the card in two fingers. Something in the way he did it made her lift her eyes to his. His brows went up ever so slightly.
He’d noticed her checking him out.
Kill. Me. Now.
She snatched the card from his grip and boiled with self-consciousness as she turned her back on him to make the copy. If he was looking at her backside again—but why would he? She didn’t want him to, did she?
What was she doing with her life that she was going off the rails like this? She was basically a happy person. She didn’t have self-destructive thoughts so why would she long for a spark between her and someone who would devastate her in all the ways Terry hadn’t? It was crazy. Literally not sane or logical.
She took the photocopy to her desk and slapped it into her In tray, refusing to look at his photo even though she was dying to. She’d finish processing this later, after he’d filled out the forms. Sitting down, she set her fingers on her keyboard, determined to carry on with her day and be normal.
He continued to stand at the counter, watching her expectantly.
“What?” she demanded.
“Can I have my driver’s license back?”
Oh for God’s sake. Blushing hard, she shot to her feet so fast her chair rolled back into the filing cabinet with a crash. Get a grip, Skye. She scooped the card from under the lid of the copier and when she slapped it on the counter, she only dared lift her gaze high enough to see he was biting back a rueful grin.
“Look, I know my being who I am made this worse—”
“Oh, no, my life is great,” she snarked, managing to keep her tone a level under shrill. “Isn’t it everyone’s dream these days to be an internet sensation? Give the forms to Max when you’ve filled them out. He can leave them in my tray.” Never come back here again, she willed him.
Then felt inexplicably sad, but honestly. This fixation needed to be carved out of her psyche and cryogenically frozen for a future generation to deal with.
“Hey, I didn’t post that clip. And for the record, I was being sarcastic last night. I know you can’t turn people gay.”
“Sure about that?” she shot back, once again finding herself pushing back for the simple reason that he had the gall to say to her what no one else had. “Wanna put it to the test?”
“I’d love to.”
The smoky look in his eyes, the deeply male timbre in his tone, crashed over her like a tropical wave, softening her bones and put a tickling feeling deep in the pit of her belly. A type of yearning.
One that was beyond misguided. Look who he was. He was mocking her. Had to be. Probably because he wasn’t any happier than she was about the way she’d embarrassed him.
“That’s not funny,” she told him. “It’s mean.” And then, because the backs of her eyes were sizzling, she went into Brenda’s office and shut the door.
“Skye!” he called.
She heard a door open and the principal spoke to him, asking if he was looking for her. After a brief exchange, everything went silent, but she continued to hide, bunching a tissue that she dabbed to keep her makeup under control, until Brenda came back and needed her office.
~ * ~
Ah Skye. She and Chase started my affair with Marietta and it continues through not just my books, but all the other authors who make this small town feel like a real place. I'm as much of a fan of Tule books as you are!
Now, if you missed my post last week, I'll remind you that I'm all about bundles this month!
A Montana Born Christmas
Blame The Mistletoe was the second book I wrote for the Montana Born imprint and this bundle is still available for a discounted price of $2.99. (It goes up to $4.99 shortly. Act fast!)
A Year Of Love In Marietta
This is where it gets complicated. And this is why you need to act fast to claim all these deals!
Those top two bundles contain my first and second books along with awesome stories by other writers. This next one, A Year Of Love In Marietta, contains all four of my novellas PLUS (Wait! Don't guess yet!) BONUS SCENES available no where else!
So even if you've read these novellas as stand-alones or as part of the other boxed sets, I hope you'll take advantage of the pre-order sale price of 99c and scoop up this boxed set so you can enjoy spending a little more time with all my Montana Born characters.
Note: The introductory price expires on Nov 23rd. These are the links I have so far:
Are you a member of my reader group? If not, you're missing out on some exclusive content. I have an epilogue for The Russian's Acquisition coming up in December and you get a free short story ebook right away as a welcome gift.
Click on the image to sign up and claim your copy or click here.
Have a great weekend!