Barnes & Noble
In case you need a reminder, here's what you're getting:
And now, for the first time anywhere, here's the cover for my story in the set.
It's very pretty and I love the fonts and the porch. The people are pretty, too, but I gotta tell you, look nothing like Molly and Joe. Because Molly and Joe are fifty. Molly's carrying around twenty extra pounds or so--after all, she sat behind a desk in a bank for thirty years. Joe, even though he's a carpenter, is softer around the middle than he used to be. They are my kind of people, and I hope they're yours, too.
Here is the blurb for the boxed set:
From warm sunny days to long sultry nights, spend your summer falling in love in a small town! These nine contemporary romances featuring sassy heroines, sexy heroes, and lots of heartwarming romance make the perfect beach read. Whether your pleasure is sweet small town romance or smolderingly sexy love stories, there's something in the Small Town Summer box set for everyone!
AWAKENING ANNA, by Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Terri Osburn
ANYWHERE WITH YOU, by Heatherly Bell
MOONSHINE & MAGNOLIAS, by National Bestselling author Jamie Farrell
SUMMER IN STRINGTOWN PROPER, by Liz Flaherty
SUMMER STOCK, by Regina Kyle
SERENA’S SOLDIER, by Amy Lamont
A KISS IN KITE HARBOR, by Stefanie London
HER LAST SHOT, by Megan Ryder
SWEET HOME ALASKA, by Rebecca Thomas
And here's a little excerpt from SUMMER IN STRINGTOWN PROPER. I hope you like it! Oh, and while I'm talking--hang on, I'm getting to the excerpt--I need to thank the other authors in this set for their expertise and comraderie in the production of this project. They have been so great to work with and I am embarrassed to admit just how little of the actual work I've done.
She had a hangnail on her foot. No wonder her little toe had begun to hurt after the third dance with Joe Rahilly. Maybe if she didn’t pick at it, it would go away on its own. Stringtown Proper didn’t have any podiatrists—she doubted many of the residents even knew what one was. Or if they did, they drove the hour to Lexington to see one.
And maybe it wouldn’t go away on its own. The dang thing started to throb with her just thinking about it. She pulled her foot onto her thigh and put her artificial fingernails to work. They had cost enough—they should be able to do something constructive like yank out a hangnail.
She had tears in her eyes and blood on her fingers when a soft, lazy, very male voice said, “Good morning,” from the end of the porch.
The expletive that flew from her throat was one that would have Aunt Sadie going for the bar of soap that used to lie beside the faucet on the kitchen sink. Molly jumped, her sore toe smacking the porch rail on the way to the floor. When she grabbed her foot, the nail on her little finger snapped against the wood of the rail and popped off.
“Ouch!” Joe Rahilly slapped a hand over his eye. “Sadie asked me to check on you this morning,” he said. “I guess I can tell her you were sitting on the porch with a weapon, so your honor should be intact.” He bent to pick up the nail and brought it over to where she sat. “Your ammunition, ma’am, in case you have any more intruders.”
She took the sliver of acrylic from him. Maybe she could glue it back on. “Check on me?” she asked. “I’m fif—well over twenty-one. I don’t think I need to be checked on.”
“Yeah, well, Sadie said you weren’t used to Wine from the Ridge. It’ll knock you flat when you’re not looking. That’s the voice of experience talking, by the way.” He lowered his considerable length into the chair beside hers. “Nice morning.”
“Yes.” She guessed it was, although she hadn’t really noticed.
“John David said I should invite you to church. He said to tell you we’re having the very first ice cream social of summer this afternoon and everyone will be there anyway, even the agnostics and atheists. Not that you’re either, of course.”
What rabbit hole had she fallen through? Ice cream socials weren’t for real, were they? Hadn’t they been invented to add interest to nostalgia TV shows and novels about early twentieth-century Americana?
She looked at the man beside her. He was jaw-dropping handsome, she had to admit, with the kind of hair that fell right back into place after it had been disarranged by the wind...or a woman’s touch. It was a lovely dark brown color, shot through with silver and gold. His eyes were brown, too, surrounded by heavy lashes and laugh lines. He had a straight nose, full lips she found herself looking at when she didn’t intend to, and a square jaw that bespoke stubbornness.
Not that Molly had been interested, but Aunt Sadie had said her new stepson was a year or so older than Molly, a widower like his father, and a grandfather a couple times over. He’d made quite a name for himself in the restoration business.
“Restoration?” Molly asked. “As in carpentry?”
“Exactly.” Aunt Sadie had given her a level look that made her feel like squirming. “A master carpenter, in fact. Like the sweet man on TV who wore glasses and flannel shirts.”
Julian always said that people who worked with their hands did so because they were incapable of doing anything else. That made sense to Molly, whose long, slender hands were embarrassingly clumsy. She’d never questioned the rectitude of Julian’s statement or considered it the slightest bit snobbish.
Until Aunt Sadie gave her that look. And until she danced, albeit somewhat drunkenly, in the arms of the man at her side, the one who was looking at her expectantly from the rocking chair beside hers. “Well?”
She blinked. “What?”
“Would you like to go to church?”
“Oh.” The doors would probably collapse as she walked through them. “No. Uhm. No, thank you, I mean.”
Now, what was she going to say when he tried to convince her to go? That she didn’t have a thing to wear? That she hadn’t been to church since she was in the fourth grade? That—
He was getting up. Where was he going?
“What?” she said again.
“Okay,” he repeated, and looked at a watch that appeared awfully expensive for a carpenter to be wearing. “I need to go, now that I know you survived the wine and I’ve invited you to church.” He smiled, his gaze mingling warmly with hers. “It was nice seeing you again.”
“You, too. Thank you. For checking and inviting, I mean.” She wondered why she felt so flustered, as though he’d caught her picking her nose or sitting around in her underwear.
When she was actually wearing—she looked down at herself and flinched—the plaid robe that had been hanging on the back of the bathroom door. She thought it was probably Uncle Win’s, and he’d been gone for five years.
And even though her nose was clean and untouched, she’d definitely been picking her toes.