Healing Hearts – Sneak Peak

Snakes? I’m not a fan. In fact, my Kribsdom is kind enough to refer to them as “sneks” so that I don’t even have to hear the word. I would never have been able to handle this scene as well as my characters did. Read on for a sneak peek at the newest installment of the Wolf Creek series, coming out on August 15, 2019.

~Excerpt:

It didn’t take long for Luke to descend the steep, tree-studded hillside. And then he was on his knees beside her. His hands were steady and solid, moving and squeezing along her arms and legs. He rubbed his fingers over her skull and around to the back of her neck. “How badly are you hurt, baby?”

Bailey wanted to laugh and cry at the same time, the result coming out like a hiccup.

“Hi.” She took a slow breath. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

Luke sat back on his haunches for a moment, a smile playing around his lips. “So am I, babe. So am I.” Turning serious again, he looked her over, his flashlight scanning the area surrounding them. “How badly are you hurt?” He asked again.

Bailey looked up at him, trying to study his face in the dark. “I wrenched my back or something when I fell. And I landed wrong on my knee. I don’t think anything is broken, but my back hurts too bad to sit up. I can’t walk.”

“Do you think you can handle it if I roll you over?”

“No!” Bailey moved her arms to stop him.

“I need to know what we’re dealing with here.” His voice was calm and reasonable, almost as if he found humor in the situation, though she knew he didn’t. No, his calm façade was likely part of his job.

“Snakes, Luke.”

“Sorry?”

“That’s what we’re dealing with. Snakes.”

Luke moved his light around slowly, searching the ground around her.

“I don’t see any snakes, hon.”

She gritted her teeth, really, really not wanting to say it aloud. “It’s, um, cuddling with me.” She could see Luke’s lips twitching. “Don’t you dare laugh!”

Luke lost control and laughed aloud. “I’m sorry. I swear.”

“Just get him–it, out of my shirt. Now, Luke.” She wailed when he continued to chuckle.

“Okay. Let’s roll you onto your side.”

“No!”

Luke paused, his hands outstretched a few inches above her. “I promise not to hurt you.”

“It’s not that. I trust you.”

“Umm?” He drew out the sound, apparently at a loss for what her problem was.

“If I move, it’ll move, and I’ll feel it. I don’t want to feel it, Luke.”

God love the man, this time he didn’t laugh.

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New Release – Healing Hearts Aug 15

Recent culinary graduate Bailey Jameson is taken by surprise at the sudden death of the beloved great-aunt who raised her. When she travels to a tiny New Hampshire town to claim her inheritance, she begins to realize she holds the key to making all her dreams come true.

Burned out from his role on an elite Search and Rescue team, Luke Adams is laying low in the last place he thinks life could reach him, the quiet Northeast town of Wolf Creek.

While Bailey is busy building her dreams, Luke starts to realize a few dreams of his own, and for the first time sees a path to the future he’s always wanted. But, is his future big enough to hold both Bailey and his demanding job?

It’s That Cloudy Time of Year

I wanted to create a post about another one of my Wolf Creek businesses, but I have to admit that this past week or so has really gotten away with me. February is usually a month I look forward to, but this year, well … not so much.

Last week we were hit with some weird virus that caused a week of headaches and upset stomachs. That is, it slowly snaked its way through my little family of four. I spent the whole week stuck in the house. Valentine’s Day evening was spent at our local Secretary of State’s office (DMV in some states) renewing our license plates. Both my husband and I have February birthdays and this year I turned 40. That could have/should have been a reason to party. In fact, I intended to throw myself a little party but, of course, we’d been sick all week so it seemed in bad taste to have people over. Just like Valentine’s Day, my birthday came and went without any fanfare.

This week I find myself crabby from being housebound, worn out from the illness and constant weather changes (gotta love Michigan!), and just plain depressed from the state of our world and the fact that we haven’t seen the sun in about four months now.

On a brighter note, I’ve selected a lucky winner for my book giveaway and will be contacting that person shortly. I’m hard at work at two different books right now and both plots are going well. So, we might not have any sunshine in Michigan just yet, but there’s a glimmer on the horizon…

Suds-N-Grub

As the name implies, this establishment offers beer and bar food. Tony, the cook, doesn’t particularly appreciate when his food is referred to as “grub”, but as he likes to say, a paycheck is a paycheck.

Suds-N-Grub offers simple dinners and is open to families until 8 p.m. Once the dinner crowd clears out, the bar becomes a lot less tame. The owner, “Big Bill” Charles, is renown for his similarity to Santa Claus, though his employees probably know better. Late at night, Big Bill or his protégé, Carl, can be found entertaining some of Wolf Creek’s darker side in the mysterious back room.

Unless you’re looking for a little adventure, stop in during usual business hours when the dining room is perfectly respectable and have lunch or dinner. As Tony will be quick to remind you, the food is excellent, and the service is the best in town!

Bailey’s Restaurant

Baileys - Drawing

Have you ever had one of those moments when you can clearly picture something, but you just can’t find it anywhere? That’s what happened when I was developing Bailey’s Restaurant. Some of my Wolf Creek businesses are clear in my head. Others come from pictures I stumbled across in my online wanderings. For some reason, Bailey’s Restaurant had to be pulled from my brain. Being the brave sort (online anyway), I’m sharing my middle-school quality art with you, the visitor.

Bailey’s Restaurant is still coming to me, in some ways. I’m in the process of writing Bailey’s story right now so a lot about her, and about how her business came to be is still firmly entrenched in my brain. There are a few neat odds and ends that I’ve come to discover, and that I’ll gladly share with you.

Bailey is a recent graduate from culinary school, full of ideas and still somewhat untried in the world of owning a business. I want to say that like a lot of young people just entering their chosen professions, she still has stars in her eyes. But, I think that would be too cliché. And, in Bailey’s case, I’m getting the feeling that her bubbly personality means she’ll always be this way. Probably a good thing considering how small Wolf Creek is.

I think Bailey’s got one thing going for her right out of the gate – a great idea. Her restaurant will offer international cuisine, but only certain days of the week. Until she’s able to hire a full staff, Bailey will be closed on Mondays. But the rest of the schedule sounds like a lot of fun: (please forgive me if the novel comes out in a different order)

Tuesday – English pub fare

Wednesday – Italian

Thursday – Mexican

Friday – Chinese

Saturday – French

Sunday – Good ol’ American fare

Wish us luck, starting a new business is a large undertaking and Bailey’s going to need all the help she can get. Rest assured, though, the food will be nothing less than amazing!

Beans & Bagels

One of the first stops in any trip to Wolf Creek should be to Beans & Bagels Coffee Shop. Thirty year old owner, Stacie Porter, is a cheerful woman with a short blonde bob and a megawatt smile. As Stacie can attest, she does the majority of her business between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. with another small crowd around lunchtime. She’s proud to say that she’s responsible for caffeinating all of Wolf Creek and judging by the reviews, she does a good job of it.

Stacie was born and raised in Wolf Creek but went to college in Concord, giving her a taste of city life and introducing her to life with Starbucks. Her experiences in Concord gave her the idea of bringing the convenience of a corner coffee shop to her somewhat slower-paced hometown.

Stacie’s mother, Cindy is the City Clerk and is quick to remind anyone that stops in for business with the city to stop by Beans and Bagels for a coffee and pastry.

The exterior of Beans and Bagels is a typical seventies era brick storefront. The interior, though, is what really brings the charms of city life to Wolf Creek. The inside of the coffee shop is a collection of modern colors and traditional furnishings. The menu board high above the barista station is a clean black chalkboard, each item outlined in bright smooth chalk. I bet that if you ask Stacie, she’ll even be willing to whip up a special drink that isn’t on the menu.

If you’re visiting Wolf Creek for a few days, or even just passing through, be sure to stop at the corner of Lilac and Main for a coffee and donut to go.