Hurricane Irene is about to hit the U.S., so I thought I would put my hurricane story to the p. 99 test this week. From Heartsight:
But he wasn’ʹt that careless youth anymore. And Trish, he had come to realize, was worth so much more than the means to scratch an itch. Trish Evers was a forever kind of woman. And one day she’d find the man who could give her forever.
So why did that thought leave a nasty taste in his mouth?
“You’re saying nothing pretty loudly over there, Danny Boy.”
That light-hearted lilt was back in her voice as she teased him using his own words, and his heart reacted with a little cardiac jig. Slow down, boy. Don’ʹt fall for the single mom. Your own life is more screwed up than she needs.
“Wow,” she whispered. “You’re speechless. I’ʹve never made anyone speechless before.” She laughed softly. “I promise if you’ʹre trying to figure out how to extricate yourself from my clutches, it’s not that hard.”
A grin worked at Dan’s lips. Extricating himself was the last thing he wanted. “Got room on the couch for me to join you or are you lounging across all the cushions?”
“Dan?” Her voice was uncertain again.
He shrugged. “I want to talk, Trish. Spend some time as two adults just . . . talking. You up for it?”
“Okay, I think.” Her laugh seemed a little nervous.
Good. He’d thrown her a bit off balance. Maybe the playing field would even a little. Maybe he could even it some more. He scooted over to the sofa. “What lights do you have on?”
“What?” Definitely off balance. “Oh, um, one at the end of the couch here, one in the window, in the hallway, on the stairs.”
“Do you need them on? Maybe for Bella?”
“No, not really.” She stood. He heard her walking around the room, caught the subtle clicks of switches as she turned off the lights. Then she was back.
Dan settled with his back against the end of the sofa. He toed his shoes off and stretched his legs out along the cushions.
“Oh, who’s lounging on all the cushions now?” She dropped down on the other end and tangled her feet and legs with his.
Dan chuckled softly. “Comfortable?”
She ran one of her toes along the bottom of his bare foot, laughing when he sucked a fast breath in through his teeth. “Yep! Quite comfortable.”
“Dang, woman! You’ve got ice cubes for feet.”
“Put some socks on.”
“I hate socks.”
They drifted to an expectant silence as Dan tried to figure out how to begin without sounding like a raunchy jerk.
ʺI want to clear something up, Trish.” He rubbed his jaw. “I do notice you and think of you—often . . . in the way you were suggesting.”
Trish’s jaw dropped to somewhere in the vicinity of her chest. It had been hard to miss how much he wanted her, but had Dan just admitted it to her? The rush of excitement was so thrilling, she could forgive him the unspoken “but” she knew was about to be dropped on her.
To his credit, he didn’t use the word. His deep voice was mesmerizing as he spoke. “It would be easy to go there with you. I think you’ʹre one of the most beautiful and sexy women I’ʹve ever met.” He paused.
In the darkness, Trish couldn’t see his face. She could only hear his voice. He’d done that on purpose, she realized, when he had her turn off the lights. Suddenly, things weren’t one-sided between them.
“Have I left you speechless now?” he asked.
She answered slowly. “A little.”
On a secluded beach in North Carolina, three lonely people find hope in each other.
Trish Evers is an artist and single mother, who has inherited her grandmother’s Bed and Breakfast in a North Carolina coastal town. Though she must sell the house, she decides to bring her daughter to the beach for one last summer vacation in her childhood town.
Bella is a six-year-old girl who has Down syndrome. Rejected by her father, Trish, is the only parent she’s ever known. Bella likes to explore the beach and has a tendency to wander off. One day, Bella goes exploring on her own, and Trish finds her in the company of an intriguing stranger.
Dan Conway is a U.S. Marine, who had been born into a family of Marines. Now blind as a result of combat injuries and unable to “suit up,” he feels he no longer has a purpose in life. He’s come home to the beach, where he spends his days in solitude. Dan must learn to believe in himself and to love life again, which he begins to do through his interactions with Bella and Trish. When a hurricane strikes, and Bella wanders off again, her only hope for rescue is Dan.
Working within the confines of his blindness, he must overcome his fear of failure and recall his training in order to search for the little girl and bring her to safety.
Coming soon from Astraea Press. With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina’s life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn’t even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?