Shannon here: Jennifer Slattery shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Contemporary Romance title, Hometown Healing. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Sept 10 – 13 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Sept 21st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
Excerpt from Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery:
Was Jed worth staying for?
Pounding out her confusion and uncertainty with every step, she zigzagged her way to the jogging trail marking the circumference of Mirror Lake.
Four laps in, the wind picked up, and the sky darkened as thick rain clouds swept in. It looked as though she were about to get—
A fat raindrop plopped onto her forehead. Wet.
Another followed, and then another. Lightning flashed, unleashing a torrent that soon sent goose pimples up her arm. By the time she made it home, she was drenched. Her hair and clothes clung to her, and mud splattered her calves and shins.
She opened the front door and poked her head inside. “Mom, can you bring me a towel?” she called out.
“Mom?” She stomped her feet and stepped inside.
She shivered and headed toward Mom’s bedroom. “You awake?”
She sighed and started to turn toward the hall bathroom when the guest bedroom’s door creaked open.
“What’s gotten…” Mom’s eyes widened, and then a grin formed on her face. “Girl, you’re a mess. What’d you do, fall into a crick?”
“It’s raining. Ava still asleep?”
“Like a rock.” Mom closed the bedroom door softly behind her. “Wait there and I’ll grab you a towel.”
The doorbell rang, and Paige stiffened. Jed? Of all of the times for him to finally show up…
Mom stopped midway to the bathroom. “You going to get that?” Before she could answer, Mom returned, reached around her and opened the door. “Jed, hello. Come in.”
“Mrs. Cordell. Paige.” With a tip of his Stetson, he offered a soft smile, and the tenderness in his eyes captivated her.
She pushed her soggy hair out of her face. “Hi.”
He set an umbrella near the door and then stepped inside. His gaze swept the length of her, with a hint of a smile on his lips. “Looks like you got yourself caught in the storm.” He held papers wrapped inside a plastic grocery bag.
“Something that like.” She swiped at the mascara streaks she knew shadowed her eyes. “Give me a minute?”
As she dashed into the bathroom for a towel, Mom ushered Jed into the living room with an offer of biscuits and sweet tea.
Paige gripped the sink and stared at her blotchy reflection in the mirror. Jed always seemed to show up at the most inopportune times. First after her grueling two-day drive from Chicago. Then when she’d rushed outside the following Saturday, in her pajamas. Her dumpster-diving endeavor. Now this.
He probably thought she was a scattered, soggy mess.
Except, the way he looked at her, whether put together or with unkempt, frizzy hair, said differently. Suggested he loved her.
Dare she believe that? And even if it were true, was he prepared for what that meant?
Was he ready to be a dad, to hold tightly not just to her, but to Ava, as well?
She yanked a towel off the rack, squeezed it around her hair and rubbed the smudges beneath her eyes. She turned on the faucet and gave her face a good wash, causing her sensitive skin to flare bright red. Lovely.
She hurried to her room to exchange her wet clothing for jeans and a T-shirt. Ava lay curled on her side, sucking her thumb. After a night of fussing, a long nap would do her good.
Paige softly kissed her cheek. “My precious girl.” She’d do anything in her power to ensure her daughter always looked so happy and content. To keep her free from pain.
Pulling her hair into a ponytail, she sucked in a deep breath, and joined Mom and Jed in the living room.
He placed his mug on the end table and stood. “Sorry I didn’t make it over earlier. It’s been one of those days.”
Mom pushed to her feet. “If you’ll excuse me, I better…” She glanced at her computer, then about the room. “I have things to attend to.” She shot Paige a wink before shuffling off to her bedroom.
Subtle, Mom. What was this, high school? Sometimes, like now, it felt like it. She turned to Jed with what she hoped was a professional smile, ignoring the tingle that swept through her when his deep, chocolate eyes snagged hers. After all of these years, he could still initiate an intense reaction within her.
Did he feel the same?
Did she want him to?
About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who has addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She maintains a devotional blog found at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud and on Crosswalk. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Love Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Contact her HERE to book her for your next women’s event.
About the book – Hometown Healing:
She’s home again, but not for long…
Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart
Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good?
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: Have you ever been to a dinner theater, seen a play, or performed in one? Tell us about it.
Come back Sept 17th for Helen Gray!