Shannon here: I finally got to meet June Foster in person at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference last fall. She’s delightful and her husband Joe is too. We got to eat supper together with a group of other writers and then June and Joe offered to take my roommate and I back to our hotel. They were patient and didn’t even act like we were kooks when we had trouble finding our hotel. Today, June shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Contemporary Romance title, A Home for Fritz. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-copy. Deadline: June 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s June:
Excerpt from A Home for Fritz by June Foster:
The sky continued to darken. The stream no longer sparkled with light. Garrett squinted upward. Boiling clouds rolled in, intent on releasing a deluge of water onto the earth. Though only three in the afternoon, it seemed like dusk. Guess the weatherman missed this one.
A peel of thunder and a flash of light announced the impending storm. He couldn’t frighten Brooke any more than she already was, but lightning strikes were deadlier in the Big Horns than in the basin.
“We need to find shelter until the storm is over.” He held his breath and returned the tools to the bag, tucking it under the passenger seat. Then he remembered the little cave he’d spotted once near the road. He grasped Brooke’s hand. “This way.”
Giant drops of water scattered on the ground in front of them and onto his head and shoulders. To the right, past a dead tree and a couple of logs, the river continued its journey downhill. At the place where it meandered into the trees, an indentation between two sections of rocks formed a small cave. “Over there.”
The rain pounded, soaking his clothes as he led Brooke over the logs and down a slight incline to the cave. “In here.”
Brooke’s light blue jacket was drenched, and she shivered as they stepped inside the makeshift shelter. “Are there any critters? I’m not fond of snakes.”
Grass and dirt covered the shallow cave’s floor. Though the sky had darkened, light still filtered in. “Nope. I can see the back. No other occupants except you and me. We’ll be fine.” Anything to ease her fear.
The whipping rain blew a few feet into the enclosure. “It’s best we wait it out. This will keep us from getting wetter than we already are.” He laid his coat down and patted the space next to him then leaned against the wall. “Might as well have a seat on my jacket.”
Brooke hunched down, wrapping her arms around her knees, as if trying to roll herself into a ball.
Garrett moved closer, draping his arm around her. Another peel of thunder then a flash lit their little dwelling place.
She shivered and snuggled closer.
He tightened his grip and drew her into his chest. He had to get her warm.
Brooke wrapped her arm around him and snuggled into the crook of his neck. “My heart’s racing. I’m not sure when I’ve ever been so scared.”
The damp of her hair sent whiffs of her shampoo. He fought his intensifying desire for her. Not lust or masculine conquest, but something else. Love? Yes, that was it. He’d fallen in love with Brooke.
He touched her chin and gently drew her face closer. “You can guess what I want. Is it okay?”
Her slow smile gave him the answer.
He explored her mouth, slowly at first, relishing her plump, soft lips and gliding his fingers along her cheek. Then longing rose, filling him with yearning for more. With another peel of thunder, he slid his hands to explore her shoulders then her back.
But no, this was neither the time nor the place. He moved from her lips and with closed eyes, rested his cheek against her head, trying to still his pounding heart.
Brooke trailed her fingers over his hand. “Earlier at the waterfall, you said you wanted to keep in touch. I saw your pain. I hurt you, and I’m sorry.”
He opened his eyes. “I have feelings for you. Is there some reason you don’t want to talk to me in the future? Like someone else in your life?”
“No. There’s no one.” Her smile vanished, and he wasn’t sure if it would return.
But he believed she told the truth, not Regina. “Then why did you avoid the subject?”
“After the ranch, next month, next year, you’d get bored with me. My life is mundane, and I don’t think you’d—”
“Let me make that decision. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met a woman like you. You’re beautiful and kind and intelligent. Whether you’re here or in Dallas. Nothing changes that.” He brushed his fingers along her soft hands.
Brooke settled into silence as the sound of whipping rain and thunder persisted.
Garrett closed his eyes again, content to hold her, shelter her from the storm. Maybe from all life’s storms someday.
But love couldn’t thrive in the presence of untruth. He hid his past from others at Sunlight Ranch, but he had to tell her if he ever expected a life with her.
“Brooke?” He opened his eyes and focused on the driving rain outside the cave.
“Hmm?” She snuggled closer.
“I’ve always believed in honesty—especially in friendships. Once, my boss whom I trusted wasn’t honest with me. The consequences almost destroyed my life. I don’t want that to happen to us. There’s something I’d like to tell you.”
About June: An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. Her characters find themselves in tough situations but overcome through God’s power and the Word. She writes edgy topics wrapped in a good story. To date, she’s seen seventeen contemporary romances and several short stories published. Find June online at junefoster.com.
About the book – A Home for Fritz: All Brooke Cantrell wants is two weeks to live Brooke Radcliff’s life. But the one person who knows the truth resides in the room next to hers at Sunlight Peaks Guest Ranch. When Brooke falls in love with the handsome wrangler who works on the ranch, will her employer’s daughter tell him the truth Brooke hides?
Garrett Bowman has finally found peace under Wyoming skies at Sunrise Peaks Guest Ranch. Never again will he return to the demanding corporate life in Seattle, Washington. But will the guests recognize him from the incriminating newspaper and magazine articles eighteen months ago?
When Garrett’s dog, Fritz, is in grave danger, an intriguing guest helps Garrett get his golden doodle to the vet. As Fritz heals, he whines and begs until he can lay his head in Brooke Radcliff’s comfortable lap. Fritz has fallen in love, but so has Garrett.
If Garrett discovers Brook’s secret, will he walk away from her?
If Brooke learns Garrett’s true identify, will she turn from him like all the others?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! A Home for Fritz
Question for Readers: In A Home for Fritz, the four-wheeler the hero and heroine are riding on breaks down in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, leaving them stranded during a fierce rain storm, yet the situation brought them closer together. Has God ever used a negative situation to bring you and your spouse or a loved one closer together?
Come back June 5th for Erica Vetsch!