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Sage & Sweetgrass
Book 3 in Frivolities Series
Survivor Lanae Petersen finds a moving love letter in an antique and seeks to discover the writer. Sage Diamond is holding on to the memory of his deceased wife. The last thing he needs is a tenacious woman who threatens to uncover his family secret.
Diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness, Lanae Petersen vows to pursue life to its fullest. When she discovers mysterious love letters hidden within an antique desk, she begins a quest to discover who the young lovers were. Little does she realize that in trying to bring closure to their lives, hers will be turned upside-down.
After the death of his wife, cowboy Sage Diamond wants to be left alone on his acreage in peace and anonymity. When Lanae approaches him with
letters to a family member, she not only threatens to expose his family secrets, but also stirs something inside him that he neither expects, nor welcomes. Sage
fights his attraction, determined not to fall for a woman whose health is so fragile.
Can Sage trust God's guiding hand, or will his fear of losing another love crush his chance for a future with Lanae?
Excerpt from Sage & Sweetgrass
The sky was clear and enormous where it met the horizon. The whinny of horses carried up from a pasture on the other side of the barn. The acreage represented everything she loved about being outside the city limits. Expanse, horses, a sprinkling of trees in the distance…God’s country.
When she caught sight of the cowboy, the vision was complete.
She sighed. Home. How crazy. She felt like she’d come home.
The cowboy rounded the corner of the wood-sided barn that she guessed to be sixty feet long. He loped in the loose way of a man comfortable on the back of a horse.
And she enjoyed every step as he approached.
He even tipped the brim of his hat. “Mornin’. You Lanae?”
Wow was the only thing she could think to say. But she kept it to herself.
Her mouth went dry.
His nose was bent, just off to the right of center. He had a full bottom lip, thinner upper, all accented by what she supposed was a year-round tan. Myriad facial lines gave testimony to a life lived outdoors.
She cleared her throat, mustered up some moisture for her vocal chords in order to answer, “That I am.”
When he drew close enough, Lanae was dumbfounded at the impact of his eyes. They were an unbelievable piercing blue with a hint of lavender.
“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Sage spoke in an unhurried manner.
Lanae wondered if he felt rushed about anything. She started to open the door.
“You always leave your car running?” A hint of amusement tugged at his mouth.
Oops. She turned the key. Great first impression.
He held the door.
Still caught in the lavender blue of his eyes, shadowed now from his hat, Lanae swallowed what felt like the chaff of an August hayfield.
No more singles ads for me.
Book 1 in Frivolities Series
Creative artist Moselle Carson gives new life to old items, but she can't seem to renew her shattered ideal of love. When she returns to her hometown to help with a new family business, memories of a broken heart and small-town gossip chip away the tough exterior she's erected over the years. Now she's forced to decide whether she'll rebuild the wall or trust that true love never dies when it is ordained by God.
Generous insurance agent and vulnerable firefighter Eric Todd remembers too well how he mistreated Moselle and then set her aside. Now he longs for true love and the second chance to become a husband and father. Can he learn to forgive himself and still keep the secret that may redeem him in her eyes?
Excerpt from Moselle's Insurance
Through the thin fabric of Moselle’s blouse, she felt ten fingertips as though they were heated brands. Her muscles turned to mush.
“You haven’t grown an inch.” Eric lightly touched the top of her head, then
simultaneously tapped her crown and squeezed her shoulder. “But I have.”
Eric moved her aside. “Check it out.”
Without thinking, she grabbed his arm for balance while she inserted her feet back into her shoes. Even with heels, she had to stand on tiptoe to reach the woodwork behind his head.
Eric surrounded her.
Heat rose in her cheeks. She managed to croak, “Two inches sound about
He didn’t answer. She sensed his eyes searching her face. She felt his breath
moving the wispy hairs at her temple.
Would they be in their own laundry room with their children’s growth charts if the past had been rewritten? She’d never let herself pursue that dream of marriage to Eric after their break-up.
“You’re lovely today, Moselle, as always. The colors you wear make you look Irish somehow.” He flicked the circles at her left ear and let his hand rest on her shoulder. “But this wolf suspended in silver is definitely not Irish.”
They grinned at one another.
“Having a hard time staying mad at me, Moze?”
“To be angry, a person has to care.”
“Oh, I think you care, sweets. You just don’t want to admit it to
Eric moved a thumb. The rough touch felt feather light over the pulse pounding at her throat. The sensation traveled all the way down to her knees. He lifted a finger and traced her bottom lip. She moaned a silent melt at the airy feeling in her head.
His voice came as a raspy whisper, “It’s easier not to care, isn’t it?”
Found in the Woods
Book 4 in Frivolities Series
Beth Phillips returns to Platteville, Nebraska in order to begin a new life and to hide from her abusive ex-husband. The secluded cabin offers a chance to stay hidden and to draw closer to God, but Beth quickly discovers she is not alone in the woods. She befriends a curious, displaced wolf, but instead of fearing the animal Beth finds comfort in his company.
When field biologist, Aiden Holt, follows up on reported wolf sightings, he finds the animal and Beth Phillips. With emotional baggage of his own, Aiden usually prefers animals to people, but Beth's passion to keep the wolf draws Aiden in. Experience tells him the wolf needs relocation. His heart tells him he needs Beth Phillips. He camps nearby to capture the wolf, but can he capture Beth's heart, too?
Two souls, each lost in their own way, are brought together by one of God's beautiful creations. Will the Lord's path to their destiny be found in the woods?
Excerpt from Found in the Woods
Beth’s insides had been fluttery and nervous ever since her fingers grazed Aiden’s back. Had he felt it, too? That zing was still there. She’d folded her hands between her knees, trying to get rid of the tingle, but the connection remained.
It didn’t help that she had imagined being held by him.
Even though the Lord fulfilled her deepest longings, she still yearned for a human touch, the assurance she could be wanted for the right reasons.
She jumped up from her chair, as antsy as Aiden for something to do. She’d been tempted by too many men. Didn’t want to go there. He was a decent enough guy, but too much was as stake for her to be so attracted.
Attraction. Could that be the reason he was restless?
“Would you mind bringing in a couple logs?” She didn’t give him the chance to answer. She yanked his coat off the chair and turned, arms outstretched. Aiden was so close in the small room, leaning forward and invading her space, that her knuckles hit him in the sternum. Awareness of his body heat, his nearness, awakened her nerve endings.
He bent nearer still. She smelled the chocolate on his breath. He pulled her towards him until only her hands fisted in the folds of his coat separated them.
In slow motion, he lowered his head. Only his strong arm supporting her back kept her from falling. She raised her face degree by degree, trying to concentrate on his sparkling, multi-colored brown eyes. But then she saw only his lips as he drew closer. His smell came close to intoxicating her. She was a goner. Aiden tasted as good as he smelled, earthy. Like fresh new leaves, wood, straight-from-the-trees outdoors, and a little smoky from her own fire.
Meeting his lips was as familiar as a recurring dream, yet as frightening as a nightmare.
His arms pulled her to him. The coat sighed to the floor.
She felt her hands encircle his neck as though they had a mind of their own. In Aiden’s arms, Beth felt as fragile as a sapling fighting for survival during the spring storm.
He pulled back. Had he felt what she did at their explosive connection?
She kept her eyes closed, and concentrated on savoring the moment as she felt his warm breath on her face.
The reality of being in Aiden’s arms was an exaggeration of any white-knight fantasy. His arms again obliterated the outside world.
Her whole body jolted at the intensity of their next kiss. The pressure of his lips deepened and swept her away. Sanity eventually returned. Beth turned her head and pushed on his shoulders. Did he react the way she had, with spots and flashes behind her eyelids? Would she reveal too much of those fireworks when she opened her eyes? She didn’t want him to view her as vulnerable.
“I’ve tried to imagine how you would taste.” He reached for her hands and lowered them in his. “You are the real deal, Ms. Beth Phillips.”
No. I’m all mixed up.
Lord, why would you bring someone like Aiden into my life when I’ve had such a weakness for men in the past?
That old looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places phrase hit her full force. Now that she was a Christian, she had no business becoming interested in a man who, by all indications, didn’t share her faith. She took two giant steps backward, until she felt a camp chair against her leg.
But space between them meant nothing. Aiden had slid under her defenses and rattled her solitary foundation.
“I’ll help keep your wolf safe,” he rasped as he bent to retrieve his coat. “Keep your Lakota safe.”
His pronouncement rocked her to the marrow.
As his promise to help the wolf sank in, her mouth remained open. Before she could formulate a response, he shut the door behind him.
Rainn on My Parade
Book 2 in Frivolities Series
After firefighter Rainn Harris rescues Geneva Carson from being stuck in a tree, she
feels she owes him. Helping to care for his autistic niece comes easy, but her attraction to Rainn is a different story. Being drawn to a man twelve years her junior metes internal havoc as Geneva attempts to balance responsibility and personal fulfillment. And the prospect of becoming a middle-aged mom to a special-needs child sends Geneva into a tailspin of conflicting emotions.
As the custodial parent for his young niece, Rainn is determined to be a better parent than his absentee sister. When Geneva agrees to help care for Mia, Rainn is overjoyed. He admires Geneva’s compassion and enthusiasm for life, and expects she’ll be a positive influence on Mia. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the beautiful and vital woman. But Geneva’s hung up on their age difference, and he must convince her of his sincerity before they will ever have a chance at happiness together.
As tension threatens to pull them apart, both must learn to rely on the Lord to direct their futures—whether that means two lives joined or paths in opposite directions.
Excerpt from Rainn on my Parade
Get a grip, woman, and act your age.
The sirens drew close. She soon heard activity below, but she kept her eyes clamped shut.
“Hold on, Ms. Carson. Don’t be scared,” a disembodied voice that didn’t belong to her future son-in-law spoke from below. “Just hold on.”
“I assure you, I’m too scared to let go.” Geneva’s voice quivered. But she couldn’t help smiling at her predicament.
The extension ladder whirred softly and creaked as it reached for the top branches of the tree.
She squeezed her eyes tighter.
“I’m right behind you now.”
“Thank you, Lord.”
“Not God, just me.”
The firefighter chuckled.
Her eyes popped open when she felt him close behind. Thankful for the cropped-pajama bottoms she wore instead of a nightgown, Geneva frowned at the unexpected shiver as she attempted to place the voice.
“Whenever you’re ready, just let go.”
“Thought you told me to hold on.”
“Well, I’m here to catch you now.”
She caught the humor in his voice. And hated it.
“Oh, good grief. I’m too heavy for anybody to catch me.” She lowered her eyes to half mast.
“Spunky, most likely,” came from under his breath.
She doubted he meant for her to hear.
Is that professional behavior? Well, that’s pretty nervy of the guy. But then again, I am caught in a tree. She snickered, wondering if she was
hysterical. She tried for a deep breath but it turned into a gulp around her
sternum. “Are you sure I can let go?”
“Geneva, trust me.” That popped her eyes wide open.
The confident urging voice and the use of her first name drew enough courage to peer downward.
And he was way too close for comfort.
Eric would never live this down at the firehouse. His future mother-in-law rescued from a tree, by his buddy.
She remembered her first look at him. Rainn was a few years older than Eric, but they became fast friends when they met at University. Geneva may have heard Rainn’s name a time or two before Eric started working on Moselle’s loft, but she hadn’t any reason to pay attention. Since then, she’d seen him with Eric many times.
Rainn probably knew more about her than she did him.
Before she could fathom any further thought, Geneva let go and found herself wrapped in the strongest arms and pressed against the strongest chest imaginable.
I’d climb the tree again if this firefighter would come for me.
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