We have a winner! Liz Flaherty, you are the winner of an ebook copy of Then There was You. Congratulations. Lynn will be in touch! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!
It’s always a pleasure to welcome my fellow Hoosier authors to the Spotlight. Today, it’s romance writer, Lynn Crandall, who’s here with Book in her Love In Dunes Bay series, Then There Was You.
After cutting her writing teeth as a feature writer for commercial and trade magazines, a reporter for newspapers and radio, and an executive editor for a communications company, bestselling, award-winning author Lynn Crandall tuned her voracious appetite for stories to writing contemporary and paranormal romance, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and sci-fi romance as Kelynn Storm. In her books, she enjoys taking readers on emotional journeys with relatable characters who refuse to back down, and face challenges and tribulations with heart and soul. She believes every love has a story, and hers is with one handsome husband and a large, beautiful circle of family, including her cat Winter.
Lynn, take it away!
Thanks, Nan, so happy to be here today. To be honest, I grew up thinking my family was pretty special. I think every kid thinks that about their family unless or until they learn otherwise. That’s not as sad or negative as it sounds right off. It’s just often a fact of life. In my case, I knew my parents loved me, but I learned as I grew up that my family had problems and we were hiding them well.
My experience of family exerted an influence on my early choices and it took me some time to truly become the individual I wanted to be, not just a reflection of other people’s ideas of who I should be. A common experience I believe. But life is kind if we’re paying attention, and gives us second chances at a life in which we can thrive. This is a theme in my contemporary romance, Then There Was You.
Here’s an excerpt:
Soon it all will be over.
Cherish sank into the delicious thought. No more decisions between lace or silk, salmon or pork tenderloin, Tahiti or Switzerland. Poetry or not.
Her wedding, just one day away, would make her Mrs. Devin Raye, emphatically not Moss-Raye.
Cherish slumped deeper into her chair. As with the selection of the dress with a huge bow at her waist capping a long train, she had acquiesced, and agreed to ditch her surname.
She shook off details. They weren’t important. She just needed to focus on the man she loved, right? Devin could be sharp, downright explosive at times, but he had his good points too. He could persuade anyone to do anything. He called that charm. When it came to the courtroom or what he wanted in his career trajectory, he was a gladiator. She admired that.
She chewed on her thumbnail, surveying her wedding dress. It stared her down from across the room. She eyed it back. Since the bridal shop delivered the enormous concoction to her office yesterday, she’d kept her distance. The delivery person had given her a strange look and asked how she planned to get it to the church. It was a reasonable question, but Cherish knew what she was doing. She was getting used to the dress. It hung on the lip above the closet, and in its see-through garment bag, she could regard its glossy silk skirt and sleeves dotted with tiny pearls. It was stately, her mother had told her at the bridal shop. It was sophisticated and dramatic.
Cherish began sweating, remembering standing in front of her mother draped in heavy silk.
She had said, “But Mom, it’s not me. It’s too, umm…stuffy.”
“Don’t be silly, Cherish. You look elegant. The silk really sets off your copper hair. Devin will have eyes for only you when you walk down the aisle in this dress.”
End of discussion. Emma Moss was always right.
She’d learned early it just wasn’t worth the fight to stand her ground because one way or another, her mother’s way was the way. Cherish sighed, as memories wafted over her.
“Cherish, you’ll never get into law school if you don’t go the extra mile and graduate at the top of your class.”
“Don’t wait to get in your application for a summer internship with a prominent judge. Summer isn’t the time to shirk off; it’s the time to further your career. You know I only want what’s best for you.”
Her mother’s guidance didn’t have a beginning, it just always had been there, and how could she argue with her mom’s insistence? Even when it came to Devin, she supposed Emma Moss was right.
Tap, tap-tap, tap. The sound of her fingers’ staccato beat on her desk echoed in her office. Time had flown since she’d said yes to Devin’s proposal six months ago and set off a metronome that marked a steady march to the big day. And here she sat, a matter of hours from a new life.
She counted backward in her mind to ten months ago and her first date with Devin. That was the day her parents predicted she and Devin would make a good match.
She hadn’t dated in months. After back-to-back betrayals, she had plunged into her work. Then she met Devin at a lawyers’ conference when she and her parents sat at the same table as Devin during lunch. He’d given her the hard court press, and dazzled her. Her parents admired him right off and didn’t hesitate to make him a fixture in the Moss family life, inviting him for dinner at their house and expecting her to show up. Devin had charmed her parents first, then he’d aimed it at her. He charted a flight to New York City and took her to the theater. He booked a room in a fancy Chicago hotel for the weekend and they took a cruise on Lake Michigan. His dynamic personality entranced her. It was so different from hers. With his endorsement from her parents, she hadn’t put up much of a struggle to give the relationship more time.
Her mother’s words surfaced in her memory. “You’re twenty-eight, the perfect age to settle down with someone. Devin is a good catch.”
Ugh. Good catch? Really? Her mother had made it seem as though Devin was an object and she was chasing him with throngs of women down streets of the city of Dunes Bay.
Anxiety spiked in her chest. Her parents had better be right about Devin and her belonging together, because as soon as all the fanfare ended, everything about the rest of her life would actually begin. The until-death-do-we-part time.
She breathed in and out deeply and shifted in her chair. Of course, that would be the good part. Waking up in the morning beside Devin, then kissing good-bye as they went their separate ways to work, hers to her family law firm and his to Wellington, Raye, and Black Law Firm.
Oh my God.
The antacids on her desk called to her. So much for being a joyful bride-to-be. Her stomach twisted into knots on a daily basis until two weeks ago. Now, it knotted hourly. Her parents assured her pre-wedding qualms were natural, and she believed them. Yes she did. Her nervous stomach and hair-thin patience didn’t mean she was about to get lost in a life she didn’t want.
She chewed the fruity tablets that promised relief from her self-created discomfort. She was doing this dance of nerves, inexplicably. Devin was a prominent lawyer in Dunes Bay. He was smart and fun. Who wouldn’t want to marry him?
GIVEAWAY: I’d love to learn more about your thoughts on how second chances led you to a happy-ever-after in some form. Share? There’s an e-book copy of Then There Was You for one lucky commenter.
Half-way down the aisle on her wedding day, Cherish Moss realizes her fate that awaits. The path to the alter is a dead end. She runs out of the church, down the street, and toward reclaiming her life.
Along her way to true freedom she stumbles into journalist and boatwright Grayson Steel’s circle. Immediately, danger surrounds them when they learn dirty cops who threatened Grayson have come to town. The timing is all wrong for them but the two see something in one another that draws them together.
Grayson and Cherish must accept the unwanted fate they helped create or follow their hearts to survive.