Good Sunday morning, mes amies. It’s kinda cloudy here at the lake and the forecast is calling for rain and cool temperatures, which is okay. We need the rain and it’s supposed to be sunny and pleasant the rest of the week. So boat rides after work, but no swimming–the lake has cooled off considerably.
We’re having guests this week, which is always a joy, but we also have work to do. Husband plans to scrub the back of the cottage, we need to reset the last of the border bricks in the back as well, and we’ll start scraping the deck in prep for priming and painting sometime before we close up the cottage for the winter. And winter is coming, dear ones–Husband turned on the furnace this morning because it is chilly in here.
The begin again thing? Promotion. Christmas in River’s Edge, Book 3 in the Weaver Sisters trilogy is coming out next month and it’s time to start shouting it from the rooftops. So… to that end…you get a real snippet today! Try to remain calm. You’ll find the blurb, cover, and snippet below my gratitude for the week. Please enjoy and if you’d like an ARC for reading and reviewing, drop me a request in the comments, and I’ll see that you get one. I’d sure appreciate it!
Gratitude for today: Tule Publishing’s 10th anniversary was a big success; Moe and I had a great time at the NPA gala in our fancy clothes; great supper with sister and brother; Kara and Joey’s story is finally starting to come together in my head; I’ve got work–always a good thing.
Christmas in River’s Edge
After a painful divorce from her high school sweetheart, triplet Jenny Weaver returns to River’s Edge with her young son. While happy to be reunited with her sisters and working at the family’s marina, she has no intention of jumping into the dating pool, especially going into the holidays. Then Gabe Dawson, once a shy nerd who tutored her in history classes, arrives home transformed into a handsome hunk who makes her pulse race.
Archeologist and history professor Gabe Dawson thought he’d long ago outgrown his teen crush on Jenny. Back in town for a few months to help his mom post surgery, he can’t resist reaching out to Jenny. She’s as beautiful, warm, and funny as he remembered and soon Gabe is reconsidering his future.
Gabe is determined to seize this second chance, but can he convince a very wary Jenny that a globe-trotter is ready to come home for good this Christmas?
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“Mom!” Luke’s voice echoed in the vast boat-storage barn where Jenny was back in the corner, tossing mothballs under the trailers to keep critters out of the boats and barn. One whiff of mothballs was enough to send raccoons, possums, foxes, mice, and other unwanted creatures running back to the woods east of the marina.
She straightened, peering through the dim light. “I’m back here, honey.”
“Mom, Mommy! Look!” Luke wove his way through the boats, his shoes crunching on the gravel floor.
Jenny’s heart sank when she met him in the center aisle. The kid was carrying a ball of curly brown fluff. A puppy. Holy sh— A puppy? Jen bit her cheek to keep from moaning out loud. She didn’t know the story. Maybe Luke was watching it for a friend, although the light in her son’s eyes told her that was probably wishful thinking on her part. “It’s a puppy,” she said inanely.
Luke pressed the tiny critter to his cheek. “It’s mine!”
“Is it?” Jenny tried not to shriek, but the words came out squeaky as she set the box of mothballs on the ground and pulled off her disposable gloves to take the tiny bundle of fur from Luke’s hands. She held it up to examine it. “Honey, where did you get a dog?”
“Daddy got her for me in Cincinnati.” Luke was practically vibrating with excitement, bouncing on his toes in front of her as she examined the puppy, who couldn’t have been more than a few weeks old. “He’s a–a Cavapoo. I’m naming him Harry Potter.” His brow furrowed beneath the fringe of hair that had fallen across his forehead. “I think he looks like a Harry, don’t you?”
“You and Daddy went to Cincinnati today?” The puppy sat still as a mouse in Jenny’s hands, its eyes huge, clearly frightened. Tuff had said they were going hiking in the state park when he picked Luke up this morning. He hadn’t mentioned driving to Cincy—and he sure as shootin’ didn’t mention buying their son a dog. “Where is Daddy?” She peered toward the big open doorway, hoping to spy Tuff’s little sports car, but saw only the empty parking lot and the bright midafternoon sun. He’d damn well better not have dropped Luke off with a puppy and driven off with no explanation.
“He had to go pick up Grammy and Grandad for a show at the casino, so he dropped me off ’cause we saw your car was here.”
Typical. Create an impossible situation where she could potentially be the bad guy and then simply disappear. Damn. Damn. Damn. She should call the sonuvabitch right now and chew him a new one, but the bewitched expression on Luke’s face stopped her from taking her phone from her pocket.
The puppy made a tiny whining sound, and Luke reached for him. “He’s kinda scared right now. He peed in Daddy’s car, but only on the floor mat, so it’s okay. He didn’t get mad.” Luke stared up at Jenny, his own blue eyes as huge as the puppy’s. “We need to go get him some food and a bed. Oh, and a collar and leash.” He shifted the dog to rest in the elbow of one arm and dug in his jacket pocket, producing a fifty-dollar bill. “Daddy gave me this to get stuff for him.” He shoved the cash back in his pocket and cuddled the puppy against his shoulder. “Are you hungry, Harry?”
Jenny sighed as Luke continued murmuring to the puppy, who was cute, no question about that. But she knew nothing about dogs. The Weavers had always been cat people—Evinrude and Mercury were the current marina cats. They kept the mouse population to a minimum and enjoyed treats from fishermen who came in with a full catch after a day on the river. The two gray tabbies slept in baskets back in the Parts department and wandered around the property at will, never venturing up to the road or into the woods. They seemed to know instinctively where danger lurked. Or at least which side their bread was buttered on since Jenny kept their bowls filled with water and dry food.
Inwardly still cursing Tuff, she picked up the box of mothballs and her abandoned gloves and put a hand on Luke’s shoulder. “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go see Miss Bea and Miss Pearl. They’ll know what we need.”
There we go…Jenny has a kid and an ex who’s a bit of a trial. Thankfully, she’s also rediscovering that an old friend could turn into a new love…
Stay well, stay safe, be kind this week–you don’t know what other folks are going through, and most of all, stay grateful,