Don’t you love fictional towns? Sometimes walking the streets in Sweet Grove, Texas feels like coming home.
Or maybe I’m the only one who gets attached to fictional characters and places. It’s why I like to read well-written series set in places I like. Like Cedar Cove, WA (Debbie Macomber) or Wishful, MS (Kait Nolan).
Thanks to Amazon’s decision to close down the Kindle Worlds, the new title I slated for release on July 3 has been burbling impatiently on the back burner.
But it will make it into the world.
Thanks to the owner of the First Street Church universe, my Sweet Grove Romance series can continue. Furthermore, the author coalition that populates that world with dozens of new stories every year, is introducing new sub-genres into the mix. Sweet Grove Suspense is a line of clean Christian romances with suspense elements. Heroes of Sweet Grove features former or current military personnel as the main characters.
I don’t generally write suspense. I do have a military background, and I’ve dreamed up two former soldiers who will walk into Sweet Grove carrying more than their military duffel as baggage.
LOVE’S LINGERING DOUBTS
Enter Jazlyn Rolle. She hasn’t lived in Sweet Grove since she was the softball superstar for the Lady Shorthorns. In fact, she hasn’t been back for more than a few days since her brother’s funeral seven years ago. And she’s only stopping in while she picks up Drew memorabilia and figures out what she’s going to do with her life now that her military career has folded.
Bailey Travers would like to get away from Sweet Grove, but his family ties him there. His foster father is about to pass away and his little sister has returned with a college degree, work experience, and a plan to convert the family ranch into a guest ranch. There’s no way she can do it alone.
Back in the day, Bailey had a major crush on Jazlyn. Jazlyn is done with men, after her recent breakup cost her the military career she’d dedicated to her fallen brother.
They’re thrown together when Bailey needs help fighting for the ranch. If only his foster father had left a will. If only his foster parents had completed the adoption process. But Bailey’s learned not to waste time dreaming about “if only.”
In Sweet Grove, even where there’s no will, love still finds a way.
A Peek Inside
In the new publishing company, Ms. Storm implemented some word count caps for each novella. Which meant I needed to reduce the word count. By about 5,000 words!
This benefits you. Now, I’m free to share par of this scene as a teaser of what’s to come. I really wanted to keep this scene (as you read it, I hope you understand why) but ended up referencing it vaguely with a comment by Bailey at the end of the novella.
As soon as Bailey cut the motor, he heard the girls’ laughter. Miles of intestines knotted, and he clenched his teeth. He shoved his hat lower, swung down from the tractor and snatched the neon softball from the beneath the seat.
Just get it over with.
Elise called the girls together, and the voices dimmed to a hum. He was a few yards from the dugout where he planned to drop the ball and get back to work.
A figure separated from the cluster. He’d recognize those muscular legs anywhere. The knot from his stomach reared into his heart, which stuttered like a rusty engine.
His feet forgot to move forward. Jaz stopped a few feet from him, sweeping kinky strands of hair that escaped from the clip at her neck off her forehead. One corner of her lips curled and that same eyebrow quirked.
“We meet again. Or are you following me?”
Bailey blinked. The softball turned to a shot put in his hands, and her words jumbled inside his mind.
She cocked her head, and both brows shot upward. The movement drew his attention to her eyes, which sparkled like topaz in her chocolate face. “Back to “cat-got-the-tongue” huh? I figured spending an hour talking in the library would have changed all that.”
She was right. They had talked at the library, and he hadn’t acted like a freshman facing a hot cheerleader. Not even when she remembered their first meeting. He opened his mouth to answer, but his throat dried and his lips froze.
A few girls in the cluster around the mound turned toward them. One whistled through her fingers, but Elise regained her attention. Bailey flicked his attention back to the gorgeous woman baring too much thigh for his comfort.
She’s going to think you’re an idiot. As if she didn’t already know the worst about him. He licked his lips to gather moisture and make his move.
“What’s up, Bailey?” She stepped closer and nudged his shoulder, as if trying to shake him from a stupor.
Electricity raced straight to his heart, a thousand volts that made him jolt away from her. Her eyebrows furrowed, and she shifted away. The subtle motion of her hips compelled his gaze to flick toward her curves. Which was a major mistake because the sight sucker-punched him.
You can read this third story set in Sweet Grove sometime in August 2018. As an additional teaser, this will be the first in a planned trilogy for Jaz and Bailey’s romance, currently titled “Texas Homecoming.”
Be sure to get Hero Delivery to find out specifics or join the Friends of Sharon Hughson Facebook group.
Have you read and reviewed LOVE’S LATE ARRIVAL and LOVE’S LITTLE SECRETS? Do you enjoy stories about military heroes?