I am thrilled to bring you the eleventh story in the Shores of Indian Lake series. For those of you who are following our community, you will remember that I introduced the Hawks family in FAMILY OF HIS OWN. Although, Isabelle Hawks, the artist, has been a character from the very first story, LOVE SHADOWS, our new story is about Isabelle’s younger sister, Violet. . . . I hope you like HERS TO PROTECT. Look for my November release, CHRISTMAS UNDER GLASS. The story of Joy Boston who returns to Indian Lake to bury her grandfather and sell the family greenhouses and finds her first love, Adam Masterson, is the one part of her past she can never leave.
“She said Maserati. My brother Eric always had posters of Italian race cars in his room. She said it was something like that.”
“It could be anything,” Sal interjected.
Trent unfolded his arms. “How many Maseratis have you seen around here? Even in tourist season, Sal?”
Chief Williams pointed at Violet. “Hawks, I’m ordering you on a stakeout. Davis, you get her outfitted with what she needs. If something is going on up there on or around 1000 North, I want to know about it. This makes sense. It’s close to the Michigan state line. The interstate is a stone’s throw away. Those county roads up there are a spiderweb. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed my turn and ended up in Three Oaks, Michigan.” He cleared his throat.
“This is the second book that I have read in the Shores of Indian Lake series. I will say that you definitely do not need to read the other books in the series to appreciate this title. The story, while it alludes to the other couples that have come together in this town, really focuses on the current couple and their path to making things work out, if meant to be. . . . There is just a hint of a thriller story in here, which is fun in a romance. And they have a slow burning flame that is kindled and nurtured throughout the story.”
“Catherine Lanigan once again gives readers a story to delve into and get lost in. The police investigation and challenges for Violet are genuine, the romance is sweet, and the residents of Indian Lake once again welcome readers in, whether it’s your first visit or your eleventh.”
I have always been fascinated by cars. A great deal of that interest, delight and awe, comes from the fact that I AM from Indiana. Historically, Indiana was the birthplace of many of the first automobiles being manufactured in the United States. Long before there was The Motor City of Detroit, there was Studebaker in South Bend and the Duesenberg in Indianapolis. The Austin. The Cord. These were history makers. . .
“Josh and Violet were great main characters and I really enjoyed the story line and steady pace. Easy to read story with some police drama and clean romance.”
Before she got to the blue bullet, the door was flung open and a tall, lean, blond man exited. Violet halted. He didn’t look like any drug dealer she’d ever seen in mug shots. He was killer handsome, dressed in expensive black slacks, a dark blue knit shirt that stretched over his broad chest, its fine material lying over cut muscles. The long sleeves were shoved up to his elbows, exposing taut forearms. He clenched and unclenched his fists. He glared at her. She notice his eyes were sky blue.
“Aw jeez. A country cop.” He spat the word from between pursed angry lips.
“ILPD. City cop.”
His anger vanished as he flashed her a blazingly charming smile. “What a coincidence.”
“I’m from Indianapolis. It was a joke.”
“I’m not smiling.”
“This is a fun tale with strong characters, fortitude, emotions, mystery, action and romance.
It is very well-written. The Title is a terrific “play on words” and fitting, as is the Cover very fitting.The characters are well-defined and easily connected to.”
What’s next for you in the writing realm?
I’m currently working on CHRISTMAS UNDER GLASS for Heartwarming, due out in November of this year. I have three stories in the proposal stage for Heartwarming, the first of which I’m barreling down on the minute I finish up my edits on CHRISTMAS UNDER GLASS.
I have a couple thrillers I’m tying up and a paranormal novel as well.
“I’m telling you, Josh. This may have been fun for you, but it can cost us. If that cop has you on resisting arrest, that tells me you let your mouth run away with you. Again.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Josh muttered.
“Yeah? Tell it to the judge. And believe me, you will. In the meantime, shut your trap. You got that?”
“Good. Be as polite as you know how. I don’t know anything about this Indian Lake, but I’m going to find out. These little towns take small infractions seriously. It’s not Indianapolis where you can buy or autograph your way out of just about anything.”
“I really enjoyed this book! I read it in a couple days (work and life interrupted, unfortunately). The plot was engaging and Ms. Lanigan kept the conflict strong throughout the story. The author did a great job of balancing moving both the plot and Josh and Violet’s relationship forward. . . . I would recommend Hers to Protect to anyone looking for a clean read with a compelling conflict, a light enemies to lovers angle, and plenty of small town heart.”
“There are several issues going on in this story that you will find when you read this story. And Ms. Lanigan weaves them all together beautifully. And I appreciate that the romance wasn’t fast acting but a slow, get to know each other romance that turns into a sweet heartwarming relationship. And add a bit of mystery into the story and we have a nice clean romance that will warm your heart.”
“Sweet romance with a hint of intrigue! With a return trip to the Shores of Indian Lake series by Catherine Lanigan, we are always sure to find ourselves enmeshed into the heart of the small town culture very quickly. . . . Violet & Josh were very easy to connect with. . . . The intrigue was spot on, the relationship heartfelt and overall I loved their story!”
Josh had been very young when his parents died, and even now he could remember the smell of lavender on his mother’s skin when she held him close. He could hear his father’s wing tips on the wood stairs when he came home late from work and came to check on Josh.
“But they left me,” he whispered, feeling wrenched again straight across his midsection.
He would give the world to feel his mother’s hug again. And hear her voice telling him that she loved him. Even his father’s seldom-heard laugh would be a gift. Just one more time.
That was why he drove so very, very fast. He felt closest to them when he pushed the limits of speed. As if he could almost touch them. He had no intention of crashing, but he also couldn’t resist the urge to go just a little faster.
“Although HERS TO PROTECT is classified as heartwarming, it also has some light suspense elements which are a cherry on top of a slow-building, delicious romance. . . . As a heartwarming romance, you won’t find more than kisses in the book, so it is very clean. I would recommend for fans of slow-building romance, enemies turned lovers, and fans of light romantic suspense (as a secondary plot).”
“. . . I had fun with this story between Violet and Josh that Hers to Protect delivers. There’s plenty of romance amidst the cop intrigue and small-town charm. For the reader looking for a quick, contemporary read, it is sure to be a delightful summer-reading choice.”
When I first introduced Violet Hawks’ character as Isabelle Hawks’ younger sister in FAMILY OF HIS OWN, I saw her as the one female sibling who couldn’t wait to leave the little town of Indian Lake. Violet was attending the Police Academy and her dreams of becoming a detective were based on what she believed were her natural instincts for putting clues together and solving riddles, puzzles and crimes. . .
“What plays out in this story is a beautiful friendship and romance of two people that have some serious trust issues and a bit of pride on both of their sides; especially when it comes to judging each other. This book has a bit of suspense as well, that adds more friction between these two, not like they needed that but it certainly keeps the plot moving at a quick pace.
This is a first time read for me by this author and I enjoyed her writing style and look forward to reading more of her work.”
The Shores of Indian Lake series hits its eleventh installment with HERS TO PROTECT. One of the aspects of the series is the sense of a strong community connection. The town of Indian Lake shines like a hope-filled beacon in our disturbing present world. Indian Lake is not a dream or illusion. It exists in many towns around the world. It is where people come to each other’s aid in time of need. More importantly, the people of Indian Lake are there for each other in good times as well. . .
“Hers to Protect was a really good story. This was the first book that I have read by this author, and now I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!”
“I truly love tucking back inside Indian Lake – I have come to love the Contemporary Romantic style Ms Lanigan infuses into her stories and each new visit I have within the series is a happy homecoming! It has become one of my favourite Harlequin Heartwarming series. . . Lanigan has created a close-knit community . . . He found a new lease on life in a place he would hardly have considered if life hadn’t intervened and that is what makes this such a sweet second chance romance – as it wasn’t a second chance relationship but rather a carving out your own niche of living in a place which took you by surprise.”
TIPS TO WIN OVER A TOWN
Josh Stevens, here. I’m the lead character in HERS TO PROTECT. As a Formula One race driver, I’ve been all over the world winning races, making money and earning kudos from millions of fans. Charming people is part of the game and essential to my business. I can smile for cameras, hug fans, and blow kisses. I’m constantly aware of the importance of my media presence. I’ve never had a glitch in that department.
“Brimming with the strength of community and the power of love, Hers to Protectis another fun and rewarding visit to Indian Lake thanks to the talented pen of Catherine Lanigan. The characters are layered and vivid, allowing readers to experience the full range of emotion while discovering their stories and cheering them on once they’ve fully taken up residence in reader hearts. Easy to become absorbed in even for those who are making their first trip to Indian Lake, this novel is perfect for fans of small town romance that’s clean and well-written!”
“I give Hers to Protect a well deserved five plus stars. . . . I recommend this one for readers who enjoy good, clean, and heartwarming romances.”
Why We Love Stories Where the Heart Wins
The obvious answer to the title above is because we yearn for happiness in our own lives, many times when there is far too much heartbreak.
As the author of over fifty romances and romantic themed novels, I have to say that I’ve learned some things myself. . .
“Hers to Protect by Catherine Lanigan was a great book that I didn’t want to put down for any reason at all. Violet and Josh are two fascinating characters that were a blast to read. Violet is trying to be good at her job so that she can become a detective and get out of Indian Lake. Josh, with his thing of wanting to be close to his parents but also wanting to be kept busy. I love a happy ending.
I am giving Hers to Protect by Catherine Lanigan five stars and recommending it to all Harlequin Heartwarming contemporary romance lovers out there.”
His eyes caught Violet’s.
She didn’t know what happened, but it was as if everyone else had vanished. Violet could have sworn she was suddenly standing inches from Josh. His gaze held hers, and she had to consciously remind herself that she could not hear his thoughts.
Contrition filled his eyes and his smile was tenuous, where only a second ago, he’d beamed at his fans as they jostled each other for his autograph or a photo. Paul had been correct. Josh with his public was all performance.
What she was seeing was the real person. She felt his regret, and a pang of conscience told her if she ever had a chance to get to know the real Josh Stevens, she just might wind up liking him.
“Catherine Lanigan has written a sweet and heartwarming story with Hers to Protect. I felt as if I were a part of the story and befriended the characters myself. . . . I adored it to pieces and plan to read more of the books in the near future.”
She’s sworn to protect…
But does that include a speeding celebrity?
Violet Hawks is a by-the-books police officer—so when she catches a man speeding, she arrests him. Only, the man is famous race car driver Josh Stevens. To make amends, Josh launches a charm campaign, and it works on the small town…and on Violet. But when Josh is connected to an investigation, Violet begins to wonder—can she trust her instincts when her heart is involved?
Other Books in the Series
. . . I promise you, my blog tour will be tons of fun. I’ll be sharing not only excerpts from the book but some “facts” about my imaginary western-themed wedding venue and B&B. There’ll also be a giveaway at the end for one lucky winner. So, grab your partner, and let’s get started!
“I really enjoyed Bridget and Ryan’s story. There were almost as many LOL moments as there were swoony ones–a great balance. . . . This is the second book in the series (The Sweetheart Ranch) but it worked just fine as a standalone. . . . Sign me up for the next book, too!”
“You could join me.” His grin widened, and he raised his china plate. “If you haven’t eaten yet.”
Of all the nerve! He was flirting with her.
When she first glimpsed him, she’d thought how lucky his wife was to marry a tall, good-looking man like him. If not for the fact he was a groom, she’d have mistaken him for one of the local cowboys, what with his well-fitting Wranglers, scuffed boots, Western work shirt and Stetson, which he’d removed and hung on the antique hat rack in the corner.
“I was so happy to see that there was another book from The Sweetheart Ranch available! I loved the first book and wish that I could go visit such a place. . . . there is something magical about that Sweetheart Ranch that creates some wonderfully romantic stories that you’ll enjoy reading. And this is a clean contemporary romance, so no worries there.”
“This is a wonderful story with a sweet romance. . . . I highly recommend this heart warming romance.” – Vicky
“The author has creatively portrayed the “ups and downs” of life in this stimulating tale of two lives coming together, only to be torn apart again through unexpected circumstances. . . . The characters were very endearing and the scenarios “played out well”.” – LAWonder10
“Have a seat.” Mrs. Foxworthy motioned to the table. “We can talk here, if you don’t mind Bridget hovering nearby.”
“No, ma’am. I don’t.”
Not at all. For starters, she was easy on the eyes. Bouncy reddish-blond hair framing the face of an angel, when she wasn’t scowling. Nice figure, from what he could tell. That apron did her no favors. Dancing green eyes, his particular weakness. And a great cook.
What else do you have in the works right now?
Book three in my Sweetheart Ranch series, THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY, will be released November 1st. Book four is coming out sometime in 2020, not sure when exactly but likely around June. Also, I have a not-yet-titled Christmas novella planned for release in early November as well. I’ll keep everyone posted on the details as soon as I have them.
“Sweet!” Ryan stopped to admire the trim, sleek, fire-engine-red vehicle parked behind the ranch house. “Top speed, how fast can this baby fly?”
Bridget was securing the insulated food container holding brunch for cabin two in the vehicle’s rear bed. She then straightened to give him an exasperated look. “You’re kidding.”
“Not at all.” Ryan continued his inspection, circling the front of the vehicle and pausing at the passenger side. “Forty-eight-volt motor, right? I bet you can do eighteen easy. Twenty on the downhill.”
“It’s a golf cart.”
“I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t make Ryan a playboy just because he wasn’t ready to settle down. His sense of humor and playfulness made him a fun hero. . . . If you are looking for a light-hearted cowboy romance, this could be a good book to consider.”
Bridget found she wasn’t quite ready to leave. “You sure? I don’t mind staying.”
“Go on.” He swung down from the saddle and tied his horses to the trailer before leading the other two to the hitching post.
She marveled at how they docilely followed Ryan, one after the other. It had been like that on the trail. Not a single hiccup or moment of panic the entire time. She couldn’t imagine riding a horse while leading three others. They’d likely start bucking and kicking, and Ryan would have to cut them loose, like when he’d worked for the outfitter.
“He’s not Superman,” she mumbled under her breath.
“I really enjoyed this sweet, cowboy story with Ryan and Bridget! I loved reading about the day to day operations of the family ranch and Ryan’s house swapping. . . . Easy to read, great characters and setting, clean romance-highly recommend!”
What Makes Sweetheart Ranch Special?
THE COWBOY’S PERFECT MATCH is book two in my series, The Sweetheart Ranch (two more books are for sure following and possibly more). I personally have never been to a place like it. Right now, the ranch only exists in my head and on the pages of my books 🙂
But, seriously, wouldn’t it be nice to visit a western-themed wedding venue and B&B? Yeah, I agree. Let me take you on an imaginary tour. . .
“But it is the journey from flirting to more to trouble to that HEA ending that makes for an enjoyable read. If you are looking for excitement and angst, you aren’t going to find a lot of it here. Instead you get a slow burn romance that is perfect for a lazy couple of days of reading.”
Ryan clasped Bridget’s hands in his. Following Homer’s calling wasn’t as difficult as he first thought it would be. Square dancing must be a lot like riding a bike: a person never forgets.
They did the allemande left, taking the arms of imaginary other couples. Next, they went to the center and back again, and Ryan gave Bridget a swing before going round and round. When it came time to promenade on home, he captured her left hand in his and looped his right arm over her shoulders to take her right hand. Then, they circled the open space.
Holding her this close, Ryan couldn’t take his eyes off her profile and navigated the room blindly. She fit perfectly into the crook of his arm as if by design, and their steps matched in precise rhythm—his to the beat of his racing heart. When she leaned back her head and laughed, he lost himself in the bright melody.
“Cathy McDavid delivers characters with real-life issues that are authentic and believable, throws challenges in the way of reaching that elusive HEA until revelations are discovered and decisions are made to fight for true love.
A clean cowboy romance with heart, The Cowboy’s Perfect Match is a sweet read that drew me in and had me cheering for Ryan and Bridget despite the obstacles they had to overcome.”
1. Here at Kat’s Corner books, we’re fans of cats, but love all pets. Do you have a pet?
Meet Ozzy. He’s my four-footed muse and even has his own regular column in my monthly newsletter. He’s utterly devoted to me and spends a large portion of his day napping next to my computer monitor. He tolerates my husband (whom he refers to as “the man”), pretty much ignores the dog Nacho, and keeps his distance from our newest family member, Sushi (she originally belonged to my mother and came to live with us after we moved Mom into assisted living last December). Ozzy is a rescue, also like Nacho and Sushi. He believes no one else should have access to me other than him, including “the man”, and sleeps between us at night. Moving him to another part of the bed or the floor doesn’t work, he comes right back.
Sasha says hi!
“What a good story! The attraction between Ryan and Bridget was so well written! . . . This is book two in the series, yet can easily be jumped into as a stand alone novel, if desired. I really enjoyed this story.”
“Bridget and Ryan have a slow-burn romance. There is no insta-love in this story! . . . The story is smooth without any time-skips, and I could always tell when Bridget or Ryan was speaking from his or her point of view. The ending was sweet, and I hope that these characters show up in another one of McDavid’s cowboy romances!
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a sweet adult romance story.”
“Cute, fun, swoony, and sweet – this is a book you don’t want to miss. Book #2 in the series but easily works as a stand-alone.”
“This is a book that is jam packed with the feels. It’s a book that is a make you feel good story. I highly recommend this book!”
“I love how this series has tongue-in-cheek humour laced into it but also the wholesome focus on family & hard work on a ranch . . . Sweetheart Ranch has the capacity of touching your heart each time you visit & the series is rooted in family which I personally adore & Love as those make the best Romances!”
“I am giving The Cowboy’s Perfect Match by Cathy McDavid a five-star rating and recommending it to everyone who likes cowboys and Harlequin Heartwarming. The Cowboy’s Perfect Match by Cathy McDavid is a great book that had me sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. Everything about this novel is awesome, and I can’t wait to see more of the Sweetheart Ranch series.”
“I enjoyed this story so much and I love the Sweetheart Ranch. . . . This is such a sweet fun and entertaining romance to read. I enjoyed following Ryan and Bridget as they talked, flirted and as their relationship starts to build. . . . Cathy McDavid does an excellent job of creating beautiful realistic characters that develop and play their parts so well in the story. . . . This is purely romance, and if you are looking for a sweet romance read, you will certainly enjoy this one. I encourage you to check out The Cowboy’s Perfect Match as well as other books by Cathy McDavid.”
“Has Ryan invited you to dinner again?”
Aha! Here was the real reason for her grandmother’s lingering.
Bridget played dumb. “Again? What makes you think he invited me to dinner a first time?”
“It’s obvious when a man has been bitten by the love bug, and been bitten hard.”
Love bug? Ryan?
“Trust me, Grandma, he hasn’t been bitten, and he didn’t invite me to dinner.” Not yesterday, anyway.
“Hmm. You said no. I figured as much.”
“I so enjoyed seeing Bridget again after meeting her in A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal. Her situation with Ryan had plenty of complications, but it is not without plenty of humor and romance. All in all, The Cowboy’s Perfect Match is a fun read, perfect for the reader who enjoys contemporary cowboy romances (with stubborn characters and undeniable chemistry).”
“There’s no reason not to go on the hay ride,” Grandma Em told Bridget. “And don’t bring up the cookout. I happen to know for a fact you have everything ready, right down to the condiment tray.”
She watched as Ryan helped the last guest into the wagon.
“All the seats are taken,” she countered. Seats being the bales of straw.
“Sit up front with Ryan.”
No way. He knew Gregory had brought a date. He’d helped her into the wagon, for crying out loud.
“I’d rather not.” Bridget was in no mood for his teasing. Not tonight.
“Honey,” her grandmother crooned. “Don’t let that doctor fellow make you feel bad or doubt yourself. You’re a beautiful, strong, talented young woman who also happens to be an incredible catch. You’ll find the right man, and he’ll be darn lucky to have you.”
He may not be perfect…
But he’s perfect for her!
Ryan DeMere is definitely enjoying the perks of being Sweetheart Ranch’s new wrangler—the best is working with head chef Bridget O’Malley. He’s fallen head over spurs for the talented and determined beauty. There’s just one hiccup. Bridget is holding out for Mr. Right—and Ryan doesn’t quite meet her requirements. But he’s determined to win Bridget over, because Ryan may not be perfect…but maybe their love could be.
Other Books in the Series
At a magical time of year…
Can a cowboy help falling in love?
For single dad Owen Caufield, living and working at Sweetheart Ranch for a month is the perfect change of pace. While the cowboy turned wedding officiant can now spend more time with his children, Molly O’Malley, his new boss, is less thrilled. A wedding ranch isn’t the best place for three rambunctious youngsters. But amid the chaos—and the coming holidays—it may be the best place to fall in love…
About the Author
Thank you so much for letting me stop by and share some great news. A Foundation of Fear, a romantic suspense novel and the third book in my Risky Research Series, has just been released. Also available is a short story prequel to the series titled, A Formidable Foe, which is available for free download from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Here’s a little more about A Foundation of Fear.
Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. Along with writing novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Kim currently resides in Colorado, and when not writing, she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family.
I’m so excited to finally get to share Gloria’s story with the world. This series started at The Wardrobe Dinner Theater when an orphaned dancer and a photographer-turned-actress were two of many auditioning for roles in the upcoming season. During the audition, they met Gloria—the resident star—who quirked a finely plucked eyebrow and issued the challenge to “try to keep up.” Needless to say, the pampered diva was not happy to share a company apartment with the two newcomers nor thrilled when the spotlight later shifted. . .
Gloria Houghton turned away from the list and faked a smile as her castmates congratulated her on another supporting role. She forced herself to take a deep breath, and then one more, as she squeezed through the crowd of actors outside the dressing rooms at The Wardrobe Dinner Theatre.
Yet the light-headed feeling remained. What would it take to regain her status as the leading lady? Then again, who was she kidding? She’d hoped for a bigger part this time, but she also knew that her surgically repaired knee couldn’t take the beating. Oh, she could keep living on pain pills and ice packs and try not to limp through the season. The only other alternative was to tell the owners that she needed to take more time off—for what, physical therapy? Another surgery?
“Sing a New Song is the first book I have read by Candee Fick and it definitely will not be the last. I loved this book. Gloria and Nick’s are so very sweet, fun and delightful.”
“I’m stuck in the ensemble again. While Evan’s already flirting with his new costar. Ever since I hurt my knee, nothing’s gone my way around here.” A clumsy fall in her kitchen had torn her knee and ripped the starring role from her grasp, leaving behind the pain of dashed dreams and the nagging fear that she would never regain the spotlight.
“Nothing?” Liz gestured to the stage around them. “You’re about to be Milly.”
“A lot of good that will do, because the future isn’t looking so bright.”
“Some things are more important than the spotlight.”
“Well, I guess I haven’t found them yet.” Gloria looked around the stage area. Had it always been so small? “And I’m not sure I’ll ever find them here.”
“If you haven’t read the other books in this series, don’t let that stop you. Sing a New Song stands on its own. Then again, Candee Fick writes such good stories, it just makes sense to get all of the books and read them from the start.”
Maybe it was time for her to say goodbye to musical theater too and focus on singing instead.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” Liz smiled and then drifted away toward one of the wings, leaving Gloria alone at center stage.
Her voice could be her magic ticket to the future. But where?
She didn’t necessarily want a solo act, so those television audition shows to find the next voice were out of the question. And while actresses flocked to Hollywood or New York City, most singers usually ended up in Nashville—only to get lost in the crowd of hopefuls.
“Sing a New Song was a really good book! It is the first book that I have read by this author and will definitely not be the last. The characters in this story felt like real people! . . . Their romance was really well written. I look forward to reading more by this author.”
If only her new beginning didn’t depend upon a flawless first impression.
Gloria applied another layer of lip gloss and fluffed the curled blond hair around her shoulders. With one last rehearsed smile in the mirror, she stashed the makeup in her purse and exited Sherwood Theater’s restroom.
After a long-distance audition and weeks of rehearsing the music on her own, the time had come to meet the rest of the singers in the brand-new “Rockin’ the Decades” show debuting soon on the strip in Branson, Missouri.
“Not every book makes it onto my five-star radar, but occasionally I read something that truly makes me think alongside the hero. Flick has done an amazing job of carrying the reader on Gloria’s journey in a way that makes it personal. A tenderly crafted story about the real magic behind the lights, about what is true instead of what we pretend to be, Sing a New Song is a story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.”
Nearing the backstage area, she scanned the map on her phone to locate the rehearsal room.
Almost there. Gloria glanced up just in time for her foot to slip out from under her on the wet floor. Her weak knee buckled, and the concrete floor came rushing toward her. Reaching for anything to break her fall, her fingers grazed the edge of a rolling bucket of mop water, tipping her phone into the liquid a moment before it—and the mop—toppled over. She landed hard on her right shoulder an instant before a flood of water soaked the upper half of her body.
Ouch. That would leave a bruise.
“This is a really good and well written book! A first for me from this author and I want to read more books from Candee Flick. I enjoyed following Gloria on her journey of finding a life more important than what she has previously lived. . . . I encourage you to grab a copy of Sing A New Song for your own enjoyment. You will find a story of love, forgiveness and redemption. A story of the importance of family.”
“The spark between the two of them is a slow burning flame that is refreshing to get in a romance novel these days. I felt like they also were able to teach each other a lot about life. And of course they were helped out a lot by Granny, who is the wisest one of them all. . . . once I got into it, I greatly enjoyed reading it. Again, I am interested in checking out the rest of the series now.”
Gloria swiped the mess away from her face in time to spot two dark-haired men exiting a nearby room—her destination. They elbowed past the janitor and helped her to her feet, one on each side.
While taking a moment to regain her balance, she eyed her handsome rescuers. Ah, yes. Thanks to her online research, she recognized them as members of the famous Sherwood clan, the family who was the headline act for this theater but also owned both the hotel down the hill and the cheesy tourist shop next door.
In the dim light, it was hard to tell which one was Gavin and which was Tyler. Still, the twins were even cuter in person, with black T-shirts hugging muscled chests and faded blue jeans encasing long legs.
“I especially appreciated the way Candee Fick made Gloria more relatable and likable in Sing a New Song. The challenges thrown at her from her entry into the theater in Branson are immediate and keep on building until she’s brought to her lowest point and something has to change. And a change of character starts with a change of heart. Gloria is making changes for the better. leaning into the Father she can always count on. . . . This book is an excellent addition to the series that shows that change and growth are possible for those you sometimes doubt the most.”
After an unsuccessful search in the supply room, Nick led her into the adjacent office. “Have a seat there while I look around.” He bypassed the desk and its cushioned chair, instead deliberately pointing to a five-gallon bucket of something as he made his way across the room.
Lovely. Did he think to punish her for falling, interrupting his work, and making a mess? Well, she didn’t have to stoop to his level of pettiness. At least not today.
The twins were her ticket to stardom in Branson, and she needed to make a better impression. Starting with what she could control. Like her hair.
A quick squeeze of the wet half sent a stream running down her arm before she fluffed the strands with her fingers. Even after it dried, the contrast between the curled and non-curled sides would look ridiculous. Unless…
“Sorry, Princess, but I don’t keep any mirrors or curling irons in here.” Nick bit his lip as if trying to hold back a smile.
“Seeing Gloria’s growth over the course of Sing a New Song is a delight, plus the romance she finds is entirely heartwarming. It’s the first of Fick’s books I’ve read, but I enjoyed it so much that I know it won’t be the last.”
Conscious of the passing time, Gloria scrambled out of her wet shirt and slipped into the gigantic dry one. She rolled up the sleeves, then gathered the mid-thigh-length fabric and tucked it into the waistband of her damp jeans. After wringing out her T-shirt into an empty bucket in the corner, she left the office behind and carefully retraced her steps toward the rehearsal room.
Late, damp, and in an oversized mechanic’s shirt.
What kind of impression would she make now?
“Sing a New Song is a love song to music shows (a la Branson or Gatlinburg), family, grace, and of course God who rejoices over us with singing. Gloria and Nick have a simmering chemistry right from the start and it only gets better from there! I’ve loved all the books in this series so far, and I think this one is the best yet!”
At the front of the room, Gloria took a place next to Brittany, who wrinkled her nose at Nick’s monogrammed shirt.
Brittany leaned closer. “Just so you know, there’s only room for one Carrie Underwood look-alike here.”
“I’m not really a fan of country music.”
“And you’re hoping to make it in Branson? Good luck with that.”
The pampered diva is about to meet her match
Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?
Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated–and irritated–by the newest addition to the staff.
After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.
– One 1st prize winner will receive: the complete set of The Wardrobe Series (ebook only if international winner, otherwise print copies) plus a $25 Amazon gift card
– One 2nd prize winner will receive: Copy of Sing a New Song (ebook only if international winner, US winner can choose ebook or print) plus a $10 Amazon gift card
– Ends May 15, 2019
. . . Over the years and between releasing my “big” books, I worked with editor and friend, Jessica Augustsson to breathe back life into this mini series. It’s been one epic steam-clunking ride, reinventing this world from my childhood. I hope you’re ready to take a tour to the Rim with me.
Enjoy the adventure!
Book One: Qeya
My childhood lullaby was the metallic blend of grinding gears, of hissing hydro fans and the growl of plasma engines burning. It had been so long since our feet had trodden the soft soils of Datura that we would have tripped on solid ground. No other mining vessel had spent as long in the heavens as us. Explorers were few and far between, so deep on the rim of the universe, that when we chanced upon each other, our visits turned into one long party.
Mother and Father, who led because they had been born to lead and couldn’t function any other way, asked the usual questions. “Have you been to the Center of late? What changes have come to the core worlds?” And their answers were always the same. No change, no reassurance that our home world was free from tyranny and the royal family could return at last. We were cursed to float eternally on this hunk of scrap metal, doomed to never set foot off of it.
Moments pass through life that are impossible to take back, stepping stones that may lead you on a path you were meant to take. And sometimes a stepping stone breaks loose and you plunge into the river instead. This was one of those moments.
Glancing at the keypad fastened to the inner lift wall, I hesitated only a moment before pressing the wrong button. Shutting my eyes, I wondered what my punishment for this would be and then squashed the idea out of my head. Though I would never admit it to them, the twins had a point about taking risks. What else was life worth living in the end?
There are moments in time when the axis of the universe shifts, when life as you knew it is irrevocably altered. When the hiss and grind of the gears fell silent, some deeply rooted instinctive part of me knew this was one of those moments.
The constant dull clanging and press of our engine faded into an oppressive silence, where I could hear the beat of our hearts and shaky breaths. I wondered if I was losing my water because I knew the idea of Datura 3shutting down was impossible. Even though we were still orbiting above the hostile world while Pioneer explored, our ship had not ceased in motion since we stepped on it seven years before. I counted the quiet by the beats of my heart. What took an instant to process in my mind was not much longer than the wait. The ship echoed a pained groan and then the floor beneath our feet began to shift. Ohre’s hand was on my arm instantly, steadying me before I could tip into the pipework lain against the wall.
The first time I saw Qeya was the moment my life began. I wasn’t supposed to be on third deck that day, when she came to watch the miners cook and avoid the Royals. I learned after this that she often did that, came to sit with her mealtime bowl and watched us work. It seemed strange to see so much wisdom and sorrow on a face so young.
Living in the eternal darkness of the lower decks I had heard rumors about the Royal family. We all knew it was because of them we were stuck on Datura 3, forever sailing the stars without a port of call. Yes, there was plenty to mine and every pirate ship we came across paid us thousands for our goods. For some below it was the dream life, far better than scrapping it in the deep cave wastes on home world. But I hadn’t spent all my days on a miner ship. I still remembered the smell of salty sea air and the glow of the undersea palaces at night. As a boy I slipped out of the slums, past the guard and into that sea to catch a glimpse of it. Something the Royals didn’t know—or had chosen to forget—was that we all came from the sea.
“A quick and interesting read. . . . I liked the unique way this world is set up, and the ‘humans’ and other characters I met. . .”
Adi stalked off to the camp and the ruined ship to continue her search after throwing the scanner onto the sand at my feet. I was satisfied she would take her fire out on tearing the deck apart. Meanwhile, I readied Qeya for our journey.
The best defense in alien waters was not our biosuits, which were designed for heaven and hostile environments. But her eyes grew to new depths when I told her to strip down. She subconsciously covered her chest. “I’m not taking this off. And I need my tool belt anyway.”
“I loved the characters and I loved the romance in this novella! . . . I can’t wait to read the next books in the box set and figure out what happens to the characters after this story ends!
I would definitely recommend this novella to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy/Scifi/romance novel.”
I glanced at Qeya while keeping my eyes on the cave we had called home for too short a time.
Now we were alone, I wanted to ask her more questions, about this valley, and especially why the Nuki stayed in the interior. I squashed the harder questions that insisted on rising to the surface, like why she chose to stay in her village instead of coming with us. Not that I didn’t agree with her choice. But maybe I was regretting leaving without asking her first.
“. . . the Heaven’s Edge series is a quick, enjoyable read.
With unique “world”-building, characters in plenty of danger, and some unexpected turns, these stories kept me entertained from start to finish.”
My life both began and ended with a crash.
“Strap in! Shields are down!” Captain shouted over the alarm blaring throughout the shuttle.
I barely had time to make sure the rest of my crew was strapped in before the second shudder hit their outer hull. “Qori, hang onto our chole packs!” I shouted, the same moment Adi, the miner swung in front of me, wrapping an arm around my waist.
“Hang on to your scythe, Royal,” she said with a cheeky grin. Her arm was the only thing that kept me from colliding with the pipes and gears overhead. For a moment, we hung together suspended midair, legs flailing, as the lights flickered inside the compartment.
Only by working together will they survive…
A group of refugees from a powerful, sophisticated Core World planet have been on the run for seven years. The mission was to get away and give their children some time to grow up and help them carry on the cause. The cause was to help the rebellion, win the war and go home. But things didn’t quite turn out the way they planned.
Qeya, the future Queen of Datura, can’t do much about her red hair, but she knows how to wield a scythe blade and suck the life out of her enemy, literally. Life seems great, if a little boring on heaven’s edge. Until her ship is attacked and nearly everyone on board is murdered. Now, the miner who saved her is the only thing standing between her and the hungry beasts hunting them.
All Ohre wants is the kind of freedom a life in the sea can give. But he doesn’t want to live it alone anymore. He wants the princess and if Qeya won’t come willingly, he’ll make her.
Tamn has always lived by a code. He doesn’t question his duty. Until his crew is stranded on a hostile alien world and he’s forced to watch the girl he loves burn in the sky. Stripped of his reason for living, the voices from his past haunt and guide him in a path of endless retribution. Only the strongest will survive the trials ahead and Tamn is determined to keep the family he has left alive.
MEET THE CREW HERE
**Box Set includes first three Heaven’s Edge Novellas**
About the Author
Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time, she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador, or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of three series–Heaven’s Edge, Wylder Tales and the Borderlands Saga–and the stand-alone titles Stay and She Walks in Moonlight. She recently released her first serialized Urban Fantasy, Angel Blue in August 2018.