Hi everyone! My debut romance novella has now been published: Coming Home: A Sweet Romance (Red Canyon Series – Book 1).
Here’s the Summary:
One call from her father changes everything.
Sophie’s dad is sick and needs her help. Her first problem is: he lives in Red Canyon, Arizona, hundreds of miles from her home in Colorado. Her second problem…is Brandon.
Back in Red Canyon, years ago, he left her hanging by suddenly joining the military, leaving without a word. She never forgave him for that night, and now she has to go back to the very town he lives in, contending with small town life, family medical issues, and the ghosts of a past relationship.
She hopes Brandon will avoid her, but that’s short-lived. He steps back into her life in a way she doesn’t want, or at least, so she thinks.
Meanwhile, her father’s health declines, but there might still be hope, both for him, and for Sophie’s love life.
If you enjoy happily-ever-afters, sweet romances, and no cliffhangers, you’ll love Coming Home.
Find it here:
- Amazon: USA / UK / CAN / AUS / DEU / FRA / IND
- Barnes and Noble
Here’s a sample portion (the first chapter) of the story:
Coming Home: A Sweet Romance (Red Canyon Series – Book 1)
Sophie could never get rid of the smell of burnt grease. It clung to her bright red and yellow uniform, covered her black shoes, and stuck to her skin. Trying to wipe it away didn’t help, but it didn’t matter anyway. She couldn’t worry about that. Her focus was on the fryer.
People usually ordered tater tots at McMann’s Diner faster than she could make them. The second Sophie finished one batch, they were yelling back to start another. The grease flew out and stung her forearms every time she dropped the basket in the fryer. She got used to the pain after a while. It was just another thing she had to deal with to keep going.
“What are you doing tonight?” Christy asked, moving back and forth down the line, making one burger after the other.
“I’m heading down to work at the tower.”
“Girl, I don’t know how you do it. I’m exhausted after one shift.”
“What other choice do I have?” Sophie took a basket out of the fryer and hung it up to drain.
“I dunno. I’d find a way.”
Sophie rolled her eyes and tipped the tater tots in with the rest. She glanced up at the clock. It was almost seven. “I’m going to scrub down the tables real quick and head out.” Normally, Sophie felt bad about leaving Christy alone, but that night she was too tired to feel much at all.
Sophie took a minute in the bathroom while doing her best to ignore her reflection. Her hair felt like a bird’s nest. No amount of hand soap could wash the grease off her arms, but Sophie did the best she could before climbing into her little, gray sedan and made her way across town to the financial district.
The Bulwark Tower was one of the largest buildings in town with twenty stories and just three people on the cleaning crew. One by one, Sophie vacuumed as many floors as she could, washing the floor-to-ceiling interior glass dividers and taking out countless bags of trash while trying to ignore the blisters that had formed on her heels. By the time her shift was over, it was well past midnight, and she was limping just trying to get her feet off the ground.
Sophie’s mother had left her a tiny, yellow house in the suburbs when she died. It wasn’t much, just a square building with battered shutters and a leaky roof. Sophie was always trying to find ways to fix it up, but money was tight and her boyfriend wasn’t exactly the handyman type.
When she pulled up, Orlando’s car was parked at an angle in the driveway, blocking her spot, so she had to park on the street next to the sidewalk in front of her neighbor’s house. It wasn’t a huge deal–she’d been friends with that neighbor for years–but it wasn’t a good sign. When she walked inside, there were liquor bottles strewn about and a joint that had burned down to a nub on the coffee table, leaving a black streak on the wood.
Orlando was laying on his back on the couch, wearing his usual sleeveless, white shirt and blue shorts. He looked up at her. “Hey, baby.” He had soft eyes and a smile that had never failed to dull her pain.
“Hey, yourself. I brought you some tobacco.” She looked down at the pile of half-burnt tobacco he’d left on the coffee table. He must’ve been rolling using old cigarette butts.
“Thanks.” He grabbed the bag and sat up slowly so he could roll himself a cigarette. “Did you bring food home?”
“No, I couldn’t. I had to work at the tower tonight.”
“Oh.” He lit a cigarette. “That’s all right, I guess.”
“Orlando! You’re gonna drop it.”
He looked up and started scratching his nose. He got like that sometimes–too drunk to pay much attention to what he was doing. He’d started drinking a lot, especially after he’d lost his job three weeks ago due to showing up for a shift still tipsy from the night before. Their fight about that had lasted into the following morning.
Until he could find another job, Sophie did the best she could to pick up the slack. She worked two jobs and survived on nothing but sheer willpower and smuggled tater tots. It was horrible, but she couldn’t stop. The bills didn’t pay themselves.
She just wished she could get him to come to bed and cuddle with her. She needed his touch and his reassurance, but this was just one of those nights. When she climbed into bed, she fell asleep immediately, only to be woken up by the sound of her phone going off. She picked it up. Someone was calling from an Arizona number.
“Sophie. It’s me.”
“Dad? Oh my God. You sound terrible. What’s wrong?”
“I hate to bother you like this.”
“No, it’s fine. Just tell me what’s going on.”
“I need you here.”
“What do you mean?” She sat up, terrified.
“I just…” He broke down into a sob. “I need you here.”
“All right. Let me see what I can do. Do I need to call someone? Are you in danger or something?”
“No, Cupcake. I’ll wait for you here at the house. I-I gotta go. I’ll see you soon, okay?”
“All right, Dad. I’m coming. I love you.”
Sophie jumped out of bed and grabbed a suitcase from the closet. She stopped when she heard the sound of the TV and looked out into the living room where Orlando was still sitting up, his head rising and falling with his cigarette ready to fall out of his mouth. As much as she wanted to, she knew she wouldn’t be able to bring him along. They could only afford one plane ticket, and she’d have to rent a car, pay for gas, and who knew what else. It just wasn’t possible.
She walked into the kitchen, poured him a cup of coffee, and sat in the chair next to him. “Here.” She handed him the coffee. “Drink this.”
It took him a moment to do anything. He could barely focus, but eventually he started drinking and his eyes opened up a bit more. “Hey. What’s up?”
“Orlando, this is important. My dad called. Something’s wrong. I’m going to fly out to see him.”
“I told you. He just called. He hasn’t needed anything for years and now he’s sobbing on the phone saying he needs me there.” She wasn’t sure what was wrong, exactly, but she knew she’d never find out from a distance. She needed to be there. “It’s serious. I’m going to leave you with some money, and I can probably send more when my last paycheck clears the bank. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.”
“Fine, just go.” His head drooped down and soon he was snoring.
And that was it. She’d expected at least a goodbye and safe travel wishes, but that was Orlando when he drank. She knew he wouldn’t be a fan of the idea, but when it came to family, she didn’t really have much of a choice. She couldn’t stay. She knew just from the sound of her father’s voice that something terrible was happening. He was a proud man. He wouldn’t have asked for help unless he really needed it. She’d have to leave things to chance and hope that Orlando could manage without her for a little while. She’d ask her neighbor to keep an eye on him, just the same.
(end of sample)
Find it here:
- Amazon: USA / UK / CAN / AUS / DEU / FRA / IND
- Barnes and Noble