Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.
Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. When Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she reluctantly returns home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him. Joe’s neighbor, David Harris, sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about him rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, her father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter…or so Janie thinks.
Before he even opened the door, David knew something was off. Late night visitors, in his experience, rarely brought good news. When the visitor turned out to be Janie, his heart leapt into his throat. “Janie,” he said when he threw open the door. “What’s wrong? Is Joe okay?”
“Yeah. He’s fine.” Relief hit him so hard he took a step back and leaned against the doorjamb.
“You scared me.”
“I didn’t mean to.” Janie rubbed her hands up and down her arms and looked over her shoulder. “It’s cold out here. Mind if I come in?”
“Oh. Right.” David gestured for Janie to enter. “Come inside.” He followed when she slid past him and walked into the living room.
“It’s late.” As if she needed to tell him. The atomic clock on the wall, a Christmas gift from his mother, showed the time at almost two in the morning. Janie stood in the middle of the room and focused her gaze on the bookcase in the corner. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”
“I was reading. A little too wired to sleep, I guess.” David moved up behind her and raised a tentative hand to her shoulder. “Are you sure everything’s okay?”
The sound of his voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she jerked her head toward him. Her movements were stunted. Wooden. “Ever have one of those moments when you’re convinced you may float away, and no matter what you do, you can’t keep yourself grounded? And you need to hang on tight to something until the sensation passes?”
Whatever was going on, he thought, she was not in a good place. David gently spun Janie toward him and gazed at her. “Tell me what you need from me.”
10 Thought Processes That Prove Single Romance Writers Shouldn’t Date
Being a single romance writer is a painful predicament. It’s not like you have much inspiration surrounding you, unless you count that annoyingly cute couple in the apartment down the hall. The ones that make you want to punch them, they’re so cute and content. And when you do date, or you do find yourself attracted to someone in particular, your dramatic-plot-addled brain goes to the weirdest places. It may be just for a moment, but when these notions start popping up in your romance-writer-brain, it’s time to step away from the source of your emotional angst.
If he stands you up, you’re convinced a horrible tragedy has befallen him to keep the two of you apart. He was driving to pick you up, drove off a cliff, and is comatose in a nearby hospital, listed as a John Doe because his wallet was hurled into the sea.
We read too much into facial expressions. His smile fades, and he looks away, and it must be because he’s reflecting on a sad memory from his past. His former wife, who was cut down in the prime of her life because of a rare illness. It can never have to do with the fact that he just finds the chair he’s sitting in really uncomfortable.
He’s a commitment-phobe? Well, it’s because he was hurt in the past. Repeatedly. By cruel women who took advantage of his fragile heart. It has nothing to do with his utter lack of interest in settling down with one woman.
He talks to me on a daily basis. It means he’s secretly in love with me, but can’t ever reveal his feelings because of a dark family secret.
Blind dates are always a no-no because we’re convinced we will make unwise but passionate, heartfelt love to him, only to find out he’s shipping out the next day to an unspecified and highly dangerous war zone. And naturally, we will end up pregnant and alone because he’s been taken hostage by the enemy and is presumed dead.
Most women take a man’s declaration of being damaged as a sign to back off. We see endless ways to heal his fractured heart and its wounded beat.
We keep trying to convince ourselves that the moment we declare to all our girlfriends that we are through with men, Mr. Right will move in next door and fall madly in love with us.
He’s cute. Maybe he needs a marriage of convenience. I’m available.
I will woo him with my whimsy and quirkiness. After I learn something quirky. Hey, juggling chainsaws is quirky!
So what if his nose looks like a zucchini that’s been stepped on? I’ll bet there’s some great backstory for the squashing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event. When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.
J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN). Readers interested in more information may visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.
Daddy’s Girl purchase links:
Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/daddys-girl-by-j-m-kelley
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daddys-girl-jm-kelley/1114255053?ean=2940015960969&isbn=2940015960969
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:
J.M. will be awarding a gift basket of some of the author's favorite things, including a $25 gift card from Amazon and a signed copy of the Foreign Affairs anthology from Turquoise Morning Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
FOLLOW the tour and comment; the more YOU comment, the better YOUR chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.
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