OMG It’s hard to believe but the big day is finally here! Happy Book Birthday to ONE SUMMER NIGHT, my new contemporary romance release!
It’s so exciting, especially when I think about the fact that it didn’t just take nine months for my baby to come out, it took years! The idea for the story first came to me nearly four years ago and in that time I had to find an agent who loved the project, a publisher, write the book, edit the book, work on publicity, etc. So much time and effort, but it’s all been worth it because I am truly truly happy with ONE SUMMER NIGHT. It is everything I could have expected and more and I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out! Please visit my Facebook Page for loads of stops on the release party blog tour, as well as tomorrow’s release party and a mess of giveaways!
ONE SUMMER NIGHT is available at these retailers:
You can also read a number of excerpts at the ONE SUMMER NIGHT home page, but here’s one for you now! In this scene, Maggie and Owen have run into one another after a friend’s wedding. The sparks are there, but neither of them knows how to explore that attraction.
“Owen,” she sighed as the man rose and she recognized his silhouette. She stopped, unsure whether he would acknowledge her, but he smiled and walked toward her. She noticed that he had changed into casual clothes, not that they lessened the sense of power that always seemed to surround him.
“Maggie,” he said with a dip of his head as he sidled up to her. “You’re up late.”
“You too.” She started walking again, alternately worried and excited that he would join her for her walk.
“Too many thoughts in my head.” He matched his pace to hers, taking an occasional puff on his cigar as they strolled down the beach.
“Me too,” she said, but then they fell silent. They had known each other all their lives and had been friends at one time, but in recent years, they’d kept an awkward distance. Even with the silence, there was something comforting about his presence beside her during the walk. Maybe it was that aura of innate strength and assurance in the way he carried himself. Maybe it was that she felt not so lonely with him. Regardless of the why of it, the quiet as they walked side by side along the beach soothed the riot of thoughts that had kept her from sleep.
With a half glance in his direction, she noticed that he seemed more relaxed as well, and a part of her wondered what it would be like if they could be more than just distant acquaintances. Deciding to breach that distance, she said, “Will you be at the lighthouse rededication at the end of the month?”
She and Owen had worked on their town’s committee to repair the destruction done by Hurricane Sandy years earlier. Federal and state funding had helped to rebuild most of the public areas, like the boardwalk. Their fundraising efforts had gone toward fixing the damage to the Main Street business area in time for the first summer season after the horrific storm, but it had taken much longer to raise the funds to fix the lighthouse and a nearby pier. The committee was still working on how to help repair the many private homes and cottages not covered by insurance and that still languished years later.
“I hope to be there. It all depends on some business items that need to be wrapped up.” He paused as they neared the long rock jetty that marked the end of Sea Kiss and the start of the next town. She hadn’t realized that they’d walked nearly a mile together in companionable silence. With a wry smile and a wave of his hand, they turned and started the walk back up the beach. Every now and again, he would meet her gaze and hold it, almost as if to reassure himself she was still there.
“Is that what kept you from sleep?”
“Possibly. What about you? Will you be there? Seems like we should attend, considering how much time we put into the committee.”
“I’ve got some things I need to do as well, but it would be nice to be there to celebrate. It took so long to reach this point.”
“But we did it. The town was ready for the first season. We helped a lot of people get back into their homes, even if we still have a long way to go to set everything right.”
“You led most of that, Owen. I was hard-pressed to know one end of the hammer from the other,” she said with a laugh, recalling her tortured efforts when they had volunteered to do some construction work on one of the damaged homes.
Owen chuckled. With a sexy grin, he said, “You did okay, and more importantly, you were there to help. People appreciated that, and they won’t forget it any- time soon.”
“That’s not why I did it,” she said. He nodded. “I know.”
His easy reply and the warmth of his gaze confirmed that he understood what had motivated her to volunteer, and in truth, she’d always known that he’d helped for the same reason. They both loved Sea Kiss and considered it home, even though they both worked and had residences in New York City.
They fell quiet again until they reached the board- walk for the Pierce mansion. Maggie waited for him to head there, but Owen kept on walking beside her.
“No need for you to see me home,” she said.
He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I always see a lady home,” he replied and did just that, going so far as to walk her up the boardwalk and across the great lawn. When they reached the patio, he looked back toward the dunes and jerked his head in the direction of the corner of the lot.
“I see you rebuilt the gazebo that Sandy took out.”
“I couldn’t imagine not putting it back up.” When the storm surge had gouged away huge pieces of the protective dunes behind the house, it had swept the old boardwalk and gazebo out to sea.
“You always spent a lot of time there reading,” he said, surprising her.
“I didn’t realize you’d noticed,” she replied, but as she glanced toward the Pierce mansion, she recalled that he would often sit on the second-story balcony where he would have a clear view of the gazebo.
“I’ve noticed a lot about you, Maggie,” he said and then walked with her again until they reached the french doors to her home.
Maggie faced him and stood there awkwardly, wondering how to end the night. A handshake was way too formal given the situation. A hug way too friendly. A kiss was…unfathomable.
That Owen was feeling the same way was obvious as he rocked back and forth on his heels and then shoved his hands into his jeans pockets. With a very masculine head nod, he said, “I guess I’ll see you around.”
She dipped her head in agreement and said, “See you around.”
He forced a smile, pivoted on his heel, and walked away, but as he did so, she called out to him.
Turning, he stared at her, a perplexed look on his face.
“This was nice. Thank you.”
His smile was brilliant in the dark of the night. “It was nice. Get some sleep, Maggie.”
“You too, Owen.” As she headed through the french doors and up to her bedroom, she suspected her thoughts would once again keep her from a restful slumber. Only this time, those thoughts wouldn’t be about her family’s business problems and losing the home she loved. They would be about something much more pleasurable.