Welcome to another stop on my weekly tour through the books! Each week I’ll give you an insider’s look by sharing one of my favorite scenes and talking about the inspiration behind the story. I’ll also have a new giveaway every single week.
*This giveaway has come to a close, but you can enter the current giveaway atwww.MelStorm.com/giveaway, and I hope you’ll read on to learn more about this fun book!
Okay, let's enjoy this Inside Look at…
She Will Be Loved, which joins the Cupid's Bow series as a sweet, feel-good romance set in Texas. If you're familiar with earlier installments in this series, you'll enjoy catching up with characters like Deborah, James, and Charlie. If you're brand new to this series, never to worry! Each book stands alone and can be enjoyed solo too!
I really feel like I hit my stride and truly came into my own as an author with this book. The more I write, the more I connect with my wonderful readers, the more I realize my true calling as an author. With that said, She Will Be Loved is sweet and perfectly clean (no swearing, no sexual situations–just a pure, honest love that develops between two people). Let's go deeper…
Behind the Scenes
Cupid's Bow is all about family. Sure, it's made up of individual romances, but members of the Rockwell and Morgan clans are always there for one another. That's why Mandy Rockwell doesn't have to deal with her personal crisis of finding herself pregnant and abandoned all by herself. Her grandmother Deborah and sister Charlie are there to help along the way.
And for those of you who don't know, this series explores romances set in the 1950's, 1980's, and today. Mandy's love story happens in the here and now–and by “the here”, I mean a quaint retirement village in Abilene, Texas.
Mandy isn't looking for love. In fact, it's the furthest thing from her mind, but love is what she finds anyway despite doing her best to avoid and ignore her attraction for Luke, who is dealing with a crisis of his own. Where did I get the idea?
From my own life, of course!
When I met my Mr. Storm I was at the darkest point in my own life. I had just gotten divorced after years of being in an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. I hated love, said it wasn't real–and I believed that with every fiber of my being… Until I met my true soul mate in Mr. Storm.
Oh, I tried to fight it. I told him we were just friends, and I meant it. But he continued to show me love and kindness such as I had never experienced before. It didn't take long for me to see I was saying no for the sake of saying no, and that I really needed to scream YES! Our romance unfolded quickly, and we were married less than three months after the anniversary of our first kiss. Awww.
We knew we wanted to add to our family right away and were fortunate enough to be able to do so. Now our little 11 1/2 lb bundle is 2 1/2 and she's our entire world.
So why do I want to write love stories? Because I'm a true believer in how love can come along at the perfect time and change our lives for the better–after all, it happened for me.
And why do I want to write those stories without sex and swearing? Well, because I have an adorable little girl who wants to be just like her Mama, and I intend to do everything in my power to set a great example.
Okay, the scene I'd like to share with you from She Will Be Loved shows Mandy and Luke's first meeting. It was the beginning of everything they weren't looking for, but everything they needed so desperately… Enjoy!
The next porch he found himself climbing had a white, stone goose dressed in a bright, yellow rain hat and slicker beside a sign that read Grandkids welcome. Parents by appointment. The door was bright purple, and he liked that, even though he was pretty sure it violated one of the many home owners’ association rules.
He knocked, wondering what kind of eccentric, blue-haired granny he’d find waiting on the other side.
A few seconds later the door flung open to reveal a very un-grandma-like individual. Her young, smooth cheeks and naturally blond hair were the last features he’d expected to greet him.
She looked him over for a moment, and he couldn’t help but stare as she did. Flour clung to her bright pink cheeks as well as the apron she wore over her shorts and T-shirt. A sloppy ponytail held her long, blond hair back away from her face, and her eyes shone with curiosity. “Umm, can I help you?”
He swallowed down the lump that was forming in his throat and put on his most pleasant smile. “Are you…” Luke searched the sheet in front of him for the correct name. “Deborah Rockwell?”
“Do I look like an eighty-year-old woman?” she asked flatly, then broke out into a big, boisterous laugh. “Deborah’s my grandmother. I’m Mandy, and I’d shake your hand but I’m kind of covered in flour and sticky goop right now. Will you accept a wave instead?”
As she waggled her fingers at him, he felt equal parts disappointed and relieved that he couldn't steal this small chance to make physical contact with her. If simply looking at her practically took all his breath away, what would happen if he were to touch her soft, glowing skin?
Glowing…? Oh, no.
His eyes shot down to her midsection, and saw a small but obvious bump. She couldn’t have been too far into her second trimester from the looks of it. He wanted to run away every bit as much as he wanted to sweep the beautiful stranger into his arms and carry her away with him. Instead, he just stood there staring slack-jawed and reading the text on her apron over and over again. Hot in the kitchen. Hotter in the bedroom.
She caught him staring and flushed even redder than before, embarrassment adding to the heat that had already permeated her cheeks. “Oh, ha. This is my grandma’s.” She tittered nervously and lifted the apron off over her head and balled it up in her hands. “Speaking of Grandma, she’s out for a walk, but she should be back any minute. Would you like to come in and wait?”
“Actually, yes, come with me.” She tugged him over the threshold, forgetting or no longer caring about the “flour and goop” that covered her hands and forearms. “I’m working on a new recipe, and I need a taste tester. You don’t mind, do you?”
Luke allowed himself to be pulled along, all the while wondering how quickly he could extricate himself from this situation. This attraction was wrong for so many reasons. First, she was pregnant, and he just couldn’t do with babies and all the vulnerability, all the memories that came with them. Second, she was pregnant, which likely also meant she was taken, probably married to boot. And then there was the simple fact that this was his time to start over, to learn a new profession, to make a new life—not to make a new relationship, a new family… a new mistake.
But then she sat him down at the counter and jabbed a spoon toward his mouth with a smile so big splashed upon her face that it couldn’t be anything but one hundred percent genuine. “Taste,” she ordered.
As soon as he parted his lips, she set the spoon into his mouth and unleashed a symphony of flavors on his tongue—citrus, vanilla, buttercream, and some other exotic hint he couldn’t quite identify. It was so delicious he had a hard time swallowing the bite, knowing there wouldn’t be another to follow it up with. He wanted to keep this sweetness on his tongue as long as he could, to fully enjoy it before letting it go.
Mandy’s eyes grew wider and wider the longer he went without saying anything. “Well?” she finally urged. “How is it?”
A gorgeous woman who could cook like an angel. That is, if cooking was something angels ever did up in heaven. Oh, he was in trouble. So, so much trouble.
“It’s good,” he said at last, finally swallowing the morsel. “Very good.”
Her face fell. “Only good? I can’t build an entire menu from good. I need great.”
“It is great. The best frosting I’ve ever had.”
“Honest?” Her blue eyes grew large as she awaited his follow-up assessment.
“Honest. Umm, could I maybe have some more?”
They laughed together, and it felt good—great.
“Sit down, and let me make you a plate.”
He looked down to the stool beneath him, then back up at Mandy. “Umm, I’m already sitting.”
“Right. Just a sec then.” She chuckled and shook her head as she marched toward the other side of the kitchen. A moment later, she plopped a shiny blue plate before him—with golden music notes painted around the edges. On that plate there was a napkin neatly folded in half and a large cupcake with extra frosting. She sat down beside him and took a long, slow drink of water from a half-empty Aquafina bottle.
He felt rude eating without her, but he also felt rude not digging in the moment she set the plate in front of him. After a brief hesitation, Luke asked, “Aren’t you going to have some, too?”
She snorted. “No, no. If I ate everything I baked, well…” She puffed out her cheeks and rolled her eyes. “Besides, it’s way more fun for me to watch you enjoy it.”
He took a huge bite, basking in the pop of flavor that danced across his tongue.
He nodded enthusiastically.
He gave her the thumbs up.
“Perfect. Now would you mind telling me who the heck you are?”
Get the Book
Sound like something you might want to read more of? She Will Be Loved is brand new as an eBook release and coming soon as an audiobook.
You can grab the eBook on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and I sure hope you will!
I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to discover new books and new authors. I'd also love to hear how you first discovered me!