Hi, everyone. I thought it would be fun to walk you through a tour of my 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.
Make sure to grab your FREE copy on Kindle between May 4 and 8, and leave a comment on this post to enter for two signed books from yours truly!
Are you ready? Because this week's inside look is into You Belong with Me. This sweet romance tells the story of Charlie, Will, and two very special dogs, Rugby and Tuck. It belongs to my Cupid's Bow series, which weaves together a multigenerational family saga with stories set in the 1950s, 1980s, and today. You Belong with Me takes place in contemporary times and is set in one of my favorite places–Anchorage, Alaska.
Behind the Scenes
Dogs are the most wonderful, loyal creatures you will ever meet in your entire life. Sure, sometimes they destroy your favorite pillow, steal food from the counter, or even relieve themselves on your antique rug, but still I wouldn't trade my three dogs for the world.
The fact that so many of these lovely and loving animals are abandoned, abused, and put to sleep each and every day just saddens my heart. Thinking of inviting a canine companion into your home? I know it might be tempting to get that adorable purebred puppy, but please consider giving a rescue dog a second chance at life.
In You Belong with Me, Charlie impulsively adopts her Rottweiler, Rugby, because she couldn't stand the thought of him being put down. Although they had a difficult start, Rugby was eager to please her, once he understood how. He knew she was his savior—just as any rescue dog understands who's responsible for his new lease on life. If you're patient, a rescue dog will love you far past what you'd expect to be its capacity to love.
Will's dog, Tuck, is based on my own wonderful golden boy, Polo! I also have a Newfie, Crash, and a Pomeranian girl, Cricket. LOVE my dogs!
Another bit of inside scoop? This story is set in Anchorage, which is where my husband hails from. We now both live in Michigan, but still have family in Alaska, and love visiting any chance we get!
Hopefully these pictures I took of Polo and of Anchorage will help bring the story to life in a whole new way. Check them out and then read on for an excerpt from one of my favorite scenes!
Another ten minutes passed, and Will's heart clenched within his chest. Running over all the what-ifs in his head didn't help to pass the time. He decided to distract himself by attempting to count the blades of grass stretching out from beneath his feet. Somewhere around 593, Tuck let out a boisterous bark and jumped to his feet with a low whine.
Will jerked his head up just in time to see the giant Rottweiler bounding toward him. His heart swelled when Charlie slammed the car door and popped into view.
“Good boy. Go play,” he told Tuck, who continued to sit in place and whine until Will released him from his stay.
Then Will got to his feet and closed the small distance between him and the woman of his dreams. Gravel tore into the bottom of his sneakers, but he didn't care. All that mattered was she had come, she wanted him.
“Sorry I'm late,” she said, reaching to brush a stray curl aside.
He might have said, “It's okay. I'm just glad you came. Thank you for giving me another shot,” but he didn't need words in this moment. He needed Charlie's lips on his as quickly as possible. He pulled her in close and gave her a sweet, spirited kiss.
Never again did he want to fight with her. From now on, he'd only be fighting for her. And he'd give whatever it took to make things work. Oh, how desperately he wanted to make things work.
She brought her hands up to his chest and pushed him back. A small smile played at the corners of her lips. “Hey, none of that. You said we were starting over, and I don't think this is how we began our last time here.”
He laughed and shook his head. “You're right. You're right.”
“If memory serves, this is the part where you yell at me for letting Rugby run around off leash.”
“Right, then I jump into my lecture about the importance of the ‘heel' command.”
“And we go over to the trailhead.”
“Okay, so put your dog on his leash, and let's get to our training lessons.”
They called the dogs over and snapped them in for the hike.
“I'm ready, teacher. Show me what you got.”
Charlie snapped back on the leash. “Heel.”
Rugby immediately fell into place next to her side.
“Impressive.” Will smiled and bumped Charlie's shoulder with his own. How long would they have to play this game of starting over? While it was sweet, he'd come here to discuss their future, not their past.
He cleared his throat and stuck a hand in his pocket to keep himself from reaching out to her. “So, tell me, what do you do for a living?”
“Hey! That's my line.”
“We're starting over, which means I can work hard on making a good first impression this time, right?”
“Sure thing.” She choked back a giggle. “Well, I'm a high school English teacher. I love to share the joy of reading with others. Yada, yada. Travel. Adventure. If you want something, just do it.”
He nodded, removing his hand from his pocket and reaching out to grab Charlie's.
“Yup. Just like that.” She smiled and laced her fingers between his.
He pulled her toward him, raked his free hand through her curls, and crushed his lips to hers.
She inched away, her eyes sparkling as brightly as ever. “So we've already moved onto day number two, have we?”
“Yeah, and now we're at day number three.” He gave her another kiss.
“Uh-oh. Day three means….” This time, she kissed him, pressing into his chest and making her desire clear.
It took everything he had to pull away.
Get the Book
Sound like something you might want to read more of? You Belong with Me is currently available as an eBook or an audiobook.
Grab the audiobook at Audible, Amazon, or iTunes. Get the eBook FREE on Kindle from May 4-8!
Now it's your turn. Leave a comment below telling me about your pets. I'd also love to know what your favorite dog breed is!