by January Bain
GENRE: Sweet romance
Follow your heart to Sweetwater
Daisey Winslow loves her small town of Sweetwater, but wonders how she’d fare living and working in a big city. Just as she’s decided to take a job in New York, along comes Deputy Sheriff Jack Samson.
Her polar opposite, Jack left the mean streets to return to Sweetwater’s peace and quiet, ready to find that special someone and raise a family, and the more time Daisey spends with him, the calmer her itchy feet get and the duller the big-city lights shine.
When she comes across the diary of her seven-times-great grandmother, reading her poignant words with the simple message, follow your heart, make Daisey question her decisions.
But Daisey’s not quite ready to give up on her dreams before she’s even started living them, however…what if the dashing lawman can fill her head—and her heart—with different, closer-to-home desires? Ones they can share?
Readers of Jenny Hale, Carolyn Brown, and Susan Mallery will love this fun, flirty, poignant, and feel-good small-town romance.
Al Lowe’s my boss at The Sweetwater Times, where I’m a virtual slave. All right, it’s self-imposed, because I love my town and the salt of the earth people who I’m grateful to have as neighbors, but everything tends to stay the same in Sweetwater, while I dream of making it in New York City. Not that I regret for one second staying home to be here for Grandma’s last few months, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat for anyone in my family, but there’s a drive inside me I cannot explain that pushes me to do my best. Make my mark on the world. Earn the praise of my family, and my mother. Especially my mother.
My cousin Rose put the phone down and gave me her full attention. She’s two years older than me, has a pretty pixie haircut and bright brown eyes. She gave me that look. The one that said, “Do you realize how lucky you are?”
Of course, a look was never enough. Good thing I loved her like she was my own sister. “Daisey Winslow,” she lectured, “a gal with your talent and drive, you’re going to have it all no matter where you do it or where you go. Just make darn sure it’s what you really want. The big city can swallow a person up whole. Remember the old adage, be careful what—”
“You wish for,” I finished and looked away, checking out Main Street. Tim McMann, our town handy guy, was setting up a ladder near a light standard, unrolling the banner for the annual Sweetwater Rodeo scheduled to start today and overlap with the wagon train affair.
For a small town, we sure do have a lot of things scheduled. Last I checked there were only one thousand, four hundred and eighty-one of us to do all the various jobs such occasions created and attend said events. Don’t get me started on Christmas. The town goes all out, becoming the destination point for hundreds of miles around. We provide everything from toboggan races to gingerbread contests to the Christmas Pageant, and the biggie, the Sweetwater Festival of Lights. The town council and fellow Sweetwaterites pretty much dictate the rule of “decorate your home or business or be lumped in with Ebenezer Scrooge before he found his muse.” I grinned. That even rhymed.
I do, however, have one of the easier tasks—reporting for The Sweetwater Times. I take pride in doing my job to the best of my abilities. There was, though, this one time I’d been egged on by my mischievous grandma to write a funny slant to a crop circle story about aliens having done the deed, and that’s enough said about that.
“It’s a nice piece of land.” Rose’s words pulled me back to the moment. “You’ll soon be able to offload it when the time comes. The year’s almost up. What’s a few more weeks?”
Grandma had willed me a beautiful, pristine property on the banks of the Red River, a few streets over from downtown Sweetwater. Sure, it was valuable, prime real estate and coveted by a few developers including a green group who wanted it handed over to them for a dollar or preferably less. Grandma’s express wish was I not sell it or leave town for one full year. A part of me was glad for the wait. Everyone had been so broken up after she’d passed.
My heart gave a little surge though, imagining having the funds from the sale to start my new life. Al pays peanuts. Almost an unpaid apprenticeship, but he does his best. I’m well aware small-town newspapers are a dying breed, existing on proverbial shoestrings. I’ve learned so much from Al, a real, old-fashioned newspaper man, and I would be forever grateful. Really, I should be paying him, not a fact I’m likely to be sharing with him any time soon. He’d take me up on it.
“But I’ll be twenty-five!” I whined to Rose. “A quarter century. If I don’t get out soon, I’ll get stuck here.”
“A whole quarter of a century? Bit dramatic, Daisey,” Rose said with a half-smile. She topped up our coffees from the thermal pot she prepared for us each morning before opening the café. We’d been best friends since early childhood, apart from a few skirmishes over boys. I always let her win. I had no intention of staying in Sweetwater, so why not?
In point of fact, I avoided the opposite sex. I didn’t need complications, but I loved this ritual, a quiet break when the day held limitless promise. I admit, I’d miss it something awful when I finally got my golden ticket out of Sweetwater. Give up on my dreams? No way.
I hadn’t taken all those online college courses and graduated with honors in creative writing and completed a minor in sixteenth century history for nothing. Someday I’m going to be a historical romance author and a background in history will help. For now, I wanted to experience real life firsthand, stride through this century and prove myself. To be somebody other than a sister, friend, cousin, daughter or maybe wife one day. To make it on my own, to be known as “the brilliant New York writer.”…”
Oh, well, maybe “brilliant” was a bit of a stretch any time soon, but I intended to compete straight up with the best writers out there. I mean, how can you know if you’re any good with a whole town supporting your efforts? I willed away a stab of guilt at the disloyal thought. I know I’m lucky, but is it so wrong to want more? Even if it tears you up inside? That must be the price one pays, right?
“These next two weeks will cut into all my getting-ahead writing time. I’ve been working on some new ideas.”
Sure, there was fun to be had here. The bull riding with all the hot riders was to die for, though, greased pig racing—not a big fan. Wouldn’t you know it? That unsavory event was scheduled before I could make my getaway in a covered wagon.
Movement on the street caught my attention and I squinted through the freshly squeegeed glass. The sun had risen high enough to glint off the sidewalk, causing pinpoints of lights to dance in my vision. I shielded my eyes with the back of my hand.
A tall man in a sheriff’s department uniform stalked, all long legs and confidence, along the sidewalk on the far side of the street. He knew how to wear a Stetson—tilted at exactly the perfect angle. He strode past the hardware store’s display of terra cotta paving stones in fancy shapes and patterns, the flower shop with its bow window filled with bouquets of fresh-cut petunias and marigolds, and over to the high ladder Tim was just now climbing.
I snapped my jaw shut. “Who is that?” I asked, unable to draw my gaze from the view outside the window, my mind already working on an item for this week’s page two headline. I’d need a photo as well, with the title, “New Man About Town.”
And my carefully composed article—Hearts are guaranteed to be aflutter in Sweetwater every time the new walking advertisement for how to properly wear a western hat parades down the street.
Yummy details to follow.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
January Bain loves being a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life since she taught herself to read as a child. The story you now have in your hands is a very special novel that comes from the heart. She hopes to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination as they do hers.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.
If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…
Blog Address - http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter Name – https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Any other social media -
Buy links for Sweetwater:
Champagne Book Group: https://champagnebooks.com/store/coming-soon/966-sweetwater-promise-9781957228235.html
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
January Bain will be awarding a $35 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.