Thursday, July 7, 2011
Great new release! Heart of a Hero
Matt Carrington escapes a terrorists’ prison while in the Army, but he has difficulty escaping the trappings of a demanding fiancé and his own parents. To get away to think, he meets pretty,girl-next-door Lauren Delaney, the kind of woman he desires. But his fiancé and his parents have other plans. They determine to have their way—no matter what Matt wants.
Lauren Delaney is an independent young woman who quickly befriends the soldier hero who comes to town. Knowing he has another life in Dallas, she holds a secret, too. But she pretends neither have a problem in order to have the summer with him.
During the long hot months, a hurricane almost destroys the town. Matt and Lauren work with a team to save as many residents as they can, and in the process fall deeply in love. When the danger is past, the two lovers suffer from their own lies and misunderstandings. Can they find peace and happiness without hurting others?
By eleven-thirty, Matt entered the River Café. He smiled when he saw his table with a reserved sign on it. He chuckled to himself, thinking she was going a little over-board, but it made him happy.
Lauren spotted him immediately and walked quickly to him, as though she had been waiting and feared another waitress would get to him first.
“Hello. Would a small table by the window be all right, sir?” she asked formally with the menu clutched to her chest.
Matt grinned. “I see it’s reserved for someone. Maybe I could just sit at the bar.”
“Oh, I think I can pull some strings and let you have it. The person who reserved it is so good-looking he’s probably out beating off the girls. May I seat you?”
Now, he laughed. “Yes, ma’am, pretty lady, you may,” he said in a whisper as he leaned toward her.He heard her suck in her breath a tiny bit. Maybe his nearness made her nervous, because she stumbled slightly as she turned toward the table.
“Would you like tea with lemon?” she asked with mock politeness.
He only nodded slowly at her, while he gazed into her eyes.
Lauren stared back and didn’t move for a moment.
“Be right back,” she said, but paused a beat before she walked away.
As soon as she left, a paunchy middle-aged man approached his table. “Hello, there, son. Name’s Leonard Elkins. You are Matthew Carrington, are you not?” He rocked back on the heels of his highly
polished dress shoes.
Warily, Matt studied the man in the striped dress shirt and blue pants held up by bright red suspenders. Without standing, he replied, “Yes, sir, I am.”
“May I sit for a moment while you wait for your drink?”
“Be my guest.” He didn’t want to be impolite, but he thought the man acted a little too impertinent.
“I’ll get right to the point, seeing as how I have a short lunch time today. Bonner has an Old Settler’s Day every year at the end of August. You know. Carnival, food booths, bands, and speeches. The Chamber of Commerce would like it if you would be part of our celebration and allow us to introduce you as a gen-u-ine hero. The introduction would come between...”
“Hold on, sir. I must decline. I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t do speeches, or...”
“You needn’t speak,” he interrupted, “if you don’t want to. Just let ’em see you. But we’d really like a speech. It would...”
“Here’s your tea.” Lauren stood so that her back turned slightly to Mr. Elkins. She gave Matt a regretful look and walked away.
“No,” Matt said firmly but politely. “I cannot. I will not. Please understand.”
“Well, I’m just not going to take ‘no’ for an answer,” he said, as he snapped his suspenders with his thumbs. “Consider this. As I see it, you’re somewhat obligated to help us out here. We paid your salary,
you know, when you were in the U.S. Army. Look at it that way. Taxpayers pick up the tab, so we’d appreciate it if you would give us a little in re-turn. We’re not asking much, mind you, only about fifteen minutes or so of your time. I’ll give you a couple of days to think it over. You’re staying out at Eleanor Carrington’s place, aren’t you?”
Matt stood and placed a twenty on the table, retrieved his ball cap, placed it on his head, and began to walk out.
“Now, see here, young man,” Leonard called after him. “I was only being neighborly, welcoming you to town. No need to get all riled up.”
Hearing this statement, Matt turned back around and towered over the short, stocky man.
“Sir, good day,” he said in a low voice. “And don’t ask me again. The answer is ‘no.’ It will remain no until hell freezes over.”
In an attempt to keep his emotions under control, he walked as sedately as he could out the door. “Damn, damn, damn,” he muttered as he moved down the sidewalk a few feet. His lunch with Lauren as his waitress was ruined. Not only did he not get to eat, the man prevented him from speaking with her. No way could he stay in there. “Damn!” he said once more for good measure.