Many of you already read Cheri Allan’s books. But for those of you who haven’t. what are you waiting for? If you like my Christie Craig books, I know you’ll like Cheri’s books, too. And I’ve asked her here today as my guest.
Thanks, Christie, for letting me stop by! So, show of hands: how many of you out there believe in love at first sight? Did it happen for you that way, or were you more of a slow burn?
Romance writer that I am, I did not fall madly in love with my husband the moment I clapped eyes on him. It was more of a shrug of my shoulders, ‘he’s okay’ sort of deal. In my own defense, his hair was too long, he wore a ratty old concert t-shirt, and he was a microbiology major.I mean, he worked with petri dishes, people. What could we possibly have in common? But then we started talking. There was a spark. He wore his lab coat… Two decades, two kids and a houseful of animals later, I’m glad I didn’t let my first impression stop me from getting to know him better.
I actually love when characters fall for each other awkwardly and unevenly over time. It’s all well and good to be attracted to one another, but I prefer stories where the characters don’t mesh too perfectly, where they have to smooth each other’s rough edges a bit before they fit. Grace and Jeff from my latest novel, Deal Me In, are like that. It takes time to find the balance between her free-spirited nature and his straight-forward pragmatism. As teens, they fell for each other hard and fast–and just as quickly crashed and burned. Would that still hold true if they hadn’t met so young? Let’s pretend, for a little bit, that their history together doesn’t exist. What if Grace and Jeff meet as adults… speed dating? What would that be like, and would they still fall for each other? Let’s find out…
Grace: Hi, I’m Grace.
Grace: So, Jeff, what do you do for a living?
Jeff: I’m a police officer at Sugar Falls PD. You?
Grace: I own Currents,the gift shop downtown. I like to say I bring balance and inspiration to the ‘thinkers, dreamers and peace travelers of the world.’
Jeff: Huh. I’ve seen it. You should have the landlord install a motion-sensitive spotlight. That back alley isn’t well lit.
Grace: I’ll mention it to him. So… what’s your favorite color?
Jeff: That’s your next question?
Jeff: What’s wrong with orange? I never go hiking in the backwoods without it. I’m guessing you like pink.
Jeff: Red, huh? That’s not a very peaceful color.
Grace: Red is vibrant and full of life. Plus, I look good in red. Next question: what did you die of in your last life?
Grace: In your last life, how did you die?
Jeff: Murdered in my sleep by a crazy chick who believed in past lives?
Grace: Aw, you have a sense of humor! I like that. Me, I died of a broken heart.
Jeff: Of course you did. All right. Seeing as we’re asking theoff-beat question now, how do you like your steak? Rare, medium or well done?
Grace: I’m a vegetarian. But speaking of food, I could really go for some chili rellenos from that Mexican place out by Route 6 right about now. I missed lunch.
Jeff: Mmm. Can’t beat their beef enchiladas. Okay, if you were an animal what would you be?
Grace: I was going to ask that!
Jeff: Just answer the question.
Grace: A butterfly.
Jeff <frowning >: Butterfly? It has a life span of a gnat and can’t fly in the rain. Why would you want to be a butterfly?
Grace: They’re beautiful, and imagine how it would feel to be a butterfly. Like being a kite, only better. What would you be?
Jeff:An eagle.Like my tattoo.
Grace <leaning forward>: You have a tattoo? Can I see it?
Grace: Why not?
Jeff: Our time is almost up.
Grace: No, it’s not.
Jeff: Yeah, it is. Look at the clock.
Grace<waving a hand dismissively>: No. Our time is only beginning. My arms are tingly. It’s a sign.
Jeff:A sign? You’re a fruitcake, you know that?
Grace: We are so seeing each other again.
Jeff: That’s called stalking. There are laws against that.
Grace: It’s not stalking if we both want it.
Jeff: Who says we both want it?
Grace: The fact that you keep looking at my cleavage.
Jeff <clears throat>: That’s a stunning, ah, necklace.
Grace: Thank you. So, seven o’clock?
Jeff: For what?
Grace: Our date. Pick me up at my shop. I’ll wear red.
Grace:It’s my favorite color. Haven’t you been paying attention? Ooh! And can we eat dessert first? I love the Silver Birch Inn’s cranberry-orange cheesecake.
Jeff: How did you know I was thinking of the Inn?
Grace <shrugging>: I just know things sometimes.
Jeff: Really? What am I thinking right now?
Grace: That you can’t wait for our first kiss.
(Jeff didn’t answer, because he had been thinking about that. That and cheesecake.)
Jeff to himself as he leaves: She’s hot but she’s got crazy written all over her. This is going nowhere.
Grace to herself as she leaves: I am so going to marry that man.
DEAL ME IN
Despite three tours of duty and one heroic mountain-top rescue, Army veteran Jeff Dayton no longer dreams of a career in search-and-rescue. Two years ago, his politically-ambitious sister needed help spiffing up the family image to win a seat in the state senate, so Jeff returned home to Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to walk the straight-and-narrow and take a job as a small-town cop. Now his tattoos are covered, his rock-n-roll father is under wraps, and Jeff should be bored out of his mind… but he never figured on reconnecting with his free-spirited high school sweetheart, Grace McIntyre.
Grace and Jeff have managed to dance around their rocky past since he’s come back to Sugar Falls, but when they’re both assigned to the town’s Harvest Festival planning committee, their attraction sparks to life, igniting both old passions and burning regrets. New revelations help them see each other in a new light, but it takes a small-town festival calamity—complete with a llama petting zoo, a female empowerment “demonstration,” and Jeff’s rocker dad on the main stage—to force these two to let go of the past and find the strength to forgive. Because half the fun of the game of love is winning… and the other half is deciding to play.
DEAL ME IN BUY LINKS:
Barnes & Noble/Nook: http://bit.ly/1S0oh5L
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1maiUmv
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cheri Allan is an Amazon Romantic Comedy best-selling author of hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, five cats and an excessive amount of optimism (and pet hair.) Her ‘Betting on Romance’ novels have been nominated for both the Carolyn Readers Choice Award and the Golden Quill. Betting on romance… because every woman deserves to get lucky.
CHERI’S STALKER LINKS:
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I’m giving away 3 ecopies of Deal Me In to 3 people who leave a comment. You’re gonna love this book!
I got some great suggestions for weapons on last week’s blog. Things like a curling wand, snowglobe, cat poo, wasp spray, etc. But the winner is Becka Lynn with a Yankee Candle because it’s heavy and I could make a pun about it being a Yankee. Thanks, Becka Lynn! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me if you’d prefer an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.
iBooks is still featuring Divorced, Desperate and Dead through the month of February as part of their Love Is...feature. Divorced, Desperate and Dead is currently on sale at iBooks for $3.99! Don’t miss this sale. February is almost over!