I've pitched this novel to a couple of agents and more recently, an executive editor. The full manuscript has been requested. (Yay!) Even though the story is complete, as well as a sequel, I'm hitting it hard to make it perfect.
Here is a brief synopsis:
When Jessica inherits her grandparent's Longhorn ranch she also becomes the owner of her grandmother's romance novel hoard. Every book is initialed by her grandma. She wants nothing to do with men or romance and that includes those blasted books. One man volunteers to help donate the books and she ends up daring him to read a few, he ups the ante by daring other men, and soon the entire male population of Fortuna is obsessed with paperback love.
Joey is Jessica's ranch hand and sole employee, after her devastating assault his main goal is keeping her heart protected even if it's from him. When the fad, of acting out favorite heroes from the novels, hits, Joey decides to try it on Jessica. What he thinks backfired actually cracked the hard wall around Jessica's heart.
Fortuna will never be the same. A dirty minded prankster is running amuck. Men are getting arrested for getting caught acting out their heroes. Marriages are saved. Women are happy, and satisfied. Romance is looking good, thanks to Jessica's grandma. If only Jessica would give it a shot.
Here's a excerpt from The Double D:
The phone rang in Jessica’s pocket, she awoke, bolting upright, and fell off the chair onto scratchy hay. Hay? She blinked, willing her eyes to focus in the dark.
Her phone app chirped. Tied to the security system, it alerted her that the front door had opened. Grabbing the blinking device, she checked the time. 2:13 a.m. She yawned.
Who the heck visits at 2:13 in the morning? Visits? She groaned, “The Visitation.”
She sucked in a deep breath and jumped up with wide eyes and heart hammering. A good jolt of adrenalin worked just as well as a double espresso.
A thin beam of light split the darkness of the night, illuminating the edge of the loft door. After she’d brought her supplies to the barn hayloft, she cracked the rolling door open, hoping for a breeze to help nullify the stifling heat. From her perch, she spotted a small truck parked in the driveway. Her mouth went dry and she groped for the handle of the door to keep from losing her balance. She squinted trying to see who’s truck it belonged to. Both B.J. and Joey had similar makes and colors but she couldn’t tell in the dark. Wouldn’t that be something if the two of them came face to face in my bedroom… naked. She chuckled.
Leaving the door open, she resumed her seat and fished her tablet out of a bag. She tapped it to wake the device. Her fingers messed up the password three times before she could login. The barn’s wi-fi worked but the program loaded slowly.
No lights in the house yet. She sighed.
Back in the day, she’d brought a few boys up to the loft to make out. Regrettably, Joey turned out to be one. She’d been able to get away with things easier at her grandparents’ home because they had fewer ranch hands roaming around. Her dad would’ve skinned alive any boy caught locking lips with her. With a smile, she wondered what her father would do if he knew a man had entered her home with the goal of replicating a scene from a novel and whispering romantic intentions into her innocent, sleeping mind.
The tablet linked to the laptop computer which sat on the dresser. The small camera could see the foot of her bed and the door. She leaned forward and examined the hallway where a night light helped to illuminate the floor outside the room. It seemed normal.
She toggled to another camera that showed a black and white picture. The other device happened to be a baby monitor she’d used for a sickly calf that past spring. The small, square, black unit she had angled toward the king bed. She rigged it to look like a body rested under the quilt. For the ruse, she’d rolled up some towels for the legs and used decorative pillows for the rest.
A figure walked past the night light breaking the constant light and catching her eye. So far, the man shaped shadow remained a complete mystery. He didn’t appear to be naked.
She released a breath she didn’t recognize she’d been holding.
He paused in the doorway. She tried to zoom in, but the picture blurred. It took a while for him to move. Did he sense the hoax? When he stepped away from the door, she jumped nearly dropping the tablet. The bed shook like a body sat on it but she couldn’t see anything because of the pillows.
Hair appeared next to the dummy’s shoulder, then a face. She knew that face. Josiah Barnes. I can’t believe it. Her heart beat so fast she thought it might explode.
His lips moved but she couldn’t hear. She pressed on the volume control but it was already maxed. Either he spoke so low the small camera couldn’t detect it or the camera malfunctioned. Dammit, she wanted to hear.
He reached to touch her face but pulled back startled. With a grimace, he pushed the pillows off the bed and sat up.
Holy anaconda! He wore nothing but his birthday suit.
I hope you enjoy a taste of The Double D ranch. Hopefully you'll get to read the whole thing soon. In November I plan to start book 3 in the Fortuna series. Check back for updates.
Thanks for reading.