My guess is that when you think of a romance novel, goats are not the first thing that come to mind. Faithful pooches or fluffy kitties, yes. Possibly a horse running across a field, mane and tail streaming in the breeze. But a goat? Not so much.
However, I never claimed to be a normal romance author. If you’ve read my Farm Fresh Romance series, you might have already suspected that. So when I decided to spin a new series from that one but set in Spokane, Washington, I had a good look at what’s already happening in that city in regards to food initiatives, in particular. And one of the first things I discovered is that Spokane allows backyard chickens and goats in some parts of the city.
Immediately the first scene of the first Urban Farm Fresh Romance, Secrets of Sunbeams played through my imagination:
Eden Andrusek stopped so suddenly the screen door slammed her backside. Where was Pansy? Eden shaded her eyes and glanced around the backyard. No way. She’d only been inside a minute.
“Pansy!” she yelled, jogging down the three steps to the barren yard. “Where are you?”
The answer seemed to be… nowhere. Eden’s gut clenched. No, no. No, no, no. This can’t be happening.
The gate at the side of the small house was definitely closed. The backyard was completely fenced with no hiding places. Except…
Eden’s pulse quickened at the sight of a vertical board in the side fence hanging slightly askew. She ran across the yard, nearly tripping over the metal bucket Pansy had been playing with, and pushed at the errant board. It swung aside. That was definitely enough room for the escape artist.
She crouched and peered through the gap into the neatly mowed lawn of the Victorian next door. A side table with a glass of something clear and red sat beside an empty deck chair facing…
The goat only glanced over as she chewed the paper dangling from her mouth.
“Drop it, Pansy!” Like that would help. Dogs might be trainable. Goats? Not so much. Eden yanked at the board, but she wasn’t as skinny as the Nigerian dwarf. No way was she fitting through that gap. And she definitely wasn’t going over the eight-foot fence without a ladder.
Eden dropped the board and bolted through her gate and around to the house next door. Man, they didn’t even have a side gate. She pounded on the door while jabbing the doorbell. Wasn’t there a new renter? Surely someone was home. Somebody had to have left the nearly-full glass out there, to say nothing of the papers.
The papers that were being devoured in present time.
She pounded again. “Let me in!”
No voice. No footsteps.
Eden twisted the doorknob, and it gave beneath her fingers. She hesitated for an instant. Should she do this? Was it breaking in if the door was unlocked? Maybe she should go back to her yard, grab a hammer and remove another board or two. That had to be better than entering someone’s house uninvited.
She pushed just a little further. Was there a clear path to the back door from here? Maybe she could scoot through with no one the wiser. After all, if someone were home, they’d surely have come to the door by now.
A set of patio doors was clearly visible past the dimly lit interior. On the other side, Pansy knocked the glass onto the deck chair and began to lap up the liquid.
To read the entire first chapter, click here.
About Secrets of Sunbeams:
Especially if your neighbor is a goat.
Eden Andrusek knows she should have fixed her fence last week. It’s too bad her runaway goat makes a less-than-ideal first impression on her new neighbor, who turns out to be cute, brilliant… and a little uptight.
Solar architect Jacob Riehl is furious when he returns outside to find a goat eating his presentation. As someone who likes everything in its place, he has little sympathy for a farm animal in the city or its tattooed owner, but there’s something about the lovely Eden that captures his attention.
What will it take to win over a man whose only pet was a goldfish? And how long can Jacob and Eden go without addressing the goat in the room?
Next month I’ll blog about the process of creating the cover for Secrets of Sunbeams. Meanwhile, above is a peek at the photo shoot my illustrator/cover designer held for reference images for the cover.
Secrets of Sunbeams will first release in Whispers of Love. If you haven’t checked it out or pre-ordered it yet, you will definitely want to. Twelve romance novels from Christian authors you love, and not a single one of these stories has ever been published before! Click here for more information and links to pre-order the collection on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks.
What is the most unusual pet or animal you’ve ever seen in a romance novel?