Today, I’m excited to bring you an interview and excerpt from A Semi-Sweet Summer by my friend Jan Elder. Jan Elder is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling relatable stories. She strives to write novels that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. She lives in Maryland with her beloved husband and two pampered cats.
EM: Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
Hunter: Hello. I’m Hunter Gray. Thanks for having me here today. The most notable thing about me, I guess, is that I’m a dairy farmer. My favorite cow is named Marigold. (Hunter laughs). I’m not sure how my new neighbor Cassidy feels about her, though. The cow has a habit of showing up on Cassidy’s property. Without an invitation.
EM: Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?
Hunter: I live in a sleepy little town called Crystal Falls. A slice of heaven, really, in the rolling hills of western Maryland.
EM: What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to reach your Happily-ever- after?
Hunter: I grew up on the farm and sort of took it over when Dad retired. I wanted to make it my own though and do it right. Got my agriculture and husbandry degree from The University of Maryland and I’ve worked hard to make it profitable. It’s hard though. My sister is tied to a wheelchair and she needs … extra consideration. Takes a lot of time, but I’m working on a
solution to that problem.
EM: Tell us about your special lady. What makes her special?
Hunter: What I really love about her is that she was willing to give me a second chance. Not everyone would do that, especially these days. She has so much love to give, but I gotta tell you it was hard to soften up that hard shell. In the end, it was oh so worth it.
EM: The first time you saw her, what did you think?
Hunter: What did you think the first time you saw your new next-door neighbor, Cassidy Cooper? Ooh la la. WOW!
EM: What was your second thought?
Hunter: Double WOW! (Hunter waggles his eyebrows).
EM: Did you like her immediately, or did she have to grow on you?
Hunter: You know that’s a great question. I was sure I’d seen that woman before, but I couldn’t place her. I kept asking her questions, tried to get her to talk, but to say she was “evasive” would be putting it mildly. The lady was downright secretive. But did she have to grow on me? No. I liked that feisty woman from the moment I saw her stamp her cute little foot at my cow.
EM: Let’s try a fun question. Who is your favorite fictional character?
Hunter: Okay, this might be a little on the silly side, but I’ve always been fond of Superman. Even had the pajamas when I was a kid. Do they make them for adults? I might have to check that out.
EM: Anything else you’d like to share with us before you have to go milk the cows?
Hunter: I’ve been teaching a Sunday morning Bible study class for the twenty-somethings in my church. The more I teach, the more I find myself going back to the basics. Always remember: “Jesus loves me, this I know.” That’s all you really need.
Thanks, Jan, for convincing Hunter to come and chat with us today!
Since Jan is one of my critique partners, I get to read all of her books before they’re published. It’s a beautiful thing. I really enjoyed A Semi-Sweet Summer. Here’s an excerpt…I think you’ll see why I found the book so fun!
Out of the corner of Cassidy’s eye, something huge and decidedly bovine moved over by her property line. “Hold up, Gabby.”
Her friend pulled up short and Cassidy stiff-legged it out of the car. She strode across the lawn, her heels sinking into clover with every step. When she was ten feet away from a mangled fence, she spied a man headed in her direction, picking his way across the field next door. His periwinkle-blue cotton shirt stretched across broad, muscular shoulders, his thick, dark-brown
hair was ruffled by the light breeze.
OK, he had nice, wide shoulders, but she had a damaged fence. She stepped closer. The oxford button-down fit him as if it was made for his fine physique. Her ex-boyfriend’s London tailor couldn’t have done any better.
Cassidy moved another step closer. The man’s chestnut-brown eyes, with a hint of copper, zeroed in on hers as he swiped an errant lock of hair off his forehead.
The blast from her past nearly slapped her to the ground. In high school, she’d pined for this man from afar. In her adolescent journal, she’d waxed lyrical about his many fine attributes. She’d lain awake countless nights dreaming of the dimples in his face, his broad chest…and his lips. And then, at the end of her sophomore year, he’d ruined it all. Her passion swung the other
direction—hatred for his despicable self.
Hunter whistled through his teeth, a slow smile gracing his lips. “Well, hello, neighbor.”
“Is that your animal on my lawn?” She knew a bovine when she saw one, and this one was impressive. Long, long legs, massive hooves, and…who knew cows could be so whopping enormous?
The cow turned dark, liquid eyes on Cassidy and she could swear the creature smirked. Wickedly. As if it were claiming the lawn as its own.
“Oh, you mean Marigold?”
He named his cows after flowers? “Yes. Why is Marigold on my lawn?”
“What can I say? She’s the adventurous type.” He pushed a hand through hair the color of brisk iced tea—that wavy, tousled hair. “Don’t worry. I’ll fix your fence.”
She screwed up her face until she found the semblance of a smile. “Fine. And I’d appreciate it if you’d get your cow off my turf. Now.”
Why wasn’t she over this stomach-clenching angst? She’d forgiven him years ago, so why did the rusty barb of humiliation pin her like a bug to a board? She smothered a sigh just as the recalcitrant cow lifted her tail and plopped a cow-pie on spring-
You can get your very own copy of A Semi-Sweet Summer on Amazon.
And you can connect with Jan on her:
Jan would like to give away two e-book copies of A Semi-Sweet Summer – so leave a comment and let her know what you’d do if you went outside to find your neighbor’s cow in your yard!