My name is Tate Sullivan, and I’m here to talk about how quickly things can change. It’s kind of shocking, really.
I’m the second-born in a family of four boys. Both my parents work for my grandfather’s hotel empire, although they divorced about fifteen years ago. My mother claimed my dad was a workaholic.
It’s not a lie.
She moved us boys to small-town Kansas, where she’d grown up in Gilead. You might have read about the place in some of the Easter in Gilead romances? Check out Her Unlikely Hero, about my buddy Connor – hey, I’m in that story, too…
What? Get back to the point? Okay, fine. The workaholic thing.
As we got older, Dad pulled us back to Chicago and the family business. Voila! An entire family of busy beavers. My older brother got married, and they had a baby. Even in just a couple of years, their relationship began to suffer under the same strain as our parents’ had.
Wally and Ashley decided to attend a marriage enrichment retreat, along with her sister and brother-in-law. The couple they’d named as guardians for their one-year-old son, Jamie.
And the helicopter went down, killing all four of them.
Excuse me a moment. I need to take a deep breath. It’s been… hard. Wally and I weren’t super close the past few years, but he was my brother, you know?
They’d left Jamie with his grandmother for the weekend. And now the weekend had no end. I went back to Gilead to help Mom, since I could log on and work from anywhere. She took the loss of her firstborn hard, as you might expect. And having a toddler in the house 24/7 was very challenging for her. (I took my evenings, since Jamie goes to bed early, and played Peter in Gilead’s passion play. But I’m not supposed to be talking about that all the time. )
So, I offered to take over with my nephew. I was kind of shocked when Mom said yes, to be honest, but I was up for it. The kid needed a break. So we did the whole legal guardian thing… and then Grandfather summoned my brothers, cousin, and me to Montana. Not back to Chicago where our corporate offices are.
Seems he’d bought a ranch. The previous two sets of owners had tried to turn this property into a resort (aka dude ranch) but ran out of money. Not a problem with Grandfather; he has deep pockets.
So I’m driving to Jewel Lake, Montana, and no one saw fit to warn me that a toddler could scream for two entire days because he doesn’t want to be buckled into his car seat.
And that’s when the NEXT big surprise happened. I was angling onto an off-ramp lane with Jamie shrieking in my ears, when…
Wait, what? I shouldn’t tell them?
Oh. Sorry, folks. That’s apparently in the first chapter of my novel, A Surprise Wedding for the Cowboy. You can read it there…
Pardon me? MY story? I’m no cowboy. I’m a city boy, office grunt in Grandfather’s hotel biz. Not only am I over all the surprises in my life, but a wedding is not going to be one of them.
Hey, did anyone see that author lady slip out of the room? Because I’m not sure if she heard me.
Everything hit all at once. Tate Sullivan became the guardian of his young nephew after his brother’s death, and now Grandfather has bought a failing guest ranch in Montana. Tate’s used to handling their hotel empire, but moving halfway across the country and learning an entirely new, rural business model is a challenge, especially with a toddler in tow.
Nice girls finish last… or that’s what it seems like to Stephanie Simpson when her ex-boyfriend, a pastor, proposes to a former bad girl. It’s not that Stephanie wants her ex to rethink his life choices, but would it be so wrong to move on as swiftly as he has? A quick wedding to that cute wannabe cowboy with the adorable toddler might get her what she wants. After all, it’s clear Tate needs a helping hand.
He’s a Christian, just like she is. What could possibly go wrong?
A Surprise Wedding for the Cowboy releases in August! Have you preordered your copy?
What about you? Have you had months or even years where it seemed like you were being hit by one curve ball after another? Want to talk about it?
Are you interested in reading A Surprise Wedding for the Cowboy? I’m offering two commenters an advanced reader copy (e-book only, worldwide). If you’d like to put your name in the hat, please comment before Wednesday, July 19. Winners will be notified and then announced in the Sunday Edition.
“Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.”