I’m so excited to tell you about a new collection that I have a novella in. I’ve only done one other collection, and it was quite a bit different than this one. In this collection each of the books have a reunion theme. My characters knew one another in high school.
My contribution to the set is Designed with Love. Here is the back cover blurb.
To save her fledgling landscape business, Jessie Morgan is determined to win an important design competition–even though her major competitors are ex-fiancé Brendon Jacobs and one-time best friend Scott Meyers. Tensions are high in the quaint town of Silver Springs, Oregon as neighbors and friends take sides. Will Brendon drive Jessie and Scott farther apart, or will they join forces…and find love in the process?
Here is a little background about this story. We have a small town called Silverton here in Oregon. It is the home of the Oregon Gardens, pictured at left and below, which I have mentioned here once before. It is also near Silver Creek Falls. I thought it would be the perfect town to set my book, but in this case I wanted a fictional town, so I used a play on words and came up with Silver Springs, Oregon.
My characters are garden nuts. They love to design and implement their ideas, but they have one huge problem–money. They must earn a living, and the competition in Silver Falls is undercutting their profits. When Jessie sees an ad for a landscaping contest she believes this is the answer to all her problems, but it creates a whole new set of issues. Here is a snippet from the opening of the book.
JESSIE MORGAN PAUSED AS SHE SCROLLED down the computer screen. Her heart rate kicked into double time. The TV show “Fresh and Fantastic” was holding a landscape design competition. The grand prize was fifteen thousand dollars and a television show development deal. The runner up received ten thousand dollars minus the TV show.
“Yes!” With the prize money she’d be able to keep her business afloat. She quickly printed the entry form and rushed down the stairs of her childhood home. “Mom.” She waved the paper. “This is it. This is my ticket to financial freedom.” Mom had lectured her on the topic repeatedly since she’d moved back home three months ago.
Her mother pulled a tray of gluten free chocolate chip cookies from the oven. “What are you talking about?” She placed the pan on the butcher-block counter.
“You know business hasn’t been great, thanks to Brendon Jacobs.”
Mom nodded and held out the spatula. “Cookie? I think I finally nailed the recipe.”
“Sure. Thanks.” Jessie bit into the warm, gooey delight. “Yep. This is good.” All those months of sampling recipes finally paid off.
A movement in the front yard caught her eyes. She leaned across the sink and looked out the window. “Why is Scott mowing our lawn?” Her friend of long ago had followed his dream to be a landscaper too, but they hadn’t spoken much in recent years. Their friendship fizzled back in high school when she’d started dating Brendon Jacobs, and they’d not been close since.
Crossing her arms, she turned to face her mother. “I told you I would take care of the lawn. Don’t you realize he’s the competition, and it doesn’t make me look good when my own mother hires my competitor?”
“I understand. But I was talking to Scott’s mom the other day, and she told me he’s desperate for business. Scott is such a nice boy. I wanted to do my part to help him.”
“’What about helping your own daughter?”
Mom raised a perfectly manicured brow. “Does free room and board count as nothing?”
“Sorry. You’re right, and I appreciate that you let me move back home. It’s just that Scott is my rival.”
Mom scooped dough onto the cookie sheet. “If the two of you would join forces—”
“Don’t say it.” Mom had been on her case for months to talk with Scott about merging their businesses. But she didn’t understand their history. Scott turned his back on their friendship. She couldn’t have a partnership with someone like that.~
I had so much fun writing this story! If you’d like to check out the other books in the collection here is the link.
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Do any of you enjoy gardening? I must admit, I love a pretty yard, but I’m not one to work in the yard. It messes with my back in a very bad way, and I have horrible allergies. So gardening is not my thing–I wish I could do it though. I love pretty things and would have so much fun planting a flower garden. I did plant some wave petunias along my front porch. They have yet to grow a lot, but it’s still early.
What about you? What is your favorite flower or type of landscape? My house backs up to woods, so we have a woodland landscape in back. As far as enjoying gardening, I’d say I have a love/hate relationship with it. :)