Zane: (shifting awkwardly in his seat): Uh, hi.
Valerie: You have a rather unique job. Would you like to tell our readers about it?
Zane: Sure. It’s my responsibility to find a variety of activities for the residents of Retro Village — a care home for seniors — to participate in every week in Arcadia Valley, Idaho. If we’re off-site, I drive the handi-bus and oversee the activity. It’s challenging because the residents have wildly different interests as well as capabilities and personalities.
Valerie: Interesting! What kinds of activities are we talking here?
Zane: Some of your readers might remember Blake Taylor from On Board for Romance by Annalisa Daughety? He’s the guy who runs the pet therapy program here. So that’s one thing. Also there’s Bingo, and carpet bowling from wheelchairs, and swimming and knitting. But my supervisor is applying pressure for me to find more activities to get more residents involved. He’s threatening to cut my position if I can’t prove my worth.
Valerie: Oh, no. That stinks. Do you have other interests, or other job possibilities?
Zane: I, uh, I have this problem that makes getting good employment difficult. So, I’m focused on making myself indispensable at my current job. Have you heard of the Grace Greenhouse project?
Valerie: Isn’t that the living trust Grace Fellowship is operating on the old Akers property? With the two abandoned greenhouses?
Zane: Yes, but if you haven’t visited Arcadia Valley recently, you may be surprised at what a busy place that property is. Not only are they growing tons of food for the local food cupboard (Sprouts of Love), there’s also a daycare and after-school program on-site, too (Rooted in Love). I had this idea of seeing if we could do something there with our residents, since elderly Clarence Akers used to own those greenhouses, and he misses getting his hands in the dirt desperately.
Valerie: He also has a lovely granddaughter. Single, I believe.
Valerie: But, what? Did she agree?
Zane: No. I totally blew that. I mean, she manages a bookstore.
Valerie: How is that a problem? It sounds like a perfectly respectable occupation to me.
Zane: I don’t… I don’t read. When I went into Page Turners, it felt like all those bookcases were going to fall on me. Attack me. Smother me.
Valerie:Hmm, that is a problem. Kenia is an avid reader. She lives and breathes books.
Zane: I know. I’m not in her league. Please… please don’t tell her why I don’t read.
Valerie: Tell me more.
Zane: No, I’ve said too much already. She might be a bit attracted to me, even though she turned me down the first time, but she just broke up with Jonah Baxter (Donuts & Daydreams by Elizabeth Maddrey), so she’s on the rebound. Or maybe I’m her rebellious phase. I’m not sure, but it can’t last. I mean, have you met her? She’s absolutely confident and gorgeous. Did I mention gorgeous? Because she’s gorgeous. And a woman like her would never be interested in a loser like me, long-term.
Valerie: I think you’re selling yourself short. You have a lot of talents, too. And you’re (ahem) not so bad-looking yourself. Besides, you’re a follower of Jesus, just like Kenia. You have a lot in common with her.
Zane: You really think so? Never mind. It would never work, not once she knows my secret. If she even believed me. No one else ever did, when I was a kid in school.
Valerie: I’ve got a little advice for you.
Zane: That makes me nervous.
Valerie:Just pray about it, okay? Pray about the right time to tell Kenia. Because maybe — just maybe — whatever your big revelation is won’t faze her a bit. Maybe she loves you, and nothing else matters.
Zane: I just… I’m not sure.
About Harvest of Love
Hot on the heels of a failed relationship, Kenia Akers focuses on her bookstore along with granting her aging grandfather’s desperate desire to get his hands in the dirt through a program at Grace Greenhouse. Reminding herself she’s on the rebound isn’t enough to keep her from falling for the hunky activities coordinator from Granddad’s facility.
Zane Russell is amazed that the fun-loving, pretty bookstore owner is attracted to him, a guy who’s not even in her league. As their relationship deepens, he avoids explaining why he seems allergic to books. Admitting his failures has never been a good move in the past.
Will they find a way to let openness, trust, and acceptance blossom into a harvest of love?
Harvest of Love is now up for pre-order on Kindle, and is coming soon on Kobo, Nook, Google Play, and iBooks. Please click here for links and more information.