As one who loves almost everything Irish, I love this time of year. Outside, our plants and lawn are greening. Birds are nesting. Spring is a time of renewal and hope. Our place isn't as green as Ireland, but things are pretty nice even here in North Central Texas.
|March is Irish American|
|Downtown Lubbock, Texas|
Although my family weren’t among those who founded Lubbock or other towns nearby, my hodge-podge ancestry includes many Scot-Irish, and that gives me added reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. As if I need a reason!
|Derek's Sister will|
find him in book two
Derek Corrigan is a true hero. The victim of an abusive father, Derek was adopted at age eight by Sam and Maggie Warren. The Warrens were wonderful parents who loved and encouraged Derek until he excelled at everything he did...with one exception. Women! Derek’s wonderful gift for business failed him with women. In HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME, Derek is a widower with two small children who are his life’s focus. Meg is five and Warren is eight. Although Derek is involved in numerous investments, he considers himself a rancher. Remembering desperation all too well, he uses his wealth and time to give back to those in need, especially his neighbors. He designed and built a gorgeous Spanish-style house across the road from Sam Warren's Georgian-styled ranch home in which he’d grown up.
Courtney Madison is worthy of being called heroine. She is all about helping others and earning respect. Her policeman father died when she was eleven, only a year after her brother Jimmy was born. Courtney’s mom was ill-equipped to earn a living, and the family struggled. Then, when Courtney began junior high, her mom was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and declined until she soon was unable to work. Courtney picked up the slack by working at an Baker's Books, independent Dallas bookstore, after school. When her mom died, Courtney became Jimmy’s guardian. As the book opens, Courtney is manager of the store, but a new chain store has opened nearby and tanked the independent store’s sales. In an attempt to hold on to his investment, Mr. Baker is coming out of retirement and Courtney and her assistant manager are out of a job. In addition, her formerly sweet brother has become surly and hangs out with a rough crowd. She’s buried under a mountain of hospital bills from her mom’s care, looking for a new job, and confronting her brother’s new attitude. Desperate and barely holding on to a fraying rope, she wonders how or if she can recover and retain Jimmy's guardianship.
Enter Sam Warren, Derek’s adopted dad--or at least Sam's Last Will and Testament. When Sam was hospitalized in Dallas across the room from their mom, he met Courtney and Jimmy. After Sam went home, he corresponded with Courtney. Poor Sam remembered Courtney with a sizable legacy.
|Sam left Courtney|
a pot of gold.
|Available in Print or E-book|
And here’s an excerpt from the opening of HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME:
Courtney Madison rushed down the main aisle of Baker’s Books. Warmth enveloped her, a welcome change from the freezing Dallas weather outside. She was hurrying toward her office at the back of the store when a man stepped from the mystery section. Their collision knocked off his western hat and a stack of books from his hands.
“I’m so sorry.” She leaned over to retrieve his things.
“My fault. Let me help.” He bent and grabbed the Stetson.
Her head collided with his and her purse slid from her grasp. Pain radiated across her scalp. She’d be sure to have a bump tomorrow.
Both straightened and stepped back.
She stared at the books she’d knocked from his arms. “How could I have been so clumsy? You must be wondering what’s keeping the rest of the Three Stooges…” When she raised her head, her sentence trailed away.
Cobalt blue eyes met her gaze. He stood a good seven inches taller than she, which put him at about three inches over six feet. A deep tan with crinkled lines at the corner of each eye suggested a man at home in wind and weather. The white line of a scar on one cheek and a tiny crook in his nose added ruggedness to his otherwise breathtaking good looks. Close your mouth before you drool on him.
When she knelt again to retrieve the half dozen or so books he’d dropped, he bent to help, his large tanned hands making short work of the task. A unique scent teased her nostrils, a blend of subtle woodsy toiletries.
He leaned nearer, speaking low. “I thought tornado season started in March, not January.”
A smile spread across his face and created a twinkle in his gorgeous eyes. She knew he meant her, but after an upsetting meeting with her brother’s school counselor this afternoon, combined with her formerly sweet brother’s recent behavior changes, she felt as if she’d been sucked into the vortex of a tornado herself.
Her face heated in a blush. “Speaking in defense of this particular tornado—” she pointed to herself “—I was whirling along nicely until I hit your brick wall.” She pointed to his broad chest and smiled.
He swept up her purse and offered it to her as he rose. She recognized sparks of interest in his twinkling eyes.
“Thanks.” Courtney stood and slid the bag’s strap over her shoulder. Something about him tugged at her memory, but surely she’d recall meeting a man this attractive.
He shifted his reclaimed stack of mysteries and his hat while he gave her an appraising look. The twinkle in his eyes faded and his brows knit. “Are you Courtney Madison?”
Perplexed he knew her name, she nodded, but still couldn’t place him. “Have we met somewhere?”
When he held out his right hand, his smile was polite but cool. “I’m Derek Corrigan.”
“Of course, Sam Warren’s son. Sam showed me photos of you and your children.” She took his warm hand in hers, making her wish she’d worn gloves on her errand. “I was so sorry I couldn’t attend Sam’s funeral.”
Her throat closed and she fought the tears that gathered in her eyes at the mention of Sam’s name. Sighing, she patted their clasped right hands with her left. “And I’m so sorry you lost Sam. Even though you kept your birth name, I know he was your father in all the ways that count.”
“That he was.” His voice grew gravelly. “Appreciated your note and the flowers.”
She smiled up at him. “I’ve missed hearing from him. He was such a dear man.”
He eased his fingers from hers and looked around. “Is there somewhere we could speak in private?”
Embarrassed she’d held his hand for so long, Courtney also became aware that the only other customer in the store now inched closer, obviously eavesdropping. “Let’s go to my office, shall we?”
Here’s the trailer for HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME:
The buy link for print or e-book copies of HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME is www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online stores.
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These things I warmly wish for you-
Someone to love,
Some work to do,
A bit O' sun,
A bit O' cheer,
And a guardian angel always near.
May you always have these blessings--
A soft breeze when the summer comes
A warm fireside in winter
And always--the warm soft smile of a friend.