I’ve got something fun in store for you today. Julie Anne Lindsey, author of sweet romance, has agreed to drop by and do a character interview. Sit back and enjoy this conversation with her newest heroine, Jillian Parker.
Jen! Thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog today! My second sweet romance novella, Love Blossoms, released last week and I’m all smiles. My heart never strays far from Honey Creek, the setting for a new Turquoise Morning Press imprint by the same name. I’d pack up and move there if it were possible. There’s something so enchanting about this little town. I know love is lurking under every apple tree and behind every guarded heart. It’s everywhere, just waiting to be discovered. Since I can’t live there, I thought Jillian Parker, my heroine would be the perfect person to tell you about her hometown.
Jillian, what’s your favorite part of living in Honey Creek? Easy. My ex-fiancé moved to Boston. Wait. No, not that. I’m sorry. That wasn’t nice. I’m not myself this week. My best friend’s little sister is getting married. Now I have a house full of groomsmen and an empty refrigerator. I run an inn. These guys eat more than half a football team, and they’re so loud. I’m used to quiet couples on a romantic weekend. What was the question?
Forget the question. Did you say groomsmen? Tell me more! There are five. All nice enough, though they take over my kitchen to play cards every night – loudly – till nearly dawn. They’re friends of the groom. Two he met in college. One grew up here with us, and one…is his wife’s cousin, Jackson.
I saw that. You blushed and did a little sigh thing. Now, I need to know about Jackson. Oh. *blushes* He’s, um, very nice. He’s a bit guarded, but I can’t say I’m not. He says he remembers me from when he lived here, but I don’t think he ever talked to me before. He was older, though, maybe I was too young to bother with. Then after high school, I was with Chase the Idiot. I’m sorry. That wasn’t nice either. I’m frazzled. There’s a wedding coming this week and I’m understaffed. Jackson helps me, but then I get too befuddled to know what I’m supposed to be doing when he’s around. Ugh.
You like him. What? No. I mean, of course. He’s a very nice guy. Helpful and considerate. He cooks too.
I bet he’s cute too. *blushes wildly*
What about Chase the Idiot? He’s not an idiot. It was mean to say. He just makes poor decisions. He’s probably going to get himself killed. When I think of how Jackson and I had to save him the other night…those guys were dangerous. One had a knife. Maybe he is an idiot.
My goodness! Are you okay? What happened? Jackson. *smile* He flattened all three of those creeps, tossed Chase’s sorry butt into the truck and took off. And he saved me from the winker.
The what now? Never mind. *shakes head* It was scary, but I felt safe. Does that make sense?
Not really. So you’re done with Chase? For sure? You two were engaged. That’s huge. Yep. We’re done.
So, what about Jackson? Jackson’s leaving in a week. He’s only in town for the wedding, and then he’ll be gone.
That’s so romantic. What are you going to do? *Shrugs* I don’t know.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet romantic read with a very happy ending, I hope you’ll visit Honey Creek. The sun is setting, bullfrogs are croaking and the crickets are singing, “Come on.” Sweet tea or hot cider. Fresh summer strawberries or crisp fall apples. You’ll find it there. And taking a trip to Honey Creek is as easy as Amazon : ) I hope to see you there!
Jillian thought she had everything she needed until Jackson walked through her door…
There’s a wedding coming to Honey Creek and the whole town’s preparing for the party. When Jillian Parker agreed to host a few groomsmen at her inn, she had no idea what she was getting into. One of those groomsmen is Jackson Tate, and he’s making her concentration completely impossible. He’s funny, fascinating, frustrating, and leaving in a week. Jillian does not have time for that level of distraction. With Jackson nearby, events to coordinate, a bride to please, and an ex-fiancé to dodge, her peaceful life’s getting crazy fast. With any luck, she’ll survive the week and put the whole thing behind her as soon as possible.
…But not if Jackson has anything to say about it.
“You used to cause quite a stir,” Jackson said into Jillian’s ear. “I bet you haven’t danced since you came home.”
Jillian smiled the demure smile she’d perfected long ago and slipped out into the night beside Danielle. A laugh split her friend’s face, and Danielle hollered into the night sky. Watermelon Crawl boomed from the truck speakers. An outrageous smile spread across Jillian’s face until her cheeks ached. Memories flooded over her, and she was instantly 10 years younger. Her muscles tingled, and the steps came back like a reflex to the sound of her friends’ laughter and the sight of embers floating in the night sky.
Her skirt swung left and right along with her toe. Material caught her thighs and infused her with energy. Beth’s squeal blasted out of the kitchen door, and she nearly took Jillian down dashing onto the dirt beside her.
Nothing mattered. How could anything matter?
The small troop of dancers stomped and turned in the firelight. Fireflies and golden embers floated and blinked against the deep navy blue sky. No walls contained them; no neighbors complained about the noise; no traffic sounds interrupted the cricket and bullfrog chorus. There was no more freedom on earth than she had right there. A round of clapping went up as the bodies slowed and ambled in place, laughing and congratulating one another. They still had it.
Giggles seasoned the air, and the music changed smoothly to another lifelong favorite. Fishin’ in the Dark . She thought of all the groomsmen planning to night fish before Mrs. Prattle’s punch kicked in the night before. In a flash, men and women sided up ready to twirl and swing in pairs. For a moment, Jillian stepped back to watch the couples, but a massive shadow blocked the light from the fire. Jackson hitched an eyebrow and nodded her way.
In the space of a heartbeat, the group was in motion, and so was she.
“You haven’t lost it, I suppose,” he said as their bodies came together.
She made the most of the time they were apart, enjoying his audience, strutting her stuff. When they met again she said, “You’ve noticed.”
“Honey, every man in town’s noticed.”
The couples began to swing, but Jillian found her body airborne. Like a feather in the wind, her feet swung left then right of Jackson’s hips. Clapping and hooting
ensued. No sooner was she grounded again than she began to twirl. The rush of endorphins and joy shot up from her feet to her hair, and her heart threatened to fly her
to the moon.
Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you’ll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.
You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile
Tweeting my crazy at @JulieALindsey
Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads
And other books by me on Amazon