In Susan's 4th of July Fireworks, to be released June 11, the heroine Susan is fighting her own battle for independence. She's always followed the path her demanding but well-meaning father has set for her. After her mother deserted the family, Susan's grandmother told her to be good to her father because she is all he has left. From then on, Susan has been afraid of doing anything that would hurt her father. But as an adult she is becoming frustrated with her father's insistence on running her life.
When Susan's high school crush, Cal returns to town, it seems she might have a chance for happiness - until her father declares him off limits because he thinks Cal lacks ambition. Can Susan gain Cal's love without losing her father's?
Here's a sneak peek of Susan and Cal's first meeting after high school:
Cal Wensloff, the subject of her high school fantasies, stood in her doorway. Unprepared to meet him again after all these years, Susan stared at him dumbly. Over six feet of hard muscle, broad shoulders and that mischievous glint in those blue eyes that contradicted the farm boy “aw shucks” smile on his face.
“Hi Susan,” he said, his smile widening a bit for her. “Can I come in?”
“S-sure. In. I mean, come in.” So much for her cool, self reliant businesswoman image.
She stepped back so Cal could enter. His arm grazed hers and tingles flew up to her shoulder. She might as well be back in Mrs. Schlaeger’s home room, she told herself.
Suddenly Susan couldn’t remember if she’d combed her hair yet. And she wished she was wearing a suit and heels. She felt vulnerable in her bare feet.
Her father greeted Cal and he nodded in return. “Ready to go?” he asked.
“Not quite. Give me a couple of minutes.”
“Would you like some coffee, Cal?” There, she could speak in complete sentences. Cal had just caught her off guard, that was all. She was fine, Susan told herself.
“Sure, if it’s no trouble.”
She opened her cupboard and saw that she’d used the last mug on the lower shelf. Standing on tiptoes, she stretched up to reach the higher one.
“Let me get that for you.” Cal was suddenly right behind her, crowding her against the counter and reaching over her head to grab the mug. He rested one hand on her shoulder and his chest brushed her back. Instantly every nerve she had was on high alert and her heart fluttered in her chest.
See, she had come a long way since high school. If he’d touched her like this back then, someone would have had to mop her up off the floor and pour her into a bucket. Now, they’d probably only need a spatula.
If Susan's story interests you, you may also enjoy Orchard Hill Romances Keeping Faith and Enduring Hope.
Keeping Faith: School secretary Faith Fielding has been in love with her boss for years. She’s waiting for him to move beyond his late wife’s memory. But when he finally does ask someone out – and it’s not her – Faith decides she’s had enough and gives her notice. School principal Andrew Thomas can’t imagine life or work without loyal efficient Faith but he doesn’t understand why she’s quitting. Faith’s last day is the big end of school Memorial Day Picnic. Will Andrew figure out how to keep Faith by then or will she be gone for good?
Enduring Hope: Quiet, privacy loving phys ed. teacher Oliver Laurence is alarmed when he finds he's signed up for the same team that bouncy, outgoing librarian Hope Velasquez is on. He thinks she’s loud and pushy. She thinks he’s not a team player. Both want the Fourth of July Softball Tournament to be a success. Oliver wonders if he can endure Hope for that long. But when they discover that opposites attract, will Oliver and Hope set off a few fireworks of their own?