Life has been keeping me kind of busy lately, and I haven't had much time for blogging. But I did promise someone that I'd post an excerpt from Small Town Christmas here, so in keeping with that promise... (Maybe someday I'll get brave enough to post something from one of my works in progress...)
“So you’re divorced.”
“Yep.” Tucker forced himself to sound okay with it. He wasn’t bitter and they struggled to keep things amicable, but it wasn’t the way he’d imagined his girls would grow up. “How about you? Ever been married?”
“Only to my job.”
“Your mother and grandmother tell me you’re really making a name for yourself.” He began to scoop the cooked pumpkin from the shell with a large spoon.
“I like to think so.”
The words hung in the air, the silence that followed them awkward, as though they’d run out of conversation. He finally decided to ask the question foremost on his mind. “So are you seeing anyone?”
“No one special.”
Unable to keep from grinning at that news, he met her gaze as he placed the mashed pumpkin in the colander. “Why not?”
“The last guy I was involved with… well, his definition of ‘separated’ vastly differed from mine.”
He chuckled. “Well, I’m divorced for real. Nothing ‘almost’ or ‘separated’ about it. It was finalized a few months ago.”
“I—I’m sorry, Tucker. Was she from around here?”
“But it didn’t work out.”
“Ultimately, we wanted different things.” He picked up his wine glass, hoping a swig would wash down the sudden bitter taste in his mouth.
“Such as?” She stepped past him and took up the spoon, scraping the pumpkin from the other shell as he had. For a moment the warmth of her body, the sweet fragrant smell of her, the sight of her slender feminine hands as she worked stalled all coherent thought.
She looked up at him, brown eyes soft with interest. Oh yes, he remembered that look. He’d always been able to talk easily with Holly, had always had the sense she truly listened.
“Uh…well.” He pulled in a deep breath. “All Kim was focused on was a bigger house, a newer car. Acquiring more stuff.”
“And you don’t like nice things?” She glanced up at him again, then brought her thumb to her mouth to suck off a bit of pumpkin that clung to it. “Eeew, that’s awful.”
“It doesn’t taste very good without the spices.” He took up a kitchen towel to dab off her hand. He did it without thinking, capturing her hand in the towel. Something arced between them – or was it just him?
“I…” she said, her voice sounding hoarse.
He inched closer, unable to keep his gaze from slipping to her lips. “What?”
“I …need my hand back to finish this.”
Small Town Christmas is available in both print and e-format.