Blurb: Tess Banyon has turned her brilliant recipe and crafting ideas into a multimedia empire. Landing her own TV show throws her into a panic. If she’s not careful, the public will discover she isn’t the domestic diva everyone thinks she is.
Investigative reporter Josh Faraday smells something smoking in Tess’s world. His goal to expose the real Tess goes into overdrive when she lands a television show deal. He secures an assignment to shadow her, reporting on her program, but what he’s really doing is getting dirt for his expose. Things get even stickier when Tess’s family play matchmaker. There’s no shortage of fire between them, and after an impulsive night together, Josh discovers a story he never expected–or bargained for.
Excerpt: Josh Redmond Faraday’s Little League baseball team was behind by six runs when it was Joey Murray’s turn at bat. The little boy looked over his shoulder at Josh. His pale face reflected his terror, and the groan of the other kids added to the pressure. Josh could relate. He’d been terrible at sports, too. That’s why he’d agreed when his best friend asked him to coach this Little League team. It was T-ball, and the kids were just learning, but to him it was more important that the boys and the two girls on the team learned confidence as well as skills.
“You can do it, Joey,” Josh said, walking over to clasp the little boy’s shoulder. “Just take your time, and wait for your pitch. When you see it coming, take a swing.”
Joey’s lips trembled for a minute, and then he said, “Coach Josh, I think I’m going to throw up.”
He squatted down to eye level to look at the chubby little boy in the too-big uniform. “I know how you feel. When I was a kid, I was the worst player on the team. I missed every time I tried to hit the ball.”
“I always miss.”
“It doesn’t matter if you miss. The important thing is you try your best. Will you do that for me?”
“Okay,” Joey said with a resigned shrug. He picked up his bat and stepped to the plate.
“You can do it,” Josh said as he backed up to join his best friend, Marty Logan.
“Think he’ll hit it this time?” Marty asked, leaning back against the fence.
“Man, I hope so. I’ve been working extra with him. The poor kid’s never even seen a baseball, much less tried to hit one.” Josh felt his stomach clench as Joey took a swing and a miss, and then another. “Shake it off, Joey. You can do it.”
The little boy set his jaw, took a better grip on the bat, and swung, this time connecting with the ball, which dribbled forward a few feet. Joey was so shocked he stood there staring at the ball instead of running, resulting in the other team’s catcher scooping up the ball and tagging Joey out. That’s when a parent started yelling his displeasure from the stands.
Josh glared up at the man who was commenting on Joey’s lack of ability. “Leave the kid alone. It’s not the World Series.”
He walked over to Joey. “Good hit, kid. I’m proud of you.”
“I’m still out,” Joey said, with a disgusted look.
He gave him a high five. “Doesn’t matter. You tried. That’s what counts.” Then he walked back to Marty. “Did you hear that guy yelling at the little kid? I’m going to write about parents who put too much pressure on kids at sporting games.”
“You are, or your alter ego, JR?”
He shrugged. “My column’s under JR’s byline.”
“When are you going to junk that idea and write as yourself? Aren’t you getting tired of the unknown journalist routine?”
“Yeah, sometimes I wish I’d never started it. But until I can get my other ideas off the ground, JR pays the rent.”
Marty nodded. “And from what I’ve seen, pays it pretty well.”
“That it does, but I earn every penny of it. I’ve worked my butt off to get where I am.”
“That’s not news, you’ve been doing that since we met in prep school.”
Josh watched as their team took the field for the last inning. “You know how it goes. Snooze you lose. Today, competition is worse than ever. Someone’s always snapping at my heels. I don’t have any choice but to go after what I want every way I can.”
Marty heaved away from the fence. “You’re your own worst enemy most of the time.”
“You should talk. I’m amazed you found a woman to put up with you,” Josh said, as they walked toward the team bench.
“Speaking of that, Liza has this friend who’s perfect for—”
“No deal,” Josh said, holding up his hands like a traffic cop. “Not after that last blind date. The woman almost had us married before dinner was over. I’ll damn well find my own woman, thanks.”
“I wish you’d hurry up so Liza will get off my back.” Marty looked toward the field. “Great. The other team just hit a home run. There goes the ballgame.”
Shaking his head, Josh said, “That’s seven in a row. At least they’re improving. This time we only lost by eight runs.” He chuckled. “I call that progress. I think we should celebrate. How about we take them out for pizza? My treat.”
“Anything to avoid cooking, huh?” Marty said, picking up the bag of bats.
“You got it. When I find my perfect woman, she’s going to look like an angel and cook like a dream.”
Available for purchase at: Amazon
Be sure to visit Meg at: Website