As young children, the Finnegan sisters' father came home from Desert Storm in a wheelchair, and their mother walked out on them three months later. Middle sister Emily has never overcome her fear of abandonment. Annie, the eldest, became the nurturer, always looking out for her little sisters. CJ, the baby of the family, has always thrived on being the center of attention. Three sisters, three stories.
These stories are set in the fictional town of Riverton, Wisconsin. To learn all about Riverton, I hope you'll check out my April post here on the blog—“Making Stuff Up."
Sleepy little Riverton isn’t home to (m)any bachelors but the sisters can't imagine living anywhere else, so they settle for being single. Then a tough Chicago cop becomes the town’s chief of police, a dedicated doctor returns to take over the clinic, and an injured Texas cowboy, back stateside from two tours in Afghanistan, comes to town seeking solitude. And suddenly Riverton isn’t so sleepy.
To Catch a Wife is middle sister Emily's story.
Here’s the back cover blurb for To Catch a Wife:
He'll prove he's back for good
Detective Jack Evans will keep proposing as many times as it takes. He never expected to come home to Riverton, Wisconsin, let alone to find himself lost in a night of passion with reporter Emily Finnegan—and he gets an even bigger surprise when he finds out she's pregnant. Now he's determined to marry the beautiful brunette. It took a world-shaking surprise to make him realize what was missing in his life. But Emily has been hurt before and isn't convinced his desire to marry her is about love. He'll do whatever it takes to prove his heart is hers…for as long as they both shall live.I'd also like to share snippets from two of my favorite scenes in this book because I think they dovetail nicely with one another and with the blurb.
Scene One [hero finds out heroine is pregnant]
“We’ll get married,” he blurted. “Right away, as soon as you want.” The declaration caught him completely off guard.Scene Two [that evening over dinner]:
Emily gaped at him. “Married? Are you out of your mind?”
“What did you expect me to say?”
Emily sprang to her feet. “I don’t know. ‘How did this happen?’ ‘What are you going to do about it?’”
He couldn’t help himself. He grinned. “I know how it happened. I was there, remember?” Then he sobered. Why would she think he would ask what she was going to do about it? Unless…no. He moved toward her, but she ducked out of reach.
Okay, not exactly the response he would have liked.
“Are you planning to do something about it?” he asked.
She nodded. “Have it, raise it.”
Her declaration was meant to be defiant, but it had him breathing a little better. She might not make this easy, but he had to do the right thing.
“Okay, then. We’ll raise it together.”
“Right.” Emily rolled her beautiful brown eyes. “That’ll be easy for two parents who live three hundred miles apart. Easy, until the next big case comes along, and you forget all about us for months on end. Yeah, that’s going to work.”
“Come on, Emily. I’m sorry I didn’t call. I know you think I’m a thoughtless jerk, but I’m not. Give me a chance to prove it.”
“And how do you plan to do that?”
He couldn’t believe he was about to say what he was about to say. “We’ll get married. You can move to Chicago. I’ll take care of you and the baby and…”
Horrified didn’t come close to describing her expression.
“What?” he asked.
“Oh, gee. Let me see. There is no way I’m moving to Chicago, and we hardly know one another, so I am not going to marry you.”
“Emily, we’ve known each other for years.”
“We’ve been acquainted for years. Big difference.”
“They’re basically the same things.”
“All right then,” she said, offering up a challenge. “What’s my favorite color?”
He looked her up and down, as though her wardrobe might offer up a clue. “Yellow?”
“What’s my middle name?”
Hmm. Should he know this?
Emily pounced on a slice of warm focaccia, swirled it through the oil and savored the crunch of rosemary and coarsely ground salt as she bit into it.I also had a lot of fun creating secondary characters for this book, and one of my favorites is a retired high school English teacher—Mable Potter. She's taught generations of Rivertonians, including the hero and heroine. She now lives alone with her scallywag of a mutt called Banjo. The title of this book is a play on To Catch a Thief and, well, what can I say? Mable Potter and her dog just might be involved. While I was writing those scenes, I imagined Banjo looking exactly like this.
“I’m so hungry, I could eat a house,” she said.
Jack laughed. “I thought the saying was, ‘I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.’”
“My sister CJ always flipped out when anyone said that, so my dad changed it to house. I know it doesn’t make sense. Eating a whole house is just silly, but we were all little, and we never really gave it much thought.”
“When you think about it, it’s not a lot sillier than eating a horse.”
“So,” Jack said, helping himself to a slice of bread. “Blue. Martin. April seventh.”
Bewildered, Emily set her bread on her side plate and stared at him. “Excuse me?”
“In the spirit of getting to know one another…my favorite color, my middle name, my birthday.”
His directness startled a laugh out of her. “Hmm. I didn’t expect getting to know one another to work like a game show. And blue is every guy’s favorite color.”
“I guess that makes me predictable.”
“Oh, I doubt it.” But she decided to play along. “So it’s Jack Martin Evans. Is that a family name?”
“Jack is short for Jackson, but don’t even think about calling me that. Unless you want to sound like my mother after I’ve done something to annoy her.”
She smiled. “Noted.”
|Photo courtesy of Border Collies in Need. Please click to check out their website!|
For this book I held a Name This Furry Friend contest and the name Tadpole was the hands-down favorite among my panel of judges. I had fun coming up with an explanation for the name, and the winner (thank you again, Melanie!) is acknowledged in the book
For readers in Australia and the UK, To Catch a Wife will be available June 1 from Mills & Boon. Here's the UK cover.
|To Catch a Wife, Mills & Boon UK|
|To Catch a Wife, Mills & Boon Australia|
Thank you so much for joining me today to celebrate my latest book and the launch of a new series. To keep the party going, I'm offering a GIVEAWAY! Two, in fact. Each consists of a Magnolia Bakery tote bag, one of my backlist books and some assorted swag that will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you! To be eligible to win one of these two giveaways, all you have to do is leave a comment that includes your encrypted email address (name at domain dot com/org/net//etc.).
Until next time,
Lee...writing fifty shades of pink
To Catch a Wife (Harlequin Heartwarming, May 2016)
His Best Friend's Wife (Harlequin Heartwarming, December 2016)
Cowboy, Come Home (Harlequin Heartwarming, TBA)