Hello everyone, and a huge thanks to Mary for having me on the blog today!
I was born and raised in small town Wisconsin. Since I still live there, and the ‘general’ rule is to write what you know, I absolutely love whenever Donna Marie Rogers and I add to our Welcome to Redemption series. Today I’d like to share an excerpt with you from book 8, HOLD ON TO ME, released January 2013.
As a thank you for reading (and hopefully picking up a copy *wink*), I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of the Welcome to Redemption Series Collection, Books 1-6 to one lucky winner. Make sure to leave your email and preferred ereader with your comment so I know where to gift the WTR Collection to.
Because they were released together, I’ll give you the blurb for Book 7, Never Let Me Go, written by my series co-author, Donna Marie Rogers.
Sheriff Chase Lowell has never been more scared in his life than when he discovers the diner where Hannah Porter works has been robbed at gunpoint. He’s been in love with her for as long as he can remember, but has kept his feelings in check because she’s his best friend’s little sister.
Hannah has had a crush on Chase since she was in the third grade. He’s kind, compassionate, and as handsome as they come. They’ve known each other forever, which seems to be the problem—he thinks of her more as a kid sister rather than a romantic interest.
But something changes the night he races into the diner and crushes her in his arms. When he makes her safety his personal mission, Hannah decides to make it her mission to get him to see her in a different light.
The two books overlap slightly at the end, and as with all our WTR books, these two share a scene told from our own character’s point of view. (Just like 1&2, 3&4, ect.)
The WTR series features heartwarming stories of second chances and redemption—something my characters Jenny and Grant never thought they’d get. I hope you enjoy!
HOLD ON TO ME, Book 8, by Stacey Joy Netzel
After escaping an abusive ex-husband, Jenny Clark focuses on making ends meet from one day to the next. Then she meets her new apartment building manager, and the passion in his kisses dare her to believe she could have a second chance at love.
At a crossroads in his life, Grant Walker returns from New York to manage his apartment building in Redemption. He didn’t expect to meet the woman of his dreams and find everything he never knew he wanted in small town Wisconsin.
But someone doesn’t want either of them to be happy, and even as menacing acts of vandalism pull Jenny and Grant closer together, a harbored secret could destroy all hope of their happily ever after.
“Thank you for the ride.”
She turned to face him at her door. At first, Grant anticipated a kiss. On the verge of leaning in, it dawned on him the closed door meant she wasn’t prepared to invite him in. Not to mention, she stared at his chest as her fingers curled tight on the straps of the canvas bag slung over her shoulder.
Disappointment left a bitter taste in his mouth, but he understood, and refused to push no matter how much he wanted to. He’d realized this afternoon his feelings for her had leapfrogged friendship the same day he’d fixed her closet, yet it was so much more than physical attraction. He cared for and respected her too much to rush her into something she clearly wasn’t ready for.
“I’m exhausted after getting up so early this morning,” he told her. “Think I’ll watch a little TV and hit the sack early.”
Her gaze rose to his, her relief confirming she knew exactly what he was doing and appreciated the gesture. Careful not to startle her, he lifted his hand to brush his knuckles across her cheek. Her skin was so soft, he wanted to continue the caress instead of returning his hand to his side.
“Enjoy your bath and get a good night’s sleep.”
Fat chance of that, he thought as he walked away.
His foot hit the third stair when Jenny’s scream rang out. He spun around so fast he tripped at the top before righting himself to race down the hall, heart pounding impossibly fast in his chest.
Jenny met him halfway, rushing headlong into his arms as her breath caught on a sob. He hugged her tight, gaze trained on her open door. “What’s the matter?”
She sucked in a breath, her body trembling against his. “S-someone was in there.”
Alarm doubled. “Are they still there?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think so. It’s trashed. E-everything. It’s a complete m-mess.”
Grant kept his arm around her as they walked toward her apartment. The door across from hers opened, and Mr. Edwards stuck his head out. Grant had made it a point to check-in and introduce himself to each tenant, and he’d met the older gentleman yesterday.
“What’s all the ruckus about?”
“Someone broke into Jenny’s apartment, Mr. Edwards. Did you hear anything?”
“No, I had the television on. I only heard her now because I was about to take Seymour out for a walk.”
A little, copper-colored dachshund danced through the opening and barked a few times at them before tugging on his leash toward the stairs.
Grant turned to Jenny, who still clutched her bag. “Call 911 and get the cops over here. I’m going to make sure no one is still in there.”
A shudder shook her shoulders. “Be careful.”
Grant cast the impatient dog a glance before lifting his gaze to Mr. Edwards. “Can you stay with Jenny until I come back out?”
“Seymour might mess in the hall,” Mr. Edwards warned.
“That’s the least of my concerns,” Grant muttered before stepping through Jenny’s door.
She was right, the place was totaled. It was a studio apartment, so it didn’t take long to search behind the door, in the closet, and the bathroom and determine the intruder was long gone. As he surveyed the extensive damage, fear that Jenny could’ve been there at the time of the break-in gave way to boiling anger.
A noise behind him spun him around to see Jenny hovering inside the entry. Phone in hand, she gestured toward the hall.
“Seymour couldn’t wait and the police are on the way. Did you find anything?”
“Whoever it was, they’re long gone.”
“I figured you wouldn’t find him.”
“Him?” Grant frowned, and yet he suspected he knew exactly who she meant.
“Roy.” Her gaze tracked over shattered dishes, upended couch cushions, overturned chairs, and a tipped over book case. The books were ripped to shreds, cushions slit, clothes torn and cut into pieces so they were no longer wearable. Her closet darkroom was torn apart, photo paper destroyed and developing bins broken. Tears filled her eyes. “All my photography supplies are ruined. The pictures I was going to show Tara and Wes…I can’t even develop the ones I took today.”
“You’re sure it was Roy?”
Moisture spilled over her lashes onto her cheeks. Her expression tightened and she dashed the tears away with an angry swipe of her hand. “Who else would do this?”
The feeling from the other day, that she wasn’t telling him everything, resurfaced. He held out his hands, palms up. “Why, Jenny? The divorce is final, so why would he destroy pretty much everything you own now?”
“Because he’s that much of a vindictive bastard.”
“I believe you on that one, but there’s still more to it, isn’t there?”
Her gaze flew to his, eyes widening in surprise.
“This is a message.”
She folded one arm across her stomach, bracing her elbow on that arm as she covered her mouth as if to keep the answer inside. Grant stepped over the broken items between them, but she turned her back to him. Her muscles tensed under the weight of his hands on her shoulders.
“What does he want?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
His fingers tightened ever so slightly, letting her know he didn’t believe her. Giving her the chance to tell him the truth. “You told Charlie you trusted me.”
“Then tell me what Roy wants.”
“I can’t,” she whispered. “Not yet. I need some time to think about everything.”
His gut tightened. Damn, what the hell is going on?
Movement in his peripheral vision drew his attention to the door. Sheriff Chase Lowell entered, along with another uniformed officer. As their gazes took in the destruction, he recognized the guy who’d met with the sheriff in Hutch’s last week.
Grant leaned forward, pressing his lips close to Jenny’s ear. “I suggest you think fast.”
WELCOME TO REDEMPTION
...a small town in Northeast Wisconsin where second chances don’t always come easy, but if you’re willing to try, anything is possible.
“With their easy, breezy style and skilled characterizations, Rogers and Netzel have created a town that readers won't want to leave.” ~ Romantic Times Book Reviews
You can pick up your copy of HOLD ON TO ME, book 8 here:
And don’t forget to comment with email and ereader format for your chance to win the Welcome to Redemption Series Collection, Books 1-6. Comment through Thursday, winner will be announced on Friday. All you have to do is tell me:
What’s your favorite book setting? You can be as specific or general as you like.
Thank you and Happy Reading!
Stacey Joy Netzel
Award-winning author Stacey Joy Netzel fell in love with books at a young age, so for her the graduation to writing them was natural. An avid reader and fan of movies with a happily ever after, she is thrilled to call herself a full-time writer after 20 years as a travel agent. She writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and the occasional paranormal romance short story. Colorado is one of her favorite settings for her books, followed closely by Wisconsin and Italy.
She lives in her native Wisconsin with her husband and three children, a couple horses and some barn cats. In her limited free time she enjoys gardening, canning, and visiting her parents in Northeastern Wisconsin (Up North) at the family cabin on the lake.
Website and Blog: http://www.StaceyJoyNetzel.com