Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Excerpt from Her Very Own Champion ~ Jean C. Gordon

Do you like excepts from an author's next release included at the end of a book? As a reader, I especially like excerpts from authors who are new to me, and when I've only read one other book by that author. I often skip ones from my always-read authors. I also like them for books in multi-author series when I'm not familiar with all the authors in the series.

That said, I hope you enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming Valentine's Day release Her Very Own Champion, Book 5 in my Paradox Lake Sweet Romance series. And yes, it has an excerpt in the back from my summer Paradox Lake release His Thing About Cats.

The last thing she needs is a reformed bad boy on a vintage motorcycle “rescuing” her. And taking her breath away.


“Look out, Paradox Lake. The Donnelly brothers are back in town.”

Jared Donnelly fist-bumped with his younger brothers. He didn’t know about Connor and Josh, but if things worked out as he planned, he was back in the small Adirondack Mountains town for good.“What do you think got into Old Man Miller?” Josh asked.Jared studied a spot on the floor between him and Josh. That was a mystery to him, too. Bert Miller, their former neighbor, had unintentionally been a major factor in Jared’s professional success. At least Jared thought it was unintentional, although they’d become long-distance friends of a sort over the years since Jared had left Paradox Lake.

“Not that I’m complaining,” Josh said. “Without him, I’d be paying my student loans for the next two decades. But after Dad...”

Jared stiffened. Their father was one of the reasons he was back.

“You know,” Josh added, “Dad gave him nothing but grief.”

“Dad gave everyone nothing but grief,” Connor said. “And sometimes we weren’t much better.”

Jared eyed his youngest brother. “You’ve got that right."

Connor eyed him back. “I’m not surprised Mr. Miller set up a fund for Hazardtown Community Church. He was a lifelong member. I was surprised when the lawyer said that the gift was added in a recent codicil to his will, made after I was called as pastor.”

Josh leaned back against the doorjamb and crossed his arms. “Connor gets money for his church. I get my student loans paid off. Jare, I think you got shortchanged. All he left you is that raw land in the Town of Schroon on the west side of Paradox Lake. No water frontage, not even a house.”

“Yep, just what I need,” Jared said more to himself than to his brothers.

“What?” his brothers asked in unison.

“The land’s good. I may have a use for it once I get a few details worked out.” He wasn’t going to leave himself open to any expectations. At least no expectations other than his own until he was sure his plan to build a motocross track and school—sort of a Boys & Girls Club program—was solid. “But for now, I’d better get over to Gram’s. I’ve been in town since yesterday and haven’t seen her yet.”

“Right.” Connor laughed. “If you don’t get over there, she’ll be tracking you down.”

“Later,” Jared said as he pushed open the screen door and stepped into the bright afternoon sun. He grabbed his helmet from the back of his customized KLR650 motorcycle, slammed it on, and threw his leg over the seat. The engine's purr when he turned the key in the ignition got his blood rushing. He gave the engine a couple good revs and raced off on the windy mountain roads to his grandmother’s house.

Fifteen minutes later, Jared slowed to take the turn off the state highway onto the side road Grandma Donnelly—Stowe—lived on. He still had trouble thinking of her as Stowe, even though she and the also-widowed Harry Stowe had married several years ago. She was on the porch waiting for him when he pulled up in front of the house.

“I heard you coming.” She shooed him inside. “The black flies are still bad this year, even though June’s almost over.”

“That’s one thing I haven’t missed. But you’re one I have.” He gave her a big hug and kissed her cheek.

“Save your flirting for someone who’s flattered by it.” The pleasure radiating from her face contrasted with her words and raised a jolt of guilt in him for all the times the racing circuit had brought him near the Adirondacks. And he hadn’t had the guts to make time to come to Paradox Lake.

He released a snort at the thought of what his fans would think about big, bad international motocross champion Jared Donnelly dreading a visit to his hometown.

She tilted her head. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’ve been up to. I read the magazines.”

Jared cringed. He didn’t know if he should be disturbed or flattered that she followed him in the media. “Aw, Gram, you don’t believe all that drivel.”

“No.” She smiled. “I know you better than that. Join me for lunch? Harry’s at one of his rental houses getting an estimate on some repairs. He said he’d get lunch at the diner in Schroon Lake so we’d have time for a nice visit.”

“Sounds good.” Considering her husband Harry’s penchant for talking and knowing everyone from his years as a teacher and principal at Schroon Lake Central High School, he and Gram probably would have all afternoon for visiting.

“Come on in the kitchen. I figured you’d stop over after you and your brothers got back from the lawyer’s. I have iced tea all made. I just need to put some sandwiches together.”

A brief rap, followed by a cheery “hello” and the creak of the screen door opening made Jared and his grandmother turn around in the kitchen doorway.

His chest tightened so he could barely draw a breath. Becca Morgan—Norton—stood in his grandmother’s living room looking as pretty and untouchable to him as she had in high school.

Meet Me ~ Special for Anyone in the Saratoga Springs, NY Area

On Valentine's Day, I’ll be participating on an author panel and doing my first book signing since before Covid. 

Ever wonder what makes a romance author tick? Come meet Ginny Frost, Jean C. Gordon (#SweetRomance), Minita Sanghvi, Lucinda Race, and more to lear about their process and inspirations. Our Romance Panel will be answering question provided by a moderator and some from our audience. Authors’ books will be available for purchase and autographs at the event. Please register online through the online calendar at https://sspl.libcal.com/event/9517130 or scan the QRCode for a direct link.

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