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About the author:
Chelsea Falin is the independent author of 26 titles in the young adult, romance, and nonfiction genres. She studied towards her bachelors in English with a minor in media analysis at Arizona State University. Chelsea works as a freelance content marketing specialist during the day, and writes obsessively at any given chance. A single mother of two, Chelsea's hobbies include reading, writing, hiking, cooking, and photography.
What inspired you to write your book?
I've been on a romance writing kick lately, so I knew that I wanted to write something short and sweet in the romance genre. (My hot and steamy romance is in the editing process!) This was my second foray into the romance genre, with my first (I Found My Heart in West Virginia) being published years ago. I was also feeling homesick at the time, so I decided to write the romance based in my hometown. The characters sprang to life as people I could visualize having grown up with there.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Walker stretched his back. As his arms reached high up over his head and slightly back, he let out a great sigh. It’d been a long day already, and the sun was only reaching it’s noon zenith. He sighed.
“Son? Where are you at?” Walker could hear his father’s voice from near the front of the old home. He walked towards the sound slowly, ready to sit a minute. He only needed a minute.
“Here, Daddy. What’s up?” His father shook his head and his gray hair reflected sunlight.
“Do you ever stop working?” Walker smirked as he father chuckled. “I know there’s a lot to do, but it doesn’t all have to be done in a week.”
“Yeah, I know it doesn’t. I just want to get it done. It’ll be hanging over my head if I don’t.” Walker sighed as he looked at the property and house. He shook his head in a way he knew was an exact imitation of his father. “Still so much to do…” The house hadn’t even been touched yet. After half a week of ten-hour days, the yard only looked slightly better.
“Yeah, I know.” Walker watched his Daddy’s face grimace. “It’s a damn shame, really. This place used to be so nice. You remember?”
Walker smiled. “Yeah, Daddy, I do.”
Walker thought about the many weekends he’d spent here growing up. His grandparents had always kept the property maintained and the home sparkling, no matter that it had always been no more than a small two-room shack they’d built on over the years. Walker snorted as he thought about how he and his little brother Dusty had snuck over that dilapidated fence in the back to go play with the Miller kids. Suddenly, he laughed out loud so hard tears ran down his face.
His father was looking at him with an eyebrow raised. “What’s so funny, son? You getting loopy from heat exhaustion or something?”
Walker shook his head. “Daddy, do you remember when Rose was brand new and she came home? Dusty and I tried to sneak her over the fence to show the Miller kids?” Walker choked on his laughter. “The look on Momma’s face! My God! I’ll never forget that!”
Daddy started laughing, too. “I don’t know what the hell y’all were thinking, but I should of known then your sister would have more sense than any of y’all.”
“Hey, whose making all that racket?” A stern voice called out from behind them.
Walker turned, his body tensing through his shoulders as it did when he was frightened or angry. He wasn’t sure which he felt right now. Walker listened to the sound of clumping boots for a long minute before a Chestnut brown head moved towards them, stray hairs flying everywhere. Bright green eyes glinted mischievously in a darkly tanned face sitting above a tall, lanky body.
Gunner laughed as he reached Walker and gave him a tight one-armed hug, slapping him on the back. “I heard you were back in town, you old rascal. Couldn’t quite believe it until I heard all of that hee-hawing. I’d know that laugh anywhere.”
Walker shook his head. “Yeah, I’m back in town. I’m fixing this old place up, actually.”
Gunner raised an eyebrow, “Oh yeah?”
Gunner glanced at his daddy. “Hi, Mr. Anderson. How are you?” Gunner reached out and shook the older man’s hand.
“I’m just fine, Gunner. Thanks for asking.” Daddy sighed. “I’m actually going to head home. It was nice seeing you… and, Walker, be sure to make it home for supper. You know your Momma will pitch a fit if you don’t.” Gunner smiled and nodded in response.
Gunner grinned, eyes twinkling even more mischievously than usual. “Know who else is back in town?” Walker shook his head. “Josette.”
Walker grinned stupidly, despite his best efforts not to. “Oh yeah? How long is she stayin’ this time?”
“Permanently.” Gunner continued, “Momma left her and Charlene the house, and Josette only just decided to stick around. Take care of things. Said she needed another fresh start, even if it was in an old place.”
Walker smiled, then his face grew serious. “Gunner, I’m really sorry to hear about your Momma. It’s a damn shame.”
Gunner smiled, but his eyes weren’t quite in it. “It’s alright, Walker. We all knew it was coming. It’s just a miracle she made it this long, so I thank God for that.”
Walker nodded and slapped his old friend on the shoulder. “You need anything, just let me know. I’ll be here every day until this place gets cleaned up.”
Gunner nodded. “You know, I don’t have a lot of free time but I could swing by here this weekend and help you get a jump on things. Lilly is taking the kids up to her parents for the day, and you know I like to stay busy.”
Walker nodded. “I would really appreciate it, if you’ve got the time. I haven’t even cleared the damn property yet.” Walker looked at the giant dumpster sitting at the front of the property, nearly filled. “Need to call and get that thing replaced.” He snorted. “I’d normally pitch a fit at having to drop another $200 on it, but all the junk metal hauls I’ve pulled away from here have more than covered that already.” Three days and six junk metal loads. How could a half acre hold so much trash?
Gunner nodded. “I hear you. I haven’t been back here in a long time, but I’d heard people started dumping their trash here after that big storm. You checked the house yet?”
Walker shrugged. “I’ve checked it. There’s more trash inside, but no way I could really haul anything out until I’ve got a path cleared around it at least. Nearly got that.”
“How’s the foundation? You gonna be able to fix it up or you gonna have to tear it down?”
Walker sighed. “The foundation is good. But the rest of the structure sure isn’t. I’ll have to tear it down, but I plan to build right on the old foundation. Wish I didn’t have to do that, but there really isn’t any choice.”
Gunner nodded. “Well, I have a few quick errands to run early Saturday morning, but I’ll be here right after. Should be about ten, but no later than eleven.”
“I really appreciate it.”
Gunner nodded. “Oh, and Walker, make sure you stop by and say hello to my sister. She’ll throw a hissy if you don’t.”
Walker grinned sideways. It’d been a long time since he’d seen Josette. While he wasn’t still infatuated with her like he was when a child, the memory of those feelings drew a hint of color to his face.
Gunner winked at him and strode off without another word. Walker would get over to say hello to Josette as soon as he cleared the house and the yard immediately around it. Right now he needed to call about replacing that big dumpster.
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