by Dina Keratsis
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Lucretia “Cree” Cabot spends her time saving everybody else to avoid facing her own haunted life. Between raising her younger brother and trying to open a women’s shelter, Cree has built an impenetrable wall around her heart. But when a tenant for Cliff Cottage appears at her door, he cracks her vigilantly controlled world, forcing her to look within to confront the emptiness inside.
Mike Sullivan, famous superhero artist, is searching for a peaceful summer break and a new perspective on life. A farm in sunny Santa Cruz seems like just the place. Looking to escape from his usual routine, he doesn’t count on falling for a woman who is as stubborn as the mule that lives in her barn. Yet beneath Cree’s prickly exterior, he finds a woman in pain—a woman with an immense capacity for love. Mike knows she is the only one for him, but will Cree find the courage to truly live and love before the best thing to walk into her life leaves her behind?
Cree looked at him blankly, her eyes a dull blade. “I just want it to be perfect for them. I want their bedrooms to be fresh and bright, not musty farmhouse wallpaper and someone else’s memories,” she despaired. “I want them to feel like they have a place to belong and start over.”
His heart tugged for her and fell just a little bit more in love with this practical woman who had enough poetry to want to save the world. He reached across the table and took her hand, tightened as she resisted, and was surprised when she succumbed.
“It’ll get done,” he whispered, giving her hand a little squeeze. “I promise.” Her hand melted in his and the burden dissolved from her face. She smiled tiredly before pulling her hand away to pick up a dish.
“Go hang out with your girlfriends for a couple of days.”
She looked down at the plate and walked to the sink.
“You do have some of those, don’t you?” he asked, suspicious.
“Not really,” she replied. “All my college friends moved away a few years ago and I haven’t met too many people around town.” Shrugging, she added, “I don’t mind when it comes down to it.”
“Cree likes to be alone,” Seth said. “She’s weird.”
“I’m one for haunting graveyards by myself as well. Nothing wrong with liking your own company, kid,” he said as an arm shot out and his hand caught Cree’s arm as she passed with another plate for the sink. “Nope,” he commanded. “Go sex wax your board or whatever you surfers do to prepare for a day with the sharks.” He took the plate from her as he released her wrist. “You’re taking tomorrow off.”
A note from author
A note from author
I’ve just packed away the last Christmas dish, swept the pine needles from the floor, and coiled the lights to box for another year. This time of year saddens me, packing away all the hope and light that the Yule season symbolizes. It’s too easy to slip into the fears of the dark without the easy reminder of glowing lights.
One of my favorite books and inspiration for Kicking Sideways is E. M. Forster’s A Room With a View. His heroine, Lucy, refuses to understand herself because that “might lead to self-knowledge and to that king of terrors—Light.”
Lucy doesn’t realize that the “king of terrors” is exactly what she needs to reveal true happiness. She risks joining “the vast army of the benighted who follow neither heart nor the brain.” Her life will be unfulfilled and empty if she does not find the courage to know herself and act accordingly.
We all want that Light – to be our best selves, to thrive, to be joyful. Too often we let fear kill that inner light. And so we settle.
Kicking Sideways is dedicated to all of us who have stifled that light within.
My wish for you this year is to explore those ghosts that haunt your heart, shed bright light in those dark corners and as E.M. Forster would say, “face the sunshine.”
Happy New Year!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Dina Keratsis is an award-winning author of romance fiction in which all roads lead to illumination and magic is found in the mundane. A New England girl, she has a penchant for punk rock, Scottish tea rooms and a mad crush on Sirius Black. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
Dina will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.