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Monday, July 17, 2017

Guest Post with Author Jennifer Hoopes and Giveaway

Jennifer lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. When not writing, she can usually be found elbow deep in flour or inhaling chlorine as she cheers her daughter on at a swim meet. She loves musicals, caramel and roller coasters, and lists Machu Picchu at the top of her bucket list. She is a member of RWA and is the President of her local chapter, Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers. Find out more about Jennifer and sign up for her newsletter at

Emily White moved to Fly Creek to escape her grief. Adam Conley came to fulfill a promise. Before you decide to hang your hat in the small Wyoming town, here are a few things you should know:

1. The town knows everything.

As is the case in most small towns, no one misses a thing, and if they do, someone else will tell them about it. And with residents like Polly Brooks and Shelby Marks, they will ensure that their knowledge is put to good use. As Shelby tells Adam, “Fly Creek takes care of its own, and we usually do it in the dead of the night.”

2. You will gain weight.

Between the apple tarts at Sky Lake and the menu at The Wagon Train, not to mention the Sunday Market in the square, the scones at Garden Grows or the espressos at Potter’s, your waistline will not escape. But really would you want it to when such delicious home cooking is right under your nose? The good news is between the trails at Sky Lake and yoga at the senior center, you might be able to keep the gain within reason.

3. Have a plan or Peyton Brooks will have one for you.

And the town thinks Shelby is meddlesome. Peyton Brooks is the queen of organizing everyone but herself. If she thinks something is best for you, she’ll make sure you come around to her thinking, just ask Emily. One day she will meet that immovable force. Or maybe she already has?

4. You might fall in love.

Not only with the town and all the beauty that surrounds it, but possibly with that special someone, even if you think love isn’t your cup of tea. The town’s magic and residents have a way of opening someone’s eyes and giving a little nudge, or swift kick in the behind, whatever might be needed. Just ask Emily and Adam.

I hope you fall in love with Fly Creek as I have. Thank you for having me here today. Happy reading.

Three years ago, artist Emily White’s grief and survivor’s guilt sent her to the small Wyoming town of Fly Creek. Since then, she’s kept her emotions safely tucked away—until she meets the new rancher at Sky Lake Dude Ranch. Stetson in hand, the gorgeous cowboy’s arrival in her store immediately shakes up her world.

Adam Conley is only in Fly Creek for as long as it takes to fulfill his promise to his late cousin. The small town brings up too many memories of the life he left behind years ago. He knows his task won’t be easy, but the last thing he expects is the instant attraction to the reason he’s in town. Emily is beautiful, vibrant, and completely off-limits. He’s there to keep his promise—not fall in love.

But Adam’s secret will crumble everything Emily’s life has revolved around.

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Forcing a smile to her lips, she accepted the kind gesture. One completely at odds with how she expected them to be going forward. “Thank you. I do like tea. But…”


Slumping onto the stool beside her easel, Emily took a sip, eyeing Adam over the plastic lid. “Adam, I thought it might be obvious last night. I don’t—can’t—do relationships.”

“Seems to me there’s a big difference between don’t and can’t. Which is it?”

He moved closer, his scent, something she noticed last night, invading the air between them. A mixture of sawdust and ranch combined with that special something you only got from working outdoors in a place like Wyoming. It was elemental, woodsy, almost overpowering, but in a way you wanted to be overpowered.

Maybe that was part of what was bothering her. This was the man who had looked at her their first meeting and seen past the shell she showed Fly Creek. Then, last night, he’d seemed to understand her so well. As if he’d known her before. As if they had some connection that until she’d reached out to him, hadn’t existed. And that made giving him an answer impossible.

Adam chuckled and leaned against the counter. “Emily, me bringing you tea doesn’t constitute a relationship.” He batted his hat against his thigh. “I had a nice time last night and would like to get to know you better.” He deployed the dimples. “I believe the term we’re looking for might be friendship. You know, between one change seeker and another.”

She sputtered, tea spraying forward, narrowly missing his boots. “You want to be friends?”

Adam clenched his jaw and nodded.

“And you think after last night that’s possible?”

“I think lots of things are possible. But, yes, I think after last night”—he nudged her—“it’s imperative.”

She shook her head and placed the tea on the counter, ignoring her body’s hoots and hollers over the simple contact. God, this was snowballing.

“Friends?” Man, that sounded foreign. She didn’t have friends. At least not for the past three years. She used to relish the whole thought of barbeques and parties and bonfires complete with a huge circle of people she cherished. Those people still existed, but she didn’t. At least not the Emily they used to know. Could she remember how to be a friend or something that might resemble it? A true friend would be emotionally invested and even the thought of liking someone enough to care had her wrapping her arms around her stomach to quell the wave of fear and hurt that rolled through her.

“Are you okay?”

Two strong hands gripped her shoulders and Emily looked up into eyes full of concern and curiosity. God, this wasn’t right. That connection again. He knew. He recognized something in her. It felt good to have someone care. She knew her family did, but their concern flowed from pity. Adam’s was something different, wasn’t it? He couldn’t have pity. He didn’t know.

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  1. The new cowboy in town has lessons to teach Emily. Looks like a fun and sassy read.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by. Emily might end up having a few lessons to teach Adam, too. :-)