Author’s Note: Children’s mental health is a growing concern in today’s schools. Often kids suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to their mental health needs. Mental health organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association work hard to change this mindset. It can’t come soon enough. As a teacher, I worked with troubled teens and saw firsthand the devastating effects of their silence. With this in mind, I began writing The Keepers, for if I could help just one “Alexandre” find his voice, my efforts would be well worth it.There are a few mature scenes and some bad language here and there, reflective of a character coming-of-age.
Despite struggling to raise a troubled teenage son on her own, Beth Marshall has no intention of selling her beloved vineyard and moving to the city where her ex-boyfriend awaits with open arms. She has strong ties to the land, where she is happy living with her granddad and aunt in the old farmhouse, so when she gets an offer to sell her property, she turns it down. Meanwhile, a writer recovering from a shattering past moves into the guest house, tugging at her heart. She’s not going anywhere.
But after her granddad discovers a dead body in their shed, Beth fights jail time. She can’t imagine a worse nightmare until she gets a call in the middle of the night with shocking news about her son!
Joy Lynn Goddard teamed up with husband Daniel Pike to write contemporary adult fiction. Their first and second novels, Moonshadow and The Keepers, have global appeal and won Canada Book Awards. Besides novels, they wrote Buyers, Liars, Sellers and Yellers, a collection of humorous short stories about the real estate industry. Although she is well known for her young adult and junior fiction—starting with the award-winning Daredevils and including Hello, my name is Emily, Charlie’s Song, Jazz, When Pigs Fly, and Mrs. Maloney’s Garden—her adult novels are quickly attracting attention. Each book involves romance, mystery, and suspense genres.
Joy and Dan divide their time between Guelph and Belleville, Ontario, where they spend time with family when not working on their next book.
Penelope Brand’s hookup with billionaire Zach Ferguson was casual. Until he announces her as his fake fiancée to avoid scandal—and she discovers she’s pregnant. Now Zach demands they say, “I do,” for their child. But Pen won’t settle for a sham marriage. If Zach wants to keep his Lone Star lover, it’s his whole heart or nothing…
Standing before the mayor, was it any wonder the man had earned the hearts of the majority of Dallas’s female voters? Chase Ferguson was tall, his dark hair pushed this way and that as if it couldn’t be tamed, but the angle of his clean-shaven jaw and the lines on his dark suit showed control where it counted.
“Ms. Brand.” Hazel eyes lowered to a respectable survey of her person before Chase offered a hand. She shook it and he released her to signal to a nearby waiter. “Stefanie is around here somewhere,” he said of his younger sister. He leaned in. “And thanks to you, on her best behavior.”
The mayor straightened as a waiter approached with a tray of champagne.
“Drink?” Chase’s Texas accent had all but vanished beneath a perfected veneer, but Pen could hear the slightest drawl when he lowered his voice. “You’ll get to meet my brother tonight.”
She was embarrassed she didn’t know a thing about another Ferguson sibling. She’d only been in Texas for a year, and between juggling her new business, moving into her apartment and handling crises for the Dallas elite, she hadn’t climbed the Ferguson family tree any higher than Chase and Stefanie.
“Perfect timing,” Chase said, his eyes going over her shoulder to welcome a new arrival.
“Hey, hey, big brother.”
Now that. That was a drawl.
The back of her neck prickled. She recognized the voice instantly. It sent warmth pooling in her belly and lower. It stood her nipples on end. The Texas accent over her shoulder was a tad thicker than Chase’s, but not as lazy as it’d been two weeks ago. Not like it was when she’d invited him home and he’d leaned close, his lips brushing the shell of her ear.
Lead the way, gorgeous.
Squaring her shoulders, Pen prayed Zach had the shortest memory ever, and turned to make his acquaintance.
She was floored by broad shoulders outlined by a sharp black tux, longish dark blond hair smoothed away from his handsome face and the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. Zach had been gorgeous the first time she’d laid eyes on him, but his current look suited the air of control and power swirling around him.
A primal, hidden part of her wanted to lean into his solid form and rest in his capable, strong arms again. As tempting as reaching out to him was, she wouldn’t. She’d had her night with him. She was in the process of assembling a solid bedrock for her fragile, rebuilt business and she refused to let her world fall apart because of a sexy man with a dimple.
A dimple that was notably missing since he was gaping at her with shock. His poker face needed work.
“I’ll be damned,” Zach muttered. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“That makes two of us,” Pen said, and then she polished off half her champagne in one long drink.
Texas billionaire Chase Ferguson has one regret: leaving Miriam Andrix to protect her from his public life. When a snowstorm strands her in his mountain mansion, their passion reignites, and it’s too hot to resist! But reality—and scandal—arrives with the thaw. Chase turned his back on happiness once. Will he fight for what he truly wants this time?
At the entrance of Whole Foods, the automated doors swished aside and the fragrant scent of mulled cider wafted out. She lifted her head and closed her eyes to inhale her most favorite scent—autumn—when a competing smell mingled with the cider.
Sandalwood. Pine. A touch of leather… And eerily familiar. As was the voice that crashed into her like a runaway shopping cart.
She snapped her head up and her gaze collided with a man taller than her by several inches, his devastatingly handsome face broken up by the frown on his forehead and additional lines at the corners of his gray-green eyes. His jaw sported a barely-there five o’clock shadow, and his hair was in the same disarray she remembered from ten years ago—the one crooked part of Chase Ferguson that couldn’t be tamed.
“Chase. Hi.” She blinked again at the man in front of her, having the half-crazed thought that she’d summoned him with her mind. A week ago she’d received a photo of herself in an envelope she’d had to sign for. Along with the photo was a letter from the mayor of Dallas’s office—Chase’s office—that was signed by a woman’s hand. Miriam had read the two neatly typed paragraphs and tossed the letter into the trash. There was no action step for her, merely a “making you aware” note that she might be mentioned in Mayor Chase Ferguson’s upcoming campaign and “may be called upon in the future” for her cooperation.
But throwing the letter into the wastebasket hadn’t removed the memories of Chase from her head. For a solid week, she’d reflected on the summer they’d spent together, fumed anew at the senseless way he’d cast her aside and played out a few scenarios wherein she’d enjoy humiliating his mother—whom Miriam blamed in part for Chase breaking things off.
“I didn’t expect to run into you while I was here,” the man from her past was saying. It was the same deep, silken voice she remembered, but his Texas drawl was diminished, no doubt due to rigorous training from a speech coach.
“That’s my line,” she said with a flat smile, stepping aside to allow a woman pushing a stroller to go in ahead of her.
Chase palmed Miriam’s arm and physically moved her to the side of the automated door, and if she was still twenty-three and over-the-moon crazy about him, she might have said that his hand was warm and brought back memories of the summer they spent with each other, most of those days wearing as little clothing as was legal. Sometimes less.
“Yes, I suppose that would be your line.” His smile hitched at one corner and dropped like it’d never been there. He adjusted the paper grocery bag in the crook of his arm.
“What are you doing in Montana?” She had to ask. Because seriously—what?…
A Christmas Proposition will be available Dec 01, 2018.
“I need to get married…
And the only one who can help me is you.”
Trading one scandal for another, Stefanie Ferguson must marry to save her brother’s political career. Luckily, her brother’s best friend wants to help. But until this moment, Emmett Keaton has been off-limits. Now their convenient vows on Christmas Day unleash a passion too long denied. Will this marriage for scandal become a marriage for real?