When architect Elise Springer’s father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother’s death, and Elise can’t resist lending a hand.
Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He’s back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew—and prove his brother’s death was no accident.
As they unearth clues pointing to find a murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle instead?
“What’s going on?” She draped the plastic-encased garments over the top rail of the porch and bent to give the dog an affectionate pat on her head. “I leave for fifteen minutes to get aspirin and stop at the drycleaners and the place turns into a car lot.”
“The invasion of the lunatics,” Fritz said and followed it with a sour scowl. “I’d kill for a double scotch on ice. All I wanted to do was take Cindy out to Nay Aug Park for a quiet walk.”
“That bad?” Elise smiled. “Who’s watching Todd?”
“Right now he’s upstairs trying to find his Atlanta Braves baseball cap. He’s begging me to take him for some ice cream.” Still scowling, he jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Before you go in there, I guess I’d better fill you in on all the whack jobs.”
“Whack jobs?” Her eyes traveled past her brother’s shoulders to the screen door where a chorus of voices was raised in angry pandemonium.
“Chuck Sanders is in the kitchen and is hoping he can beg you to come back to work. Monique is in the living room and is trying to beg Lucas to come back to her. Paul Winston is camped out on the steps in the hallway, looking like he just stepped out of an episode of the television show Mom always liked. You know, the one where you enter another dimension?”
“The Twilight Zone?”
“That’s it. Oh, and Mort Levinson is upstairs using your bathroom.”
She blinked, unsure she comprehended the monologue. She looked down in horror at her cut-off jeans and tank top. Why, oh why, didn’t she take time to properly dress this morning? She looked like Daisy Duke in running shoes.
About the Author
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, and literary and small magazines, and have received numerous awards. Nineteen of them are now collected in UP ON THE ROOF AND OTHER STORIES.
Her first novel, RED FOX WOMAN, published in 2010, is a western, mystery, and romance and was a finalist in the International Book Awards and USA Book News Best Book Awards. Its stand-alone sequel, UNDER STARRY SKIES, was released earlier this year.
When Judy Ann is not behind her computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few. She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America. She lives in Central Pennsylvania.
Visit her on the web at these locations: