The excitement of releasing a new book never seems to grow old. At least that’s been my experience. And I certainly felt the same this past week when I released the sixth book in the Barbourville series.
Set in a small town in Tennessee, At Home in Barbourville (The Barbourville Series) features one of the secondary characters who first appeared in The Forgotten Christmas Tree. In that book, Steve Travis was happily selling Christmas trees on his father’s tree farm. Jump forward about three months and we find Steve sitting in an attorney’s office waiting for the reading of his great-aunt Gertie’s will. To his and everyone else’s surprise, Miss Gertie named as a major beneficiary the girl Steve once loved, the girl who, some five years earlier, had told him to “leave her the hell alone” and then moved away from town. Now, in order for Rani to claim her inheritance, she has to agree to work with Steve for the summer by creating a nursery to sell plants to the citizens of the town and county.
Steve figures he should be relieved when Rani decides to turn down the inheritance. Instead he’s angry. Here’s an excerpt:
Steve relaxed his grip on the shearing knife and stepped back to examine the Fraser fir he’d just finished shaping. Not that he really needed to be doing this work today. His dad said that shearing was best left until later in the year, but he’d needed to do something physical to work off some of his anger.
Although why he should be angry was beyond him. Okay, so Rani wasn’t interested in coming back to Barbourville, even to claim an inheritance that most people would give their eye teeth for. He should be thrilled. His dad could buy the property and keep it in the family.
But what had Aunt Gertie been thinking with that nursery business plan she’d concocted? Sure, he’d given some thought to growing vegetable plants and annuals in the greenhouse they used for growing poinsettias, but he’d never mentioned that to Aunt Gertie. He’d never mentioned it to anyone, as a matter of fact.
The sudden gust of wind sweeping between the rows of firs carried with it a scattering of snow flurries, reminding Steve that the heat of his anger couldn’t compete with the fury of Mother Nature. He turned the collar of his jacket up and headed back toward the house where he’d lived his entire life. Mom would be in the kitchen working on supper and his dad would likely be watching the early news. They’d both be wondering why he hadn’t come inside yet.
Hunching his shoulders against another wind gust, he’d barely taken two steps when his cell phone sounded. He ducked between two of the largest firs to get out of the wind while he ran his hand into his jacket pocket and pulled out the phone.
Caller ID told him only the number, but the area code was one he didn’t recognize. Prepared to hang up quickly if some telemarketer had stumbled upon his number, he answered in a brusque tone. “Yes?”
A moment of silence. Then, “Steve?”
His stomach rocked. “Yes. Who is this?” He asked the question although he knew the answer. That was one voice he’d never forget.
“Adrienne. I mean, Rani. Do you have a minute?”
“Sure.” He huddled between the two trees, shielding the phone from the wind with his body. “What’s up?”
Even if you are not a follower of the Barbourville series, At Home in Barbourville is a book that can be read as a stand-alone and is especially appropriate for people who are looking for books without graphic sex or books that can be recommended for young people.
Note: The excerpt above is copyrighted by Carolynn Carey and cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of the author, Carolynn Carey.