Book Giveaway: Support Your Local Sheriff By Melinda Curtis
This is my 10th trip to Harmony Valley. Support Your Local Sheriff pits tall, dark and quiet Sheriff Nate Landry against community activist Doris Schlotzky and the sister of the woman he almost married, Julie Smith, who shows up in town with the toddler son Nate didn’t know existed.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Doris said in her high-pitched, grating voice. “We should be proud of many things in our community. The wonderful festivals we have. The resurgence of new businesses. And the low crime rate. But that isn’t good enough.”
Not good enough? The little black rain cloud over Nate’s head sucked the oxygen from the old church.
“In this age of police misconduct, the people need a voice.” Doris had a death grip on the podium.
Nate thought it might be his death she planned.
My mom had a huge crush on James Garner. Why? Why not!
James Garner was handsome as all get-out. He was a versatile leading man, able to play serious roles as well as ones drawing on humor and heart. And he took on acting roles on both the big screen and the small one. He was immensely popular from the 1950s to the 1970s, and just when my mom was lamenting his so-called retirement, in 1984 he returned to the big screen in an older man-younger woman film called Murphy’s Romance. And when he played the older lead in The Notebook in 2004, my mom was thrilled. She loved that he was drawn to play honorable characters doing what was right in hard situations.
I can mark the years by James Garner. . .
The gray-haired residents of Harmony Valley had probably never done the wave at a sports stadium. But their heads turned in the same rippled effect to stare Nate’s way, starting from the back of the church and moving forward. Grins and coos rippled through the assembled, almost as if—
The little hand returned to Nate’s shoulder, followed by a hot-breathed “Hi.”
Mystery solved. Residents were doing the neck-craning wave to watch an angelic toddler putting on a show behind Nate.
When Nate turned his head, he received another gentle forehead bump. “You’re an awesome little dude.” Nate ruffled the boy’s hair.
I admit, I wore white at my wedding. But that doesn’t mean I’m not open to admiring women who wear colorful wedding dresses.
It takes chutzpah to wear something other than white or cream. Honestly, sometimes I get a wild hair and try on orange jeans. I haven’t bought a pair yet. I know I’m not bold enough to do so. I respect anyone who can comfortably pull this off.
“This is a slow building romance. The sparks don’t really jump off the page but the story has a gentle pull that kept me engaged and interested. There are all kinds of meddling, crazy and quirky characters thrown into this book. Combine that with the small town antics and you will be shaking your head and rolling your eyes, just like me. It was a lot of fun.”
“Hello, Nate.” Julie Smith put nearly three years of disdain and disappointment in those two words.
“Julie.” Nate shot to his feet, steady as always, guarded as always. If Nate was the sheriff, he was off duty. He wore a brown checkered shirt and blue jeans, not a service uniform.
Duke was balanced on her thighs, his small hard-soled sneakers digging in for purchase as he reached for Nate once more.
Couldn’t Duke loathe Nate as much as Julie did?
Readers often ask writers where they get their story ideas. I like to tell people my story ideas often come from one person I know, have met, have seen on television, or have read about. For example:
I once asked my assistant what her biggest frustration was in dating and she told me autocorrect. Her stories about texting faux pas led to the plot line of Always A Bridesmaid. . . .
“Flynn,” Nate said. “This is Julie, my…”
And there it was. That awkwardness Julie had been waiting years for.
She pounced. “I’m the sister of Nate’s ex-fiancée.”
Flynn slid a questioning look Nate’s way.
Her moment had arrived. Julie stood, scooping Duke to her hip with her left arm. “Didn’t Nate tell you he was engaged? He left my sister at the altar.” That wasn’t all he’d left, but Julie didn’t want to waste all her ammunition on the first volley.
“Duke has a cute personality. Been a little while since I have visited Harmony Valley, love the residents of the town, a good series. I have read several in the series and plan to read more.”
Julie’s aim was off. Nothing was ruffling him. Nothing was satisfying her need for revenge. She’d have to hunker down for the long haul. She’d never been good at the long game, at chess or Monopoly. This time, the stakes were higher than bragging rights or a pile of paper money. This time, she had to be patient.
“Want Mama.” Duke collapsed against Julie’s shoulder, his forehead pile-driving into the only tender spot on her body.
Her sharp intake of breath caused Nate to dip his head and stare at her more closely. She smoothed her expression into her game face, determined that he only see what she wanted him to see—a strong woman who despised him.
“You got married.” Nate’s gaze was gentle.
Julie didn’t want his gentleness. She wanted his anger. She wanted to argue and shout, and have him argue and shout back. “You think I’m married because…”
A small crease appeared between Nate’s brows, only for a moment. “Well… This little guy…”
A surge of satisfaction shored up sagging dreams of revenge. “You think a woman has to be married to have a child?”
“Sweet, sassy and romantic, Support Your Local Sheriff is definitely going on my faves list for 2017! Colorful characters, a cozy small town setting and an adorable toddler will make you laugh and smile, while Nate and Julie’s story will leave you swooning and maybe even wiping at a few stray tears. Add this book to your TBR, my friends! And now I’m off to track down this author’s back list!”
“I’m not married,” Julie said. “And Duke isn’t my child.”
The bottom dropped out of Nate’s world and his stomach plunged to the center of the earth.
“Who…” He washed a hand over his face and planted his feet more firmly on the church planks. “Whose child is he?”
“Look at him.”
I write small town romance. There is one consistent resident in every small town – the local sheriff. Let’s say you live in a small town with a sheriff and you’re single. Let’s say you have a dating pool of the butcher, the baker, or the sheriff. Who’re you gonna date? Here are five reasons to choose the sheriff. . .
The little boy had the Smiths’ gray eyes and wide smiling mouth. Like most kids his age, he had thin lanky legs. His sprouted from a pair of khaki shorts. The friendly sparkle to his eyes was all Smith. But the dark, unruly hair was hard to mistake as anything other than a Landry gift. And as for those ears…
Nate tugged one of his own.
The kid would grow into them.
The kid. His kid.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Nate first appeared in Book 2 of the series. He patiently awaited his turn in Book 10. And that’s probably one of his key characteristics. He’s tall, dark and silent, keeping his past to himself. But the impetus of the story came from my former sister-in-law, Lynn. Lynn had cancer while she was dating my brother. Chemo sent her into early menopause, so they didn’t use birth control. When they broke up, she had no idea she was pregnant. In Book 4, I referenced Nate having left someone at the altar. Lynn’s story seemed the perfect backstory for Nate’s jilted bride.
by Melinda Curtis
October 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
Will he pass the daddy test?
With his job in jeopardy, it couldn’t be a worse time for Sheriff Nate Landry’s recent past to come back to haunt him. But it would take an army to stop SWAT team leader Julie Smith. The fellow cop—and sister of his ex-fiancée—wants one thing from the beleaguered lawman: custody of the toddler son that Nate didn’t know he had.
He may not be natural daddy material, but he quickly takes a shine to little Duke. And then there are the feelings Nate’s been hiding for years. Only now Julie’s running for sheriff of Harmony Valley—against him. Time to retreat? Not if he wants a future with the woman he loves.
USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Melinda Curtis is the award winning author of contemporary romance that spans the sexy scale – from sweet romance to sweet romantic comedy (written under the Melinda Curtis brand) to fun, sexier romances (written under the Mel Curtis brand).
Melinda loves writing romances about women who don’t realize how strong they are until a hero comes along to show them, while simultaneously capturing the wry humorous power struggle of falling in love (because, really, who lets the man have the last word?).
– 1 winner will receive autographed copies of Time for Love, A Memory Away, A Man of Influence, and Marrying the Single Dad
– US Only. International will receive ecopies.