Last week In Shining Whatever celebrated it’s launch into the world. Libraries and book stores should be getting copies of it in at any time. I’m very excited about the second book in the Three Magic Words series. Kate and Hart were such fun characters to work with and we had such fun out on that island!
Kate Miller, Fancy Lynn Sawyer and Sophie McSwain had been best friends when they were in school in Albany, Texas. Then all three of them moved away in different directions. Fifteen years later they find themselves back in the same area and the first time they are back together they’re talking about why none of them are married. Fancy Lynn says that a man has to do more than just say the three magic words; he has to give her a forever thing. Kate says that he has to ride up on his big white horse like a knight in shining … and then she couldn’t remember the next word so she said, “In shining whatever.” And Sophie, who’d just gotten out of a bad marriage, said a man had to prove to her that there was life after wife.
A professional bull rider turned rancher, Hart Ducaine only has eyes for Kate, but she is one sassy piece of baggage—even more so than back when she was a teenager and she’d first caught his eye.
Hart had been the love of Kate’s life, but he hadn’t been interested in a long term relationship then, so why should she trust him now?
Trust is hard to regain once it’s been broken, and neither of them are willing to take chances with matters of the heart, not anymore. And then Kate’s Cajun grandmother, Maw Maw, and some of her other relatives set a plan into motion to abandon the two on a primitive island in the bayou. No cell phones. No electricity. No running water. And no one to talk to but each other.
Will they figure out what Maw Maw already knows: that fate is drawing them together and they need to trust their hearts?
Being a smart detective didn’t keep Kate from making the biggest mistake in her life. She wasn’t fifteen anymore; she was thirty. She wasn’t a high school sophomore in love with the quarterback of the football team. She was a detective, albeit only a relief police woman in Breckinridge, Texas at that time. There was no excuse for falling asleep next to Hart Ducaine; granted that’s all they’d done but if anyone saw her leaving the motel, she’d have a devil of a time convincing them of that fact.
She knew where she was and what she’d done before she opened her eyes but it didn’t keep her from wishing it would was a dream like all the others. His snores from the other side of the king sized bed in the Ridge Motel in Breckenridge, Texas, told her it had been very real.
She gently raised up on one elbow.
It was Jethro Hart Ducaine all right. Blonde curls lay on his neck, a testimony that his father had no say-so anymore about Hart’s haircuts. Soft lashes fanned out across his cheeks, thick but not feminine by any means. His face was a study in angles with a scar running from below the left earlobe to just under the eye; a souvenir of a bull ride that he didn’t win. His jeans were tight; his shirt tail untucked; his boots were setting beside a chair with his hat hanging on the back of it. He slept on his side with one hand up under the pillow and the other wrapped around the extra pillow.
She held her breath and eased off the bed. She hadn’t meant to fall asleep in his room; hadn’t even meant to go to his room but he’d wanted to talk and she wasn’t about to take him home. Her momma would have shot him.
The clock on the desk clicked: five-ten. She slipped her feet into the bright red high heels, picked up her fancy little red satin purse and tip toed across the floor. The door creaked slightly when she opened it and a cold blast of winter air rushed in but he slept on. She waited until she was outside to don her coat. In five minutes she’d started her truck and was pulling out of the Ridge Motel parking lot, headed east into town.
At least she’d gotten away clean. She wouldn’t even tell Sophie and Fancy, her two best friends about where she and Hart had gone after Fancy Lynn’s wedding.
* * * **Hart awoke to the noise of someone beating on the motel door. He sat up and combed back his blonde curls with his fingers, wished for a breath mint and went to let Kate back inside. She’d probably gone to McDonald’s for breakfast and didn’t take the key.
He slung open the door. “What took you so …”
It wasn’t Kate.
Two uniformed police officers each had a pistol pointing at him.
“Jethro Hart Ducaine?”
The youngest of the two, a fresh faced kid that was barely old enough to buy liquor, cleared his throat nervously and said, “Jethro Hart Ducaine, you are under arrest.”
He tugged the sheet tighter around his body. “For what?”
“For the murder of Stephanie O’Malley. Hands behind your back.”
“Can I put on my boots and get my hat?”
The older partner, balding with a gray rim over his ears, nodded. “With the door open and us standing here with guns. If you try to run, we will shoot. Makes no difference to us if you stand trial or not.”
Hart hurriedly crammed his feet down into his boots. Stephanie was dead? How did that happen? He’d just seen her the night before, right before he went to Theron and Fancy’s wedding. How did she get dead in that length of time? And more importantly who did it?
“Hands behind your back now,” Fresh Face said.
“No funny stuff either. You have the right to remain silent,” Gray Rim read him his rights.
“I did not kill Stephanie,” he said through gritted teeth.
“And I’m the Pope,” Gray Rim chuckled.
Fifteen minutes later he was in an interrogation room at the police station. He laid his head on the table and tried to get his wits together. He’d seen Stephanie the evening before. He passed the lobby on his way out of her room and waved at the night desk attendant. Surely if he’d been there to murder his high school girlfriend he would have been a little more discreet than that.
In a few minutes Gray Rim came into the room. “Where were you last night between midnight and one o’clock?”
“I want a lawyer. Call Allie Morton over at the courthouse. She takes care of my business,” he said.
“Have it your way. Only the guilty lawyer up,” Gray Rim said.
Hart didn’t answer.
* * * * *“You were taken into custody at the Ridge Motel. The lady there said you checked in at ten-thirty and a dark haired woman followed you into the room.”
Hart’s jaw worked in anger. He couldn’t implicate Kate. She worked at the station and hoped to get a job there full time eventually. Breckenridge was a small town of less than six thousand people. Nothing could kill a career like gossip.
Will Kate step up and save the day at the expense of her career? Will he be her knight in shining whatever? Would you read the book to find out on the basis of that excerpt?