I'm delighted to announce that the 11th Tabor Heights novel is now available at Desert Breeze Publishing!
If you've spent any time in Tabor Heights, you've heard about the Mission, or even visited -- an old school taken over by Tabor Christian Church, used for a daycare, soup kitchen, senior center, with lots of rooms to use and plans to expand big-time.
The time has come for repairs, renovations, and expansion.
Claire Donnelly has made the Mission her life, and she is put off balance when Paul Hunter joins the Mission's staff as head custodian and lead on the repair work. Paul has ideas of his own for what needs to be a priority. He's trying not to step on any toes, but it's hard!
Then there's Paul's daughter, Sammy -- she's very sure God has chosen Miss Claire to be her new mommy.
And then there's the problem of all the interfering busybodies in church and town, who want to play matchmaker between Nikki and Paul -- or Nikki and Doug -- or Jennifer and Paul -- or maybe Jennifer and Doug -- or maybe Jennifer and Brock. Anybody but the couples who are slowly but surely finding themselves drawn together.
Just when things seem to be calming down and people are learning how to work together quite well, shadows from their varied pasts rise up and threaten their peace of mind and the safety of the children who come to the Mission.
EXCERPT from the beginning of the book:
Paul pulled the truck into the Holwoods' driveway and climbed out. Brock started making introductions. Paul stepped forward to shake Nikki's hand and the movement revealed a little figure curled up on the bench seat, just starting to stir. Claire barely heard Brock introduce her to Paul, who saw the direction of her gaze and turned back to the cab.
"Hey, sleepy." He reached in and gathered up a bundle of platinum curls, bare feet, and faded denim. Claire felt her face heat up. Proven wrong twice in less than ten minutes. This was not the rebellious adolescent she had envisioned. Sammy Hunter couldn't be more than five years old. An adorable, sleepy five years old. Paul cuddled her close, rubbed her back, and whispered to her as she scrubbed her eyes. When the child finally had both eyes open, her father introduced her to the three adults. Claire couldn't help comparing Paul Hunter with Rich Thomas, his obvious tenderness for his child versus the casual affection the fugitive custodian had sometimes spattered on his adoring little girl.
No doubt about it: Sammy Hunter was wanted long before she was born. Not an accident and burden like poor little Aurora Thomas.
"And this lady is Miss Donnelly. She's Daddy's new boss, too," Paul said, turning Sammy to face her.
"Miss Claire," she responded with a smile. "All the children call me that. I'm so glad to finally meet you, Sammy."
Claire felt her heart twist when the little girl's face lit up slowly, like sunrise. She sat up straight in her father's arms.
"Is she my new mommy?"
"Sammy--" Paul blushed a red so intense it was almost neon. "Miss Donnelly--"
"I prayed really hard," the child continued. "I asked God for a new mommy. I want you."
"Why?" Claire had to ask. She could barely speak, caught between an onslaught of tears, laughter, panic and hunger. Her arms actually ached with the need to cuddle Sammy close.
Come to the Cyber Launch Party blog on March 22 to celebrate the release of THE MISSION, talk about the Tabor Heights books and what's coming up in "Year Two," and win a mousepad with all the cover art.