READY OR NOT
Ready or Not is a story I wanted to write for a long time. I have certain hooks that intrigue me and the concept of two lifelong friends becoming lovers for no reason other than "it's time" has always fascinated me. How do they get past the awkward transition from friends to lovers? What happens afterwards?
In Ready or Not, Ginger and Sam have been best friends for their entire lives. They grew up together right next door to each other, more brother and sister than neighbors and friends. Ginger is the older of the two, almost two years older than Sam and she has watched over him and taken care of him for most of her life. Oh, yes, indeed,, they're all grown up now—he's even the Sheriff of their small Tennessee county—but, although Ginger has always treasured Sam as a friend, she can't quite see past that irksome little boy who used to wet the bed when they took their naps together. As teenagers, she taught him how to drive, how to cuss, even how to smoke, when no one was looking. So perhaps she can be excused for the misgivings inundating her when Sam sets forth his sexy suggestion.
Divorced from a high-profile celebrity sports figure, Ginger is back home again from life in California, licking her wounds and trying to heal from her broken marriage. She is settling back into small-town life and working as a high school English teacher. Her life seems to have come full circle, and she treasures the peace she has finally found--until Sam asks her to spend the night with him--and she slaps him. So, the next day, when she should still be furious with the man, why is she having trouble with something as simple as breathing when she looks up at him? And, while we're on the subject of looking up, when did he get so tall? He's in his thirties, for heaven's sake. Surely the man isn't still growing!
Then he kisses her and the bottom drops out of her world. Life is never again the same.
Their perceptions of each other change—drastically. Their perceptions of themselves change—drastically.
Sam, the quintessential bachelor, finds himself in such a state of upheaval he comes close to ending up in his own jail. The reason for Sam's confirmed bachelorhood is not addressed specifically in the book, and it was not until I had finished writing the book and was deep into revisions that I had an epiphany--Sam never married because he's always been in love with Ginger. He doesn't even realize that fact himself, but it colors his every action--when he's around her and even when he isn't. I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to create a character who is so alive and proactive that he has secrets he must keep, even from me, the one who created him.
I hope you will join Ginger and Sam in their rural East Tennessee county, nestled in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains. We will follow (or maybe not follow) their convoluted logic as they try to decide whether or not to "do it"...just because. We will watch them, both well respected pillars of the community, bumble around doing everything wrong, until, in the end, everything turns out very, very right.
And, no, I'm not spoiling the ending for you. It is a romance, after all. Everything always turns out very, very right.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON KINDLE (click on "Kindle" to find it there)