And here is my official Publishers Marketplace sale announcement:
April 12, 2012
Alison Kent’s THE KITCHEN AT SECOND AND CHANCES, a contemporary romance about a woman who returns to the small Texas town where she lived as a foster child to buy the old Victorian she called home and turn it into a cafe with the help of a carpenter who mentors ex-cons, to Lindsay Guzzardo at Montlake, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.
And here’s a short excerpt from the first book:
At the sound of the female voice, all soft and southern syrup, Tennessee Keller froze. Dolly Breeze ran his front office and handled any visitors who dropped in without calling. But Dolly had cut out early—something about getting ready for a weekend craft fair—leaving Ten alone in the shop.
He really should’ve locked the barn door, but the horse already being gone had him heading toward the front to see who’d decided a phone call wouldn’t get them what they wanted.
It was a dog. Well, a woman and a dog and the red Jeep they’d arrived in, but the big loping shepherd caught his eye before did the long legs striding toward him. Yeah, some sorry state he was in when a dog got his pulse racing, and a woman was more afterthought than anything.
“I’m looking for Tennessee Keller?”
That voice again. “You found him.”
“Hi. I wanted to talk to you about some construction work I need done. Jessa Breeze and Hailey Ross both said you’re the man I want.” She came closer. So did the dog. She held out her hand. “I’m Kayla Oakes.”
“Ten Keller.” He shook it quickly, smelled fields of sun-soaked flowers when she leaned in, then lowered his palm for the dog, waiting until he’d been sniffed and licked before scratching the spot of soft hair behind the stiff ears. “What’s his name?”
“As in Mister?”
Strands of copper blond hair escaped her ponytail to blow in her face. She snatched them away and nodded, and he smelled the flowers again. “When I got him, he had this tiny scrunched up face. Mister Magoo was the first thing that came to mind.”
“He’s got more in him than German Shepherd.”
“The shelter thought Rottweiler.”
“Good looking dog.”
“Thanks. I think so.”
Good looking owner, too, though he kept that P.S. to himself. She wore a white T-shirt caught loosely around her hips. Not Hanes or Fruit of the Loom, but something classy, rich, like the russet leather of her boots, buttery and worn to fit.
Her clothes said she wasn’t from around here. They also said she wasn’t looking to stand out. Interesting, and he finally said, “It’s been awhile since I had one.”
“My folks were big on animal rescue.” And rain forest rescue and baby seal rescue. Then there were the kids they took in. “We usually had half a dozen at any time. All shapes and sizes and temperaments.”
She gave a groaning laugh, as if she couldn’t decide between sympathy and pity and rolled the dice. “I hope you had a big house. And an even bigger yard.”
He liked her laugh, the watermelon burst of it, liked the shape of her mouth, the width. It fit her face without taking it over. The bow of her lip pointed to the spatter of freckles dotting her nose, pale chestnut flung from a paint brush.
Motioning Kayla Oakes out of the sun and into the barn, he perched on a drafting stool, offered her another, watched what her thighs did to the denim of her jeans when she sat. Magoo plopped to the cement floor between them, making sure the hand that had scratched his ears behaved.
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