Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you at any time need to read the instructions for the hunt, please visit www.ChristianFictionScavengerHunt.com
I’m thrilled to be part of the first ever Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! My latest release is A Horseman's Gift, book 2 in my Horsemen of Cross Roads Farm series for Heartsong Presents. At the bottom of this post, you'll find more info about other ways you could win a copy of my book.
About the book:
Filipa Beltran is sick and tired of living out her parents' dreams. After years of guitar lessons, she makes a drastic decision to cast aside her studies toward becoming a professional musician, return to her hometown, and start living life on her own terms.
For Nathan Cross, the past year has been nothing but crazy. Once set on becoming a big business mogul, Nathan's plans derail when his widowed mother remarries, moves to Texas, and leaves Nathan in charge of the family's equine therapy center. Determined to honor his father's memory and carry on the legacy, Nathan can't understand how Filipa, his childhood best friend, can simply walk away from everything her parents sacrificed for her.
Even so, neither can resist the growing attraction between them. Can Nathan and Filipa find common ground along with contentment in their God-given gifts?
Award-winning author Myra Johnson is a native Texan recently transplanted to the Carolinas and loving it here! Myra's first Heartsong Presents novel, Autumn Rains, won the 2005 RWA Golden Heart and was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Award. She also writes for Abingdon Press and is currently working on a three-book historical romance series set in Hot Springs, Arkansas, at the close of World War I.
An excerpt from A Horseman's Gift:
For Nathan Cross, no other word came close to describing the past year. Now all he wanted was to survive this wedding—a double wedding, no less!—then figure out what exactly God had planned for the next stage of his life.
Which wasn’t exactly turning out the way he’d planned.
Needing some space, he carried his plate of hickory-smoked, Texas-style barbecue to the far edge of the covered arena. Today the building was decked out like an open-air reception hall, complete with tarps covering the ground, ribbons and bows festooning the rafters, and a couple dozen banquet tables laid with white tablecloths, candles, and towering floral centerpieces. Apparently God had smiled upon the happy couples, because the weather had turned out mild and sunny, a perfect August day in the Carolinas.
“Nathan, there you are.” A firm female hand clamped down on his arm, nearly causing him to drop his plate. “It’s almost time for the best man’s toast.”
“Already?” Nathan spun around to face Cheri McNamara, the bespectacled wedding planner, and stifled a sudden attack of the jitters. Okay, he hadn’t been all that surprised when the family’s barn manager, Kip Lorimer, asked him to stand up with him when he married Nathan’s sister, Sheridan.
But his real wake-up call came when his own mother asked him to walk her down the aisle to wed Kip’s friend, horse breeder Tom Jacobs, soon to whisk Mom away to an East Texas ranch somewhere outside Nacogdoches.
“You do have your speech written out?” The wedding planner’s crisp words snapped Nathan out of his pity party.
And after he’d promised himself he’d be happy for Mom and Sheridan no matter how much it seemed as if they’d moved on without him.
HE patted the breast pocket of his tux. “Right here, Cheri. No sweat.”
“Then I suggest you ditch the barbecue, rinse the coleslaw out of your teeth, and join the happy couples at the head table.” Leaning over Nathan’s plate, Cheri wrinkled her nose. “What is it with these Texans and their beef? Don’t they know we Southerners eat pulled pork?”
Actually, Nathan was developing an affinity for the taste of slow-grilled beef brisket.
Thanks again, Kip. This time he meant it.
Truth was he had quite a bit to thank Kip for, and he only hoped he could make it through his speech without stumbling over his words or—heaven forbid—getting a little misty-eyed.
He handed Cheri his plate of food and went to rejoin the wedding party.
As he wove his way between the guests’ tables, a woman rose from her chair directly in his path. Lustrous black hair cascaded down her back. A deep violet dress draped her curves in something soft and sleek.
Nathan resisted the urge to run a finger around the inside of his suddenly too tight collar. “Uh, excuse me.”
The woman whipped around with a gasp. “Oh, sorry—” Her lips spread into a delighted smile. “Nathan!”
“Fil?” When had his voice reverted to a prepubescent squeak? “Wow. You look…fabulous.”
“You, too.” She lowered thick lashes then grinned up at him. “Guess we’ve both come a long way from throwing corn cobs at each other from the hayloft.”
Filipa Beltran, the stable hand’s daughter and Nathan’s best friend growing up. Where had the years gone? “I didn’t see you at the wedding. When did you get here?”
“Just a few minutes ago.” She gave a one-shoulder shrug. “Car trouble on the drive down. I didn’t get in until early this afternoon.”
A strangely pleasant tingle started deep within Nathan’s chest. Wow, this was not the skinny girl in dusty jeans he remembered. After high school he’d hardly seen Filipa. He’d headed off to North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The following year she’d been accepted by some fancy music school in New York. “How long are you in town? Just for the wedding?”
Filipa’s lips flattened. She glanced away before turning a smile on Nathan that hinted at far more than her lilting reply: “No, I’ll be home indefinitely.”
“Nathan!” Cheri McNamara inserted herself between them and jammed a stiff index finger at her watch face. “We have a schedule to keep.”
Nathan shot Filipa an apologetic frown. “Best man duties await. Catch you later?”
She sighed. “I’ll be around.”
Why didn’t he like the sound of that? Okay, he liked the idea of her being around just fine. It was the tone in her voice he didn’t like. World-weary. Dispirited. Maybe even a bit cynical.
But with Cheri nudging him ever closer to the head table, he didn’t have time for further analysis. Now he had to pull out all the stops on his charm and wit and send his mom and sister into their newly married lives in typical Nathan Cross style.
How to order my book:
Harlequin Reader Service (call toll-free number to order previous selections)
My own contest:
I’m giving away a free copy of A Horseman's Gift along with the first book in the series, A Horseman's Heart, right here on my site. To enter, comment below (1 entry) and tell me if you have followed me on Twitter (1 entry), liked my page on Facebook (1 entry) and followed my reviews on Goodreads (1 entry). Additional entries will be given for tweeting about the contest (use hashtag #CFSH) and for signing up for my newsletter (see subscription form above at right).
Next stop on the Scavenger Hunt: