Monday, January 2, 2012

Jean Gordon's Small Town Sweethearts

Jean C. Gordon’s writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. A professional financial planner and editorial supervisor for a financial publisher in Albany, NY, Jean is as at home writing retirement- and investment-planning advice as she is writing romance novels, but finds novels a lot more fun.

She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native Upstate New York. They share a 170-year-old farmhouse just south of Albany with their daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a menagerie of pets. Their son lives nearby. While Jean creates stories, her family grows organic fruits and vegetables and tends the livestock de jour.

Although her day job, writing and family don’t leave her a lot of spare time, Jean likes to give back when she can. She and her husband team-taught a seventh-and-eighth-grade Sunday school class for several years and currently serve on her church’s Evangelism Committee. She also shares her love of books with others by volunteering at the church’s Book Nook.

You can keep in touch with her at,!/JeanCGordon or

Small Town Sweethearts

Summoned as temporary guardian for her teenage niece, Emily Hazard returns to Paradox Lake On one condition—she won't let herself think about staying. Emily always felt like a misfit in her tiny hometown. But she doesn't count on falling for handsome Drew Stacey, a former Wall Streeter who's getting the town church camp ready. Though he surprises Emily with his handiness with tools, understanding of teenagers and his steady faith, she'll soon head back to New York. Unless her small-town sweetheart asks her to stay forever.

Here's an excerpt from Small Town Sweethearts:

Paradox Lake came into view on the left. A patch of blue nestled in the greens and browns of the hardwoods and mountains surrounding it. Her heart beat double time. As she came around the curve to Hazard Cove Road, a mama duck and her ducklings waddled onto the highway. She hit the brake pedal and sensed the pickup truck behind her before she heard the screech of its brakes. The truck touched the back bumper of the SUV and nudged her forward just short of the little family.

She pulled over onto the shoulder of the road, closed her eyes, and let her chin drop to her chest. Don’t let it be anyone I know. Please don’t let it be anyone I know, she pleaded. Raising her head, she glanced in the side-view mirror. The pickup driver had pulled over behind her. A tall, dark-haired man in a flannel shirt and jeans stepped out and approached her, stopping to check the front of his truck and the back of the SUV. From the rear-view mirror, Emily couldn’t see any real damage to the truck. She squinted at the mirror. Maybe a tiny dent in the bumper. Hopefully, the damage to the rental car was equally minor.

She pressed the door-lock button. Five years of living in the City had taught her to be wary of strangers, even in little Paradox. Maybe more so in Paradox, where she still knew at least ninety five percent of the population. And this wasn’t anyone she knew.

She grabbed the car rental agreement from the glove compartment and rolled her window down a notch when the man reached the door. He looked pleasant enough. Faint laugh lines bracketed his mouth. But the set of his jaw and the wariness in his light blue eyes neutralized any overt friendliness his half smile might seem to offer. Her pulse raced. This wasn’t her fault. Hitting the ducks was not an option. She breathed deeply. At least she wasn’t obsessing about being in Paradox anymore.

“Are you okay?” the man asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. And you?” She took in the set of his broad shoulders. He looked fine. Better than fine. She tapped the steering wheel with her pointer finger. Where did that come from? It must be her nerves.

“I’m good. He shrugged those shoulders. “It’s just a fender bender.”

“Yeah. How much of my fender is bent? It’s a rental.”

“Hop out and take a look.”

She glanced back. Another man was getting out of the pickup. “Um, maybe we should just exchange insurance information and call the sheriff department for a report. I’ll need it for the rental company.” She cringed inside. Whatever officer came, chances were good that it would be someone she’d gone to school with. So much for her quietly slipping into town and keeping to herself.

The second man approached the SUV, his face shaded by the shadows of the trees. Emily tensed, now wishing that someone she knew had rear-ended her.


Relief flooded her as she recognized her brother Neal. She’d even forgive him for using her hated nickname—this time.

“I wasn’t expecting you for a couple of hours.”

Emily rolled down the window. “I got an early start and I was driving against the commuter traffic into the city, so I made good time.” She crooked her head toward the other man.

“Oh, yeah. This is Drew Stacey, the guy who’s renting the campgrounds. We were dropping my truck off at the repair shop. My sister . . .”

She glared him a warning.

“My sister Emily.”

“Emily.” Drew nodded. “Do you want to check out the damage now?” The corner of his mouth quirked up.

The guys moved away from the door so she could step out. Emily felt Drew’s eyes on her as she walked to the back the SUV and resisted the urge to brush herself off. For all she knew, the wrapper of the granola bar she’d eaten on the trip up was stuck to her behind.

You can purchase Small Town Sweethearts from Amazon.

Jean is giving away a copy of Small Town Sweethearts. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


cjajsmommy said...

I like the way this book starts -- Emily is very easy to relate to. Please enter me in this giveaway.
djragno [at] hotmail [dot] com

Marianne said...

The title and cover made me want to read more. Sounds like a great read, Patty. Thanks for posting and sharing it. And thanks to you and Jean for the interview and giveaway!



Jean C. Gordon said...

Thanks, I hoped that Emily would strike a chord with readers. The story is really hers.

Amy said...

I love the Inspired books. They are great reads. This one sounds great by a new to me author. Count me in thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

Oh this book looks simply amazing. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance.


wfnren said...

This sounds like a great book, thank you for hosting the giveaway.


Teela said...

I would really like to win Jean's book about Small Town Sweethearts...looks like s good read. (and maybe it would add a twinkle to my 40 years of marriage! haha!)Thanks for the chance to win! teelayoung at

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a good read!


Judy said...

Sounds like another great read! I would love to win a copy.

I enjoyed the interview with Jean. I wonder what it would be like to have your daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren living with you and with your son nearby. I would love it! It would be the dream of my heart.

Happy New Year to all!
Judy B

Jean C. Gordon said...

Amy -- Small-Town Sweethearts is my first Love Inspired. I hope there will be many more.

Jean C. Gordon said...

Judy -- Having everyone so close is usually great. And my husband and I can always take a short vacation when we need some space.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a book I would love to read!
Nancy Clark

Jo said...

Enjoyed your interview. I enjoy reading the Love Inspired books and this sounds like a good story. Please enter me.


apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Teresa Mathews said...

I love to read "Love Inspired" books, can't wait to read Jean's. Thanks for the chance to win. :)

Bethany said...

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy! I love Love Inspired books :)

Laura J said...

I would love to read this book!

laurelprincess12 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

I enjoyed the sneak peek at Small-Town Sweethearts. Please include me in the drawing.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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