Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sugarplum Homecoming by Linda Goodnight

Widower Davis Turner doesn't need to hear his children's whispered wishes for a new mom to recognize that new neighbor Lana Ross is a beautiful woman. But he worries that his feelings for the former bad girl could put his family at risk for small-town scandal. 

Lana knows she should steer clear of Davis. Yet she can't resist spending time with the handsome single dad, even if the truth might soon tear them apart. Though Lana has turned over a new leaf, her secrets have followed her to Whisper Falls. Secrets that could destroy her hope for a future with Davis.


Chapter One
Bad pennies always return. But what about bad people?

Lana Ross stepped up on the wooden porch of the weathered old two-story house. Her heart hammered painfully against her ribs. She’d not wanted to come to this place of bad memories. She’d had to.

A stern inner voice, the voice of hard-won peace, moved her forward, toward the door, toward the interior. A house couldn’t hurt her. If she’d been alone perhaps she would have given into the shaky knees and returned to the car. But she wasn’t alone.

Lana aimed a wink at the child at her side. Sydney was her everything now and no memories were allowed to keep this nine-year-old darling from having her very first permanent home.

“Is this where you lived when you were my age?” Sydney asked, her vivid turquoise eyes alive with interest.

“Uh-huh, Tess and I grew up here.” Grew up. Yanked up. Kicked out.

A tangle of a vanilla-scented vine, overgrown and climbing upon the porch and around the paint-peeled pillar at one end, gave off a powerfully sweet smell. She didn’t remember the bush being there before, especially this late in the fall. But then, she’d not seen this place in thirteen years. Not since she was eighteen and free to leave without looking over her shoulder for the long arm of the law.

With the sour taste of yesterday in her throat, Lana inserted the tarnished key into the front door, an old-time lock a person could peer through, and after a few tries felt the tumbler click. Breath held, she pushed the door open on its creaky hinges, but didn’t step inside. Not yet. She needed a minute to be certain the house was empty, though she had the death certificate in her bag. Mama was dead. Had been for a couple of years. As far as she knew her entire family was dead. All except Lana and Tess and precious Sydney.

She couldn’t make herself go inside. Everything was still and quiet in the dim living room, but inside her head Lana heard the yells, the fights, the horrible names she’d believed and mostly earned.

She and her twin sister, Tess, were no more and no less than what their mother had made them. Now, all these years later, Lana was determined to be more for Sydney’s sake.

“We’ll be happy here,” Sydney declared with childlike confidence.

“Yes, we will.” If I have to fight the universe, you will have what you need and you will never, ever again live on the streets or inside a broken-down car.

“Can we go in now? I want to see my room. You said I could have my own room, remember? And we’d fix it up fit for a princess? Remember?”

“I remember.” The child’s enthusiasm stirred Lana to action. Sydney had never had a room of her own. She’d never had a house. They’d lived here and there, in tiny one-room apartments and cheap hotels, all in pursuit of Lana’s impossible dream. Most important of all, Sydney would be safe here. No one would ever expect Lana to return to the one place she’d tried so hard to escape. Especially Sydney’s mother.

“Who’s that?” Sydney asked from her spot half in and half out of what had once been the front parlor.
Across the street a man and two children stood in a neatly mowed yard watching them. Lana’s stomach dropped into her resoled cowboy boots. It couldn’t be. Surely not.

The thought had no more than crossed her mind than the sandy-brown haired man with the all-American good looks lifted a hand to wave and then started toward them. Two young children, close to Sydney’s age, skipped along as if on an adventure.

Lana froze, one hand on the doorknob and the other gripping Sydney’s as if Davis Turner would snatch her up and carry her away.

“Hello,” he said when he reached the end of the cracked sidewalk leading to the two-story.

Yep. He was Davis Turner all right. Mr. Clean-cut and Righteous. He’d been a year ahead of her in school. No one in Whisper Falls had a smile as wide, as easy and as bright as Davis.

Please God, don’t let him recognize me.

About The Author:

Award-winning author Linda Goodnight is best known for her emotional, heartwarming stories and characters real enough to be your neighbors. Her books have won numerous awards, most notably the RITA, the Booksellers’ Best,  a double ACFW Carol and the Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Book Reviews. She has authored more than 40 books and has appeared on the Christian bestsellers’ list. An avid reader from early childhood, Linda has always loved the power and beauty of words and feels blessed to write stories of hope and light in a sometimes dark world.

Linda’s great love is her family, and she especially enjoys holidays when all eight children of her blended family come home-and bring the grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to read, bake and travel and is involved in orphan ministry. A former nurse and teacher of the year Linda lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband and two Ukrainian daughters.

Purchase Sugarplum Homecoming at:

Wal-Mart, K-mart, Target, Barnes and Noble, and most anywhere else books are sold.

Linda Goodnight is giving away a copy of Sugarplum Homecoming. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.
[Note from Linda: I am giving away a copy of  my other Christmas release, The Gift of Christmas. This is an exciting project for me because one of my early novels is paired with one by Debbie Macomber! Both are Christian stories I think you’ll enjoy. Two for one, including the magnificent Debbie. I hope you win!]


Susan Johnson said...

Thank you for offering this book. I have read books by Linda Goodnight and loved them.

Jackie McNutt said...

Linda, so nice of you to offer two books! Sugarplum Homecoming looks like a great read. Thank You

HomePlace Gatherings said...

I'm loving the cover!!!

Would love to win. :)

priviesandprims at (yahoo) dot com

Merry said...

Oh, I love second chance novels and Linda Goodnight! Please include me.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

Loved the excerpt. I've read lots of Linda's books and loved them.

Linda Kish said...

Two books! How great is that. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

The title of your book, "Sugarplum Homecoming" makes me have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Janet E.

JackieW said...

Your book sounds like one I would enjoy reading. I've added it to my list to get.

sm said...

Christmas and romance and children helping a single parent find love. Love to read this. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda. I have heard of you but never read one of your books. I can't imagine what it would be to go back to a place where from I had so many bad memories . And, to plan on living there. But hopefully she will build good memories. It is sad to hear of such troubled homes for I was raised in such a loving family. I would be very happy to win your books. Thanks for the give-away And, thanks to BDBL.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Deb Ragno said...

I love the bright cheerful cover! It draws me in immediately. The excerpt paints an interesting picture of things to come. Please enter my name to win a copy. djragno [at] hotmail [dot] com

Brittany said...

I really enjoy Linda's books and would love a chance to win these. This sounds so good.
Brittany McEuen

Lane Hill House said...

I'm back again hoping to win your double-feature! Thank you. And very thankful our past doesn't follow us with the Lord when we have asked and been given forgiveness. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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