Juni has no interest in being Chase’s spring fling but will her resolve last longer than his stay?

Sure Chase hinted at forever when he asked her out but they have nothing in common. He’s a big city real estate developer in tailored suits. She’s a cafe owner in jeans and coffee-stained t-shirts. Besides, their businesses are six hundred miles apart.

No worries: All Juni has to do to keep from getting her heart broken when he leaves is resist his tantalizing charm while seeing him daily, and maybe dating him just a little bit, for the next forty days.

What could go wrong?

When she started chemo, He bought two new 800 thread count Egyptian cotton bed sheet sets. They fit very snugly on their mattress. She no longer has the strength required to get the fitted sheet onto or off of the bed without assistance.

He also bought her fancy chocolates.

Tonight after dinner, She decided to enjoy the sheets, the chocolates, and her newest novel all at the same time.

Hawaiian weather often makes eating chocolate an adventure. Especially lovely chocolate bonbons with exploding liquid centers.

While changing the sheets, He strongly suggested she not eat bonbons in bed again. Alas.

She: “A beautiful morning!”

He: “Indeed. Bright light in sky appears in East. Around here, this time of year, that’s news.”

She: “This calls for a hearty celebration. Would you care for waffles, or eggs and bacon, or an omelette, or …”

He: “Hm. Choices, choices. Let me finish getting dressed first. One cribro at a time.”

She: “Cry what?

He: “On a morning like this, what have you got to cry about? Does it really matter to you how quickly I put my socks on?”

She: “You’ll be the one crying if your waffles get cold. It might even be a crisis.”

He: “Like I said. A cribro.”

She: “What?!?

He: “Would you please tell me how come every time your life gets exciting, it’s got to be a girl?

She: “I’m not sure you want to go there …”

He: “Too late. They used to call hurricanes by girl’s names, but people complained, and now they alternate. Fair is fair. Last time I looked, I was still a guy, and besides, I don’t wish for people to think that, every time I screw up, I blame it on my sister. So, cribro.”

She: “Come to the table. Your blood sugar is obviously way low, you can’t afford to miss breakfast.”

He: “Mister!

She: “Oy …”

She: “Hey! I thought you were the mad scientist around here!”

He: “Ah, no. Place where I work frowns on the bwa-ha-ha stuff. Bad for fundraising.”

She: “So I’ve got to do it?!?”

He: “The fundraising? No, we’ve got experts to … oi! Put .. the .. lab .. coat .. down! Do I wish to know where this is coming from?”

She: “The island!”

He: “The one we live on?”

She: “Not this island! That island! The one with all the animals on it!”

He: “The critters we’ve got aren’t good enough?”

She: “Not for the military. They wanted something special.”

He: “Special forces?”

She: “Exactly!

He: “Such as?”

She: “Well, cross a chimpanzee with a mouse and you get something really small and really smart. Perfect for espionage. And their sense of humor helps with training and esprit de corps.”

He: “Cool. Did it work?”

She: “Not really. It’s hard to spy on people when they’re standing on tables and screaming.”

He: “Should’ve crossed the chimps with starlings. Aerial reconnaissance.”

She: “Worked fine until the chicken hawks showed up. Then they figured out that, screw the bananas, screw the esprit, they could get killed out there! And they went AWOL.”

He: “You would expect them to be intelligent.”

She: “And then there was the cross between the rhinoceros and the cheetah.”

He: “Woot! Fast biodegradable armor!”

She: “Fast biodegradable dumb armor. How do you control a tank that can run you down at 60 miles per hour and eat you, whether you’re friend or foe?”

He: “Well, what did you expect? You were cheetahing! Did no one call you on this?”

She: “Why would they? We were taking gorilla warfare to new levels!

He: “And then you woke up?”

She: “Um, well, yeah!

He: “Good. I was wondering how I was going to get a security clearance on short notice so you wouldn’t have to kill me for listening to this.”

She: “You know what’s weird?

He: “Weirder than AWOL flying chimpanzees?”

She: “Here I am, designing all these beasts and doing the mad scientist thing, and at the same time I’m the gal jumping up and down yelling this is a really dumb idea! Shouldn’t that be, like, two people?”

He: “It’s a dream. You can do whatever you want, be whatever you can, ah, dream up. Just don’t try this at home, huh?”

Wow, I really enjoyed this book!! Great first novel. Can’t wait to read Katy’s & Gar’s story, & hopefully Ty’s, too. Really one of the best romances I’ve read in a good while. Authentic in setting & in attraction/desire & in fears. Reminds me a little of Janith Hooper’s books, while in a more modern setting. Well-edited & nothing too major in proofreading, mostly just little things. The angst dragged on a little near the end, but I can see why. It was a great example of sacrificial love & patience. Ruth was strong, but Boaz made sure to protect her in his fields. He also finagled a way to ensure he could marry her, which reminds me a little of Griffin’s hiring of Bella. Loved it!

ARC Reader

Whoohoo! I know that all my reader responses won’t be great, but I like this start.

She: “It’s hard keeping all the plot lines straight when you’re writing several stories at once.”

He: “Tough to keep all the alibis consistent, is it?”

She (ignoring him): “Not to mention all the character names straight. And how they look. Did she have red hair in this other story too?”

He: “Easy fix. Keep the stories going long enough, and they’ll all have blue hair.”

She (still ignoring him): “So I’ve set up this universal character table, I can refer to it instead of having to go back to each story every time I need to check on a name, or eye color, or what have you.”

He: “You have a Universal character table? Cool! Do you have a Paramount one?”

She (belatedly suspicious): “.. what?”

He: “Or a 20th Century Fox one, or a …”

She: “Warner Brothers, or a Disney, or a Columbia. Yes dear, I’ve got them all covered.”

He: “Nice.”

She: “And you’re a jerk.”

He: “!!”

She: “Please pass the salad dressing?”

He: “OK … Dang!

She: “What dang?”

He: “Something else we can’t use because we have town water.”

She: “I like town water. Or do you really wish to go back to flushing the toilet with a bucket?”

He: “Not I. But it means we can’t use the salad dressing. Read.”

She: “‘Shake well.’”

He: “Exactly! We don’t have a well. And if you think I’m going to interrupt my dinner to track the Honolulu Water Department’s lines mauka five miles and up two thousand feet to shake their well, just so I can have a spot of sauce on my lettuce, you can think again.”

She: “I’m so glad I asked …”

She: “Did you know that handkerchiefs are coming back into vogue?”

He: “No …”

She: “And … never mind, I can’t tell you.”

He: “Can’t tell me what?”

She: “About the cool colors they come in now. You’d be appalled.”

He: “Probably. But I’m going to find out sooner or later, so …”

She: “Purple, and teal, and lavender, and fuchsia. And some in boring white.”

He: “Which they all will be, sooner or later. Once you throw the hankerpeons in the laundry with the bleach.”

She: “Hankerpeons?”

He: “Since when are chiefs going to stand still and let you blow your nose on them? Somebody should have been thinking about this when they were handing out names for things.”

Currently, beta readers are checking my first book for continuity errors and plot holes. Apparently they want better writing and are picky about their coffee, too.

text message

She finished her novel and said to He: “I just typed my tentative title into Amazon. Three-thousand other novels have the title, A Place to Belong.”

He said: “That’s easily fixable.”

She said: “Yeah, change the title.”

He said: “A Place to Be Short.”

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