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Harte's Peak by Maria Michaels



Blurb:
Vera Carrington loves her newly renovated home and her cafe, The Bean, but with a balloon mortgage looming over head and a man from her past ready to bounce on her misfortune, she may have to face the agonizing decision of keeping one and selling the other.
Deputy Sheriff, Ryan Colton, is a new man in Christ. His days as a flamboyant pro-circuit skier are behind him, but to help Vera keep her home and her business, he agrees to coach her for an upcoming open ski tournament. He even agrees to hand over the purse if he should win.
Can Vera beat the odds and win the tournament? Will Ryan save the day, or will they both learn to trust God, no matter the outcome?

Extract:
“Hey, Vera. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” Ryan had his flashlight out but avoided shining it in her eyes.
“I’m sorry about that. Hit the snooze too many times. I overslept.”
He took out his ticket pad, expertly balancing his flashlight. “I know what that’s like.”
“I’m not a morning person and I would assign the shift to Annie, but I can’t afford the payroll right now.” Maybe with his newfound religion, Ryan might have a little compassion for a hard working girl.
“Especially with Maggie on maternity leave. You know, Jack’s wife?”
“You wouldn’t be trying to talk me out of writing this ticket, would you?” He was clean cut now, having shaved off his beard a few months ago, though it didn’t take away from his rugged good looks. He’d always been difficult to ignore and now he was so darned nice.
“Who, me?” Vera tossed her hair back and hoped she wasn’t too obvious. Ryan was not as gullible as the younger officers.
“Because I do recall the last time I let you go I reminded you it would be the last time.” He flashed that disarming and cocky grin.
Stop it; stop smiling at me like that. “I do remember that.” She tried not to melt under his penetrating stare. His expressive brown eyes had a way of untangling her frayed nerves

My Review:
A gripping read. And when I say I read this in one sitting, I'm serious. All 204 pages of it. I read way past my bedtime. This book made me grin and chuckle. Vera loves speeding, but she doesn't like the speeding fines and tries to talk her way out of them. That doesn't work this time with Ryan, who happens to be one of the best looking cops in the small town she lives in. They have a past, but once he got religion he stopped asking her out. Which was probably just as well, as Vera knows he would want nothing to do with her if he knew the truth.

Tackling the issue of falling behind on the mortgage and foreclosure, this book pulls no punches. It also has plenty of action on the ski slopes as well as twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

Buy links:

Character interview:
1.      Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?

My name is Vera Carrington and I own the charming little café on Main Street, The Bean.

2.      Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?

I live in the Sierra Mountains – Harte’s Peak. I landed here several years ago after a difficult time – and I stay here because of the people.

3.      What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know?

I love Christmas lights, even in July. Sue me.

4.      Name two things would you hate people to know about you?

I love to break the speed limit, a habit I’m trying to break. I also wish people didn’t know how much I hate the gym, but around here it’s hard to keep a secret.

5. Tell us about your special bloke. What makes him special? 

I could say it’s his brown eyes, which remind me of melted chocolate, or maybe his smile- a cross between a Boy Scout and Dennis the Menace – but it’s really Ryan’s heart that makes him special to me.
I would tell you more about his heart, but that might embarrass him. Let’s just say that he knows how to love.

6. The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?

The first time I saw Ryan, he’d stopped traffic to help a little boy catch his dog. I did not like him because he made me late for work, but secretly I thought it was sweet. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.

7. What would he hate people to know about her?

He will watch girly movies with me.

8. What is your favorite thing to eat and drink?

Red velvet cake (Ryan’s favorite) and milk

9. If you had to fight, what would be your weapon of choice and why?

It would be a knife, because I know my way around the kitchen.

10. Pepsi or coke

Coke

11. tea or coffee

Coffee

12. elephant or tiger

Tiger

13. roast dinner or burger and chips (fries for our US readers)

Burger and fries

14. classical music or pop

Pop

15. sunrise or sunset

Sunset (Ryan can tell you why)

16. walk or run

Walk – I don’t run unless there is someone chasing me. (see #4)

17. chocolate or crisps (chips for our US readers)


Chocolate – I’m a woman.



Bio
When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Maria Michaels tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave.
She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).

Maria lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say ‘hello’ and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows. 

Comments

Maria said…
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Maria said…
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Maria said…
Thank you for having me!
Maria said…
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Maria said…
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