I've invited Roseanne Dowell to visit Dishin' It Out today, and she's brought along the heroine from her latest release, Secrets, Lies and Love. I know you'll enjoy getting to know Meghan, and since I've already read Roseanne's book, I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the story, plus I really like her writing style. While other authors use lots of internal thoughts, which I hate, Roseanne poses narrative questions which heighten the reader's interest and keep them turning pages. If you like twists and turns, then this is a book for you.
Welcome, Roseanne, and thanks for bringing your special guest. Let's turn this over to her right now:
Hi, I’m Meghan Shelby. My parents moved away from Littleton when I was seventeen, but now, here it is ten years later, I’m back.
I inherited the family home, a Queen Anne Victorian from my Aunt Beth. I always loved that house, so needless to say I was excited when I received the letter from my aunt’s attorney. Not that my aunt passed away, I was very sad about that, but coming back to Littleton after all this time was exciting.
I’m not sure why we moved away in the first place. It was all kind of sudden and we never came back. Not once in all those years, not even when Gran passed away. I never knew why. Every time I asked, the question went ignored. Eventually, I quit asking.
Anyway, here I was back in the town I loved, standing in front of a dilapidated, rundown home that used to be one of the most elegant in town. Shutters hung by one hinge, windows broken, the porch floor rotted and the back door lock didn’t work.
How had Aunt Beth allowed this to happen? I was half afraid to go inside, but curiosity got the best of me and I ventured in. What a mess. It was going to take a lot of money to get this place back to its glory days. And the stench was almost unbearable. Well, no wonder, I discovered a dead body in the living room.
Who he was, or why he was there in my house, I had no idea. For some reason, the sheriff wasn’t convinced. To top it all off, he caught me in the arms of my new boss, the principal of the elementary school and the guy I had a crush on all those years ago. Oh, I was hired as school secretary, guess you need to know that.
Needless to say, I was the main topic of conversation around town the next day. Gossipmongers in Littleton were having a ball at my expense.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the next day several eighth grade boys caught the principal kissing me in his office. I’d never live it down. Not that I minded being kissed, especially by Patrick. I just didn’t need it spread all over town.
Once I hired a handyman to fix the windows and change the locks, I rolled up my sleeves and got busy scrubbing the place inside so we could paint. I hired high school kids for that job. There was only so much I could do with working full time. But at least I was able to move in.
That’s when more trouble started. Someone broke in and I received phone calls warning me to leave. Obviously, someone didn’t want me here. If you want to know more, you’re going to have to read the book.
Secrets, Lies, & Love is available from Amazon. http://amzn.to/zZznVG
Meghan loved this time of year, though a little too hot to start school in her opinion. Why they felt the need to go back in August was beyond her. She remembered her mother complaining about it years ago. “What was wrong with starting after Labor Day like they did in my day?” Her mother used to rant and rave for weeks before school started. Even got on the School Board. Not that it changed anything. School still started the last week in August. Meghan smiled at the memory.
Now that she thought about it, it was silly. Like they took the last week of vacation away from the kids. Bet the teachers didn’t like it either.
Meghan pulled into the school parking lot. Not much had changed here either. New landscaping, new windows, but that was about it. The old building looked pretty much the same.
Her footsteps echoed in the empty hall. She’d never been in the school when it was empty before. The strong odor of wax and other cleaning products prickled her nostrils. The clean smell lingered through the first few days of school.
It had been a long time since she’d been to the principal’s office and she stopped outside, took a deep breath and held it. Here goes nothing. Mr. Duncan said look for Mr. Mac. He must be new in town. It wasn’t a name she remembered. So what was the worse he could say? Letting out her breath, she hurried inside, before her nerve left her. A man stood with his back to her, unpacking a box of books.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for Mr. Mac.”
“I’m Mr. Mac.” He turned toward her.
Meghan’s breath caught in her throat. “Patrick!” The word slipped out of her mouth, before she could stop it. The love of her life stood in front of her, even better looking and sexier than she remembered. Her heart skipped a beat, her legs turned to jelly, and she grabbed the edge of the desk to steady herself.
Patrick smiled at her. That easy smile she remembered from long ago. The smile she used to love. It lit up his eyes.
“Little Meghan Shelby. Not so little anymore I see.”
Heat burned her cheeks as Patrick looked her up and down, apparently taking in every inch of her. He remembered her. After all this time he knew who she was. Would wonders never cease?
“Uh, um...” Oh crap. Now wasn’t the time to get tongue tied. “You’re the principal here?” Lord, could she work for him. See him every day?
“Yes, I am. I heard you were back in town. Are you staying then? Do you want to register your child?”
“Huh?” Her child, was he nuts? “Uh no I’m here about the secretarial position. Mr. Duncan was supposed to call you.”
“Really? You want the job?”
“Yes, didn’t Mr. Duncan call? He told me to come right over.”
“If he did I didn’t hear the phone. I’ve been in and out of the office.” He nodded toward the stack of books. “Too busy around here this time of year.” Patrick grinned and motioned her into his office. “So tell me about yourself. What qualifies you for the job?”
Qualifications? Think damn it. What was the matter with her? She’d lost all train of thought. “Well, I’m computer proficient. I’m good with math. And I love children.” What more could he want?
“I see. So why do you want the position? Tell me about your education.”
His deep voice sent shivers down her spine. Meghan couldn’t take her gaze from him. All sense of reason flew out the window. She had the most God awful urge to reach up and push his dark hair out of his eyes. “I’m a former Math major, have two years of college. I’m a quick learner.” Finally, she looked away.