Home Matters by Julie N. Ford
According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can’t even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She’s confident that her destiny is finally within reach.
When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.
Knock, knock, knock. “William.” Knock, knock, knock. “William.” Olivia’s knuckles stung from her vigorous rapping, but she hit them against the hotel room door again anyway. Knock, knock, knock. “William.”
She’d never physically been to his room, but she was more or less sure this was the room number he’d given her. An ear pressed against the cool wood panel, she held quiet an impatient moment, listening for evidence that William was on the other side. And given that the clock had yet to strike the eight a.m. hour, she suspected he was not only in there, but more than likely still fast asleep.
Her fist poised to begin another round of knocking, she held back upon hearing the sound of throat clearing coming from the other side. “Olivia, darling, why are you Sheldon- Coopering my door?” William asked.
Relief washed over her panicked body. She collapsed against the door. “Something’s happened,” she pled. “I need to talk to you. Open up. Please.”
William cracked the door and leaned out his head. “Sweetie, can’t it wait? I’m not properly dressed,” he apologized, but Olivia ignored his reservations. Strong- arming the door open, she barged in. “All-righty then,” he said as she breezed past him. “What could be so important, it couldn’t keep until a less ungodly hour?”
Olivia skidded to a stop in the middle of a posh living area, her focus scanning from the mini bar and kitchenette to a fifty-inch flat screen TV, then through a set of doors, into another room, and on to a four-poster, king-sized bed. Her current predicament temporarily relocated to the backburner, all she could think was: “Your room . . . It’s so much bigger than mine.”
William chuckled. “That’s your idea of a crisis?” he said. “Welcome to the top of the mountain.”
Julie is a forty-something, dangerously close to becoming a fifty-something, graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of four women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, a Betta named Bob, and a Scottish fold kitten, Ardweal.
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