Blue Moon Over Bliss Lake
by Cate Masters
Contemporary holiday novella
About 40,000 words
Home for the holidays…
Sierra O’Brien and Carter Grove have a lot of history—and regrets between them. Their high school romance didn’t survive after he went away to college. Despite tremendous business success, Carter never found another woman like Sierra and has two failed marriages to prove it. Sierra’s luck wasn’t much better, but after being widowed, she heads back to Bliss to plan her future. The last thing either expected was to run into each other or to reconnect to the magic that once drew them together.
Can Sierra and Carter make it work this time or are they doomed to repeat the past and let the same mistakes drive them apart? In Bliss, the inexplicable is an everyday occurrence, and anything is possible—especially during a blue moon.
The happiest of holidays
I love holiday stories, don’t you? I always have. From A Christmas Carol to It’s a Wonderful Life, whenever I read or watch a movie that’s holiday-themed, I’m instantly in the mood for decorated evergreens, snow and, of course, mistletoe! Because love is a natural part of the season, isn’t it?
Stories about second chances at love, and hometown romances are also among my favorites. So before I started to write Blue Moon Over Bliss Lake, I knew it should bring those themes together. Plus the slightest touch of magic, because if there’s ever the perfect time for magic, it’s the holidays. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. People are generally more cheerful, and more helpful.
I’m lucky to live in an area where the locals are like that all year round. Part of my story deals with the townspeople of Bliss helping a hiker and his injured dog, and is actually based on a true story. A town near where I live, and situated along the Appalachian Trail, did exactly that a few years ago. The hiker’s dog had been hit by a car, and the town raised money for the dog’s operation, plus gave the hiker odd jobs to help him as well. I absolutely loved the idea.
I also loved the idea of a town where anyone can find happiness, so created the fictional town of Bliss, Pennsylvania. There’s a little bit of magic in the air in Bliss, and anything is possible there—especially happy endings.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate it! May the coming year be full of good health and happiness.
Ensconced in soft down, Sierra floated down from her dreams, the one place she always found safety. Her body acknowledged the bed, the sunshine stinging her eyes drawing her back toward reality. Reluctantly, she pried open one then blinked both open. After a moment of confusion, she knew where she was: home. In Bliss.
Dreams of Carter had helped make the night blissful, too. While she rose and puttered around, making the bed, a vivid image of him stayed in her mind. How the heck had a decade improved his looks? Carter 2.0. Oh yeah, he’d love that, with all his cutting-edge technological developments, he’d become one of Steve Jobs’ main competitors. Unlike Jobs, Carter’s sharp, professional appearance lent an unapproachable air, the expensive suit he’d worn the day before cut so well to his figure it looked tailor-made. It probably was. The soft fabric had surprised her. So had the taut muscles beneath the suit. Carter kept himself in shape. He had everything in life he could possibly need. A pang of regret sliced through her.
Or did he? She headed to the bathroom and twisted the faucet knob. Steam began to fill the small bathroom as she stepped inside the shower. It hadn’t escaped her notice when Forbes listed him in its Top 40 Under 40. She’d been happy for his success, but something about those media photos grabbed her attention, and she lingered over them. His smile appeared too rehearsed, empty of happiness. Sometimes pictures showed a woman clinging to him, her embrace cloying and possessive rather than loving.
Toweling off, she tried to remember his current wife’s name. It escaped her; he’d married at least twice. A bitter chuckle escaped and she wiped the mirror free of steam a little harder than necessary. And you thought you were the love of his life. Obviously, he didn’t have one—he had many.
She frowned at her hazy reflection. After reading another article she’d run across online in some pretentious magazine like Architectural Digest, she’d questioned whether she ever really knew the man. His wife—Barbara, maybe?—had had their initials monogrammed on everything throughout their McMansion. A beautiful place, but cold. Overbearing. Nothing like the boy she’d once loved.
You’re not exactly the same girl either. Gaunt face, pale skin, and dark circles beneath her eyes. Not for long. Carter had made his mark on the world and she intended to do the same. Much smaller than his, of course, but she didn’t need to conquer the universe. A state or two might be nice, though.
“Oh, Carter.” He’d left his mark on her, too. Ten years melted away when she’d seen him the day before, the two minutes leaving a vivid impression. Throughout the night, in the haze of sleep, memories of the two years they’d shared filled her with sublime happiness. How bright the future had appeared then.
She straightened. It will be. A little late, but starting over would give her the opportunity to make it better this time.
Giveaway Information –
An ebook from one of Cate’s backlist from Decadent
Rafflecopter Code – Blue Moon Giveaway
About the Author:
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.