Tag Archives: A Love Song for Kayla

A Waltz for Amber Releases and More

Happy Monday! As part of my fall tradition, I have exciting news to share with you today. My annual Christmas book releases today. This year’s book is number three in my Melodies of Love series.A Waltz for Amber Cover Ebook

Here’s the back cover summary.

Their passion for the arts divides them. Can they overcome their differences and find true harmony?

Amber, a struggling dance teacher, is desperate to make a success of her studio. The quickly approaching Christmas recital should help except for one problem—the high school music teacher scheduled the holiday program on the same night, causing a conflict for her students. Will she be able to sustain her business or will she lose everything in the pursuit of her dream?

Chris is thrilled to be back in his hometown. However, his past won’t stay in the past, and the pretty dance instructor is a constant reminder of his failings. He wants to make up for his youthful mistake directed at her, but how?

Here’s a peak inside A Waltz for Amber.

“Good afternoon, Amber,” Gabby said. “Long time no see.” The thirty-something brunette beamed a smile that reached her brown eyes.

Amber offered a grin she hoped hid the fact expensive coffee didn’t often fit into her budget, but she liked to treat herself every now and then. “Hi there. Could I get a small coffee?”

“Sure thing.” She turned and pumped coffee into a paper cup. “I don’t think I’ve seen you in here since this past summer when you came in after rehearsals for the musical. How’ve you been?”

“Not bad. How about you?”

“Business has been steady. You look a little down. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Amber widened her eyes. How was it that Gabby could read people so well? “To be honest, I’m disappointed and frustrated.”

Gabby handed her the coffee. “I’m sorry to hear that. I was going to take a break. Let me grab my tea, and we can talk. Venting my frustrations usually makes me feel better.”

She didn’t know Gabby all that well, so the offer surprised her, but the woman had a reputation for being friendly.

“Sure. Talking about it might help.” She took her coffee to a corner as far away from everyone else as she could. Not because she was anti-social, but she didn’t want anyone to hear her complaining.

Gabby sat across from her with an expectant look on her face.

“One of my best students just told me she can’t be in the Christmas recital because her choir teacher won’t let her out of rehearsal for the school’s winter program.” She blinked back tears, surprised at her emotions. “I’m sorry. I know we’re talking about a dance recital, but this is so important to me. I put a lot of time and effort into choreographing a dance to feature her strengths.” No way would she admit her financial difficulties to Gabby.

Gabby sucked in a breath. “That’s too bad. I can understand why you’re disappointed. If I could dance, I’d offer to step in, but I have two left feet.” She made a sad face. “Can’t you work extra with one of the other girls and get her up to the same level?”

Amber shrugged. “I could try, but there’s not that much time.”

Her face lit. “Sure there is. It’s only the end of October. Christmas is two months away.”

“True, but the recital is the second weekend in December.”

“From what I hear, you’re an excellent instructor. I’m sure you could teach that dance to another student.” Her eyes gleamed. “Or better yet, you could do it yourself. Your students would love it.”

Amber bit her bottom lip and tilted her head to the side. “I don’t know. The recital is supposed to showcase the students, not me.”

“But you’re their teacher.”

“I’ll think about it.” The idea sent her pulse into overdrive. She hadn’t performed in a while. Her focus had been on choreography and teaching. She loved to dance, but she’d need to practice a lot to feel comfortable performing again.

The door to the shop opened, and a familiar-looking man entered. She couldn’t place him. Wait, he looked a lot like TJ from high school. What was he doing here? Tension knotted her stomach.

Gabby must have noticed her attention had shifted, because she turned and looked at the man, too. “Oh, that’s Chris. He started coming in here last month. I think he’s new to town.”

“Chris? I thought he was someone else. He could be this other guy’s twin.” Relief washed over her. TJ was not her favorite person, and she’d been happy when he’d left town. “He’s cute.” She’d thought the same of TJ once upon a time.

Gabby chuckled. “I suppose he is, but he’s much too young for me.”

“How old are you?” Amber pursed her lips after the words popped out. She really needed a stronger filter.

Surprise lit Gabby’s eyes. “Let’s just say I graduated about ten years before you.”

“No way. You look much younger than thirty-seven.”

“Thanks.” She stood. “Break’s over, so I need to get back to work. Don’t forget what I said. There’s no reason you can’t do that dance yourself.”

“I won’t forget.” Funny that Gabby was so strict about her break time since she owned the place. Then again, she probably wanted to hold herself to the same standard as her employees.

Amber studied Chris from behind. He’d been in town over a month, and her not seeing him before now was crazy. Then again, Oak Knoll had grown by several hundred people this past year due to the cost of housing in the surrounding areas. Thankfully, her hometown had managed to escape the housing crisis so many others faced. But if too many more people moved here, it would become a problem.

Chris walked to the other end of the counter and picked up his order. Was he a coffee or tea drinker? He suddenly turned and looked directly at her.

She gasped and looked down. Her face heated. He’d caught her staring. She pulled out her phone and pretended to text someone.

“Excuse me.”

She looked up—Chris. “Hi.”

“The owner said I should come over and say hi.”

Amber shot a look toward Gabby. “Really? I wonder why.”

A confused expression settled on his handsome face, and he glanced over his shoulder at Gabby. “So you don’t need to talk to me?”

Amber shook her head. “But as long as you’re here, you’re welcome to join me. Unless you’re waiting for someone?” She’d never been shy, but Gabby’s boldness took things to a new level, to Amber’s way of thinking.

“I’m not.” He hesitated. “You look familiar. I almost feel I know you.”

“I had the same thought when you walked in.”

He pulled out the chair Gabby had vacated and sat. Chris was cuter up close than he had been at a distance. He had a boy-next-door look about him with his dark hair swept to the side of his forehead. “I grew up here, but it’s been several years since I’ve been around. Maybe that’s why we seem familiar to each other.”

She stilled. “You grew up here?”

He nodded then went on to tell her the year he graduated and about his family without giving her a chance to respond. “My dad was really into sports, so I played football and baseball.”

He’d graduated a year ahead of her, and he was a jock. Unease settled in her stomach. “Did you happen to go by the name TJ in high school?”

His face lit. “Yes. T for Tom and J for Junior. I don’t care for my first name, and I didn’t want to go by TJ as an adult. I go by my middle name now. So you remember me? I wish I could place you. How did we know each other?”

Her pulse galloped out of control. TJ Daniels. She took a calming breath, forcing herself to behave like an adult and not a hurt teenage girl.

Bonus: In celebration of A Waltz for Amber releasing, the first book in the series, A Love song for Kayla is on sale for 99 cents.

 

Black T-shirt author photo cropped BESTKimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.

She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly was a finalist in the 2017 Romance Writers of America Faith Hope and Love Readers Choice Award. She holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html

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#NewRelease A Love Song for Kayla by Kimberly Rose Johnson

In an earlier post I mentioned that I would be going indie. Well, I did it! Feb. 2nd I released A Love Song for Kayla. This book was originally published in 2015 by my then publisher, but since I have my rights back, I changed the title and put on a new cover. The story is the same.

love-song-ebook

Here is the back cover blurb.

When two strangers cross paths their lives are forever altered.

Ever since she was sixteen Kayla Russell has dreamed of her perfect man. She even went so far as to make a list of desired qualities. The list has proven to be a bust since no man is that perfect, at least until she meets Derek. But will his secrets come between them and destroy what could have been something wonderful?

When music superstar Derek Parker comes to small town Oregon to escape the paparazzi he goes incognito as a deliveryman. He wants to leave his old life behind, but it proves to be harder than he realized when his past finds him. Now the woman he has come to care for feels deceived and no longer wants anything to do with him.

Formerly published under the title A Valentine for Kayla.

This story was born out of my own dislike of Valentine’s Day. I literally began writing it on Valentine’s in 2014. Here is a short excerpt. I think you will see my own angst reflected in Kayla.

I hate Valentine’s Day.” Kayla Russell secured a flower arrangement in the delivery box, then moved on to the next one in a long line of vases and baskets filled with colorful flowers and greenery. Everywhere she looked there were hearts or cupids to remind her of the dreaded day.

Her best friend and business partner, Jill, shot her the look—the one that said Spare me. “I’m sure if you had a boyfriend, you’d feel differently.”

“Unlikely. Think about it—no matter how you look at it, unless your man is Prince Charming, there’s no way he can live up to the hype. The day is one big disappointment.”

“I’m glad everyone doesn’t feel that way or you and I would be out of business. Have you looked at the orders? I’m going to be working all night just to get everything finished in time for Charlie to deliver tomorrow.”
Kayla bit her bottom lip. Flowers and More depended on successful holidays to keep their doors open. Sure, they stocked gifts and music, but the big money came from days like Valentine’s. She glanced at the clock. “I wish the UPS guy would get here. He’s late, and I needed the cards for the flowers yesterday.”

“Use one of the generic cards with our logo. No one will care if there’s not a heart on the card.”

“I care. I may not like the day, but I want our customers to feel treasured and loved.” Kayla fluffed and straightened a bow around a clear vase—perfect.

“For someone who despises the most romantic day of the year, you’re quite the romantic.” A tiny smile crossed Jill’s face before her brow puckered. “This arrangement is cramping my hand.”

“Want me to take over?”

Jill’s gaze shot to her. “No way. The last time you arranged something, I had to tear it apart and start over.”

“I’m not that bad anymore. I’ve been watching you. I’m sure I’ve improved.” She crumpled a sheet of tissue paper and flung it at Jill.

“Mmm-hmm. You keep telling yourself that, but leave the floral design to me. You stick to making bows and running the store.”

The bell on the entrance jingled. “I hope that’s UPS.” Kayla rushed through the swinging door into the main part of their shop and stopped mid-step. That was not their normal UPS guy. This one hummed a familiar worship song and walked with a bounce in his step.

He stopped humming when his eyes rested on hers. “Afternoon.” He handed her a small box. “Busy day.”

She tore her gaze from his twinkling azure eyes. “Yes, here, too.” She raised the box. “Thanks—I’ve been waiting for these.”

“Welcome. Have a good one.”

“Come again soon.” The last word died on her lips as she realized how ridiculous she sounded. He’d be back only if she had something shipped UPS. It wasn’t as if he were a customer.

He winked and strode his toned body out the door, then hopped into the large brown truck and rumbled down the road.

“Come again soon?” she muttered. He probably thought she was a nutcase, and today that wouldn’t be far from the truth. But, oh, he was something, and so polite, too. Kayla mentally ticked through her must-have list of qualities for a husband. Tall, handsome, kind eyes, sings, loves the Lord—

“Earth to Dreamer. Come in, Dreamer.” Jill waved a hand in front of her face.

Kayla blinked rapidly and stepped back. “What did I miss?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing. I haven’t seen that look on your face since.. .forever. What gives?”

“The new UPS driver caught my eye, and I made a fool of myself.”

I am always looking for people to add to my private influencer group on Facebook. If you’re interested in helping me spread the word about my books, please send me an email via my contacts page.

A Love Song for Kayla is listed with Kindle Unlimited, so if you subscribe to that service you can read this book for free. 🙂

Here is the Amazon link. http://amzn.to/2kl4Urd