- N. N. Light
Compromise by @Marsharwest is a Best Books of '22 pick #romanticsuspense #laterinlife #giveaway
Author: Marsha R. West
Genre: Late in Life Romance/Second Chance Romantic Suspense
Widowed, shop keeper, and transplanted Texan Jessica Allen fights to protect the green in Tidbury, New Hampshire with its colorful falls, picturesque Christmases, and sometimes brutal winters. She’s angry to learn developers will use Worley Construction, a company she holds responsible for her husband’s death. When a board of selectmen member is murdered, family and friends encourage Jessica to run for the seat. Will threats force her to compromise her principles?
Developer Jeff Hudson wants to build a retirement center on the Tidbury Green. Despite Jessica’s opposition, he believes he can convince her of the need for the center and that its place on the green will leave plenty of room for all of the town’s activities. But has he partnered with an unsafe builder? How much money will he lose if he breaks the contract to please Jessica? Will more people have to die to save the green?
“Can I give you my pitch?”
“Of course. I think that’s part of the job. Listening to everyone, and that includes developers.” Jessica hoped that didn’t sound too harsh.
Jeff first shoveled in several bites, after blowing on each one.
“She does make the best chicken pot pie. Man, I could eat this every day.”
“Sorry to report it’s only available one day a week. You lucked out to be here on the right day.” She stirred her pie, hoping to cool it faster.
“Are you telling me she has a special every day of the week?”
“That’s it exactly. Check out the sign over the register.” Jessica notched her head in that direction.
“Oh, my gosh, she has meat loaf with garlic mashed potatoes. Pot roast with carrots and potatoes. I must be dreaming. Those two and this pot pie are my all-time favorites. I believe I’ll enjoy staying in this town, Ms. Jessica Allen.”
Jessica laughed. She couldn’t help it. A big man, Jeff obviously liked to eat. “Well, you’ll never be disappointed here, and at one time or another you’ll run into everyone in town. Visitors, too, depending on how long they stay. The chef at the Tidbury Inn is quite good. Different kind of food, but definitely delicious.”
“Looks like I’d better not skip the exercise routine, because I intend to thoroughly enjoy every single bite of this delicious food.” He laughed before shoveling in another mouthful.
Jessica continued to enjoy her pot pie at a more leisurely pace. She’d eat lighter tomorrow to make up for the calories. Sometimes a splurge was called for.
Several minutes passed while they ate in silence or mostly silence, except for their moaned enjoyment of Molly’s pot pie. Finally, Jeff set aside his plate. “What can I say? More than good. Maybe the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever eaten. Can’t wait for next week.”
Jessica laughed. She’d ask for a doggy bag for her left-overs. She never managed to finish one of Molly’s pot pies.
Jeff wrapped both hands around his coffee mug. “So, let’s talk business for a minute or so.”
Jessica tilted her head acknowledging his plans.
“If my retirement center had been built on the green, Molly’s parents wouldn’t have had to move to Florida.”
“Will your retirement center moderate our winters?” Jessica gazed at him over the rim of her teacup.
Jeff burst out in a large guffaw, making folks in the café turn and smile at them. “No, I admit the center can’t do that. But being right on the green, everything would be an easy walk for her parents.”
His smile did something to her middle. A surprisingly pleasant experience.
“I grant you that, Jeff. So, you understand the green is where everything happens, right? You can see that for yourself with the Fall Festival spread out the way it is. We seriously need all that space for our festivals. We have an event every other month or so.” She signaled Molly to bring her a to-go box.
“Have you sat down to take a look at the plans?” Jeff plopped his elbows on the table and leaned toward her.
“No, I haven’t. I assume the current members of the board have though.”
“Yes, they have. It’s important for you—and the other guy—to look over the documents, too. Do you have any spare time tomorrow? Can you fit in a stop by the board offices across the green? I’ll have space to spread them out, and you can take a good look at what I’m proposing.”
“Let me talk with Lori. If she can come in for an extra shift, we can make it happen. When exactly did you have in mind?”
“I’m at your disposal and can meet you whenever. I believe you have my cell number since you invited me to visit.” His smile ticked up only on one side as if he didn’t want it to show.
“Yes, I do.”
“You call and tell me what works best for you, and I’ll be there.”
“Okay, I’ll do that. I think the first vote on plans for the retirement center is supposed to happen sometime in November, and they’re planning to swear us in right after the election.”
“You keep saying swear ‘us’ in. Isn’t this election for the one position to fill the term of the guy who killed himself?”
“Yes, though, I’ve heard speculation he didn’t take his own life. And I don’t want to act cocky about winning, so I say we, meaning one or the other of us.”
“Okay, I understand. I hadn’t heard anything other than the selectman had taken his life. Have they decided natural causes?”
“No.” Jessica looked at her hands clasped on the table in front of her, and then she glanced up. “The sheriff thinks it may be murder.”
“Huh. Wasn’t expecting to hear that in this small, quaint little town. Does the sheriff have any suspects?”
“Not really. Everyone loved Lonnie Melton. It’s been a real blow to the community, not to mention his poor wife.”
“I can imagine.” Jeff’s eyebrows drew together forming a deep V above his eyes. “So are you taking extra precautions?”
“Extra precautions? Why should I do that?”
“Because someone went to a lot of trouble to drop a squirrel in your shop. And you just told me the guy you’re running to replace was possibly murdered. That demands you take extra precautions.”
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
If you love Hallmark-type movies, you’ll love this book. It’s got all the traditional Christmas activities: snowman building, a winter festival, cookie baking. And then it’s got a murder to spice up the story. Like all my Later in Life, Second Chance Romantic Suspense books (in this case the H & H are in their 50s), there is always an HEA. I’m super proud that this book was a 2022 NN Light Book Award Winner.
Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs December 27 – January 5, 2023.
Winner will be drawn on January 6, 2023.
A retired elementary school principal, a former school board member, and theatre arts teacher, Marsha R. West writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband and Charley, a deaf, Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren all who live nearby.
The theme of Marsha’s ten books is always second chances, and she even has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, North Texas Romance Writers, Authors Marketing Guild LLC, & the WORD BY WORD Blog. She has her own weekly blog and monthly newsletter. Marsha loves making presentations to groups and has twice taught a Silver Frogs class on Indie Publishing for Texas Christian University. Her books can be found on AMAZON, B & N, KOBO, and iTunes and other sites. Print books are also at Draft 2 Digital, Indie Lector Stores, and Amazon. Blurbs for each of her books with links can be found on her website.
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