The Theatre by @Marsharwest is a Love and Romance Festival pick #romanticsuspense #99cents #giveaway
Title: THE THEATRE
Author: Marsha R. West
Genre: Second Chance Romantic Suspense
Kelly Lawson, a New York TV actress, returns to Texas for the summer to star in her hometown’s local theatre’s summer musicals, choreographing, and directing. She’s appalled to discover someone is harassing the company’s gay actors, and it appears to be a Glenview police officer. Police Chief Josh Kincaid, the most recent of her mother’s selections to be Kelly’s love interest, investigates, causing upsets in town politics and falling under the actress’ spell. Can the theatre group survive under the attacks? Can they find a way to bring their worlds together? Will all their combined efforts be sufficient to keep Kelly alive?
“Kelly. Kelly.” A voice she’d recognize in the middle of a bazaar in India. The low tones of the Texas twang said you’re loved. Kelly Lawson pivoted. A short, blonde woman made her way through the crowd. Her soft voice requested people step aside. Jane Lawson, the epitome of politeness. In good shape at sixty-five, wearing her signature navy blue, red and white, seemed unaware of the admiring glances a few of the male passengers cast her way while they waited for their bags. An effect her mother always had on men. Once as a teenager, Kelly had asked her father how he handled everyone staring at his wife, and with a smug smile on his face, he’d replied, “No big deal. She chose to spend her life with me, which must mean I’m something special.” Then he’d laughed.
Kelly had hoped to have someone care for her the way her father did her mom. However, she’d chosen a life filled with obstacles to a long-term relationship. Steven’s face flashed across her mind. Her hands clutched the handle of her carry-on bag as the horror of her discovery spiked through her system. He was supposed to be the one, but he’d taken his own life rather than deal with the insecurities her success caused him. Two years and yet the pain and guilt still bubbled to the surface. She shoved down the cold emptiness to focus on the approaching woman.
“Hey, lady. You look great.” Kelly wrapped arms around her mother.
“Ah, that famous smile is much better in person than on the TV screen.” Jane stepped away, casting a glance up and down before she gave Kelly an approving pat on the back. “I’m glad Phillip convinced you to come home.”
Kelly scooped her suitcases off the baggage carousel, stacking the smaller one on top of the larger. “I got the Nikki Stevenson part because of him. How could I tell him no?”
“Some people might’ve. I’m not surprised you didn’t. I have a cooler with cold water in the car for you, dear. Let’s go home.” Her mother looped her fingers around the extended handle of Kelly’s computer carry-on bag, turned, and strode toward the exit. “Thank you.” Jane’s soft voice carried as people stepped aside for her.
Kelly blinked moisture from her eyes, grabbed a handle for the two stacked bags, and followed. When she stepped through the exit doors, the heat took her breath and brought her up short. The Texas summer oven. She brushed at the prickles of perspiration, which popped out along her hairline and hurried to catch up with her mother. “How’s Dad?”
“He’s okay. Perhaps fuzzier than when you were here last, but he manages.” “I’m sorry, Mom.” Kelly took her mother’s free hand, squeezed. An ache filled her middle. After a while, Kelly continued, “Was the traffic bad?”
“The drive was a snap, because at the end I found you.”
The lump forced its way back into Kelly’s throat. She’d needed this after Steven’s death, but she hadn’t taken time to come home then. Losing the soap opera role might prove to be good after all. They got in the car, and Kelly took a swallow of the cool water.
The trip from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Glenview took right at an hour-and-a-half. “Let me see if I have this straight,” her mother glanced at Kelly. You play the leads in and choreograph Hello, Dolly! and Anything Goes, but you only direct and choreograph West Side Story and State Fair.”
“It’ll be a busy summer. I’m happy your father will get to watch you perform again.” Jane pulled off Highway 377 toward the old square. Kelly silently congratulated herself. Wow, her mom hadn’t mentioned men at all. Apparently, Kelly had been wrong to suspect her of ulterior motives for telling Phillip about her schedule change, which made her available to work in Glenview during the summer. Maybe Kelly could come home more now without the fear of her Mom’s matchmaking schemes. Now, of course, she had time.
“You remember me talking about Cindy Kincaid in the Alzheimer’s support group?”
“Uh huh. Having someone to share your concerns with must help.”
“We’d been acquainted with each other for several years before we had the opportunity to compare notes and share tricks to help our husbands. Now we’ve grown close.” She braked for people jaywalking across the street. “Cindy’s son is named Josh.” Her mother paused to concentrate on making the turn. “Have I mentioned he’s the new police chief? Johnson retired, and the city council jumped at the opportunity to hire Josh when he moved from Houston where he’d been a homicide detective.”
Geez. Only moments before, Kelly had taken a guilt trip, believing she’d misjudged her. Jane Lawson hadn’t changed after all.
“He’s a big help with his father, and Cindy couldn’t be more pleased about Josh’s new job. She worried about him down in Houston. He’s divorced with a college age son.”
Kelly’s hands twisted in her lap. Here it comes. Wait for it….
“He’s a nice man, dear, very tall, a handsome blond, and if I do say so, built.”
“Mo-om.” The two-syllable word flew from Kelly’s mouth, and heat flowed up her face. Nobody could embarrass like her mother. Better derail this train. “Can we stop by Millie’s first? I’d like to check in before going home.”
“Sure.” She circled around the square toward the B & B. “I’ve had the Kincaids over to the house for supper several times. I’m sure you’ll like Josh.”
“Mother.” The name Kelly used only when she had to make a point. “I have no reason to meet their son. Thank you for thinking of me, and while I appreciate your good intentions, I’m not looking for anyone. Maybe I won’t ever be. But I’m not going to be interested in the Glenview Chief of Police.”
“We’ll see, dear.”
99 Cent Sale from February 13-19, 2022
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKyG2V
What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
I love that I can make a person feel better about life. Give them a reason to believe in Happily Ever Afters. There’s plenty of bad stuff out there in the world. When you pick up one of my books, you know there will be romance, older characters 40s-50s, good friends, family, neat locations, and a few thrills and chills, but you also know you will always get a Happily Ever After. Hearing a reader say, “I can’t wait to read your next book,” well, that’s pretty sweet.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
It’s pretty basic really. You must love yourself. You must be complete in yourself to be able to offer anything to someone else. Then if the two of you are complete in yourselves, you end up with more than the sum of the wholes.
It won’t work if you’re looking for someone to fix you or complete you. You be good enough for you. Then finding love becomes the bonus.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs February 1 – 28
Drawing will be held on March 1.
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 nine 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, the North Texas local chapter NTRWA, 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 https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ Where you can also sign up for her blog and her NEWSLETTER MRW Press LLC (list-manage.com) .
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