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It’s been six years since Jen and Luke moved into the big house in the country that they inherited from Scarlett, along with taking care of Tyler. Luke’s daughter Cassie gets a new job, along with her daughter Arielle, at a local veterinary hospital, where they all get to know Dr. Courtney Beck, one of the vets. Luke has been playing weekends at a local brewery, but a series of events leads him to believe that he is being stalked, perhaps by a crazed fan. But which one? There are at least three possibilities.
Sarah and Jason have been tending to their horses and their bed and breakfast, but when Jason finds out that the Wellington family’s plantation is up for sale, they start rethinking their future. Both of them, along with Jen and Luke, talk with the homeowners about possibly purchasing Wellington Cross, but they are met with some resistance by a cousin who has popped up in town with her own plans for the plantation.
Dr. Courtney Beck meets an irritatingly handsome ex-Navy SEAL, now cowboy, Owen Carson. She is attracted to him, though she fights hard not to be. She has a secret that she hasn’t told anyone, and is the main reason that she doesn’t trust men. Owen starts wearing down her resistance, however, in the process of fixing up a ranch to raise cattle on. Just when her heart opens a small crack, a surprising visitor shows up at his ranch, threatening any sort of happiness for either of them.
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Excerpt From Treasured Dreams by Cheryl R. Lane
“What’ll you have, sugar?”
Jolene, an ivory-skinned, auburn-haired bartender at Mermaid Brewery was offering Luke a drink.
Over the past year, Luke had been playing his guitar and singing songs one Saturday night out of each month at the local brewery. It was located in the northern part of Virginia Beach on the Chesapeake Bay. He still wrote songs and sold many, won some awards, and attended award shows once in a while, with Jen on his arm. But he itched to perform. So when he and Jen had gone to the grand opening of the brewery the previous year, he had been approached by the owner, a short Italian guy named Carmine. He had recognized Luke from his wife’s love of country music, and he offered Luke the monthly gig. It took some convincing, but Jen finally
agreed that he could do it as long as he promised not to drink alcohol while he performed, so that he would be sober enough to drive home. He agreed.
“I’ll have a sparkling water as always, Jolene,” he said.
“You got it,” she said, filling up a glass with an etched mermaid on it. She handed it to him at the end of the bar.
“Of course.” Jolene flashed him her bright green eyes, which popped in the green top she wore. She was always flirty with all the men, so it didn’t concern Luke nor did it tempt him. The attention from Jolene certainly was flattering, but his heart and soul belonged with Jen, the love of his life.
He sat back down in the front corner of the main room, took a big sip of the cold bubbly liquid, set it on a tall speaker, and picked his guitar back up again.
“I had a request to sing my first hit, ‘Stay.’ This is a song my band used to close our shows with at every concert. I wrote it about the love of my life, my wife. This will be my last song tonight. Thank you all for coming out tonight. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.”
He sang the love song that he had written years ago about Jen. When he finished, the whole room applauded and cheered. He beamed and thanked them again before packing his guitar and microphone into his bags. He then downed the San Pellegrino drink and took the empty bottle over to the bar.
“Can I tempt you with something else?” Jolene asked, raising her eyebrows and smiling suggestively.
“How about a shot of whiskey before you go?”
“Ah, no thanks, Jolene. I’m trying to be good.”
“What’s the fun in that?”
Luke laughed. “I have to be good for my wife or else I’ll get in trouble.” He was trying, not the first time, to remind Jolene that he was married while also trying to joke around.
“If you were my husband, you wouldn’t get in trouble with me for anything, particularly not for having a little fun.”
Meet The Author Of Treasured Dreams by Cheryl R. Lane
Cheryl was born and raised in Johnson City, Tennessee, and went to college at East Tennessee State University before marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia. She started writing as a hobby when she was in college after purchasing a couple of Southern Heritage cookbooks, which were filled with pages of beautiful old plantation homes. She used to sit outside in her backyard and type on a manual typewriter at a picnic table under tall maple trees. Cheryl continued writing after moving to Virginia Beach and visiting beautifully restored homes in Williamsburg as well as plantations on the James River.
Cheryl works as a court reporter now, while writing on the side. She self-published her first book in December 2012, Wellington Cross. She enjoys the freedom and creativity of self-publishing and her book, Sunrise Kisses, was a finalist in the 2018 Golden Quill Award Contest sponsored by Golden Box Books Publishing.
Cheryl loves being outside in nature and enjoys visiting historical homes and gardens, reading, traveling, gardening, taking walks, doing yoga, and spending time with family and friends. She is married to her sweetheart of 35 years, and has one son.
Interview With Cheryl R. Lane
Q: Tell us about your heroine. What inspired her quirks and struggles?
CRL: Dr. Courtney Beck is a veterinarian who co-owns Coastal Veterinarian. She is blonde, pleasingly plump (think Marilyn Monroe type body), divorced, and lives in a condo with two dogs. Her quirks are that she is highly opinionated and doesn’t hesitate to voice them, which can create arguments (but as it turns out, her new love interest loves that about her). Her struggles are that she has a secret that she hasn’t told a soul, and it is the reason she has a hard time trusting men. If she found a man she could actually trust, she might just reveal her secret.
Q: Tell us about your hero. What motivates him?
CRL: Owen Carson is a former Navy SEAL who returned to his hometown of Jonesborough, Tennessee, after he got out of the Navy and divorced his cheating wife. After his parents pass away, he returns to Virginia Beach, where some of his Navy buddies still live. He looks for a ranch to buy and raise cattle on, something that he did in Tennessee on his father’s farm. He has trust issues since his ex-wife cheated on him while he was on deployment, but a new love interest motivates him to try to find love again, someone who he feels comfortable with and who can join him in his life on the farm.
Q: If your book was made into a movie, who would star in it?
CRL: I have a whole collage of pictures of my inspirations, including Brandon Sklenar (aka Spencer Dutton from 1923) as Owen; Sally Lindsay (from British show Mount Pleasant) as Courtney; Keith Urban as Luke Callaway; Jennifer Aniston as Jen Callaway; Joe Manganiello as Jason Barnes; Sarah Lancaster as Sarah Barnes.
Q: Are your book series related, and if so, how?
CRL: This new book is book 4 in the Angel series. Part of the book continues the story of the Wellington descendants, who I wanted to find and possibly get their hands on the old plantation in Virginia that their ancestors built and lived in through the years. You can read about this plantation in my other two series: Wellington Cross Series (set in the 1800s) and Wellington Patriot Series (set in the 1700s). When I started writing the Angel series, I decided that I wanted to connect the Wellington family to the new characters, set in modern day.
The first series I wrote was Wellington Cross series, just after the Civil War, and I included one of those characters in the Angel series (he is part-angel and thus is blessed/cursed with longevity). After writing about these Wellingtons and then Jason in Whispers From the Past (book 3 in Angel series), I decided to go back and tell the story of Baldwin Wellington, whose painting hung on the walls of Wellington Cross in the 1800s. So that’s when I wrote the Patriot series. Thus, all my books are connected, and you really get a feel for it in this fourth book.
Q: What was your inspiration for this new book?
CRL: As in question 4, I wanted to continue the story of the Wellington descendants and have them discover the old plantation that they’d read about in their ancestors’ diaries. I also wanted to add a new couple who had differences of opinions about certain things (food and animals are at the top of the list), but who could also relate to each other and also have fun together. Enter, Owen and Courtney. Very different backgrounds, but they both have a love for animals and country life, and it was fun writing about their budding romance.
THIS OR THAT:
Coffee or tea? Both. I drink coffee in the mornings (decaf only for me), and hot tea in the afternoon and/or evening.
Shower or bath? I prefer baths; I take one every evening when I am at home. It’s just more relaxing and wastes less water.
Print or eBook? I love the feel and smell of a real book in my hands, but sometimes that’s just not convenient. So I read mostly from my phone, for ease and space (my phone is always on me!), especially when traveling for work.
Morning or night? I am more of a morning person (just not TOO early, lol). I start “shutting down” like C3PO, as my husband says, at a certain point in the evening, usually around 9:00.
City or country? I prefer the country. I love trees, fields, lakes, and all things nature. Although the city can be nice when my husband and I travel to places like Dublin or London, where you can walk everywhere close to your hotel, including pubs. But I wouldn’t want to live in a city; too noisy and too populated for me.
Summer or winter? That’s a hard one, because I sweat easily, and there are only so many clothes you can take off in the summer and still be decent! So in that regard, I prefer the temperatures in the winter, especially where I live in Virginia Beach; it doesn’t really get too cold here. But as far as the scenery around me, I definitely prefer the green trees and brilliant flowers of summer. So overall, I would say summer.
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