Authors: Terra Kelly
The Winters Family Series: Book 1
Copyright 2014 Terra Kelly
Published by Terra Kelly at Amazon
All rights reserved.
Isabel Sloane grew up in suburban Philadelphia, and recently relocated to the North Carolina coast, renting a little cottage by the beach and working as a reporter. Her history with men, nothing to write home about.
Drew Winters is a firefighter, who has spent his entire life in Wilmington, NC. After several failed relationships, he's sworn off women altogether.
When Isabel meets Drew, something's going to give.
Can Drew convince Isabel he is not like the other men she has dated? Can Isabel prove to Drew that she's not self-absorbed like all his past relationships. Will they be able to get beyond their chemistry for each other, and finally use the "L" word?
There are recipes made by Isabel included in the back of the book.
This book is dedicated to my Angel. Thank you for always believing in me, and pushing me to follow my passion.
To my furry kids, thank you for listening as I wrote my story. Having an audience that just loves everything about you unconditionally is priceless.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments Page 5
Chapter 1 Pg 8
Chapter 2 Pg 10
Chapter 3 Pg 19
Chapter 4 Pg 38
Chapter 5 Pg 54
Chapter 6 Pg 62
Chapter 7 Pg 80
Chapter 8 Pg 126
Chapter 9 Pg 140
Chapter 10 Pg 165
Chapter 11 Pg 172
Chapter 12 Pg 180
Chapter 13 Pg 196
Epilogue Pg 206
Recipes Pg 211
About Author Pg 223
Excerpt Pg 225
So many people to thank, who were the catalysts in making this book happen. The first person to thank, and the most important person, my husband. I also call my husband my "angel." He has always been honest about my writing, and even still loves my crazy imagination. He corrects, directs, and protects me. The day I woke from a dream and wrote it down, he told me he wanted to know more, and encouraged me to write my story.
Next is the place that pushed me to write my story. No need to to share the whole, long drawn-out tale. Several years ago while finishing part of my education someone told me I was not a good writer. For some crazy reason I believed it. Thank goodness my imagination didn't give up on me. I have proven to myself that that person was very wrong. Never let anyone take away your dreams. Don't stop writing!
Thank you to Patti, from Easton Place Design Studio! You approached me about creating a stellar cover for my book and you made my dream come alive in a blink of an eye. I look forward to working with you on my future books!
Thank you to Smashwords, Amazon, and Create-a-Space. These sites are beyond wonderful for Indie Writers. As an Indie Writer, we need a place that supports our passion, and helps to make it a reality.
Thank you to my Aunt Lee, a fellow book nerd. The first draft is the ugliest draft to read, but she still read mine. My Aunt has been my cheerleader from day one. When I started doubting my story, she encouraged me, and pushed me to continue writing.
Thank you to my cousin Meggie. Your continued excitement, understanding, and love for life always pushes me forward. You have always been, and will always be, my hero. You never let negative overtake you. You always see the happier side of life, and most importantly, you always follow your passion.
Thank you to my immediate family! My parents, my sister, my in-laws, my sister in-law, and my niece. You all are truly wonderful. Thank you for supporting me, loving me, and letting my imagination always run rampant.
Thank you to my family and friends. You all continue to support me, and show so much excitement for my dream.
Thank you to my blog readers at CafeTerraBlog.com. When I started my food blog, I still believed I was not a good writer. After almost five years of creating recipes, and building my photography skills. I finally realized I was also a good writer. My love for creating recipes led me to sharing recipes in my books.
Thank you to my present readers, and future readers. Without you, I would have all these stories swirling around in my head. Now I can let these stories finally come to life!
"Are you sure you have to go?" Camille said smiling, grabbing her daughters hand.
Isabel held her mother's hand tight.
"Well, I signed on the dotted line today, so it's official!"
"It's going to be so weird around here without your laugh." Camille let go of her daughters hand, stood, and walked to the kitchen counter.
Isabel was having a difficult time processing everything. She decided to take the next step in her career, which meant moving away from her home and her family. She was a Philly girl, born and raised, loved the big city.
Now here she was moving to a small town on the coast of North Carolina. It doesn't have to be forever, just a couple years. She kept repeating that to herself.
The back door noisily opened, startling Isabel back to the present. Her brother Dane strolled in, all six feet four inches of him. Izzy and her brother shared the same hair color, the same eyes, and until today, were inseparable.
Dane stopped in his tracks, inhaling deeply.
"Is that my Mom's homemade apple pie?" Smiling, Dane walked over and kissed his mom on the cheek, then sat down in the kitchen chair next to Isabel. "How are you doing Sis?"
Isabel smiled with a little bit of work, "I signed the contract today, so... feeling a bit overwhelmed."
"Please. They're lucky to have you." Jack, Isabel's father, said as he walked into the kitchen. He sat down opposite Isabel and Dane.
Dane nodded in agreement, "were you able to rent the cottage you wanted by the beach?"
"I totally forgot to tell you! I did get the cottage! It's amazing." Punching Dane's arm lightly, "AND you better visit, and more than once."
Two months later:
Isabel was sitting in a gigantic overstuffed chair in the living room by a large bay window, drinking coffee and looking out at the ocean, lost in thought. She was sort of watching a football game she recorded the night before when she realized she was sitting in silence.
The electricity had gone out. The sky was clear, no sign of a storm. So, she sat back in her chair to relax before she had to get ready for work.
In some ways it seemed like yesterday, but she had arrived in North Carolina two months ago. Her job as a reporter at a television station in Wilmington was fantastic.
She had worked as a reporter part-time in Philly for a few years. Now she was working full-time, and loved all the excitement the job brought to her day. She regularly had the lead story at night, and had even broken a story or two since she started.
Being a kid in Philly was challenging and fun. You had to be strong, ready for anything. She grew up mostly around boys, and her brother Dane was very protective. With all that testosterone around her, it was only a matter of time before she became a football junkie, too. The Philadelphia Eagles were her team, she developed an equal hate for the Cowboys and the Giants.
As a reporter, she actually interviewed Randall Cunningham, the Eagles' star Quarterback. That would be the highlight of her career, until she has an opportunity to interview Channing Tatum.
She stood from her chair to stretch. The white shimmering curtains on her window were blowing lightly from the breeze coming in through the open window. It was weird being away from her family and friends. There were days she really struggled with being so far away from family. Then, there were days like today that made her fall in love with living on the coast.
Her parents called frequently but her brother was not good at picking up a phone, so instead they emailed all the time.
She got lucky and found the rental cottage on one of those rental home sites. It sat outside of Wilmington, by Kure Beach. Her drive to work is 20-30 minutes, but so worth it.
Drew Winters has lived in the cottage next door to Isabel for about four years. Nothing compared to the beach life. Drew could not understand how anyone could not love the sound of the ocean, or the salt water air.
He was a firefighter, and worked crazy hours. When he had time to himself, he would go for a run on the beach. The area of the beach that ran up to the cottages were privately owned, and usually when Drew went for a run, there would be maybe two or three other people running or walking.
He lived alone in his little cottage, and really... really... liked it that way. Somehow he was a magnet for self-absorbed-too-much-make-up-expensive-clothes-with-extreme-fake-personalities women. He was ready to find someone and maybe settle down, and decided he could be picky, set his bar high, and find just the right woman- the one that would knock him off his feet. If he could be really picky, he was looking for a woman with a strong will, not afraid to be herself, and someone who loved life.
He was beginning to think that woman didn't exist.
As he headed out for another run he locked his door, turned, and froze. He had seen his neighbor maybe a handful of times, always heading into the house or heading to her car- apparently she worked odd hours, too. Since she was always turned to the side, he never really got a good look at her face.
Now, as he stood on his porch he could see her standing in front of her big bay window. He still couldn't see her face perfectly, but to be honest, he wasn't looking for her face.
She was standing there behind her curtains stark naked.
His first thought, was he seeing things? Should he be looking at her? His second thought- "I believe I need to meet this woman."
After all, he was a man. A man who loved the female body. He was immediately aroused, and his shorts started feeling a bit uncomfortable. He put his run on hold, hastily unlocked his front door, and went back into his cottage for a very cold shower.
At some point in Isabel's life she started to feel comfortable with her curvy "plus-size" body. So most of the time you could find Isabel unconfined by clothes. She enjoyed relaxing naked, even doing some household chores with a dust rag and nothing else.
One area of her house that required clothes, her kitchen. As she looked out the window, she felt her stomach start to growl. She turned to head to her bedroom for a robe, and froze. This was the first time in two months she really got a good look at her neighbor. Even from this distance she could see his ocean blue eyes. Seriously, the man looked like Channing Tatum AND oh my god was looking right at her. There were curtains! How could he see her?