On Tour with Prism Book Tours
A Family for Jason (Back to Bluestone River #1) By Virginia McCullough Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 384 pages August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming
She’s not home for keeps
Unless he proves first love is forever
Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?
Ruby rubbed the fur on Peach’s neck, thinking how peaceful it was to watch the kids play. This playground had been added to the Bluestone River Park when Ruby was about the same age as these children. Her gaze settled on one little boy staring at her and Peach from one of the swings. He was moving back and forth in a lackluster way, dragging his feet across the protective rubber mat under the swing. When he got off the swing and began walking toward them, Ruby took hold of Peach’s collar and told her to sit. “Good girl,” she said when Peach settled on her haunches. “Now stay. And no barking.”
When the boy was still a few yards away, caution led Ruby to greet him. “Hi there. My dog is friendly, but she doesn’t know you.” She indicated that he should come to her left side, opposite the dog, who sat at her right. “You’re welcome to say hello.”
The boy nodded solemnly, but then a faint smile appeared. As he inched ahead, Peach’s tail swished across the ground.
“Her name is Peach. I’m Ruby.”
The boy didn’t say anything, but the smile stayed.
“Here comes somebody you know.” Ruby nodded toward a woman hurrying across the gravel with a toddler planted on her hip.
“I think your little boy likes my dog,” Ruby said. “She’s very gentle, so it’s okay if he comes a little closer.”
“Do you want to do that, Jason?” the woman asked.
That was all the encouragement the boy needed in order to come close enough for Peach to start sniffing his shoes.
“This is Jason. He’s one of the kids I watch after school.” She patted the toddler’s leg. “This is my little one, Molly.”
“Well, if it’s okay with you, Jason can pet the dog. Peach is pretty sweet.”
Jason’s big blue-gray eyes opened wide as his smile spread across his face. He moved closer and stroked Peach’s back.
“You’ve made a friend, Jason.”
The boy glanced Ruby’s way, but still didn’t speak.
“He’s kind of quiet.” The woman patted the top of the boy’s head. “That’s okay. You’ll talk when you’re ready.” She flashed Ruby a pointed look.
She was trying to communicate something, but Ruby didn’t know what. Not exactly. But the thin pale lines and telltale puckering of burn scars on the boy’s forearms might have something to do with his silence.
About the Author
Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.
Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.