Linny's Sweet Dream List by Susan Schild

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Linny’s Sweet Dream List by Susan Schild
Have you ever accidentally hit a good looking man in the head with a bottle while recycling? Linny has.
Linny’s Sweet Dream List is a Southern story about love and family, small town life and bright, vivid characters you are going to want as friends.
Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Dorothea Benton Frank might well enjoy Linny’s Sweet Dream List. Set in the South, the novel’s colorful characters are searching for - and finding - their happily ever afters. Linny’s Sweet Dream List is available January 5th in paperback and digitally on Amazon.

Excerpt from Linny’s Sweet Dream List: Linny finds a puppy and takes him to the veterinarian. She realizes he’s the man she accidentally hit in the head with a bottle at the recycling center.

In the examining room, the puppy wove in and out of Linny’s legs, and nibbled on the hem of her khakis. She extracted a chew toy from her purse, and tried to distract him from his pants-chewing mission. 

A few moments later, a tall man stepped in, chart in hand. Wearing a white lab coat over a crisp, blue Oxford-cloth shirt, chinos, and white running shoes, he looked familiar.
He stuck out his hand. “I’m Jack Avery.”

She shook it. “I’m Linny Taylor, and this is Roy.”

The vet cocked his head and gave her a wicked grin. “Hello, again. You wore the too sexy for my skin t-shirt at the recycling center, right?”

Good grief. He was the man she’d hit in the head with a bottle at the dumpster. She flushed, hot with humiliation. “How is your head?”

His astonishing green eyes twinkled. “Fine and dandy.”

Her words came out in a rush. “That wasn’t my real shirt, it was a gag gift. And those weren’t my bottles. I found them and…” She trailed off. There was just too much to explain.

“You must have thought I was awful.”

Jack looked at her gravely, and gave her a half smile. “I thought you were probably a nice lady with a lot on her mind.” He nodded as if to confirm what he’d said. “You’re Kate’s sister. Ruthie said you’d be coming in today.”

“That’s right.” Maybe he didn’t think she was a nut, knowing she was related to normal people. Her calming affirmation for today was, Let go of worrying what others think of you, but that would be hard to do. She glanced at his green eyes. She cared what this man thought of her more than she would like to admit.

“Kate and Jerry are fine people.” The vet slipped on a pair of half glasses and lifted the puppy to the metal table. “Let’s take a look at this young man.” His big hands moving gently as he examined Roy. He glanced at her. “So you found this fellow?"

“I did.”

Roy gnawed at Jack’s fingers as he lifted the puppy’s lips to look at his teeth. “Looks to be about six to eight weeks old. Mostly Lab…” He pointed to black spots on Roy’s tongue and his curled-up tail. “…with other fine breeds in the mix. He’s a handsome boy.”

“Thank you.” Linny felt foolishly proud of the compliment.

Roy chewed at the vet’s stethoscope, and almost wriggled off the table. She steadied the puppy’s rear end. Her hand accidentally brushed the vet’s, she felt a jolt of crazy electricity. She inhaled sharply. What was that about?

“Jerry’s going to build an addition for us in the fall,” Jack said.

“Good,” she murmured, hearing the us. Of course, he’d be married. She saw no ring on his left hand, but his hands were probably in and out of icky animal things all day.
Craning her neck slightly, she tried to look at the back of his neck. Mary Catherine swore that if a married man’s neck was hairy, the marriage was in trouble. If you added a crazy eyebrow or two, and ear hair, the marriage was in the death throes.

The vet caught her glance and raised a brow, but continued his examination. He felt Roy’s roly-poly belly. “He’s probably full of intestinal parasites. Let me check the stool sample you brought us.” The vet stepped out of the room.

She scratched Roy’s ears, and examined the room for clues about the man. The examining room was built for business— just a chair, an examining table, and a counter. But tacked on a bulletin board were several photos of a young boy, along with a handmade Father’s Day card and banner that read # 1 Dad!! Linny held Roy over her shoulder like a baby as she peered at them. In what looked like a school picture, a skinny boy looked oddly formal in a coat and tie, his expression pensive.

Linny felt a stab of regret. Maybe she and Andy should have had babies right away instead of waiting until his accounting firm was up and running. Just as he began to make money and work more normal hours, he died. She hugged the puppy, and tried to push away the scary thought that she might never have another chance for love and her own family.

Dr. Jack stepped back into the room. “He tested positive. We’ll get him started on these.” He held up a pill package. “The dosing instructions are on the back.” The vet glanced at the chart. “I gave him his vaccinations. Ruthie can schedule Roy for a follow-up in three weeks. In two weeks, you need to start him on preventatives for heartworm and for fleas and ticks. You can get those from Ruthie.” Easing Roy to the floor, he gave him a final scratch. “Be good for your mama.” He handed her the lead. 

“Thank you.” Linny was careful not to touch his fingers as she took it. Her heart couldn’t take two lightning bolts in one day.

At the door, she paused and tilted her head toward the bulletin board. “How old is your son?”

He looked startled, but a smile spread across his face. “He’s eleven. Neal’s a real good boy.”

Linny smiled back, liking how proud he sounded.

Blurb about the book:
Linny’s Sweet Dream List is a Southern story about love and family, small town life and bright characters you are going to want as friends.
The book is a sunny, wholesome read. If you are ever overwhelmed by the bad news in the world, join me in Willow Hill, North Carolina where colorful characters are searching for - and finding - their happily ever afters. Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Dorothea Benton Frank may well enjoy Linny’s Sweet Dream List.
Linny‘s Sweet Dream List is the first of three Willow Hill novel. Two sequels to the novel, Sweet Carolina Morning and Sweet Southern Hearts – will be released later in 2016.

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