Monday, March 6, 2017

Pre-Release Blitz for Love's Promise by Melissa Storm

Releases on March 7 | On Sale for 99¢

She's waiting for her prince to come … but was he right beside her all the time?

Kristina Rose Maher wants to know why fairytales never happen for fat girls. Certain that diner cook Jeff, handsome and fit, will never want her as more than a friend, she stuffs down her attraction to him. But when she finds herself facing a life-altering weight loss surgery, she discovers she's willing to do whatever it takes to embrace life—and love—to the fullest.

Jeffrey Berkley can't bear the thought of losing the friend he’s only just beginning to realize matters so much to him… no matter what size she is. But he is also terrified that helping her reach for her dreams will also mean finally reaching for his own—and letting down his family’s legacy in the process.
Both Kristina Rose and Jeffrey must learn to love themselves before they can find a way to make a promise to each other. Will they finally be able to lay their heavy burdens at the Lord's feet, and trust him to bring the happily-ever-after they both crave?

Don't miss this sweet tale of faith, love, and gastric bypass–get your copy of Love's Promise today!


Barnes & Noble Nook ~


Chapter 1

“Order’s up!” Jeffrey bellowed from the kitchen as he slid a pair of plates into the window that looked out upon Mabel’s Old-Fashioned Diner.

“That was fast,” Kristina Rose said with a smile as she loaded up her round serving tray with condiments and extra napkins, then grabbed the meals he had prepared. Her teeth gleamed white against her dark complexion. The added contrast made Kristina’s smiles seem all the more special. Jeff had never been sure why, but he’d always appreciated the little jolt her happiness sent rushing through him.

“Gotta be fast,” he responded without missing a beat. “Mabel’s got a reputation to uphold, after all. And, besides, I’m starved. Gonna whip something up and take a late lunch. Want to join me? I can just as easily cook for two as I can one.”

The corners of her mouth fell, and Kristina let out a slow sigh. “I wish,” she muttered. “I started my liquid diet this morning. I’m only allowed protein drinks and chicken broth… and water, of course.”

“Sorry, sorry, I forgot!” He shooed her toward the waiting customers. Now that she’d mentioned it, he had noticed her step become a bit slower, her tray droop lower than usual.

She’d be going in for surgery later that week and absent from the diner for at least a month while she recovered. Their boss, Mabel, had insisted on it. Part of him wondered why she had even come into work at all if she’d already started her pre-surgery fast, but the answer seemed obvious enough. She’d already be missing out on a month of income as she recovered, and for a young woman living on her own, well, she needed every dollar she could scrimp and save.

And while they liked many of the same things, lived in the same city, and even came from two of the only non-white families in town, they were also different in a lot of ways, too. For starters, Kristina Rose had grown up in their tiny town of Sweet Grove, Texas, whereas Jeff hadn’t shown up until high school when his parents took over the old pharmacy downtown. He was close with his parents, always had been, but Kristina had never known her father and always seemed to prickle whenever Jeffrey asked after her mother.

But that was none of Jeff’s business, of course.
He’d always assumed Kristina stayed in Sweet Grove because her friends were the nearest thing to family—and that she stayed on as a waitress for Mabel because there weren’t an awful lot of other career prospects around town. All that was fine. He was happy to have her company day in and day out.

Jeffrey, on the other hand, stayed in town to delay the inevitable. His father wasn’t thrilled he’d taken time off after completing his bachelor’s degree to come home and work as a short-order cook. No, Jeffrey’s life had all been planned out for him, and now he’d fallen nearly a full year behind that preordained schedule. He was to finish college and move straight onto his Pharm.D. After that, he’d work under his father for a few years until the old man retired and left Jeffrey as the sole pharmacist at their tiny RX shop in downtown Sweet Grove. After all, a town as tiny as theirs only really needed the one.

Jeffrey tried not to gag just thinking about the heinous plans his father had made for his life without bothering to include him in the process. Instead, he reached into the cooler and grabbed three eggs, cracked them on the side of the griddle, and watch them ooze and sizzle on the hot surface.

Funny how heat had a way of changing things. Sometimes, like with the eggs, the hot made them better. Other times you ended up with a melty mess. And for his part, Jeffrey avoided the hot in life. He preferred to live his days at room temperature.

Not that he’d ever eat his eggs that way, mind you.

He rummaged about in the walk in until he found some shrimp nearing its expiration date. Shrimp? Sure, why not? He grabbed some sausage, too, and resolved to make a jambalaya scramble for a quick, pleasant lunch.

He loved how the act of cooking could combine such different ingredients and blend them together in one harmonious and delicious whole. What could pills do? Corrode your liver? Facilitate a suicide? Drive you to bankruptcy? Nope. No, thank you.

He didn’t begrudge his father his passions—he just didn’t share them himself. Jeff would take food as medicine over actual drugs Monday, Tuesday… heck, any day of the week.

Kristina came back to the window and clinked some ice into a fresh glass, then added a stream of water from the soda dispenser. “Tasty,” she said and winked at him. “Bet you’re so jealous of the five-star lunch I have going on right here.”

“Jealous of you?” he said, sprinkling some Frank’s Red Hot onto his steaming egg dish. “Always.” And as it turned out, he kind of was. Only he wasn’t entirely sure why just yet.

He pushed through the kitchen doors and came to sit next to her at the counter. They ate and drank in silence for a few moments. Kristina Rose kept her eyes cast down toward the counter and occasionally chewed on the inside of her cheek, sucking it in then letting it bounce back.

“Are you scared?” he asked between bites.

“Terrified,” she answered without a moment’s hesitation.

“It’ll be okay.”

“I know, but that doesn't make it any less scary.”

Funny, that was exactly how he felt when forced to look toward his own future. No, it would be better to just close his eyes, eat his eggs, and focus on all the things he liked right now in his present.

About Melissa Storm

Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa's way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.

Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. When she's not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her four dogs, four parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub. Because priorities.

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