Things keep getting brighter for fans...The New York Times bestselling author of Blue Skies is back with a brand-new love story!The novels of Catherine Anderson have been praised as "richly emotional [and] deeply satisfying" (Booklist). Now, in Anderson's latest Coulter family story, serious-minded Zeke Coulter's life begins to sizzle when he finally meets his match...
"Emotionally involving, family-centered, and relationship oriented."-Library Journal"Not only does Catherine Anderson push the envelope, she seals, stamps, and sends it to the reader with love."-Affaire de Coeur -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 28, 2004
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Excerpt from Bright Eyes by Catherine Anderson
As Zeke Coulter parked his red Dodge Ram in front of his new ranch-style home that August afternoon, he was eagerly anticipating the weekend. One of the drawbacks of owning a ranch-supply store was that he had to work most Saturdays, but he'd rearranged the employee shift schedule that morning to give himself a mini-vacation, two entire days to do exactly as he pleased. Although a half rack of cold longnecks sat beside him on the seat, there would be no beer on tap for him tonight. He planned to work outside in the garden until dark and then spend the remainder of the evening putting up vegetables for winter.
Just as he reached to turn off the truck ignition, his cell phone rang. He expected it to be someone at the store. Randall, the night manager, couldn't wipe his own ass without Zeke telling him how.
"Zeke here," he answered, his voice edged with frustration.
"You got a hot date tonight?"
Zeke grinned. He hadn't heard from his younger brother Hank in over a week. "Hey, little brother. I thought your dialing finger was broken." Hank was newly married, and Zeke couldn't resist teasing him. "That pretty little bride must be keeping you mighty busy."
"We come up for air occasionally," Hank replied good-naturedly. "Carly and I were hoping you might come out for dinner. Southern-fried chicken with all the trimmings."
"I thought the smell of fried food made her sick."
"Not anymore. She's over that and having sudden cravings again. Tonight it's fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy."
"Which one of you is pregnant? Sounds highly suspicious to me. That's your favorite meal."
Hank chuckled. "We've got similar tastes. What can I say? You comin' out or not?"
With genuine regret, Zeke explained that he had other plans for the evening.
"Picking vegetables and canning?" Hank echoed with unveiled disgust. "You've got the Coulter reputation to uphold, remember. It comes as part of the genetic package, right along with the nose."
Zeke couldn't help but laugh. It was true; he and all his brothers had their father's looks?sable hair, dark skin, blue eyes, and sharply chiseled features, the most prominent of which was a large nose that their mother often likened to the blade of a bowie knife.
"If I don't get my tomatoes put up this weekend, they'll ruin. I worked too damned hard growing that garden to let the produce go to waste."
"What's the matter with you, bro? Thirty-three and single on a Friday night, and you're going to can tomatoes? You're supposed to be having fun."
"Almost thirty-four, and I enjoy canning."
"Don't tell anyone."
Zeke laughed again. "You had enough fun for both of us, and look how you ended up. Canning tomatoes is safer."
"I like the way I ended up," Hank retorted, his tone mellow with contentment.
Hank did seem to be truly happy, and Zeke was glad for him. But getting married and raising a family weren't for everyone. "I'm sorry I can't make it for dinner, bro. Tell Carly thanks for the invite."
Zeke had just ended the call when he saw a boy who looked to be about twelve racing from behind the house. Just the way the kid ran, shoulders hunched and body low to the ground, told Zeke that trouble was afoot. Cursing under his breath, he swung out of the vehicle.
"Hey!" he yelled.
His T-shirt flapping and sneakers flying, the kid never broke stride. Zeke watched him cut across the field that lay between his forty acres and the neighboring farm. Fantastic. He could well remember being that age. Summers in the country could be long and boring for a boy who wasn't kept busy, and boredom often led to mischief.