Today I am so pleased to welcome our very own Kris T. Bethke back to Joyfully Jay. Kris has come to exclusively share the cover for her upcoming release, Hearts and Hazelnuts. She has also brought along an excerpt. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Thanks for having me on the blog today!

I’m so excited to be a part of Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love collection.

My story, Hearts and Hazelnuts, takes place in Oregon and I did my best to show off the beauty and specialness of the state while telling a great story.

And just take a look at that beautiful cover, designed by the amazing Brooke Albrecht. It really does a perfect job of showcasing the story within.

I love Jordan and Beck, and everything they went through to find their happily ever after. I hope you do too.

Available on November 29, 2017


Hearts and Hazelnuts


The smile Jordan gave him was the most genuine he’d seen from him, and Beck’s insides just melted. Jordan Hart was breathtaking, and Beckett wanted to devour him. But first there was business to attend to.

Beck stood and crossed the room to where he kept one of the company checkbooks. A quick calculation gave him the amount he needed, and he wrote out Jordan’s pay. Then he handed him the check. Jordan looked startled, but he took it without looking at it, folded it in half, and tucked it into his back pocket.

He dropped his gaze as he murmured, “Thanks.” Then he took a healthy swig from his mug and downed half the contents.

Beck fought a frown. Did Jordan think he was done with him? That couldn’t be further from the truth. He just wanted their business concluded before he took the next step, so he quickly cast about, looking for any excuse to keep Jordan with him. His gaze landed on the cake he’d baked the night before—his favorite of his mom’s recipes, God rest her—and snagged it off the counter.

“Want some cake?”

Jordan gave a slight jerk, and his gaze shot to Beck’s. His mouth worked for a moment. “Umm… what kind?”

“Hazelnut.” Beck winked.

Jordan’s laugh surprised them both, but it was a deep, rich sound that did funny things to Beck’s insides. He loved the way Jordan’s shoulders relaxed and he leaned back slightly as though he were getting comfortable. When he sensed that Jordan’s gaze tracked him as he crossed to the cabinet to retrieve plates, Beck put a little wiggle in his hips. Then he sauntered back and paid attention to the way Jordan reacted.

There was definitely some interest there. Beck had hoped Jordan was open-minded after the way he reacted to Cory’s situation. And he wanted those little cues and signals he’d been picking up from Jordan to be real. It seemed he hadn’t been mistaken, and his blood began to rush.

He cut a slice from the cake and used his fingers to gently lift and place it on a plate. It was an automatic gesture to lift his thumb, stick it in his mouth, and suck off a bit of stray frosting. But when Jordan sucked in a fast breath and his pupils dilated as Beck watched, Beck had the final clue he needed. He took a deep breath and then he took a big chance.

Beck pinched up a bite of the moist cake and held it out to Jordan.

“Wanna taste?”


Hearts and HazelnutsMechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.


kris t. bethke

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her siteFacebook, or on Twitter

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