Today I am so pleased to welcome Lucy Lennox to Joyfully Jay. Lucy has come as part of the Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour to talk to us about her book, Facing West: A Forever Wilde Novel. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I am excited to attend the Coastal Magic in February. This will be my first year attending, and Jay was kind enough to offer to help celebrate by allowing me to introduce myself to all of you and spotlight one of my books. I’m currently writing the sixth full-length novel in my Forever Wilde series which will feature the long-awaited story of the Wilde family patriarchs: Doc and Grandpa. These two lovable, meddling men are first introduced in book one of the series, Facing West.
Facing West is the story of a baby falling into the unlikely hands of her estranged uncle, the tattoo-covered street punk from San Francisco. Nico is the guy who took off from tiny Hobie, Texas, as a teen and thought he’d never come back. So when he gets the call that there is a newborn baby girl waiting for him to claim her, he freaks out.
Waiting for him back in Hobie is Mr. Perfect. Well, Mr. Goody Two Shoes, actually. West Wilde has always been the town’s golden boy, and now he’s passing judgment on the town’s old bad boy. Needless to say, when the two opposites reunite, sparks fly and tempers flare.
I wanted to spotlight Facing West today because, during a time of year when family can be both a curse and a treasure, it’s fun to read about ones crazier than ours! In Facing West, we meet the huge, nutty Wilde Family who I’ve spent the past year getting to know and falling in love with.
I hope you enjoy meeting them as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. Starting today, Facing West is on a Kindle Countdown Deal as a thanks for JoyfullyJay, her readers (you!), and any of you hoping to try out one of my books before the Coastal Magic Convention. The Kindle Countdown Deal puts the book on sale from $4.99 down to $0.99 midnight PST on Dec 20th. Every 31 hours it will increase a dollar. Hope this helps you add yet another book to devour during the upcoming holidays!
I felt like I was in a daze. Like everything that had happened since listening to that voice mail two nights before had been a hallucination. I’d flown in on the red-eye that morning and rented a car to make it to the service just in time. I’d snuck into the back row of the church and just tried to keep my head down. I was still in deep denial about everything.
When the baby’s cries had rung out through the church, I’d jumped, knocking some kind of brass platter to the stone floor in a horrible racket. It felt like the entire group of mourners turned to stare at me. As if I hadn’t already attracted enough attention in the entire town just by showing up.
It had taken every ounce of my courage to return to Hobie after the attorney had given me the details of Adriana’s death the morning before.
Adriana Cristina Salerno. My older sister by three years. The sister I’d tried looking up to before I’d left all those years before but who’d repeatedly let me down.
I’d slunk out of the pew and out the back door of the church. I hadn’t been able to take it anymore. Too many memories of Sunday services, sitting up straight and trying to stay awake during the incessant incantations of the priest’s rituals. I’d sworn to myself I’d never set foot in another church as long as I lived, and up until then, I’d been able to keep that promise.
By the time I’d made it to my rental car in the parking lot, my hands were shaking so hard I would have done anything for a shot of tequila. Instead, I crossed my arms on the frame across the top of the driver’s side door and leaned my forehead against them before letting out a deep sigh.
Only a few minutes later, the attorney had found me and introduced himself, pulling me back toward the churchyard to meet the baby. Adriana’s baby. My sister’s baby.
My baby now.
Well, at least until I could find a way to sign away my rights to her and find her a good set of adoptive parents. Mr. Baptiste had assured me over the phone that there was a wonderful young family ready to adopt her. I just needed to come to town long enough to sign the appropriate paperwork and facilitate the dispensation of the rest of Adriana’s assets, including her house and the bakery she owned in town.
When the attorney had called out to a tall man and older woman, he explained that the older woman was the baby’s current foster parent and the man was the town’s family doctor.
“He was also Adriana’s friend,” Mr. Baptiste said quietly before the man himself stepped close enough to be introduced.
Weston Wilde. But not exactly the same West I’d had a secret crush on as a young teen.
This West was tall, at least five inches taller than I was, and tight with muscle that didn’t quite fit the clean-cut suit he wore. His thick blond hair curled deliciously with waves that begged for fingers in them. Light green eyes bore into me, and I felt my balls tighten inappropriately. I studied the man for another split second before looking up at the deep blue sky and mentally shooting God the bird.
Really, motherfucker? You’re really going to dangle a guy like that in front of me in the middle of all this bullshit? Couldn’t he have lost his hair by now or some shit?
What a fucking joke.
He was, of course, perfect—he’d aged beautifully with laugh lines next to his eyes that took the tiniest edge off his otherwise aggressively masculine face. He was a fashion magazine’s take on a cowboy.
The man’s face was etched out of goddamned man stone. Like Charlton Heston and Robert Redford got together to chisel a man’s man out of desert man granite and came up with this manly version of—
“Like hell,” I heard him snap. I blinked and tried desperately to replay what could have happened while I was busy fantasizing about man stuff.
Before I could figure out what the hell was going on, he’d loaded up an arm full of pink blankets and sped off.
“Um,” I began.
“Oh heavens,” the older lady muttered.
“Dammit.” The attorney sighed.
I left my family and tiny Texas hometown fifteen years ago to escape small-town gossips and to give my mom and sister the chance at a better life. But when a phone call from an attorney back home informs me that my sister passed away, leaving me custody of her newborn baby, I’m shocked out of the steady life I’ve built for myself running a tattoo shop in San Francisco.
The thing is: I don’t do babies. And I don’t do small towns. Or commitment. And I especially don’t do family. My plan is to go back to Hobie just long enough to sign adoption papers, giving my niece the kind of stable, loving family I could never provide.
But the moment I meet my niece in the arms of Weston Wilde, my sister’s best friend and the town’s handsome doctor, my plans begin to change. Because suddenly, I see a different future. One with the very thing I thought I never deserved: a family. If only I can convince West that I’m not the same good-for-nothing kid ready to bolt when things get tough.
There’s one thing I know for sure about Nico Salerno: he was a good-for-nothing as a kid and judging by the purple-haired, tattoo’d punk who shows up at his sister’s funeral, he hasn’t changed. There’s no way I’m letting him take custody of my best friend’s baby.
But the more time I spend around him, the more I realize that his rough exterior is just a shell and that beneath all the tattoos is a scared, insecure man searching for a place to belong. And pretty soon I know exactly where he belongs: in my bed and by my side.
The problem is, he abandoned his family once before, how do I know that if we become a family he won’t do it again?
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because she is a sucker for a good story.