Please welcome author Cathy Tully to Attacking The Page. Cathy is my writing buddy, conference roommate, and Isshinryu karate student. She was recently promoted to Ku Kyu (yellow belt) last month! Her debut novel, All You Need Is Love, is a sweet romance and is available from Astraea Press and Amazon. Read her excerpt below. Welcome Cathy!
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE is the book of my heart. My life was blessed with, Little Man, the Yorkshire Terrier portrayed in this story for nine wonderful years. Having lost another dog a few years ago, I never took Little Man for granted and enjoyed every day that he graced my life with his presence.
He was special in so many ways, I wanted to share his zany, crazy, loving personality with as many people as possible. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE is the greatest tribute I could pay to Little Man, who was indeed, a beloved member of my family. I hope you enjoy reading ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, and fall in love with Little Man just like I did : )
Caitlyn Stiles has one wish–to take over the family business. When she returns from college and this is no longer an option, she travels to Promise, Massachusetts to look after her ailing grandmother where she takes a job as a part-time dog walker.
Can one sweet, little dog teach Jack there’s more to life than work? Teach Caitlyn to let go of her resentment? And teach them both that ALL THEY NEED IS LOVE?
“Caitlyn, are you ready yet?” Her mother called from the bottom of the stairs.
“Hurry. All the best plants will be gone if we get there too late.”
She closed the closet door and gazed out her bedroom window. It was a clear, warm day with a vivid blue sky. A vivid blue that reminded her of Jack’s eyes. She groaned and headed down into the kitchen where her mother waited.
With Easter only a week away, she’d promised her mother she’d go to the nursery and pick up some crocus, hyacinths and assorted flowers to brighten the front of the townhouse.
“So, are you ready to help me pick out some pretty yellow tulips?” Her mother wiped her hands on a kitchen towel.
“What did you say?”
“Yellow tulips. This year I’ve decided to fill the entire front of the house with yellow tulips.”
Caitlyn flinched. “But I thought we’d decorate the front of the house like last year when you first moved in. Use a mix of assorted pansies. What happened to that idea? You loved the effect. You even agreed it would be colorful and perky.”
Her mother shook her head. “No. I’ve changed my mind. This year I want to use bulbs, so they’ll come back again and again. Since I didn’t plant any last fall, we can buy potted tulips that’ll come back again year after year. And I’ve decided that yellow tulips should be the main accent color. Bright yellow. Vivid yellow. Beautiful yellow tulips.”
Caitlyn groaned. Tulips? The one flower; the only flower she hoped to dissuade her mother from using.
“What’s wrong with you? A beautiful bright yellow will serve as the perfect accent color for the house’s brick face and black shutters. I even bought a gorgeous yellow spring wreath for the door.”
Caitlyn put her head in her hands.
“I think yellow will look stunning. They’re going to make our house stand out from all the others on the block. I even saw something similar in a magazine, and I’m telling you, the effect was beautiful.”
“Okay mom. I get it. You want yellow.”
“Yes. Yellow tulips. You used to love yellow tulips. They were your favorite flower.”
“Were is the operative word, Mom. Were.”
“What happened to change your mind?”
Caitlyn couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Jack happened.”
“I don’t understand.”
“He ruined everything.”
“Nonsense. How can a man ruin your favorite flower?”
Caitlyn groaned. “It’s not bad enough he works for a company I detest, but then he shows up out of nowhere to get his mitts on dad’s recipe behind my back. To top it all off, he brings me yellow tulips.”
“I said Jack brought me yellow tulips.”
“No. Before that.”
No. Before that.”
“Jack works for Cunningham Coffee, Mom.” Caitlyn blew out an exasperated sigh.
“Oh honey, you’re thoroughly confused. About everything.” Her mother walked over to the table and sat next to her. She kept her voice low. “Tell me sweetie, did you insist Jack leave that morning he came to town, even though you love him, because you thought he still worked for that horrible company?”
Caitlyn nodded and bit her quivering bottom lip. “I can’t be with someone like that. Someone who works for people like that. What does that say about him?”
Her mother sat opposite her then reached across the kitchen table and squeezed both her hands. “Caitlyn, Jack doesn’t work for Cunningham Coffee anymore.” She handed Caitlyn a tissue.
She blotted her eyes. “No. He probably owns his own company now. He’s probably taking advantage of more people like they taught him to.”
“As a matter of fact he does operate his own company. Well, part of the company. He and I haven’t worked out all the details yet.”
Caitlyn stood and pushed her chair in, ignoring her mother’s comment. “If I know him, he’s closing every innocent, little store he can get his hands on.”
“You don’t know him at all do you?”
“What does that mean?” Caitlyn said.
“It means you better get ready to eat some crow!”