Jo Huddleston is an Amazon Bestselling author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series and her Caney Creek series are sweet Southern historical romances. Her novels are endorsed by Amanda Cabot, Debra Lynn Collins, Cara Lynn James, Sharlene MacLaren, and Ann Tatlock. The redeeming story of God’s pursuing love is the foundation of her novels, and in them you will find inspiration, hope, and gentle stories that are intriguing and entertaining. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN).
Excerpt from Donna’s Detour
by Jo Huddleston
Needles, California, June 1956
Donna Turner wiped down the counter for what seemed like the umpteenth time since she’d clocked in at six this morning. She straightened the laminated menu standing in its place beside the napkin holder. When the glass door of the diner pushed open, she turned her weary attention to the new customer that entered.
What she saw took her breath away. Or did the gust of hot, dry desert air the hunky specimen brought in with him have something to do with her difficulty to breathe? After three months in Needles, California, she’d become used to the bone-dry air that slurped the air from your lungs the second you stepped outside. It was definitely the perfect guy she feasted her eyes on that had tripped her heart into overdrive and left her winded.
Her gaze followed him as he walked toward the one empty stool at the curved end of the counter. The familiar swing of his hips snapped her back to reality. Could it be? She had watched him from the bleachers every Friday night back home years ago. Who could forget him in his football uniform? Her junior high school crush on Thomas James Crowley had caused her to measure every date she’d had since then with his perfection.
She’d even made a list of what she wanted in a man—a list she carried with her to this day—a list that described him to a T: tall, handsome, sense of humor, faith in God, and a hundred-watt smile. It was that to-die-for smile he flashed her way now that drew her in his direction.
Donna started toward him with a glass of iced water and automatically removed her order pad from her apron pocket. She stopped in front of him, set down the water, and took a pencil from over her ear. “What’ll you have?”
He downed half the water in one gulp and reached for a menu. “What do you recommend?”
What did she recommend? Oh, my! She offered him a quick smile and pointed out the specials on the menu. As he looked over the lunch specials, another customer at the counter interrupted her thoughts.
“Miss? I need a refill on my coffee.”
She blinked herself back to the here and now. After refilling mugs, she returned the coffee pot to the hot plate and made her way to where Tommy examined the menu. “Have you decided what you want?”
“Yeah, give me your #3 special with a Coke.”
“Will that be all?”
“Maybe some pie later if I have room for it. Where’s your men’s room? I’d like to wash up.”
She pointed behind him with her pencil and stood frozen in her tracks as she watched him amble away from the counter. Finally, she tore his order from her pad and strolled to the see-through to the kitchen. She clipped the order to the metal circular order wheel.
The cook looked up. “Hey, Donna, get a move on. Those customers behind you need something.”
More about Donna’s Detour:
When Donna Turner and two girlfriends leave Alabama in 1956 and head to California on Route 66, Donna runs out of money. Her girlfriends continue the journey to Los Angeles, leaving Donna in Needles, California where a dream-come-true adventure is about to happen.
When she was fifteen, she worshipped the ground he walked on, and now he shows up at the diner where she works. Will he remember her or does he still think of her as her brother’s skinny kid sister? Will Donna be confident enough in herself to accept her dream?
Jo’s Online Links:
Website and blog (Read novel first chapters here): http://www.johuddleston.com
Sign up for Jo’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1ZFaZwG
Inspirational blog: http://bit.ly/1QAPRnr
Facebook author page: http://bit.ly/2aqFEeT
Facebook personal page: http://on.fb.me/1Ubic69
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2cfSroU
See my review here.