Summer on Firefly Lake
Firefly Lake #2
by Jen Gilroy
Releasing July 25th 2017
Sometimes love is better the second time around . . .
Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband's needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she's building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire-and the one kiss they've shared-has turned everything upside down . . .
Attorney Nick McGuire wasn't meant to be a family man. His career has always been his focus and after taking time out to help his mother, he's ready to get back to the city . . . until Mia and her daughters arrive at Firefly Lake. Mia is beautiful and intriguing, and it doesn't take long to realize being "just friends" will never be enough. As the summer nights turn colder, Nick will have to choose between the life he's always wanted . . . and the woman he can't live without.
Jen Gilroy lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada. She's worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write contemporary romance and women’s fiction to bring readers' hearts home. Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband is her real-life romance hero, and her teen daughter teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday. The Cottage at Firefly Lake, the first book in her Firefly Lake series, was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2017.
Connect with Jen
Top 3 favorite scenes and excerpts
By Jen Gilroy
In SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE, the second book in my Firefly Lake series, two people who aren’t looking for love discover the life they need might not be the one they thought they wanted.
This story is packed with emotions, second chances, family drama, and the complications that come with starting over when you’re dragging a whole lot of baggage behind you.
A small lakeside town, not one but two romances, and a dash of summer magic—I fell in love with Mia, Nick, and the world of Firefly Lake when writing this story and hope you do, too.
And if you enjoyed the first book in the series, THE COTTAGE AT FIREFLY LAKE, you’ll be happy to know that familiar characters reappear to give you glimpses of their happy ever after.
1. SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE is a story of transformation, especially for Mia, the heroine. After a lifetime of trying to please everyone but herself, she’s finally standing on her own two feet as an independent woman, free of her controlling ex-husband.
In this scene, she glimpses the girl she once was, and the woman she could become. As I wrote it, I cheered her on! Tiger tail ice cream, orange-flavored ice cream with stripes of black licorice, is also one of my favorite summer treats.
Her mouth watered as she picked up her spoon. She didn’t have to answer to Jay anymore. She didn’t have to starve herself to stay the size her ex-husband wanted her to be. The size she’d been before she’d had two children. When she’d walked those endless runways to claim the crown for the prettiest girl and the one with the best smile. The one who’d hidden what she thought and felt. The girl all the other girls wanted to be.
“Tiger tail ice cream, huh?” Nick’s blue eyes had a teasing glint that catapulted her back to adolescence. “You always say you don’t remember much about Firefly Lake, but I guess there’s at least one thing you didn’t forget.”
Shadowy memories of the girl and boy she and Nick had once been tugged at the edge of Mia’s consciousness…She remembered all right. Remembered more than the ice cream, and enough to wonder if she’d played it safe too long. And what her life might be like if she loosened a few of those controls.
2. SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE is a small-town romance, and I live in a small town much like those I write about. Although these tight-knit communities can be generous, kind, and welcoming, they’re not places where you can be anonymous. It was fun to create the small-town world of the fictional Firefly Lake, Vermont, including a cast of supporting characters who don’t hesitate to meddle in their neighbors’ business.
In this scene, the hero, Nick, is having breakfast at the local diner when he finds out that a private moment between he and the heroine is anything but.
“You took [Mia] to your gran’s cabin at Fairlight Cove last night, didn’t you?” Liz gave an order for the farmhouse breakfast with eggs over easy to a passing waitress before Nick asked.
“How did you…” Nick stopped. He’d as much as told Liz the truth.
“Your great-aunt Bernice was at the play at that summer theater, and she saw you and Mia there. She left her umbrella under her seat. When she drove back to get it, she passed you turning into Lost Loon Lake Road. There’s nothing along that road but your gran’s cabin and the hunting camp that got burnt out two winters ago…First thing this morning, Bernice called me.”
Nick pressed his thumbs against his temples. “Who else did she call?”
“Nobody.” Liz’s eyes took on a steely glint. “I mentioned I knew all the beds her shoes have been under.”
“Great-aunt Bernice?” Nick’s mouth fell open. Bernice was over eighty, favored fussy floral prints and sensible shoes, and had been widowed as long as he could remember.
“You think she’s too old?” Liz poked Nick’s chin with a forefinger and closed his mouth. “We women have needs, and there are lots of lonely and able widowers in this town.”
3. Not least, SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE is also a story about family relationships, especially between parents and children. I particularly enjoyed writing about the hero’s relationship with his mother, Gabrielle, and how Gabrielle, who has been alone for many years and recently battled cancer, found her own happy ending when, like her son, she too least expected it.
Once again set in the diner (and including ice cream!), this scene explores some of those shifting family dynamics.
“You’re a good man, and I’m proud to call you my son.”
For an instant, Nick’s gaze connected with [his mom’s] and something changed. Something important. “I’m proud you’re my mom, too.” He gave an awkward laugh.
Gabrielle tucked her arm through his. “Maybe, I mean if you don’t mind, I could ask Ward to join us. He’s waiting for me across the street.”
“Fine by me.” Nick guided her through the diner to the front counter. “You go get him and I’ll order. Does he like chocolate waffle cones as much as we do?”
“He sure does.” Gabrielle might not know much about Ward, but she knew that.
There was still a lot she wanted to know about him but, for now, she knew what she needed and both of them were taking baby steps.
Her gaze met Nick’s again and held. Like she was taking baby steps with her son.
And now an additional excerpt from the book, sweet with a dash of spice and a hint of sexy times to come!
Mia looked at the night sky, where stars twinkled above the forested hills. When she was little, she’d wished on stars and believed in a happy-ever-after. But she was an adult, and life had made her wiser and destroyed her childish belief in magic and wishes. “Where do we go from here?”
“I’ll take you back to Mom’s if you want me to.” Nick’s arm brushed the curve of [Mia’s] shoulder through her light sweater, and the tremble inside her kicked up. “If you’re not ready.”
She was ready all right and had been even before he kissed her the first time. “I want this.” Mia lifted her face to his as a cloud scudded across the moon. “I want you.”
Even if it could only be for tonight, she was Mia, not a mom, not a sister, and not a wife who’d been tossed aside for someone younger and curvier. For this one moment, she didn’t have any responsibilities except what she wanted and needed.
I want you, too.” Nick took her hand and led her toward the car. “A part of me has wanted you since I was fifteen and you hung out at the town beach in that green bikini with the white flowers.”
Her heart lurched. He’d noticed her enough to remember the bikini she’d hidden from her mom. The one she’d bought because she’d heard Nick say he liked green. “You were always with the guys by the life guard station.”
His fit body was encased in a pair of board shorts, and his eyes were hidden behind mirrored sunglasses. Everything about him was a lot sexy and a little bit dangerous.
“I wanted to see you.” His smile was forced, like the admission cost him more than he wanted her to know.
Mia curved her cold hand into his warm one. She’d guessed she’d hurt him the one time they’d gone out, but until tonight she hadn’t understood how much. She couldn’t regret the past, and she couldn’t predict the future, but she could do something about the present. “I want to be with you. Even though we’re not teenagers anymore and I don’t have that green bikini.
Nick’s gaze skimmed her body from head to toe and lingered at her breasts. Then he gave her a grin that was pure bad boy. “I was always a lot more interested in what was underneath that bikini anyway.”
He opened the passenger door for her to slide in.
She looked at him from under her lashes and flirted like she’d wanted to do all those years ago but had been too shy. “You were, were you?”
“Oh yeah.” He shut the car door and, in the sudden silence, panic rolled over her again. Except, there was excitement too. She was going to do what she’d hardly let herself think about…”
Thanks to Bec for hosting me and to you for taking the time to find out about my new book. You can connect with me on my website, www.jengilroy.com and sign up there for my occasional newsletter with book release and other news. I usually post daily on Facebook and Twitter and enjoy chatting with readers. I also blog every two weeks about life, books, and sometimes writing.