The fifth book for Oyster Harbor series was a blast to write. It was my first time writing slightly older characters. We’re talking adult children and emotional baggage on top of the usual relationship problems. I’m happy to say the steam level didn’t go down at all. In fact, Thelma and Tom might be the hottest couple ever in Oyster Harbor!
Thelma’s Song by Afton Locke
historical romance/women’s fiction
Release Date: 19 November 20—TODAY!
Order from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BK715P93
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Amazon Oyster Harbor series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074CCLCMK
Though her bluesy voice can bring grown men to tears, Thelma Waters moves to Oyster Harbor for a peaceful life—avoiding singing and men. Anything to forget her wild youth as a performer, so addicted to fame she’d do anything to get it. When Tom Lewes—Oyster Harbor’s remaining bigot—hires her as a lounge singer to save his failing restaurant, he stirs up more than her old talent.
His obsession with profits reminds her of every man who used her, especially the one who shattered her heart. Meanwhile, his grief over his daughter’s death intensifies when restaurant renovations uncover a shocking secret. Reminding her of the child she lost so long ago.
And as soon as Oyster Harbor restores what Thelma has craved for so long, her dreams of family are ripped away, turning her song of joy to the bluest of blues. Will Tom be the answer to her prayers, or her biggest heartache yet?
“Private Dancer” – Tina Turner
“Let’s Make a Baby” – Billy Paul
“Nightlife” – Ray Price
Excerpt from Thelma’s Song…
Copyright © Afton Locke, 2022
Silence hung between her and Tom, thick and greasy as a lump of lard left out in the summer heat. Frozen, she watched the flush rise up his neck and fill his face. No wonder he served a drink called Red Tide.
What would he do? Break all business ties with her? Or worse? At the moment, she didn’t care what he did. She simply needed to get away from him.
“Miss Waters, don’t ever strike me again,” he said quietly, “or there will be consequences.”
Ignoring the fine trembling working her legs, she took a step closer to him. “What does that mean? Tying me to a tree like poor Jimmy Clark?”
“I never touched a hair on his head,” he shot back.
“You were there. Cali told me everything.” Luckily, Jonathan had reformed.
“Do you want to be punished?” Tom asked. “Because it seems you’re itching for a fight.”
He was right about that. Her fingers ached to throw his sorry ass into the washing machine then iron his face. No need to add starch because he already had plenty.
Instead, she burst into tears. Couldn’t stop. When it came to Letty, she had no strength.
“Easy. Easy,” he muttered, patting her arm. “I didn’t mean to make you cry, for Christ’s sake.”
“Watch your language,” she said between sniffles. “You’re nothing but a heartless heathen. You know that?”
“You’re probably right.” He looped an arm around her shoulders and gave her a little squeeze. “Look, I’m sorry, okay?”
“Letty may mean nothing to you, but today….” Her voice broke. “Today is her eighteenth birthday. Or would have been, if she’s not drawing breath anymore.”
“I didn’t know.”
She turned her head to look at him. The arrogant smirk was gone. His eyes, contrite. The skin below them, puffy.
He stiffened and dropped his hands when she traced a soft fingertip under his lower eyelids. “Wh-what are you doing?”
“You’ve been crying too,” she whispered.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said, turning his face aside.
“I’ve done it enough to know what it looks like. Did my singing do that to you?”
“I suppose,” he said, shrugging. “The one song really— Well, it shook me up, kind of.”
Her legs stopped trembling. She even smiled. “That’s what the blues are supposed to do.”
“I’ve probably been working too hard lately,” he said, giving his shoulders a good shake.
Their gazes met and held. She struggled to look away but failed. Truth was, it felt good to get angry for a change. The sadness wore at her every day. Like sandpaper.
This man knew her sadness. Breathed its same stench. Endured the same tentacles squeezing his heart. Even if he wouldn’t admit it.
Now, her legs simply felt weak. Her entire body did. The performance, topped off by their fiery argument, had taken every bit of her strength. She rested her hands on his shoulders and laid her head against his chest.
His tall, solid frame felt so good. His heart thrumming against her ear, music. It had been so long since she’d been with a man.
A strong finger pressed her jaw and tilted her face up. It was the last thing she recalled before drowning in a tidal wave of hot, deep kissing. Beard stubble—black as his hair—brushed across her cheek. Ground against her neck, along with his open mouth.
Tasting. Sucking. Claiming. Until every nerve ending in her body shrieked with ecstasy.
She drew back, giving her pounding heart a rest before it exploded. “I-I thought we weren’t going to kiss anymore.”
“I guess we changed our minds,” he murmured against her ear.
About Afton Locke
Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes outside the box. Her trips always inspire her, sometimes years after they’re over. She lives with her husband, usually surrounded by animals, both wild and domestic. When she’s not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and watching retro TV.
Where readers can find Afton…
Web site: http://www.aftonlocke.com