It's always a treat to have Candee here to introduce her latest book.
Take it away, Ms. Fick :)
Thanks for hosting me L.A.
What if you had to choose between two career paths?
Elizabeth (Liz) Foster grew up loving photography and dance lessons. When circumstances at home fell apart, she set aside one dream to pursue musical theater. But now she’s met a handsome photographer and things are changing. Can she have both dreams again or will she need to choose?
I had a lot of fun getting to know Liz during the brainstorming process for Focus On Love. At first, I thought she was a free-spirit who felt stifled by the rules and expectations of her family and left them behind. So, I paired her with a freelancer who cut back on his travel in order to fit into his family’s routine, hoping that together they would learn to find balance. What I found instead was a greater metaphor about life and the multiple facets of love.
About a hundred feet from the front doors, she spotted the tall cowboy exiting a large truck parked nearby, and her stomach whirred like her fast-action shutter.
Of course, it had to be nerves about showing her pictures to the Sheridans in front of the professional photographer—nothing to do with how handsome he was.
Ryan grinned as his long stride brought him quickly to her side. “Fancy meeting you here this morning. Liz, right?”
Liz tipped her head in a semi-curtsy. “I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures.”
His eyebrows rose. “Pictures? Does that mean you’re the other photographer?”
Uh-oh. “I thought you knew that.” Liz slapped a hand against her forehead. “Of course not. Mr. Sheridan didn’t mention my name.”
“Well, if you’re as talented with a camera as you are on the stage, then this might be a wasted trip.” The laugh lines around his eyes deepened along with his smile, stirring her heart in unexpectedly delicious ways until heat rose in her face.
Perfect. Now her complexion might match her hair color.
“Don’t make me wonder whether you need your eyes examined. I’m not star material.” Liz shook her head. “Not to mention, I’ve seen your website.”
“Really? Checking me out?” He reached the front door and held it open for her.
“Curiosity.” She cleared her throat and gestured toward the area where they were to meet. “But I’m still not sure why you would give up professional gigs for this.”
Mr. Sheridan appeared in the doorway of his office. “You’re right on time.” He stepped forward to shake Ryan’s hand. “I can’t wait to see what the two of you have come up with.”
Liz preceded Ryan into the office and felt the warmth of his large hand on her back as he guided her to the closest chair. Such a gentleman. His mother must be so proud of him.
“So who’s going to go first?” Mr. Sheridan swiveled his office chair as he looked from one to the other.
Her stomach clenched with a sudden wave of nerves. “The professional.”
“No, ladies first.” Ryan settled back in his chair with folded arms.
“Okay.” She took a deep breath for courage before handing over her flash drive. As Mr. Sheridan plugged it into his computer, she whispered a prayer of sorts that God would help her boss to like the pictures ... or at least not hate them. That would be humiliating.
Mr. Sheridan turned the monitor so all three could see the screen, and once the program loaded, he began to scroll. A few moments later, he whistled. “Dani was right.”
“Dani?” Ryan leaned forward and propped his chin on a hand as he studied the screen.
“My roommate is the one who told him I—”
“These are amazing pictures.” Mr. Sheridan clicked the mouse to enlarge one shot of several laughing actors gathered around the onstage piano.
Mrs. Sheridan entered and stopped just inside the door. “Wow. Mr. Callahan, you really are a professional.”
Ryan chuckled. “Thank you, ma’am, but Liz took these.” He winked in her direction. “She certainly has talent.”
Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father’s photography business to pursue musical theater, but with a one-show contract, she’s a few weeks from unemployment forcing her home. Meanwhile sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his career on hold to help his sister’s family while her husband is deployed, but the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away from building a family of his own. If given the choice, what dreams would develop? Or will they learn to focus on love instead?
Candee Fick is a multi-published author in both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job, writing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.