Connie’s Coffee and Cones is thriving, and owner Connie Spencer is right on track to realize her dream of expanding into a catering business. She believes she owes her success to her remarkable ability to plan. In fact, she has a plan for everything. At least, she thought she did—until Michael Cole appears in Worthville.
Michael has an agenda of his own—and a competing business—that threatens to derail everything Connie hopes for professionally. And if that isn’t enough, Michael carries a secret that could cause a backlash for both of them. So, why does she find herself attracted to him? When an accident on a rain-slicked highway leaves Michael temporarily incapacitated, Connie is presented with a dilemma she never saw coming—helping the man she’s falling for, or moving ahead with her meticulous plans.
As life spirals out of her control and Connie faces losing everything, she questions whether her plans are enough. But if hers aren’t, whose are? As she searches for the answer, she learns she must come to terms with her deepest hurt in order to embrace a higher plan for her future.
What do you hope your readers get from your book?
If readers struggle with trying to control every little detail as I have at times, I hope they find hope in Connie Spencer’s Journey.
Inspiration for writing the book?
Connie Spencer showed up in the first book in this series, The Key to Everything. She was such an intriguing character, I wondered what her back story was. So I began to pursue that. My friend, Terry Kay, who wrote To Dance with the White Dog and The Valley of Light, both turned into Hallmark movies, says “We don’t write to tell a story. We write to discover a story.” The story I discovered in A Plan for Everything when I began digging into Connie Spencer’s past was she carried a deep hurt―one that fueled so much of how she lived her life. This hurt is what brings her to a moment of decision.
Conflict really arises when Michael Cole enters the picture, though he is actually an underdog. I hope readers are motivated to root for him as he faces so many challenges in the book and deals with his own set of disappointments.
Favourite scene from the book?
One of my favorite scenes is when Connie comes face to face with herself. She’s in denial for much of the book, but in time, the truth breaks in on her. It gives me hope.
Why we should love and read the novella?
I think readers will love my book for the same reasons they watch romantic comedies. Worthville, Georgia is a place I want to live (And I do, as I’m working on another book set in Worthville}. It is a colorful community full of charm, wonder, faith, and love. It’s the kind of place you can go and feel someone has your back―that you’re not alone. I believe the characters in Worthville are people one would want for friends (with the exception of one Saul Lance, that is). I hope in A Plan for Everything, a reader will feel right at home in Connie’s Coffee and Cones eating a big chocolate surprise cone or sipping on a latte. Maybe they’ll wander over to Tucker’s Tomes and sink into one of his big armchairs with their favorite novel (hopefully one of mine). Or perhaps they’ll love strolling down the streets of Worthville at dusk under the gaslights. Perhaps, they’ll see in themselves the struggles Connie wrestles with and hope for her that she finds love. It’s my desire that Worthville and its characters will get into the hearts of my readers.
Do you have an excerpt you want to share?
Connie continued to stew on the Michael Cole situation through afternoon coffee breaks and after school ice cream treats. A little after seven, as she attempted to close the store, she fumbled with her keys, her arms loaded with tote bags of laundry to be washed.
Before she knew it, Michael raced across the street and stood by her side. “Here let me carry those for you,” he said, extending his hands.
Oh, no. Not him. She held on for a moment, wondering whether she would trust him to hold her bags of dirty aprons and dish towels. She shook her head, but in a moment said, “Oh, all right, here.” She shoved the bags into his arms but held onto her planner, and then she put a key in the front door lock and turned it.
“Most businesses lock from the back into the alley,” Michael said.
“I walk to work. It’s easier for me to come and go through the front door. What about you?” Connie pointed to his front door.
“My back door has to be replaced. It was in such bad shape, someone nailed it shut. It’s a special order for these old buildings. Supposed to be here next week. Found it at one of those reclaimed wood places.”
Connie tried to take the aprons back from Michael, but he resisted.
“Why don’t I carry these for you?” he asked.
“But I’m walking all the way home,” she said.
“I don’t have anything else to do,” he offered.
“Suit yourself,” Connie said as they passed Gray’s Groceries.
“Hey, about what I said this morning…”
Connie shook her head. “Forget it.” And then she smiled. “Although, Sofia was concerned I might put laxative in your latte.”
They both laughed, and the mood lightened.
“What are you doing this evening?” he asked, switching the bags of aprons from one arm to the other.
“I can hardly contain my excitement. I’m eating leftover spaghetti and fine tuning my event calendar.” Private events helped give her a little extra cash flow but sure took time.
Mr. Gray exited his store, scratched words on the sandwich board outside his entrance, and pivoted to go back in his store.
“Eat dinner with me,” Michael said as they moved along the sidewalk. Mr. Jerome’s cat shot out beside Michael and screeched to a halt, cutting Michael off. He sidestepped to avoid running into it, and in the process, nudged Connie. He grabbed her arm as if he were afraid she might fall. Their faces only inches apart, she steadied herself in more than one way. She shook her head and waved. “I’m fine. No problem.”
“Good,” he said as the cat backtracked down the sidewalk. “Back to what I was saying. I’m new in town and don’t know anyone, and even though you’re my arch enemy…” He laughed in a hearty way. “You know the old saying about keeping your enemies close.”