Welcome Candee Fick to the blog!
She's here to share an excerpt from her book, Sing a New Song.
Excerpt from Chapter 3 of Sing a New Song by Candee Fick:
“Gloria? We need a rope to hang across this wall as an extra clothesline so we can spread out in here.” Brittany propped her hands on her hips and surveyed the cluttered dressing room.
“You want me to go buy a rope?” Gloria shook the wrinkles out of a red blouse and slipped it onto a plastic hanger.
“No, silly.” Brittany rolled her eyes. “Since you know the janitor, I thought you could go ask him.”
Seriously? She did not just go there.
Brittany tried for an innocent look, but her smirking lips gave her away. “After all, you know where he keeps the mop bucket, so maybe there’s some rope in there too.”
The reminder about her accident with the mop bucket had been deliberate.
“Oh, and while you’re there, ask him for a new light bulb for over the makeup mirror. I noticed one burned out.”
Don’t react. Pretend it doesn’t matter. Gloria hung the blouse onto the rack with more force than necessary, lifted her chin a bit, and attempted to glide out of the room.
Once in the hallway, she hurried toward the office area as her temper rose with every step.
After two weeks of rehearsals, she should have earned the respect of her fellow singers and overcome her bedraggled first impression. Gloria might have a few more solos or featured choreography spots than Brittany, but Brittany had been given the responsibility for their costumes.
Why would the other girl want to knock her down?
Must be jealousy.
Which meant Gloria still held the upper position. So as long as she continued to act professionally and did her job well, it really didn’t matter how petty Brittany wanted to behave in return.
The only one who would look bad would be the underling.
Feeling marginally better now that she had a strategy, Gloria approached the supply room. The sooner she found what she needed, the sooner she could return and prove that Brittany’s words had no effect on her.
The door to the office next to it opened, and an old woman in a dull, gray-colored maid’s uniform stepped out, followed by Nick. Once again, the janitor was dressed in jeans and a company T-shirt instead of the expected coveralls.
“Gloria. Didn’t expect to see you here. Allow me to introduce you to—”
“I need a light bulb and some rope.”
His eyes widened at her interruption.
“Oops. Sorry.” Her eyes drifted from Nick’s faded smile to his protective hand on the back of the woman who looked a bit like Aunt Bee from fictional Mayberry. Of course, the man would have to be nice to everyone.
The shorter woman grinned, showing gaps between her teeth. “Call me Granny. They all do.”
Gloria eyed the embroidered name on the woman’s uniform: Rose. Wasn’t there a line in Romeo and Juliet about a rose by any other name smelling just as sweet? Well, she caught a whiff of something, and it wasn’t a rose. Probably body odor.
Over the woman’s shoulder, Gloria caught a glimpse of Gavin Sherwood coming down the hall, talking to someone on his phone. He paused beside them, grinned, and spoke to the older woman. “Hi, Granny.” Then, with a squeeze of Gloria’s shoulder and a wink, continued past them toward the backstage area and the dressing rooms.
Where she should be.
Instead, she had been sent on an errand, and it seemed she couldn’t complete it until she had been properly introduced to a maid.
Gloria forced a polite smile as she stuck out a hand. “I’m Gloria.”
“Pleased to meet ya.” The woman’s handshake was as firm—and as sweaty—as her Southern accent was thick.
“Now, Princess, what was this about a light bulb?” Nick’s voice held a sharp edge, almost as if he were jealous of Gavin’s harmless flirtations … or frowned upon her stilted acknowledgment of the old maid.
Never mind what he thought. She had a job to do. “One of the bulbs is burned out in the women’s dressing room. And Brittany wants some rope to hang along one wall as a clothesline to hold more costumes.”
“How many costumes do y’all have?” He frowned.
“I haven’t counted them yet.” She pointed back down the hall. “I left the others still pulling things out of bags.”
“Hmm.” The rest of Nick’s opinion remained a mystery as he ducked into the supply room to fulfill her request, leaving her alone with the other woman.
A hideous hippie outfit beat an embroidered maid uniform any day of the week.
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business?” Granny’s archaic yet elegant words seemed so out of place near shelves holding boxes of toilet paper.
“Is that Shakespeare?”
The maid shook her head then pointed to the door Nick had opened. “He shall stand before kings. He shall not stand before mean men.”
Sure, the janitor was diligent and did his job, but that didn’t translate to royalty status. Perhaps Granny’s mind slipped away from reality now and then. Gloria had heard it could happen when people got up in years.
“Here you go.” Nick’s deep voice interrupted her thoughts as he handed her a light bulb. “I’ll bring the rope along with my tools in a few minutes, after I walk Granny back to the hotel. I figure you girls might need help so it doesn’t fall down halfway through a show.”
“You don’t have to—”
A raised eyebrow interrupted her words, allowing the truth to sink in. As the janitor, he had likely had to fix things after previous groups used the dressing rooms and therefore didn’t want them to create more work for him later.
“That’s probably a good idea.” She swallowed her pride. “I’ll tell Brittany you’re coming.”
Candee Fick is a multi-published, award-winning author.
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 writing, editing, 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.
Back Cover Blurb for Sing a New Song:
The pampered diva is about to meet her match.
Back Cover Blurb for Sing a New Song:
The pampered diva is about to meet her match.
Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?
Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated—and irritated—by the newest addition to the staff.
After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.
If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick. Pick up Sing a New Song and step into the spotlight for yourself.
Buy Candee's book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Reader Review of Sing a New Song on Amazon:
Oh how I loved Gloria’s much-awaited-by-me story. She’s the character we want to purse whomp in the first two books and in book three we just want to give her a hug. To Gloria, her identity is all wrapped up in being the star of whatever show she’s playing in … until life knocks her down a few pegs and introduces her to what truly satisfies, the Source of true worth, and more belonging than she could ever have dreamed. The journey is humbling – for Gloria and even for those of us reading her poignant, sweet, witty, and romantic story at Fick’s talented pen.
As I read of Gloria’s Branson adventures with the Sherwood family, I couldn’t help but hum the tune to accompany the Reckless Love lyrics that remained in my mind through the greater part of the book. I thought of it as “Gloria’s song” from beginning to end. In a way it’s Nick’s song too … but I’ll let you discover that part on your own
Speaking of Nick, he’s a swoony hero whose twinkling eyes and teasing grin had me falling for him faster than Gloria trips over that mop bucket. His tenderness toward her as she navigates one hurdle after another with a new humility is equally swoonworthy – as is his faith in God. And his family is a mix of absolute adorable, fun characters and a couple that need to get their priorities aligned more clearly. Speaking of fun characters, y’all will love Granny!
Bottom Line: Sing a New Song is a love song to music shows (a la Branson or Gatlinburg), family, grace, and of course God who rejoices over us with singing. Gloria and Nick have a simmering chemistry right from the start and it only gets better from there! I’ve loved all the books in this series so far, and I think this one is the best yet!
Connect with Candee:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/