Author Katie Mettner

Meatloaf and Mistletoe Cover Reveal



Thanks for stopping by! I want to introduce you to my new series, and my new Christmas novel, today. Meatloaf and Mistletoe is the first book in my Bells Pass series. Bells Pass is a city in Michigan with a small town feel. When I wrote Meatloaf and Mistletoe, I planned to make it a stand alone novel for Christmas, but as always happens, there were too many wonderful characters who want their story told. That said, let me introduce to you the first two, Ivy Lancombe and Shepard Lund.

Meatloaf and Mistletoe will release November 2, 2017!





Shepard Lund:
Age: 26
Looks: Tall, blond, and skinny
Favorite Food: Meatloaf
Status: Single, but secretly in love with his best friend

Ivy Lancombe:
Age: 25
Looks: Short, chestnut brown, and buxom
Favorite Food: Blackberry Pie
Status: Single, but secretly in love with her best friend

Shep has gone on more blind dates than he can count, and he has a notebook full of stories to prove it. Ivy never makes it past the first date, for reasons only she understands. Together, they’re the biggest dating disasters of Bells Pass.

This Christmas, the people of Bells Pass, Michigan have a plan to show Ivy and Shep they can’t ignore their hearts’ desires. It’s going to take an old spinster, an infamous diner, a mysterious man, and a hefty dose of Christmas wishing to get them under the mistletoe. Once there, they’ll let good old Christmas magic do the rest.





Prologue

Halloween, Nine Years Ago

Who thought this was a good idea? I asked myself for the two hundredth time in three hours. I was dressed in a long burlap sack, which restricted my legs too much to do more than shuffle my feet along the sidewalk. I wore a tinfoil hat and a huge pat of butter, which was actually a square piece of foam wrapped in yellow paper, and taped to the top of the tinfoil. My best friend, Shep, had borrowed his brother’s graduation cap from a few years back, wrapped it in the silvery foil and attached the butter pat. He convinced me to go as a baked potato, while he strutted around town in a red sweat suit with the word ‘Ketchup’ attached to his chest. I definitely got the short end of the stick this year.

“Slow down,” I moaned, my legs cramping after hours of walking. “I’m dying.”

He had his arm around my waist and laughed as we walked through the darkened town of Bells Pass, Michigan. It was the kind of town where everyone knew everyone, which was great when you needed help, but not so great if you want to get away with trick or treating on a Halloween night when you’re sixteen.

“Poor, Ivy,” Shep whispered. “We’re almost back to your place. You have to admit you had fun tonight.”

My shoulder went up as if to say, ‘maybe’. “All but the shuffling around part. The dance was fun.”

“Surprising, right? Usually school dances are lame. The fog machine was sick when they started playing Thriller.”

I dug my elbow into his ribs. “You were pretty sick out there acting like a zombie while dressed as ketchup.”

He held up his hands, clawed like a zombie. “I’m going to zombie tickle you,” he said in a strange voice.

I’d been the recipient of his tickling before and wanted nothing to do with it. I shuffled along to avoid his wiggling fingers. “No, no, not in this costume,” I cried, the laughter spilling into my voice. “I’ll fall over and never get back up!”

“The easier to tickle you then, my dear,” he cackled, switching to the voice of the big, bad wolf.

My apartment was within sight and I made a dash for it, but caught my toe and started to tip. I stopped inches from breaking my nose when he grabbed my gunny sack and hauled me back up to grasp my waist.

I batted my eyelashes at him. “My hero,” I crooned, laughing as he lifted me up the three steps to the apartment door.

I lived six doors down from Shep’s family, but still on the wrong side of the tracks. My mother, if you want to call her a mother, was gone more than she was home, and I survived by hanging out and eating dinner at Shep’s house most nights, then coming home and locking myself in the apartment. If the place wasn’t sealed up like a drum it’s likely someone would have broken in and ended my life over a few packs of cigarettes and some beer.

The difference between a nice suburb home like Shep’s, and despair like mine, was literally a set of railroad tracks with tall weeds on each side of them. On the other side of those tracks were moms and dads who cared about their children. They had dinner together every night, went to church, soccer practice, and the mall. They had family game night, watched movies together, and played football in the yard. They laughed and loved without a thought about what was on the other side of the weeds. If you dared cross the tracks you’d find my neighborhood is nothing like the suburbs. For the most part, we raise ourselves while our parents worked sixty hours a week for minimum wage or blew off their responsibilities and sat on a street corner smoking crack all day. There were no family dinners, soccer practice, or movie watching. The only thing we watched on this side of the tracks was the death of our dreams.

I stuck the key in the doorknob and twisted, the door opening to the smell of stale cigarettes mixed with the cheap air freshener I use to cover it up. I tipped inside the door and immediately stripped off the burlap sack, thankful to be in my leggings and t-shirt. I threw my hat at him and he caught it like a football, running and spiking it next to the couch, dancing in the end zone.

I shoved him in the shoulder playfully on the way to the kitchen. “Funny, Lund,” I said sarcastically. “Do you want to stay for a pop?”

“Sure, what you got?” he asked, flipping the light on in the kitchen. If he noticed the cockroach scurry across the floor he didn’t say anything, which I was grateful for. My mother didn’t care if the apartment was riddled with cockroaches and mice because she was never here. She liked to live high on the hog with whatever guy was paying her to spend time with him. Eventually, when the money ran out, she would come home for a few hours, sleep, shower, and then head out again to score some drugs. I’ve had to grow up on my own, teach myself what I needed to know, and learn to count on only myself. Well, myself and Shep’s family. They’re probably the only reason I’ve made it this far. Shep’s mom has been the one I’ve run to when I was hurt, scared, or reaching a milestone I didn’t understand. It was Shep’s mom who taught me how to take care of myself as a woman, since my mother couldn’t be bothered with it.

He opened the fridge door and stuck his head in. “There’s nothing in here, Ivy.” He shut the door and leaned on it. “Let’s go to my house. Mom will have party drinks and food left over.”

I was about to answer when there was a knock on the door. “Wonder who that is,” I said, nervously.

“Are you expecting anyone?” he asked as we approached the door out of sight of the window.

“No,” I whispered, “and my mom wouldn’t knock.”

He peeked around the corner of the window and pulled his head back instantly. “There are two cops on the doorstep. I recognize one. His name is Officer Nelson. You better answer it.”

I rolled my eyes. “What do you want to bet they’re looking for mom.” I yanked the door open. “Officers, how are you tonight?” I asked, the door open barely a crack.

“Are you Ivy Lancombe?” the officer Shep knew asked, his hand holding a slip of paper.

“Yeah, why? I haven’t done anything,” I promised, feeling the need to insist on my innocence when they hadn’t accused me of anything, yet. But that’s how it is on this side of the tracks. They assume your guilty until proven innocent. Sometimes you’re guilty just by living on this side of town.

“There has been an incident with your mother. We found this in her wallet.”

He handed me the paper and it read, ‘In case of emergency contact Ivy Lancombe.’ It had our address written below it. Shep put his arm around me as the paper shook in my hand.

I raised my head to the two officers. “Is she,” I swallowed hard before I could force the words from my lips, “dead?”

The second cop, whose nametag read Hanson, glanced at Nelson for a moment and back to us still standing in the doorway dressed in our childish costumes as though my whole life didn’t come down to this one moment.

“I think it’s best if you come with us to the hospital,” Nelson said deflecting.

“Let’s not split hairs here,” Shep said, holding me tight. “You wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t dead.”

“Shep, we’re here to speak with Ivy,” Nelson said sharply.

“He’s right,” I said, wondering how Shep knew the cop. They probably went to church together or something astronomically normal like Little League or soccer. I’ve never done astronomically normal things in my life because my mother is anything but a mother. She’s a hooker and a drug addict. Well she was… “Cut to the chase, please officers,” I begged. “Where did you find her? An alley? A drug dealer’s house? A hotel?”

Nelson’s eyes hit on hotel and I stumbled backward. “She’s dead. Oh my God, it’s true, she’s dead,” I whispered, my voice falling away as Shep lowered me to the floor, sitting behind me and wrapping his arms around me. “I’m sixteen and alone, forever,” I cried. “What do I do now, Shep? What do I do now?”

He rocked me, his lips against my temple as he promised me it would be okay. “You’re not alone, Ivy. I’m always going to be here for you. Always.”








Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of  Words contest. Her other romance series, The Northern Lights Series, The Snowberry Holiday Series, Kupid's Cove Series, and The Magnificent Series are all set in the Midwest. If you love romance and romantic suspense, her books are for you.


Read about more of Katie's adventures as an amputee writer at KatieMettner.com

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Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married in April. Together they share their lives with their three children and two leopard geckos. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989, Katie became an amputee in 2011, giving her the much needed time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story, Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines! Her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.




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