About the Book
Title: Digging Up Love
Author: Chandra Blumberg
Release Date: January 1, 2022
Series: Taste of Love, Book 1
Alisha Blake works her magic in the kitchen, creating delectable desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant in rural Illinois. Though Alisha relishes the close relationship she has with her family, she can’t help but dream about opening a cookie shop in Chicago. She may be a small-town baker, but Alisha has big ambitions.
Then a dinosaur bone turns up in her grandparents’ backyard. When paleontologist Quentin Harris arrives to see the discovery for himself, he’s hoping that the fossil will distract him from a recent painful breakup. Instead, he finds Alisha—and sparks fly. The big-city academic and the hometown baker seem destined for a happily ever after.
But Alisha is scared to fall in love. And Quentin’s trying to make a name for himself in a competitive field, which gets even more complicated when the press shows up at the dig site. For love to prevail, the two may have to put old bones aside—and focus on the future.
Digging Up Love Excerpt
About forty yards behind the house, Mrs. S sat on her trusty motorized steed. Granny stood next to her, the top of her blonde bob a good foot shy of the reflective orange safety flag jutting up out of the back of the seat.
Opposite the women, a backhoe perched motionless on the edge of the crater like a mechanical gargoyle, motor silent. Granny was holding a whispered conference with Mrs. Snyder, doused in her trademark rose-scented perfume so strong it could penetrate a gas mask.
Alisha slinked up to the women like an uninvited guest at a funeral. She couldn’t help but address them in a hushed tone. “Hi, ladies.”
Mrs. Snyder let out an almighty yelp and revved her engine. The scooter lurched forward toward the edge of the hole. Alisha dove for the kill switch, and Granny wrapped both arms around her friend’s ample waist, the heels of her Wellington boots making furrows in the grass. The scooter skidded to a halt like a clown car dumping its occupants at center stage.
Alisha collapsed on her knees, panting. “So sorry, Mrs. S!”
“Janet.” Fanning her flushed face, she leveled a beady gaze at Alisha. “If I’ve told you once, I told you a thousand times. Call me Janet.” She adjusted one of her clip-on earrings, blue-veined hand trembling. “‘Mrs. S’ makes me feel about a thousand years old.”
Alisha nodded just to pacify her. The switch would be impossible. Mrs. Snyder was Hawksburg’s answer to Mr. Feeny: a seventh-grade math teacher, religious ed catechist, and after retirement, a high school substitute teacher. No sense in arguing, though.
She pushed off the freezing ground and turned to Granny. “What’s this I hear about a skeleton in our new swimming pool?”
Pulling the sides of her coat around herself, her grandma said, “I was gonna tell you when you got home, sweetie. But you never get much time to yourself. I didn’t want to interrupt your visit with Simone. And I doubt it’s anything. Janet just said we should be sure.”
Surprise, surprise. Mrs. Snyder had called in the professionals, not Granny.
“I’m sure we’ll have this whole thing resolved today.” Granny patted her arm in reassurance.
Alisha relaxed a bit at her grandma’s touch. The Blake women looked nothing alike. Her grandma was a fine-boned peroxide blonde and fair as winter moonlight. But temperament wise, they were a match. If Granny wasn’t fussed, everything would be fine. But still . . .
“So there is a bone?”
Granny nodded. “A big one. See for yourself.”
Obediently, Alisha took a step forward to peer down into the pit. The man—and it was a man, after all—crouched in the mud, squinting against a battered digital camera, wasn’t wearing the khaki uniform she’d expected.
Instead, a dark-gray zip-up hoodie showed the curve of strong biceps and wide shoulders. He sat on his haunches in worn-in jeans and brown work boots. A cobalt-blue beanie was pulled down over his ears, accentuating the line of a straight, clean-shaven jaw. Definitely not middle aged either.
This was fine. Totally fine. Well, he was fine, that much was certain.
Keep it together, Alisha.
No worries. She tugged at her cropped leather jacket. She was perfectly capable of sending a fit young scientist packing.
Just then, he rested the camera on his thigh and looked up at them through the snow, his gaze as dazzling as a burst of sunshine after a storm.
Alisha’s knees almost gave way. Up until this moment, she would’ve put weak knees right up there with Bigfoot in the realm of myth. But the man’s electric gray-green eyes short-circuited her nerve endings and left her legs wobbly as Bambi.
He pulled his full lips to the side, gaze unfocused, clearly deep in thought. Then he dropped those striking eyes to the ground and stood up, rubbing a hand absently along his chiseled jaw. Her stomach turned itself inside out. It wasn’t every day she encountered a man who looked like her fantasies incarnate. But the biting wind and snowflakes swirling through the air hit her like a bucket of ice water. Not a daydream, then. Which begged the question, What to do now?
The textbook definition of a sexy scientist stood a few feet away, smack-dab in the middle of her grandparents’ future swimming pool. Chills that had nothing to do with the freezing temps collided with the heated flush of a heart gone into hyperdrive. A magnetic tug drew her a step closer, vying with a hysterical urge to turn tail and run.
Heavens to Betsy, cool it, Blake.
Without another thought, Alisha took a breath and jumped into the deep end.
About the Author
Chandra Blumberg is a Michigan native who loves writing funny, heartwarming love stories about characters that feel real and relatable. When it comes to her writing process, getting to that happily ever after is half the fun.
After majoring in English at Michigan State University, Blumberg moved to the Chicago area, where she enjoys exploring museums and the beauty of Lake Michigan in all seasons. When she’s not writing, she’s usually making a mess in the kitchen with her kids, lifting heavy barbells at the gym, or traveling with her family. Digging Up Love is her first novel.
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