I’m sharing from a new story today. It’s not technically a WIP. My current WIP isn’t far enough along to share from just yet, but it’s bound to show up in the coming weeks. Instead, today I’m sharing from a new release that just became available February 1. Unexpected Surprises is my contribution to Love in the Rockies, Corbin’s Bend’s Valentine’s Day collection. Love in the Rockies follows six favorite Corbin’s Bend couples from past stories on memorable Valentine’s Day adventures. Unexpected Surprises checks in on Grant and Lainie, the main characters in Learning to Live Again several months after the book ends on their first Valentine’s Day in Corbin’s Bend. In this excerpt, Lainie and Grant are discussing the fact that she has committed herself to helping with the Valentine’s Day dance even though Grant has asked her to cut down on her commitments because he feels like she is overextending herself.

“Okay, fine,” she conceded. “I’ll try to cut back after the stuff for the Valentine’s dance is over. I can’t just back out on the things I’ve already agreed to, but I’ll try to cut back on what I can in the future.”

“Thank you,” Grant said, pressing a kiss to her temple. “That’s all I can ask. It’s not that I mind you being involved in anything for the school or the community, but you have to take care of yourself too. Not to mention I miss you. I want us to have time to spend together like we were able to during the summer when we first moved.”

“I want us to have time together too,” Lainie agreed, “but you know school takes over my life from September to June. That’s how it is. Surely you of all people can understand that.”

“I do,” Grant assured her. “All I’m asking is that you carve out a little time for me and the girls. Don’t let work take over your life quite so much.”

“I’ll try,” Lainie said. She would. She just didn’t see how she could possibly do anything much different than what she was doing now. It wasn’t like her responsibilities were going to magically disappear just because Grant wanted her to do less.

“Good,” Grant said, smiling. “At least the dance is only a few days away. The planning will be over soon, and with the girls at the dance, we’ll be able to spend some time together on Valentine’s Day.”

Lainie winced inwardly. “Actually,” she said slowly, “I won’t be home on Valentine’s Day either. I have to chaperone the dance.” Beside her, she felt Grant go tense and stiff.

“No,” he said firmly. “If you are helping with the planning, someone else can chaperone. This is exactly what I meant. You don’t have to do everything.”

Lainie rubbed a hand over her face. After the conversation they had just had, she had known that wasn’t going to go over well, but what exactly did he think she was supposed to do about it?

“I’ve already committed to it,” she told him. “I’m sorry, but we have to have chaperones, and no one wants to work on Valentine’s Day. Everyone wants to be able to spend time with their significant other, but someone actually has to chaperone. I thought you would understand. After all, we have missed plenty of holidays when you were on the police force. You know work has to come first sometimes.”

“That’s the very reason I want us to be able to have Valentine’s together,” Grant countered. “We haven’t gotten to celebrate properly in years. It’s our turn.”

Lainie shrugged. “I’m sorry. I understand how you feel, but there’s not much I can do about it.”

“So chaperoning the dance is mandatory?” Grant asked.

“Well, no,” Lainie admitted hesitantly, “but I’ve already volunteered.”

“You’re going to un-volunteer,” Grant informed her. “You’ve done enough. Someone else can chaperone.”


Love-in-the-Rockies-200x300Love in the Rockies

6 blazing good stories about 6 of our favorite couples.

Unexpected Surprises by Ruth Staunton

For their first Valentine’s Day in Corbin’s Bend, Grant Taylor is determined to do something special for his wife Lainie. Lainie,however, has plans of her own. As a middle school teacher, she has volunteered to help plan and chaperone the Valentine dance that is being held for the middle and high school students.


When Grant hears this, he insists that she is working too hard and needs to cut back on the things she has committed to, the first and foremost being the Valentine’s Day dance. Lainie insists that she can’t do that and finally he reluctantly agrees to let her work part of the dance and then come home.


Under extreme protest, Lainie agrees, but when the time comes to admit to her supervisor that she can’t chaperone, she changes her mind and decides Grant is being unreasonable. She determines to chaperone the dance anyway and deal with Grant later. Unfortunately, Lainie’s plan doesn’t work out quite like she intended it to and she is in for quite a few unexpected surprises.


Available from:


Barnes and Noble

Blushing Books

Also, if you’d like to see how Grant and Lainie’s story began, check out Learning to Live Again.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Tired of increasing chaos in his family life and the distance that is growing between him and his wife, Lainie, Grant Taylor decides the only way to save his marriage is to get back to the domestic discipline lifestyle he grew up with. When he finds Corbin’s Bend on the Internet, he is certain it is the perfect place for them to start over.

Exhausted and tired of juggling everything herself, Lainie reluctantly agrees to her husband’s suggestion. However, she is new to the lifestyle and more than a little uncertain about it. To make matters worse, their 15-year-old daughter Kathleen is convinced they had moved her into some kind of weird spanking cult. She is miserable and not at all shy about letting everybody know it.

Will moving to Corbin’s Bend be their saving grace, or will it be the final straw that tears them apart?

Available from:


Barnes and Noble

Blushing Books