Our neighbors to the north recently celebrated Canada Day. Here in the US we have the 4th of July next Monday. It used to be one of my favorite holidays as a kid. My dad always set off fireworks, and we ate fried chicken and potato salad. Um um good. I’ve had THE THEATRE on sale for 99 Cents recently and left it on sale at Amazon for a few extra days.
Short Blurb: In THE THEATRE, an actress and a police chief in a small Texas town work together to find who is killing off the cast, threatening the theatre and its star attraction, while resisting their parents’ efforts at matchmaking and their own growing attraction for each other.
I love the description of a small Texas town’s 4th of July celebration in this book. I hope you enjoy it too, and I hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday.
Excited to find herself in her hometown for the holiday, Kelly made plans to enjoy Glenview’s celebration of the Fourth of July. People came out for the parades, boat races, picnics, and of course the shows at the theatre. She’d convinced Phillip the cast and crew needed to participate in the picnic before the afternoon performance.
“It will be good PR, Phillip. We’ll give the town folks a chance to mingle and get to know us as regular people.”
Her mother had fried chicken, made potato salad, and baked beans, all the traditional fare. The cast and crew planned to pick up chicken from the different fast food restaurants. Listening to the arguments about who made the best proved to be entertaining. For Kelly, the answer was easy—Mom’s.
Of course, Kelly seldom indulged in anything fried, but today she’d make an exception. All of the various desserts the men and women chefs of the community made had been set up in a separate pavilion at the park. Her mother’s chocolate sheet cake, banana pudding, and apple pie honored her children even though only one would be present.
Kelly was thankful Glenview had been blessed with a summer rain the night before, so forecasters hadn’t predicted the traditionally blazing hot July 4th. Clouds remained in the wake of the storm, cooling down temperatures to the lower nineties. Steamy with humidity but better than 110, which her mother said the thermometer read last year.
In shorts and a halter-top, Kelly sat on one of several quilts her mother had brought and spread out under a large oak tree toward the edge of the park away from the large crowd. For the most part, the townspeople respected her privacy, treating her like any other daughter of the community rather than gushing over her.
“Kelly, it’s good to have you back in town. I certainly enjoyed seeing you in Hello, Dolly!”
“Thank you, Mrs. Brown. I’m enjoying being home for a while.” She smiled at the elderly little woman, her former kindergarten teacher. Of course, her hair hadn’t been white when Kelly attended Glenview Elementary.
“If you continue to keep your girlish figure, dear, you might yet catch a husband. You must be at least forty now, or am I mistaken in my math?” Her loud voice carried on the wind. She’d been going deaf for quite a while, but the words “hearing aid” weren’t in her vocabulary.
“No, ma’am, you’re correct.” Kelly smiled. Only in your hometown could you get this kind of brutal honesty. A gigantic figure loomed over tiny Mrs. Brown. Geez, had the chief overheard the exchange? Maybe he’d pass on by, but no such luck.
“Hello, Mrs. Brown. You haven’t had any more trouble with those kids bothering your cat, have you?”
“Oh, Chief Kincaid. Thanks to you and your officers we’ve had no further incidents, I’m grateful to report.” Turning to Kelly she said, “Now you keep that figure, girl, and you’ll find yourself a man, yet. I’m sure of it. I’m heading to the dessert pavilion to try your mama’s chocolate cake. Y’all behave yourselves.”
Mrs. Brown hadn’t walked two feet away before Josh’s laughter boomed out. He scooped off his hat and doubled over, resting his hands on his knees.
“What’s funny, Chief?”
“I thought you’d agreed to call me Josh.” He sobered some, struggling to stop his laughter. “May I?” He gestured to a spot on the quilt beside her.
“Of course. Josh.” He folded his frame to a sitting position, setting his hat on the blanket next to him. His legs incased in jeans clinging to every muscle held Kelly’s attention. Maybe she should’ve worn slacks instead of the shorts. She might as well be naked, though she had on more than if she’d been on a beach. “Mom brought enough for an army. Would you like something to eat?”
“No, thanks. Mine did the same.”
“So what’d you find funny?” she asked.
“Well, if I’m not mistaken, Mrs. Brown encouraged you to do everything in your power to find a husband, but then she told us to behave. Struck me…well…those activities might be mutually exclusive. What do you think?”
His gaze caught hers and held. This must be what a moth experienced when caught by a flame. Not a particularly good place to be, but oh, the flame did fascinate. Heat moved up her cheeks, and she thanked heaven her mother wasn’t near to hear his comment or view her reaction.
“Cat got your tongue?”
“No, I…uh…I was surprised you’d remembered how to talk to certain members of the town. Mrs. Brown has been Mrs. Brown for sixty-five years or so. Seldom have I heard anyone refer to her as Betty or God forbid the dreaded Ms. Who clued you in?”
“I’ll let you ignore my question, and I’ll answer yours.” The twinkle in his eyes said he might not let it go for long. “The mayor reminded me of her little quirk. I’d been gone a long time and had forgotten.” He leaned back on his elbows, a relaxed smile on his face. “I didn’t expect to find you here. Don’t you have an afternoon performance?”
“Yes. On Saturdays, we have both an afternoon and night show, but you don’t want to miss Fourth of July in Glenview. I convinced Phillip we’d all be good about the clock and promised him nobody would play volleyball and risk a sprained ankle. When I told him, I’d make sure everyone slathered on the sunscreen, he relented and let us come. Many of the kids in the ensemble are from big cities, and they’ve never enjoyed this kind of small town experience.”
Kelly glanced across the park at the people gathered in clumps in the shade of trees or umbrellas. Children running, skipping, laughing. Babies rocked in grandparents’ arms. Teens stole kisses behind trees. The hot wind rustled the leaves and blew about items not fastened down well. The occasional paper drifted by with someone in pursuit.
“As I said—not to be missed.”
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I love fireworks. I’ve seen some awesome shows over time and hope to see even more. vb
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I love fireworks too, Vicki, but it’s so dry, I won’t be surprised if some shows are canceled. I just read where Parker County to our west has actually canceled theirs. But while it’s not as fun as in person, I bet we can see some good stuff on TV. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Shared. I look forward to fireworks and we see them over the water and watch their reflection! 🙂
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Hey, Reggi. How fun to see their reflection in the water. We can usually see fireworks from our lake house, but not their reflection, which would be doubly awesome. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂