Here for You by Pat Simmons – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Pat Simmons who is celebrating the recent release of Here for You, the second book in her Family Is Forever series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of Lean on Me, the first book in the series.

Emotional, poignant women’s fiction from acclaimed inspirational romance author Pat Simmons featuring a hero and heroine who are better at taking care of other people than themselves, a dark moment that shakes their faith, and a profoundly satisfying happy ending.

Caregivers sometimes need a little TLC too.

Rachel Knicely’s life has been on hold for six months while she takes care of her great aunt, who has Alzheimer’s. Putting her aunt first was an easy decision—accepting that Aunt Tweet is nearing the end of her battle is far more difficult.

Nicholas Adams’s ministry is bringing comfort to those who are sick and homebound. He responds to a request for help for an ailing woman but when he meets the Knicelys, he realizes Rachel is the one who needs support the most. Nicholas is charmed by and attracted to Rachel, but then devastating news brings both a crisis of faith and roadblocks to their budding relationship that neither could have anticipated.

Enjoy an Excerpt

With Aunt Tweet gone, there would be no more ministerial visits. It was up to Rachel to do her own soul-searching, and she needed inspiration now more than ever to ease the hurt of her wounded spirit.

She continued her stroll down one aisle of the parking lot, inhaling the unseasonably warm April air and gaining strength from the sunshine. Although her mind was drifting as she recalled happy times with her aunt, she heard footsteps behind her.

“Rachel.” The voice was unmistakable. Had she conjured him up? A breeze brought a whiff of a familiar cologne to confirm Nicholas was nearby.

She shaded her eyes from the sunlight with her hands until he stood within a few feet of her. She had never seen him dressed up before, and he was handsome beyond measure in a suit and tie. He looked serious until he caught her staring again, and he smiled.

“I saw you step out. I wanted to check on you. Are you okay?” He frowned.

“Will I ever be?” she said more to herself. “I was hoping no one saw me,” she said, “especially Jacqui.”

“Yes, you will, and I did.” His voice was barely above a whisper. “I’m flying out in a few hours, but I would like to pray with you before I go.” Why did his words seem to lighten her burdens? “Thanks for coming here.” Rachel’s eyes watered, but she got a handle on her emotions. “I didn’t realize ministers attended the funerals, especially those who are out of town.”

“I wanted to be here for you. The location didn’t matter.”

“Thank you, Minister Adams.”

“Always Nicholas to you. I don’t need the title to do God’s work.”

His words were kind and thoughtful.

“Okay.” She studied him, really looked at him. Was there a special lady in his life waiting for him to propose? If so, the woman had a keeper, Rachel thought as he watched her.

Nicholas blinked first, then cleared his throat. “I called a couple of times to check up on you. Did you get my messages?”

Rachel shrugged. “Jacqui has been checking messages, answering emails, and stuff. I’m sorry.” She bowed her head, embarrassed.

“Hey.” That low voice of his gently commanded her to look at him. “I’m available to listen about anything whenever you want to talk.”

He reached for her hands. His fingers were coarse but gentle. “Father, in the name of Jesus, let Rachel feel Your presence from this day forward. Comfort her when she’s lonely, and when she’s weak, give her strength. And let the memories of her aunt give her joy…”

His words were like a balm to her spirit. Rachel whispered, “Amen,” with him when he finished. “Thank you.”

“Anytime. Take time to heal emotionally and mentally. There’s no expiration date for the process, and remember what I said—if you call me, I’ll listen.” He frowned, and his stare was intense. “I mean that, Rachel,” he said and squeezed her hand.

Although the gesture was comforting, Rachel yearned for a hug, one of those cocoon-type embraces where she could close her eyes and sigh as she snuggled. But she had no one to offer her that.

When he released his hold, his eyes seemed to dance with amusement as he glanced down at her feet. “Oh, and I wouldn’t walk too far in those heels. My feet hurt even thinking about it.” He shivered, then chuckled before he swaggered away.

“A man with a sense of humor.” Mirth stirred in her belly until a chuckle escaped her lips. He actually had made her laugh.

Later that night, back at Tabitha and Marcus’s house in her old neighborhood, the sisters’ heels, dresses, and makeup came off. They lounged in the family room in their flannel pj’s, reminiscing about Aunt Tweet and the sizeable inheritance she had left them.

Marcus entered the room. “Came to check on you ladies and give my wife this.” He leaned over the sofa and brushed a kiss against Tabitha’s lips.

Rachel’s heart fluttered; she longed for that type of deep-rooted affection. The couple was a perfect match for each other. He had been Tabitha’s rock when she needed it. Aunt Tweet had been a handful while she stayed with Tabitha, but Marcus had somehow wormed his way into their lives and charmed her aunt and Tabitha too.

“Okay, I came for what I needed. Carry on.” He grinned and ducked to escape the pillow Tabitha aimed at her new hubby’s head.

When Tabitha faced her sisters, Rachel and Kym were smiling.

“You’ve definitely got you a winner, Sis,” Kym said and sighed. “Honestly, I thought Rachel would beat us to the altar.”

“Me too,” Tabitha agreed, “but I have no regrets about being first. Aunt Tweet harped on having no regrets, and I have none being Mrs. Marcus Whittington.”

“I don’t know why you thought I would get hitched first.” Rachel shook her head.

Kym gave her a surprised look. “Because you draw men like a car show—from your sultry voice to your calculated catwalk to your form- fitting fashions. You, dear baby sister, have men wrapped around your manicured finger.”

“I think that was wishful thinking, but you don’t see any standing in line with a ring, do you?” Rachel challenged them.

“Nicholas Adams might be a prospect. Marcus likes him, and he did make a special trip to be by your side during our sorrow.” Tabitha nodded. “And that man is downright good-looking.”

“Nope.” Kym shook her head. “He’s hot—sizzling,” she teased. “He’s a minister. That’s what he does—prays and is there for people.” “I think you need to rethink that, because I would give that darker version of actor Daniel Supta a second look.”

“It’s Sunjata who played on Graceland, and both men are unmistakably handsome. I figured ministers are attracted to women of God like missionaries or evangelists, and as my two sisters have pointed out, I may have other men wrapped tight, but Nicholas—I mean—Minister Adams’s focus is on God’s work.”

“If you say so,” Kym said and eyed Tabitha. “You may be part of his work in progress in a personal way.”

Nicholas wasn’t interested in her in that way. He hadn’t asked for a date or dinner but offered her prayer, which, surprisingly, Rachel couldn’t get enough of, as if she were dying of thirst and hearing it quenched it.


Excerpted from Here for You by Pat Simmons. © 2020 by Pat Simmons. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author: PAT SIMMONS is the author of more than thirty-five inspirational romances. She has worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. For fourteen years, she oversaw the media publicity for the RT Booklovers Convention. She lives with her husband in Florissant, Missouri.


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Bookshop, or BAM.

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Lean on Me by Pat Simmons – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Pat Simmons who is celebrating today’s release of the first book in her new Family Is Forever series, Lean on Me. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

First in an emotional, poignant romantic women’s fiction series from acclaimed inspirational romance author Pat Simmons.

No one should have to go it alone…

Tabitha Knicely is overwhelmed with sorrow and exhaustion caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. When her neighbor Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn’t realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha’s pain.

Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. Tabitha finds herself leaning on Marcus more and more. And he’s becoming more than happy to share her burdens…

Enjoy an Excerpt

Tabitha needed to refocus as she smiled lovingly at her aunt. Beginning today, Aunt Tweet would stay at an upscale adult day care while Tabitha began her first day at a new job.

After getting the milk carton out of the refrigerator, Tabitha walked back to the table and poured some into Aunt Tweet’s bowl. Chalking it up to another sad oddity of dementia, she was determined to keep happy memories in the forefront of her mind as she kissed her aunt’s cheek.

“Thank you, ma’am.” Aunt Tweet giggled, adjusting Tabitha’s red, floppy hat on her head. Since her arrival, her aunt had fallen in love with that hat and wore it practically every day, regardless of her ensemble. “I took a little walk around God’s green earth.”

“What?” Tabitha didn’t like the idea of her aunt out of her sight. “Without me?” It was easy for anyone to succumb to the tranquility and abundance of green space in Pasadena Hills, which rivaled the nearby Norwood Hills Country Club. But in the midst of that apparent peace, they were still on the outskirts of a neighborhood not nearly so safe. It definitely wasn’t safe for Aunt Tweet to wander. Tabitha shivered at the thought of worse-case scenarios.

“You were asleep.”

“That’s okay.” She hugged her aunt. “Next time, wake me and I’ll go with you.” She yawned, recalling her previous night’s lack of sleep. Her aunt had wanted to reminisce about her years as an airline stewardess, and Tabitha had indulged her before all of Aunt Tweet’s memories would slip away. Researchers had yet to find a cure, so Tabitha hoped God would reveal a cure to eradicate or reverse this terrible disease before it was too late for her aunt.
All of a sudden, Aunt Tweet dropped her spoon, spilling milk onto the table. “I left my scarf…I left my scarf!” Panic-stricken, she trembled and scooted her chair back.

Startled, Tabitha’s heart pounded, so she patted her chest to aid her breathing to return to normal. “It’s all right. I’ll get it from upstairs,” she said, reassuring her aunt that it was okay to forget things sometimes.
While staying with Kym, Aunt Tweet had worked herself into hysterics over the vintage scarf she had gotten as an engagement gift. Her aunt boasted she’d gotten rid of the husband but held onto the expensive shawl. There hadn’t been any peace in Kym’s house until she’d found it behind a pillow on the sofa.

“No!” Aunt Tweet shrieked, shaking her head. “On that porch. We’d better hurry.”

Confused, Tabitha tried to calm her down to figure out what was going on. “On my porch?” When her aunt shook her head, Tabitha asked, “Whose porch?”

“I don’t know.”

Dread seemed to pour over Tabitha like a downpour. “Okay, okay.” Of all the days for a distraction, this was not a good one. This was her first day on a new job. As a pharmaceutical sales rep, Tabitha could recite medical terms, facts, definitions, and clinical studies’ results in her sleep. She’d entered college as a biology major and graduated with a bachelor’s in business. The pharmaceutical industry gave her the benefit of both worlds. Plus, she thrived on studying the physiological, anatomical, pharmacological, and scientific properties of medicine, so she could communicate the benefits of the company’s products.

But family was family, so taking her duty as a caregiver seriously, Tabitha had resigned from her job of six years as a senior pharmaceutical sales rep to ease the stress of the demanding position. Not wanting to leave the field completely, she took a pay cut to work in a smaller territory with a competitor who demanded little to no overnight travel. The sacrifice was worth it. Plus, her aunt’s trust fund designated the money for her own care.

Tabitha rubbed her forehead. “Let me put something on, then we’ll go find it.” Tabitha raced upstairs, hurried into her clothes, then grabbed her briefcase. Minutes later, she almost slipped while rushing down the stairs in her heels.

She reentered the kitchen, and Aunt Tweet wasn’t in sight. Tabitha checked the adjacent family room, then peeped outside toward the patio. Her aunt was behind the wheel of Tabitha’s rental car. Not good. She hadn’t purchased a car in years. A perk for being a sales rep, after she completed her two-week training, which started today, would be a company-issued vehicle.

After locking up the house, she had to convince Aunt Tweet, who had worked herself into a frenzy, that she couldn’t drive. Tabitha had to coax her own self to have patience while following her aunt’s conflicting directions, thinking, I can’t be late for my first day on the job.

“That’s the place!” Aunt Tweet yelled as Tabitha jammed on her brakes in front of a stately, story-and-a-half, older brick house she had never noticed before. The massive front door was centered under an archway. Twin french doors with mock balconies were on both sides of the entrance.

“I don’t see anything.” She craned her neck, admiring the impressive work of building art.

Aunt Tweet snapped, “I told you that’s the porch.”

“Okay.” There is no reason for your sharp tone, Tabitha thought but dared not voice. This house wasn’t that close to hers at all. Despite some mental deterioration, there was nothing wrong with her aunt’s physical stamina. She had obviously cut through the common ground area among the houses to get here.

After parking her car, Tabitha got out and surveyed her surroundings to make sure she wasn’t being watched. “This is crazy, sneaking up to somebody’s house,” she muttered to herself. Since the coast was clear, she hurried toward the red scarf that was snagged on a flower in a pot and flapping in the wind. She was within her reach when the door opened. Tabitha jumped back, then steadied herself in her heels.

An imposing man filled the doorway. Under different circumstances, he would be breathtakingly handsome. That was not the case now. Judging from his snarl and piercing eyes, Tabitha felt as if she had walked into the lion’s den.


Excerpted from Lean on Me by Pat Simmons. © 2020 by Pat Simmons. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author Pat Simmons is an author of more than thirty-five titles and a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She has worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. For fourteen years, she oversaw the media publicity for the RT Booklovers Convention. She lives with her husband in Florissant, Missouri.


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, IndieBound, or BAM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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