Authors: Merry Farmer
To say that Portland, Maine had never seen the kind of crowd that showed up for a local production of a play as set in the canon of theatrical classics as Eugene O’Neil’s
A Moon for the Misbegotten
was no understatement. It was only a regional production, wedged right at the beginning of the theater season in late September. But reporters from as far as New York came to cover the event. Because how often was a simple, local production directed by a man who had won both Broadway and television’s highest award for director?
“Mr. Paul, what made you decide to scale back and direct regionally instead of taking Broadway by storm after your award for
last week?” one of the reporters asked, sidling up to Ben and Jo at the reception in the theater’s lobby before the show.
Ben squeezed Jo’s hand, eternally grateful that she was right there by his side, still, always. “It seemed like the next logical step to me,” he answered the reporter with a casual shrug that masked his excitement. “Filming for
wrapped, but since I’ve decided to make this area my home,” he glanced at Jo with a smile that made his fingers and toes warm, “I figured it was time to contribute to Portland’s theater community.”
Jo grinned in approval at the answer. In fact, it had taken a bit of arm-twisting on his part. He’d been at a loss when filming was over and had teetered on the edge of going back to New York. The Pollards had stopped calling and threatening him every few days, particularly when they attempted to break a new story on him, only to have Clint Parsons and several other big names on Broadway come to his defense. Clint still had hopes that Ben would come back to direct his show, and while that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, the surprise show of support broke whatever spell the Pollards had cast over the New York theater world. Ben was free.
But that didn’t mean he was in a hurry to leave the peace and normality of Maine for Manhattan’s insanity. He had other plans, as Jo had so deftly reminded him.
“Congratulations on your engagement,” one of the other reporters added as she invited herself into the conversation. “You look very happy.”
“Thanks,” Jo answered, leaning closer and hugging Ben’s arm. “We are.” He never would have pegged her as the type to flash the diamond he’d bought her over the summer and slipped on her finger during a moonlit walk on the beach, but then again, Jo was continually full of surprises.
“How did you two meet?” the first reporter asked.
Ben and Jo exchanged a glance, trying hard to keep a straight face. Both were failing miserably. It wasn’t the first time they’d been asked that question, but they had yet to come up with an answer that didn’t make both of them blush.
“It was a rainy day in Manhattan,” Jo explained, lips quivering. “I ducked into a coffee shop and accidentally sat at a table that was reserved for Ben.”
And that’s where the story ended when told in public.
“I’m grateful that she did,” Ben added. “It was love at first sight, like a romance novel.” He raised Jo’s hand to his lips and kissed it.
“Oh, and congratulations, Miss Burkhart, on hitting the bestseller list with your new series,” the female reporter went on, her eyes aglow as she glanced between Jo and Ben. “I read the first book, and I really loved it.” She leaned closer. “Is Mr. Paul the inspiration for your hero, Jake?”
Jo sent Ben a mischievous smile. “Ben is the inspiration for all of my heroes. He is my romance novel hero, in every way.”
“Every way?” the woman asked with a knowing wiggle of her brow.
way,” Jo answered.
Ben flushed darker. Leave it to Jo to embarrass him in public. Him, Benjamin Paul, the man who thought he couldn’t be embarrassed. She’d shown him. She’d shown him a lot of things in the past few months, and he was grateful for each one.
What the reporter couldn’t know was how much Jo’s simple praise meant to him.
“I’m only a romance novel hero now because I have a bona fide romance novel heroine by my side.” He slipped his arm around Jo’s waist and kissed her lightly. “Without her, I don’t know who I’d be.”
“You’d be the same wonderful man you’ve always been,” she teased him, shaking her head.
“Don’t listen to her,” Ben told the reporters. “This woman is the making of me.”
“That’s so romantic,” the female reporter sighed.
“Yes,” Jo agreed. “It is. He is. Neither of us are perfect, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
* * *
There’s more in store for the cast and crew of
and the people whose lives they touch. Like Jo’s hunky photographer brother, Nick. What exactly is going on between him and rising starlet, Adelaide Townsend? Keep your eyes peeled for
, coming next year. And if you’d like to be notified when Nick and Adelaide’s story, as well as other stories from the cast and set of the TV series “Second Chances,” are out, please sign up for my newsletter here:
I hope you have enjoyed
Catch a Falling Star
. If you’d like to be the first to learn about when the next books in the series come out and more, please sign up for my newsletter here:
And remember, Read it, Review it, Share it!
Merry Farmer is an award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always have something to write about. Her books have topped the Amazon and iBooks charts and been finalists in the prestigious RONE and Rom Com Reader’s Crown awards.
You can email her at
or follow her on Twitter @merryfarmer20.
Merry also has a blog,
and a Facebook page,
I would never be able to do what I do without the help of some fabulous people. I’d like to thank my wonderful editor, Cissie Patterson, my amazing beta-readers, Kristine Medley Farmer and Patti Larsen, and the Mistress of Badass herself, my publicist Anne Chaconas, and the whole Badass Marketing team. And a special, special thanks to Butterfly Farmer and Jolene Stewart for additional “editing.”
The Noble Hearts Trilogy
(Historical Western Romance – 1890s)
Hot on the Trail
(Oregon Trail Romance – 1860s)
Trail of Aces (coming soon)
Trail of Chances (coming soon)
– a prequel novella
Catch a Falling Star
Shooting Star (coming soon)
(Part of The Fabulous Dalton Boys trilogy)
New Church Inspiration
Deeper Than the Sea (coming soon)