Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Celebrate Lit Presents: Countin’ On Jesse by Mary Pat Johns


Book Title: Countin’ On Jesse

Author Name: Mary Pat Johns

Genre: (Inspirational) Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 12th, 2023

Peeps’ gym owner Jesse seeks accreditation. Accountant Brenna wants to help Jesse reach his goal. They’re a great team, but can she count on him when trouble strikes?


Accountant BRENNA MCKINLEY only wants what’s best for Peeps, the wildly popular gym in Valiant, Texas. But when money goes missing, and she’s the obvious suspect, will she be able to clear her name or face criminal charges? Keeping her dream job matters, but falling in love with her boss isn’t part of the plan. Neither is the creepy guy stalking her.  


Young veteran JESSE JACOBS manages and co-owns Peeps, an exercise facility in Valiant, Texas. He needs help to gain accreditation for the gym, and his new accountant is all in. But is she who she seems? Too bad he’s falling for her like a man with no parachute. When the pressure builds, PTSD renders him moody and volatile, risking everything he loves.


About The Author

Mary Pat Johns’ writing career began once she retired from years of teaching speech and writing. She’s written devotions for an online publication and had short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. She currently writes a biweekly faith column for the local newspaper.

Countin’ On Jesse is her debut novel, and she’s hard at work on the rest of the Valiant series. God put it in her heart to tell stories of brave veterans and their reintegration into civilian life after suffering the traumas of war. As she kept writing, her focus generalized to include ordinary people who learn how to move forward after devastating events. Her writing has a strong spiritual thread since she considers a return to faith in God the solution for what ails the civilized world.

She lives in South Texas with her husband and their two dapple dachshunds. Her grown children and five grandchildren are useful sorts who keep her grounded with her reading/writing obsession. You can find her at the gym, at her computer, or reading a good book.

 Countin’ On Jesse placed second in inspirational contemporary romance in the TARA contest. It was also a finalist in the Crown and the Maggie contests for unpublished authors.


Book Excerpt

Judging by her relaxed body language, she was friends with Way-Too-Handsome too. Was he the childhood pal who owned a business? Brenna couldn’t keep Paige’s many friends straight. Brenna’s joints fussed like the cranky baby in Section C. Job hunt frustration had turned her running hobby into grueling contests to see how long her legs would pump. The clock read 8:13 p.m. One hour, forty-seven minutes until closing, and the end of hershift. A brawny guy hailed her with a “come serve me, wench” jerk of his thumb. What was Leo doing here? Her stomach tightened. Leo had been an unwelcome fixture at her former workplace. The way his eyes roved her body made her feel dirty. Now he was at Cowpokes, in her section, no less. Nerves fluttering, she rearranged salad bowls on the tray. “Dice, I need you to wait a table for me.” Her co-worker would sass Leo all over Valiant if he looked at her wrong. Dicey’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Which table?”“Number Eight.” Busy with salad prep, the other woman glanced in that direction. “Yeah, he’s got jerk written all over him.” She paused, hand on her hip. “He ain’t gonna bother you none here. I got your back, baby girl.





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