Excerpt from Corn Rose

Karen Ross Epp
“I like toads, remember?” she replied, not missing a beat. “You and
your friends always tried to get rid of me that way but I just threw them
back at you.”
With Kate pulling on him with both hands, Jack reluctantly stood up,
then bumped into her, almost sending them both to the floor. He caught
her around the waist.
“Sorry, Kate . . . I guess I’ve had one too many beers tonight.” She
felt warm and soft against his skin. Shit, Jack, get ahold of yourself. He’d
embarrass himself if he wasn’t careful so he released her and stepped back.
She just smiled and continued to tug him on the dance floor.
This is a damn mistake! Jack caught Hal looking at him and nudging
Nora. Great . . . just great! This’ll be all over the damn county before mornin’.
“Kate, I really need to sit down. I’m feelin’ a little lightheaded.”
“I have that effect on people,” she kidded. “I’ll hold you up. C’mon . . .
With her pressed against him, he caught a subtle hint of her
perfume as they moved across the dance floor. He had truly missed these
sensations—only he wished it were Rose he was holding.
Kate’s hair tickled his nose, and he blew it away, startling her.
“I’m sorry, I’m just no good at this, Kate.”
She pressed her cheek against his shoulder. “No . . . this is nice. You’re
not as scary as you used to be.”
She looked up at him. “What makes you so sad, Jack?”
Her eyes were trusting and inviting. God, I’m gonna be in trouble if
I don’t turn her loose. Well . . . it’d serve Rose right. I heard that guy on the
“I’m not sad,” he said. “Just gotta lot on my mind, that all!”
She wasn’t buying it. “Wouldn’t have anything to do with your wife
bein’ gone, would it?”
He let out a big sigh and smiled down at her. “I never could put nothin’
over on you, could I?”


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