Message From The Author

Barbara Freethy

Book Title: ALMOST HOME
Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

One Christmas, when I was a child, my father asked my mother what she would like for the holiday. Now you might think that my father, like many men, had no idea what he wanted to give as a present. In fact, he had a very definitive idea. And his next question was this, Would you like a race horse or a mink coat?

My mother, bless her heart, chose the race horse. She knew that my father had been fascinated with horses since he was a young boy growing up on a sugar plantation in South America. It was a dream hed shared with his own father, but one that wasnt meant to come true until decades later, when my father was able to purchase his own race horse, which was aptly named Pats Mink Coat. Although my father was a racing enthusiast, he was a doctor by profession, and knew little about the actual care of a finely tuned thoroughbred. My parents quickly learned that horses ate more than they ran, and that it took quite a bit to actually get a horse to the starting gate. Over the years, they shared many wonderful experiences with the horses, some of which they bred, others that were claimed, and even when the IRS told them they couldnt call it a business unless they actually showed a profit, they still kept hoping for that one horse that would win the race. After many false starts, eventually they did end up in the Winners Circle.

I share this story, because my new book, ALMOST HOME, is set in the bluegrass region of Kentucky with the background of thoroughbred horse racing. This setting was particularly suitable for my story, because my heroine, Katherine Whitfield, is on a quest to find her father and her roots. When her search takes her to Paradise, Kentucky, a town where breeding isnt just a business, but a way of life, she discovers that her seemingly innocent questions set off a firestorm of secrets. To Katherines dismay, her only ally, and a reluctant one at that, is Zach Tyler, a man trying to outrun his own shady past with a win at the Kentucky Derby. Although Zach knows that Katherine is bound to cause him nothing but
trouble, he cant seem to stay away from her, because, well, sometimes a man needs a little trouble.

ALMOST HOME is about more than horses, its about family and dreams, and not giving up, some of the lessons I learned from my parents. My mom died last year as I was writing this book, but some of her memories are forever captured here.

You can contact me at P.O. Box 304, Burlingame, CA 94011-0304, e-mail me at bafreethy@aol.com.

Excerpt from ALMOST HOME

Katherine shook her head, trying to figure out where she was and who was yelling at her. There was a mana tall, dark-haired man with burning black eyes standing next to her car window. He was pulling on the door handle and yelling all sorts of absurdities that seemed to have less to do with her and more to do with a horse.

She roused herself enough to unlock the door. She pushed on it as the man pulled on it, sending her stumbling into his arms.

He caught her with a sureness, a strength that made her want to sink into his embrace and rest a moment. She needed to catch her breath. She needed to feel safe.

You could have killed my horse, he ground out angrily, his rough-edged voice right next to her ear. Driving like a maniac. What were you thinking?

Katherine could barely keep up with his surge of angry words. Let me go.

His grip eased slightly, but he didnt let go.

They stared at each other, their breaths coming in matching frightened gasps. Dressed in faded blue jeans and a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his forearms, the man towered over Katherine. His eyes were fierce, his thick dark hair looked like hed run his fingers through it all day long. His face was too rugged to be handsome, but it was compelling, strong, stubborn, determined

Good heavensshe had the distinct feeling
shed found herself a cowboy.


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