My Guests

An Unexpected Blessing by Debra St. John

I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Debra St. John, to my blog today!

What do you get when you mix an ex-con, the girl he’s had a secret crush on for years, small town gossip, and Thanksgiving?

A cozy story with some spice! An Unexpected Blessing, my latest release from The Wild Rose Press, arrives tomorrow, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. It’s a time for being with those you love and looking back at the blessings of the past year. It’s a simple, cozy time before the rush of Christmas begins.

In Blessing I used the coziness of the season as the backdrop for Katy and Joe’s romance. It’s a season for the senses. The crunch of fallen leaves or the crackle of a fire. Being wrapped in soft flannel shirts and comfy sweaters protected from the chill in the air. Most of the colorful leaves have fallen, and the wind scatters them across the yard. They skitter and scrape in a spiraling dance. Paper Pilgrims and Indians adorn tables. Turkeys appear all around: honeycomb turkeys on the mantle, hand turkeys on the fridge, and of course the succulent aroma of turkey in the oven fills the house on Thanksgiving Day. When meal time arrives the tender turkey is joined by creamy mashed potatoes, tart and tangy cranberry sauce, sweet corn, moist stuffing, and crumbly corn bread. For dessert there’s pie: both apple and pumpkin. For an added dose of fun, I included some of my favorite recipes at the end of the story.

Joe and Katy themselves, and what they’d go through to get to their HEA, just came to me one night. It truly was a case of out-of-the-blue inspiration.

Here’s just a taste of their story:


She started, and then turned to find Joe standing a few yards away. The sound of her name coming from his lips caused a strange shiver to ripple through her. Not quite fear. But what?

As Joe stepped closer, she fought the urge to take one back.

He shoved his hands in the front pockets of his jeans. She tore her gaze away from the way it stretched the worn fabric tightly across his thighs and the masculine area in between.

“I know you don’t want to talk to me, and that’s okay. I just wanted to thank you for what you and your family did at church on Sunday. It meant a lot to my mama.”

Surprise, along with the intense look in his dark eyes, rendered her mute. “You’re welcome,” she finally managed.

“I’m heading into town, so if you want to let Kyle play outside alone, I won’t be around.” He turned and headed toward the stairs leading to the apartment above the garage.

Damn, but the curve of his backside filled out those jeans nicely.

She blinked. Where had that completely inappropriate thought come from?

Her cheeks heated with a blush, while at the same time, a healthy dose of shame kept her immobile as he walked away. Had he overheard her tell Kyle he couldn’t play outside alone, or was Joe uncannily astute?

Then she shook off the indecorous thoughts of his anatomy and the moment of weakness. Looking out for the safety of her family was nothing to be ashamed of.

An Unexpected BlessingBlurb:

Single Mom Katy Roth thinks life can’t get any worse. In the past six months she’s been let go at work, had to move back home with her parents, and found out her ex is cutting his child support payment. As Thanksgiving approaches, she finds little to be thankful for in a life that is quickly spinning out of control.

Joe Mason is the town’s bad boy. Literally. He’s just returned from a four year stint in prison. He wants nothing more than to put the past behind him and get on with his life. He’s had a secret crush on Katy since grade school, but when Katy’s parents hire him to be their handyman, she’s less than thrilled to have him around.

But soon, through her young son’s eyes, Katy discovers the good in Joe. As their feelings for one another deepen, small town gossip and prejudice threaten to ruin everything. Will Joe’s past come between them, or will they be able to get beyond it and hold onto a love neither expected?

Bio: Debra St. John writes spicy romance with sexy heroes and spunky heroines for The Wild Rose Press. An Unexpected Blessing is her fifth release. Although she’s a country girl at heart, she lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero. You can find her at or blogging at,, or

19 thoughts on “An Unexpected Blessing by Debra St. John”

  1. Hi Debra and Babette!
    Wow, your description of this time of year swept me away. I live in California and don’t get much Fall, so I envy those who do. Thanks for such vivid prose on the subject, now I can guess what a wonderfully written book this must be. Love the premise and enjoyed the excerpt. Let me be the first to wish both of you Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. What a wonderful description of Thanksgiving, Debra – although I must admit to being somewhat baffled by honeycomb turkeys and hand turkeys!
    This is the second excerpt I’ve read from ‘An Unexpected Blessing’ – and I’m really looking forward to reading the whole story. Very best of luck with it!

    1. Hi Paula!

      Honeycomb turkeys are those tissue paper fold out ones and hand turkeys are simply that: You trace your hand. The palm is the body of the turkey and your fingers are the feathers. Very popular with grade school kids! Kyle makes one in the story!

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