MORE THAN RIVALS – Mary Whitney: Excerpt & Giveaway
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Some seats in Congress turn over once in a lifetime, and the election isn’t a race; it’s a crowded, mad dash for Washington, D.C. When the local congressional seat opens up for the first time in forty years, Sonoma County Supervisor Ursula “Lily” Robles knows it may be her only opportunity. Though she’s a long shot, she likes her chances.
The night before she announces her candidacy, she meets a handsome stranger at a coffee shop. He’s the first man to catch her eye since her husband, and she’s taken with him—until she realizes he’s her leading opponent in the primary. State Senator John “Jack” Bengston can’t place where he’s seen her face, but he’d like to get to know her more. There are times when politicians want to put their identities aside.
An exclusive excerpt:
Bill took a seat next to the desk. “This story just posted in the Santa Rosa paper, and now it’s spreading. Supervisor Ursula Robles has entered the race.”
“Who the hell is Ursula Robles?”
“The Sonoma County supervisor? You’ve never met her?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Jack shook his head. “Is she stupid or something? She’s a nobody county supervisor, and she’s running for Congress in a district which spans four counties. No one knows who she is. She’s gonna get clobbered.”
“Uh. She’s not stupid. She was smart to get in. This could be the only time this congressional seat is open in her lifetime, and she’s the only woman running in a field of four men.”
“So what does she look like?”
“Not bad. Not bad at all.” Bill cocked his head, looking at the photo one more time. “Pretty actually.”
“So what’s her story?”
“First of all, she’s a widow, but she’s young.”
“That’s sad.” Jack frowned. “How did her husband die?”
“In Iraq. He was a doctor in the army. They met while she was at nursing school and he was doing his residency at UCSF. He died when she was seven months pregnant.”
“Wow. That’s rough.”
“Yeah, she first ran for school board when her son started kindergarten. When the county supervisor seat opened up, she beat out a bunch of guys.”
“Interesting.” Jack yawned and stretched. “Where does she live?”
Jack snapped his head up. “What else do you know about her?”
“I don’t know. I already told you most of what I read.” Bill shrugged and glanced at the screen one more time. “Single mom, widow, nurse, marathon runner, lives in Petaluma with her parents, rescues dogs, went to Cal. She’s Mexican-American, and her friends call her—”
“Lily,” Jack whispered as he leaned forward in his seat.
“That’s right.” Bill lifted his head. “See you do know her.”
Covering his eyes in humiliation, Jack laughed. “Oh my God. I can’t believe it.”
“What? What’s going on?”
Jack didn’t answer because he couldn’t stop laughing or wondering how on earth this had happened to him.
“Tell me,” Bill demanded. “Why are you laughing? How do you know her?”
“She’s the woman I met last night.”
“Ursula Robles? She’s the girl you’re all hung up on? Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m not kidding.”
Bill smiled and snickered. “I can’t believe you hit on your opponent. No wonder she gave you the brush off.”
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Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
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