Countin’ on Jesse Epic Book Launch!

About the Book

Book: Countin’ On Jesse

Author: Mary Pat Johns

Genre: (Inspirational) Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 12, 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.

Book Excerpt

“Thanks, Dice.” Her stomach settled a bit.

“You owe me. That kind never leaves a tip.” Dicey sailed off, her tray held aloft.

“Probably right,” Brenna muttered as she hefted her salad tray, weaving around tables and chairs. A guy tilted on the two back legs of his chair. Brenna attempted to go around him, but a small child in the narrow aisle forced her back into his path. His arms flew out before she could sidestep.


Brenna gasped as her tray shot into the air. The person closest to her spun around, chair legs scraping the carpet. Air-borne salad descended with a vengeance, landing all over him, bowls clattering everywhere.

Oh. No.


Lettuce and dressing congealed in his dark hair, and olives bounced off his shirt. Brenna clapped her hands over her mouth, then Arm-Waver’s chair hit the back of her knees. Her arms pinwheeling, she crashed into Way-Too-Handsome’s chest. A groan escaped as her teeth clinked on his shirt button. Strong hands wrapped around her upper arms and moved her to an upright position, but her feet slipped on the wet salad. Before she could catch her balance, he plopped her onto his lap.

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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.


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