Home > What I Like About Sunday

What I Like About Sunday
Author: Darlene Tallman




Back in December, my PA, Nicole Lloyd, gave me a task. To go through the manuscripts I had “out there” that weren’t done yet and pick one to work on that was outside any of my series I was working on, or any of my cowrites, then pick one of the many premade covers I have in yet another folder. I went through several, sent her the blurb and she said, “That one!”

However, no book is ever a solo project and when I got sick a few days before I was going to need to upload the book, I had several folks jump in to help get it polished for me so I wouldn’t blow my deadline and disappoint the readers. Nicole McVey and Cheryl Hullett threw their two cents in, as did Liberty Parker, even though she was faced with her own deadlines. They made sure the story made sense and even tossed in some ideas to expand it in some places and this book wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging that fact!








This one is dedicated to my favorite oldest granddaughter, Maddison. She turns 17 the day “What I Like About Sunday” releases, and while I haven’t seen or spoken to her in almost eight years now, not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.

MaddiBelle, if you ever see this, just know you’re loved and prayed for every single day, and I’ll always love you to the moon and back.








Growing up in the same small town where everyone knows one another, Sunday Cross has watched Jett Blake’s life from afar. Not because he’s several years older and ahead of her in school; no, it’s because of his girlfriend, who makes the mean girls in the movies look like choir girls. She’s focused on her own goals and dreams, determined to use her GI bill to become a nurse like her mother, and grandmother. Instead, she returns to town shattered and scarred, her military service over and any dreams she had for a future with her fiancé ground into dust. Now, her days are filled with surgeries and physical therapy instead of patients and missions.

Jett Blake was the golden boy of the town. Star quarterback. Exemplary student. All-around nice guy, despite the fact his girlfriend wasn’t well-liked. His life reads like a blueprint for success; college athlete, drafted into the pros. He never expects to find himself home again, now, a single dad to a four-year old little boy, divorced, and broken.

Can two broken souls, who were aware of each other years ago, find their way to happiness?






Fourteen years ago



“Where’s your cross, Sunday?” the group of girls chanted, using my last name as a pun.

Shaking my head at their obvious lack of originality, I ignored them as I headed to my locker. Why, oh why, was I blessed with a surname that begged people to make fun of me? Sighing, I switched out books, closed my locker before turning around, and crashing straight into a hard, muscular male chest.

Looking up, I saw the senior that every girl in the school was panting over.

Jett Blake.

Star quarterback. Star of the cross-country team. He had so many athletic skills and commendations that he was being offered free rides to all of the major, top tier colleges. As if that wasn’t enough, he was smart as well, holding down a near-perfect grade point average despite all of his extracurricular activities. The only downside, as far as I was concerned, was his girlfriend. She was horrid, what my friends and I would classify as a ‘mean girl’, yet she had him snowed somehow, believing she was a caring, empathetic girl, which was a shame because she was anything but that.

His deep blue eyes looked down at me, and I said, “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

“Don’t let them bother you, Sunday. They’re just jealous because they have nothing unique about them.” I knew my mouth was hanging open at his words. How in the hell did he even know who I was, for heaven’s sake?

“I try not to,” I softly replied.

He smiled at me, and was about to say something in response when his girlfriend, Stacey, came up next to him. “What are you doing, Jett? We’re going to be late!”

“We’re fine, Stace. I accidentally ran into Sunday, and wanted to make sure she was okay.”

I looked at him and couldn’t believe he was pretty much lying to his girlfriend, since it was me who ran into him, not the other way around. Then again, Stacey was a bit of a bitch, and if he had said what truly happened, she would have made my life a living hell. Where she was concerned, I preferred to stay way under the radar. Which has me confused, because we’ve all been convinced that he bought into her fake smiles and personality. Maybe he’s not as clueless as we thought? Maybe he saw her flaws but turned a blind eye to her rude behaviors.

“Well, I’m sure she’s fine since she’s still standing. I don’t see any bumps or bruises on her. Let’s go,” Stacey said, pulling on his arm.

“Sorry again, Sunday. See you around,” he said.

I watched them go, my mind still replaying his words as I wondered… what did he mean that I was unique?

Ten years ago



Graduation over, I prepared for basic training, getting all my ducks in a proverbial row. Thankfully, I was involved in several different extracurricular activities, so as far as the physical fitness aspect was concerned, I wasn’t too worried. I had chosen to do a delayed enlistment in the Navy, and received a significant scholarship for college that I planned to utilize, once I had honored my military commitment.

“Honey, are you sure this is what you want to do?” Mom asked, coming into my bedroom with a basket of my washed laundry in her arms.

“Mom, I want to be a nurse and going into the Navy, I can get a lot of experience as a medic that will eventually help me. I’ll be fine. Plus, I was going to get my clothes in a few minutes, you didn’t need to bring them to me, but thank you.”

“You know your dad and I will worry, honey. We’re not exactly at peace these days.”

“I should still be just fine, Mom.” I’d roll my eyes but knowing her, even though her back is turned, she’d still see me and it’s not worth the smack, that’s for sure. As a teenager, I learned the value of making sure to not to express what I was thinking, at least not where Mom could see me. We’ve got a good relationship, but we definitely butted heads when I was younger. The bottom line, though, is she loves me.

“Did you hear about Jett Blake?” she questioned as she started folding my clothes.

I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. Being in a small town, I knew the gossip and tried to ignore it, but hell, everyone had known that he got Stacey pregnant right before they graduated. They ended up having a miscarriage shortly after they got married, according to the gossiping townspeople. I just remembered how kind he was any time I saw him at school, even though he was an upperclassman, and I was a lowly freshman. If memory served, they recently had a little boy, Dusty, but I wasn’t sure how old he was right now.

“What about him?” I finally asked.

“Well, apparently Stacey left town,” Mom replied, folding a pair of my socks, and putting them in a growing pile for me to add to my suitcase.

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