logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: silver-dagger-scriptorium
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-25 13:11
Blog Tour Stop for Only a Mistress Will Do by Jenna Jaxon with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Jenna Jaxon’s Only a Mistress Will Do. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


AbtheB

 

 

The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman. Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another...

Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves...

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

  

 

Excer

 

 

Chapter 1

London, November 1761

 

Shivering in the brisk wind cutting straight through her thin gown, Violet Carlton trudged across the small dirt-packed backyard, littered with tufts of dead grass and scattered brown and red leaves. Teeth clenched to stop their chattering, she mounted the short three steps of the back stoop, straightened her shoulders, and rapped three times on the dull gray door of the silvery clapboard house. Beyond the weathered board fence of the house next door a dog barked, but no one stirred. No prying eyes to witness her shame.

The door opened a crack, and a lad of about twelve stuck his head out. “What you doin’ ’ere this time o’ day?” “I would like to speak with Madame Vestry, please.” Perhaps she should have waited until later in the morning. Such an establishment would obviously keep late hours. But the ache in her belly had forced her here as soon as the sun had risen.

“She’s still sleep. Come back later today.” He started to push the door closed but Violet rammed her boot between it and the jamb. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back. If she didn’t do this now, she wouldn’t have the courage, or the strength, to come back.

“I need to see her now.” She raised her voice, and threw her weight against the rough boards. Despite her small stature, she was stronger. He staggered back and she fell into a narrow back foyer with a row of coat hooks and the devastating yeasty smell of baking bread. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled. She hadn’t eaten for days.

Blond hair straggling from under a mobcap, a girl, maybe fourteen, rushed into the room. “What the hell’s going on in here Willie?” She wiped her hands on her apron, streaked with flour and grease. Warily, her gaze shifted from Willie to Violet. “Who are you?”

“I’ve come to see Madame Vestry.” Violet focused on the girl’s narrowed eyes. “I need to talk to her, please.” Her heart gave a sickening lurch.

In one practiced glance, the girl took in her appearance, from what used to be her second-best hat to the rumpled and stained deep-purple dress to her scuffed black boots, and sniffed. “I see you do.”

The appraisal stung, but was probably fair. She’d come down fast in the months since her grandmother’s death. Her possessions long gone, her wardrobe—reduced to two dresses and a well-worn cloak—had been sold, leaving her with only the dress she stood up in. These clothes wouldn’t fetch a shilling in a secondhand shop now.

The servant girl nodded to Willie. “Close the door before we freeze to death, jingle-brains. Come on.” She led Violet out of the foyer. “I’ll ask if Madame will see you. But she won’t be happy being woke up this early, you can bet your dippers on that.”

The last thing she wanted was to antagonize her future employer. Still, she couldn’t risk waiting until later. Taking a firm grip on herself, she followed the girl down a shadowy hallway until she motioned her into an equally dim reception room. “Wait here.” The girl turned on her heel and left.

Violet let out the breath she’d been holding. She hadn’t fainted yet, though her empty stomach had tied itself in knots. The pain meant she was alive and by God she intended to stay that way. She strode farther into the room and perched on the red cushioned sofa. Let the woman arrive swiftly to get this over with.

Sitting rigidly, she stared at her hands clenched in her lap, then shook herself. She had better be stronger than this. Determined, she sat straighter. A classical-style painting in a large gilt frame across from her caught her interest. A naked woman lay on a chaise, her legs spread. Oh, good Lord. Her womanly parts were exposed and a swan lay with its beak pressed between her thighs.

Her face heated and she had to look somewhere else, anywhere else but at that painting. The fireplace on her right held two candlesticks, shaped like naked women. Wax had dripped onto the figures, drops hanging from the nipples. Was there nowhere in the room without a lewd image? Violet gripped the end of the sofa. The plush red carpet seemed safe to study. The smooth, polished wood under her fingers had been carved in an oval with folds in the middle. She traced the pattern absently, still unable to get the image of the painting out of her mind. The swan’s long neck lying at the apex of the woman’s open legs. Her forefinger stroked the wooden oval, so similar to the—

“Dear God!” She snatched her hand away and rubbed it against her gown. “Miss Carlton?” A small, dark-haired woman in an exotic scarlet silk robe seemed to fill the room.

Violet jumped to her feet, her heart thudding wildly.

“My maid said you wished to see me?” Madame Vestry’s dark eyes took in every detail of Violet’s appearance. She raised an eyebrow.

On the tip of her tongue to retort of course, she did not wish to see the owner of a brothel, she instead swallowed back her anger. She could ill afford to provoke Madame Vestry. “Yes, ma’am. My brother told me if things went very badly for me I should…” Words stuck in her throat like a fish bone.

“Come to my establishment?”

Face flushing, Violet nodded. “Yes.”

“Who is your brother, Miss Carlton?” A narrowing of the woman’s eyes echoed the suspicion in her voice.

“James Carlton, ma’am.”

Vestry’s head rose slightly and she relaxed. “Ah, yes, Jamie. You are his sister? Then I am sorry for your loss, Miss Carlton.”

“Thank you, Madame Vestry.” Thankfully, her voice held steady, the months since her brother’s death easing the grief to the point she did not weep instantly at the thought. Her current plight was enough to do that.

“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.

“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”

Except herself.

“You are how old, Miss Carlton?” “Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”

“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.

Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self- conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes. “Turn please.”

Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.

In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”

Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.

The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”

Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.

“Lie down on the sofa please.” “What? Why?”

“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”

Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.

Vestry stood immobile, a flicker in her eyes the only hint of interest.

Steeling herself, without word or plea, Violet lay down on the disgusting sofa, raised her knees and turned her head toward the garish red satin cushion. Cool air rushed past her thighs. Hot tears slipped down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to cry. The time for weakness had passed.

“You may sit up now.”

Indignant, Violet sat up and raised her chin. “Are you satisfied as to my honesty now?”

“I always was, Miss Carlton.” Madame Vestry stared into Violet’s eyes, her gaze seeming to penetrate to her soul.

“Then why—”

“I needed to test your mettle.”

Rising, Violet scowled. Simply coming to this place should have shown her determination.

“Respectable women often believe they can eschew respectability to save their lives, only to find, in the end, starvation far pleasanter than immorality,” Vestry continued matter-of-factly. “You, however, I believe will do, Cassandra. Come with me.” Motioning her to follow, she headed out of the room.

“Cassandra?” Violet hurried to keep up. “All of my girls have false names, false identities.” At the end of the hallway, they headed up a flight of stairs.

“The life they lead in the House of Pleasure is just as fraudulent. Cassandra is the mask you will wear to protect a vestige of your self-respect.” When they reached the landing, Madame twitched her silky robe out of the way and turned to her. “Think of it as a role, very like one an actress might take upon the stage. It is not who you are, unless you allow it be.” The vehemence of the last sentence rang in the cramped stairwell.

Violet stumbled back a step. “Why Cassandra?” It was a classical reference she couldn’t quite place.

A peculiar smile curled Madame Vestry’s red lips. “She was a prophet and a spoil of war. A woman men used but dismissed because they could not understand her prophecies, although they came true with a vengeance.” A fire glowed in her cunning eyes as she scrutinized Violet’s body.

More than her earlier examination, Vestry’s calculating perusal made Violet uncomfortable.

“What prophecy will you reveal to your customers, I wonder, Miss Carlton? A promise of pleasure or one of pain?” The light extinguished as quickly as it had come. “This way.” She started down a corridor to the right. “You will have a room of your own on the second floor. Depending on circumstances, you will entertain your clients either there or in one of the ground-floor rooms.”

Violet followed, each step hardening her heart.

“I will see to your training during the next week.” Passion drained from her voice. The businesswoman had returned.

A shiver shot down Violet’s spine.

“I will also inform certain special clients I have an item of interest for them.”

No going back now. She had become a whore. Tears threatened, but she beat them back.

“You can only sell your virtue once and I will make sure you receive the highest price, my dear. Half of those proceeds are yours.”

Violet wavered between fainting and nausea, then steadied. Perhaps thinking of the encounter as a business deal might make the situation tolerable. Madame Vestry showed her into a small, clean room boasting no lewd artwork, only a wide oak bed, a chest on chest, an armchair and table.

“This room is yours as long as you work for me, though should you receive a better offer, I’d advise you take it.”

“A better offer?” Who on earth would want her after this?

“Many of my girls have gone on to become exclusive mistresses to the noblemen who take a fancy to them. Such arrangements are often quite lucrative. With judicious saving one might have enough to start their life over after four or five years.” A mischievous smile flitted across Madame Vestry’s face. “One of the girls who passed through here briefly—very briefly, mind you—ended up marrying a marquess. That smacks more of fairytale than reality. Still the tale is true.”

The animation drained from her face as the brusque woman of business returned. “I will leave you to settle in, although I’ll expect you ready for your first lesson this afternoon. We serve late luncheon at four and supper after midnight. The house opens for clients at dusk.” She looked Violet up and down once more, lingering on her face. “You might want to stay in your room tonight. Just ignore anything you may hear. You’ll get used to the noise rather quickly.” Abruptly, she shut the door.

Violet dropped into the chair as her legs finally gave out, praying to God she could get through this nightmare, if only one moment at a time.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise—so expect her to incorporate these elements into her work! She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets where she is currently working on the next House of Pleasure book, Only A Mistress Will Do, as well as a Regency series. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage when she writes. Jenna equates her writing to an addiction to chocolate—once she starts she just can’t stop!

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

 

GA

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

BS

 

 

apr 4- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

apr 4- Romance Novel Giveaways – GUEST POST

apr 5- Books and Spoons

apr 5- The Book Town

apr 6- Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

apr 6- Teatime and Books

apr 7- Angels With Attitudes Book Reviews

apr 7- Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'

apr 10- Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

apr 10- Jazzy Book Reviews

apr 11- Mommabears Book Blog

apr 11- Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

apr 12- Traci Hayden

apr 12- Random Thoughts From a Tech Nerd

apr 13- Sylv.net

apr 13- Turning Another Page

apr 14- The Reading Spot

apr 14- Queen of All She Reads

apr 17- The Bookworm Chronicles

apr 17- Books Dreams Life

apr 18- Plain Talk Book Marketing – GUEST POST

apr 18- A Mama's Corner of the World

apr 19- Sour Puss Reviews

apr 19- U.S. - Brazil Book Review

apr 20- Mello & June

apr 20- Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

apr 21- CGB Blog Tours

apr 21- Lisa-Queen of Random

apr 24- The Blackwood Blog

apr 24- Julayn Adams Books and Reviews

apr 25- SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

apr 25- The Authors Blog

apr 26- Sapphyria's Book Reviews

apr 26- Bound 2 Escape

apr 27- Yah gotta read this

apr 27- The Avid Reader

apr 28- What's Beyond Forks? - REVIEW

may 1- Celticlady's Reviews

may 1- Shh, I am Reading

may 2- Triquetra Reviews – GUEST POST

may 3- Celtic Dragon Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

may 4- Book Love - REVIEW

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-mistress-will-jenna-jaxon-excerpt-giveaway
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-21 13:10
Blog Tour Stop for Puppy Love by Kelly Moran with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Kelly Moran’s Puppy Love. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


AbtheB

 

 

 

 

After a passionless marriage under the scrutiny of high society, Avery Stowe is taking back her life. All she wants is a little privacy and a quiet place to raise her autistic daughter, Hailey. Redwood Ridge, Oregon, seems to offer all the right ingredients. Except for the problem of the local sexy veterinarian. The last thing she needs in her life is to fall for his irresistible allure, even if he is a nice guy who keeps doing her favors. But the well-meaning patrons of her new hometown have other ideas, and it appears playing Cupid is one of them.

Cade O’Grady has never met a woman he couldn't handle, but when Avery Stowe walks into his office late one night cradling an injured puppy, he’s struck stupid. Which might explain her total lack of interest in him. But now that she’s working for his family’s clinic, he doesn't have to lust from a distance. He might just have a chance at convincing Avery—and her too-guarded heart—that falling for the right man isn't a mistake . . .

 

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Buy Links 

 

  

Excer

 

 

Finished with a round of patients, he headed up front where Aunt Rosa was reading a romance book and Avery was typing away on the computer. “Whatcha doing now?”

Avery didn’t glance up from the screen. “Making a supply list in Excel.”

Hell. Why was that hot? She wasn’t his usual type.

Okay, to be honest, any female with too many brain cells wasn’t his type. It wasn’t out of a sense of shallowness he sought that variety, but preservation. Until he found someone who made his heart beat like Heather used to do for Drake, he’d stick with superficial. No point in getting hurt or hurting someone else. But ever since Heather died, Cade tried less and less to settle down or find that person. He was aware of it, aware he was doing it, and damn if he ever questioned his actions until now. People rarely recovered from that kind of love. Why search for it?

Perhaps it was Avery’s long legs in those black leggings, or her pink sweater the same shade as her cheeks when she blushed, or her brown hair—more chestnut really in the sun—piled on top of her head and held in place with a pencil that seized his interest. He bit back a sigh. Nope. It was her brain, her humor, and her strength.

Hot.

Aunt Rosa glanced at him over the top of her book, a knowing smirk on her face.

Busted.

“A supply list?” Bully for him. His voice sounded normal. He still had no freaking clue why, but if he wasn’t bumbling like a moron around Avery, he was saying moronic things. Where the hell was his swagger?

“Mmhm.” Type. “So we don’t over order things or run out. Gabby and Brent can just check off what they need and I can order from the supplier.” Type, type. “Did you know you had ten cases of cat litter? Insane.”

He scratched his jaw. “Uh. No.”

“Putting Zoe’s stuff on here, too. Her shampoos and whatnot for grooming.” Type.

“She’s making a supply list,” Rosa beamed, waving her hand like this was an epiphany. I told you I’m all-wise. I hired her!

Cade frowned at his aunt. She’d been the office manager, for Christ’s sake. She should’ve been doing this.

Flynn came up to the desk and tapped Avery’s shoulder. “Have you seen my backup bag? Gabby and I need to head out to Miller’s farm.”

Avery nodded. “In the supply room, stocked for you. Your new bag should be here Monday.”

At Cade’s questioning glance, Flynn signed, “A goat chewed my other one when Gabby was busy chasing a barn cat.”

And this was why he wasn’t the house call vet.

Flynn tapped Avery’s shoulder to get her attention again. “Marry me?”

She laughed. “Not today, but you’re welcome. Shoo, now.”

What. The. Hell.

As if sensing Cade’s thought train and derailing it, Avery said, “He asks me to marry him daily. Hourly, depending on what I’ve done.” Type, type. “Relax, Dr. Cade. He’s joking. Besides, I don’t do office romance.” Right, Flynn? she signed.

Flynn grinned, the asshole, and strode into his office, only to emerge moments later with Gabby and his travel bag.

Cade flipped him off behind Avery’s back as he was walking out the door.

“Saw that.” Type.

Of course she did. All moms had eyes in the backs of their heads. And that was the other thing. She had a kid. Not that he didn’t like kids. He did. Maybe even wanted a couple of his own someday. But it wasn’t just one person involved when dating someone like Avery. It was two.

And they weren’t dating. Not even a little. He hadn’t asked her out and, aside from that first day when her gaze had shown interest, she’d seemed immune to him.

That hadn’t happened in…ever. He found it oddly refreshing.

With Flynn and Gabby gone, Cade glanced around. “Where’s She-rah?” The cat was usually perched on top of the printer, plotting world domination.

“Avery put her on time-out. She’s in the back room.” Rosa’s grin grew to oh shit size, and he figured his aunt had read all his previous thoughts. Like a Vulcan mind meld. Which was never a good thing.

Wait. A time-out? He looked at Avery. “You put a cat on time-out?” He didn’t know whether that was cute or genius.

Avery never stopped typing, which was beginning to infuriate him. “Yes, she was scaring Thor.”

Cade looked down, just noticing Thor’s head in Avery’s lap from the other side of her chair. The Great Dane looked at him as if to say, Neener, neener. “Dust bunnies scare that dog.”

“Well, the cat needs manners. Plus, Thor and I are working on his courage. Aren’t we, boy?”

Thor barked. And not in fear. Yes, my liege.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

Bestselling author Kelly Moran says she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself, and no one is safe from becoming her next fictional character. She is a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA Today's HEA. She is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well. She loves hearing from her readers.

 

Links

 

Website ***Twitter ***Facebook ***Amazon ***Goodreads

 

 

GA

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

BS

 

 

apr 12- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

apr 12- Romance Novel Giveaways – GUEST POST

apr 12- Underneath the Covers

apr 13- Books and Spoons – REVIEW

apr 13- A Fold in the Spine

apr 14- Wonderful World of Books

apr 14- Just a Little R&R

apr 17- Anna Del C Dye

apr 17- A Bluestocking's Place

apr 18- The Bewitched Reader

apr 18- Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

apr 19- Nicole's Book Musings – REVIEW

apr 19- The Reading Spot

apr 20- Mommabears Book Blog

apr 20- Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

apr 21- A Writer's Life – GUEST POST

apr 21- SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

apr 24- Casey's Corner

apr 24- Traci Hayden

apr 25- Laura's Interests – REVIEW

apr 25- Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'

apr 26- Book Love - REVIEW

apr 26- Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

apr 27- Paranormal Romance and Beyond

apr 27- Jazzy Book Reviews

apr 28- What Is That Book About

apr 28- Books Dreams Life

may 1- Babbling About Books and More – REVIEW

may 1- Teatime and Books

may 1- Julayn Adams Books and Reviews

may 2- Plain Talk Book Marketing – GUEST POST

may 2- Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

may 2- The Authors Blog

may 3- Rainne's Ramblings

may 3- Queen of All She Reads

may 3- The Book Town

may 4- Triquetra Reviews

may 4- Sylv.net

may 4- Bound 2 Escape

may 5- The Bookworm Chronicles

may 5- Sour Puss Reviews

may 5- The Avid Reader

may 8- Sapphyria's Book Reviews

may 8- Yah gotta read this

may 8- Shh, I am Reading

may 9- Romantic Reads and Such

may 9- Turning Another Page

may 10- Celticlady's Reviews

may 10- A Mama's Corner of the World

may 11- Mello & June

may 11- U.S. - Brazil Book Review

may 12- Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

may 12- Lisa-Queen of Random

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-puppy-love-kelly-moran-excerpt-giveaway
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-20 13:05
Blog Tour Stop for Dr. Vampyre by S.N. McKibben with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for S.N. McKibben’s Dr. Vampyre. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

AbtheB

 

 

 

When a college professor is blackmailed by a student … … he has to walk the fine line of being true to his principles and not letting his bloody secret out. Dr. John Tennison, professor and physician, wakes up every morning and counts his spoons—a measure of how many tasks he feels he can accomplish during his day. One spoon to walk down the stairs, one spoon to teach a class, one spoon to deal with tardy students. Lupus limits him, but he still gives lectures and works at a hospital. He also makes time for friends, and once a week visits Sanguine Loon’s to sate—or subvert—his one strange desire. His nemesis, the one thing besides lupus that keeps him from leading a normal life, is the blood at the bottom of a little paper Dixie cup. While Tennison’s blood-drinking habit is a secret, it’s well known that he’s the campus asshole and has no tolerance for students who show up late. When he kicks Vogue model Ylati Badashi out of his lecture hall for wandering in ten minutes late, she’s having none of it. She pouts, she seduces, she blackmails, and puts Tennison at odds with his butler, and finally she tells him the truth about why she needs to be in his class. Tennison is a man of principles, and though he swears he won’t change his mind, he starts to react unexpectedly to Ylati even as he hates her for making him suspicious of his trusted butler. Tennison has to find out where Mitch goes on his nights off and must deal with a budding attraction to a woman he occasionally hates, all while learning new secrets about himself. It’s going to take a lot of spoons. Scroll up and help the doctor count his spoons!

 

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

Buy Link

 

amazonBig

 

Excer

 

 

Today, I woke up with nineteen spoons instead of twenty-two. Not literal spoons—figurative. I don’t go to bed placing utensils on my face or twirl the family silver from my extremities. Such behavior would insult my Mensa-acceptable 133 IQ. The spoon theory is a fellow sufferer’s explanation of what it’s like to live with lupus. Spoons represent how much energy I have before I begin to deteriorate, and I am grateful to each and every one of them. Every spoon I wake up with means I can do that many tasks. Tasks like walking down the stairs, teaching my class, seeing patients. The type of things others take for granted. When my students in the blood cell biology class at the University of Southern California inquire about my condition, I describe lupus as a life-sucking force in which you have to constantly balance your time and energy against the downhill spiral of lethargy and pain. My explanation usually stops anyone from asking more questions. As if not talking about my condition will make the disease go away. The pain used to anger me. Succumbing to a body that jails my actions is a study in humiliation. Worse is knowing lupus affects more women than it does men. Some call it a woman’s disease. Being a man, you might think that is what bothers me. What bothers me is I don’t like to see women in pain. Knowing what they are going through helps me as a doctor, but as a man, it doesn’t help my psyche. You see why I strive for a logical life. Emotion takes so much energy that it’s better not to feel. In fact, suppressing any emotion is key to my success. It doesn’t stop the pain lupus gives me. Nothing stops the pain except one unnatural addiction, and that only for a brief moment. So with my shield of apathy and my sword of cynicism, I venture forth into the morning to heal and teach as a doctor and professor. You’d think I would slow down or take it easy today knowing that I’ve already begun without my usual amount of spoons, but today is the first day of a new semester and I won’t be late. Never, in my nine years of teaching, have I ever been late. Besides, I can’t let those beemer brats wreak havoc in my lecture hall, now can I? The one indulgence that would solve my lethargy problems flits through my brain. I resolve to shove that thought out. Anything not normal, right now, is not in the plan. *** I stroll into my lecture hall at exactly nine fifty a.m. and the whispers stop. Old and new faces attentively follow my shuffle as I round my desk to the dry erase board at the front of the room. I pick up a marker that could make any fifth grader swear off glue and write Dr. Tennison - Blood cell biology. Thankfully, the counselors and older co-eds let it be known that I am “a real dick” and have an aversion to those who are not on time. So, I rolled my eyes when at ten minutes after ten, she of the model-thin body, sporting six-inch stilettos, tight jeans, and a frou-frou blouse, walked in. “Ms. Tardy, don‘t bother.” She gave me the oh-gosh-I’m-really-sorry face. “Are there any more seats?” “Not for you. Please, don’t waste our time. I don’t take add-ons.” I reached under my desk for the medical book I would use to assist in today’s lecture. “But, I registered for the class.” Ms. Tardy pouted. “I don’t care. You’re late. No more room. Get out.” The slam of the thousand-page medical dictionary I tossed on my desk should have been enough articulation in my statement for her to leave. “I got here as soon as I could!” Her whine climbed the scale into annoyance territory. “Which is not good enough. You’re done.” I pointed at the door. “Get out.” “Oh come on. What could I have missed in five minutes?” “The point . . .” I flashed my Rolex from under my sleeve and checked the time. “. . . And it’s been twelve minutes.” “That’s not fair!” “What would not be fair is to make a pulmonary patient, lying open on the table, wait twelve life-or-death minutes for a replacement valve. I’m here to teach. One of those lessons I wish to instill is an appreciation for the value of time.” Ms. Tardy stood there in her tight jeans and pursed lips with a hand on her hip. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. ”You can go now.” I waved a hand in a sweeping motion. “There isn’t room for you anyway.” There were seats in the back, but she looked like a front-of-the-class, I-want-all-the-attention kind of girl. “But I pre-registered.” She used her hands for emphasis and struck a classic pose that probably got her into any club or out of any trouble she came up against. Snorting out my disgust, a glimmer of recognition hit me and I looked harder at Ms. Tardy. This face before me belonged to Ylati Badashi, the recently “retired” model, and her million dollar Vogue body was in my lecture hall. She must have taken my fluster of disdain for admiration, because her supposedly non-collagen-filled lips curved. But it was that I-have-you-now twinkle in her eye that jostled loose my wrath. I whisked my walking cane from under my desk. Quick as a turtle in sand, I advanced on her with my geriatric, cane-wielding old man shtick, trying to scare her off my lawn. The fear in her eyes fueled my words. “Get out of my hall!” I was seething by the time she turned tail and bolted out of the room. She looked like a shackled cat running from the spray of a hose. The image brought tears of laughter to my eyes. It had been a while since I’d laughed that hard. I’m sure my students never see me so much as smile. Even though I knew the price for expressing my emotion would cost me another spoon and wreak havoc on me later, I couldn’t help the satisfied feeling of living up to my so earned title among the students, Dr. Asshole. “Dr. Tennison, are you alright?” One of my more faithful students, Ms. Phillips, actually sounded concerned. I returned to my drab demeanor, leaned heavily on my cane, and grunted an acknowledgment to the third-year co-ed. My physical display allowed the monster of lupus inside me to seek retribution and sap away my energy. Disgruntled for wasting precious vitality on a fritter of a person, I forced down my angry self-reprimand. There was no use getting angry over getting angry. I resumed my emotionless state and taught as I have for the past nine years—with ruthless abandon. No whining, no excuses, and if you’re late, you fail. If you can’t beat my turtle-ass to class, you’re wasting my time, your time, and everybody else’s time. *** After teaching all day, I was down to thirteen spoons. Three spent starting my day: one for teaching class, one for each trip walking to the car, and one for the gallant ass-chewing I gave to Ms. Tardy. When I get down to five spoons, it’s time to think about calling it a day, but I wasn’t there yet. Mitch, my butler and savior for most my life, picked me up in the blue BMW Alpina. I have never had the privilege of driving it. The DMV denied me a license because of my condition. I did have the honor of paying for it. If you were to ask me, Mitch had a damn nice car to chauffeur me around in. I called Mitch not only my savior, but also jokingly, my wife. Without him, my life would be impossible. He cooked my food, did my laundry, dropped off and picked up the dry cleaning, scrubbed the house to the point of peeling off paint, scheduled my day, tidied the yard, took some phone calls for me, and made sure I take my medication. I did stop him from wiping my ass—occasionally. Okay, so I’m joking about the last part. He doesn’t wipe my ass, but what unmarried guy in his thirties is going to deny the rest? If sex weren’t involved, I’d marry him. Sure, he’s an adorable thirty-nine year old in a small stout package with dark hair and soft dark eyes, but that’s not how I roll. I’m pretty sure that’s not how he rolls, either. Off we go to the medical center with Mitch at the wheel and me in the back seat orienting myself with the next class session. Mitch is quite the chatty type, but I’ve learned to drown him out as any good husband would do. Routinely, after the days I teach, he drops me at the hospital where I work. My assistant nurse, Mary, is the old battle ram of the team—wise enough to tell patients to be here an hour early, kind enough to be the matron of compassion, knowledgeable enough to know what to do if ever I seize from pain. She leads me to the five-minute staff review and then my first patient of the day. I’m handed a clipboard and being a doctor, I read the case symptoms first. Yes, it’s bad to look at what’s wrong with the person before looking at the name, but we all do it. I wish I had looked at the name before I walked in the patient room, but it was too late to walk the other way when I opened the door. “Ms. Badashi.” Smooth as a virgin dry-erase board, I did not give away one iota of the seething hate boiling through my veins to Ms. Tardy. “It says here you have all the symptoms of river blindness. What would you prescribe yourself?” “Ivermectin.” The big brown eyed lost puppy look of hers could have cracked a walnut. That’s when the pain behind my right eye surged. Was the eye torture from her annoyingly correct answer, or lupus? I couldn’t tell. “Do you have river blindness?” “Please let me into your class.” The audacity! “Am I to believe that my staff bumped you to my first patient when there are real people in need of my services?” “Hey!” She actually looked put out. “I am a real person. I am in need of your services!” Again she was wasting my time. You’re late, you fail. “You, young lady, are a fraud. Get out of my office.” I pressed a palm against my pounding eye. It relieved some of the pressure. Her whining made my eye worse. “What I need is for you to teach me Blood cell biology.” “Why me?” I said more to myself than to anyone else. “Because you’re the best.” Mitch says flattery will get you anywhere. Yes, there is appeal to being called the best. My ego did flutter a little, but not enough to forgive her cardinal sin number one. With my one hand still pushing back my right eye, my index finger pointed at the door—hard to do with a clipboard still in my hand. “Out!” She leaned forward; just enough so her frou-frou top’s fringes hung lose. “I’d do anything to get into your class.” “Anything?” I smiled and suggestively touched my chest. I did not fail to notice the pink bra she had on. She nodded and accentuated, “Anything.” “Sign up next semester and be early.” I threw the clipboard on the counter and tried to slam the door on my way out. Too bad hospital doors didn’t slam. Amazing how my eye felt better after I left her sitting there, but dealing with her cost me yet another spoon. I had eleven spoons left and I needed to get through the rest of my five-spoon work day. Fortunately, I didn’t see her again. I figured that was that. Mitch picked me up from work at six o’clock. He mentioned Puzo, the dean of students, called. Randolph Puzo is a good man. Works hard, cared about the students, and had gone to bat for me in front of the board about my special condition. He’s the kind of guy you wanted on your team because he did anything to get the job done right. “John, how are you?” Randolph’s voice came through my iPhone as clear and crisp as a new Benjamin. “I’m fairing well. What can I do for you?” Now, Randolph knows I can’t waste energy on chit-chat, and being the good man that he is, he gets to the point. “John, I have a student that says you chased her out of the lecture hall.” “Ah, Ms. Badashi. I was afraid she’d fall in those stilettos for the vertically challenged.” “John,” Randolph chuckled, though I was quite serious, “can you please let her into the class?” It’s tough and unpopular to be a hardnose, but principles are principles and I refuse to compromise. “She was late, Puzo.” “It was the first day of the semester.” “All my other students arrived early. Even before I did.” His comment was barely audible. “They got the asshole alert.” “Excuse me?” To Randolph’s credit, he was as gracious as he always is. “Mr. Tennison, I would greatly appreciate it if you forgave this one transgression and allowed an eager student access to your lectures.” I should’ve been grateful to Randolph. He’d done so much for me. If I couldn’t make it to class, he would cover for me. He makes sure my lecture hall is the closest to the parking lot. I never had to move desks, books or arrange my classroom during the off season. He’s probably going to catch hell for me denying a student what seems like her dying wish. But when I thought about her suggestive comment, thinking her womanly guiles would work on me, my temper rose to boiling. “Mr. Puzo, I abide by the school’s program, requirements, curriculum, and every rule and regulation your fine institution implements. Please abide by mine.” I hung up and thought the next call would be a request for my resignation. Mitch eyed me briefly from the rearview mirror as he was driving. “Sounds like women troubles.” “Student issues,” I corrected. I wished he wouldn’t call them “women troubles,” as he knew I never had so much as a girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been promiscuous. I went to college. Don’t think that lupus affects one’s sex drive, because it doesn’t. I just never had time or the energy to have a steady girl. “Tim called. Said he’d come to collect you at seven.” I only had six spoons left for the rest of the night. But I know what Tim would say if I tried to get out of going with him tonight. Just come with us to Loon’s and have a shot and you’ll be fine. Tim wasn’t the type to let me break routine. The schedule never did me wrong. I had a good life, just a limited one. I sighed and rubbed my temples. How could I deny my best friend since high school? If I didn’t go with him, he’d take every opportunity and every one of his ambulance-driving skills to annoy the fuck out of me at work the next day. Anastasia, fellow lupus sufferer and Tim’s girlfriend, would call me relentlessly and whine in my ear all night. Ever since I can remember, Wednesday nights belonged to the three of us. It’s hard to break tradition. By six forty-five, I sat ready in the kitchen of my two-story house. Tim usually managed to get Anastasia dressed and ready to go out almost on time. His secret was telling her they had to be there half an hour beforehand. I could have waited upstairs lying down, but going up and down the stairs costs me a spoon. I should have moved to a one-story house, but I’d never sell this home. I’d never be able to replace childhood memories and nostalgia. Mitch was wiping down the swirled-granite counters while I sat at the four-seat mahogany dining set. His time off was Wednesday night and all of Sunday, fitting perfectly with my schedule. Wednesday I went out with my friends while Mitch went—wherever he went, and on Sunday he left after breakfast and returned on Monday before dawn. But he always made sure I was in safe hands or he could be reached by cell phone before leaving. I looked at the hundred-year-old Simplex grandfather clock that hung at the opposite end of the entryway to the kitchen. The hands read seven-o-five. My fingers drummed on the table as I counted every second that ticked away. From outside, the sound of Bach booming from distorted speakers was a sure sign Tim’s Tercel was speeding to my driveway. Mitch raised his head and folded his towel. “Ah, well, here they are.” We both sauntered out of the kitchen to the rap of Tim’s knuckles on the glass of the window. Mitch grabbed his overnight bag, opened the door, and nodded a greeting to Tim. I scowled and pointed at my Rolex. Like me, Tim was white bread. But where I had brown hair, he had jet black. I wasn’t as pale as he was, though he tended to stay out of the sun like me. He wore lots of brown and brass and occasionally topped all that splendor with some hat bearing mechanical constructions. Opposed to my daily suit and tie tonight, I lost the jacket and noose, but my slacks were pressed and my button-down collar was appropriate for where we were going. Tim smiled nervously. He lived up to his nickname of “Jackrabbit,” bouncing on the balls of his feet. Heavy eyeliner accentuated his shocking blue eyes, which pleaded forgiveness. “You know Anastasia.” I gruffed at Tim and waved at Mitch. I always told Mitch he could take the car, but he insisted on taking the bus. Public transportation was a block away and he never seemed to mind. I didn’t argue. It would have been an exercise in futility as “he was always right.” Just like asking him where he went on Wednesday and Sundays, it was pointless to ask. I stopped wondering where he spent his time off long ago. Tim bounded to his four-door Tercel and opened the back passenger door for me with a flourish. Anastasia hung over the open window of the front passenger seat. Hourglass figure, impressive chest, thin lips, a strong nose combined with Bette Davis eyes set wide on a heart-shaped face—Anastasia was beautiful. Though I couldn’t understand why a natural redhead dyed her hair auburn. Probably to reap as much attention as possible from her cardinal red strands. Most men would lie down just for the pleasure of saying she stepped on them. But she was as crazy as monkey-flung feces. I had no idea how Tim puts up with her. “Hi, John.” Anastasia greeted me with a breathy smile and hungry eyes. I smiled, took her hand, and kissed it lightly. “Good evening, Anastasia.” She giggled and swatted her free hand on Tim’s butt. “How come you aren’t so charming?” Tim pivoted around and gingerly took my hand, mimicked my knuckle-kissing gesture and nailed my professor voice perfectly, “John, how lovely to see you. Won’t you please get your ass in the car?” “Whatever, Jackrabbit.” I said, climbing into the trusty Tercel. I noted that I was down to five spoons and was leaving the house. But it was unlikely we’ll be out too late.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

 

Slave to a 100 lbs. GSD (German Shepard) and a computer she calls "Dave", you'll often see her riding a 19 hand Shire nicknamed "Gunny" to the local coffee shop near the Santa Monica mountains. Stephanie reads for the love of words, and writes fiction about Dark Hearts and Heroes revolving around social taboos. When ever asked, she'll reply her whole life can be seen through a comic strip ~ sometimes twisted, sometimes funny but always beautiful and its title is adventure. Come play!

 

Links 

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Goodreads *** Amazon
 
 
GA
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

BS

 

April 20th

kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

The Book Town

SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

Rainne's Ramblings

Angels With Attitudes Book Reviews – GUEST POST

April 21st

Romance Novel Giveaways – GUEST POST

Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

Wonderful World of Books

Romance That's 'Out Of This world'

 

April 24th

Books Dreams Life

Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

Teatime and Books

Traci Hayden

Susan Heim on Writing

 

April 25th

Paranormal Romance and Beyond

Anna Del C Dye - REVIEW

A Mama's Corner of the World

Sylv.net

Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

 
 

April 26th

Fabulous and Brunette – GUEST POST

Turning Another Page

The Blackwood Blog

The Bewitched Reader

 
 

April 27th

The Cheshire Cat's Looking Glass

CelticLady's Reviews

Lisa-Queen of Random

Queen of All She Reads

 

April 28th

Casey's Corner

Bound 2 Escape

Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews

U.S. - Brazil Book Review

 

May 1st

Pick A Genre Already

Mello & June, It's A Book Thang

The Authors Blog

The Bookworm Chronicles

 

May 2nd

A Fold In the Spine - REVIEW

Julayn Adams Books and Reviews

Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

Indie Wish List

 

May 3rd

Sapphyria's Book Reviews

Jazzy Book Reviews

The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

May 4th

The Avid Reader - REVIEW

Yah gotta read this

The Reading Spot

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-dr-vampyre-s-n-mckibben-excerpt-giveaway
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-18 13:05
Blog Tour Stop for Where There's Faith by L.A. Remenicky with Giveaway

   

Today’s stop is for L.A. Remenicky’s Where There's Faith. We will have info about the book and author, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

 

Happy Reading :)

 


AbtheB

 

 

A past she can't remember. A love he can't forget. After hitting rock bottom, Robert Newlin embraced sobriety and tried to live his life quietly and alone at his family’s lake cottage. Blaming himself for the accident that claimed his wife and unborn baby, he spent most of his time alone and grieving until Faith moved into the cottage next door. Faith McMillan had no memory of her life before that day three years ago. The physical scars had faded but the emotional ones were still fresh and raw. Living rent-free seemed like a great way to finish her second book and would give her the time to figure out her next move. But then she met the reclusive guy next door. Robbie and Faith – can two broken people who vowed to live their lives alone find happiness together?

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Buy Links

 

 


Don't miss the first two books in the Fairfield Corners Series! They can each be read as standalones!

 

 

#1 Saving Cassie

 

 
Everyone has secrets. Sometimes secrets can get you killed.
After ten years in the big city, Cassie Holt is moving back to her hometown to take over the bookstore left to her by her beloved Gram, vowing to live her life alone. To her best friend, Sheriff James Marsten, Cassie seems to be the same girl that left Fairfield Corners to go to college but Cassie has secrets and one of those secrets could get her killed. When one of her secrets becomes a threat to her life, James turns to his new deputy to help him keep Cassie safe.
Deputy Logan Miller has been burned by love and is not looking to get involved with anyone anytime soon. When he is thrown into close quarters with Cassie, the sparks begin to fly and he begins to see through the walls Cassie has built around her heart. As the threat gets closer, can Logan protect Cassie and protect his heart? (MA, 18+ for sexual situations)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Buy Links

 


 

#2 Ragan's Song

 

It only took one look into his eyes for her to know she was in trouble. Adam Bricklin has heard the melody in his head for years, the melody that told him if a decision was right or wrong. When he met Ragan Newlin the song told him she was the one. He was devastated when circumstances tore them apart. It has taken three years for Adam to finally move past the heartbreak he suffered when Ragan left town in the middle of the night. No note, no email, no text. She was just gone. Now he has a new girlfriend, a new album in the works, and his daughter is doing well in school. Until the day Ragan returned to Fairfield Corners. Ragan came home to celebrate her parents’ anniversary, hoping they would forgive her for not telling them about her marriage or her son. When she discovered that Adam was still living in Fairfield Corners she hoped her secrets were safe; secrets that drove her away three years ago, secrets that could change their lives forever.

 

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Buy Links

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

L.A. Remenicky ~ Love Stories With A Twist L.A. Remenicky is a wife and mother of two fur kids. A payroll professional by day, she writes out the stories in her head by night. An avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012 and has never looked back. When she’s not typing away on her latest story with music playing in the background, she can usually be found spending time with her family and friends.

 

Links 

 

 
 
GA
 
The author is hosting a giveaway with tons of neat prizes! There's Amazon Gcs, print books, ebooks and swag!
Enter here:
 
 
BS
 

apr 17- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

apr 17- Rainne's Ramblings

apr 17- The Book Town

apr 17- Books Dreams Life

apr 17- Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

apr 18- SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

apr 18- Lisa-Queen of Random

apr 18- Turning Another Page

apr 18- Sylv.net

apr 18- Teatime and Books

apr 18- Jazzy Book Reviews

apr 18- Susan Heim on Writing

apr 19- A Writer's Life

apr 19- Mello & June

apr 19- Wonderful World of Books

apr 19- Yah gotta read this

apr 19- The Bookworm Chronicles

apr 19- The Reading Spot

apr 19- The Bewitched Reader

apr 19- Indie Wish List

apr 20- Bound 2 Escape

apr 20- The Authors Blog

apr 20- Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

apr 20- U.S. - Brazil Book Review

apr 20- Triquetra Reviews

apr 20- Queen of All She Reads

apr 20- Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

apr 21- Books and Spoons

apr 21- Pick A Genre Already

apr 21- The Avid Reader

apr 21- A Mama's Corner of the World

apr 21- Sapphyria's Book Reviews

apr 21- Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'

apr 21- Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

apr 21- Traci Hayden

apr 21- Paranormal Romance and Beyond

apr 22- Casey's Corner

apr 22- What Is That Book About

apr 23- Fabulous and Brunette

apr 24- Zola Blue Blog

apr 24- Julayn Adams Books and Reviews

apr 24- A Fold In the Spine – REVIEW ALL

apr 24- Anna Del C Dye

apr 24-Book Love- REVIEW ALL

apr 24- Sour Puss Reviews

apr 24- Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-theres-faith-l-remenicky-giveaway
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-17 13:05
Blog Tour Stop for Good Gracie by Ines Saint with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Ines Saint’s Good Gracie. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


AbtheB

 

 

Spinning Hills, Ohio, home of the third most haunted street in the state, is the perfect place for three sisters to banish the unhappy specters of their pasts—and to let romance cast its spell . . .

Gracie Piper is good at being invisible, and she likes it that way. At just seventeen, she took a very public stand against the boy who passed a revealing video of her all over school. Ever since, she’s staked her life on staying out of the limelight. But when she moves back to Spinning Hills, she comes face to face with her painful past. In the same historic building Gracie’s boss has assigned her to supervise renovating works the man who helped her find justice nine years ago, and nearly lost his own career in the process. A man who suddenly arouses feelings that make Gracie weak in the knees . . .

Josh Goodwin is sure he’s seeing a ghost when he spots Gracie in the halls of his office building. Taking her case was a professional risk that became all too personal when a bitter ex accused him of getting involved with teenage Gracie. Seeing her again is opening old wounds, and threatening brand-new ones—his campaign for County Prosecutor won’t withstand a brand-new scandal. But there’s something about sweet, gorgeous Gracie that brings out the crusader in him—and the thing he’ll fight hardest for is her love . . .

 

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Buy Links

 

amazonBig  

 

 

Excer

 

 

“We won the contract for the Daytona-Montgomery County courts Building, and we want you to be the lead workplace designer on the project.”

The words had been on a constant loop in Gracie’s head. The first half of the sentence tugged her feelings one way and the second half pulled them in the opposite direction. One tiny comma separated a nightmare and a dream. One small word united them.

She’d been working hard to land lead on a project of this magni- tude. She hoped to own her own small workplace design business someday, and this would be an important learning experience. It was a challenge that, when all else was pushed aside, had both her left and right brain in a constant buzz of excitement and anticipation. Using both her creativity and technical expertise to optimize and har- monize workspace for eleven judges, the county prosecutor, and all court employees across multiple divisions, each with its own purpose and challenges. Functional, yet attractive and sustainable ideas that would enhance the life, productivity, and culture of the workers came to her day and night.

But whenever her thoughts necessarily turned to the actual build- ing in front of her, her stomach became heavy with dread. The coin- cidence involved defied logic. The building was home to records of her case against one of the area’s most prominent families—and to the man who’d been her champion.

The man whose life she’d unwittingly changed forever. All for taking up her case and her cause. He didn’t resent her for it. That much she was sure of. Josh Good- win had a fair and just core, the depth of which she hadn’t fully appreciated and understood at the time. There had been no room for anything but gratitude that someone outside her family was fighting with and for her. But there was no way he could remember the experience with anything but the same dread she felt. Not after the way he’d been portrayed and everything he’d lost . . .

Tomorrow she had no choice but to take on both the project and the memories. Tonight, she’d take the first step on her own, with no one watching her.

Josh Goodwin sat at his desk, reading through incident reports and files the sheriff’s office had sent over, and making notes to re- quest additional information before making decisions as to whether they’d file, dismiss, or bargain.

A fourteen-year-old had brought a gun to school and hidden it in his locker. The file was short. Many questions arose and he made notes.

The next file was thicker. A sixteen-year-old star athlete had been caught with drugs in his car. He had a big-shot lawyer at Josh’s father’s firm. The lawyer had filed a motion to have the case dismissed . . . which meant that dinner with his parents’ later that week would be un- comfortable. It took discipline not to close his eyes and shake his head when he read the particulars of the case, but reserving judgment until he’d listened to all parties involved was the fair route.

The last file, an ongoing investigation, darkened his day. A well- known, local businessman’s son was being investigated for murdering his stepmom. There was evidence to suggest the boy’s father had put him up to it when he’d discovered his wife was having an affair. Time and time again, jealousy and feelings of betrayal enraged and darkened the human mind and heart, turning people into monsters. The evidence against the father, Max Parker, was strong, but it was circumstantial. Josh had taken it on because he had a special passion for cases involving injustice to minors—those were the cases he’d cut his teeth on.

He leaned back, shut down his feelings, and thought about every- thing in each file before making a few more notes. When he was done, he threw his sports coat over his arm, locked up his office, and made his way down to the first-floor lobby. He needed to decide where exactly he’d be holding his press conference tomorrow.

When he walked off the elevator, a motion to his right caught his attention. He glanced over and caught sight of a figure taking off at a run. Security in the building was tight enough, but the fact that someone was running down a hallway at such a late hour was odd. Josh sighed and decided to follow. When he got to the short hallway, there was no one there. He walked slowly, taking everything in. There were three doors and they were all shut, as they should be. He peered into each window and tried the handles one by one. They were all dark and they were all locked.

Only one door remained: a supply closet at the end of the hall- way. Aware that his dress shoes were clicking, Josh walked back to the elevator, slipped his shoes off, and made his way quietly back down the hallway and to the closet again.

“I know you’re there.” A muffled, female voice came from inside the closet a few seconds later. “And I know you think I’m up to no good and that you have some sort of moral responsibility to figure out what I’m up to, but I assure you I’m here to work. Please just leave.”

Josh rolled his eyes heavenward. Seriously? Only a teenager would ask an adult to take her word for something and leave her alone. And yet the words had been very adultlike. “I can’t leave until you show yourself and tell me exactly who you are and what you’re doing here.”

“Can we find a way for you to put your mind at ease that doesn’t involve me opening the door?” Josh raked a hand through his hair. He’d been in plenty of un- usual situations. It came with the job. But this—this was new. And absurd. It had to be a teen, and maybe the teen was in trouble. “Why don’t you want to come out?”

“I’m busy.”

“Are you one of our courthouse ghosts?” he asked. Humor some- times did the trick with kids.

Silence. “Yes.”

It was a pitiful and honest yes. Josh was silent for a moment, too. Whoever was behind the door had something to hide, but he’d bet his career she wasn’t a menace. Still, it was his duty to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. Some leader he would be if he simply left. “Look, there’s no lock on this door. Nothing has prevented me from opening it. I’ve been trying to give you a chance, and I hope that shows you that you have nothing to fear from me. But it’s my responsibility to open this door and find out what’s going on.”

The door abruptly swung open and Josh instinctively moved to the side. He peered in and went cold all over. All he could do was stare. It was a ghost.

As much as she’d done to change her appearance, Gracie knew he instantly recognized her. Everything about him registered shock. It was as if he was frozen in place. She swallowed hard but was unable to get past the lump in her throat. He looked exactly the way she re- membered him—spiky and mussed-up brown hair, sparkling dark eyes, and a handsome face. Tall. An athletic build that filled out his fitted suit. He looked the same, but her reaction was new. A jolt of heat infused her from head to toe the instant she looked at him. Embarrassment, most likely.

She hesitated before saying, “Hello, Mr. Goodwin.” The title Mr. sounded strange to her ears. He looked almost her age, though she knew he was a little over seven years older. He’d been twenty-four and she’d been seventeen when they’d first met nine years ago. He, fresh out of law school. She, a high school senior.

“Gracie Piper.”

She pushed her glasses up and avoided his eyes. “Actually, I go by Grace Dearborn now.” It was imperative they got that straight.

She forced herself to glance at him again. He’d straightened, but he was still staring. “What are you doing hiding in a closet?” he finally asked.

Something in her bristled. Not at him but at herself. She hadn’t been prepared to see him, but it wouldn’t do to start off on unequal footing. She was twenty-six. She was a professional. And she’d been caught hiding in a closet.

Pushing past her reluctance to speak, she took a quick, deep breath and gathered her wits to start afresh. “Surely you’re aware of the extensive remodeling project that will begin here in three months? The firm I work for, Midwest Workplace Design, is in charge, and I’m the lead workplace designer.” She turned and pretended to study the closet. “I’m—I’m checking everything out. Including the closets.” “Workplace designer, huh,” he stated with a short nod. “Creative yet logical. It fits. I wondered how you’d find something that utilized all your talents.” Not yet ready to face Josh’s intrinsic kindness, she merely shrugged a little. “And you’ve been checking out the supply closet this entire time?” he continued.

When she chanced another glance at him, he was wearing a play- ful smile. Another thunderbolt hit her, and this time it left her breath- less. That was new, too. And it hadn’t been embarrassment. Fear, maybe? No, she could never fear Josh. . . .

She straightened her shoulders, hoping to look confident. “There’s a lot to consider. People don’t want to waste valuable time when they come in here looking for supplies. Organization should be logical. The most-often-used necessities should be easiest to both find and access, preferably at eye level . . .” she went on, repeating things she’d heard a closet organizer they worked with say, before finally trailing off and clearing her throat.

Everything she was feeling was awareness, she admitted with a sinking feeling. Something she hadn’t felt in years but she remem- bered well. For her, it would forever be entwined with deep, devas- tating feelings of betrayal and distrust. Their eyes met and she took a step back. He must’ve noted it because his smile faltered and he took a step back, too. “You can come out, Gracie.”

Correcting him once more didn’t feel as important as it usually did. Gracie sounded okay coming from him. The way it still sounded good coming from family. Josh Goodwin had been honorable. One of the few men she knew she could trust, even though she hadn’t seen him in years. Maybe that was what her awareness was about. Eternal feelings of gratitude. Plus, seeing him again was unsettling, though not unexpected. But as her internal reasoning rambled on, her still-sinking stomach told her that wasn’t all there was to it.

It was all too much for her to try to figure out right there and then. She stepped out and caught the quick, up-and-down glance he gave her, and it made her take stock of what she looked like. Pale blond hair done up in a stylish yet no-nonsense bun. Olive pencil skirt. Low-heeled, knee-high boots. Off-white, fashionably bulky sweater. Peach-colored frames on her trendy glasses. Nude makeup. Fashion- able enough to look like she could fit the creative role she played, but nondescript enough to fade away and not draw attention.

“Who are you hiding from, Gracie?” he asked, looking straight into her eyes. There was warmth there. And she couldn’t handle it.

“I’m hiding from disruptions,” she answered and began walking down the hallway ahead of him, a mistake that left her feeling awkward and exposed. “I’m taking everything in. Silence and stillness is a must. Tomorrow my team and I will start observing everyone at work and begin asking questions so we can incorporate everyone’s needs into the design. Tonight, I needed to be alone.” She came to a stop at the end of the hallway and cast him a quick, over-the-shoulder glance, to see if he’d caught the small hint. It was obvious he had, but there was now pity in his eyes. Her cheeks heated up.

Josh set down his briefcase while he shrugged into his light coat. She was dismissing him and it was just as well. They were both un- comfortable.

Gracie, on the eve of his announcement. It was a worst-case sce- nario. The case that had defined his career had also almost derailed it, thanks to the lies and vitriol of both the people Gracie had been up against and the important people Josh had defied: a group he had once belonged to. It always brought up mixed feelings. Gratitude that he’d been saved from a meaningless life but also the sickening feel- ing that justice and honesty didn’t always win.

When Gracie turned to him, he was again taken aback by how much she’d changed—or rather, how much her experience must’ve changed her. I’m hiding from disruptions . . .

A ghost of the girl she’d once been. She’d even changed her last name. He picked up his briefcase again and stretched his right arm out to shake her hand. “I don’t know what to say. It’s nice to meet you, Grace Dearborn. We sorely need the renovations and updates your firm has been hired to do. But I’d like to talk to Gracie Piper someday to find out how she wound up where she is. I often wonder about her, you know.” And with that, he turned and left.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

 

 

Ines Saint was born in Zaragoza, Spain. She’s bilingual and bicultural and has spent the last ten years raising her fun, inspiring little boys and sharing her life with the man of her dreams, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest cheerleader. Her greatest joys are spending quality time with family and close friends.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon *** Goodreads

GA

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

BS

 

 

apr 10- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

apr 10- The Book Town

apr 11- Queen of All She Reads

apr 12- Paranormal Romance and Beyond

apr 12- Teatime and Books

apr 13- The Bewitched Reader

apr 13- Just a Little R&R

apr 14- Casey's Corner

apr 14- Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

apr 17- SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

apr 17- Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'

apr 18- Traci Hayden

apr 18- The Reading Spot

apr 19- Mommabears Book Blog

apr 19- Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

apr 20- Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

apr 20- Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

apr 21- Fabulous and Brunette – GUEST POST

apr 21- Jazzy Book Reviews

apr 24- Mello & June

apr 24- Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

apr 25- Nicole's Book Musings

apr 25- Random Thoughts From a Tech Nerd

apr 26- Books and Spoons

apr 26- Triquetra Reviews

apr 27- The Bookworm Chronicles

apr 27- Sapphyria's Book Reviews

apr 28- Yah gotta read this

apr 28- Turning Another Page

may 1- A Writer's Life – GUEST POST

may 1- Sylv.net

may 2- Book Love - REVIEW

may 2- Sour Puss Reviews

may 3- Breaking Genre

may 3- Books Dreams Life

may 4- A Mama's Corner of the World

may 4- U.S. - Brazil Book Review

may 5- Celticlady's Reviews

may 5- Lisa-Queen of Random

may 8- A Bluestocking's Place

may 8- Julayn Adams Books and Reviews

may 8- Shh, I am Reading

may 9- What Is That Book About

may 9- The Authors Blog

may 10- Bound 2 Escape

may 10- The Avid Reader

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-good-gracie-ines-saint-excerpt-giveaway
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?