CONGRATS to Mikaela B & Becky C for winning the ebook copy of their choice (Take a Chance on Me or One Night Love Affair)!! And thanks to you all for celebrating the completion of the Mirabelle Harbor series with me! 🙂
Some of you may already know this because of conversations with me on Facebook (I couldn’t contain my excitement last week 😀 ), but my Persuasion-inspired addition to the Mirabelle Harbor series, which is also the final chapter in this contemporary Austenesque story collection, is now complete!!!!!!!!
I’ve got the story details, pre-order links, and a celebration giveaway below!! AND, just for you all, a scene excerpt that’s never been shared before. I really hope you’ll enjoy it! xox
Here’s the back-cover summary for COMING HOME:
There’s double the trouble in this romantic story pairing when ex-lovers, Abby Solinski and Chandler Michaelsen, both return to their hometown of Mirabelle Harbor, only to find that the happily ever after they thought they’d given up may, in fact, still be a possibility…just not with the person they’d expected!
Abby had a crush on “Rocket Rick” Zimmerman way back in high school, but he was her brother’s best friend and graduated a couple of years ahead of her, leaving town for an international life of top-secret, science-nerd intrigue. She didn’t understand a fraction of what he did professionally, and he wasn’t allowed to tell her anyway. Abby, meanwhile, meandered around the country with her then-boyfriend, Chandler, eventually winding up alone and working at a couple of part-time jobs in Florida. She’d resigned herself to being single forever and living on the sunny Gulf Coast, a thousand miles away from her Midwestern origins.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
As for Chandler, he had no intention whatsoever of coming back to Mirabelle Harbor. When he and Abby broke up, he headed north on his motorcycle from Sarasota to Atlanta, and a life on the road was how he wanted to roll. But then his twin brother, Chance, goes and gets himself engaged, and the groom insists that Chandler needs to be the best man. Fine. He’ll drive back for a few days, for the sake of his twin, but no one had better expect him to stay in town. Of course, that’s before he knows his dream woman—beautiful bookstore owner, Jaleina Longoria—is going to be at the wedding.
Jaleina is not only eight and a half years his senior, she’s also the ex-fiancée of his eldest brother, who’d broken up with her to marry someone else years earlier. That never stopped Chandler from considering Jaleina to be his Ultimate Fantasy. Getting her to stop thinking of him as the restless teen boy he’d once been, however, is going to prove quite a challenge. Especially since the restlessness is still there, even though he’s now a very passionate—and very determined—full-grown man.
EXCLUSIVE SCENE EXCERPT (*this is from Chandler & Jaleina’s story – Someone Like You – in Jaleina’s point of view*)
Chandler spent half the morning with me at the bookstore, keeping me company when I wasn’t helping other customers, asking me questions to prolong our conversation, and getting me to laugh aloud in spite of myself. Best—or worst—of all, he made it clear that he wanted to see me while he was in town and not just in passing at the wedding.
Loneliness could make a woman weak, and it’d been far too long since I’d had a significant other in my life. Just showed what could happen when a woman was thirty-eight and hadn’t gotten laid in over a year. Having a guy paying attention to me was seductive, even if he was too young for me and couldn’t possibly be sincere in his interest.
In my defense, though, no one who hadn’t known Chandler for nearly a decade and a half, the way I had, would have thought he was anything like the scrawny teen of years’ past. His twin hadn’t left town and had grown into a sexy and confident man, too, but Chance was wholesome, for want of a better word. Absolutely perfect for Nia and an all-around sweetheart to the residents of Mirabelle Harbor, if somewhat serious.
Chandler was many things, but wholesome and sweet weren’t two of them. A person could read the difference in the expression in his eyes. The firm brackets around his lips. The posture he used when he strode into a room. He had a way of claiming every step he took, like a predator.
And heaven help me, while in his company, it was strangely difficult to think of myself as a lecherous older woman out to corrupt him. Not when he was staring at me like a wolf.
As Chandler and I continued to chat, one customer came up to the front register, arms full of books. She wanted to buy a six-volume set of Jane Austen novels, along with a pair of bookmarks with literary quotes.
“I hope you’ll enjoy these,” I told her as I bagged her purchases.
“Oh, I already love Austen,” the older woman gushed. “These novels are for my granddaughter. I want to get her hooked while she’s still easy to influence.”
“How old is she?” I asked, expecting her to say a teenager or, maybe, a young woman in her twenties.
“Just turned four,” the woman replied. “Can’t start too early introducing her to Jane.” Then she winked and all but waltzed out the door.
Chandler and I laughed.
“A super fan,” he noted.
I agreed. “Then again, it’s really romantic that Chance and Nia are getting married on Jane Austen’s birthday, December sixteenth. From what Nia told me, that was her first choice for the wedding date.”
“I’m not surprised. Nia, Shar, Vicky, and Olivia are all period drama freaks.”
I crossed my arms and mock-glared at him.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he added quickly, raising his palms in a sign of surrender. “But Blake and Declan were complaining about all the Regency costumes and literary shit their girlfriends are into. Chance and Derek know better than to say anything. But there’s some Pride and Prejudice marathon on PBS this week, and the ladies have been going crazy over it. Blake starts to gag every time the subject comes up.”
This made me grin just thinking about it. I knew what an extensive reader Blake Michaelsen was, despite his tough-guy image. He’d been an outstanding customer of mine for years. So I also knew he had to be putting on an act for his family. The guy had read nearly all of the classics, including several novels by Austen, and not a single soul had made him do it.
“Persuasion is my favorite of the stories, but I’ve been watching the Pride and Prejudice marathon on TV, too,” I informed Chandler. “It’s excellent.”
“Well, you’d fit right in with the rest of my family then,” he said, stopped abruptly, and then grimaced at the awkwardness that followed. “Sorry, Jaleina. I didn’t mean—”
“It’s okay,” I tried to reassure him. “That’s water under the bridge. Really.”
He muttered something I couldn’t catch. Something about “Derek” and “fool.” I might have been flattered if I’d heard the whole thing, but it didn’t matter in any case. I wasn’t a Michaelsen woman, and I never would be. Chandler’s big brother, Derek, had made sure of that…
If you’re interested in reading more, I’ve got two other short excerpts — one for each of the stories. Just check out the COMING HOME page on my website, which also has the “Soundtrack” for the book!! 😎
Pre-orders are live for the ebook of COMING HOME at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo, and the paperback will be available soon, too!
In honor of having completed the series (whooooo-hoooo!!!), I’m hosting an international giveaway to commenters on this post. Two random winners will have their choice of either Take a Chance on Me (book 1) or One Night Love Affair (book 5) in ebook form (mobi, epub, or pdf), names to be drawn around noon CST on June 28th!! I’ll post the winners here that day.
To learn more about the individual novels & novellas in the series (FYI: all of them are standalone stories and most have been influenced by Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, or Persuasion), visit the Mirabelle Harbor series page on my website. It has links to excerpts and other special content for all of the books!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the excerpt or, if you’ve read any of the other Mirabelle Harbor stories, something you liked about one of them! Wishing you all a wonderful start to this new season with lots of enjoyable reading ahead!!