#Giveaway Excerpt Big Chance Cowboy by Teri Anne Stanley @TeriAnneStanley @SourcebooksCasa Ends 9.9

Big Chance Cowboy
by Teri Anne Stanley
Publication date: August 27, 2019

 “A real page turner with a sexy cowboy you can root for, a sassy heroine you can fall in love with, and an ugly dog that brings them together.”—CAROLYN BROWN, New York Times bestselling author

 At Big Chance Dog Rescue,

Even humans get a second chance

After a disastrous mistake disbanded his Army unit, Adam Collins has returned home to Big Chance, Texas. He just wants to sell the family ranch, set up his sister and grandfather with the funds, and then ride off into the sunset.

Lizzie Vanhook has landed back in her hometown, heartbroken and jobless. Adding to her troubles is the unruly stray who’s claimed her as his own. Lizzie knows she’s in over her head. Enter Adam—not only does he work with dogs, he’s also tall, dark, handsome, and the one who got away…

Adam wants nothing to do with other people, much less dogs. But when his old flame asks him to help her train her scruffy dog, he can’t say no. As his reluctant heart opens up, the impossible seems possible: a second chance with the woman he’s always loved in a place where he, his friends, and the other strays who show up can heal and call home,

Big Chance, Texas.

 More praise for Big Chance Cowboy:

“Love…and puppies… Be prepared to fall in love with this cast of characters and this book.”

JENNIE MARTS, USA Today bestselling author of the Cowboys of Creedence series_

Big Chance Cowboy is a tail-wagging good read. I was hooked from start to finish.”

DEBBIE BURNS, acclaimed author of the Rescue Me series

 When Teri Anne Stanley isn’t writing sassy, sexy, love stories from her home, she’s probably doing some sort of arsty-crafsty thing and hanging with Mr. Stanley, her three favorite children, and the dogs. Sometimes she’s masquerading as a day job science geek. She’s definitely not cooking or cleaning. Visit her online at www.teriannestanley.com. Teri Ann lives near Sugartit, Kentucky (which is between Beaver Lick and Rabbit Hash. Seriously).

Author Website: www.teriannestanley.com

 Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Iu7auY
B&N: http://bit.ly/2IHFq5E
Apple: https://apple.co/2Pih8jC
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2PhdFlC
BAM: http://bit.ly/2Phdd6U
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ZNSige
Walmart: http://bit.ly/2Z1nOKB

 

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EXCERPT:

 

Houston was three hours and a couple of broken dreams behind her when Lizzie Vanhook crossed the Chance County line, right about the same time the Check Tire Pressure light in her dashboard blinked on.

Crap. She’d been in the homestretch. There was something symbolic about an uninterrupted beeline home, to the place she planned to find her center of gravity. Maybe start doing yoga. Eat all organic. Drink herbal tea and learn to play the pan flute.

Flipping the turn signal, she pulled into Big America Fuel and stopped near the sign for Free Air. She stepped out onto the cracked gray asphalt and bent to search for the pressure gauge her dad always insisted she keep in the pocket of the door but came up empty.

She abandoned the driver’s side and went to the passenger door, hesitating when she noticed the dog leaning against the nearby air pump. The big dog. It was missing some significant patches of hair, and the rest was black and matted. Its big, shiny teeth were bared in what she hoped was a friendly smile. Its football-player-forearm-sized tail thumped the ground, raising a cloud of sunbaked, Central Texas dust. Lizzie sneezed. The dog stopped wagging and raised an ear in her direction.

“Good boy,” she told it, hoping that was the right thing to say. It was one thing to misunderstand the intentions of a tiny fuzzball of a dog and need a few stitches. Ignoring a warning from something this size could be lethal. It had to weigh at least a hundred pounds.

She kept the beast in her peripheral vision while she bent to search for the tire gauge. Ah ha!

“Y’all need some help?”

“No!” Lizzie straightened and turned, the pressure gauge clenched in her raised fist.

“Whoa there!” A sun-bronzed elderly man, about half Lizzie’s size, held his hands in front of him in a gesture of peace.

“I’m sorry,” she said, relaxing slightly. “The dog—” She gestured but the thing was gone.

“Didn’t mean to scare you, darlin’,” the old man said, tilting his Big America ball cap back. “We’re a little slow today, so I thought I’d check on you.” He indicated the vacant parking lot.

“It’s fine,” she said. She should remember she was back on her own turf, where it was way more likely that a stranger at a gas station really did want to help you out rather than distract you and rob you blind. “It’s been a long drive, and I’m a little overcaffeinated.”

“No problem. You local?”

“Yes,” Lizzie said. Even though she’d been gone for years, it was about to be true again.

The attendant squinted at the tool she carried. “You got a leaky tire?”

“I don’t know.” She stooped to unscrew the cap of the first valve. “The little light went on while I was driving.” Nope. That one wasn’t low. She put the cap back on and continued her way around the car while her new friend followed, chatting about Big Chance. He wondered about the likelihood the Chance County High School quarterback would get a scholarship offer. Lizzie had no idea; she hadn’t been keeping up. He speculated on the probability that the Feed and Seed might close, now that there was a new Home Depot over in Fredericksburg. She expected she’d hear about it from her mom and dad if the local place was closing and wondered if her friend Emma still worked there.

It had been ages since Lizzie had spoken to Emma, and a wave of guilt washed over her. Finally, the last valve was checked, and she screwed the cap back on. She reached through the open window and dropped the tire gauge on the passenger seat while she said “Everybody’s full. Must be a false alarm.” She wrinkled her nose as she caught a whiff of the interior of her car. Sheesh. The service station probably sold air fresheners; maybe she should invest in one. Compared to the breezy, wide open spaces of home, her car smelled like an inside-out dead deer. She wanted to get home, though, so she decided to deal with it later.

It wasn’t until she was backing out onto the main road that she realized the awful smell inside her vehicle wasn’t just long-drive funk. There was something—something big and black and furry—sitting in the middle of her back seat, panting and grinning in her rearview mirror.

 

***

Excerpted from Big Chance Cowboy by Teri Anne Stanley. © 2019 by Teri Anne Stanley. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

#Giveaway Excerpt Handle with Care by Marie Harte @MHarte_Author @SourcebooksCasa Ends 9.9

by Marie Harte
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Handle with Care
by Marie Harte
Publication date: August 27, 2019

 Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day…

And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife—and promptly falls head over heels for her.

Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail—all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking… Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

 

Veteran Movers series:

The Whole Package (Book 1)
Smooth Moves (Book 2)
Handle with Care (Book 3)

 

Praise for Marie Harte:

“With a protective alpha hero that stole my heart instantly, The Whole Package was sexy, sweet, and thoroughly satisfying.”—LAUREN LAYNE, New York Times bestselling author, for The Whole Package

“Marie Harte at her best! The Whole Package delivered everything I love—hot alpha, a strong woman, and amazing writing!”—DONNA GRANT, New York Times bestselling author, for The Whole Package

“Terrific. I absolutely loved this story.”—Night Owl Reviews, TOP PICK for The Only Thing

“Another exceptionally red-hot romance by Marie Harte with a strong yet sweet hero!”—Fresh Fiction for Just the Thing

 Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marie Harte is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether biking around town, hiking, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit marieharte.com and fall in love. She resides in Oregon.

 Author Website: marieharte.com

 Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KXLfhM
B&N: http://bit.ly/2GlHkpF
Apple: https://apple.co/2PgLMtQ
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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2YQTYbu

 

NEWSLETTER: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | KOBO | APPLE | BAM

 

Rafflecopter:

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EXCERPT:

Funny, he’d said. Evan had been set up. Again. Daniel Sykes needed some discipline, something the Corps, or a foot up his butt, might just provide. Then again, should Evan be upset at another opportunity to see Kenzie up close?

Damn, but even angry she turned him on. Yeah, that was it. He wanted her. Physical desire. That he understood. And if he ignored the quickening of his heart and the need to sigh just looking at her, he’d believe his own bullshit. Because falling for a woman he didn’t even know made no sense. And Evan was nothing if not rational.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, biting out each word.

“I’m supposed to meet your brother to discuss financial matters. He had a legitimate question about tax penalties, and since I was already in the area, I told him I’d meet him.”

Kenzie clenched her jaw.

“So he was lying?”

“No. I am having some issues with my books, but I’m not sure why Rachel’s moving guy is qualified to help us.”

Evan smiled. “I’m an accountant. I was, I mean. Well, I still am. I’m just working for myself now.”

“Why?”

“So much suspicion.” He grinned, not telling her how adorable she looked in her pique. Women didn’t like hearing that they were cute when trying to appear serious. “I wasn’t fired for any wrongdoing. I left the firm because I couldn’t handle the hours. But I’m still consulting for them, and I have a few clients staying with me who left Peterman & Campbell Accounting when I did.”

She blinked. “I know that firm. One of my clients uses them. They’re big money.”

“Yep.” Evan wanted to stroke her cheek, to see if she felt as soft as she looked. So he tucked his hands in his pockets.

“What was with lying to Rob about your clients using me? Or me being overbooked?”

He shrugged. “I know Rob. He’s competitive. The thought of him not getting to use your services because you don’t have time for him would annoy the crap out of him. Plus it never hurts to make people think you’re more than you are. Perception is everything, and before you know it, you will be overbooked.”

“Oh.” She gave him a tentative smile. “Thanks.”

“Mind if I grab a coffee and wait with you for your brother? It’s getting crowded in here.”

She nodded, her gaze thoughtful.

Evan picked up a coffee and a few pastries and returned to Kenzie. “How about some sweets as a peace offering? I had no idea I was interrupting a meeting.”

She accepted an apricot Danish. “Thanks. It’s not your fault I couldn’t snare Rob Talon on my own.”

He didn’t know about that. Rob had seemed pretty smitten when Evan had seen the pair sitting together.

“How do you know him anyway?” Kenzie asked.

“I knew his sister from a long time ago. She and I dated briefly in college. Rob is a good guy, and he and I became friends after Kayla and I broke up.”

“Really? Kayla is amazing.”

“She is. But I was the problem.” I was too boring for Kayla. And I really hate that word. “She wanted to see the world, and I had responsibilities.” He sipped his coffee, remembering the past and wondering where the time had gone. “Well, actually she wanted to go to India for some technology conference, and I wanted to go to Miami for a wild spring break. We parted ways after I joined the Marine Corps and she moved to Bangalore.”

“You were a Marine?”

Am a Marine.” He smiled with pride. “You’re never an ex. You become a ‘prior’ or ‘former’ Marine. It’s always with you.” Even though he hadn’t enjoyed many of the aspects of the military, he missed the camaraderie, which explained why he loved working with the gang at Vets on the Go! It felt like a mini-Corps of likeminded individuals.

“So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving furniture for a living? Because you burned out doing accounting?” She sounded disbelieving.

He couldn’t blame her. “Actually, I’m a partner in our moving business. My cousins and I own Vets on the Go!, and one of our guys is out due to a broken arm. So I’m helping out until he’s back. But to be honest, it’s been enjoyable using my muscles more than my brains for a while. I got tired working eighty-hour weeks for Peterman & Campbell.”

Her eyes softened. “That makes sense. I love my job, but I get tired too. I worked all weekend in between cleaning my house and running errands.” She sighed. “And today was a bust.”

“Sorry to hear that. I’ll make sure Rob calls you back since I interrupted you.”

“No, please don’t. I can handle my business myself.”

He sensed a little bit of tension there, but he understood the need for independence. “No problem. At least finish the Danish.”

She shoved half the pastry in her mouth and grinned at him. “Happy now?” she asked, her mouth full, and he laughed.

“You know, I can see where your brother gets that attitude.”

She managed to swallow the ball of dough and groaned. “Now I should be apologizing to you. I can’t believe he tricked you into coming here.”

“So you’re not having a problem with your taxes?”

“Yes, but—” The buzz of her phone interrupted her. She read a text and blinked. “Daniel just told me he’s on his way here to meet with you and not to be freaked out if I see you because you’re not stalking me, you’re doing him a favor.”

“Wow. He texted all that?”

“Mostly in abbreviations and emojis, but I understand teen-speak.”

Evan laughed. “Better you than me. I couldn’t even figure out how to change my name back.”

“What did he change your name to?”

“Well, my ringtone became ‘Dancing Queen.’ And my name became Sexy Moving Man with a Fine Ass.”

She couldn’t stifle her mirth, and he saw it.

 

***

Excerpted from Handle With Care by Marie Harte. © 2019 by Marie Harte. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

#Giveaway Excerpt I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin @LynnettAustin @SourcebooksCasa Ends 9.9

by Lynnette Austin

 

I’ve Got You, Babe

by Lynnette Austin

Publication date: August 27, 2019

“Powerful chemistry that makes this a winning page-turner.”—Publishers Weekly for Must Love Babies

Where do you go when you’re at the end of your rope?

Former Marine Tucker Wylder wants nothing more than to work with his brothers in their vintage car restoration business and be left alone with his nightmares and regrets. The last thing he needs is to take on someone else’s troubles…

Then Elisa Danvers and her young daughter arrive in Misty Bottoms, Georgia. Elisa has reached the end of the line—flat broke, engine trouble, sick in body and spirit. Tucker steps up to the rescue and finds himself reluctantly taking care of a feisty preschooler and her independent mother, who doesn’t seem to want his help. And Tucker isn’t sure he’s ready for the way precocious little Daisy and headstrong, beautiful Elisa herself capture first his bachelor household and finally his carefully guarded heart…

Must Love Babies Series:

Must Love Babies (Book 1)

I’ve Got You Babe (Book 2)

What People Are Saying about Lynnette Austin:

“Austin is a talented writer with a gift for capturing the charming…dynamic and interesting.”—Kirkus Reviews for Must Love Babies

“Austin’s sweet small-town romance hits all the right buttons.”—Booklist for Must Love Babies

“Readers will be drawn in most of all by the sweet Southern romance.”—Publishers Weekly for Picture Perfect Wedding

“Romance that has it all… A beautifully written tale of romance, friendship, and learning to trust.”—Fresh Fiction for Every Bride Has Her Day

 

Lynnette Austin has been a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Visit her at http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com. Lynnette splits her time between the beaches of Florida and the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia.

 Author Website: http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UqJcT3
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Xnr6Dm
Apple: https://apple.co/2Phg280
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2PjeUkf
BAM: http://bit.ly/2PkjmPS
Kobo: http://bit.ly/305dcY9

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


EXCERPT:

A cup of hot, black coffee in hand and a well-earned—and desperately needed—weekend fishing trip on his mind, Tucker unlocked the front door of Wylder Rides. The smell of oil and new tires welcomed him like an old friend. He liked the peace and quiet of the early morning, the solitude before his brothers arrived.

When a breeze drifted in through the open bay door, he thanked the stars the calendar had finally flipped to October. This summer, his first in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, had been hotter than Hades. With the onslaught of autumn, though, temperatures had dipped to a less humid mid-seventies.

Still, even the Georgia low-country summer had been a hell of a sight better than the sweltering heat he’d suffered during his Middle East deployment. There the July temperatures hovered above the hundred-degree mark. Add in the blistering sun, and the place could turn a man’s hide to shoe leather in no time. Don’t even get him started on the never-ending sand that found its way into every crack and crevice on the human body and scoured exposed skin raw.

A tough place to live. A worse place to die.

Involuntarily, his hands clenched into fists. Taking a deep breath, he relaxed them. Not today. He dropped to the creeper, slid partially beneath the ’Vette, and got busy replacing the brake lines.

Southern rock blasted from his stereo. Over the magic of Charlie Daniel’s fiddle, Tucker heard a car slow, then pull in out front. Its muffler was shot. The engine knocked, coughed and sputtered, then shut down with a rattle.

Seconds later, a totally different sound caught his attention—high heels on the garage’s concrete floor. Tucker slid a sidelong glance toward the front of the bay and almost swallowed his tongue. Framed in the narrow window between the floor and the car’s bumper were a pair of legs that would have any red-blooded man drooling…and they crossed slowly toward him. Laying the wrench on the floor beside him, he gave a push with his foot and slid the creeper from beneath the car.

Flat on his back, he let his gaze travel up over a body that matched the legs beat for beat, then on to a face only angels could have created. The heart-shaped face, with its sensuous lips and the biggest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen, sent a shockwave rocketing through him. Long, pale blond hair had been caught back in a ponytail.

An illusion? Maybe he’d breathed too many gas fumes and was hallucinating?

Nope. This woman was real and, from the expression on that stunning face, in trouble. 

“My car—” She waved a hand toward the front of the building.

“Could use some work,” Tucker finished, slowly getting to his feet. Wiping his hands on a grease rag, he moved toward her. “Look, we’re not a repair shop, but I can probably figure out what’s wrong. If it’s minor—”

She swayed and reached out toward the wall.

“You okay?” Even as Tucker spoke, he saw those mind-blowing eyes go blank. Dark lashes fanned her cheeks.

With a muttered curse, he lunged, barely reaching her before she hit the floor. Heart racing, he held her against him and swore again. Out cold.

“Hey, can you hear me?” He tapped her cheek but got no response. “Wake up.”

Sweat broke out on his brow. Where were his brothers? They should be here by now. What was he supposed to do with an unconscious woman? He leaned his head close to hers, relief flooding him when her breath whispered against his cheek.

A high-pitched wail split the air. Panicked, his head whipped up, and he glanced toward the beater parked out front. The driver’s side door hung open; in the back, strapped into a child’s seat, sat a little girl with her mama’s pale blond hair—a little girl winding up for one hell of a crying jag. 

And the day just got better!

He shook the limp woman gently, noticed the sheen of perspiration on her face. “Come on, sugar. For God’s sake, open those baby blues.”

She didn’t.

Kneeling and taking the woman down with him, he spread an old garage blanket and laid her carefully on it, straightening the short skirt of her flower-print dress.

With his forearm, he swiped the sweat from his brow. “Hey, wake up.”

She didn’t.

Okay. Time to tackle the second half of this double-feature horror show.

Edging toward the used-up Ford Escort and its young occupant in much the same way he’d approach a suspected sniper’s nest, he pulled out his phone and hit 911.

The sheriff answered on the first ring. “Misty Bottoms Police Department. What can I do ya?”

“Jimmy Don, it’s Tuck Wylder. I’m out at my shop.” Opening the sedan’s back door, he stared at the young child, at her tear-covered face and runny nose. He’d guess her to be maybe two or three years old. An opened bag of pretzels lay on the seat. Leaning in, he grabbed one and handed it to her. She raised it to her mouth and chewed, her cries dying to quiet whimpers.

Thank you, Jesus.

“Tuck? What’s goin’ on?” the sheriff demanded.

“A woman pulled up in front of our place, and, well, she’s passed out.”

“Been drinkin’?”

“I don’t think so, but she’s hot.”

“I don’t care how good lookin’ she is.”

“No, Jimmy Don. Not hot hot, hot! As in sweating.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?”

“I did!” Who’s on first? he thought.

“Do I hear a kid?”

Exasperated, Tucker raked fingers through his short hair, his gaze travelling over the woman. She still hadn’t moved. What a friggin’ mess!

“Yeah, you do. She came with the woman who’s passed out on my garage floor.”

“She okay?”

Tucker raised his eyes to the heavens and rubbed at his forehead. “Which one?”

“The kid.”

“How would I know? Nothing wrong with her lungs, I can tell you that.” The nagging beginning of a headache bloomed into a full-fledged whopper.

“You need an ambulance or you gonna take the gal in to see Doc Hawkins?”

“What?” Tucker pulled the cell away to stare at it. Bringing it back to his ear, he asked, “Are you serious, Jimmy Don? You want me to pick up an unconscious stranger, toss her in my car, along with the baby, and drive them into town?”

“So I guess you want me to send the town’s ambulance out there.”

“Bingo.”

 

***

Excerpted from I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin. © 2019 by Lynnette Austin. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

#Giveaway Excerpt Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan @JunoRushdan @SourcebooksCasa Ends 9.8

by Juno Rushdan
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Nothing to Fear
by Juno Rushdan
Publication date: August 27, 2019

“Juno Rushdan is the real deal. Every Last Breath is an electric combination of heart-stopping thriller and swoon-worthy romance.”—LEXI BLAKE, New York Times bestselling author

 The clock is ticking.

Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He’s never given reason to doubt his loyalty…until he’s tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.

He knows she’s innocent. He knows she’s being framed. And he knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.

Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe…even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits—and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching…

The Final Hour Series:

Every Last Breath

Nothing to Fear (coming August 2019)

Until the End (coming early 2020)

 

What People Are Saying About Juno Rushdan:

“Tense and fulfilling. Settle back and savor this one.”— STEVE BERRY, New York Times bestselling author

“Fast-paced, intense, and sexy—a must-read romantic suspense!”—CYNTHIA EDEN, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“A fast-paced, spine-tingling thriller you won’t want to put down!”—LAURA GRIFFIN, New York Times bestselling author

“An unputdownable thrill ride.”—LEXI BLAKE, New York Times bestselling author

“A romantic thriller that handily juggles emotional intensity and a heart-pounding, James Bond-ian adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews

Juno Rushdan draws from real-life inspiration as a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer to craft sizzling romantic thrillers.  Although she is a native New Yorker, wanderlust has taken her across the globe. She’s visited more than twenty different countries and has lived in England and Germany. When she’s not writing, Juno loves spending time with her family. She currently resides in Virginia.

 

Author Website: www.junorushdan.com

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KNRuok
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Xhnxyy
Apple: https://apple.co/2Ph3IVi
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2PiYqsn
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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Z26Qfa
Rafflecopter:

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EXCERPT:

Willow’s car nosedived down a long ramp that mouthed open to three lanes. Vehicles lining the two on the left were stopped at a red light.

She grabbed the wheel and veered toward the empty right lane.

Relief flashed through her. But as quickly as it came, it was gone. Her car had no brakes and was on a collision course with a major intersection of traffic.

Pressure welled in her chest.

Figures. She’d just had the most highly charged experience in her short life with a guy she was crazy attracted to, and now she was going to die. After living a neutral—

Neutral. She shifted from drive to neutral and dragged the tires against the concrete curb. The friction would shave off some speed but not enough. Not while pitched downhill on a trajectory sending her right into traffic with the cruise control jammed at sixty.

She had to avoid causing a domino effect of collisions in the intersection. Cranking the wheel, she plowed over the curb, scraping the undercarriage, and climbed the grassy berm over uneven terrain. Her gaze flickered up to the rearview mirror and to a red Jeep speeding up behind her.

A concrete barricade ahead stole her attention and her breath. She spun the wheel, turning into the main street traffic. Cars squealed, braking. Another skidded and rear-ended a truck.

The Jeep bulldozed up beside her in the left lane, horn honking.

What was she supposed to do? What could she do?

The four-wheel-drive vehicle nosed past her bumper and crashed into her car, forcing her to make a hard right—straight into the parking lot of a grocery store.

A woman yapping on her cell phone while rooting in her purse crossed in front of them. Willow’s chest turned to a block of ice.

The Jeep that had run up beside her tapped her car to the right, engaging her focus.

She steered away from the woman to the side of the building and a vacant part of the lot.

“Willow!”

The sound of her name penetrated her shroud of fear. She looked over through the Jeep’s open passenger-side window.

Gideon.

He signaled to her, punching his hand down and yanking his fist up toward his shoulder. She glanced to her side.

Gear selector? No.

Emergency brake. He wanted her to pull up on the emergency brake.

She gripped the handle and wrenched up. The car whipped into a wild spin. She gasped. Light swirled into a haze of gray. Nausea flooded her in a violent wave. Her body shivered like it wanted to splinter into a hundred pieces.

Pressing her head against the seat, she released the wheel and crossed her arms, hands to her shoulders. The tail of the car crashed into something, shattering the back window. The vehicle rocked, jostling her forward.

Phfowmph!

A dense pillow punched her, throttling her back. A white cloud engulfed everything. The airbag sucked up the space around her. A scream strangled in her throat and died.

Dust and white powder clogged her nose and esophagus. She choked on the remnants of terror.

Her car door swung open. “Willow! You okay?”

A loud pop echoed. Her airbag deflated with a hiss, as if it’d been cut. She drew in a shuddering breath and waved to clear the congesting dust from her face.

Gideon whipped a double-handled knife closed and reached for her.

A whimper slipped from her lips as she cringed, raising her arm. It was all too much—losing the brakes, the sound of metal grating, hitting vehicles. Almost dying. She needed to breathe, gain her bearings, before he touched her.

“I want to help you from the car and make sure you’re okay. I won’t hurt you.” He reached for her slowly. “Okay?”

Shutting her eyes, she clutched the strap of her purse still draped over her and nodded.

He unfastened her seatbelt. One strong arm slipped under her legs, the other curled around her shoulders. He lifted her out the car, tucking her against his large frame.

Particles clung to her nostrils, burned her throat, and filled her lungs. She coughed and raked in a glorious breath of fresh air.

Gideon’s long legs stretched quickly, carrying her to his car. In his powerful arms, warm and solid, a blanket of calm covered her, dampening her chaotic thoughts save one.

She was safe with him.

He opened the passenger’s door and set her inside, but she didn’t want him to let go. Not yet.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Everything had unraveled in minutes. Trying to slow the car, the parking lot. Gideon helping. She still couldn’t make sense of it.

Gideon crouched in front of Willow and examined her, smoothing his big hands over her face and her hair. He tilted her chin up. “Did you hit your head? You might have a concussion.”

Staring into his wide eyes, now darkened to the bluish gray of a stormy sky in this light, her breathing slowed and her bunched muscles uncoiled. He looked shaken, off beat from his normal steady cadence.

“Willow? Are you all right?”

I’m okay. How bizarre since she’d almost died. “Everything is fuzzy, but I didn’t hit my head. I don’t think I have a concussion.”

“You can get it from whiplash. A doctor should check you.”

Before she voiced objections, a sheriff’s car pulled into the lot, lights flashing, siren muted. Gideon patted her knee and left her side. He spoke to the officer, pointing to her car, waving his hands in the air as if explaining everything that’d happened.

What exactly had happened?

This morning, nothing was wrong with her brakes. She’d had the car checked recently, never pushed the service due date. Yet she’d nearly been killed.

 

***

Excerpted from Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan. © 2019 by Juno Rushdan. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

$25 #Giveaway Jump Into Author CAROLYN BROWN’S Empty Nest #win EMPTY NESTERS @thecarolynbrown Ends 9.14

by Carolyn Brown

Jump Into Author Carolyn Brown’s Empty Nest   

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to stop by to talk about my new book, The Empty Nesters. I’ll be giving all y’all a few of my favorite scenes and a little commentary during the time we get to spend together.

As Ma used to say on Golden Girls, imagine this—Carmen, Joanie and Diana have just dropped their daughters off at the recruiter’s office. They’ve managed to keep the tears at bay and put up a brave front, but now it’s time to let the tears loose.

“For the first time ever, Natalie and I won’t decorate the house for Halloween together. Nine months of carrying them, then we basically raised them on our own while our husbands were deployed or got sent someplace to train other officers. And now they’re gone, and we won’t see them for Halloween or Thanksgiving. And who even knows about Christmas? It’s not fair.” 

It’s always amazing what comes to mind during a sad time, isn’t it? Things pop into our heads that seem trivial in the face of the event, and yet, at the time, the good memories are what keep us sane.

Tootsie, their elderly neighbor, has just lost her husband, after they’d bought the huge RV and planned a trip to northeast Texas. She’s trying to convince the women that they need to get away from their empty nest for a while.

“You need to get away for a little while and get some perspective,” Tootsie said.

“Let’s pool our money and blow it all on a trip to Paris. We can shop and have lattes in little bistros,” Diana suggested. 

Joanie sighed. “That’s a pipe dream. We probably don’t have enough money to even get to Paris, Texas, between the three of us.” 

The three of them have known the support of each other through the past thirteen years, and just because they’re now alone in their homes, they have no doubt that the love is still there between them—and that it’s even stronger than blood sisters.

“We’re only half a block and a phone call away. If any of us feel the world dropping out from under our feet, we can get back together in less than five minutes.” 

I was amazed at how supportive all of them, including Tootsie, were of each other. They might disagree, but Lord help the person that tried to come between them, or who had the nerve to say an ugly word about one of them.

Everything happens for a reason and in the time that it should happen. I believe that with my whole heart. Diana had gotten her divorce years before the book opens, but she remembers the pain and anger of it all. Then she focused all her energy and time on raising her daughter. But now it’s her time to find a new love, and a new life—maybe with a younger man.

“That many trips into town on those roads would shake the hell out of their Caddy. And believe me, Aunt Tootsie treats that car like family.” Luke chuckled. “Age, on a truck or on a person, makes no difference. It’s how well they’re maintained that matters.” 

Why, oh, why, couldn’t he have smooth pickup lines like other men? Luke asked himself. What he’d just said could be taken as an insult. She might think that he thought she looked like an old pickup truck at her age, when in reality she was downright gorgeous. He wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she still got carded at bars when she ordered a drink. 

Thank you again, for inviting me into your world, and letting me talk about the amazing ladies (and Luke of course), from The Empty Nesters. Happy reading to each and every one of you!

***

About the Book

Title: The Empty Nesters
Author: Carolyn Brown
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

Dear friends and army wives Diana, Carmen, and Joanie have been through war, rumors of war, marital problems, motherhood, fears, joy, and heartache. But none of the women are prepared when their daughters decide to enlist in the army together. Facing an empty nest won’t be easy. Especially for Carmen. With emotions already high, she suffers an even greater blow: divorce papers. Diana understands the fury and tears. She’s been there.

With nothing to lose and no one at home, the girlfriends impulsively accept an unexpected offer from their elderly neighbor. The recently widowed Tootsie has an RV, a handsome nephew at the wheel, and an aim for tiny Scrap, Texas, to embrace memories of her late husband. Still grieving, she can use the company as a balm for her broken heart. So can the empty nesters.

Embarking on a journey of hope, romance, and healing, Diana, Carmen, and Joanie are at a turning point in their lives. And with the open road ahead of them, it’s just the beginning.

Author Biography

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books. Her genres include romance, history, cowboys and country music, and contemporary mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and when . . . and reads the local newspaper every Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.

Social Media Links
Website: https://www.carolynbrownbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolynbrownbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13554.Carolyn_Brown

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