Hello, beautiful readers!
Available at Amazon!
It’s release day for TAKE ME I’M YOURS! This is a re-release of the third novella in my Coffee House Chronicles. You don’t have to read the other two books in the series to get this (but it does allow for a richer reading experience). This is the story of Graeme and Marion.
Today I’m giving away ONE copy to a lucky reader. Leave a comment at the end of this post by midnight Monday, May 27 (Central time) and then I’ll put your name in the hat for a drawing. Winner will be notified by email so be sure to include your email address!
Even painters need inspiration from time to time
Marion Parker is mending a broken heart. When her fiancé leaves her at the altar on their wedding day, she picks up the pieces and tries to get on with her life. Not interested in dating, she finds solace in her work at the gym and painting lessons. She vows to bubble-wrap her heart to protect it from ever shattering again.
Ladies’ man and painter extraordinaire Graeme Butler has never fallen in love. As a local celebrity in the art world, he can have any woman he chooses. Yet the one he really wants has eluded him for years…until a chance encounter brings Marion and Graeme together, giving him his shot at having the woman of his dreams…and drawings.
Marion finds something alluring and endearing about Graeme and she quickly discovers her shattered heart is slowly mending. But the closer they get, the more her ex-fiancé tries to pull them apart with lies and deception. She will have to accept Graeme for who is he if she expects him to return her love. Faced to choose between him and her ex, will she see real Graeme and fall hopeless in love with him?
“Crowning time,” Delilah Storm announced.
The bridesmaids squealed with excitement. Delilah rolled her eyes.
Marion Parker’s best friend and maid of honor held the sparkling tiara and veil in one hand while gathered bobby pints with the other.
“Don’t mess up my hair,” Marion warned. She air-patted her perfect coif. She’d spent six hours at the salon on her hair and make-up. Her auburn tresses were piled high on her head with baby’s breath in the curls.
“Yes, bridezilla.” Delilah gave her a sour look with pursed lips.
Marion stood in her white dress and admired her reflection. The dress was perfection right down to the last hand-sewn glass bead along the hem and chapel-length train. She searched for months for the perfect dress, dragging her mother and Delilah to every bridal shop and bridal show in town. Delilah was not the bride-y type and hated every second of it. But she went along anyway as a good sport. She’d already been married once. It hadn’t ended well. She vowed she would never marry again.
A blush-colored sash accentuated Marion’s small waist. Around her neck she wore her grandmother’s pearls as her “something old.” Pearl teardrop earrings served as her “something borrowed” from her mother. The “something blue” was a secret on her thigh she wanted Ethan to find and gown served as the “something new.”
Her bridesmaids giggled and helped each other dress in their conservative pale blush gowns. Well, except for Delilah. She was a no-nonsense kind of gal and picked a strapless sexy number much to Marion’s chagrin.
Everything was perfect for Marion’s special day and she couldn’t be happier. In just a few hours, she would be Mrs. Ethan Michael Baxter III. She sighed wistfully.
Glancing down at the two carat diamond ring, she saw promises of a future with the man she loved. Of that house with the white picket fence and kids running through the yard. Cartoons playing during morning breakfasts. A dog. Maybe a cat.
Behind her, Delilah carefully placed the crown with miles and miles of tulle on her head. “Now hold still.”
Delilah insisted on wearing a pair of four inch Christian Louboutins for the big day—in pale blush to match the dress exactly, of course—which meant she stood at six feet tall. She had no problem seeing the top of Marion’s head as she fumbled with the bobby pins. She had a pin pinched between her dark red lips and Marion idly wondered if she’d leave lipstick behind. She knew better than to say anything, especially when Delilah stabbed her scalp.
“Hold still. Almost done.” Delilah muttered around the pin.
In the reflection, Marion watched Delilah carefully position the glittering tiara on her head. She winced as another bobby pin stabbed her scalp.
“Sorry, Mar,” Delilah said. “There. Does that feel secure?”
“Yes. Thanks, Sweeney Todd.” She smoothed strands of hair upward.
“Har. Har.” Her maid of honor stuck out her tongue in Delilah fashion before grabbing a can of hairspray. “One more coat should seal it.”
She sprayed liberally, leaving a cloud hanging in the air and Marion choking on the fumes. “Del, I think that’s good.”
“Just trying to make sure you’re perfect for your day,” Delilah said in a sing-song voice. She turned toward the mirror and fluffed her wavy strawberry blonde locks. “You look calm.”
“I am calm.”
She had never been so sure about anything in her life. Okay, so she had a few butterflies. She looked forward to spending the next week on her honeymoon with her new husband. Just her, Ethan and a Jamaican beach. Bliss.
Ethan was everything she ever wanted. Kind, thoughtful, sweet, caring. Not to mention handsome. She tried to ignore the niggling thought at the back of her mind that things hadn’t been so picture perfect lately. He’d withdrawn from her. She’d decided it was wedding jitters and that was why she and Ethan hadn’t slept together in a few months. She felt certain once they walked down the aisle and pledged their love for each other, all that would change.
Delilah handed her the oversized bouquet. “You look fantastic, Mar,” she said, smiling at her reflection.
“Why are you surprised?” Marion teased.
“I shouldn’t be after seeing your analness in full swing,” Delilah replied. “You’re kind of a micro-manager.”
“I want perfection. After all, I’m only doing this once.”
There was a quick knock on the door before it opened and her mother entered.
“Oh, darling!” she gasped. “You look breathtaking.” She kissed her soundly on the cheek.
“Mother, please,” Marion groaned. “You’ll muss me.” Her mother rubbed the lipstick imprint from her cheek.
“I’m sorry, dear. But you do look breathtaking.” She stood back, clasping her hands together, looking at her with a wistful smile. Marion was sure she saw the glimmer of a tear there.
“Thanks.” Marion forced a smile on her face. She was ready to get the show on the road. What was the hold up?
“I think it’s about time, isn’t it?” her mother said cheerfully, holding her by the shoulders.
“Yes, it is,” Marion said tightly. “Where’s Dad?”
“Waiting in the foyer, dear.”
“I think we should head that way,” she suggested.
Before her mother could reply, there was another knock on the door. This time, the best man, Graeme Butler, poked in his head. His large, six-foot frame filled up the entire doorway. He had an odd look on his face, one Marion couldn’t quite read. Worry? Nerves?
“Can I come in?” He forced a smile as he peered into the room.
“Hi, Graeme. Yes, yes. Come in.” Marion waved him inside.
She couldn’t help but notice how smashing he looked in his tux. Especially since all she ever saw him in were jeans and T-shirts. He even wore the pale blush cummerbund and bow tie. She wasn’t sure he would after making such a ruckus about it being too “feminine” for him.
“You wore it.” She pointed to the pale-colored tie.
Graeme glanced down, ran his hand down his shirt. “I knew you’d have my head if I didn’t.” They shared a laugh and then he turned serious. “Can I, uh, talk to you a second, Marion? Alone?” His shoved his hands deep into his pockets as he stood in the doorway, that same weird look on his face.
Alarm bells suddenly rang in her head. “Why? What’s wrong?” She clutched the bouquet tighter in her hand. Heat flashed through her entire body and sweat broke out on her palms.