Mid Week Tease: Cover Reveal for the Revised Version of Holiday Magic

Hello again. Well, autumn is officially here. It arrived yesterday amidst cool winds and clouds followed by late afternoon sunshine. Thanks Sandra Bunino, for allowing me to share like this each week. This morning, I’d like to reveal the new covers for mt soon to be re-released Christmas season books, Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice.

Last year, these books were released by a now defunct publisher. Holiday Magic was a solid three stars for reviewers, but I wanted a higher rating, more in line with the rest of my work. Since books never disappear from Goodreads, I decided to read the reviews and those I’d copied before the book was removed from Amazon. I thought long and hard, read the comments with an open mind, and decided to revise the book with their comments in mind. How many times do you get to do that?

I’ve added almost 20,000 words to the story, a few hot scenes, and a few heartbreaking ones. Thanks to my lovely friend Melinda De Ross, and Classy Designs, I have brand new covers befitting the books.And so, without further ado, here are the new e-book covers for my Christmas series. This week’s tease comes from Holiday Magic. Holiday Magic (2)

The perfect choice (2)

“Hello? Anybody home?” she called. Mr. Whiskers, Lucy’s Siamese cat, ran into the foyer, meowing loudly.

“Hey, buddy,” she said softly. “Hasn’t Mommy fed you breakfast yet?”

She looked down the hall. Lucy’s bedroom door was closed, a fact which no doubt contributed to the cat’s irritation. Entering the kitchen, Georgia placed the container of soup in the fridge.

“I suppose you want something to eat?” she asked the cat wrapping himself around her ankles. Reaching into the cupboard, she removed the can of gourmet cat food and fed the animal whose purrs echoed in the silent kitchen.

“You’re welcome.”

Looking around the room, she spied the dry erase marker and left Lucy a note about the soup in the fridge. She was about to leave when a hacking cough erupted from the bedroom.

Poor thing. She’s sicker than I thought.

Georgia opened the fridge, took out the carafe of orange juice and filled a glass.  She went down the hallway, knocked on the bedroom door, and hearing a muffled groan, she opened it.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. Lucy wasn’t alone in the bed. While Georgia knew she should look away, she couldn’t. The man lying on his stomach, his arm wrapped around her friend was naked. He had a beautiful body, one vaguely familiar, and she was embarrassed by the way her libido reacted to it. The man was too fair skinned to be Anton, and his hair was a mass of curls. Surprise turned to shock as the man rolled over, away from Lucy, and Georgia recognized him.

He was still asleep. In her distress, she gasped and dropped the glass of juice, which shattered on the hardwood floor. The sound woke Mark, and he gave her a drunken lopsided grin.

“Hey, babe.”

“No,” she cried as tears spill from her eyes. “No!” It wasn’t possible. The man she loved, buck naked, hard as a rock, in another woman’s bed.

“What the hell?” Mark asked, opening his eyes wide, taking in the scene. He tried to sit up, but fell back on the pillow.

The noise woke Lucy who stared at her, at Mark, at the clock, and groaned.

“Shit,” Lucy croaked and sat up.

The sight of the woman she thought her friend sitting in the bed next to her fiancé was more than she could handle. Anger, far beyond anything she’d ever felt suffused her.

“How could you? I thought you were my friend,” she cried barely able to say the words as she saw all her hopes and dreams crash around her.

“And you,” she yelled at Mark, her heart shattering into a thousand pieces. “I trusted you. I loved you.”

Mark stared at her, his face showing surprise and confusion.

Lucy got up and pulled a robe over the skimpy negligee she wore. Mark looked at her as if he’d never seen her before. He closed his eyes, and rubbed his head.

“Georgia, it isn’t what you think,” Lucy said as she moved closer to her. “I know it looks bad, but…”

“Bad? Now that’s an understatement. It looks as if you’ve had a romp in the sheets with my fiancé, Lucy. The man I was going to marry.”

“You weren’t the one supposed to find us,” Lucy answered resigned.

“What the hell does that mean? That’s supposed to make me feel better?” Georgia shrieked, the bile rising in her throat. She rushed into the bathroom and vomited.

Trembling, she returned to the bedroom where Mark was now sitting on the side of the bed and had had the decency to cover himself. I’ll bet he isn’t horny now, the bastard.

“Who else knows about this?” Georgia indicated the bed and the room, unable to say the words.

“Just a couple of people. It’s not really as bad as you think. If you’ll give me a minute to explain. It was actually your sister’s suggestion.”

“Liar,” Georgia screamed, reeling from the last blow the words inflicted. “Eleni would never have anything to do with something like this.” But Eleni hadn’t wanted her to come here. Had she known? This was terrible, but a betrayal like that would destroy her. The room swam before her eyes, and she gripped the dresser.

“Well, not this scenario exactly, but she gave me the idea.”

“Georgia, Lucy. What the hell’s going on? Where am I? Where the hell are my clothes?” Mark asked, his voice betraying his panic. Great actor. I almost believe him.

She turned on him, a wounded animal, unable to handle the crippling pain assailing her. “As if you don’t know. How could you do this to me, to us? And for what, a cheap piece of ass.”

“There’s no need to be insulting,” Lucy added, but Georgia ignored her.

Her tears streamed down her cheeks. “Is this why you left your bachelor party early? To screw around with my bridesmaid? Was it a goodbye screw or were you planning to continue after we were married?”

“Georgia,” Lucy spoke loudly. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I don’t? That’s rich because I can see it very clearly with my own two eyes. Eleni was right. You did want something from me. You wanted Mark. Well, congratulations. He’s all yours.”

She ran out of the room, with Lucy on her heels. “Georgia wait!”

“Wait for what you low down, two-timing, man-stealing bitch? For more lies? Here are your damn keys. Clever of you to have left them with me. I wouldn’t have been able to get in otherwise. You knew I’d come. You read me like a book, bravo. Well played.” The tears clogged her throat making breathing difficult. She had to get out of here before she fainted.

Mark rushed into the foyer, a towel wrapped around his hips, looking as pale as a white marble statue. Despite everything, she still wanted him.

“Georgia by all that’s holy, honey I have no idea how I got here. You have to believe me.”

 “Believe you? Like when you said you loved me and couldn’t live without me? Like when you said I was the only woman you ever wanted? You’re a lying, cheating bastard, Mark and I never want to see you again.”

“Do you honestly think I’d do something like this to you, to us?”

“I wouldn’t have thought so. I didn’t think you could ever hurt me like this. I hate you, both of you.”

Lucy sighed. “Fine, be like that. You think you’re so much better than the rest of us. Go. When you come to your senses, call me.”

Georgia rushed out of the apartment to the elevator. She’d left her coat with her car keys in the pocket in the apartment, but she wasn’t going back there, not now, not ever.

The elevator doors opened and she pushed the button for the ground floor. In the mirrored walls she could see herself, a deadly pale woman, whose swollen eyes testified to her broken heart. The doors opened, and she walked through the foyer and out into the snow. Providentially, a yellow cab drew to a stop to let out a passenger, her arms bulging with wrapped packages. As soon as the woman left the cab, Georgia got in.

“Are you okay, lady?” the driver asked.

“No,” she answered. “I’ll never be okay again.”

So, how would you react in the same situation? Fight or flight? I’d love to know. Like Georgia, I’d run away.

Don’t forget to check out all the awesome teases today.

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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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6 Responses to Mid Week Tease: Cover Reveal for the Revised Version of Holiday Magic

  1. Well Damn. That sucks! I see revenge in the works. Nice exercpt.

  2. Reese Ryan says:

    Now I’m totally intrigued about the story behind this whole scenario. 🙂

  3. Kiru Taye says:

    I wouldn’t run. I stay and thrash it out. Congrats on your new covers.

  4. Carlene Love says:

    I honestly don’t know how I’d react and I have this nagging feeling that Mark isn’t at fault. I agree with Reese, intrigued.

  5. Oh my days! What an engaging piece, Susanne. You had me hooked, I couldn’t stop reading.

    I know it looks pretty water-tight from Georgia’s perspective. But if I were Georgia, I’ll listen even if I thought I was going to be fed rubbish excuse. I would want to hear the lies or excuse to hold on to. I have to know. I’ll fight until Mark tells me he has fallen for Lucy, which is unlikely. He says he doesn’t know how he got there! Was his drink spiked?

    Love this tease, Susanne. Had my heart racing.

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