Good morning! I’ve been MIA for some time, first dealing with a family emergency and then taking a much needed vacation in the sunny, warm south. I’m back from a 14-day cruise in the Western Caribbean and it’s time to get back to work. By the way, the water is just as beautiful as I knew it would be.
Mid-January, Wedding Bell Blues, my contemporary/paranormal/fantasy/suspense/funny novel was released. Today, I would like to bring you an excerpt from it. I’ve teased from this book before.
Here’s the blurb:
Romance, mermaids, cursed treasure, and more.
MJ’s having a bad year. She’s canceled her wedding, but refuses to give up the honeymoon. When she arrives on Paradise Island, she discovers her ex has changed the reservation. Stranded, she has to rely on her first love, a man who sees her as his kid sister, for help. When Paul discovers the man behind her plight is the bully who made his own teen years hell, he gets MJ to agree to pretend to be his fiancée. Reluctantly, she agrees. Add in mermaids, treasure hunters, and Quimbois magic, and anything can happen—even falling in love.
Here’s the set-up. MJ’s on her way to Paradise Island. How does Mother Nature greet her?
With rain, of course. Enjoy!
MJ stood at the railing of the resort’s passenger ferry letting the drizzle soak her. She rolled her eyes. With her luck, she would probably catch pneumonia, spend the next ten days in bed, and listen to Mama and Carla’s “I told you so” for the rest of her life.
Sighing, she shook her head. This was the twenty-first century. Despite Carla’s dire predictions, lots of women traveled alone and had wonderful trips, coming home intact with all their eggs and organs right where they were supposed to be, without any danger of being sacrificed to volcanoes, zombified in voodoo ceremonies, or kidnapped by pirates—although if a Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike wanted to take her captive, she might surrender.
Last evening, on what should’ve been her wedding night, she’d consoled herself with room service and a large bottle of wine. After opening at least three dozen messages from friends and cousins showing the lucky couple, she’d flung her cellphone across the room, shattering it. Eventually, she’d realized that had been a mistake and had contacted Carla.
“Fine. I’ll let your mother know you dropped your phone, but you’ve got to keep that Greek-Irish temper of yours in check, MJ. It’s going to get you in trouble.”
Staring out at the water, she huffed out a heavy breath. Somewhere out there, the man of her dreams waited for her. All she had to do was find him. She removed her glasses. There was so much mist on them, she couldn’t see through them anyway.
A vision of Paul the way he’d looked last Saturday, half-naked, his body slick with perspiration, filled her mind, obliterating the stormy seas. He’d looked good, but she would die before she threw herself at him. A girl could only take so much rejection, and she wasn’t going to grovel to any man ever again—not even men who looked like Greek gods.
The ship bucked the waves as it slowly crossed the distance between Martinique and Paradise Island. Ten miles seemed a lot longer by boat than by car. Her stomach roiled. She hated flying and had taken her medication, but with more turbulence than usual, it had been the worst flight of her life. While she didn’t usually get seasick, it seemed this boat ride would prove the exception. If she were going to toss her cookies, not that she had any since there hadn’t been a crumb to eat on the plane, she would rather do it overboard than in the crowded lounge.
Pursing her lips, she looked out at the horizon, but with the rain and without her lenses, there was nothing to see.
“Are you alright, miss?” The deep voice startled her.
She turned around. She didn’t need her glasses to tell her this was the bearded crewman who’d checked her ticket when she’d boarded, the one with the nasty scar on his cheek. What had Carla said? Kidnapped by pirates?
The man leaned against the gunwale beside her and exhaled a plume of smoke she realized came from cannabis, not tobacco.
“It’s dangerous for a landlubber to be up here alone in this weather.”
MJ smiled, her lips compressed.
“I’m not feeling too well. I’ll probably vomit all over myself shortly, and it seemed like a good idea to do it here rather than in there.”
He chuckled. “How considerate of you since I would be the one to clean the mess. Have a drag. It’ll settle your stomach.” He turned and offered her the joint.
“No, thanks,” she said, looking up at him. “I don’t … you know.”
He stared at her, mumbled something she didn’t understand, moving closer to her, invading her space.
Had she insulted him?
She tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry.
“No problem. Your kind rarely does.”
Her kind? What did he have her pegged as? Some prissy, tight-assed bitch?
“Jack Crowder,” he offered his empty hand.
“MJ Summers.” She reached for it, her hand limp in his. Why the hell had she given her real name? Probably because it was plastered all over her luggage.
“You’ve got gorgeous eyes, MJ Summers,” he said. “They remind me of these waters on a calm, sunny day. Beautiful and mysterious. A man could drown in eyes like yours.”
MJ’s cheeks heated.
Give me a break.
“Thanks,” she said. “Nothing special about them—they run in the family.”
She really needed to corral this imagination of hers. The man was flirting with her. Why was that so hard to believe? Hadn’t she hoped for a single man here? It wouldn’t be the first time her dreams didn’t turn out the way she wanted them to. She put her glasses on and smiled, her mouth lifted to the left.
He grinned, lifting his hand to push her hair back behind her ear.
It took everything in her not to bolt.
“I’ll bet they do.”
Please visit all of the other midweek teasers.
Want to read more of Wedding Bell Blues? It’s available, in ebook and paperback, from most online retailers.