ETA: This giveaway is now closed. Winning nomination: Lisa Richards
The old cliche about birds of a feather flocking together is absolutely true. In some cases though (not that you’d know it from this picture of mish-mashed costumes including Peacock Heather) the feathers are more accurately minds.
Aside from Heather, I met all of these women at this same event (Fresh Fiction’s Readers N Ritas) last year. They became fast friends and I still adore every one of them–probably because we all have wicked minds that work on similar wavelengths (even sweet Lily who tries to act quiet and shy).
They don’t know it, but it’s this group of women (plus a couple of missing ones) who inspire the heroines in my newest series. The women at Tulle and Tulips Designer Weddings are a close knit bunch who think alike and aren’t afraid to call each other out for out of character behavior or too much whining or for simply denying what is slapping them in the face.
So to celebrate those friends, I thought I’d share an excerpt from TANGLED IN TULLE
, book 1 in the new Tulle and Tulips series.
“I can’t do this.” Lori Mullins reached over and pushed the button to lower the top on her best friend’s convertible despite the chilled Miami air. A Christmas carol jingled from somewhere in the distance, though it was over a month away.
Inside the car-fume-scented parking garage fear squeezed her lungs faster than walls moving in on a claustrophobe. She needed fresh air, reassurance, courage. The confidence she’d had as an operative for a clandestine arm of the CIA had dehydrated into a pea-sized shell and been squashed.
“You can,” Misty didn’t acknowledge the cooler air sweeping away the heater’s warmth as she pointed toward the automated doors across the parking garage. “Just go into the lobby, walk to the elevator and push the ‘up’ button.”
“Then when the doors open…” Lori trailed off, lost for a moment in the squeals of tires, the slam of doors and beep of an alarm, the stink of exhaust and rubber. She may not have been the highest level Whitestone operative, her final mission as an escort may never make sense, but she’d had a one-hundred-percent success rate on her jobs. Self-doubt had never been in her cache of attributes. Until now.
Until the last one, which had cost her the man she’d loved, ended her career and nearly claimed her life.
“You see the man who can grant your dreams,” Misty put in when Lori said nothing more.
“If only it were so simple.” Past success meant nothing. For that matter, few things from the past mattered beyond their power to impact her future.
“You shouldn’t be afraid of this.”
But she was. Maybe if she’d talked about why asking Trevor Masters for help was so tough she could’ve convinced Misty to pitch the business plan. The fact remained that while Misty was interested in working with her as the head floral designer, Tulle and Tulips Designer Weddings was Lori’s chance for a new beginning. A new life and talking about Trevor meant thinking about the part of her past she was trying to escape.
“You’ve covered every angle of the business plan. Your projections are smart and conservative.”
Misty speared her with a hard glare, cutting off her arguments. “If Trevor Masters is half the businessman you claim, he’ll see your brilliance and will have no choice but to back you.”
“Except wedding planning has absolutely no relation to technology.” And he has every reason to want to turn me away. “I shouldn’t have contacted him.” Not that she’d gotten past his new assistant.
“Successful, smart business ventures are one and the same no matter what name you put on them.” Misty reached over Lori and opened the door. “Get out. Go. I’ll be here when you’re ready.”
Putting into words what could happen, why facing Trevor was so painful, hurt more than thinking about it—and that was plenty debilitating—so Lori nodded once and swung her legs from the car. The click of her heels on the concrete vibrated up her thighs. The vibration reminded her of the first time she’d taken this same path to see Trevor Masters.
The assignment to accompany the CEO to a business dinner had seemed simple, yet her life had been forever changed.
Misty reached for the button to raise the car top. Holding Misty’s certainty close, Lori grabbed her briefcase and torture forged determination. “You can be a real pain in the ass.”
“Eh. What good’s a friend if she can’t give you a kick in the keister on occasion?”
Winner’s choice of a backlist book. Digital if out of the US. Digital or print (if available) if in the US.
Don’t forget the Holiday Giveaway Rules.
For a chance to win:
1. Nominate the person you want to send that day’s gift to and a short reason as to why. You know, the friend you’ve flocked to. 🙂
2. For an extra entry, spread the word about this giveaway: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – leave a link in the comments.
3. Leave your email with your comment ONLY IF it is NOT part of your profile.
4. This giveaway is open to everyone for nominations, however you cannot enter yourself.
5. You may only win one gift to send.
6. Giveaways begin November 25 and run through December 16.
Remember all giveaways are open for 72 hours! Now get nominating!
Tell me what your favorite thing about your closest friends are and I’ll enter you into a drawing for a digital copy of one of my backlist (your choice).
You can learn more about Nikki and her books by visiting one of her websites or following her on Twitter or finding her on Facebook. Clearly she tries to hide from the public. Be sure to check out TANGLED IN TULLE, scheduled to release December 20.