Hello Sweeties and Welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery hosted by TLC Book Tours. I have an excerpt to share with you so let’s get started and scroll down now.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of California Girls comes an all new original Blackberry Island novel told with Susan Mallery’s trademark humor and charm. Sisters by Choice is a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through
Expected Publication: February 11th 2020
Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…
After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.
Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.
Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?
Told with Mallery’s trademark humor and charm, Sisters by Choice is a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through.
She turned at the corner, made a left and three more rights before being forced to a stop by a barricade manned by two members of the Santa Clarita Police Department. She pulled over and jumped out of her car, grabbing her company ID and showing it to the officers.
“That’s my company,” she said. “I own it. What happened? Was anyone inside? Oh, God, the cleaners. Did they get out?”
The officers waved her past the barricade and pointed toward one of the firefighters. He looked more management and less like a climb-a-ladder-to-make-a-hole-in-the-roof guy.
At first she couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything but stare at what had once been a large warehouse with offices. Now there was only fire and smoke and heat.
Go, she told herself. She had to get going!
She rushed to the guy and identified herself again.
He nodded. “From what we can tell, the cleaning team discovered the fire. They all got out safely. We did a search, as best we could, and didn’t find anyone else. Do you know of any employees who work late?”
Sophie tried to focus on what he was saying, but it was impossible. She’d never seen a real fire before—not outside of the movies or TV. There was no way that two-dimensional image had prepared her for the real thing. The heat was incredible. Even from a hundred feet away, she wanted to step back, to get away from the climbing temperature.
Even more stunning was the sound. Fire really was alive. It breathed and roared and screamed. Her building put up a fight, but it was no match for the beast that consumed it. As she watched, the fire cried out in victory as a wall collapsed.
“Ma’am, is anyone working late?”
The question was screamed in her face. She tore her attention away from the flames.
“No. No one works late. Only me. I don’t like anyone in my building when I’m not there.” The cleaners were the exception. She trusted them. Plus, anything important was locked up.
The man’s expression turned sympathetic. “I’m sorry. The building is going to be a total loss.”
She nodded because speaking was impossible. Her throat hurt, and not just from the smoke and ash in the air. Her throat hurt because she was doing her best to keep it all inside.
Everything she’d worked for, everything she’d dreamed of, built, sweated over and fought for was gone. Just gone. Her mom had always warned her that if she wasn’t careful, people would break her heart, but no one had warned her that a building could do the same.
She turned away and started for her car. The left side of her brain said she needed to call her insurance agent, and maybe some of her employees. Thank God her accounting records and orders were all backed up externally, but CK Industries wasn’t going to open its doors anytime soon.
That was the left side. The right side of her brain only felt pain. First CK and now this. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t lose them both.
She fumbled with her phone and scrolled through her contacts until she found a familiar number. She pushed it.
“Hey, you,” her cousin Kristine said. “This is a surprise. I thought you had a date. Oh, Sophie, it’s barely eight. You didn’t dump him already, did you? I swear, you’re impossible. What was wrong with this guy? Too tall? Not tall enough? Did he breathe funny? Hang on a sec—”
Kristine’s voice became muffled. “Yes, JJ, you really do have to do your European history homework. The First World War isn’t stupid or boring and you will need the information later in life.”
Kristine’s voice normalized. “You know he’s going to come back to me when he’s thirty and tell me I was completely wrong about the everyday relevance of World War I.”
Sophie managed to find her voice. “Kristine, it’s gone.”
“What? Sophie, what happened? Where are you? Are you okay? Did your date do something? Do you need me to call the police?”
“No. It’s not me.” At first Sophie thought she was shaking, but then she realized she was crying so hard she could barely stand or breathe.
“There’s a fire. Right now the whole place is on fire. There’s not going to be anything left. It’s gone, Kristine. It’s just gone.”
“Are you okay? Was anyone hurt?”
“No one works late and the cleaning crew found the fire, so they’re all okay. I don’t know what to do. I can’t handle this.”
“Of course you can. If anyone can, it’s you, sweetie. We both know that. You’re in shock. Look, I’m going to get myself on the first flight out in the morning. I’ll text you the information. We’ll figure it out. We can do this together.”
Sophie stared at the hungry flames and knew she’d been bested. She’d been prepared for a hostile buyout or an all-employee mutiny, but not total annihilation.
“This is all I have and now there’s nothing,” she whispered.
“That’s not true. You have your family and, knowing you the way I do, you have more insurance than you need. This could actually work out for the best. You’ve been talking about moving your business back to the island for years. Now you can. It’ll be like it was back in high school. You’ll see.”
“I hate it when you’re perky.”
“I know. That’s mostly why I act that way. I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Sophie nodded and hung up, then she opened the driver’s door of her car and sank onto the seat. There were a thousand things she should be doing but right now all she could do was watch her entire world literally go up in flames.
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Wednesday, January 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, January 23rd: Novel Gossip
Friday, January 24th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, January 27th: Reading Reality
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Wednesday, January 29th: Living My Best Book Life
Thursday, January 30th: Jathan & Heather
Friday, January 31st: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Monday, February 3rd: Into the Hall of Books
Tuesday, February 4th: Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, February 5th: Books & Spoons
Thursday, February 6th: What is That Book About
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com
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