Here’s a snippet from chapter 1 of By The Book. Releasing March 23rd!
Preorder now on Amazon
Tara let her fingertips slide over the glossy spines of the paperbacks on the shelf, her eyes skimming over the titles as she slowly ambled down the aisle. The scent of espresso and sugar cookies permeated the Books & Beans Coffee Shop and she could just faintly hear the soft conversation from the café area of the store beyond the bookcases.
Part of her felt as if she were committing adultery against the piles and piles of unread books back at her little apartment on the south side of town. She shouldn’t have been looking for a new read when there were so many others waiting at home. It would have taken her more time to run home, make lunch, grab a new book, and hurry back to work. Instead she walked to the little coffee shop-slash-bookstore across the street from her work, for a quick sandwich and a few moments of peace on her lunch break.
Besides, one more book to join her precious family of novels wouldn’t hurt. Right? Rachel, the owner of the shop and senior barista, was busy making Tara’s usual chai tea latte with a spritz of cinnamon. It was a sweet and spicy pick-me-up to get her through the rest of her day while being stuck behind the counter at the modest dentist office. She loved her job, but sometimes she wished her boss would let them read during the long, slow periods between appointments so she wouldn’t be bored. Her escape to the coffee shop was often the highlight of her day, besides going home after five o’clock, of course.
Tara’s life wasn’t all pathetic. She had her friends, her family, and, of course, her books. Who could ever be bored when there are so many stories to read, so many worlds to immerse in? Romance, mystery, horror, paranormal, fantasy, historical. She loved it all. Which is why picking out a new book could be so hard at times.
The best thing she could do was pick one and just go with it.
Her hand brushed over a spine and she found it wasn’t so smooth and pristine as the others. Her gaze trailed back to the worn trade paperback. Thin crease lines cut through the cursive title so much that she could barely read what it said.
Curiosity got the best of her and Tara slipped the book down from its resting place. She found the top edge covered in a thin layer of dust as if it had been sitting there undisturbed for months.
It certainly was old. The cover art reminded her of the trashy romance novels her mother used to read. The kind that looked as if it were painted or drawn, rather than photographed and spritzed up with Photoshop. She gazed upon the image of a man, his button-down shirt undone to reveal his rock-hard chest and abs beneath. His piercing blue eyes stared back at her, his slightly wavy black hair tucked underneath a dashing cowboy hat.
With a lasso in one hand and a cattle brand in the other, he looked the part of a rough and tumble ranch hand. In the distance, a brilliant golden sunset blazed across the sky with a girl riding a white horse on the horizon. With her long, dark hair flowing in the fictional breeze, no one would second guess that she was the one the cowboy was going to claim through the course of the story.
The title scrawled out in an elegant font read, “Texas Bounty”. Tara tried to hold in a laugh as she tossed her dark hair over her shoulder. She had never heard of the title or the author before. A quick peek at the back description, however, set her heart racing. Packed with romance, intrigue, and danger, it looked like just her kind of book.
Oddly enough, there was no price on the cover. Rachel normally kept her shelves stocked with the newest best sellers and some titles from local authors, but she had never seen a used book like this floating around. Maybe someone came and dropped it off without thinking.
“Tara! Your tea’s ready!” Rachel called from the coffee counter near the front of the store.