Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, for your reading palette, we've got the BOOK SPOTLIGHT shining on a Fiction title making its way through the blogosphere with Rachel's Random Resources. If you've any reading history with the author's Lorna and Tristan series, then you're already a step ahead because the leading lady of this book, as well as the person the work is titled after, is a blood relative...so to speak...and who doesn't like an add on to a series you already follow? Am I right? So...ladies and gents, may I present today's title in the spotlight (and keeping reading afterwards for a SPECIAL EXCERPT!) and blog tour guest...
About the book...
Arianna Banks never committed to anything, whether a relationship, a job, or her education. Carrying a damaged reputation because of an atrocious childhood incident, Arianna’s poor self-image has been her downfall. When her parents die unexpectedly, awash with grief, she wonders what her purpose is. She makes several changes, including quitting beauty school to work at a charity call center. Convinced she is doing important work, Arianna isn’t prepared when a coworker named Marc Arnold challenges her to achieve her dreams through her suppressed passion for writing. Coming off a nasty breakup, Arianna grows closer to Marc, but she tells herself she won’t be at another guy's mercy. But Marc isn’t ready to give up on her. Now Arianna must choose to walk away or invite him in. But inviting him into her heart means sharing who she really is, ugly scars and all. In the midst of navigating her heart, Arianna excels at her telemarketing job, but does she choose what’s familiar or dare to pursue her heart’s song, as Marc encourages her?
Arianna is the great-granddaughter of Lorna and Tristan Blake from the Lorna & Tristan Series.
~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
Chapter two: Arianna goes to visit her loser boyfriend, Brad
Five minutes later, I pulled into Brad’s driveway — well, his parents’ driveway. While Nana lived in the same cozy bungalow her mom and dad had owned, the houses in Brad’s neighborhood had more square footage than taste or comfort. I parked my dented-up car in their wrap-around driveway and stepped out to the sound of the fountain spray. Every bit of landscaping was sculpted, and the lawn was perfectly manicured. I guessed if Nana could afford to have someone do her yard, it would look just as nice. Nice was all it was. I couldn’t call it beautiful, for it was too perfect. Like everything on the outside of that three-story brick house was too perfect. The mansion hailed back three generations of Watson men. Brad was supposed to be in the process of being groomed to be the next Mr. Bradley W. Watson and taking over his dad’s company that made golf equipment when he retired.
I pressed the doorbell. Muffled voices argued — heavy footsteps mixed with lighter, faster ones. A minute later, one of Brad’s younger sisters, Dora, answered the door.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“Hi, Dora. It’s me, Arianna. Is Brad around?”
“Arianna? Wait.” Dora, who could have been Mandy Snyder’s twin, studied me in the dying sunlight. “I didn’t recognize you. What’s up with your hair?”
“Change, Dora. Change is good. Now, is Brad home?”
Brad appeared at Dora’s side a second later and bumped her out of the way with his hip. “Move it or lose it, sis.”
Dora scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Whatever.” She walked away.
“Sorry about her,” he said, looking at me.
I half-smiled. “Sure. Um, can I come in?”
“I thought we’d walk outside. It’s a nice night.” Before I could say anything, Brad stepped outside and closed the door.
One of the things that annoyed me about Brad was that he made almost all the decisions in our relationship. He didn’t run anything past me and assumed I’d be okay with whatever he picked. I didn’t mind at first, but after two years of this, it was getting old.
I also had a strong hunch Brad’s family was fighting — with words, but fighting nonetheless. Sitting in his house wasn’t so perfect. Most of the time, his two younger sisters, parents, and Brad hardly said two words to each other. Family meals were uncomfortable affairs whenever I attended. They had someone to cook for them, serve the food, and clean it up, but I didn’t think anyone could clean up their family’s problems. Everyone was too busy staring at their phones, or his dad was on a conference call or the computer, usually locked away in his home office. Mrs. Watson often holed up in her bedroom, where she chain-smoked and binge-watched Netflix. If she wasn’t in her room, she was out spending the Watson fortune on more stuff they didn’t need.
When the family did interact, voices raised by the decibel within seconds. I wondered if the only reason Brad’s parents were still married was because of Mr. Watson’s empire and fat checkbook.
“So, uh, how was your trip?” I asked.
Brad snorted. “Oh, a blast. Mom pretty much spent the entire time drinking with the sales guys’ wives or girlfriends while Dad did likewise with his employees. My sisters laid out on the beach for hours and flirted with a bunch of idiot college guys.”
“What did you do?”
“Had to go with the old man to some of the dinners, just to keep up appearances, you know. The drinks aren’t bad, but those guys all have their heads so far up my father’s backside, each one’s nose is browner than the one before.”
“Sounds like a good time.”
“My dad’s an idiot. He thinks I’m gonna follow in his footsteps.”
“No way. Why should I?”
“So, what do you wanna do?”
“I dunno. We’re young, right? We’ve got our whole lives ahead of us.”
About the author...
Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction, although she still dabbles in fan fiction.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, shamelessly watches Hallmark movies and When Calls the Heart, pets her orange and black kitties, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.
Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today and be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!
-Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!